This afternoon I had a workshop, in which we were all sat down anywhere on any of the four tables. After this, each table was given an envelope. Inside this envelope contained materials and we were told to make something that all students should have in their first week of University. So, in our group (group 3 out of the 4) we were given some materials – but not as much as group 1 and 2. We tried to make a leaflet, found it really difficult, tried our best to make something to impress our new lecturer but it was so hard when every time he came over he wasn’t praising us as much as the other tables. Now, when it’s your first workshop ever, a chance to shine and show how hard you want to work and impress people, it’s extremely hard when it seems he already has favourites in the group.
At the end, however, he asked us to stand and present what we had made. Group 1 making a lovely bag which obviously Derek loved as this was his favourite group – the table that happened to have the most resources also. He marked them 9/10. Group 2’s wasn’t as good as group 1, with just a pad (which was still good by the way) and he marked them 7/10 – because they didn’t have enough resources. It came to my group which only really had paper, couple of post it notes and paper clips and marked us 4/10. Which I was so disappointed with as we tried so hard to impress Derek – and even put his hashtag at the bottom of the leaflet for extra points as we felt he didn’t like our table. But actually, it was group 4 that had it the worst with just a pencil and a post it note (plus a couple of paper clips) and he rated their group a 2/10.
After asking us how it went, how we felt, how was the task. Group 3 and 4 agreed it was hard and felt like we hadn’t done a good job. Whilst groups 1 and 2 had a great time. Derek finally explained to us that it’s not fair to give different people different resources and expect us all to come out with the same thing. When helping others as a lecturer (or a student) that people don’t have the same things and do come from different backgrounds – and that’s’ okay.
Today, I was given a reminder that equality is not the same as equity. That everyone here is given the same starting line, and no one is put into an unfair position or disadvantage.