Just as I was getting used to this online system of learning … Boom! We’re in class on campus 8 hours a day, 6 days a week for 2.5 weeks in June! Yes, you read that correctly: everyday including Saturdays. For many of us, this meant a huge adjustment: some people had to come into town and stay with family or friends; many of us had to change work schedules in order to accommodate the time. Students had to figure out carpooling, transit, and parking (which, unfortunately, I did not do an excellent job of and received not one, but two parking tickets while I was on campus. Be very aware of parking bylaws in the Surrey area!) For me, it meant 2.5 weeks of no work and therefore, no pay, as I am an independent contractor and work for myself. It meant a little planning, a little saving, and a whole lot of frugality. But enough about the nitty gritty …
“Were you excited about being on campus?” I have to admit, I felt a little torn about the prospect of being physically in class. Leading up to it I thought, “This could be a total mess! Why do we have to be in class for this section? 8 hours times 6 days a week is a lot!” But on the other hand, ‘I can’t wait to see all my classmates and get to know them better. I wonder what (insert classmate name) is like in person?’ Right before we started, I was hovering somewhere between anxious and excited.
Honestly, I thought it might be a nice change of pace from work and it was. There were some long days and some long weeks but I felt like I learnt some very pertinent information. As much as I was dreading group work, it was really not bad at all. In fact, it was kind of nice to work with someone on a school project; something I haven’t done in a few years. While a lot of what we were working on had to do with certifications (Volunteer Management, FoodSafe, Violence Prevention), the rest of the time was devoted mostly to one class – THR320 Facilitation Techniques & Implementation of Therapeutic Recreation Interventions (yea that’s a mouthful alright). This was a very interesting class because we got to see what a real program might look like and all the little components that have to go into it working. We did a gardening class where we put together planters of succulents. They turned out quite nice, even for someone like me without much of green thumb. Guest speakers came in and discussed art therapy and music therapy, laughter therapy and traditional programming. They were all really great and informative on their specific topic of expertise. I had no idea you could use laughter to help someone but it makes sense since laughter is the best medicine. 🙂
It was a really great opportunity to get to know my classmates (and teachers!) better. Now I feel a little more connected to my peers and have made some really great friends in the process, too! On to the next phase of the program: practicum!
Click the link to learn more about Therapeutic Assistant Diploma Program (Gerontology Specialization).