Well the first part of the year seems to have been successfully negotiated and we're heading off into reading week with a sense of so far so good. Ric and Beth from Viterbo, our partner University in Wisconsin have been over for a visit bringing news of Vicky Johnson and Mairead Brew - who are over in the States on a semester exchange. Both seem to have settled in well (although some of the Applied Theatre students have noticed that Mairead now says 'awesome' on a regular basis when they hook up on Skype.)
It's very good to touch base with them and evaluate a little how the partnership is evolving. Certainly there's quite a lot to learn from each other in how we deliver the courses and through the experience of the both sets of students we're really getting some fascinating insights into where we can improve the provision this side of the Atlantic.
On Wednesday Patsy and I ran some inset training for the Student Union hopefully encouraging the Programme Board reps to take on a more pro-active role both in terms of the contribution they make in evaluating the courses and in playing an advisory role to Siobhan and the Union exec. With Level 2 students Joe, Katie, Becky and Andy we played out a disastrous meeting and then invited contributions from the floor to advise the participants. With the Drama students staying stroppily in role a bit of verbal banter soon ensued, which quickly brought out some excellent discussion points. It was all good fun.
On Friday afternoon I headed over to the Walpole House to see the third year company stationed over there host their first storytelling session of the year for twenty primary school children. They converted the downstairs tower room into a gypsy camp and played snap, sang songs, made masks and bracelets for the best part of an hour before sitting their audience on blankets for the story itself. Simple and effective work. A really good pilot for something more expansive in the future perhaps?