So far my In Depth project with poi has been going smoothly. I’ve began to record more of myself practicing, so that I can create a short video of my improvement at the end of the project. Unfortunately my mentor and I were both quite busy over the past two weeks and were unable to meet, but I discussed through email what I should practice during the week. I have been mostly practicing stalls and general movement. I’m trying to practice everyday when I am able to. I have also completed making the set of contact poi with a few parts that I ordered.
First I started with an 80mm Stage ball, 3/8 (0.95cm) rope and PX3 poi knobs from higginsbrother.com.
I then cut the rope to about my arm’s lenth, from my should to my thumb joint. I also threaded the rope through the hole in the PX3 knob and tied a basic knot at the end to keep it from sliding out.
With the rope, I tied another knot at the other end with about 3 cm of space between the end of the rope and the knot. With the end I just tied a knot on, I stuck the rope into the hole I drilled on the ball.
Here’s the pair of poi that I ordered from higginsbrothers.com.
The difference between the Contact poi and poi shown above is the style that they are usually used for. Contact poi is used more commonly on the body for rolling tricks and tricks where you catch the poi, whereas the other set is used for performances with more spinning based tricks for an interesting effect. The contact poi are also better for stalls and tricks that are close together.
1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
During sessions with my mentor, I learned the basics quite quickly, so he was able to teach me more difficult skills faster. During the mentoring sessions, I found that his way of teaching helps me learn much quicker than I normally think I would have.
2. What relationship challenges did you face? Address some of the sub- questions below
a. Were you communicating effectively with one another? Explain
At meetings, we have been effectively communicating with each other. I easily understand what he explains when he is teaching and he takes in feedback that he uses in the next meeting. Because he teaches so well, I have been able to learn very quickly with him! When we aren’t in meetings, he quickly responds to emails I send him when I need help with something I’m working on. He has helped me significantly for my learning process.
b. Were you candid and open in your communication? Explain
When we communicate it’s very comfortable and neither of us has anything to hide. We can both enjoy practicing poi together and learning from one another. He is very clear in his teachings and is open to suggestions and feedback.
c. Did you take care to check out assumptions with each other? Explain
When we communicate, we both make sure to let each other know about specific terms or topics either of us may be unfamiliar with. Even if my mentor thinks that I may know about a specific part of the topic, he asks me first to confirm before continuing.
d. Were you actually listening to each other? Explain
When we talk, we both make sure to take in as much of the information we can. Both of us take each other’s feedback and suggestions for skills or methods of teaching we need to work on. Since my meetings with him are only an hour, we try to use as much of the time we can. I find it easy for me to ask my mentor for help and he always gives an open ear.
3. What learning challenges emerged?
The main problem I’ve had learning is finding the time to record and practice with the poi. A lot of the time that I practice is in places where it is difficult to record in. I’m going to resolve this issue by recording my practices at home and some outside in an open park area.
5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?
I think asking my mentor to create a plan for each meeting would make the meetings use the time more effectively. Another strategy I could use to improve meetings with my mentor is to come prepared to take notes on important subjects. I think another way to improve the quality of my mentor interactions is to do some more research of my own on poi, so that it’s easier for my mentor to explain skills or tricks to me.
6. What is the action plan for implementing each of the three strategies?
I plan to email my mentor about creating a plan for each meeting and creating an example plan for him. To incorporate note taking into my meetings, I will bring a pencil and paper to jot down notes, which I will type up digitally after the meeting. I will begin to do more research into poi and also start watching more performers to see tricks that I may want to learn specifically.
Overall In Depth has been progressing fairly smoothly and I’m really enjoying this project so far!