I post after a long time with a fear that my next post will take even longer ..
Last weekend we went for an outdoor workshop at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor. Cumberland Lodge is one of many royal properties though we didn’t see any members of the royal family except for their photographs. It has been hosting student workshops since 1947 (as we were told by the ‘warden’ of the Lodge). In the middle of nowhere and only an hour away from London, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. Though we were there for an intense workshop with seven 1½ hour sessions but it was great fun and the surroundings made up for any tiredness we might have felt. There was just no time to be lazy.. All the free time either went in the bar or walks around the estate.
It was a time to bond with the entire class. We’ve been together on SPD for past 4 months, but each one of us hardly knew more than 5-6 people (I mean we knew as in knew everyone’s name but hardly ever spoke). Given also the fact that most of us met just once a week.. We left LSE at 4pm on Friday. The bus journey to Cumberland Lodge was fun. There were some elements who tried to study but I guess the rest of us didn’t quite let it happen, with all the chatting, fighting going on. Fahdil found himself in quite a mess when he commented that ‘India has no culture!’. And this when he was sitting between 6 Indians! Reached the Lodge at around 6pm. It was already dark but we could see the snow covered ground.. and also a few snowmen :). Our tutors had planned a very reverse timetable for the day.. it was drinks, dinner and then the 1st session of the workshop at 9pm! Well 10:30 we were back in the bar. Interesting thing about Cumberland was that every room had a different décor and also that you couldn’t lock the doors from outside. So after a few drinks we decided to check out the rooms. Photo sessions in the rooms and then a walk in the ‘haunted forest’ and then a game of Jenga at 2 in the morning. Saturday started early with breakfast at 8 and sessions from 9am.
The workshop was on project planning. The entire class was divided into groups of 4/5 and each group had to design the ‘Logical Framework Analysis’ for a project of our choice. The facilitator made the workshop quite fun. Despite it being quite heavy on content, we all enjoyed it. Our group came to be known as the one with ‘disturbing group dynamic’ or the one with ‘conflicts’ and ‘differences’, because all our questions were on how to manage the group rather than on project specifics! 🙂
But we did learn a lot on the weekend.. much more than what we learn on our lectures. This was learning in practice! And at least for myself, I can say I found a renewed interest in the subject..In the end each group came up with a log frame for the Saturday night party! :p However, the venue for the party was quite disappointing when compared to the rest of the lodge.. It was in the basement of the building, which looked more like a store that had been cleared for the purpose.. but then a party is what you make of it irrespective of where it is happening and we did have a lot of fun! Dancing to Bollywood and Latin American songs we stayed on till 4am.. Some of us wore traditional; some normal dresses while a group decided to be in pyjamas (which I think was the best idea!). It was great to see that even professors had joined the dance floor (though I did miss one particular one ;))
After 4, Milly, Richa and I went for a walk to enjoy the clear sky and numerous stars.. though the wind and cold forced us back in quickly. Slept a couple of hours, went to the royal chapel in the morning and after the last workshop session and a group photo left for London. And unlike the journey from London, this time everybody slept on the bus back.. I think that shows how much fun the whole trip was 🙂