Improving language and culture with ICT.
Tomorrow, Sharon and I will meet most of the sixteen people arriving from all over Europe to take part in this course. Some won’t arrive until very late evening, so we’ll meet those people first thing Sunday morning at breakfast.
The course is taking place in Leeds.
This is a city I’ve hated with a real passion ever since I was dragged there twice a year as a cub-capped, short-trousered boy needing summer, then winter clothes from C&A (do you remember C&A?). I used to find it big, noisy and far too full of shops for comfort; the only good thing about it was the train journey from Huddersfield. Yet things change, and whilst it is still big (too big), noisy and far too full of shops for comfort, my preparations for this course have changed my view of Leeds.
The course was conceived by Khawar Iqbal and she’d asked me to help her deliver it if she won the European funding required to run it. Both Sharon and I have been heavily involved in the planning. Basically, Khawar has done the early people-stuff (recruitment, flight and transfer booking, hotel booking etc.) and Sharon has done the later people-stuff (venue planning, food, goodie finding and purchasing, bag packing, David pushing). I have had the leisure of planning the course around Khawar’s original ideas and with Khawar’s support and input.
And the planning has been a real pleasure. I’ve learned more about Leeds than I ever thought existed. I’ve walked the streets with new eyes. Until September this year, Leeds was still the place of boyhood dread; these days even the train journey was (is) to be dreaded (mainly due to the times I generally have to visit Leeds, the trains are overcrowded for about three hours at each end of the day). But researching the history, the culture and the city itself has opened my eyes to it’s (mmm, lost for a word here – not quite beauty …) Well.
So we start on Sunday with a full-on day and continue through to Saturday with another full day planned (although the afternoon, like Wednesday is fofo). We will also visit Bradford to look at culture within culture and part of our historical/cultural research will include Bonfire Night! What is it? Why is it? What does it say about us?
Because I have to help deliver Advanced PDA/e-Guide courses in London and Birmingham this week, the lovely Lilian Soon will be working with the group Monday through until Wednesday – so I know they will be in good hands.
Which reminds me – I plan on reading through the Advanced course today (as well as the Leitch 2006 Report, the Digital Britain Report and another big paper I’ve already lost the will to read), so I’d better go.