The trials and tribulations of a first year access student.
College – week 1)
When my children were small, I distinctly remember marching them confidently up to the school gates and telling them "There's nothing to be frightened of. Now run along and go and make some new friends".
Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, and only now am I painfully aware of just how inadequate my so-called words of comfort must’ve seemed to my tots.
The Planning Period completed, and my induction done, I had no one to hold MY sweaty little palm, and confidently tell me cheery things as I walked through the main entrance for the first time as a 'proper' student.
Well, there I was. All I had to do now was locate the notice board to discover where I needed to be. But where WAS the notice board?
My induction hadn’t included a guided tour, or an ordnance survey map, and it’d been several months since I’d last hopelessly struggled to find my way from A Block to B Block during the Planning Period.
After a minor panic attack, I managed to establish the whereabouts of the elusive notice-board wall, and, as luck would have it, my classroom was conveniently located nearby.
Throughout the day I was faced with minor difficulties ….the shock to the system of the 'teenage rampage' approach to canteen etiquette for one thing…..but I appear to have come out of it relatively unscathed.
“Homework” is a word I consistently nag my children with, but they now have the objectionable pleasure of turning the tables, and the phrase "Mum, have you done your homework yet?" merrily rings out of their mouths with unnerving ease. My replies are generally less than charitable.
My second day was fraught with navigational woes "B" Block means nothing to me when the building has no discernable "B" on it!, but I thankfully managed to follow a couple of familiar faces, and arrived at my destinations more-or-less on time.
My over enthusiasm to inform my I.T. tutor that I have a previously gained computer qualification earned me an Accreditation for Prior Learning pack to take home and complete at my leisure….as long as my leisure ends before October at any rate.
This, with hindsight, was probably not a wise move on my part, due to the displacement activities that I’m becoming all too familiar with. I’ll endeavour to attend my lessons as originally planned to ensure that my work is actually completed ….I shall be less inclined to attack the I.T. suite with Mr Sheen than I am my own home.
Fortunately, I’m not the type of person who harbours deep phobias regarding long multiplication and long division, so my numeracy class went reasonably well, all things considered.
The announcement that we all need to purchase a scientific calculator within the next couple of weeks was another item that ought to be added to the "Things we should've told you about during induction" list ….along with “abandon any quaint notions that you will be spared homework during your first week”.
Thirty minutes is, in my opinion, a ridiculously short period of time for lunch. The fact that I spent the entire afternoon suffering the ill effects of indigestion only served to prove the point. Maybe I’ll opt to bring sandwiches next week, although I have visions of my tutor not being particularly impressed at the picnic module being introduced into the curriculum.
By the third day I’d become over-confident, and in making what was to prove a somewhat futile attempt at a short cut, I became hopelessly lost.
That’ll teach me!
I’ve also discovered that my own teenagers are not the loudest creatures on the planet. The noisiest beings are, in fact, those who stand a few feet away from the windows of F6 puffing on a Benson and Hedges.