Saturday, 18 July 2015

Learning to support

Hi everyone,

Typing this on the morning of Day Two of the Peer Support training weekend.  When I woke up I thought about going for a run. Let's just say ... Nah ...

Anyway, yesterday the morning greeted us with the beautiful terrain of area.  It's sort of obvious why this was chosen in about 1911 as the home of the School of Forestry. 

Even though the venue is now run by the University of Melbourne as the 'School of Forest Science' or something, they've kept a lot of the elements of its original incarnation.  The schools badge in the refectory, for example -

And the name on the gates -

The day itself got underway with a typically good SES spread - the sort you'd expect more if you'd been up sandbagging or chopping up trees all night.

It's a little incongruous given that this is essentially a theory-based course, but I guess you'd say good hospitality is never to be declined!

The more I look around the campus the more I love it.  The more 'classic' buildings are of a sort of modest, solid simplicity.

Internally the architecture is pretty nice.  The dorms, as I said yesterday, have the simple functionality of university accommodation everywhere.

On the other hand, it also includes a lot of exposed timber which I'm really loving at the moment.

This has its strongest form in the hexagonal Seminar Centre where most of the course is happening: the 'spines' of the hexagon are full-thickness logs!

I'm not sure why I have such a fondness for this particular style: maybe because it has a home'y feel about it.

On that note, while I've been down here I've been enjoying the simple, accessible style of the New King James Bible that the Gideons leave.  Getting to be a full-on God-botherer. 

As one would expect from a forestry college, the gardens are gorgeous.

The course is going well.  I think if I can digest it I can really help my fellow volunteers.  It's a dumb thing but I love volunteering. I certainly don't think SES gets back as much from me as I get from it.

Probably the most "I didn't expect that" bit of the course was a test of group dynamics by setting groups of four of us to make K'nex Ferris wheels!

Naturally there was no shortage of tea through the day too of various blends. This contributed to the general feeling of being at home.

Dinner was naturally welcome (beef and chicken), followed by some wine and a game of 'Celebrity Head'.

As already noted, today dawned icy.  How icy?  This icy -

As for the grounds around the seminar centre?

In between starting this post and finishing it we've now been through the rest of the day, and I'm in the bus back to Tatura.  I snapped this photo of Creswick as we left.

If there's time tonight I'll go to the gym on the way home.  I've really enjoyed this weekend.  Lord give me more chances to volunteer!

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