This week our assignment was to watch an episode of a show with the sound turned off and then watch it with the sound turned on. With the sound turned off, we were to think about the characters’ relationships are based on the ways in which they are communicating and think about theiry feelings and expressions based on the nonverbal behavior you are observing. Once the sound was turned on we were to compare our assumptions with the actual relationships.
I watched the movie Dolphin Tail, this was a movie I had not seen with my children yet. I have not watched a sitcom in years and so I settled in with an unfamiliar movie instead. In the movie I assumed that the young boy, Sawyer, was saddened and disconnected from his mom. He had a cousin, Kyle, whom he seemed disappointed in. There were kids picking on him at school and he did not seem to have any friends. He seemed interested in his computer and not very social. He sparked up once he became involved with helping a dolphin and meeting the people who were taking care of the hurt dolphin. His eyes seemed to smile. He perked up. There was a certain drive in him that showed others something had changed. He seemed confident by waving at the boys who were being mean to him. There were so many nonverbal cues emitted by the characters. The raising of eyebrows, the look of guilt or disappointment, high fives, hugs, smiles, handshakes, etc. My assumption about the relationship between Sawyer and his cousin Kyle was not accurate. He was proud of his cousin and they had a really good relationship.
After watching the movie, I was correct about Sawyer being disconnected and lonely. There were reasons for his behavior. He was disengaged and had no friends. When he became involved with helping the dolphin, he shared a common interest with the people at the marine. He was able to converse around the different types of sea life.
This assignment was fun and it gave me the opportunity to sit down for at least an hour and enjoy a show. What I found about watching without the sound is how connected you become with the characters. It was exciting to write my notes and observations about relationships and communication cues. What was even more meaningful was being able to put what we have been learning about the nonverbal cues and communication in action as it relates to relationships. This was a powerful assignment.