To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Year 3: Part 1: Post 6: Talks and Seminars

We're running around going to events and talks and workshops now, of course. That's what we do in February, but I haven't mentioned it because I'm kind of used to the schedule, but of course you, the reader, can't see an ordinary day being ordinary unless I describe it for you.

I think I explained the basics before, but I'd better recap just in case.

Talks, seminars, and workshops are all mini-classes and they usually carry academic credit. A workshop meets four times (usually for about three hours each time) and carries one credit, a seminar meets twice and carries half a credit, and a talk meets just once and carries a quarter credit. The idea is if you go to a whole swarm of related mini-classes, that's as good as one big class.

During the school year they offer a couple of these mini classes a week, usually in the evenings or on Saturday. The masters teach some of them, I suppose for a change of pace, but mostly they're taught by allies or current students--the mastery candidates especially gain teaching experience that way.

But between Brigid and Ostara, there are no regular classes, just mini classes. Part of it is for the new students, since a lot of these talks and so forth are about how the school works or are designed specifically so the yearlings can get to know the masters a bit before choosing classes for the spring semester. And of course, part of the reason for doing it this way is to give the masters time to design course schedules and figure out how much advanced standing credit each new student has--we never know for sure who is going to enroll, so we can't sort all that out ahead of time as most schools do.

So, anyway, most of these things are really for the new students, which is why I skipped most of them last year, but there are some that are for senior students, or that I just didn't get to take before, and they look interesting. There's a lot of these things, usually at least three or four different things to choose from for every class block, so there's no way you could ever do them all.

And it's an opportunity to get to know some of the mastery candidates a bit better, since they're doing a lot of the teaching. I'm curious about them. For whatever reason, I want to hang out more with them than with the new yearlings.

For example, Egg. He's a mastery candidate who returned last year. He's a certified nurse, but he's studying to go deeper into the intangible aspects of healing, plus learning how to integrate self-care with his caring for others. Last year, when I got a bad cold and had to stay in bed for a day or two, he took care of me. He insisted I stay in bed, fixed my schedule so I could, fetched me herbal tea and extra blankets, and just kind of hung around and kept me company. Being sick is very boring, especially if you're too sick to read or even day-dream, as I was.

At one point he said something about how no one talks to candidates--they don't usually take classes with novices, and there's kind of a cultural divide that keeps them separate. And he said so nobody would talk to him now. I tried to tell him that I would, but I wasn't really coherent. And guess what? After I recovered I hardly talked to him.

So I'm making a point now of attending his talks and so forth. They're all on basic disease-prevention--one included an actual lesson on proper hand-washing technique--but he makes it interesting, and anyway it's obviously useful. And I figure attending is a friendly thing to do.

So, in honor of Egg, whom I should have talked to more last year, here are his top five Things To Do for good health. He keeps coming back to these in his talks, over and over.

1. The most important factor in your health is YOU. There's some genetics and some luck involved,
but it's YOUR body, so YOU have to take responsibility for taking care of it.
2. Preventative medicine is the best medicine.
3. Do NOT ignore symptoms. If something doesn't feel right, get it checked out now, before it gets worse and turns serious.
4. Give kids fresh, healthy food and plenty of time to play actively outside.
5. Number 4 goes for adults, too.

I'm now going to follow principle #5 and go play outside.

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