Saturday, December 06, 2008

New Diploma Course Director Arrives

Entry for 5 December 2008:

As I’ve mentioned before, since Tracey Sander left last July, I’ve been Acting Course Director for our three Postgraduate Counselling Diploma courses, along with all my other duties. I’ve been able to survive this by virtue of a lot of help various people: Rachel in the Counselling Unit Office reminded me when things needed to be done, and nagged me when I forgot about them or when the email got buried in the 700 emails in my in-box. Alison Cumming picked up Tracey’s Personal and Professional Development group on the Monday Part-time course. Terry Daly helped the overseas students find placements and took on the monthly Deferrer’s group (for students from the last year or two who are still working on completing their requirements). Various members of the part-time teaching staff continued the pattern initiated by Tracey, of helping out with administrative tasks such as course timetabling and room booking.

For the past five months, some things got forgotten or left aside, while other things were not done with the style or grace with which they had been done before, but somehow we have managed to muddle through.

This week, however, to our great relief, our new course director, Lucia Berdondini, arrived. Lucia is highly focused, enthusiastic Italian woman with an easy smile and a direct but friendly manner. She was trained in Gestalt and Person-Centred therapies and lived in England for 13 years before going back to Florence 3 years ago. She found contemporary Italian politics and life no longer to her liking, and has been eager to return to the UK. She says that she has always wanted to live in Scotland. Although she is just beginning to learn what the job entails, it is a great relief to have her join us, and I for one am looking forward to having a new colleague to bounce ideas off of.

When she saw the ad for the course director position, she says she learned about the Counselling Unit not only from our regular website but also from this blog. I can only hope that the reality doesn’t prove to be too far off the mark from her experience. I don’t make any claims that my perceptions of reality, as represented here, match those of other people!

We invited her to come along to a large group session on the Monday Part-time course on her very first day at work, and she was very impressed with the quality of the interaction among the students she observed. It was a process she recognized entirely from the course she trained on and has taught on, and so I think it helped her feel at home here. And it is a great relief for me to have the company. Even though the early December days are short and the nights long (and this week cold and icy) we are doing our best to help her feel welcome. Welcome, Lucia!

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