Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Creative Writing Workshop, sponsored by Bago City College, Philippines and the US Peace Corps

Dear Readers,

I had the privilege of participating in a Creative Writing Workshop held in Bago City College, Negros, Philippines, October 7, 2013.  The organizer, Elaine Sweet, who is an American Peace Corps Volunteer, had invited me to give a talk via Skype.

l-r: Cecilia Brainard, Elaine Sweet, Susan Brooks (partially hidden), friend

This is the second time I've given a talk to students in Bago, via Skype. The first time was last May, upon the invitation of another American Peace Corps Volunteer, Susan Brooks, for the students in Ramon Torres National High School.  

First of all, I want to acknowledge Susan Brooks and Elaine Sweet for the opportunities they are giving the students in Bago. Despite the technical glitches using Skype -- and there were some -- in balance the students surely got something out of the workshops.

When I was a student in the Philippines, I remember being inspired by guest speakers. In high school, a priest talked to us and mentioned Oxford University and that made the idea of studying abroad seem real.  There was a scientist who talked to us about astronomy and that too was exciting.

Via this miracle of internet, there was contact between me and other writers with the students.  I know that even though the two-way communication was limited, the students heard my talk.  I am confident that some of them learned.

If the students of Elaine Sweet and Susan Brooks visit this blog entry, take a look at the link, Interview of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard about Creative Writing and take a look at the pictures taken at the workshop.

 l-r: Susan Brooks, Cecilia Brainard, Elaine Sweet

Here are some tips if you're planning to give a talk via Skype:

1. A few days before your scheduled talk, make sure both parties can connect via Skype;
2. I have found that having the computer's camera at my eye level works best; the background should have minimal clutter; and the lighting should be good. Test your computer setup, to make sure your appearance is the best it can be.
3. If you're giving a talk to a group, try to get them to send in questions before hand, so you can address this during your talk.  It's not really wise to rely on a two-way interaction, because technical glitches seem to happen.
4. Ask someone on the other side to call your attention before your time's up. It's difficult to keep track of time and it's easy to run over.
5. It's a good idea to email the key points of what your talk is, just in case connection fails.
6. Check and double check any country time differences.

Read also
Pictures, Creative Writing Workshop in Bago City College
Elaine Sweet - American Peace Corps Volunteer to Azerbaijan and the Philippines 
Susan Brooks - Interview of American Peace Corps Volunteer in Bago, Philippines
Fiesta sa Parian, Cebu with PCV guests Susan Brooks and Elaine Sweet
Creative Writing Workshop Organized by Susan Brooks
Interview of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard about Creative Writing

tags: Philippines, Philippine, education, Peace Corps Volunteer, PCV, Elaine Sweet, Susan Brooks, Bago

This is all for now,

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