The first dismaying thing was the weather. When I crawled out of bed, a Dickensian type fog was floating outside the windows. It was still there when I was ready to go and there was a bit of ice on the car windows. I thought I was in for a long slow crawl through freezing fog, but once I was on the road, I came out of the fog and it brightened into a beautiful cold crisp day.
Then I got lost. I'd never been to the Hen Goleg before. (This means Old College by the way, the C of Coleg having mutated to G because... Well, because of some rule or other. But it's nothing to do with domesticated fowl.) Neither do I know Bangor very well. I'm also beginning to think that Bangor casts some kind of confusion field, because though it's not very big, it seems to be easy to get lost there. G had explained a really simple way to find the college, and it would have been simple if I hadn't missed the left turn and ended up in the congested bit. I will draw a veil over the blundering down wrong turnings, trying to drive the wrong way up a one way street as I attempted to re-trace my path and the brief detour into Safeways car park in order to turn round. Eventually, quivering slightly, I turned thankfully into the college car park. I had allowed a 1 hour safety margin when I worked out how long it would take to get there and 24 minutes of it had already gone. (Not all lost wandering around Bangor; some was lost by popping into the newsagents to pick up the local paper and buy a packet of chalk. See, I have this fear of turning up at tutorial venues with the wrong stuff -- after this happened to me in the first tutorial I did down in Swansea, where I'd gone all prepared with whiteboard pens, only to find an old-fashioned blackboard.)
Then I couldn't find the room. There was no sign of a caretaker or anything and no room plan or signposting. Another student was also early and we roamed around the narrow twisty passages together looking for room D1.7. This proved fruitless. All the rooms were numbered things like R28 200. The best we could do was find room D1.1. Back in the front entrance hall -- which has a magnificent curved staircase -- the student produced his mobile phone and proceeded to phone someone who appeared to know about the college. Being given directions by mobile phone, we set off again to the left down the maze of narrow twisty passages to find first room D1.6 and then, in triumph, D1.7.
After this, the actual tutorial was something of an anticlimax. I ended up with 8 students out of a possible 20. Everything went smoothly. I had prepared the right amount of material and it seemed to be what the students wanted, especially my handout on "Question words in assignments and what they mean". I was pleased because this first tutorial is always difficult to prepare. The course doesn't actually start for another 3 weeks, so we can't do anything really from the units as no one should have read them yet. I finished on time and then sat outside in the car while I ate my lunch before setting off to Buy Things. See next post...