Daydream

I spent the last ten years wondering if I’d ever be able to get a degree, not even on the field that I love or the one that I think it matches my interests, that’s a luxury I can’t afford anymore, no one would imagine how short were those ten years.

I had to carry on with my life, got a job..and another, got married, got a beautiful child..and I’m always thankful for what I’m given. at work, I’m very skilled, reliable, but there was something missing, I’ve been always daydreaming  and picturing myself with all of what I’m doing, having my degree and, the knowledge that I could’ve accumulated if I got my degree earlier, a better and refined version of me.

That was enough to encourage me to search for a university could accommodate me and, compliment my life pattern, that has taken more than I thought, finely, I found it, Wits is really far, but I’ve got no other options, and I was afraid that I’d get bored and lazy at some stage and mess it up, and then there was that test (NPT( which I have no clue what is it about…apart from all of that, I love the feeling, I felt way younger than I am, I felt as if 35 years were 20 or 25, and I can still do something.

I had a very irritating night and woke up late the next morning, stood up next to the car for 15 minutes, asking myself, should I go or just leave it, finely I managed to get my head straight and drove away, they were nice to let me in, I wrote the terrible test.!! I was happy, at least I fought the negative feelings I had that morning, and I was sure that something has just changed..that morning.

Growing IVY!

It was only a week ago that I registered for the Facilitation course and it’s already the first day, first class, I feel like a child again. Only that I am late. Yes, I am not used to the early Saturday mornings. Haven’t had my coffee and cannot find the venue, in short, I am having a mare. I eventually find the class packed with +/- 100 students and I quietly with shame make my way to the spare desk at the back. Phew! I finally make it.

I silently ask my fellow classmate what have I missed, ‘’not much’’ she says. The lecture (Roslyn) has only gone through introductions, an overview, an outline and learning outcomes of course.

I am feeling a little bit uncomfortable and lost because she is now going through the detail and guidelines on how to structure and write a blog. What? I have to write a weekly blog?! The blog forms an important part of my deliverables and contributes hugely towards my year mark. This is the information I need, and need urgently.

At this point she starts giving us quick writing quizzes, I am already realising the mental barriers I have put for myself in terms of self-expression. Specifically expressing my self through writing and having an independent opinion. I am also seeing how this course is going to equip me with tools to be a better and structured communicator, verbally and through writing. This is going to be a boost for my confidence.

As she continues, a certain level of comfort starts kicking in. She divides the class into smaller groups. Yes, I am liking this approach as I work better in smaller groups. The point of the groups is for her to have better control of the large class and also to assign each group with a topic they need to report back on and facilitate the following week. The latter forms part of our training. Our group is due to present first – the following week. Week 2. We have a great funky topic but very little time to prep. The pressure is on.

As we stay behind after class to brainstorm the overall concept and direction for next week I try and draw lessons and insights from how Roslyn was facilitating her class. This is very new to me, to all of us and we need a starting point. Her class was casual, engaged, and drove discussions which kept the class very tuned in. We definitely need to take some of this into our presentation next week.

We get the topic, structure, and split of roles bedded down, we can now depart, start with our individual tasks. It’s going to be a long week. Here we go!

glasses

Week One: Opening up

At some point I have to overcome my fear of blogging.

The week was challenging. Class was a bit hectic. The process of opening up and exposing who you are to the class by stand up was quite frightening. The whole idea of standing up and being out there for everyone to notice you was a bit daunting. I have been at Witsplus for three year and I can say I have managed to keep a low profile.

There was a lot of moving around which was far different from any other lecture that I have attended at Wits. In most classes the set up involves lecturing and limited interaction. At this moment i also feel like there is an information overload and a lot of paging around. I am hoping with time this will adjust.

At this point I am actually asking myself if I am really cut up for this exercise. Am I willing to expose myself to the requirements that are going to allow me to have a fulfilling time in this process?

I will leave the answer to the question for next week; at this point I am choosing to keep my mind open…

First day

It’s 8:00 am and I just woke up . I have a 8:30 am class starting today and I want to scream , waking up so early on a Saturday is a nightmare but I committed myself to study this year so I have to do this .The course or rather the module I’m attending is called Facilitation Skills . I’m not sure what to expect but I hope it’s nothing hectic .

Finally I make it to class and I’m super late . I manage to find a sit at the back of the class and try to settle in , the class is pretty full and I’m struggling to hear the lecture or should I call her the facilitator 🙂 . We are shortly given a task to write to a friend then to a colleague , then to ourselves . As I write down my thought , I’m wondering why we are doing this ? this is not making sense at all ….. as I listen attentively to the Lecture i learn that this exercise will help us explore our writing skills . I can’t stop and wonder if I am at all a writer , I never write anything except for short emails at work . I’m not much of a writer nor a reader so this will be a challenge and I’m feeling rather unsettled and unsure , by the way is this class about writing Blogs ??? oh well it looks like I’m going to have to be strong and get out of my comfort zone … I am not one to quite so I will continue with this class .

On the positive I learned that I write better when I write to myself .

Class Learning

On the fist day of the lecture I came late to class. I late because my timetable suggested that my class will commence at 9am.  I really felt bad about entering lecture room while the lecturer was on the platform presenting. For me I regarded this as disrespect, firstly, to people who came early and to the lecturer and for this I apologise.  I miss some information and rely on obtaining it from team mate.

During lecturer’s presentation she taught us about blogging. It was for the first time that I got exposed to this system.  I learned that it was alright for me to write what I like in my own way. This will assist me in making sure that I eventually get it right by reflecting on my writing and identifying the good, the bad and the ugly phrasing of words and sentences.

For me, I previously had been worried about writing anything be it articles or any sort of communication that involved writing to the public.  I had thought of it as requiring a special skill therefore with English being my second language I particularly had a critic about my self in terms of my capability to write something that can be understood. In my experience I have never had a situation that make a person like my self feel good about writing until I have attended this lecture. I think I will write more to ease myself of the fear of being afraid to be criticised in a destructive manner.

I also learnt an easy way of grouping people into teams. I also learned that members of the team are different in the way they view things, this is something I knew but I never new that they can be so vocal in thinking about issues and eager to present their point of view before other. I don’t know maybe this is good but I’m learning as we go along with the team.

GM Ndlozi

BREAKING THE ICE – DAY 1

The first day in facilitation class…..meeting Ros for the first time.

Ros asked, “how many of you were told there is no exam in this class?”…half the class rose their hands.  Her answer was, we are all adults, we know when this class and know how we should attend the class.

The next thing we were asked is to write on paper, “my reason for studying as an adult?  Quite a list of reasons popped in my head, I kinda felt and came close to the main objective…its my passion, the passion I have when talking to people with different subjects of their lives and it is my life.  We must address it to 3 different audiences (yourself, the one person you love the most and the lecturer).  Amazing exercise, the level of emotions, the level of how you want to structure your words mentally  and the tone set on the different writings.

Last question was, not sure if I will remember it correctly, what are the trading relationship that China has with different countries.  I didn’t find the question interesting, I managed to write 3 and a half sentences.

We then sat in a circle, gave a box with numbers to the student next to her and told us to choose a number.  She then requested everyone to group themselves according to the numbers we chose.  We did as she asked and each of us gathered as a group.  There came an interesting part of the lecturer and not knowing by choosing the number I chose I am setting myself as a guinea pig for the exercise that was to be announced. These are all your groups in the duration of this course (subject) and number 2 is the first group to present the next saturday. I swallowed my saliva three times, thinking the announcement was going to be altered and it was not.  The explanation on how these marks will counts towards our final exam, made me realize I have to take the group thing seriously and fortunately my group was made up of determined mates.

After class, we remained to discuss the plan for the presentation/facilitation on SocialMedia.

Asking why tends to lead to deliberate living.

In our first lecture (which I should find another word to describe or title) we were asked to write in our notebooks, for a few minutes, about our reason for studying as an adult. The moment before putting pen to paper to begin the short task I wondered about this term ‘adult’, and how even at age 31, I still felt like a kid. Just a kid with a little more purpose and direction, or at least, I hoped.

Once the moment passed, I penned a note directed to “a lecturer” as the task was guided and in it I said:

“My reason for studying as an adult is that in 2012, during a time of self-reflection, I surmised that my gut was right about what I thought I wanted to do with my life. In my work and in play, I had found that the common theme in my language and the way I viewed life and most topics and how I would express myself was driven by the need to know people. To try and figure out how people felt, how people thought and what made them tick; always looking at why people behave in certain way and what informs their being. I also found that I wanted to understand how to make people heal and this seemed always present in the way I engaged. Further, in my work especially, I wanted to move people, make people acknowledge and recognise themselves and think alternatively – not differently in the sense that the way they think or are is wrong – as I truly believe that there are so many of us because there are so many ways to view the same thing.“

This is what ten minutes of inking a blank page and neighbouring words to express my thoughts produced. I enjoyed the exercise and I felt excited about actually saying what I was feeling about myself and why I was studying, out loud; albeit to a piece of paper in a cute notebook no one would ever see.

The second and third parts of the exercise were to answer the same thing but to the self, as the second part, and to someone I love, as the final. These musings were shorter and slightly different.

To myself I said: “ You are opening up your mind to what your instinct has known, you have taken a leap of faith, and hard work, because you know that this is the beginning of a path that will be truly living your destiny.
You have had a good decade of learning yourself, blindly yet guided by your gut, now it is time to solidify that with academic qualification in the field you are drawn to. It is scary, but everything falls into place when you take that step towards destiny. “

I analysed that to myself I spoke quite differently and less factually, but also still quite emotively and abstract.

To someone I love I started by saying: “I am taking the first steps towards actively living my destiny, learning discipline and focus, being the best version of myself and giving myself the chance to be humbled by the phrase, I don’t know. In actively engaging with what I am drawn to I’m at the very least meeting my destiny along the way. “
Time ran out and the class continued.

The exercise was to find out for ourselves to whom we felt most comfortable speaking or writing to and that that could be a guide when tackling tasks. I have not yet figured out which audience gets the most out of me yet, I think it will always depend on the topic.

Essentially, my answer is that after 4 years of talking about being a healer. I’m finally beginning to pave the path that will lead me there. I’m terrified and excited. Wish me luck in holding a PHD in Psychology by age 40 and maybe then, feeling like an adult.