End of Semester Blues

What a whirlwind of activity I find myself in. Got grades to enter, syllabi & scripts to write. Nine new books to read for the semester starting right after the Year of the Dog begins. No time to write about it, gotta eat something.

Boy that was a good salad.

So, the Dubbing Class was a good learning experience for everyone involved, I think. It was the first time we’d done it, so mistakes were made. Breaking the class into five groups, good idea. Giving everyone a different script to work up, probably not such a great idea for the first time. It would have been more beneficial to the students to have more time to workshop with each other and offer peer critiques of performances, rather than spend so much time in isolation practicing their scenes from Zootopia and Freaky Friday.

Halfway through the semester, we had a visit from a teacher at another high school in town with a more developed program. At her school, the students are preparing for a competition because what would school in Taiwan be without some academic competition and trophies? In those classes, the students work up a scene and take it in turns to add foley effects to it as part of a live performance in front of a movie screen.

Our approach was somewhat different, opting to record students reading their lines and then piece together the scenes in Garageband and sync them up with the video. This was the first time I had attempted such a thing and I feared that I had bitten off more than I could chew, but a couple cups of coffee and the right YouTube tutorials and I was editing like an amateur. All in good time. The end result was pretty good for a first time, I thought.

Some of the students really put their hearts into their characters and created produced voices dripping with emotion. Others found this part a little more difficult. However, I’ve got to applaud each and every one of my students from the brashest to the mousiest for their efforts and for getting the rhythm of their lines right into the groove. Even the students with the teeniest of voices sounded good with the magic of Garageband.

Unfortunately, the Disney folks had the 14-minute video removed from YouTube about 3 minutes after I posted it. The mind gets a little fuzzy in regard to copyright law after living for so long in Asia. Fair use for education might just be weasel words.

The semester has ended and the new one is around the corner, so it’s time to do something with what we teachers have learned and build upon what we’ve accomplished thus far.

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