Wednesday 24 September 2014

Start of a new year

This as ever is tremendously exciting. We’ve had a good turn out to our induction activities. On several occasions we’ve run out of chairs. “This is the sign of successful programmes,” we tell our students.    
We look on a little nervously as seminar groups fill up; our rooms typically hold 26. Several groups already have 25. Not all students have registered yet. We expect they will, though.

Day 1 Drop-in session

Students can register online but they do attend a check-in. We want to make a first contact with them that day. So, we arrange a drop-in session. The idea is that they would come in small groups to chat to us – their programme leaders, personal tutors and the head of subject. However, when we turn up at exactly the time stated, the room is full to bursting.
So, we give them a short presentation and then talk to them in smaller groups. Some then come and go a little as we answer questions and find out about them.

Day 2 Welcome breakfast

We provide muffins and coffee and all of the staff who are ever likely to teach them come and mingle. This year they were all very quiet. Is 9.30 too early? Are they shy?
They warm up. Staff then introduce themselves and then it’s off for a lightning tour of the campus as we guide them towards their next session. It is in one of our smartest lecture theatres. Later, some of them will have a drama workshop in our tiredest but possibly most intriguing building. 

Programme session

I meet again the Drama and Creative Writing, English and Creative Writing and English and Drama students. We look briefly at Blackboard and timetables and concentrate a lot on what to expect from university life. I can see they’re looking a little shell-shocked. But it should all make sense soon.  

The rest of the week

Later today we’ll meet our personal tutees. I have all of the Drama and Creative Writing ones. We’ll just be meeting Level 4s today. As we’ve covered most of the “business”, I’m looking forward to getting to know them personally.
Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting Masters’ students and on Friday I’m holding an open house all day. There’s a sort of market place event as well…    
Just odd though. One of my level 5 students asks whether the semester begins week 3 or next week…?!                                         

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