Monday 23 September 2019

Higher Options suite-et-fin

Last Friday, I volunteered to spend a few hours at the Irish Times / RDS Higher Options HORDS school-leavers job fair. I remember being there last year. But we haven't learned anything to improve our practice. It is a mill in a great big roaring hall. Which made it quite difficult for deaf-aid me. Comms weren't helped by having a dopey loud generic teen-sound splurfed from speakers on the WIT stand next door.  I had class from 9 to 10 that morning, so had a LeMans start from room A201 at 0955hrs to drive from The Institute to the RDS in an efficient 80 minutes. An affray broke out just as I was getting parked and I passed the injured party before the blood-wagon arrived. Word on the street is that the perps were hard-chaws from St.A's school, and no, not the nice fee-paying St.A's down the road in Booterstown.

HORDS was rammed inside by the middle of the morning. A security person said they had to stall further entry mid-morning Friday for H&S concerns. I mentioned The Affray to her and she had heard nothing Boys! she sighed, they will be boys as if assaulting other chaps was an unavoidable part of the human condition. The yoof wot paused from the milling throng at The Institute got a positive earful: I spoke to an aspiring zoo-keeper, 2 brewers, a medic, culinary arts [I referred her to Hogwarts U], several sporty-people, general biology and several not-sures. Far too many didn't stop as they lifted a prospectus in passing. Last year I made several local sweeps removing brochures from bins and returning them to the stacks on various stands so they had at least a chance of being read once. I think we shifted 3 or 4 pallets - maybe 5 tonnes - full of booklets. But, as my sporty colleague pointed out, any serious contender will only want a couple of pages rather than a hernia from toting a sackful of 99% redundant information. Next year we could install a laser-printer for JIT delivery of the required info, save trees and have a lower carbon footprint. Our rival Midlands Institute apparently were handing out brochures-on-a-USB-key which a) is lighter b) suitably techie. The crowds in the room built up where something active was being done . . . and the defense forces stand. Passively handing out wodges of glossy paper is not where it's at for recruitment.

These events are a great opportunity to collect anonymous data on reaction-times, power-generation, visual acuity, colour-blindness etc. which requires active punter participation which might translate into a registration. And we get a dataset for analysis in our Intro Stats modules. I persist in suggesting this to our management, so far to deaf ears. I won't be doing HORDS next year because I'll be too busy getting lunch in Longford LiL under the free travel scheme.

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