My experiences at TAFE

I thought it’d be good to write about my experiences at TAFE.

Before the course started, they wanted to see us for an interview, and a literacy and numeracy test. I was nervous about that, failing the course before it even started?

There were only two other applicants for the course, Danielle and Peter, and Danielle really liked my Mum, especially when she left to get her a coffee during the literacy and numeracy test.

Ian spoke to us about the course and what was involved, then he asked us questions, for the most part I remained silent, then we had some forms to fill out. Then it was on to the test I’d been so dreading.

But it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t fun, really above all else it was boring. Danielle was finished with the test way before me and Peter, and I thought to myself, she’s going to be one of the top students in our class. But as it turns out, she’s been absent for the most part.

I managed to finish before Peter, who seems to be quite incompetent at computer use. This was a relief to me. I didn’t want to be stuck there, alone in that tiny room…

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When the course began, I wasn’t really enjoying myself. I felt like I was in over my head. But as the weeks passed, I managed to contribute a bit more in class, and I enjoy the assignments that’ve been set, especially designing our own website.

I haven’t made any friends which doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve spoken to the people in my class, had the odd conversation, but of course, don’t see them outside TAFE. Oh, one exception – recently we had the Bendigo Writer’s Festival and we had to attend three sessions, making notes about certain key points that arised in each discussion. I saw one other classmate, Taylor, during one of these sessions.

I feel like I’m more confident than I once was… I remember this meet-up group, years ago, we’d written a bunch of shorts and eventually I tried to read mine to all assembled. But I grew flustered and rushed myself, and you couldn’t understand my speech well at all. Everyone there could see I was under duress and gave me a round of pity applause.

But in our latest class, we’d been reading Antigone, and I volunteered the role of Creon, which I had a lot of fun with. I read with a lot of fluency and confidence and hardly ever stuttered; I enunciated even better than my counterpart Reagan, who played Antigone.

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In one particularly memorable class, we’d been discussing the existence of the soul and whether we believed in it or not. What I said, well I’d read this very good book called Fires on the Plain by Shohei Ooka set during the end of WW2 on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. The Japanese Army has been shattered and one soldier is basically abandoned by his squadron and left to die. In fact his leader tells him to commit suicide. Instead he wonders around the jungle and in the process goes insane, forcing him to commit some heinous acts to survive. I ask my teacher, after these experiences, in what condition would his soul be left in, assuming we have one?

To be honest I’m mentioning this class as at the end Ian played a clip of the Simpsons episode “Bart Sells His Soul”. It drew some laughs from the class and it felt good because I was responsible for it getting played.

My favorite person at TAFE is our teacher, Ian. He’s so nice and earlier this week when Industry Skills was cancelled due to him being ill, I was really disappointed. I can’t ever recall being this flat about school being cancelled!

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