Yes, I loved indulging in my passion for a whole day; being the student, being pushed out of my comfort zone, successes and failures, some quality learning experiences. But a very significant aspect of the day (and the learning), and a huge contributor to my enjoyment, was the dynamics of the group of seven strangers thrown together for the day.
Of these seven, I was the only Kiwi born - gotta love living in Auckland. We also ranged in age and in photographic experience. The first person I met was a seasoned photographer from my spiritual home of the Bay of Plenty. He lived in Waihi, but had had originally hailed from the UK, and when he came to NZ in the 70s, settled in.... Edgecumbe, basically where I grew up, and where I went to college. Another of the women was UK born, and another from the US, and she had just finished her primary teaching training as a mature student. A third girl was Dubai born, and Richard was from Korea, via a stint in the States. The story he told of his departure to NZ being marred by a certain historic world event - the bombing of the Twin Towers - began the longest introductory session our tutor said he'd experienced. But hearing and sharing small pieces of what brought us to the group certainly set the scene for the day, and made for a vibrant culture; one that no doubt contributed to the collaborative nature of our learning. Our tutor, a South Africa native, had a personality which allowed for and encouraged our individuality, questions and sharing.
So I guess this post is about learning and about people. A reflection on my work life and what really 'worked' for me as a learner today, and how I can translate that back into my school life. And people... not only the positive vibe this group created, which in turn facilitated said learning, but also about how much enjoyment I get from opportunities to meet, mix and mingle with different folk, with different strokes. And while I may or may not have made lasting connections today, I will recall this day with memories of warmth and genuine enjoyment. It was a happy day.