First day this week for the semester two courses at EIT, including my Introduction to Wine Business - lots of new students wandering about the place looking confused and a bit apprehensive. Lots of students in classes with pens and pencils and new refill pads, hanging on my every word and waiting for something to write down. I don't think that telling them that everything we do is in the online course site has reassured them much. All I tell them on day one is what the assignment is going to be, and when we stop for coffee. I hope they relax a bit before the end of the year, and learn that learning can be immersive, that the wine industry is a fluid, ever changing one, and that by listening to me reminiscing about the good old days when I had a job, and wine was $20 a bottle, they may actually gain understanding of the evolution of the New Zealand wine industry.
Remember that first day feeling though? Nobody likes it, and it creates a vacuum in the classroom that teachers try to fill with words, and the odd laugh.