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.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mastery Year 1: Part 4: Post 6: Identification

Rather unexpectedly, I have a new teacher--June. I've been doing a lot of workshops and things with the novices, and now I've started doing programs for the campers, too. They do farm work in the morning and then, after lunch, can choose among a variety of activities, from archery and arts and crafts, to natural history and science activities, and even free, unsupervised play. The natural history and science part is me--or, partly me, anyway. Only, I've never had training in programming for children before. So June is training me.

The advantage to this is we get to spend more time together, but I admit it's pretty weird, changing roles like this.

I like how I get a new crop of kids every week. That means I can try the same workshops over and over again, analyzing my performance and fixing my perspective--with the help of June and Sharon. I'm teaching tracking, plant identification, map and compass, fire construction, and Leave No Trace. I also do programs where I dissect owl pellets, talk about bones and skeletal anatomy, and another talk about feathers. I'm thinking of doing Dissect a Groundhog, though that's going to have to be demonstration only, for safety reasons. And I'm not sure how I want to explain Charlie hunting groundhogs to these kids. About half my programs are my idea, but for the others I'm using outlines developed by other people in previous years. Most of these things are short, and each week I'm getting better and better at them.

Meanwhile, I continue teaching Charlie what I learned in grad school. We've finished my first year, now, and are on to my second. He still wants me to at least try to teach everything from grad school in my workshops, too, but of course a lot of it doesn't really work that well. I'm glad for the exercise it's educational, and there are surprises, but a lot of my rad school material just doesn't translate well. The students here aren't interested, and I get very low attendance. But a few people do show up, and they know why I'm doing this so they don't hold it against me. They give me very useful feedback, and then I use the dregs of those workshops to put together things that really do work for this audience. And my attendance for those is pretty good.

And every day I'm writing. Now I'm editing, too. And my poems are getting better. I mean, my poems are getting better through editing, which I hadn't thought was possible for poetry, but here I am, doing it. And I also mean that my first drafts are improving. My thoughts, I guess, are getting clearer and more focused, and I'm getting a better grasp of what I want to do when I sit down to wite. My soul is indeed clarifying, I guess.

So I'm doing well, everything is going along ok, I'm succeeding at everything I try, and I should be thrilled.

And yet I have this feeling. It's tight and hot and dark. It'd distracting, but it also keeps me focused. It's persistent. It's growing, I think. I remember what Allen taught me about naming my feelings based on my bodily sensations and spontaneous thoughts.

This feeling is called anger.

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