My word, this course was SOMETHING ELSE.
It was called ArcGISII and this is what it was all about
Advance your foundational ArcGIS skills by learning how to obtain reliable results from different types of GIS analysis. You will apply a standard workflow to efficiently solve spatial problems using a variety of ArcGIS tools and vector, raster, and temporal data. Techniques to effectively share your analysis workflows and results are covered. This course is taught using ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced and some course exercises use tools provided in the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
GIS analysts, specialists, and others who manage or conduct GIS analysis projects.
THEY WILL LEARN HOW TO
* Choose appropriate data, methods, and tools to plan, execute, and document a given analysis project.
* Automate analysis tasks using geoprocessing models.
* Create a weighted suitability model to select the optimal location for a new site.
* Apply spatial statistics to examine distribution patterns and identify hot spots.
* Model temporal data to analyze and visualize change over time.
* Share analysis results so they are accessible and repeatable.
So please picture yours truly in that setup. I am - proudly a housewife- and have been for most of 30 yrs. I have done some things along life's road but they were in beauty or health like reflexology. What I know about creating maps and placing data on those maps is ZERO. And there I found myself suddenly interpreter to my friend and fellow Christian sister who is 100% deaf. I have partial hearing which is laughable that she asked me, except initially her son was going to do the job, but at the last minute he found permanent employment to start the same day as the course. The company then assigned her an interpreter, but the young girl was Afrikaans speaking and the language is spoken in the back of the throat while the lips don't move much, making lip reading very difficult for Janine. By Monday evening she was in a flat panic because she couldn't find someone at such late notice.....which is where I came in.
I guess a willing-partial hearing friend, is better than no one at all.
Also Janine can read my mouth well from years of friendship and fellowship at our Christian meetings where I regularly help her "hear" the public discourse.
Thankfully the young trainer spoke BEEEYOOOTIFULLY and I could hear 99% of what she was saying and lip read the rest myself.
She also really helped us by rarely turning her back on Janine, but of course there were times that it could not be helped, especially when she was answering a question from another student. To address that person meant turning her back on us.
Immediately after answering the question, she would ask if we "got it?" For those odd occasions we didn't because I simply didn't know what was going on (being out of my depth), she would repeat it looking directly at us. She was not told I have partial hearing, that would have flipped the poor kids lid I'm sure.
The other difficulty we saw once the trainer arrived was that the trainer was dark skinned and the room the training was done in, had wood paneling all the way round, which meant the trainer periodically disappeared visually if you couldn't hear what was being said.
Needless to say, I have learned a ton about something I care nothing for and the information will be of no use to me in my daily life...but there you go, nothing to be done about that. I learned about shape files, feature files, geographic co-ordinates and geodatabase, polygons, feature database, mosaic database, auto hilde push pins and meta data (which I discovered is data within data - who knew?)...on day one I felt like a deer trapped in the headlights of a car. Day two was better once I was able to read through the manual to familiarize myself with some terminology etc. The morning was all about lectures and paying very close attention. The late morning was about doing the practical...it was then I was able to read Janine's manual to help myself with a preview of the upcoming chapters.
By 10am when we had our tea break on day 1, I felt like running away and not looking back
but of course I didn't. Another thing I didn't do, was eat the biscuits that were on offer each day.
I ate fruit.
The proof is the remains of my apple chuckle.
This is Janine who is one the most unique people I know.
She is so gutsy and we always so she does everything except hear.
She works for the electrical dept at the local municipality. Her job is putting electrical wires and electrical towers (existing and future) onto maps. There were 3 from her dept on the course, some from the fire dept, others from the town planning dept and one from the municipal rental dept.
We ate at a restaurant called Primi Piati, a really zooty, vibey place with a view of the mountains. They had this cutest place to park bicycles...we of course came in cars and didn't need the space.
Every day we broke for lunch and were able to buy anything on the menu that was under R100 ($10.83) excluding our drinks. There was so much yummy food to choose from, but I had decided to try and stick to only what was healthy for me, after all I still have to weigh in on Monday and face the dreaded scale. So day 1- I chose a delightful flame grilled chicken with hot roasted red peppers and other veges like marrows, green beans, and some feta cheese, it REALLY tasted wonderful.
Day 2 - I chose chicken kebabs with some wonderful spicy red pepper sauce, lemons and switched the side order of fries to hot roasted veges.
The auditorium used for the training was like a proverbial fridge and by day 3 - I ordered pasta. I have been off simple carbs for almost 2 months now and was shocked at the amount of pasta that came on my plate with the chicken steaks in cream and mushroom sauce with roasted veges.
Before I even ate one mouthful I farmed most of that pasta off on the bloke sitting to my right and scraped some of the cream sauce off too. I figured If it wasn't on my plate, it couldn't tempt me to eat it all.
By day 4 I had a sirloin steak salad. While the steak was marvelous, totally melt in the mouth stuff, the salad was typical garden salad of cucumber, lettuce, tomato and onion. Probably my least favorite meal of the week. The restaurant was very good about putting all my sauces on the side instead of directly on the food. This allowed me to choose how much sauce I would use.
By day 2 of the course I was into a rhythm of understand what the subject matter was and knowing what kind of problems the group as a whole were experiencing between their various departments and I also started feeling a whole lot more confident of what I was doing. Each time the group got busy with modules I got busy reading and reading and reading up on the information for the preceding chapters so that I would sort of know what was coming and aid my concentration because you must remember as a housewife I don't do an awful lot of sitting down. Its housework, then laundry, some gardening, bathing dogs,shopping, visiting old folk in our congregation, shopping for the housebound and so the list goes on. Here I was sitting for hour upon hour upon hour...enough to put anyone to sleep.
The trainer gave fantastic help when asked. With the others she was able to handle queries in group form.
With Janine it was different because first she has to explain with Janine watching.
Then various pointing to items to help her see whats being said.
By day 4 I felt as if I was one of the team and felt very comfortable around the course info. Over lunch one day I got my BEST compliment, the trainer thought I worked in one of the municipal departments and was on loan to Janine to help. Aaah just goes to show how easy it is to fake stuff lol. But I grew 10 feet tall at the compliment all the same.
This was the end of the last day. It was finally all over and packing up was the name of the game, which meant I would finally be returning to my REAL life. Housework etc just went on hold for the past 4 days but didn't disappear.
So will I do the ArcGISIII course in a few months time....only if I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. I did not enjoy all that sitting around and my brain feels like its absolutely fried from all the NEW AND USELESS TO ME stuff floating around in it. lol
I took the flask out the kitchen cupboard to make my son a flask of coffee to take to work and found a stow-a-way. I wonder how long he'd been there? Lucky we needed the flask or he would have died from hunger. I have absolutely no idea how he got into the cupboard in the first place??
I'm so dying to know what the scale will say with eating lunch out every day. Despite choosing healthy foods, often there are hidden fats, sugars etc. So again, time will tell.
Boot camp - round 2 for me - begins again on Monday morning 5.30am and I'm rather nervous because this time I KNOW what I'm in for lol.