Sunday, July 29, 2007

AMS at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Members of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit have been busy this Summer hosting a variety of programs at the Sterling Heights Public Library. The report below from Ray Mandziuk gives an overview of the events. Thanks Ray!

June 28
Ray Mandziuk met with 18 teens and a few adults and presented a program that involved discussion on the topic, “Get A Clue”, that led to defining examples, observation in identifying clues towards solving a crime. The main theme of our discussion quickly shifted to detectives, Sir, Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.

Ray devised an approach to identifying clues for the guests while they viewed A Scandal in Bohemia by simply calling out ‘clue’ as each one appeared.

At the conclusion of the video we reviewed the clues noted, assigned two points to each correct answer, with the highest six receiving a choice of Sherlockian items displayed as prizes.

Our young friends were earnestly involved, attentive and responsive to the discussion. The library provided refreshments, a small gift to the attendees and support in the presence of Mary Newton, a staff member, and the assistance of Ray's wife, Pat.

Before leaving, the young adults received a ‘badge’ as a memento of their introduction to ACD and SH along with an invitation to return on Thursday, July 26, at 2:00 PM to meet The Hound of the Baskervilles.

July 9
Roy Pilot conducted an informative, relaxed conversation with eight adults on a steamy, Monday evening. Roy’s approach was novel in that he used a book bag in presenting items from a complete Sherlock Holmes book of 60 stores, followed by an enlarged picture of the Beeton’s Christmas edition (the first Sherlock Holmes story), A Study In Scarlet, an issue of the Strand Magazine, The Problem of Thor Bridge, two copies of B.S.I. publications, and other items.

Roy’s comments on each of the items from his bag was very interesting, leading to stimulating responses and numerous questions from his ‘class’ to which he responded without much effort giving additional information with names, years and places exhibiting his vast knowledge of Sherlockiana and Doylean material. He impressed me as a professor setting a foundation for freshmen students.

July 29
At 2:00 PM, the Sterling Heights Library Auditorium was the site of the second session for young adults and those of us 'young at heart' (adults).

With 21 people in attendance, Ray Mandziuk, member of the Amateur Mendicants and Tantalus Emeritus, led a program that touched on the meaning of clues, detection and the means by which detectives approach dealing with criminals in assimilating evidence toward proving guilt.

The main part of the program was viewing the video, Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, after opening comments regarding Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author.

Participants were asked to use pad and pencil in identifying "clues" as they appear in the movie, with Ray indicating when a clue appeared, but not telling what the clue was, although most were obvious.

The children were responsive to the film, interested and somewhat competitive in identifying clues, asking questions as the story developed and moved on to conclusion with Sherlock Holmes commenting on the clues that led him to disclose that Stapleton was guilty of murder and attempted murder with the use of a large dog as the hound, while Watson watched.

Participants with most clues identified earned points and received a variety of Sherlockian prizes for their new skills in detection.

It was most satisfactory for Ray to interact with the youth present who had their first experience with Sherlock Holmes in reacting positively with comments like--"I enjoyed the show", "it was cool", and "when do we see another one?"

- Submitted by Ray Mandziuk, Tantalus Emeritus

Also - for a report on this event from our Sister Scion, The Ribston-Pippins, please click here


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