IFP conference 11/11/17

On saturday, we had a conference at dover with IFP students from both campuses. The fact that we were all doing the conference together really reminded me that we are one school and emphasised on the fact that IFP brings people together.

I believe that this conference was one of the most important events in IFP so far in terms of the learning outcomes. Walking out from this conference, I had strong knowledge on all the possible ways to promote piece that can be used not only on the trip but also in everyday life.

Firstly, we had a whole team meeting where teachers created some ice breakers. One of the best ice breakers for me was the one where there was a map of the world projected on the wall and each individual had to go where their favourite food was. It was interesting to see what you had in common with others as food is a very important topic for students. (we love food). This not only made us learn a bit about each other, but also made us realise that we had things in common with everyone. After this, the teachers separated us into teams which had different topics to work on. My team had the subject on STATUES. The rules were that we had to create a fifteen minute conference on our subject to the other IFP students. It was interesting as the whole morning, we did icebreakers but they told us that we really had to think hard if we wanted to do one as we only had fifteen minutes. This taught us that ice breakers are not compulsory for a conference to work well.

In the rooms, we all talked about our research on statues and everyone had different stories about them as we all come from very different backgrounds. Yet, we had a very rich conversation where I learned a lot on the history of some statues.

As a whole, we wanted our conference to raise awareness on the different meanings behind statues. Most of them think that statues are to honour someone even though that might no be the story at all. We wanted the students to start researching or understanding the different perspectives that might exist when looking at a statue. An example was this one:

Image result for robert edward lee sculpture conflictsThis is Robert Edward Lee who assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia, which he would lead for the rest of the war. He fought to preserve slavery and political liberty for whites. Nevertheless, when you see this statue, you are under the impression that he is being honoured. People might get wrong information from it. There has been a lot of conflict behind this statue as many people want to take it down. It is now covered by a black cloth.

As a group, we decided not to have an icebreaker as we already had some this morning and felt like for the short time we had, we did not have enough time to do one. Nevertheless, we started by making the students discuss within small group what they think the function of a statue has and to what extent doe is honour and individual. This helped them understand each other’s perspective and know where they stand on before being informed on the different perspective. So that they can compare their opinions before and after, we made them write on a post it note and put it up on the board.

One challenging aspect of this conference was to be able to speak to such a large group and make sure they all feel included. At the end, the main comment that we had is that we should have showed more individual help to the group. Some of us should have walked within the small groups and ask if they needed anything or had any questions. Perhaps this would have helped in including everyone. 

Culturama Mexico

Last year I got into Culturama Latin America and it was a very fun experience. This is why I have decided to try again this year and I auditioned for four dances: India, Egypt, U.S.A and Mexico to put all the chances on my side and participate again in this year’s Culturama. I did not get into the first three I auditioned for which kind of discouraged me because the only one that was left was Mexico and I thought the dance was very similar to last year’s (I was very wrong!). Yet, when I received the email of acceptance it made me even more thankful and happy to be in it as I did not expect to get in.

The first rehearsals were very interesting as there was another small audition as the performance consisted of four different dances. This was out of the blue but I did really well and I got to choose the dance I wanted. My goal for this year’s culturama was to gain in confidence as we are performing in front of an audience and to meet new people that are in my dance. I did achieve those goals as it helped me a lot in my confidence that I also used for drama.

In addition, I hoped to learn more about the culture in Mexico. Doing their traditional dance, it helped me realise how vivid their culture is . The four dances of this whole performance were very different from one another but they were all cute and joyful. It is interesting as each dance was performed by people with different social status back in the days. You could see it from the difference in movements: the one that was more elegant was for women with high social status and the one with more west side movements was for the working class. Yet, this did not create any separation between the performers as we were all supporting each other on and off the stage. One challenging aspect of this dance was the fact that I was supposed to be a woman from a higher class and therefore had to dance with confidence on stage. This was the complete opposite of what I was actually feeling inside but as my father told me “fake it until you make it”. This means that when you act confident, you will actually feel more confident inside. This theory proved to be true in this dance! Some of the best comments we have had from the audience was “it really made it seem like we were in Mexico!”.

Overall, being part of this dance was a very fun experience and has been the highlight of my beginning in the school year. Spending time and collaborating with the dance leaders and performers helped me build new relationships that I will surely keep!

Pre season touch

For the first season, I decided to sign up for pre season touch. It was interesting because I have played touch at school before and I was in the C team. I was a little discouraged at first as in the french school, I was in B. The fact that I got into a lower team made me rethink if touch was really for me as I did not have the right mindset.

Today, I am in a Woman’s A team outside of school called Legiste and we play tournaments every saturday. They are all very good and some of them are even touch coaches which gave me another challenge: learn how to be the worst in your team and how to improve to get to their level.  This is why I decided to join pre season: even though I feel I am not playing at my level, I can still improve and learn from my and other’s mistake. I was sometimes asked to teach the new girls some skills which helped me develop in that particular movement as they were all asking interesting questions.

Joining pre season helped me improve not only on my touch skills but also on my collaboration skills. Being able to play in different teams takes some practice as each teammate are different and the moves don’t have the same names. It then helped me to fit and change my game in different environments.

To be perfectly honest, I am still not 100% committed to play in a school team as it bothers me not to be in A. I think I need to lower my ego as my level is not as good as I think.

To conclude, pre season touch helped me fit into new environments and learn how to play with differently skilled teams.It also helped me overcome the fact that you do not always have o be the best in every sport. You just have to play at YOUR best! #deep