Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Letter to My Boss

Haha, just an email that my boss asked me to send to her, to let her know what my plans and thoughts are after I finish my attachment. Sharing this with you guys, 'cos I know you too are also wondering what I plan to do.

Dear Catherine,

These are my thoughts and plans what I'd like to pursue further:

Plans-wise
1. My big dream, ultimately, is to tell stories (through various media) that will give hope to children and inspire them that life is beautiful. Also, I hope to help children find various ways to express their life stories through various means - whether it be writing or video or drama or mime or sock puppets, etc.

Basically, it's storytelling. That's really something I'd like to learn more about and to try my hand at.

2. On another aspect, I'd like to explore further the potential of creative educational software and/or developing a course for helping children expand their methods of inquiry about the world. I was observing how the children use current educational software (e.g. Newsmaker), and honestly, I think they're not having that much fun because of the interface. The current software that we use are a bit too... task-centric. Not fun enough.

Personally, I believe it's important to develop this spirit of inquiry, of curious exploration, before we set down the kids into their seats and ask them to record their stories. 'Cos stories essentially are accounts of their explorations and endeavours - of what they saw, heard and felt during their explorations. Exploration provides the necessary inputs needed for a fertile imagination from which good stories can bear fruit.

I was talking with a group of Pri 6s children last year. They're generally quite middle-class and so on. I asked them, what are your dreams? None of them had any dreams except just get Playstations or earn lots of mar-nee.

On the other hand, during one of our CDC sessions, I met a young Indian boy who was very enthusiastic. I think he was from one of the less fortunate families. But when he saw me holding the video camera, his eyes lit up. So I chatted with him, and asked him, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" He immediately replied with bright eager eyes: "I want to become a film director!" Man. :D So I let him borrow my video camera and explore with it. He took to the camera like a fish to water. I felt elated, because I knew that I had, by letting see, touch and play with the camera, set off a little spark in the forest of his dreams. He could be the next Eric Khoo or Royston Tan one day... simply because he had the opportunity to explore film-making for himself.

So the gist of what I've written is that I think I'd like to see how we can facilitate our children's exploration and help them become explorers of a far greater world than our physical world: the human soul. :)

3. I hope to also create interactive storybooks that not only allows kids to read and play with the characters, but to also add words to the characters - as like characters in a play. An implemented example is this: http://www.sleepisdeath.net/slideShow/. It's something like a modern-day version of "xiangsheng", or "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (though it doesn't have to be comedy all the time) But marketing-wise, I'm not very sure how to do that. But I can learn.

4. I'm not sure how feasible this is, but I'd also like to explore film-making, especially making films for children to watch. I think you have a lot of experience in this area?

5. Do research and development into creating fun user interfaces for children, especially using iPad / iPhone. Inspired by MIT's Media Labs work on creating unique and engaging interfaces for children. E.g.s. http://llk.media.mit.edu/projects.php?id=783, http://llk.media.mit.edu/projects.php

So in conclusion, it's essentially about doing professional (verbal) storytelling, exploring the ways we can help children explore and so mine more raw materials for their stories, and creating interactive storybooks.

Skills-wise:
1. I can do video-editing and basic sound-editing. :)
2. Did volunteer storytelling before with a small group of children, both in Sunday school and the CDC Nurture programme. They loved it. :D
3. Write drama skits to captivate children. I do it every week for Sunday School.
4. I can mime. Basic, but decent. :)
5. I can do photography + videography.

Hope this helps! :)

Best regards,
Yeu Ann

Overall, develop my storytelling skills, so that I can be better equipped to do missions work overseas with children, and help them in their education. To meet their needs as well. I know there's a LOT of details to be settled. But at least make sure that we're all on the right track. :)

5 comments:

All About Shenteng said...
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All About Shenteng said...
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All About Shenteng said...

It is such a joy to read your entries. Thank God for your openess in sharing your life. I am sure that God will use you to help children discover their aspirations. The children who have you as their teacher are really so blessed! I want to be in your class if I am still a child physically (though I am still a child at heart sometimes!) :)

yeu@nn said...

Wow! :D Thanks so much Shenteng! :) Am very encouraged by your compliments, bro! Awww... we all should be children at heart, even though it's good to be grown-ups in mind haha... Will do my best to fulfill the task the Lord Jesus has given me... to preach the Good News to the little ones all over the world! :D

All About Shenteng said...

Yes, I am still a child at heart too. I really love the way you decribed yourself in your blog "I TRY MY BEST TO SEE THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD DAILY, SUCH THAT... I'LL ACTUALLY LEARN TO BE SURPRISED TO SEE THE SUN RISE EVERY DAY, THE GRASS GROW AND THE RAIN FALL - EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE. TO SEE THE WORLD IN FRESH AND NEW WAYS EVERY MORNING. TO NEVER EVER GROW BORED WITH AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE, TO LEARN TO SEE GOD AT WORK IN MY LIFE EVERY DAY (AND JOIN HIM IN IT!)"

Thanks for being such an inspiration! :)