This week was parallel arrangements, which are one of my favourites and on the last day we had a mini party, we all took some food in, soft drinks and some music and had food and music whilst we worked. We had a different tutor to usual so the whole atmosphere was relaxed and chilled and an enjoyable day was had by all!
It has been an interesting, challenging and frustrating few weeks but at least the first term is done and now I know what to expect for the next two terms.
I have mentioned a lot of the frustrations and (just to say they are not solely me having a whinge) a letter has been composed by one of the other students which most of us have signed and has been sent to the Principal of the college, we will eagerly wait and see what the outcome of that will be, although I won't be holding my breath about it. Some of the issues are biggies really such as enrolment, communication, refund of funding, council tax letters, lifting and carrying tool boxes, parking, cleaning and tidying of the room etc really important issues.
This week I did finally receive my refund for the trip which was cancelled in October, so about 2 months for them to return the funds!! I have received my council tax refund as I sent off a different letter to the one the college gave us, those who have used the college's official letter have either not received the refund as yet or have been turned down. Not really helpful to anyone.
The frustrations have been basically:
- information given at enrolment differed from student to student so we have all had differing bits of information, if we all put it together we have something approaching a whole (on things such as expectations, content, finance etc etc)
- communication as a whole is poor, between the college and students, college and tutors and the tutor and ourselves, let alone other college support staff and students eg finance
- Various monies have been paid, for key skills sections of courses (in excess of £400) which students did not need to take (I challenged it at enrolment and they took the money and course details off my enrolment) others didn't and a full term later are still awaiting a refund of over £400 (this is very poor)
- The refund for the trip, it was impressed on us - you MUST pay the deposit or the trip will not go ahead, the trip was cancelled with no warning and no explanation and a refund too 2 months to find its way to us
- Council tax letters which would not enable students to get the refund to which they are entitled but which are the college's standard letter - and there response tough, take it or leave it - supportive NOT
- the appalling state of the room after it has been used by the Art Department, even though at enrolment we were told we were having a brand new purpose built room, with cool room (which has only just been fitted), our course time is taken up cleaning up the room so we are able to work in it
- No access to lift when we have work boxes weighing in excess of 30kilos and we are on the second floor, and getting nagged at by the reception staff because we need them to open the lift for us
- No parking facilities within 15- 20 minutes walking distance of the college when we have such a large amount of equipment to bring into the college - if I used the nearest parking it would take me 30 - 35 minutes longer a day when I only live 5 - 8 minutes drive away from the college
- If we wish to bring additional items to enhance our work, well forget it as what we have to bring in doesn't allow any spare room for bringing in anything that would enhance our work and thus enable us to be able to get the distinctions in practical work, therefore our work suffers, because we are laden down with tools and equipment and books and folders before we add anything to that and then have to cart everything 15 - 25 minutes walk!
- And that does not even take into account other frustrations within the classroom.
Reading challenge 10/16 - currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban