By Margaret Hatton
The good news is that since Friday 1st April, SeniorNet Mac has been up and running. thanks to the generosity of our treasurer Margaret Harvey.
Our Learning Centre is situated in the pool house at the Cranmer Centre [Old Christchurch Girl’s High campus.]
This solid concrete block edifice, built in the middle of last century, has withstood all the quakes while the old brick building, which up until then had been going to be repaired, was severely damaged on February 22nd and has now been demolished. Diagonally opposite the Art Gallery we have been in the ‘Red Zone,’ and are not allowed to use the rooms or go onto the site.
Christ College, our landlord, have said we might get back into the building sometime in July but that was too long to have people waiting to learn the skills they needed to operate their Macs optimally. So Margaret with the help of Allan Rutherford [Canterbury’s rep on The SeniorNet Federation,] managed to access the building and rescue much of our equipment and our teaching notes.
We have a suite of computers, which students use to do courses and workshops, all in Margaret’s living room! Set up on trestle tables the computers are moved to suit the needs of the group. They have to be packed away for other activities such as committee meetings!
Friday mornings are always busy with people coming to Margaret’s home to have problems solved, update software, fix hardware or enrol. Sometimes there is an overflow and laptops are used on the kitchen bench.
As well some tutors have opened their homes to students and classes have been run all over the city, in Mt Pleasant, Sreydon, Parklands and Riccarton for example. Enabling students to bring their laptops has made this easier in small spaces. Power cuts, shonky roads, and students who get lost notwithstanding it is great that we have new members enrolling and students continuing to learn. In the current environment of Christchurch’s ‘New Normal’ this has proved an invaluable opportunity for tutors and students alike.
Photos by Margaret Hatton and Allan Rutherford