Tutor on the trot
I had a lovely day out on Friday teaching Stained Glass Flowers to Tryst Quilters in Edinburgh.
Many hours had gone into revising notes (creating notes for beginners at Strathclyde’s Centre for Lifelong Learning has taught ME a lot over the past 8 years) and redraughting patterns. Since I first designed the little wallhanging in 2010, my skills as a teacher have developed too. Now I know that it’s much better for everyone to have notes they can follow to finish at home, because the object of all of the classes I teach is that people enjoy the day, and work at their own pace. Some days, things just don’t go well: the sewing machine may not particularly like what it’s being asked to do; maybe the thread balance is off; feed dogs down may be a challenge too far for some…many challenges can arise when teaching on the road. And none of them happened on Friday for anyone! I no longer stress if stitchers don’t progress at the speed I hoped – not since the day I held a class back here until past teatime to make sure EVERYONE completed the Quilt in a Day Trip Around the World. Never saw any of those people again, funnily enough! That was a very long time ago, promise.
You know what it’s like when everything is just right with the world from the moment you wake up and get up? The sun was shining, the bags full of teaching gear were all ready to load in the car, the address of the venue was saved on the home screen of the phone, and I knew where everything was packed. There wasn’t even a single slow-up on the bypass into Edinburgh! So I arrived at the hall before anyone else and unloaded the car (always an undignified process with too many bags of too much stuff). Eight stitchers were able to make it, and I had a lovely day out with them.
And I taught an applique method no one in the room had tried before – yay! Final demonstrations were a bit rushed as often happens when there is a lovely caretaker waiting in the wings, but I left confident that everyone could finish their wee piece: they can always contact me via the email address on the bottom of the handouts if they have any problems.
But there is always the return journey home with said load of teaching stuff to put away…and so started moving things which were perfectly happily gathering dust in one corner to a drawer where at least the dust won’t be as noticable. Found stationery we’ll need for the Chromosome 18 Europe conference in 8 weeks time, and found a new place for that; leftover boxes from Easter Ferrero Roche were put into service for sheer applique samples – I know: the Scottish Quilt Show was at the beginning of March, but I hadn’t opened THAT bag when I got home. And in my haste to set up my teaching samples into my block binder, my CLL Basics samples are spread out on the table, too. What a mess…
I started the tidy away when the birds woke me at 4.30am on Saturday morning, broke off to visit the wonderful ‘Life in Stitches’ exhibition of Joyce Watson’s work, and as the sun was shining over Twechar, had drunch with Ken and then sat with a book in the garden, soaking up every last ray of sunshine and degree of heat. Sunday was wet – again – so a perfect day to potter you’d think. Unfortunately, shopping, cooking and laundry HAD to be done too! So there was a half-hearted shuffling of books and papers from classroom to desk next door after dinner, and that was it! This morning the room still looks, as my Gran would have said, ‘like the wreck of the Hesperus’, and the Monday Mavens will be arriving at 1pm. Only 5 hours from now (sob). (Strike that: just as I was about to press publish, I got a call from Jeni offering to come work on Chromosome 18 Europe pre conference prep with me. I now have 40 minutes.)
So this morning, I must finish the tidy away of all things tutor-on-the-trot related – and writing here is more displacement activity!
And oh no! The sun has come out again…