Trainers evaluation (Gr.8)

First CC workshop Lithuania, Vilnius (Jan 23 -Mar 20. Presentation and 8 sessions)

1. Trainers’ Evaluation

1.1. Please explain how your workshop went

Dates of sessions : Jan 23(presentation of CC project); Feb 6; Feb 8; Feb 12; Mar 8; Mar 14; Mar 15; Mar 19; Mar 20

Place Vilnius’ Teachers House, located in an old town and easily reachable by public transport.

Participants (number and profile)

9 women participated (age 38-70). Plus 2 women had no possibility to attend the puppet making session. They attended sessions of puppet animation and joined the second workshop for creating the performance.

– Profile: unemployed, divorced, retired.

Participants have named problems they recently are facing: “inner pain, loneliness, uselessness….; long term unemployment, depression, need to meet people….;problematic relationship with relatives..;lost job, lack of self esteem, heartbreak…; unemployed, divorced, single mother, mothers death…;need to better know myself…;hesitation about the current job, lack of motivation…..

1.2. According to your experience, which are the strong points of the method that helped you in the workshop?

The simple technology of puppet making, the emotional relation between the puppet and the author, the possibility to talk about oneself and others not directly, but through the puppet, space for reflecting and feed-back.

1.3. According to your experience, what can be changed in the method in order to make it better (which are the weak points)? What changes do you suggest?

The weak points were mainly related to the practical issues. In our case we had to warm up the group as participants did not knew each other and to get acquainted required additional time. With the constant groups it could need less sessions and they could be more puppetry based. It would be also a big advantage to have a constant place for the workshops (we had to change the room several times), where participants could arrange the space according to their taste and needs.

It was also a complication, that our schedule of sessions had rather long periods in between and not all the participants had a possibility to attend all the sessions. The reintegration of the group constantly required additional time and activities. It was also a challenge to integrate 2 women who were not able to attend the puppet making session

As we still do not have elaborated the method, we are in the stage of creating it and checking what works the best.

Working with the first group we ran out of time to create the etudes and participants were not motivated enough to perform. All the participants named puppet making as the session they liked the most .Though the depth of relation with puppet was even a bit too deep. So we decided that during the second workshop we have to “cut” that close relationship with own puppet at the certain phase and to concern the puppet basically as an “actor”.

While “getting acquainted” with puppets we made each puppet to sit one by one on the chair in a circle and all the participants characterized the puppet . The author of the puppet was the last to tell about it. We recommend this way, because it helps to tell indirectly about the person who created a puppet. And, as participants reflected later, it helped to see oneself from aside and to reveal unexpected surfaces.

While using the exercise of Path, which was presented in Glasgow CC training course we had a psycho dramatic case of releasing the tough relationship of one of participants with her deceased mother (forgiveness, guilt, reproaches) It took more time then was previewed for this activity. The case was resolved in approaching and embracing imaginary mother. Though we did not succeed in creating the topics for the performance using this technique. We decided not to use the Path exercise working with the second group.

The majority of participants mentioned that they would like to have more time for reflections and feed-back. It is evident, that in modern world people lack the space and time to talk and we have to be aware of providing sufficient space for this. So during the second workshop we are going to cut some theoretical inputs, saving space for reflections of participants.

1.4. Additional comments

It was a constant creativity for trainers because it was impossible just to use the method which was presented in Glasgow as it is.. We had to be extremely flexible and attentive, to find the ways which could be optimal for all the participants, which were rather different in age, life experience.

We, the trainers, were inspired by the puppetry techniques and were motivated while observing impressive improvement in participants attitudes, involvement, discoveries.

The session in the Puppet theater, presented by the very devoted puppeteer Rimas Driezis, was both inspiring and informative. So we recommend everyone, who will use the puppetry for social inclusion to visit local puppet theaters with the groups for educational sessions (if you only have charismatic puppeteer to present it)

We also invited the professional puppeteer to moderate the topics for puppet performance. She gave some professional advises, though it was not integrated in the program smoothly enough, anyway participants appreciated her professional input.

2. Participants’ evaluation- please summarize the participants’ responses and if you have added more questions, please add their answer as well

1. What difficulties in life are you meeting at current period

  • Pain, loneliness, uselessness;..

  • Have no job, can’t find it for a long period already

  • Conflict situation with my brothers and their families for legacy issues

  • Have no job, divorced, lonely mother of teenage son, lack of finances, mothers death

  • No evident problems

  • I have to decide whether to extend my job contract or not, I also experience the “pleasures” of moving to another living place.

  • Lost job, lack of self esteem

  • In a current situation of my life I feel like anything I do is a must. I experience spiritual, physcal, emotional weariness. I can not find my own self, do not see the meaning of life, do not realize how could I be useful as a community member. I feel unsafe in present and in future, complicated family situation- unemployed husband – lost in life. Hard time which seems to get worth. People should not tell from my appearance that I feel social exclusion. But it is true. I feel like a stranger.

  • unemployed, didn’t know what I would like to do, what kind of job I should look for… in rather depressive mood…

2. Why have you decided to attend CC workshop?

  • To escape the pain, to learn to live in different circumstances;

  • I am depressed, because I have no job, have a lot of free time.. have a great need to associate with people

  • I like socialization, I try to learn during all kinds of meeting people and I believe that all meetings have special meaning

  • I had an expectation to get new experiences and advises how to solve problems. I was curious what kind of puppets we are going to create. I had a different image:) , but I liked the ones we have made.

  • I was curious how could puppet help to know, to create myself/oneself

  • I want to better know myself

  • I had an expectation to heal my soul, to recover from heartburn…

  • I expected that workshop will be more therapy based as the main goal was named „ to raise one’s self esteem“. I was interested in „possibility for educational and personal development “. I had a hope to strenghthen myself, to regain the will to act.

  • Information which I found in FB sounded for me very interesting. I was playing in puppet theatre when I was a teenager, so, I decided to join the project

3. What were your expectations?

  • To raise up spiritually, to learn to live differently, psychological advice;

  • Socialization, valuable time, new acquaintances

  • To gain more life experience and to get to know myself better through the puppet

  • To create a puppet and to observe, how the puppet could influence me

  • I wanted to realize why I lack the motivation to start new things (e.g. to learn foreign language)

  • The space to speak out, to communicate with other women experiencing the hard time

  • I hoped for some miracle, fullfillness,- maybe too much.

  • To spend the time with more meaning

4. How did you feel during the workshop and why?

  • Overwhelmed at the beginning, because the tasks were not clear enough..later on I managed to calm down;

  • I had a good feeling, though I cannot get rid of concern about the job

  • I had a good feeling, I liked it, I got new specific experience, which, I have to admit, was new for me.

  • It was hard to go to the first sessions, I went without much enthusiasm. It is hard to talk about my hard situation. Later on the participants increasingly became closer, atmosphere became warm. It was good..

  • I enjoyed the nice communication with other participants and it was interesting to hear what shall I tell and what puppets will “tell”

  • Strange a bit. But I liked new experience and new challenges

  • The atmosphere was safe to be relaxed to be authentic, to be myself

  • I started to breathe more deep. The paralyzes pf emotions released, the trust in myself has grown. I wonder how you do all of this, but you succeed.

  • Good. I personally hoped for more speaking out, reflecting, but probably it was not the purpose of the workshop. I emphesize – it was my need.

  • It was rather strange at the beginning when we didnt know each other, but very quickly it changed – all women were very friendly and open. Exercises helped to open up a lot.

5. Which were the strong points of the workshop and why?

  • It was a space to show emotions and feelings, and it helped me to better understand how to deal with negative conditions

  • I am not sure

  • All participants had problems, some even similar and we shared experience and advises

  • Well prepared exercises and tasks

  • Warm communication, new acquaintances, puppet making, warm-ups.

  • Psychological” conversations and sharing were the strongest point. I enjoyed visit to the puppet theatre, and the play at Puppet theatre “the Sand Man” which was very adequate.

  • Sincere, safe, open, playfull atmosphere, space to reflect. Though I had a need to speak out more.

  • Safe atmosphere

6. Which were the weak points of the workshop and why?

  • I think that it is not a great idea to have so different people in the group, I did not like negative emotions of other participants;

  • I do not know

  • It is not easy for me to relax and to perform, but I enjoyed observing others performing with puppets.

  • Some participants were absent for personal reasons. Sometimes atmosphere was friendly too much.

  • Some participants were often late and some were attached to their mobile phones too much

  • When one participant talks and other wants to comment briefly, the latter is silenced by others (hush, hush)

  • Session’s schedule issues. Lack of time for calm reflections

  • It was not easy to “jump” from psychology to puppets

  • The program could be longer, the time was running too fast…

7. Do you think the workshop needs any changes? If Yes, what kind of changes?

  • More exercises, where everyone could express herself as a part of the team.

  • Sometimes I had a feeling that I have to attend sessions as a responsibility;

  • It depends on the profile of the group. Maybe the flow could be more moderated, less chaotic

  • I think that nothing much should be changed. Though I think that participants should not talk one by one in a circle, but if one wants to interrupt with something important, she should have a possibility to do so.

  • Agreement about mobile usage during the sessions would be needed.

  • While thinking how to achieve such goals as to raise self esteem and to refresh a will to act, I think it is needed to have more sessions in a workshop and more clear methodology. The trainer said during one workshop, that namely these sessions are the field to create the methodology. So it is understandable, that it some „blind shooting“ took place. Each personal story is individual. In order to sincerelly help in a complicated life situation one need compasion. Psychological assistance? „A fishing rod“?

I feel that the most of women and even trainers practice prayer, trust in God. Maybe it even could be a part of methodology. But it could raise controversions, as the activity has European project financing.

No 1

I don’t know. 3

8. Do you think this workshop was useful for you? If yes, in what way? If not, why?

  • Yes, a little. It was interesting to know that such projects exist

  • Yes, I had a good time, I did not feel lonely

  • Yes, I think I learned to listen and to hear the opinions of other people

  • Yes, I met wonderful women. I realized that others also have problems, It was good to name your problems loud. Now it should be easier to deal with it.

  • Yes, useful, useful. Many times I got sight at myself from aside. I never do it in daily life.

  • It is always useful to learn something new. I got more patience, more empathy here.

  • Yes it was useful to speak about own problems, to share

  • I feel gratefull. I got aquainted with wonderful women: each particular, with their marvelous world, own story. I greatly appreciate this. I was a part of women’s space and at lest for some hours I felt filled up. Though, when I left, my life did not change. On the other hand, who knows, – maybe it was a vitamin which helped me to survive till the spring.

  • Very much: I learned about myself, I got so many questions in my head and I am going to look for the answers myself…I wish my days would be more meaningful, I want to be helpful for other people.

9. Would you use the things you learned on the workshop in your life?

Yes 6

  • Now I will look for the job with different attitude and mood, I know how important is to understand your real place – what you really like and can do…Im thinking about that so

often now.

  • Sometimes

  • Yes, I feel that I got more tolerance and balance

  • I am not sure still. Time will tell.

  • I tell a lot of my acquaintances about the sessions, shared my experience. And I shall continue to do so.

  • I learned to better hear and understand the problem of other person.

  • I learned to analyze myself, to evaluate the situation

  • No

  • I don’t know. 3

10. Which sessions did you like most?

  • Warm-ups 7

it helped me to relax and to feel friendship

  • Reflections, feed-back sessions 8

  • Making of puppets 9

  • Other 6

I liked the session in a puppet theatre and also the performance of puppet theatre “The Sand Man”

Visit to the Puppet theatre

  • Presentation of plays 2

  • All of them 1

Our cofee brakes, when you can talk, share.

  • None of them

Why?

  • Puppet making – it was nice to concentrate on the process, to forget all the troubles, to be here and now. I also appreciated the reflections about every puppet, based on different opinions and experience of each participant.

  • It was interesting;

  • You need to concentrate and it helps to forget your own problems.

  • Opening ups and theatrical performances were hard, I wanted to escape the thinking and acting about hard issues

  • Warm ups made us feel closer, created the common space. Reflections provided with the possibility to talk and it was so essential to be heard. It was fun to create a puppet,- as a new skill. I shall use it. And puppet revealed a part of truth about it’s author.

11. Which were the sessions you didn’t like?

  • Warm-ups

  • Reflections, feed-back sessions

  • Making of puppets

  • Other 1 (the fears which I had to release)

  • Presentation of plays 4

  • I am not good at acting, I feel a bit uncomfortable

  • I think we did not succeed with playing

  • All of them

  • None of them

Why?

  • I had a feeling of being in the kindergarten

  • I liked almost all of them

  • I am not used to relax and to perform in front of others etc.

  • I did not like performing too much, because we did not manage to share roles and responsibilities

  • I marked warm-ups both as I liked it and not. Sometimes it was good, because made us closer, sometimes it seemed to me as it is the waist of time. Maybe I was not active enough while to be active is very essential. As concerning the performing part, I had an impression that it would give the main healing effect. Maybe it was some missing link. The professional puppeteer was good, but she did not adequatelly fit into the time schedule. We learned how to animate puppets, but we did not menage to take the inner dramaturgy outside.

12. Would you recommend your aquaintances to attend such workshop?

  • yes 7

  • No

  • I don’t know 2

  • Yes, but workshop sessions take place at the day time, during the working hours..

  • It should depend on a person, which should not have excessive expectations.

13. Do you have any additional comments?

  • Thank you for valuable lessons, every exercise provided us with emotions and experience, thank you for a feeling of community, and the main thing – your good willingness and understanding the feelings and thoughts of every participant

  • I think that the main complication was that some participants could not attend all the sessions, or had to leave before the session finished.

  • I’ll miss the group, we became very friendly – they are like my classmates now…

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