Quite an odd morning. Acting for my boss, who’s on leave, so my first meeting of the day was with his peers and manager; then, I met with three final year Weltec students whose project I’m supporting/sponsoring; then a few other meetings, a quick lunch, then off up to Massey to become a student again. Everything connects, somehow.
I left lots of time to get up to Massey, and managed to live the full fresher experience by getting hopelessly lost, but eventually got my student ID and found the lecture room with all of 5 minutes to spare, all hot and bothered.
Naturally enough, I am the old guy in class. Literally every other student, and there must have been 50 or so, is straight out of high school. I’m always amazed by how well spoken and grounded young Kiwi adults are, and this lot was no exception. Calm and thoughtful, chatty, witty – not at all what I remember being like at 18.
I did feel very out of place. There was group work along the,”think about a time when”, line, which is always interesting, but in this case also quite nerve-wracking. Being realistic here: I’m likely to have more experiences to draw on than the other students, so I feel like I should STFU and let the others talk. I badly want to approach university like I did at 18, but that’s probably going to be impossible!
Then, something really positive happened. We had a couple of minutes break, and one of the tutors, Matthijs, came over for a chat. He was so kind. He asked a little about my background, and let me know that I have just as much right to be in the class as anyone else, and that I should jump in and contribute. It doesn’t sound like therapy, but it helped a lot.
So, maybe I’m not out of place after all…
…and now I have homework to do, just like everyone else.