My dives today did not turn out be so much fun after all. The problem was that I was using all kinds of new equipment and it took the entire first dive to get the problems taken care of. In a way I am glad that I had a difficult time. It made me realize how the new students must feel on their first dive. It is not that I forgot how my first dive went. For me, my very first open water dive went well with no real problems. However, today I experienced a number of problems that I have noticed that some of my students have.
This situation had me thinking of a documentary program that I saw about how some new doctors are trained. Somewhere in their process of becoming doctors, the students were "admitted" as patients and had all kinds of procedures performed on them. Not only that, they were subjected to many of the mundane hospital routine type things, like being waken at 4 am for a sponge bath and to have the sheets changed. The purpose of this immersion into the world of patients was to help the fledgling doctors understand what it feels like to be a patient - and obviously to try to get them to treat their patients with respect and understanding. I do not know how widespread this type of immersive training is in medical school, but it seems like a novel idea that might have a good effect.
New divers, have a lot of task loading going on. New equipment, unfamiliar surroundings and trying to remember everything that was learned in class and pool. Sometimes it is good for an instructor to have a bit of reality check to be able to better identify the stresses that new students experience.