Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"The Great Debaters" - A Discussion

This week I had the opportunity to lead a roundtable discussion with students attending the Coker College Connection. They were discussing the movie The Great Debaters. Since I teach a lot of public speaking, it is a movie that I really like. From a persuasive speaking perspective I love the scene the DVD calls 'The Hot Spot.'

The 13 students around the Davidson Hall table seemed to like the movie and from the discussion it appeared all were moved by some aspect. A key learning that one student surfaced and most seemed to agree with was that a major message in the movie was that "you are going to face really difficult situations in life but no matter what you face you have to take control and push on to achieve your goal." Wow! I was sitting there thinking there is not a more relevant message for the students to be taking away from an activity as they get ready to begin their undergraduate college careers.

It was also noteworthy to me the way the actors and directors succeeded in making people feel. While not everyone in the group spoke out there seemed strong agreement that the actors achieved their goal of being the characters. There also seemed strong agreement that the audience felt the raw emotions being portrayed in this story.

I am glad Student Services asked me to be a part of this exercise. There were several faculty members involved in leading these round table discussions.

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