We began our course with a blitzkrieg of mathematics to “clear up common errors” ..a so called bridging course. However, if you had any wobbles around maths, you would have wobbled more. The lecturer was very engaging..but perhaps too much so as he kept going off at a tangent and spending ages chatting about the origin of numbers in history and then raced over the actual issues. (reminded me a bit of Howard and other older waldorf teachers). I had not done physics since school for a very good reason but suddenly had to remember how to work out vectors. Luckily there was no calculus, as I would have been lost. I have totally forgotten logs and as I taught only up to cl 11, I had to relook at it. Also here it is very much applied.
Luckily having taught maths, I had all the algebra at my fingertips..a little bit of refreshing on trig..something I had avoided. Luckily I was also clued up on all manner of Cartesian planes.
Although I think people got a bit irritated by the lecturer going off on a tangent, he allowed a lot of interaction and error and in the end, we got to know each other much better than otherwise. I learnt 4 names: Taylor, Lihle and siphesetle are all doing homoeopathy. Ben is doing chiropractice. A couple of others I now know by face if not name. There are a fair amount of Afrikaans speakers.!
A number have studied elsewhere for a year or so. (Lihle and Ben and a little afrikaans chicky, Heleen and one guy has a BSc too.)
There is a real mishmash of colours and creeds. Many African languages, Indian, Coloured, White, Taiwanese, Afrikaans, English. Hindu, Muslim including a couple in Hajibs, Christian. The lecturer made sure that we mixed and matched the colors in the rainbow nation. From this, we could see that all of us had issues and so made us less shy of each other. Also I did not feel so old, although I was clearly the oldest in the class..even older than the lecturer. It was a good way to begin. Also we were about 200 people from all the health science faculty: Environmental health, dental, radiology, chiropractice, homoeopathy, medical technology.
I must say I love the mixing of cultures..there is a great vibe.
Durban, if I haven’t mentioned a hundred times is HOT and humid. Luckily some of the lecture rooms are air conditioned..but they are closed during breaks..so we sit in the shade of the lovely big trees…
but it is still hot. I ice a bottle of water that I carry with me and keep an ice brick or two in a cool box in my car that I take out at lunch time to help me least the afternoon. I use it like a hot water bottle, except its cold. You HAVE to wear shorts or a skirt,otherwise you die (except on overcast days)..even then you die unless the wind is blowing. This is a little gimmick that I found at a flea market. It contains polymer beads that hold water and release it slowly to keep you cool.
Durban University of Technology is a vast campus having 4 campuses across Durban..all in quite far walking distance. and there is a real maze of classrooms and lecture rooms and laboratories all linked by a maze of path ways. They offer a HUGe amount of subjects from art and drama to design, journalism and engineering, hotel school,
marketing and of course Health sciences. Here they offer radiology, nursing, chiropractice, homoeopathy, environmemtal health, medical technology. the grounds vary, but there are lovely big trees and nooks and crannies and places to sit. Wifi is all over, so people spend a lot of time on their cellphones during breaks but we are not allowed to use them in class at all. The classrooms are airconditioned and have internet. The laboratories have good quality equipment..see these amazing zeiss microscopes. I must say I prefer chalk and talk myself, as a lot of time is wasted setting up. However, all lectures and slides are posted onto a student website called blackboard so you can access anything. We all have dut emails and any notifications go there as well. so if the university is closed for any reason, teaching can continue to some degree. The security is quite physical..classrooms are barred..trying to be tasteful, you can only enter with a student card.
We do a lot of practicals: anatomy (is dissection of a human body), physiology, microbiology and microscope work (histology) and also physics and chemistry. We also do diagnostics on each other in small clinic rooms.
Our class has a whatssapp group and we chatter away although we don’t know each other yet. I can see that we will become firm friends at the end of this course as the University gives us many opportunities to do so and I am impressed with this. We have a course called personal and professional development where we discuss more personal issues, and go deeper into our reasons for being, with some journalling. On the whole its is a much more personal space than any other University..possibly related to the Health faculty that seems pretty organised. They have made real efforts to welcome us and make sure we attend lectures and pracs. They have even given us equipment and books.
We have only had one week of lectures so far. Much of it I know from my Bsc and am considering getting credit for some of it. But I have been helping the other students and feel good about that. I will report more on the actual content, which I am enjoying nevertheless. Many are just out of school and very nervous. The teaching, however is excellent. Engaging and thorough. There is no excuse for failing. The support is incredible.