Questions for educ admin and council

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5 years 7 months ago #320748 by

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.

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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5 years 7 months ago #320749 by

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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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #320750 by
We got a green light from Alex for this month, just working on a date and then I'll kick a thread going.

Thanks for this list Senan, it will help me know where to look/who to ask for things - it's a much more usefully condensed resource than my IP Lesson Zero answers! We've already had Atticus on "After IP" and Rosalyn J on "Clergy". It will be good to hear from Alex about "Education" now.
Last edit: 5 years 7 months ago by . Reason: Ooops. Overlyfamiliar use of names - would make no sense to a lot of readers!

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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #320753 by Adder

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: Why is there no published policy and procedure manual for apprenticeship?

Previously it was up to the Mentor and Council to manage this so the Apprentice didn't have to know or worry about any of it besides who to link up with at the beginning. The Apprentice focus was meant to be only on the task at hand, not the process. So it was generally Knight only level information about the details of making it all work behind the scenes, but since you asked.... the rather boring procedure is at;

Moving forward, I'd suggest the solution is to stop using the A. Div as a requirement for the Apprenticeship as that is just using old language which happened to be accurate but no longer is..... as IMO it was one of two ways to represent the point workload requirement of an Apprenticeship - but no longer does since points can be gathered within the AIP/SIP. I'd just use the point requirement explicitly as the minimum work measure, much like there is/was a minimum time measure I think (though it ain't written there?). Though of course a restructure can change all of that, so the future depends on who is in charge rather then my opinions :silly:
Or alternatively not count the AIP work to a Degree but that seems a bit unusual to me, or maybe find another work measure to serve an interaction minimum as assessment of the journal alone is a bit too subjective without some hard minimums IMO, as the Council vote provides the subjective measure enough IMO.

Edit: sorry for the edit to anyone who read the original post of mine, I used the wrong law :S
Last edit: 5 years 7 months ago by Adder.
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5 years 7 months ago #320764 by
Thanks Adder, I have never seen those laws before.

This is what i mean by your mishandling of my case. The "application for Knighthood Law" clearly states that the requirements for A-div must be met before the interview is granted. This either did not happen in my case or it was ret-coned as an excuse to deny me. Now sure which but according to the story I got I was not eligible because I didnt meet the points requirements and yet I was granted an interview anyway. Also the first time through I was not asked to submit an assessment of my time here. It was not until my second attempt that it was requested I do this. The council either does not follow their own rules (Laws) or they just bend them to whatever they want at the time.

Warning: Spoiler!

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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #320775 by Adder
As said previously, this is the third time so I will try to rephrase again in the hope it makes more sense. It used to be that the stated requirement for work activity was written at the site as both a point requirement for Apprenticeship and the A. Div for Apprenticeship.... because previously they were the same thing (since an Apprenticeship was the only way to get it).

But two things happened around the time you went thru;
1. the pages stating the point requirement for Apprenticeship seemed to have been lost in various site updates over the years, leaving only the wording of the A. Div as the requirement, and
2. when the SIP/AIP came in, this created another avenue to gather points but was outside the Apprenticeship.

Those two things meant an Apprentice could be presented to Council with less then the point requirement for Apprenticeship but meeting the A. Div point requirement. If you can get that point then you might get what happened.

This circumstance was new, and not expected probably by Council or the people running the SIP/AIP.

So me as Council Secretary, being the person doing most all comms and organization of member admin in Council at the time, I elected to put your application forward with the question to clarify this new point issue. Because yours was the first to highlite this issue AFAIK.

It took a bit of time in Council to clarify the point position of Council (being the points needed to be done within the Apprenticeship for the Apprenticeship), and by the time that you'd progressed to the voting phase of the process. So, where things fell was you needed more points, but when you asked why you didn't get voted in you got an answer as to why people voted the way they did. Even if you'd been voted as acceptable you might not have gotten it until completing more lessons. I chose this path not because it was easier (I had to organize interviews and run the process)..... as it turns out it would have been easier for me to do nothing and wait until the decision was made BUT that would have run the risk of taking much longer as things were taking a lot of time to progress in Council most of the time and it was sometimes like trying to push a large rock uphill in there to get things done which I could not do myself. I'm not sure why the TM left, or what comms youz had with Councillors, so to me it was as simple as doing a few more lessons.
Last edit: 5 years 7 months ago by Adder.
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