Thursday, 28 July 2016

Steelpan Workshops at Swarthmore College

When Natalie [S] asked me if a couple of workshops at Swarthmore, I didn't expect six days of workshops [some longer than others]. It was mostly for young adults with Additional Needs, but there was a staff workshop as well, in which Mandy declared "I can only stay for fifteen minutes", and was there nearly two hours later.

Last time we did a workshop at Swarthmore we were at the top of this wonderful old building, narrow winding stairs and all. This time we are in the Print Room, on the same level as the carpark. Bliss! And students and staff carried the pans and glocks in and out, even more bliss [my tendons were audibly sighing with relief].

Was surprised to meet Wolfman when I went up to the mini room top café; but thus not surprised when he turned up for the next workshop.

The atmosphere in Swarthmore is quite different from the scared stiffness of most of the schools I have worked in. Loads of foreign exchange teenagers were hurtling up and down the stairs in their yellow summer camp t-shirts; higgledy-piggedly stairs, loads of front doors -open to the public! Heavens, where's the machine pointlessly taking your picture when you want it. We carried our cups of tea around without having to fill in a risk assessment first. Jessica shared her bagels and cheese with me one lunchtime [which I understand is regular feature]. The café bar has lemon meringue pies [who sees those about these days?]; Wolfman having his lunch in the rooftop terrace area.

And the best of all, when you turn up with a van full of steel pans [which shortly wasn't to be a possibility!], they don't say - you can't park there, but they send down a team of porters with a parking permit. I nearly fell out of the Little Blue!

My bag is packed ready for the next invite. [And I got the van back, sans windscreen!].

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