Land Of Vegemite And Sunshine
I’m alive! This is my third year of teaching down in Australia, and the first year that I’ll be making an actual stop in Sydney to do some teaching. The Perth group is such a nice group to work with, and once again, I get to work with students that I’ve actually been working with all along, via my Online Classroom. It’s so gratifying to be able to think that a private lesson that I can have with somebody here in Western Australia is really a follow-up, or complimentary to, months of working with that same student online.
Of course, just about the very first thing that happened when I left the USA for the trip was that something went pear-shaped (to take a phrase from the Aussies) right away with the Classroom and students couldn’t log in. Yippee! Since I’m not only an instructor in the Classroom, but also the web designer, IT department, accounting, and all else, nothing could be done about it til this morning, the first morning I’ve had any time to open my laptop. Luckily, the students once again showed their flexibility and patience by figuring out a workaround so that the stream of information exchange could continue in my absence.
That problem solved, it was on to some hot hot hot teaching in Perth, which I managed to survive, thanks to good students, fun times, a big hat, and some sunscreen.
One of the great things about my Online Classroom is that I get to meet dog agility students all over the world that I’ve already worked with – and this trip was no exception. I got to meet up with online students in Perth and in Sydney, working out in detail the things that we’ve already been working on in the online classroom over the past several weeks and months, and it was great. Neat to confirm some of the things I already had been helping students with, but also interesting to note the things that don’t translate well to online education – and of course, there are some 🙂
After several days of teaching in Perth (and plans to head back in 2014 already tentatively made!), it was time to head to Sydney for a multiple day set of seminars and private lessons. I had all sorts of Aussie weather – sun (BAKING sun, sweltering sun, sticky humid sun), rain, POURING rain, thunder, lightning, cool breezy evenings – I experienced a wide variety of summer Sydney evenings.
I did get to do a bit of sightseeing in Sydney, thanks to Robyn, my hostess while there. The Sydney Harbor was pretty cool:
And again, the students were great and receptive, despite some of the weather:
I also found some neat souvenirs – one of which I had to buy because for years I’ve looked for a nameplate on those racks of plates at the tourist shops with my name on it and have NEVER found one, and one, well, the shirt I think speaks for itself!
And now, I can honestly say I’m pretty much wiped out. I head home tomorrow (Wednesday 2/27/13) – well, it is already Wednesday here in Sydney, and will be until I get home in many many hours, even though it’s just now Tuesday in Oregon. I’m starting to get that anxious, panicked feeling that maybe my dogs have forgotten me, and maybe, just maybe, *I’ve* forgotten all about how to DO agility, having only taught it for the past two weeks and not done any myself. But my guess is that the dogs will be very, very happy to see me, and of course, I will be ecstatic to see them, and David as well!
It’s no rest for the weary though – just 5 days after I get home, I’m off to the UK to represent Crufts for a second time with Solar, and then, directly to OK for the AKC Nationals. But, that’s another story for another time!
Thanks so much to all the fine people who organized my trip over here – Simone, Cathy, Pam S., and the others in Perth, and then Robyn, Stacy, and the fine group of Sydney agility addicts as well. I am happy to leave Australia with good memories, some fun mementos, and pale skin…
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