Questions for educ admin and council

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23 Apr 2018 15:38 #320729 by Senan
Kyrin - you and I have spoken about some of this already, but I will reiterate here that your questions are valid ones and they are being seriously considered by Councillors. There was, in fact, quite a bit of confusion among ourselves about exactly how the IP, AIP (SIP), Knighthood, and A.DIV/B.Div degrees all function in relation to one another. It would seem that it was done a certain way in the past and there were certain intentions for how it should evolve, but things have instead gone in a variety of other directions that have resulted in confusion and conflict. We're trying to wade through all of this now and determine how to move forward without cheating anyone currently doing the work or creating too much of an upheaval all at once.

As for a record of your studies, your journals do serve as a record of your work that can be reviewed at anytime by anyone who needs to. I do understand, though, that this doesn't constitute a record of what you have actually been given credit for toward a degree. That is something that has been most recently handled by the TMs, and it hasn't been handled the same way by all of us. I, personally, use an excel spreadsheet that keeps track of any and all assignments I hand out and the points earned for each one upon completion. It includes points awarded toward the IP, A.DIv, and B.Div. Upon reaching each point requirement, I submit my lesson plan and the spreadsheet outlining the points I have awarded to EduAdmin who reviews and either approves it or asks me to assign additional work. I have no problem sharing this info with my students if they ask at anytime, and I keep it stored as a record for future reference.

While this also aides in determining my Apprentices' readiness for Knighthood by showing what subject matter they have studied, it does not have anything to do with determining whether or not they are ready to be Knighted. That is a personal judgement call that I have to make and then submit my evidence of it to Council for review. A combination of journal review and an interview should be enough to convince the Council that my judgment was correct and the rank should be awarded. If not, that is an error in judgment on my part as the TM and I have the responsibility to address it appropriately or appeal to the Council to change their decision.

I realize you know a lot of this already, but I thought it might be of benefit to others reading this as well.

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23 Apr 2018 15:56 - 23 Apr 2018 16:00 #320730 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Carlos.Martinez3 wrote: @kyrin
Were your questions answered ?


I don’t know. I feel like this thread took a turn for the weird. Part of it was my fault. My frustrations in getting an answer may have over animated some of my comments. :P

The last I heard of the Pax Templi it was to be published over a month ago. So my assumption was that it was ready. Now Alex, you say it is not ready yet?

When I talked about the policy and procedure manual for apprenticeship I am not talking about a lesson plan. In fact the manual should define that a lesson plan is what the knight and apprentice decide works. But it should also contain details like we are discussion here, - what is the AIP and how does it apply to degrees, how degrees do not grant automatic Knighthood and how some A-divs might be able to teach in a limited capacity. That’s the sort of things I am talking about. Most people do not know these things because they are not published anywhere.

As for the whining comment, I am not whining and I’m not sure why that was necessary. I was simply asking some questions about the state of affairs here that stemmed from another conversation we were having.

Alex, I was not speaking of the adiv when I made the comment about mishandling my case. I was talking about mostly the lack of communication and the subsequent misunderstandings that were incurred as a result. Of course this was not on you alone. I could not get a satisfactory answer from anyone at the time, I think mostly because everyone had a different idea of what was going on because there was no process and procedures. Plus the fact that Alan had left and that put me in a vacuum and then I felt I was just assigned stuff at random to get me to go away.


Thanks Senan for your reply. I thought there might be some interest in these questions as far as the general populace goes so that is the reason I started the thread. The only major issue I see with what you wrote is the fact that the journal serves as the record alone. Maybe it does not matter but how you assign points to that record would be different than another knight. You have actually said that as well. So what happens if a time ever comes when someone earning an adiv is challenged? I think this was actually what happened in my case. Alan assigned me points for lots of stuff and those points were challenged and knocked back down. What happens if 5 years from now someone challenges an adiv degree? How do we know what points were assigned and why they were assigned if there is no transcript associated with the journal?

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23 Apr 2018 16:08 #320731 by Kit

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: Thanks twigga, but do you agree with this attitude?

These people take on a leadership role and with that role comes responsibility. They love the idea of the mantle of responsibility and they bask in the glory of their worship by others but when they fail to fulfill that responsibility to the people they just become another bloated glory hungry politician drunk on power.

All I hear over and over is how much the council does for us, how much they sacrifice. Well it's bullshit if it does not translate to prosperity of the membership. It Is just glory mongering. I'm sick of them telling us how much they do, I want them to show us how much they do!! Demand and we will rebel, but prove it to us and we will believe!!!



I know this was directed at Twigga but I felt maybe I could answer some of this from my perspective. I do love the responsibility in that I enjoy feeling useful. I feel that I'm fulfilling a role that I have skill for, I'm interested in, is beneficial, needed, and worthwhile. It's a role I can learn a lot in and grow in. But there's no basking or worship. There's some thanks which keeps me going. But a lot of what we get are general attacks against "Council" that make me feel that most forget we're individual people. I know I felt that way when I was upset at Council before I got in.

But I have been...not so much failing, but not living up to the potential I know I can do and I had intended. If it wasn't for the fact I believe this is a temporary situation that has taken most of my attention, I would step down. I know that most of what I've been able to give so far are words. And it's frustrating to me that I can't give more right now. I took a serious look at my time before I took even the Advisor's seat but things changed on me and I had ignored how sick I actually was and am.

There is a lot that needs work around here. And not enough willing hands to do it. When I sit back and look at everything that I want to take on, everything that I want to fix, it's so overwhelming I'm crushed. I don't know where to start. In my work, when we take care of only emergencies that crop up instead of the day-to-day tasks, we spent the day "putting out fires". But there's so many fires burning here, and it feels like there's people just throwing more fuel into them, that I feel like this:



I don't feel the need to tote around the idea that I sacrifice for this position. It's a lot of work, and I do put in a lot of time when I can. But it's a job I took knowing it would be demanding. And it was a job I felt was worthwhile to do. But I am rather disillusioned by things here. It's really hard to get things done. There's so much to do that everyone has their pet projects and the support we get for them (even from each other) is slippery. I know in my case it's because I still think I have more capabilities than I do so I'll make a promise to do something and find it slipping through my fingers. It's this reason that the Pax is moving so slowly. I think it's extremely important for us to have it, but any time I get a chance to be online, there's another fire to take care of, or something else more pressing presents itself.

I'm really sorry hun. I wish I had a better answer for your frustrations. I can really only answer for me and my situation. I'm afraid to offer because I really feel I can do a lot of good as a Councilor, but if there's a majority of folks who feel I'm not up to par, I'll step down. I want this place to be the best it can be. You all deserve that.
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23 Apr 2018 16:15 #320733 by Senan
My answer to the Pax Templi question is in the other thread HERE

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23 Apr 2018 16:19 #320734 by Wescli Wardest
Kyrin,

The differing Degree schemes were never built to operate or be in conjuncture with any other scheme going on at TotJO.
When it was all put together in the beginning different people thought there should be this and that and were given the autonomy to move forward on their own. This is because there was not a lot of structure at the time. Just a lot of dedicated people with their own ideas of how things might go or should be.

After time some left and others filled their roles or new roles were created out of thin air. Each with yet another idea of how things needed to work but still the underlying issue was not addressed.

People want to explore the areas and paths that interest them and that’s fine. But until there is a unifying structure that ties all the different areas of TotJO together, this is what you’re going to get.

And a constant question was always, “what do we do with the people that are already, fill in the blank?”

Imagine a large vehicle with each wheel pointed in a completely different direction. That is Council. Some will work very hard to keep things going but because they are only one wheel they are never going to get any traction. Some are just there because it’s cool. Not purposefully hindering the vehicle but because they have their own direction and won’t turn in any one direction other than theirs… still doesn’t help. So the whole thing makes a lot of noise and tries new things but ultimately it just spurting and revving and spinning tires going nowhere but spinning in place.

Don't get me wrong, there are people on Council that really care. And they try! Some of them at least LOL :lol:

At least that is the Council I knew for years and years. Who knows, maybe things are different. But looking at the forums and the announced proposals and changes… I’d say not.

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23 Apr 2018 16:32 #320735 by Senan
I'll echo what Kit has said above, and also agree with the assessment Wescli is making. We are volunteers who care about this place, but there is only so much we can do as individuals. Most of us also care very much about improving the world around us and making a difference in our own spheres of influence outside of this place. And we have jobs and personal lives and our own struggles. Where we fail, others have failed before us and others will struggle in the future. It can be painful, embarrassing, and demoralizing, but we keep trying anyway. I guess there is something to be said for perserverance. :unsure:

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23 Apr 2018 20:15 #320746 by Kyrin Wyldstar
Thanks for all the comments.

So I have a question and please dont take this the wrong way. Its designed to maybe let everyone know more about the job that councilors do. I hear all the time about how councilors are always so busy "putting out fires" that they often times don't have time to undertake other duties. So what exactly are these fires? Can you give some examples? I just find it hard to believe that between 13 (now 12) councilors there is so much work with these fires that other stuff is neglected. 12 people is a LOT and I know that there are tons of support staff as well with librarians and sysadmins and greeters and liasons etc.. so what are all these fires about?

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23 Apr 2018 20:52 - 23 Apr 2018 20:57 #320747 by Twigga
Ooooh! Maybe this is a good time and place to ask if we can have an "Ask Me Anything Live Chat" perhaps with our Education Admin? I realised we didn't discuss who we'd like to ask for in the IP Study Hall this time (I forgot! Sorry!) and there hasn't been a date/session proposed for this month yet. (Happy to set that up as and when, with the green light from Alexandre). I am sure each councillor/role has it's own fires, so perhaps hearing from one perspective at a time is better than have everyone write about every decision council has to make? Will be a friendlier way to answer, in back-and-forth discussion rather than the forum... It allows for better understanding of complex roles.

I wanna know what these folks do too. I want to know about the fires and the boring admin, and the half-finished ideas no-one has time for. I just, don't think the answer in a forum post will be satisfactory.
Last edit: 23 Apr 2018 20:57 by Twigga. Reason: To add last paragraph.
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23 Apr 2018 20:57 #320748 by Senan

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: Thanks for all the comments.

So I have a question and please dont take this the wrong way. Its designed to maybe let everyone know more about the job that councilors do. I hear all the time about how councilors are always so busy "putting out fires" that they often times don't have time to undertake other duties. So what exactly are these fires? Can you give some examples? I just find it hard to believe that between 13 (now 12) councilors there is so much work with these fires that other stuff is neglected. 12 people is a LOT and I know that there are tons of support staff as well with librarians and sysadmins and greeters and liasons etc.. so what are all these fires about?


TL;DR Version: It is hard to organize twelve people across time zones and from various cultures and backgrounds in order to complete what should be simple tasks. We (Councillors) need to be more efficient and trust each other to make sound decisions independently in order to better serve our membership. This requires better organization and clear duties that we have yet to establish fully.

ELABORATE Version:
That's a fair question(s). Here's my own personal experience of it.

Being a Councillor is often like trying to herd cats. It isn't so much about having too much work to do, but actually organizing and delegating the jobs needed to be done. Between the twelve of us, we are overseeing aspects of training like reviewing IP journals, approving Apprenticeships, creating lessons, etc. There are new membership applications to review and approve and then there is the training of our own students. There is forum moderation and various chats we try to participate in. Then there is the actual administration of the website. Some jobs are exclusive to certain Councillors, but other jobs are handled by whomever decides to take it up at the time or whomever is available. It may sound strange, but having more Councillors actually sometimes makes the situation harder because everyone assumes someone else is handling something, or we have a hard time getting feedback from everyone in a timely manner because of distance, time differences, and life getting in the way. At the risk of being critical, I will also say that the majority of the daily "work" of the Temple is being done by the more active Councillors while some others remain in the background and do very little.

None of these are "fires", per se. The thing is, when I log on to the site intending to post a lesson or read a journal, I often get caught up in conversations going on in the forum that are drawing a lot of negative attention. Or I'll wake up to fifty messages about rules being broken and trouble in a forum thread that needs to be handled immediately. I'll spend time reading and rereading posts and formulating my own answers while trying to represent myself and the Council fairly. While writing a response, I'll get a message on skype asking me how I think we should handle it and then another conversation going on in WhatsApp among other Councillors with different opinions about the conversation. Eventually someone steers us back to the Council Forum where we can all discuss it in one place as a group (well, whomever happens to be available at that time). Once we've argued and disagreed and maybe decided to react to something, the actual post in question is often three pages longer and gone a whole new direction. So we start over... Sometimes we're too late to the party to do any good, or the issue just disappears when we get distracted by something else.

It really comes down to our motivations. It is a lot easier to get caught up in the things that we react to emotionally. As Councillors, we sometimes feel attacked and want to rush in to squash any criticism and defend our friends. In the moment, this feels more important than reviewing a journal or working on a Pax Templi document, so we dive into conflicts and swing ban hammers and argue symantics until we have wasted another opportunity to do real positive work. At least this is how I see my behavior and I don't think it is unfair to apply it to some others as well.

I understand how this might seem like lame excuses coming from people who volunteered for the job and had a choice in committing to it, but what seems like one small complaint or request from an individual member is actually one of a hundred small complaints or requests that we have to prioritize every day. We're not very good at this as a group, and we need to work on it. Even that is difficult when we're not always sure which Councillor is finally going to grab this issue by the balls and take charge. Too many worker bees without a boss directing us. It is a work in progress, and the progress is slow. It is often so slow that people eventually give up and leave. And we begin again.

That's my take on it, as honestly as I can share it without placing too much blame unfairly or focusing too much on the negativity. I hope this is helpful in some way.

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Apprentices: vladucard , ThomasWFaulkner , Kyrin Wyldstar
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23 Apr 2018 21:07 #320749 by Senan

Twigga wrote: Ooooh! Maybe this is a good time and place to ask if we can have an "Ask Me Anything Live Chat" perhaps with our Education Admin? I realised we didn't discuss who we'd like to ask for in the IP Study Hall this time (I forgot! Sorry!) and there hasn't been a date/session proposed for this month yet. (Happy to set that up as and when, with the green light from Alexandre). I am sure each councillor/role has it's own fires, so perhaps hearing from one perspective at a time is better than have everyone write about every decision council has to make? Will be a friendlier way to answer, in back-and-forth discussion rather than the forum... It allows for better understanding of complex roles.

I wanna know what these folks do too. I want to know about the fires and the boring admin, and the half-finished ideas no-one has time for. I just, don't think the answer in a forum post will be satisfactory.


For reference, maybe this will help focus the AMAs by Councillor based on the topic.

Clergy Stuff - RosalynJ, Atticus, Carlos
Membership Questions - MadHatter, Br John
IP Questions - MadHatter, Kit
Education/Degree Questions - Alexandre Orion
Duties of the Knight Corps - Adhara
Security/Rules - Senan, JLSpinner
Site Admin - Ren
Organization/Charity/Church Legal Questions - Br John, Atticus
Temple History - Neaj Pa Bol, Br John, Ren

All of us in Council should have a basic knowledge of each of these areas, but some questions are very specific or better answered by the Councillor most familiar with the topic in question.

I'll try to make myself available for a chat session to answer as many question as I can, or at least take down a list and direct the questions to the right people.

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