Thursday, August 4, 2011

Motivate, Engage and Connect by Teaching – My Goals in this Life

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Today’s Blog Post

Motivate, Engage and Connect by Teaching – My Goals in this Life

“Are you going to see the Smurfs?” I asked the young girl standing beside me.

Her eyes popped open as if I had found out a huge secret that she had kept from everyone else in her life. She never answered but rather looked at her mom for approval to speak.

Mom laughed. “You can tell him… it’s okay.” The little girl then grinned and nodded the affirmative.

She asked me, “How did you know?”

I replied. “I am a Grandpa and Grandpas know everything!” She grinned at me again.

I was sitting at my demonstration table in the Peterborough Square – in front of the Crop Circles Store. In that strategic place, hundreds of people were walking by my table. And many, many were stopping to chat.

For those that don’t know what happens at my table every Wednesday from 10 AM to 4 PM… I demonstrate Tatting and also Wood Carving. On the table I have a selection of things that I have made and produce. I talk to people… maybe over one hundred every Wednesday.

My main goal is to motivate folks to do something with their creativity. The secondary goal is to simply meet people and engage them in conversation. Finally, if they have time we can do a craft together.

Yesterday it all came together.

It was Smurf Day at the Mall. No not officially, but rather it was the day when every person with young children had come to the Mall just before lunch, had something to eat before heading up to the Galaxie Theatre that is part of the Mall, then headed into the theater.

For many parents this was a first time in the Peterborough Square. They stopped to ask me for directions. My table became a central kiosk for people to find whatever they needed.

I was in the exact middle of everything Smurfs.

Comical things happened as well.

Grandparents came with their grandkids that they were babysitting. They were doing their summer holiday thing with the kids. One Grandma didn’t realize that the Smurf movie was sold out and she had to wait two hours until the next one… so they arrived at my table.

That happened dozens of times yesterday.

It was a great day to say the least.

A 9 year old girl and her 7 year old brother sat with me to do string art for one hour, waiting for their show to start. The kids were from Mississauga and were with their Grandparents for two weeks. We made bracelets and anklets by the dozens. It was an excellent connection.

I am in the middle of a wonderful opportunity at this Mall. The world comes to me by the hundreds. Yesterday was a high point in one year’s demonstrating. WOW.

The 9 year old girl was perhaps the most expressive person I have met for years. Their mom was born and raised in Hong Kong. Their dad was white from Canada. Their Grandparents were formerly from Toronto and now lived in Peterborough.

Together, as they did their string craft with me, we tried out speaking Cantonese and Mandarin. I taught them funny things to say in these languages. The young lady’s eyes sparkled.

(How can I do the Cantonese and Mandarin thing…? Well I just happened to have studied them in Hong Kong for the 5 years we lived there. Life is so good!)

She told me that where they live in Mississauga there are only Mandarin speaking people and Mandarin language classes. No one teaches Cantonese like her Mom speaks.

With that kind of background, she tried every Cantonese word that I spoke. She wanted to impress her Mom when they got home by saying, “Forty four stone Lions” in Cantonese and Mandarin. They we tried in Cantonese, “Bye Bye, may your tail always be wagging and colourful.”

When they were leaving this bright eyed 9 year old said clearly, “Forty four stone Lions” in Mandarin and then in Cantonese.

I love my days at the Peterborough Square and working with the Crop Circles store!

Now would you like to try these words too…
“Bye Bye neih tiuh mei, hung, hung, look, look fa fa dieh” Now say it again and again… there you have it!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


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