Recently a couple of colleagues and I were having a conversation about one of the greatest and most important topics ever: Halloween.
To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it much prior to that. Blame it on the lingering summer weather or the fact that Starbucks hasn’t yet released its entire autumn seasonal menu, but after hearing costume ideas and sharing some general excitement for the season, I realized that Halloween was something to look forward to.
This all got me thinking. If I were to dress up this year, what would it be as? During our discussion the topic of characters came up, and I was reminded of how I dressed up as Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was 7 because I thought she was cool. Would I be willing to resurrect my childhood (and somewhat adult) fascination with strong female leads, Disney or otherwise? If I were to pay homage to someone that inspired me, who would it be this time ??
After pondering the last question for a few seconds, my inner voice quickly responded, “I’d be Mulan of course!” Actually, I’m not entirely sure what that would look like, and I’m pretty sure my days of dressing up for Halloween are (almost) behind me, but the prospect of playing Mulan didn’t only excite me because of my appreciation for ancient Chinese culture, it was more so about Mulan herself – her spirit, her bravery, and her ability to deal with feedback.
Although I haven’t seen the most recent version, I still consider the animated movie as one of my favorites. Every time I watch it, I am so impressed by Mulan’s capacity to overcome her inner struggle by allowing who she truly is to shine through , and how she remained calm despite any feedback she received from various angles. There were times where she felt discouraged, but she never gave up. Whatever feedback was given, she used it to develop personally. This was her ultimate strength.
But enough about Chinese folklore. You may be wondering how this all relates to Veritas.
One of the key components of classes at Veritas is receiving feedback from coaches. This feedback usually happens once the homework is reviewed, and it can also happen in class as a way to actively review certain practices, such as CNN and Five Line Writing. In group classes, students can even have the opportunity to give peer feedback to each other, which can help everyone feel more motivated and inspired. Overall, giving and receiving feedback is a great way to think more deeply about what we are doing, and how we can improve.
And while it’s true that feedback can come in different forms, that both strengths and points to improve can be highlighted, it is all meant for our greater good. Just think, someone may suggest a point that you can work on, but if they hadn ‘t had brought it up from their perspective, maybe you wouldn’t have noticed it. A big part of development in learning a language, or in any aspect of life, is recognizing what we can do differently or better.
Learning processes aren’t always easy, but feedback is one way to lend each other a helping hand. Your words have power, and they can truly be a source of inspiration –they can be the flame that provides clarity along another person’s path of development And likewise, someone else’s feedback can do the same for you. In that respect, maybe we should see all feedback as positive feedback.
So, lets assist one another in becoming the best versions of ourselves as possible. Let’s be like Mulan and use feedback as a positive force for change!
Born and raised in Texas, USA, Chelsea from an early age took an interest in learning about people of different cultural backgrounds. After studying International Relations in college, she sought out various opportunities to travel and work in different settings. Inspired by the history and culture of Japan, she decided to move to broaden her career in the summer of 2018. Currently, her hobbies include cooking, hanging out in neat coffee shops, design, and continuing to study Japanese! She loves feeling settled in Japan, spending time with friends, and believes that every moment is a precious opportunity to learn something new.