The workshop materials are ready, the itinerary has been finalised, accommodation is booked and my bags are packed. In a few short hours, I’ll be on my way to Johannesburg to spend the next three weeks working with academic staff and postgraduate students on their dissertations. Thank goodness for Dropbox and other modern luxuries otherwise I’d be carrying all sorts of documents. The past couple of weeks have been very busy with preparations. While I’m not looking forward to two-day trip and the initial jet lag, I am looking forward to being back home where for a while I won’t be easily identified as a foreigner. I’ll be able to blend in, I hope. I’m also thrilled to be seeing family, friends and colleagues. I’ve worked at the University of Johannesburg before over the years that I’ve lived in Canada and I’m going to enjoy reconnecting with colleagues.
I always enjoy workshops like the ones I’m about to engage in because they really seem to help writers find direction. I’ve been thinking through possible activities and plans for each workshop session but it’s only once I meet everyone that I will be able to work out what everyone needs. We have requested advance (home)work which most participants have done but it will only be as we get to know one another that the real feedback will happen. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.
We’ve set up three workshop sessions. One day with academics at UJ on SOTL issues where I’ll be talking on ‘Becoming a productive academic writer’, one intense week with academic staff on completing their dissertations and one week with PhD and Master’s students on finishing their dissertations.
It seems strange to think that the next time I write on this blog, I will be all the way over there. I’ll be going from mid-summer to mid-winter. Although I know Johannesburg winters are lovely and sunny. Well, until then…