With any intensive experience, there will be moments that really appeal to you and others that probably appeal to you less so. As a reflection of my time here this summer, and hopefully as some insight to interns that hope to apply for the WAYK Summer Intensive in the future, I hoped to share some pluses and deltas about my experience during the 2017 summer on St. Paul Island

Plus/Deltas is a facilitation tool used to collect feedback in a number of settings: community meetings, schools, and other workplaces. This tool was shared with WAYK by April Charlo, who learned about it from the Healthy Native Communities Fellowship. Plus/Deltas are used daily during the Summer Intensive to collect feedback and input from participants. Here are some of WAYK’s tips for running Plus/Deltas:
  • Plus/Deltas is a tool designed to collect feedback on an activity, a day, a week, an event, or a project
  • Plus/Deltas is not a time to defend decisions or solve problems, but rather it is a time to listen to feedback
  • Make sure a scribe records the speaker’s exact words (or their summary, using TQ: 10 Words Or Less)
  • Make sure everyone in the group feels comfortable sharing
  • Start by collecting “deltas” from your group: So, what didn’t you like about today (this activity, this event, this week)? What would you do less of? What would you change if you had a magic wand, a time machine, or a million dollars? BE BRUTAL! (ideally, people will not only share negative comments but also suggestions for improvement; you can explain that, in math and science notation, delta is the symbol for change)
  • Collect Pluses: What did you love about today (this activity, this event, this week)? What went great? What would you have done more of if you had a magic wand, a million dollars, or a time machine that could go back to the beginning of the activity?
(To learn more about Plus/Deltas, check out David Edward’s blog about using the tool in his job as a developer.)
Deltas on my summer experience: 

𝝙   Little ability for creative control or to work on creative projects

𝝙  Stress of living in a small space with seven other people

𝝙  Difficulty balancing between needs of the home community and WAYK training

𝝙  Little opportunity to work alone, one-on-one, or in small groups

𝝙  Little independence after work hours



𝝙  Lots of repetition can make some language learning feel somewhat monotonous

Pluses on my summer experience:

+  Being able to witness language revitalization run by a team of motivated young people

+  Learning a language from second language learners (as well as fluent speakers)



+  Learning language in immersion with strong avoidance of English



+  Lots of repetition makes language stick in your brain

+  Learning tools of language learning such as the Circle of Questions, Building Milestones, Hunting Training, and Preparing a Hunting Kit

+  Exploring a beautiful island with amazing flora and fauna

+  Getting to know people in a small, close-knit community



+  Having a unique experience only a handful of people will ever have

It can be difficult to know what a summer will look like before you go, and probably those who have the best insight will be past interns. If there are any interns who are interested in the WAYK SLI, feel free to email me at myles.andrews.creed@gmail.com with any questions you may have!

Post authored by Myles.

Written by Evan Gardner