I switched my In-Depth topic from popping to animation because my popping mentor couldn’t teach me anymore. Switching mentors was a frustrating obstacle but thankfully I managed to quickly find a new mentor. A few weeks ago, I met up with my new animation mentor, D (full name not used, for privacy reasons). She is an ex-TALON who also did animation for In-Depth with one of the teachers at Gleneagle. She seemed very passionate about animation, and learned a lot during when she did In-Depth years ago. She is also very familiar with the In-Depth process and the relationship that comes with having a mentor.
For our first meeting, D was a good mentor because she completed and excelled on the ‘facilitator’ checklist.
1) Created an effective learning environment
Already at the beginning of our meeting, we went to a more quiet spot of the school without distractions and where we could effectively learn. She also established an effective learning environment by being friendly and kind, becoming familiar with me not just as a mentor but also as a friend.
2) Involved the learner in planning and what they are going to learn.
We began the meeting almost immediately by addressing the goal/vision for the project. What do I want to accomplish in this project? What do I want to get out of it? What will I do to reach my vision? These are some questions we discussed. Some more specific questions we addressed were “What type of animation do you want to do?” and “What do you want your final product to look like?” I decided to start with 2D animation and later in the project I will transfer to 3D animation. As my final project, I will make a 90 second 2D animation story that I will show on the big screen. I like how she asked me what I wanted to get out of the project, so that we could have a clear end goal for me to work towards. This is a facilitation strategy I can use when I become a mentor for someone else.
3) Encouraged the mentee to design their own learning contract/plan.
D helped and encouraged me to come up with a plan of my final product and process of learning. First, she inspired me by showing short animations that students created. She showed me animations with different genres but are around the same length as the length which my final product will be. One particular one that I liked was called “There’s a Man in the Woods”. I liked it because it conveyed emotion and made us empathetic for the main character, despite the bad thing he does at the end. Even though the video is only a minute or two, the story is engaging and even includes a plot twist. This animation is a good example of what I want to achieve in my work. D also asked me how committed I am. If i’m not committed, I won’t achieve as much as if I put dedicated effort and work into my final product. The quality of my product and learning is reliant on my commitment and effort. I told her I would put in a lot of effort because I want to learn and achieve a lot, while having fun.
4) Support the learners to find their own resources and accomplish their objectives.
If I want to learn 2D animation, I need a drawing tablet and animation software, called Animate. Unfortunately, I would need to pay for both, so D supported me by giving me an alternative solution; I can talk to one of the teachers at the school and ask to borrow both. We also came up with a backup plan. If I can’t do 2D animation, I will jump straight into 3D animation and spend more time in that area. This way, I can still learn and accomplish my end objective, just in a different style of animation.
5) Help the learners to implement and evaluate their own learning (Zachary, 2000)
Will take place over the project.
As D teaches me the different parts of animation, I will implement it into my final product. For example, if she teaches me about storylines and how to make them engaging in an animation, I will keep that in mind when brainstorming my plot for my final product.
We set a goal for next meeting. I will watch an animation video called “The 12 Principles of Animation”, talk to the animation teacher about borrowing a drawing tablet and animation software, and come up with ideas for my final product. I’m really excited for In-Depth and hope that I can accomplish a lot!