Friday, October 19, 2007


My workshop graduated yesterday. I finished 14 out of 18 people for a 77% grad rate. The average is 60% so I am pretty happy to have kept most of them. One of the things I most enjoyed was having each client turn to the person next to them and say something positive. It was hard for some of them because a few didn’t really get along with the person next to them all that well. However, they were at least able to say that they wished them luck in their job search. One client turned to another and she said that she had seen a lot of growth in him, in the way he spoke and presented himself. That when he walked into class on Wednesday in his suit for his practice interview it was like looking at a whole new person. The entire class appreciated that and the smile on the young man’s face told it all.

Some of them felt they had really grown and learned a lot. Even though our program is only eight days long, there really can be a noticeable change in some of the clients. There is a change in their communication, their confidence, and in their level of hope and certainty about their futures. It is amazing to be a part of that transformation.

The first five days of workshop we spend the last hour going over five common interview questions.

Day 1- Tell me a little about yourself
Day 2- What are your greatest strengths
Day 3- What is one of your weaknesses
Day 4- Where do you see yourself in 3, 5, or 10 years
Day 5- why should I hire you

I told them that since we asked that first question I had seen a huge amount of growth and maturity in their answers and that I was proud of all of them. At that point, even the ones who felt they hadn’t changed at all seemed to acknowledge that fact. They changed from people who stumbled over their words and didn’t know how to make themselves look good into confident young men and women who knew that they had something to offer. One of the students even said they should go around and answer that first question again just to see how far they had come. The rest of the class groaned so only she answered the question but the confidence with which she did was awesome.

Sure there were some bumps in the road and I have some things I need to tighten up as far as scheduling and even teaching some of the sessions. Regardless, I feel I taught them what needed to be taught and showed them a different way of doing things. I have high hopes for them all. On Monday I get a whole new group and it starts again.

1. Imagine there’s no heaven/ It’s easy if you try/ No hell below us/ Above us only sky. Imagine. John Lennon. Identified by Monica

2. I lost my lucky ball and chain/ now she’s four years gone. She's five feet tall and sick of me/ And all my carrying on. Lucky Ball and Chain, They Might Be Giants. Identified by Monica.

3. My dick costs a late night fee/ Your dick got the HIV/ My dick plays on the double feature screen/ Your dick went straight to DVD.

4. Slippin’ on through the sensors/ Trippin’ over rails and fences/ Slippin’ on through the sensors/ Made of the mist in the abyss.

5. I feel unhappy/ I feel so sad/ I’ve lost the best friend/ That I ever had.


Monica said...

I'm not answering #s 1 and 2 because they are too easy and it isn't fair. I don't know the rest of them.

Congrats on finishing your 1st workshop. Hooray! I'll see you in a few minutes.

fuck it i'll answer
1 imagine - john lennon
2 lucky ball and chain - they might be giants

Anonymous said...

Great great great! I'll have to read your archives to know what the sam hell you are talking about, but it all sounds great!
Doesn't Monica swear a lot?
heh heh

Mom said...

Natalie, there are parts of your post that could be used by JFY for promotional materials. Very nice. Another day for getting Mom all choked up...
Congratulations to your students and their teacher.

Johnny Yen said...

Monica beat me to the two that I know. I love They Might Be Giants. Back in the mid eighties, whenever they were in town, they played at Gaspar's, which is now Schuba's. I somehow never managed to get over there to see them, though I did see a ton of other bands there, including the Effigies.

Katrina said...

Congratulations to both you and your students.

Natalie said...

Monica- sometimes it isn't fair but that is just the way it goes.

Auld Hat- Monica doesn't swear all that much. Or maybe I swear just as much so I never notice.

Mom- Damn you're sappy.

Johnny Yen- TMBG are coming to The Vic pretty soon. It should be awesome.

Katrina- Thanks, they were a blast.

Monica said...

natalie, did you decide you want to go to the TMBG show @ the vic? SWEET!