I am struck by the number of Overseas students there are. I am in awe of them studying in a country where English is not their first language and impressed by their drive and commitment. It makes for a very exciting environment to be surrounded by folk from such far-off places as Greece, Poland, Finland, China and France to name but a few. I went to assist Tina - the Greek as opposed to Tina the Fin - with her laptop. Armed with good intentions and rather pleased I had figured out how to engineer uploads of photos I was bemused at all the file names being in Greek - ah well we got there in the end but really why I was surprised at the laptop in question 'speaking' Greek like her owner I cannot fathom.
I am not the only mature student embarking on this voyage. I have the company of Maggie who I met at Leith last year on the Painting Course and who like me got together the UCAS application plus portfolio and applied with more hope than expectation. There are also quite a few 'kent' faces from Leith Foundation Course from the last two years. In the maturer ranks there is also Tina the Greek, (Tina the Fin is markedly younger) and Sally. We bonded in a knowing way early on. In general though I am finding it hard to work out relative ages. It is dangerous territory to start allocating ages to the younger students and really age is no marker of maturity. Females outnumber males but I suppose I was expecting that.
Befuddlement sums up the general response to a newly revised programme of study in an Art School which is undergoing merger talks with Edinburgh University. Whatever the cause, confusion reigns as regards course content, timetabling and location. Being rather maturer than the average First Year, the younger ones attribute me with more knowledge than I possess. Fielding questions concerning where they should be at any one time seems to be par for the course. Being rather conditioned as teacher/mother to deal with the issues of others I seek to rise to the occasion but it is rather liberating to accept this as not being possible. I am after all one of them - also confused and befuddled.
I am assuming that ECA will attempt to retain its own name and sense of identity throughout the merger talks and eventual event if it comes to pass. Obvious perks lie in the fact that ECA students will have the choice of various modules in such things as anatomy, sociology etc to add new dimensions to their study of life drawing and painting. Apparently it is all to do with ensuring funding in years to come and where ECA is daring to tread this year, other art institutions like Glasgow will follow in years to come.
Carol E Duff