There are moments when the u3a motto, 'Learn, laugh, live', becomes an unexpected reality. You've learnt, laughed and are still living, feeling not quite sure how or what has happened.
Words like Covid and the number 19 trip off the tongue daily. Our vocabulary has expanded with words like Corona, Deltas, Zeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Jannsen. The list of new words and acronyms is now well down a second A4 page, the latest being Mu. In my vocabulary the Mu-P8 is my beautiful folding bicycle. But Mu can also mean 'Miss You' in chat text, 'Mutual Understanding' in relationships and a 'Memory Unit' for storing data. I could be riding my Mu while having a Mu with a friend when another sends a text that reads 'Mu'. And of course, I keep all my messages in my Mu - and we all hope that we don't catch the new Mu.
So much learning from a few letters. A good example of this was experienced recently, when a few members learnt the procedures and dangers of setting up the AV system in the Ashcroft Hall to be ready for our first live meeting in September. A perpendicular learning line for me; laughter with every wrong cable attached to an incorrect outlet or inlet, and I am grateful that I live to record our efforts.
AV was the first stage of my learning. Apparently not my initials, but Audio Visual. There are step by step instructions and a list of acronyms printed below the AV heading.
The first instruction is: Turn on the Foyer lights. I offered to do that.
For the next half an hour I watched as this impressively focused group of u3a volunteers did something with or to the PA system, found the HDMI, checked a laptop for a 4:3 aspect and a 16:9 image, checked the ART AV, VGA, S-VGA and crouching down on the carpet, they looked for an XLR socket. One of them had to check the Gain Knobs and Gain Levels which I think had something to do with the three mics. All this before logging on to, (or is it in to?) Zoom for a trial mute/unmute practice. To add to this, a wi fi code had to be found. At the end of this learning session, we had to make sure that the 48V was switched back on, (or was it off?) or the Ashcroft would never function properly again.
The final instruction is: Turn off the Foyer lights. I quickly offered to do that.
I shall be ever grateful to the Audio-Visual group, who managed to get everything working. My role is to stick to my Mu and light switches.
If you would like to be present at the first live General Meeting on Tuesday 21st September and witness the amazing results of placing cables, plugs and acronyms in the correct order and position, please email me. There are still places available.
Huge thanks to the volunteers who have given up their time to get our u3a meetings back into the Ashcroft Centre. You are Acronym Heroes.
It would be very helpful if more members volunteered to help with setting up the AV system for future monthly meetings. It is not complicated and I know that the light switches are easy to find and give a satisfying click when switched on and off. You too could become Acronym Heroes.
We are delighted to welcome 15 new members this month.