The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian Practice Socratic Seminar Reflection (TATDPTIPSSR)

(If I am to be honest, I don’t trust myself to judge my performance in the Socratic Seminar either)

If you wish to read the part of the reflection that is not a farce, skip to the bold portion of text at the end.

I am deeply dissatisfied with myself. In hindsight, there were a multitude of aspects of my performance I could improve on and it is vital that I do.

Within my cranium was a wealth of thoughts and ideas begging to be spewed forth, yet I spoke a grand total of only 2 times during the seminar. As my observer suggested, I should speak my mind without raising my hand instead of suffering under the oppression of the more assertive. Seminars must become not only a test of speech coherency and read comprehension, but also a trial of reaction speed as the end of every spoken thought and idea becomes a race to be the first person to open their mouths next, lest my contributions drown in the tyranny of my fellows.

I only jest. I will strive to speak up in my next socratic seminar and if I still feel obligated to raise my hand before I add something, I will raise it higher.

There was also the issue of my numerous distracting habits. My constant shifting around while in a coat created noises that were not only possibly distracting to others, but to myself. I do not know how to remedy my restlessness, but I will make an effort to sit still in the next seminar. Furthermore, my way of speaking was also a distraction to my peers, as I muttered frequent interjections whenever I lapsed into informal register that ironically detracted more from my performance than the improper language. I was also prone to repeating the same phrases and making irrelevant connections to pop culture. The root of my speaking problems, I believe, is that I was not sufficiently prepared for the seminar. The dearth of words on the sticky notes I relied on for the seminar allowed me excessive room for improvisation and derailment. For the next seminar, I will use a soundboard that will play my pre-recorded opinions as well as generic responses to questions, in order to avoid language mistakes.

After a few seconds of thought, I have decided to instead write a 1-page script instead, as I realized I do not in fact own a soundboard.

Here is an excerpt:


My apologies, good fellows. It appears I have most unfortunately lapsed into register far too casual for the nature of our assignment. If you could kindly excuse my terrible error, I would be exceedingly grateful. Once again, my apologies.

A more detailed script would also allow for ease of page referencing, something I had problems doing during the scarce moments of the 22 minutes I was speaking.

This socratic seminar has revealed that I have a tendency to distract others with frequent interjections in my speech and restless moving, and though I had many good ideas I wished to share, I did not advocate for myself enough. Further improvement for the next seminar will come in the form of more confident behavior and a better and more well-planned script.


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