By Manon Chrétien
Fresher’s first steps at the SCA
So here we are, two weeks have already passed at the SCA. Here’s a SCAB about the beginning of my experience there.
That was actually a lot to take : I’ve met about 50 new people and I’ve forced myself to remember everyone’s name – which is very unusual for me, sometimes it takes me 5-6 times seeing a person to recall who they are, which is pretty offensive for them. But one of my goals was to improve my memory, so step 1 accomplished !
I was apprehensive of the language and as a matter of fact, I was quite right : I had to be very very focused not to lose a crumb of what was said. Because everything is really interesting and covers such a wide panel of subjects. We get to discover amazing mentors with dreamy careers and I want to be able to understand all they are saying. You can never get enough wisdom and advice from the elders.
I have also discovered a new mentality, more open-minded than in France, where – let’s be honest – everyone is always very judgmental. It feels so good to dress as you want and to be able to speak with anybody.
During those two weeks, we worked a lot as groups. That was great because they were mixed up everyday, so we got to meet everyone and work with different personalities. I think one of the things I also have to improve is my ability to work in team with English students. While in France my personality is rather assertive, I noticed that I have a tendency here not to assure my ideas. My shyness often has the upper hand, but I guess it gives me a margin of progression ! By the end of the term I hope I will be strong and confident enough to state loud and clear what is in my head, because it is worth it.
On Tuesday we had a workshop on poetry with Deanna, a fabulous young poet. The exercise was actually one my worst nightmares : having to write a poem about ourselves in a language that is not mine was a bit tricky but I managed to do it. But the worst part was having to read it in front of everyone, absolutely dreadful. It is already difficult for me to do that in French, so that was really challenging. However, everything went well and I got this feeling of pride after I did it. I didn’t die. I was red as a tomato on a burning summer afternoon, but I am still alive. Moreover, Deanna said that each time was going to be easier. So now, with the benefit of hindsight, I’m really glad and proud to have played the game (even though we did not have the choice anyway !). It is a perfect exercise to learn how to pitch to a client and gain confidence in what you say.
In a nutshell, every day was super challenging, so I am really excited about what is coming up next. I think I will learn a lot during this term and I am really grateful to be here.