Quote: Train Himself

The best Training any parent can give a child is to train the child to train himself.

– A.P. Gouthey

The Prohibition Party is long gone but Mr. Gouthey’s words still ring true. Learning how to learn and how to manage uncomfortable situations can lead to great success. This idea is a part of all Social Arts Atlanta Classes. They include lots of practice being “outside your comfort zone” in an environment where students can make mistakes and learn from them..

Quote: For a Stranger

Another time, I opened a door for a stranger.

– Ethan Collins, SAA Student

DoorKnobIn order to ensure that we are making a difference to the families that we serve, we ask for feedback on how students are using the skills that we teach. When asked how he used what he learned in Social Arts 101, Mr. Collins said that he helped a lady with her chair and opened a door for a stranger. These are two pretty simple acts, nice things, things that required attention to the needs of others.

Kudo’s to Mr. Collins for not perpetuating the self-centered stereotype of adolescents! We are happy to be a part of developing your awareness of  others.

Quote: Handshaking Skills

I started using my social skills the first few days of 7th grade. Lots of new friends to make! I got a lot of new teachers. I was very polite, and use my hand shaking skills.

-Sam Castellano, SAA Student

schoolThe first days of school can make a student nervous. From this quote, it is evident that Sam was able to use the skills he learned in Social Arts 101 to make that time easier.

One of the first ideas that we look at in Social Arts 101 is why manners are important and how etiquette helps us in life. All Social Arts Atlanta students learn that manners are not a scary, over-the-top set of rules meant to trip you up but are a simple way to treat people with honesty, courtesy and respect which make life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.

Quote: How Well I Introduced Myself

I was introduced to a co-worker of my Father’s and when I shook his hand, I had a firm shake and I used eye contact. After I shook his hand, he commented on how well I introduced myself.

-Erin Iverson, Peer Chaperon

IntroduceMySelfA firm hand shake and eye contact are two elements of a good introduction that are taught in Social Arts 101 and continue to be practiced in Social Arts 102.

Introductions are first impressions and a genuine and confident presence is very important. Knowing the skills (hands web to web, make eye contact and three firm and gentle pumps) and practicing them is a sure way to a good first impression even in an uneasy situation.

Quote: The Best Thing is the Atmosphere

I think the best thing is the atmosphere that you provide. It is comfortable and easier to learn new things in a place like this.

-Erin Iverson, Pear Chaperon

GoalsDuring the first lesson of Social Arts 102, the students were asked to give feedback about the best part of taking 101. Ms. Iverson who acts as a Peer Chaperon for Social Arts Atlanta chose to participate in the activity and wrote the quote above. We are grateful for her compliment.

One of the goals of all of Social Arts Classes is to create an environment where students feel comfortable to learn, make mistakes, practice and improve without feeling judged or belittled. From the response we received from Ms. Iverson, we are reaching this goal.

Quote: Better Conversations

I remember noticing a difference in my conversations after the class…my general conversation has improved.

-Kiera McManus, SAA Student

conversationThis quote is from a student who attended Social Arts 101. She gave us great feedback about attending the class and is now part of our Social Arts 102 group. During the first session of 102, we asked that the students write responses to the following.

Tell us a story of how you used your 101 skills.

What was the best thing about 101 and what was missing?

What social skill would you like to improve during 102?

She let us know that she liked learning about making introductions and asked that we do more practice of dining skills. She requested that we make sure to work on conversation skills during 102. What is good about Ms. McManus’ responses is that she is looking forward to practicing more during 102 and improving on what she has already learned.

Quote: Promptness

Promptness is the cardinal rule when dialing with others; the person who is late for appointments or keeps people waiting for meetings, classes, or meals is an annoyance and is saying in essence, “I don’t care enough about you to be on time.”

– Sister Mary Mercedes

WatchThis daily courtesy is important and a challenge with most people’s schedules and Atlanta’s traffic. When you set appointments give yourself several extra minutes for travel. If you arrive early, take a breath and a moment to yourself. If you are a few minutes late for an appointment, apologize simply and directly. If you think you are going to be more that 15 minutes tardy, contact your appointment and offer to reschedule.

The original version of this book was first published around 1910. The edition sited for this quote was lovingly republished by graduates of the San Domenico School in San Anselmo in 2001. Several of the people involved in this effort had Sister Mercedes as a teacher.

Mercedes, Mary. A Book of Courtesy: The Art of Living with Yourself and Others. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Print.