An Appreciative Tangent |#2


My last Summer Youth Dialogues session felt much better to me than previous sessions. As I’m not much of a morning person, my energy is usually pretty low when the day starts. I had a good night’s rest, and I was ready to push through. Plus, my meta-facilitator brought bagels and coffee! So I had some bagels and coffee! I really appreciate the vibes from coworkers. We are a very unique group, and I feel that we are good at supporting and feeding off of each other. I feel so supported, and like I can (figuratively) conquer the world.igtEarlier in the week, I asked my co-facilitators August and Nectarine if I could play music throughout our sessions for research purposes. I wanted to analyze how music is impactful in the setting. I found that it was helpful for me to do this, especially since I have to observe the setting anyway. I was considerably more mindful than usual.

How does music shift a social setting? It’s really interesting the things that can come out and the connections and interactions that people have around musical settings. I noticed Apple’s energy was lower than mine, which is not the usual scenario. I was glad that certain songs from my playlist were able to pick him up a little. It was even more interesting because I’m used to being the low energy one, so in a way, I had to step up my game.


Because I was using music as a tool, I had to be careful of my volume. I noticed that during things like our reflective writing icebreaker, it seemed more useful to play music at lower tones. Emerson had her own headphones when she came in, so it seemed that music was helping her cope with something, but I was not certain. And during pair-shares and casual conversation, the volume could be increased. I noticed during break that (as usual) Mineral, Cordelia and Calorie had no problems playing a card game together, and having conversation. Sunshine and Alligator were having a chill conversation. Entity was the only one keeping to herself, and no one felt the need to invite her in any side conversations.


Entity talks A LOT, and takes up a lot of space. Although she is aware of this, and I have had several conversations with her about it, it’s like she can’t stop, or won’t stop, I’m not so sure which one it is at this point. It’s very frustrating, and although it can be hard for me to find something to say in dialogue, when she begins to speak, I automatically want to cut her off. It’s affected the group to not even want to speak up, and I don’t like that. Apple even tried to mindfully intervene by saying how it’s hard for him not to talk, but he has to think about if what he has to say needs to be said by him, and if it is productive and contributing. Entity doesn’t seem to understand this concept yet. And when she’s called out, she completely shuts down, which is just as, if not more, unproductive.

Once again, during my session with Nectarine, I had to step up out of my comfort zone. I did not know the reason, but I noticed something was wrong with her, so I didn’t ask for much from her. I really like how our particular group interacts. It is much different from my group with Apple, and the students are much friendlier with one another. This may be a reason why I was more comfortable taking the lead, because the students do a great job contributing and listening. But, they also get off task pretty easily. Students got through each of the assignments, but we did not get through the entire process required by curriculum. But these students are so bright, that they take their own initiatives. Holiday shared about a colleague he was having conflict with. Nectarine and I suggested having a heartfelt conversation, and Holliday reached out to the person after our session. That alone seems like progress to me. Appreciatively, I understand that people grow at different intervals. And I am glad that I have co’s (Apple and Nectarine) that understand that, and are supportive of people’s differences, and wiling to take the time necessary.



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