In the past two weeks, I have been working on getting my In Depth project in the air. This involves finally meeting my mentor in person. Jennifer York (my mentor) and I arranged to meet at her office at ISSBC. I took the Skytrain after school and met up with her. Ms York is a really great person. She is currently managing the settlement program, and even in our first meeting gave me lots of things to think about and some really great insight on my project. She was very supportive and we chatted about my ideas for the project and some of the technical pieces that I have to keep in mind. Ms York also gave me some great resources for my project and getting my head around some aspects I don’t quite understand.
One of the resources provided was the Syrian Refugee Operation to British Columbia: One Year In — A Roadmap to Integration and Citizenship brochure by the ISSofBC. The report speaks of the current status of the government funded Syrian refugees and what their thoughts and concerns on the subject of their new lives in Canada. This has been a valuable resource for me because as a part of my project I must learn more about where the demand and concerns are for refugees in Canada. Although I have not specifically selected Syrian refugees as the group I would like to focus on for my potential sponsorship, I have been basing a lot of research off of their cases because they are so readily available and current.
Within the report, there are quotes from respondents on an assortment of different topics. Reading these quotes has been chilling for me at times, seeing as it has already been a year since these people have moved here and in many cases their profiles have moved out of the public eye. We are not hearing the things that these people are saying. there are some serious concerns within the community. Many of these concerns are related to the separation that has impacted the majority of the Syrian refugees who have immigrated with government support.
There are, however, an abundance of grateful and praising words for Canada as a whole.
I will continue to use this resource as I work through the next steps of my project.
Because these are still the beginning stages of my project, I have not had any disagreements or conflicts with my mentor. I have, however, been reading de Bono’s ‘How to Have a Beautiful Mind’ and in turn used some strategies on how to agree. In trying to be polite, I find it really easy to just nod and smile and make the occasional ‘mm-hmm’ noise when I am agreeing with someone. After reading about how to agree, I was able to be more constructive and impressive in the conversation. For example, when my mentor mentioned something that I agreed with, I would show my understanding by suggesting an example of where that statement would be applicable. I also did some rephrasing, repeating what my mentor said but in my own words to communicate my following. I also maintained eye contact and used facial expressions to help her understand what I was taking from her words. When asking for clarification, instead of just asking her to repeat herself, I would state what I interpreted from her words back to her, allowing he the opportunity to adjust and explain the parts that came across as different in our enactments.
Overall, the first weeks of in depth have been rewarding and productive for me. I look forward to going through everyone else’s posts and seeing what they’re up to!