[Live] IP Study Hall: Sat 3/17/2018 8pm EST

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5 years 8 months ago #319422 by
First off, apologies for the bumpy start. Mis-matching summertime zone changes meant some will have arrived for the chat “on time” and yet another cohort of people, including myself as host, also arrived “on time”, but an hour later. I’ve troubleshooted the mix up now. My affection for Bob Marley overwhelmed my judgement, and I selected “Jamaica” for my EST location… where there IS no summertime… This shouldn’t happen again... But I am easily distracted by an interesting place, or country.

Questions from the community
We had a nice bunch of questions from the community come in for our IP Study Hall folks to answer. I would like to encourage these for the next session, as they really help build bridges across the community; even when people cannot attend.

1) What were your experiences on first joining the temple? Was there anything you can see that could have been improved to make you feel more welcome?

First experiences on joining the temple were overwhelmingly positive. If you felt you needed some Jedi Love, you folks should come to the next IP Study Hall session; the vibe was really good. Some folks present are still guests doing IP, some are Members, working on the first IP lesson, and some are Initiates already. The community is considered “great”; A good environment full of support and great people to make friends and connect with. One participant’s only regret was not having found the site sooner! Well done Temple!

People felt especially welcomed when:
- Someone engaged in chat.
- An invite was sent to them to join a community group.
- They were reached out to.
- They saw that others were behaving in a friendly way through their writing and replies.
- They were able to participate in a Live Event at the temple

There was a sense that a lot of different members made the welcome, but there was not much “official” contact. A creative response was to send a member card (mlessem has volunteered to share his experiences on this front) but a simpler improvement could be a welcome e-mail when the membership application is processed, with date of joining for future reference. I have put a motion to the council secretary requesting a official welcome e-mail with link to the IP team/sponsor thread.

2) What's the section on IP that you've completed so far that has helped you the most in life? Which bit did you enjoy the most?

Some members have only started on the IP journey, so can’t comment too fully on the whole IP process, however Campbell was seen as enjoyable, and changed perspectives on “stories”. The "Bliss" section has been one that has engaged me very deeply. After lesson 1 there was a sense of resilience for some, that the point is to work on ourselves, to be who we want to be, rather than relying on others for approval or direction. Others found Lesson two more interesting, because every section of Watt’s book was seen as building on the last; while Campbell was seen as more repetitive. Other leapt ahead to Lesson 3, to begin a meditation practice. (Personally I’ve found the essays and/or personal tools most “useful” and doctrine or world religions possibly most enjoyable; but I’m not done with any of these sections yet – all works in progress)

3) As you work through the IP do you ever find yourself distracted by the debates or arguments in the forum? Do you find this impacts negatively on your progress?

Some Novices don’t look at the forums at all while working the IP, to keep answers personal, or felt that they must have missed them completely. But others found that their initial "honeymoon" period was up, and the negative aspects of conflict were not so much distracting as disheartening. This may be particularly true for those who came for the community more than the curriculum. Some felt care must be taken not to remove the creative vibrancy and diversity of the community, but that kindness was important. Some novices saw arguments going in the forum when looking for interesting threads, but while it was sad to see, it didn’t discourage them personally from working on the IP, because wonderful things also happen in the forum.

>>>> The IP Study Hall addressed the subject of motivation again, with the question of what could help people in remaining past those first tricky 3 to 4 weeks?

The general feeling was that the IP itself was not to blame for the engagement drop-off; rather that there was drop off when people realised the workload involved, and the path to an apprenticeship, let alone knighthood, was long. The IP content is seen as engaging and resonates spiritually with many. People felt motivated when they were left a “thank you” on their thread, or they knew someone had read their posts. This role is seen to be best done by IP team; though most new arrivals are unaware of their existence. A welcome e-mail could contain a link to the thread of IP Sponsors, or a new thread that explains what they do and who to contact to request one for assistance.

Ask me Anything
There weren’t any specific requests for an Knight as a volunteer for an Ask Me Anything session; but the “missing half” of the “After IP” chat on the Seminary Programme was taken up by Rosalyn_J, who made this post during the chat.

Should Journals be a particular way?
The conclusion was that there were no particular requirements for journals, other than that they are not copied and have enough content to demonstrate an understanding fo the topics covered; however since the chat occurred a new thread hosted by Kit

The sermon section varied in how well it was received – lots of people liked them, or the idea of them, but felt less inclined to read the text. Members were more excited by audio or video Sermon versions. Many did not realise there was an audio sermon thread. One member mentioned that the existence of sermons was one of the reasons she came.

>>>> Yet again, the IP Study Hall bubbled over into ideas on temple life, and how it might be easier for folks to integrate.

Temple Calendar
Knowing what events are coming up in the temple was seen as a really good way to engage and stay motivated, but the temple calendar was hard to find. It was requested that a link for this be placed on the top bar. I have sent an agenda point to the council secretary regarding this.

Temple Map
We have no physical temple, but some Jedi would be happy to welcome other temple members into their homes once they’ve got to know one another a bit. A Temple map was suggested, either different from the map here or an additional layer on top of it for members willing to host. Manami volunteered her skills here. I have written to the council secretary asking for approval.

There was a desire for guidance on how Guest, member, and novice temple visitors might be able to assist in helping the temple run. A welcome team was mentioned, but it was unclear who ran this. Many people have skills that may have been going unrecognised, while also hearing many complaints that there was just too much to do. There are barriers that I notice: It is tricky to start Special Interest Groups in the community pages without knowing a knight to contact to do so. Another idea that is similar to having an IP sponsor, but an alternative, less “educational” provision might be to have an IP buddying system, where two or three novices subscribe to each other’s journal threads and post encouraging PMs to one another as they go. I have sent an agenda point to the Council secretary regarding this.

There was a lot of excitement about glow-in-the-dark TotJO wristbands. Mlessem volunteered his experience and contacts on this front. I have messaged the Merchandising officer, Br. John, about this offer, and hopefully a conversation will be sparked.

For those who were present, and those whose toes I have trodden on
Once again thank you so much for you time, and the encouragement that you are each sharing with one-another. Two members posted journal entries as we chatted, and I hope this motivation keeps rolling. This post is effectively of memory and bits of PMs I’ve received; my note-taking was woeful on the spoken discussion (pen failure!) So do feel free to add your thoughts to this thread and correct my writings where they’re wrong - I can only edit this post for an hour; so *shrugs* we’ll have to live with my interpretation of events if you don’t speak up! Please PM me if you have issues, and keep this thread free for productive discussions. You have my thanks.

So when’s the next one? I want in!
The next IP Study Hall chat will be on Saturday 4/21/2018 8pm EST, force willing. Looking forward to getting to know you there. Invite new members to join these chats! In the meantime, keep your thoughts flowing; my mailbox is open, and I’ll be gathering ideas for discussion until then.

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