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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Workshop Feedback and Faith

[This is a follow up from an earlier blog post in which I shared my struggle to meet my teacher's expectations on an assignment and my family's sage advice to focus on the feedback of workshop participants rather than my instructor's reaction.]

I'm delighted to share with all of you, some feedback I received from my Communication Training workshop for ALDA Chicago. In the Spring 2015 newsletter, editor Marsha Swetin wrote a recap of my presentation for the organization. She titled her article, "Hats Off to One of Our Own" with a graphic that showed lots of different types of hats. I loved that! With her permission, I am reprinting an editor's note she included:
As members of the audience, my daughter and I really found Sarah’s workshop presentation right on the mark.  My daughter and I speak to each other daily and there are often communication problems because I don’t understand what she is saying or I am not an active listener.  There is an old expression: “It takes 2 to tango.”  Well, it takes 2 to have a meaningful conversation.  Both the speaker and the listener must be fully engaged with each other for this to happen.  Thank you Sarah for making us realize how important this is.
For me, Marsha's comment means that all the hard work this class entailed was worthwhile. My class is over now and my last assignment, a 7 minute video presentation of my workshop development, received a perfect score. I earned a final grade of A for the course.

I included the word faith in this blog post's title because I have never before relied on prayer to get me through a class. I experienced a great amount of self doubt and uncertainty while taking this class. I found myself praying on my knees before I left at night for class. I didn't think I could do it on my own. I desperately wanted to stay home and forget all this grad school nonsense. Sometimes it was physical stamina I lacked. Twice I came to class sneezing, coughing, and generally miserable from a bad cold. My professor, who is health conscious, was uncomfortable having me there. What carried me through all the stress was the belief that what I was doing mattered. That God could use me to help others. In the end, this class was not about my getting an A, it was about moving out of my comfort zone and trusting God to be beside me all the way.

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