Second Report on University of Colima activities
During the week of January 22, when we were on campus we were working in a shared office space which is really the domain of the Telemática faculty when consulting with students. It adjoins the large computer classroom, in a suite with a security room and a printer room. There are also hundreds of computer books on shelves there for students to check out. The activity level is pretty high. We were waiting for network connectivity to the new offices in the " Telemática Postgraduate" building across the lawn from the Facultad de Telemática building. Finally on January 30, Ramón took me over to view the new offices. I picked out one with a nice big window view to the south. No volcanoes in my view, but I can see the coastal range. Román asked Mari Eugenia Cabello to loan me her key to the outside door of the office suite. We are on the second floor of the new building just in front of the Facultad de Telematica, in a suite with 7 small offices. Mari Eugenia and I have the two with windows facing south. There are no telephones in sight -- not even any telephone wiring that I can detect. One other office was already occupied. Over the next couple of weeks, two more offices filled up. The air conditioning works great! And each office has multiple network jacks, but few of them are working: I have one that works, and Mari Eugenia has none. So she's still spending time in shared space in the Telemática building to get net access. As you can see from the photos, the office is very comfortable.
From the first discussions with Román and Martín, there was a plan for me to give a talk to faculty at 10am on Friday January 26. That turned out to be a bad idea -- very few people showed up because it was the last day before classes start and everyone was feverishly getting ready. Actually getting ready involved submitting an annual report, on which salary raises are based: you can see why that was not the day to attend a talk by a visiting fireman. So it was rescheduled for the following Friday. By that time, classes were fully under way, and I had an audience of 40 or 50, mostly grad students in Technology Education. The powerpoint slides from the talk are online at http://donporter.net/Colima/Platicas/RPIintro.htm . There was some good discussion, and I was relieved to get through another talk in Spanish without freezing up.
Lois participated in a series of planning meetings with Genoveva, Director of the UNI program, and Ana Bertha, from the Nursing Faculty and, Araceli from the Social Work faculty. They made various changes to the plans for the El Chanal project based on Lois's suggestions. For example, Lois gave the project a new name: "Tesoros Vitales" (vital treasures) which focuses more positive vibes on the elders in the community who are the intended participants. Lois has had several meetings with Dora, also part of the nursing faculty, and agreed to give some talks in classes, including one on the topic of supervision. She wrote up complete texts for each of these talks, starting with a sales pitch to the nursing and social work students to volunteer for the project. When she gave the talks to each of the two groups, there was considerable interest and several immediate volunteers. She has met with the Director of the School of Social Work and two additional faculty from that school and will be speaking to a couple of social work classes on the topics of Migrant Head Start and Migrants in New York State. Genoveva asked Lois to work with her a couple of hours a week on her English. Lois spends an hour a week with Isabel working on English. She also has two students who are requesting help with English.
With help from Lulú and Isabel, I was able to get approval to use practice pianos located at the Instituto Universitario de Bellas Artes (The University Fine Arts Institute) which is a complex of buildings located about 10 minutes walk north of the center of town. There are some 20 practice rooms with small pianos, mostly in pretty bad tune, although all in basic working order. Starting Monday, January 29th, I've been able to practice there most every day (not weekends) for about an hour, from 2pm to 3pm. This is the heat of the afternoon, and lots of activities have shut down, but the IUBA stays open for practicing. I've now tried a number of the pianos, and have located a favorite, which of course is pretty popular, even at that hour. It is a real treat to be able to practice every weekday.
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