It started, with the 8.44am train from Neath to Swansea being fashionably on-time. 13 minutes later, I stepped off the First Great Western train and on to the platform which brought memories flooding back of my time at Swansea Institute of Higher Education, studying Technical Illustration at the Mount Pleasant campus. The 2 years I spent on the National Diploma course was the foundation that pushed me in the direction of Cardiff, Community Design for Gwent, Techniquest, Black Sheep and subsequently brings me full-circle. Back in Swansea.
Fast forward 20 years and it’s role reversal, I’m doing the teaching! It’s whilst walking past the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery that I’m thinking, ‘What am I doing here? I’m not exactly known for my tolerance at Black Sheep! How am I going to cope with 20 students?’, hanging on your every word. It’s gonna require some change on my part that’s for sure.
Walking through the Dynevor campus revolving doors fills me with a sense of excitement, fear & intrepidation as it feels like I’m about to enter the lions den until Angela’s (Course Director) friendly face pops around the corner with another newbie lecturer Caroline Jones and we’re on our way up the lift to the sixth floor.
First up, it’s pretty gentle! Sitting in on a lecture from IT about the Universities ‘Blackboard’ system, a Wiki type site, where students have to regularly log-in, in order get all the info they need about the University, their course, reference materials, deadline info and a place to share ideas and work with their tutors.
Then it’s onto my first session with this years recruits, where I’m be taking the Module: Visual and Technical Studies.
A lively bunch of wannabe advertising creatives then set about presenting mood board ideas for their first project, entitled ‘Swansea’. The brief: design an advertising campaign raising awareness of Swansea and promote it as a ‘must’ visit destination. Focusing one of the following USP’s:
‘A place to study’
‘A place of historical interest’
‘A place for Hen & Stag nights’
‘A place for a relaxing city break’
In the afternoon, I’ve got a more seasoned third year group, who are starting to form considered opinions on what’s right & wrong about communicating the message. Here, I’ll be taking leading Advanced Visual Enquiry, where the focus is on quick-fire briefs that require an idea or concept to solve the problem, whilst pushing their creative brains to the limit in a two hour session.
What I learned today: Be prepared for next week.