So I taught my the first online class last week. And though I had 8 people sign up, only two showed. Which is whomp-whomp. But it’s also an issue of me staying on top of the group who signed up. And just… helps me understand what was going on with things that irked me about the classes I took.
Everyone in my feed picked up a cool Covid skill. Baking, running, reading, reading smut via live zoom shows! (DM me for names.) As my new Covid skill I picked up a bunch of online courses. I learned a ton from doing workshops with more seasoned teachers but there was this… confusion that I wasn’t able to articulate… regarding at least a little bit… why we weren’t asked to do more.
Then last night I did my second storytelling class and we ended up with 5 in the class and 17 people watching. I have a lot of thoughts.
The first is that I am committed to doing this for 4 more weeks. And will reassess afterwards. But foremost, it is more draining than I thought it would be. When I took Scott Whitehair’s Advanced Storytelling course, it was 4 weeks and 3hrs scheduled. He gave us at least an extra thirty minutes every time. Giving people that extra time takes heart and guts. Doing that sort of deep listening is a skill and showed a level of care, I don’t personally have. I’d be wrecked. His class, was fantastic. I highly recommend it.
I couldn’t do a three-hour class. I don’t have the concentration for it. And I find it takes me a while to recover from two.
That advanced class was great, but a lot of classes and workshops I took were almost all, Drink and Draw style. Whether paid or free, there was a drop in drop out, sort of feel to many of them.
I wanted something more. I wanted worksheets. I wanted to work hard and get my C or B. I wanted tests! I wanted to feel like a college class. I wanted to be the worst student in a sea of genius. And a little bit due to, ‘ego and the hold your hand and big up you,’ nature of the classes I felt like the A student. This might be honed from experience, that sort of kid glove kindness is what brings the best out of people. (There is evidence of this. Thinking Fast and Slow, has some good sociological studies.)
My narcissism aside. One issue with this, is that there is more audience for people who want to do Drink & Draw style Zoom classes, and the college class style is a ton more work for everyone involved. I underestimated both these things.
So going forward, the class is a show. It’s my hope that this will help provide a system for finding the audience for a more focused Advanced class, later. As well as offering me the time to fully flesh out the material. It will allow the drink and draw kids to get their fill by watching, and allow the people who like me, want to go a little deeper, will have time to find each other.
I think the Workshop Show was good. But each episode will get better. If you went to the show, hit me hard with that feedback. A couple people sent me nice notes, and a couple people gave good pointers already. Right now it is very drink and draw, but it’ll get to the place it needs to be. And in a large part, what I’m finding is that’s what an audience wants. There’s an art to facilitating that kind of gathering.
Some things I’m going to try and change for next week. After the lesson we are going to do a fast introduction of the participants. There are going to be sound effects! And I’m going to have a lot more energy in the lesson section. By the end of the four weeks, I should start having hand outs and a straight up syllabus to peruse.
Thanks to everyone who has been helping with this project.