You’ve got mail!

Oh yeahhhh *happy dance* it finally happened, we got contact from the University in Mekelle!

ACTUAL DETAILS, holy frijoles and golly gosh, it’s like Christmas came early.

10580268_10100974551243660_6082965065223759103_n
Vikki and I are seasoned happy-dancers.

They were soooo silent for so long, and then, BAM, details! Well, kinda details, sorta details… really what we have are more like vague shadows of an idea of possible details. Okay, I’m suddenly realising that my excitement meter for Ethiopia-related news is rather oversensitive.

Ah, who cares. Hooray for shadows of details!

What happened is that me and the Vikster took turns being damn annoying people for the last few months. We’ve been constantly nagging Peter, our poor contact at Mekelle University, for little crumbs of information. Just the key things, like money and housing and what we’ll do in the uni.

Y’know, teeny details. Insignificant really.*

A couple of days ago, he wrote to us. He’s been working his butt off getting all of the departments in the university to look at our CV’s, check our areas of expertise, and propose some things they’d like us to do. Which means he’s had his hands tied, waiting on the responses from a bajillion people.

That’s why we hadn’t heard from him.

Truth be told we were getting a little dismayed. A little blue. A little down in the dumps… It seemed like the university decided they didn’t want us at all. We started worrying. Were we left standing on the front lawn in our prom gowns? We started thinking that they were waiting till we got bored of asking questions, and we started wandering off into the forest, la-dee-dah-ing our way wherever life took us next.

I know, I know, we were being English-minded morons. Africa doesn’t think like that.

But it’s really difficult to turn off the voice in your head. The voice of doubt and insecurity. The voice of ‘I know what this silent communication means… it means we’re dumped’.

Well, dear readers, I’ve concluded that my internal voice is an asshat.

The email from Peter gave us such excitement we immediately skipped off like carefree children to have a coffee and outline some of the things we could accomplish in our remaining pre-holiday time together. He suggested a mountain of lecture courses, workshops, and targeted lab projects based on the areas of our expertise.

For you non-science types that might seem mundane, but to me it’s cooler than Antarctic toilet water. To actually lecture, to run workshops, and to do science… that’s the stuff reserved for high-level professors. Not many people get to do that, and here we are, with mountains of opportunities laid out in front of us.

The excitement!

It’s also sinking in a bit… the responsibility. I’ve only ever been a one-on-one teacher in the past. I’ve never really had the chance to teach a group. Certainly not a group that involves a whole bunch of super clever people.

True day-to-day science can get a little tedious. Maybe it’s time to take take a leaf out of my favourite lecturer’s book, and be creative. He used tennis balls to teach about energy generation in our cells, and I never ever forgot that lesson.

science_montage xkcd dot com
‘Science montage’ by xkcd.com

What do you reckon, dear readers? What makes a great lecturer, and a great lecture course? (Feel free to ignore the science angle… teaching skills are teaching skills, and I’d love your input, no matter what the topic).

xx Em

 

*Sense the sarcasm!

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