Friday, February 18, 2011

Welcome to university

I am sitting quietly at the computer drinking my morning green tea. This is in preparation for the onslaught of new students that await me when I get to work. Today is our first Orientation Day of the new year. We have 84 new preparatory students starting the program on Feb 28. Before they start classes I do two days of Orientation with them. Today is a lot of talking...about uni, about the program, about themselves, to each other, from me. There is also cake for morning tea, a wander around the campus to make sure they don't get lost and a visit from past students for a chat. Then we finish the day talking about positive thinking, planning and time management and send them on their merry way until next Friday. This year our ages range from 18 up to the mid 70s and our classes are full to bursting. There are lots of nerves and excitement on the first morning. Some students have given up full time work to start uni. Others are leaving families at home for the first time in many years, while some are going to meet more people in one day than they might have in the last year. While I have spent the last week whining about all the administrative, preparation tasks that need to be done to get to today, by the end of it I will have remembered, as usual, why I like my job.
The program I work in is a preparatory program that has a foundation of opportunity, and a belief in the transformative force of education. I have seen this force in action over many years now and it's a privilege to be part of it.

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