Einstein is noted for hundreds of great quotes, but one I like which is particularly relevant to our current pandemic situation is…“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. We face ever changing rules and regulations, we have huge differences of opinion on how to move forward, but we do have an opportunity to think differently about things and how they are managed. I’m sure you are finding this at home where your daily life and routines have had to change due to the various levels of lockdown.
Simplicity - within our U3A, the committee are trying to keep the application of the rule changes as straightforward as possible, but we do appreciate that there are areas where this can improve as understanding is gained. We welcome constructive comments, but we do ask that information sent out from National Office is read thoroughly and carefully before contacting us, then if clarification is still required then do please ask and we will find the answer if we do not know it.
Harmony – I know that some members think we are being too demanding in our requests for risk assessments, for liaison with the committee, for not allowing members to use their own common sense in restarting groups, but the reason for following National Office (and indeed Government) advice is to make sure we keep within the law and to keep our members as safe as possible. Your co-operation in all this is greatly appreciated, but remember, you must also think about your own personal situation and then decide whether you want to re-engage with whatever is being proposed.
Opportunity – the change in law to allow up to 6 members from up to 6 households to meet indoors has allowed many indoor groups to now think about restarting, and indeed I know that Literature 3 and Latin 1 intend to do so. Other sedentary indoor groups may wish to also consider this but only if there is a desire among those members to do so. Venues are starting to open, or at least propose opening, but some are initially laying down conditions that are going to be very difficult to meet, such as U3A members being responsible for cleaning before and after their hire period! We are going to discuss this with the venues to see if a more reasonable approach can be found. If you hear that a certain venue is now open for business, please bear with us while we sort out the detail of the contract they are proposing.
Newsletter – as indicated last month, the newsletter was very short because of the lack of articles. An opportunity here may be for individual groups to expand their monthly reports into an article about their activities, past or present, to showcase their group. Maybe the Writing for Fun group could submit some short stories; maybe there is a member who loves cryptic (or ordinary) crosswords who could submit one; maybe the “Creative Crafts” groups could describe one of their projects; maybe the “Gardening” group could offer monthly “jobs to do in the garden” tips; maybe, maybe…the opportunities are endless! Please seriously consider this so that our editors have the headache of too much copy rather than too little…there is always next month’s edition if space is filled.
Lastly, I know that many of you are not keen on video-conferencing, and I know that the monthly Tuesday meetings may have slipped from your diary, but please reconsider. The monthly meetings are up and running, albeit via Zoom, and the speakers are just as good as the live ones we have had in the past. Indeed, many of them are the same ones who had been booked to present live to us. See you on the third Tuesday of each month at 2.30pm.