Dear Chichester U3A member,

One Size does not fit All

When I started teaching in 1970, all 30 children in my classes were the same, same ability, same aptitude, same outlook etc….. or so I thought at the time as a young, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed teacher. I was to discover and learn that this is not so and over the years adapted my teaching accordingly. One size does not fit all.
Over the years, I have taught many children with disabilities, some quite obvious and outwardly easy to spot and identify. Lily, my first blind child, what an amazing character she was and we all learned much from having her in the classroom. She had a devoted best friend who from choice never left her side. One day I found Lily squashed up in a corner of the classroom while all other children had gone out to play. She said she couldn’t walk across the floor because Millie, her friend had told her the floor was covered in bees and she would be stung if she tried. Millie had gone out to play without her. Testing boundaries and having a bit of fun, Millie knew it was funny and also a wee bit naughty, but we did all laugh eventually, including Lily. More class discussions arose from this and many other similar events. So many lessons we all learned from having Lily enriching our lives.
I also had to remember to use appropriate language when wearing the special microphone to enable my deaf child to hear what I was saying to the class and always remember to turn it off when in the staffroom…if any of you have ever been in a school staffroom, you will know why this was essential!
Disability comes in many forms and the two mentioned are just two obvious examples. However there are also many hidden ones and some would not have been identified many years ago when we ourselves were at school. One of these is Dyslexia, a hidden disability. It doesn’t go away and it can’t be cured, but we can acknowledge it and help those with Dyslexia, by showing patience and finding ways of helping them with coping strategies.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability and affects areas of the brain that process language. People with dyslexia will most likely have normal intelligence and usually have normal vision.
Though there’s no cure for dyslexia and early assessment and intervention result in the best outcome. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn’t recognised until adulthood, but it’s never too late to seek help or develop coping strategies.

Dyslexia signs in adults are similar to those in children. Some common dyslexia signs and symptoms in adults include:

  • Difficulty reading, including reading aloud
  •  Slow and labour-intensive reading and writing
  • Problems spelling
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading
  • Mispronouncing names or words, or problems retrieving words
  •  Trouble understanding jokes or expressions that have a meaning not easily understood from the specific words (idioms), such as “piece of cake” meaning “easy”
  •  Spending an unusually long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
  •  Difficulty summarising a story
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  •  Difficulty memorising
  • Difficulty doing maths problems

Ref: The Mayo Clinic USA

Everyone’s experience of dyslexia will be individual to them but there are common indicators. A cluster of these indicators alongside abilities in other areas could suggest dyslexia.
Do you:

  • Confuse visually similar words such as cat and cot
  • Spell erratically
  • Find it hard to scan or skim text
  • Read/write slowly
  • Need to re-read paragraphs to understand them
  • Find it hard to listen and maintain focus
  • Find it hard to concentrate if there are distractions
  • Feel sensations of mental overload/switching off
  • Have difficulty telling left from right
  • Get confused when given several instructions at once
  • Have difficulty organising thoughts on paper
  • Often forget conversations or important dates
  • Have difficulty with personal organisation, time management and prioritising tasks
  • Avoid certain types of work or study
  • Find some tasks really easy but unexpectedly challenged by others
  • Have poor self-esteem, especially if dyslexic difficulties have not been identified in earlier life

Ref: British Dyslex!a Association

I was mindful of this as an interesting subject to highlight, as we have many U3A activities, events and groups where a member with Dyslexia may have difficulties and not wish to share this or to ask for help. The link below may be of interest to anyone wanting to further their learning on this subject.

Signs of Dyslexia

Thank goodness we are all different. The world would be a very dull place if we were all identical. Those of you who attended the fascinating talk given by Dr Sue Bowler, our first Zoom monthly meeting, will know why I can now explain my penchant for blue streaks in my hair, by claiming to be a Martian!
One size does not fit all!

Have a lovely weekend.
Maureen Doyle
Chichester U3A Chair

Supporting your basic digital needs

Do you have a neighbour or relative who is stumped by Skype? Exhausted by emails? Anxious about online shopping?
Perhaps they haven’t got around to reading or listening to books from our free eLibrary yet because they aren’t confident in setting up the app on their smartphone, tablet or computer?
Please let them know that they can call our special Remote Digital Support helpline on 0330 222 3455, Monday – Friday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, to be paired up with a library volunteer who will offer support for a basic digital need.
Whatever the issue, you can also email us at library.digital.support@westsussex.gov.uk. Our brilliant Digital Volunteers are ready and waiting to help you – or someone you know!

The next U3A Quiz!

The next U3A quiz will be on Tuesday 4th August

We need to keep numbers manageable, so the number of attendees will be limited to 20. You can enter singly or with the person with whom you are in isolation! We will take names on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you would like to join us please email the quiz organiser giving your name(s) and I’ll get back to you with confirmation of your booking.
We will admit attendees from the Zoom Waiting Room in time for a 7.30 pm start. There will be 5 rounds of 10 questions each.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Hope you’re all keeping well

Desbina

Monthly meetings by Zoom

Yesterday’s talk was by Sue Bowler, and entitled “Meet the neighbours: exploring the solar system”. This comprised a quick guide to the planets and their satellites and their wide variety of features. The wide variety of environments in which life on earth prospers encourages belief that life might be found in the seemingly hostile environments found in some of our neighbours. The talk also mentioned the comet Neowise currently to be found in northern skies in the early morning (2:30 was mentioned).(If you do go out for a look at that time, you will also get good views of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in southern skies. If it isn’t cloudy.)

 

The attendance was very good: according to our Zoommeister (Peter Hill) “We had 76 Zoom participants and I was able to count at least 28 who had 2 persons on the one zoom, so I estimate we had approx 104 attendees.” It also had good reviews; here is one:

Our first monthly Zoom meeting had the perfect technological carry through as 100-plus of us sat back in easy chairs and voyaged through space calling on our nearest planets with high-flying astronomer Sue Bowler, an impressively knowledgeable and cheerful Leeds-based companion. Imagination and theory were brought down to earth. Mars, for instance, she thought would be “homely”, and the whole journey was pitched bang on the wavelength for everyone – with curiosity and optimism. Terry Timblick

What is more, if you would like to view a recording of the meeting, contact Peter

After yesterday’s very successful talk, you will surely want to make a note of the next few Monthly Meetings:

  • Thursday, August 20th, 2020 – 2 p.m. Ian Currie – “Weather Lore – fact or fiction”
  • Thursday, September 17th – 2 p.m. Ian Keable – “History of cartoon from William Hogarth to Private Eye” – possible doubt on date
  • Thursday, October 15th – 2 p.m. – Alan Kinshott – “History of the Tower of London”
  • Thursday, November 19th – 2 p.m. – Bill Avenell – “The physical geography of West Sussex and how it has affected settlement,
    planning, farming, communications, flooding and other environmental issues.”

Further details of the talks will be given in the Bulletin and on the Events pages in due course.

Groups News

U3A REPORT – FELPHAM BRIDGE GROUP July 2020

How different everything has become since our last report. Of course, with four players sitting closely across a one metre table, and handling a succession of shared cards, our meetings at Felpham Village Hall came to an abrupt end on Wednesday the 11th March. At the same time, the latest “Basic Bridge for Beginners” course had to be curtailed when only halfway through its allocated 20 sessions. At this point, the active mailing list for this group numbered 43 members of Chichester, Bognor Regis and Arun West U3A branches along with five who have no email. Of these, the weekly turn-out had been increasing so that, one week we had eight full tables of four. Naturally, there was much disappointment and frustration all round while more urgent considerations took over and we started to assess the new realities of life.
Needless to say, for some people, this was just a challenge to be met with a mixture of imagination, cooperation, inventiveness and sheer determination. Bridge is much too interesting a game to be simply given up and then there was the friendly fellowship within the group which would suffer if contact were lost. Accordingly, we have continued our weekly ‘news’ email to all members of the FBG, containing a “Set Hand”, which of course cannot be played together at table, but is now presented as a sort of quiz. More to the point is some 18 of our number have learned to Zoom and to play Bridge online. As a result, we can have four full tables playing ‘virtual Bridge’ on a Wednesday afternoon. In addition, members are arranging their own ‘friendly fours’ to play on other days.
To be honest the Zoom does not seem to have been adopted widely by our group although it has enabled our Chichester members to attend the AGM and the subsequent EGM. Another benefit was that the February Beginners course was actually completed after lockdown, using Zoom. The two stalwart members who saw it through to the end are now playing regularly with us online.
Given this new situation and hoping to keep in touch with all our bridge players, all those who attended the recent Beginners courses have been ‘adopted’ as temporary members of the Felpham Bridge Group and so our mailing list has grown to 53.
We would welcome any more Bridge players who would like to join us. Under the present circumstances, there are unlimited vacancies. Please contact us through the Group Co-ordinator.

Clive Grinyer July 2020

————- ♠ —————

Here is a sample Set Hand as sent weekly to the Felpham Bridge Group

SET HAND CG Q16(a) Dealer N NO VUL
NORTH(hcp 12_ltc 9)
J 3 2
A 6 5
4 3 2
A Q J 10
WEST EAST
Q 10 6 5 4
10 9 8 7 Q J
Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5
4 3 9 8 7 6 5
SOUTH (hcp 20_ltc 4)
A K 9 8 7
K 4 3 2
 A K
K 2

How would you bid and play this hand?  What is West’s best lead?

BIDDING West North East South
NORTH
 NORTH
 NORTH

Answers available to FBG members only.

A Guide to Zoom by the Webmaster
Various groups, the committee, and now the AGM have all been conducted successfully through the medium of Zoom. We, therefore, confirm that using Zoom to keep groups going is viable – and more than viable, it’s fun, and entirely coronavirus safe! So we can confirm that it is definitely a direction that other groups, especially discussion type groups, should consider trying out. To that end I have produced a beginner’s guide to using Zoom, starting with how to download the App to your computer and open a Zoom account, and progressing through how to find your Zoom friends and how to join a meeting of your group, through to how to host a meeting for your group. (Only one member of the group has to master the last item! – and it doesn’t have to be the group leader.) Alternatively, visit the coronavirus page on the Chichester U3A website and follow the link for the beginner’s guide, and let me know how you get on with Zoom. If you get stuck and need some advice get in touch.
Ray Davies (Webmaster)
PS When you click on the links to the beginner’s guide, it may appear not to work: in fact, the file may have been downloaded to your computer.

Ideas from the National U3A

  • According to SUN, two new national study days have been arranged by HQ for the Autumn (Van Gogh: A Fresh Look, at the National Gallery and U3A at the Royal Institution), while a postponed study day on Japanese Cinema may take place sometime later this year as well. We shall see, shan’t we.
  • Meanwhile, the U3A continues to put forward good ideas and activities to occupy ourselves, such as Exercise Videos, Maths Challenges, Birdwatching, Creative Writing and Mindfulness. Details of all these can be found here.
  • A new project is the Creative Covid Collaboration. This new project will celebrate how U3A members have been using craft techniques to connect, learn together and support each other during Covid-19. NEW
  • Make a note of the Online Interactive TalkHow do I get published?“: an interactive session on Zoom about how to get your work published including the main routes to publication.  Thursday 23rd July at 14:30. Book at the link above. NEW
  • ONLINE EVENTS Two of these have been arranged to date, one remains: follow the links for more details and to book. I infer some charge may be made for later online events.Discovering Children’s Literature  from the British Library on July 23rd
  • ONLINE TUTORIALS
    Four of these have been set up to date, here, of which three are:
    Introduction to Zoom
    Zoom for Hosting Group Meetings
    Running Large Meetings and Virtual AGMs 

  • Here’s a great video of U3A Life under Lockdown
  • You can find out more about national U3A activities by subscribing to the weekly newsletter here.

If you wish to unsubscribe from the Bulletin emails, please contact the membership secretary with subject “Unsubscribe from Bulletin”. This will not affect other email communications with the U3A. Please do NOT put the bulletin emails into spam! 🙁

Please send me a message via the usual channels if you wish to have some item of U3A news put in the Bulletin. Likewise, if you have some constructive suggestions as to how to improve the Bulletin. Best wishes, David Rees 😎
The Constitution of the Chichester U3A is available to view here, and its Terms of Use here.
Enquiries If you wish to write to the Chichester U3A, then the correspondence address is: U3A Chichester, Box 809, Mailboxes Etc., 26 The Hornet, CHICHESTER, PO19 7BB
If there is an urgent matter that needs to be discussed then call 07460 109600, or contact the membership secretary .
Bulletin 200717