The Institute will officially start in the afternoon, but at breakfast, about 2/3 of the ADE’s are already here. The voice level is defeaning, but Werner from Austria is quick to recognize my voice when I want to sit down at a table in his back. He is thrilled to see me – hopefully not only because he prefers talking german to english. Peter Mathis, my trusted fellow ADE from last year’s London Institute joins us, and Adrian Hirst, French ADE but teaching in Switzerland, who was with me an Peter in the same working group last year. Furthermore, I met a couple of folks that I had either met in London or chatted with on Twitter – and swapped stickers with them and a lot more that I hopefully will get to learn better during the following days.
After that, I enjoyed a swim in the spa and some quiet time in the Trepidarium, before joining Neil, an ADE from Melbourne, for a nice chat on the differences of our education systems, the advantages of using iPads with elder people and much more. At 3.p.m. Maxx officially opened the Institute 2012 with a new ADE video, some enthusiastic cheers for the different geos and loads of informations on the things to come. We will be pretty busy, I can assure you!
I had my first assignment thrown onto me just a couple of minutes before the official opening: There was going to be a Share Fair where the different regions and countries were to present themselves. Somehow, nobody had informed us about this, so we had to improvise, together with Portugal and Belgium. Portugal managed to organize 2 bottles of port wine and some paper cups, Kurt from Belgium had brought loads of chocolate, Spain had prepared showcases in advance, I threw in a couple of videos from previous “Jodlerfests” on the MacBook Air and a video of manufacturing chocolate on the iPad. Could have been worse – but was a far cry from the Mexicans who came fully prepared with national costumes, flags, loads of goodies and voxiferous enthusiasm!
I managed to leave out table for a moment to tour the other tables, get my stamps and collect some pictures. It was a nice way of meeting ADEs from other geos – some of them I know from Twitter, but most are unknown to me. I’m sure this will change – at least for some of them – as soon as we get into group work.
After the Share Fair, we had 15 minutes to get ready for the buses that brought us to the Jameson Distillery for a quick tour of the old distillery that went out of use in 1972. We then had a lovely dinner in a marquee in the courtyard, with lovely Irish Music and little dancers doing one hell of a job with their dainty (or not so dainty) feet. We were encouraged to join, but I couldn’t with my knee playing up all day already … In fact, I was extremely glad I brought my folding chair with me, so that I could sit down during the guided tour and for dinner. Still, Werner and I contributed our fair share with singing. I knew he is playing the trumpet in a jazz band, but I tell you: The man has an excellent singing voice, too!
I made it back to the hotel with the first bus, I will just include the pics of the day and then retire – we have a very early start tomorrow!