It’s amazing how much you can learn in such little time. I am coming to the end of three wonderful years at St. Mary's University, and I can honestly say I've learnt more in the last 3 months than ever before. Because for me, I've learnt so much more than any lecture, book or essay can ever teach you. I've learnt skills that, as well as to produce what I believe to be my best work, will help me so much for when I finally leave.
Focusing upon my community project, learning how to teach and lead workshops with adults has been an exciting and fulfilling task. Working out how to plan, structure and evaluate workshops to suit the needs of a diverse group was a gradual learning process, and it definitely got easier with time the more I got to know them. Initially I thought it would be hard to work with people that are ill, only because I saw myself as a very sensitive person and thought I would easily get upset. However, because I got to know them as individuals, I didn't label them by their illness and did not allow that shadow to hang over their head.
The project has certainly given plenty back to the community, primarily a new activity they didn't realise they would enjoy. Drama can also have a stigma attached to it, being pushed aside for stuck up thespians to execute and middle-class communities to enjoy. However, I hope I have proved to this community that there are so many different ways the realms of drama can be of service, and this is one of them. As I have mentioned in previous weeks, their confidence dramatically improved, and it has given these people a chance to explore, take risks and above all, enjoy themselves. I hope they have learnt all different things about themselves too; including how proud they should be that they were brave enough to take part, and how proud I am of them to put their problems aside and to let themselves go.
As much as this project was intended to give to the community, The Mulberry Centre has actually given so much back to me. As well as believing that every town in the world should possess a ‘Mulberry Centre’ of their own, this community has shown me that not every part of having the disease is all death and dismay. There is a huge sense of hope and possibility that fills each room with warmth and comfort, and I only hope that my project has added to it’s magnificence.