So, I had an interesting day in Cambridge yesterday - which was all a little unexpected.
I had a Skype chat last Friday with Tom, who is head of a small new 6th form college in Cambridge, and who had read my booklet on high intensity language training. We shared a lot of interests, but with some interesting variations because his background is physics while mine is language.
Then it turned out that his students were starting a 6 week sprint to acquire as much Portuguese as possible - and that they were starting on Monday.
So, like an entirely sane person, when Tom seemed to think that my input might be interesting, perhaps via Skype, I thought it would make more sense to do it in person (I found it really quite exciting that someone was throwing a group of students into that kind of intensive situation, and that the students were willing to give it a shot, which made me want to find out more about what Tom’s doing down there).
About an hour before I got to Cambridge (which, yes, is a little further away than I had fully realised), I got a text from Tom.
‘Update - we’re going on stage to talk about our project at a conference!’
Yes, it turned out that the ‘we’ there included me - and the conference turned out to be a visiting delegation of teachers from Africa who were looking at intensive learning methods in Cambridge.
No pressure, then.
I’d been dawdling slightly, because Tom had originally suggested I arrive any time after 2, and now we were due on stage at 2 - so I put the pedal down a little more enthusiastically, and made it with about three minutes to spare.
We invested about 10 seconds in meeting each other for the first time, 2 minutes in planning an approach to the presentation, and were ready and waiting at the bell.
It was fun and interesting - and Tom livecast my not-entirely-polished contributions, which are still available here:
[and other snips on Tom’s timeline if that doesn’t break you].
It all seemed to go down well, judging by the amount of photos we had to pose for afterwards, and Tom’s recitation of the first 100 numbers of Pi was particularly impressive…
Then we want back to talk to his kids about the value of pain and suffering, videos of which are also on Tom’s timeline - then we got a bit of time to chat in general terms and talk about the work Tom’s doing with a language training company, and the possibilities for doing some stuff together, and then I hauled my weary bones back up to Stoke-on-Trent to see my mother and brother.
All very unexpected and entertaining - but I’m now looking forward HUGELY to seeing how Tom’s students get on with their 6 week programme, and if they choose to commit to livecasting their 2 hours immersion each Friday afternoon (if they do, I’ll be posting those links in here… ).