Burning Man-- Change the dates? Or not?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Would changing the dates make your life easier?

No thank you, don't change anything.
61
51%
I am a student and BM falls on the first week or two of school.
8
7%
I am a teacher/professor/educator and BM falls on the first week or two of school.
12
10%
I am a parent of a school aged child and BM falls on the first week or two of school.
12
10%
My partner is a student or educator, and the current dates make it difficult for us to attend BM.
7
6%
I would like the dates changed for other reasons.
20
17%
 
Total votes : 120

Postby Piper » Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:00 pm

Chai Guy has a great point, BUT , lets really change things, I mean we are teaching:
On an Agricultural age Calender,
An industrial age Curriculum,
With Cold War age methods,
By post Nam Instructors,
To information age Students

As an Educator, I would love to go to a year round school year. This would give you the parents and tax payers 2 choices. Do something like 45 days on and 15 days off, this meets the 180 day year for students. The shorter breaks have been proven to help student academically. they retain more over 15 days than 63. Parents can ask for vacation time during the year, not just in the summer or Christmas break. Kids that fail a quarter can repeat just that quarter and not have to fail a year. Lots of good things.

The other choice is to extend the year to a full 230-240 days, in that case just remember to add about 30 percent to my salary and forget about requiring me to take continuing education, and I will have no time to get other certifications etc.

BTW in one of the threads on this the mention was that a Ed masters was poopoo,

I have 4, Business Administration (University of Chicago), Ed Administration (New Mexico State University), History (University of New Mexico), Religious Education (St. Johns), They are in order of difficulty. I do not think , unless you are at some very screwy university, you can call an ED Masters cake. Yes you struck a nerve, for two reasons, 1 I have that degree and It was not an easy one. 2, I very aware that most education collages either are or are thought of as the easiest and least academically challenging ones on campus. MY problem is I can not bring my self to disagree, some of my fellow teacher are just plain stupid. I left business to become a teacher so I have also done both.
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Postby Piper » Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:04 pm

yeah and I still can't spell never could, just LOTS of proofing(not enough on that post though) and friends reading my stuff to make it right.
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Postby Flux » Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:10 pm

PJ wrote:The system should be set up so that people don't have an incentive to continue teaching long after their passion has disappeared.

Or set up so that teachers are encouraged and enabled to keep their passion alive...
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Postby glam_daddy » Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:16 pm

Taking the results of this poll and extrapolating it to the entire Burning Man
population is bunk. 71 people voted. That's 0.2% of the population. Try
again.


I know thats why I stated "i know im being general here.." and "just thinking out loud"

I still think a date change would work out good.
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Postby Ivy » Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:57 pm

as far as half the people coming from L.A..


I thought I mentioned eariler that “LA” was just an example,
but in case it wasn’t clear:

LA was just an example.
If the event was held in LA, it would be easier for me to attend.
If I lived in Minneapolis, I would have said, “Moving it to Minneapolis
would be easier for me.”
It was a hyperbolic rebuttal to the comment about “making BM easier to attend.”
I in no way ever intended to infer that 50% of burners live in LA.
God knows I wish most of them would move, anyway.
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Postby TestesInSac » Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:03 pm

Ivy wrote:God knows I wish most of them would move, anyway.


Do you mean to or from LA?
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Postby Stormy » Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:39 pm

Ivy wrote:
I have about 6 weeks to travel


Waaahh. Only 6 little weeks. :)

I get one. I go to BM.


That's about 7 words out of a much longer sentence. A good example of the dangers of quoting out of context.

Stormy: Imagine having your master's pulled from you for not reporting to a meeting.

Ivy: Pulling your master's is not the same as revoking your credential.


Well of course there are differences between the two, but that is so vague that it may as well have not been said.

I would also like to note that not all LA school start the day after labor day. in fact, a great deal of school in the LAUSD are year round, which offers many opportunities to have, say. August and September off.


Well of the 420+ elementary schools, the majority are traditional single track schools. As for year round schools there are two different track schemes, three and four track schools. Of the two schemes only one of the tracks at the four track school would work for my Burning Man plans. As for the three track school, only one would sort of work.

Also the time off in between tracks is about 30 days, not two months.

I've heard both sides of the arguement about teachers. I myself turned down a teaching job, not because of the work involved, but because of the bureaucrisy (sorry, i can never spell that word. Yet another reason for me not to be a teacher, i guess). My mother has taught in the LAUSD for 40 years. My father taught for about 1o years. My best friend is a teacher.
It is indeed one of the hardest jobs to do, but that doesn't mean that corporate or trade jobs are easy and we all have assistants to help us.


Are you credentialed? That's a big committment if you don't want to go into teaching. If not, the point is moot, as by state law they are no longer hiring uncredentialed teachers and are aggressively phasing out all persons holding positions without clear credentials.

When I look at the arguement for Burning Man/changing the dates, alot of people in this thread are mentioning the "I'm a student" thing rather than the "I'm a teacher" thing. A student is a temporary position. You're in college 2-5 years. So you miss BM for a few years (or you choose, as some people have already pointed out, to take your chances on getting into class, which I totally agree with; in my experience it's been very easy). After you gradutate or drop out or whatever, you ain't a student no more. now go to BM. I do have far more sympathy for teachers in these instances in that a lot of them are held by contrat, but also all the teachers I know are able to get out of those days with valid excuses.


Going to Burning Man is generally not considered a valid excuse. Missing the first day is a contract violation. Missing the first few days when the students are present in an unconscionable act. The first week or two is stressful enough for children, without having to deal with a sub for a few days and then another teacher. A sense of routine, structure and trust in one's daily guardian are essential to the emotional well being of most students.

Also for college students 4 to 7 years is a big stretch of time. I wish schools would all start a week after Labor Day, but the majority don't. Burning Man has no compelling reason to be on that date and originally it wasn't.
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Postby Stormy » Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:46 pm

PJ wrote:
Stormy wrote:...educators would make great Burners...Teachers are generally super creative people who have to make something out of nothing...any good teacher does the work of 2+ people in the corporate world.


In my experience what you're saying mostly applies to young teachers that are not yet burned out by indifferent-to-hostile students, or co-opted by the union, or crushed by bureaucracy. After awhile the majority of public school teachers tend to stick around only because they won't get a pension unless they do. At which time they're only in it for the money, by definition. The system should be set up so that people don't have an incentive to continue teaching long after their passion has disappeared.


Well, I doubt the old farts would be interested in Burning Man anyway.

How about creating a system that doesn't kill the passion of teachers? They don't get burnt out by sheer laziness. They tend to get really frustrated by the layers of bureaucracy and the indifference of the human community at large, who are not TRULY interested in a democratic society. The only *potential* social equilizer is education. The disparity in education is a violation of human dignity. Some kids get a preparation that prepares them for Ivy League. Others get such a crappy deal that they are basically prepared to be gangstas and ho's.
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Postby Ivy » Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:57 pm

Stormy,

You and I are clearly going to go around in circles on this and never will either of us change the other's minds.

I quote small phrases merely to refresh the memory of the post--I assume that people have read it in it's entirety, I am just trying to allude to the parts I am referring to.

There are not, as you have said, two different year-round track schedules in LAUSD--there are three. But it's been proven that more students can be accomodated with the lesser amount of tracks, so most of them are on the three track system (A, B, C).
You say only one would work for your BM plans. I didn't hear you say anything about anyone else's BM plans.

Time off between tracks can range anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on which system you're on.


I am not currently credentialed and I hope to God I never have to go through the asisine bullshit they call a credential program in this day and age. At the time I was offerend a position, however, was a time when they were indeed placing people on emergency credentials. While I'm against the whole EC system, I fail to see how LAUSD will benefit from this phasing out of said teachers--they couldn't get qualified people to take the jobs in the first place. But that's an entirely different barrel of fish.
Yes, 4 to 7 years is a big stretch of time. So is 10 or 20 or 40. In the scheme of things, it's not that long. Maybe it will make sure people are really committed to going--make sure they're the type of quality people we need out there... Or they could *gasp* make choices, something I've been talking about all along. maybe they don't go to BM their freshman year of colege (that might be a little too much), but maybe after a few years, once they get the swing of things, they can make some arrangements and miss the first few days of class. I've done it for a lot less importnant things.

As for BM being a valid excuse: didn't your grandmother just die?

Oh, and I think you'd nhave better luck changing the school to start later in September than you would creating a system that doesn't kill teachers' passion.
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:01 am

PJ wrote:
Imagine having your master's pulled from you for not reporting to a meeting.


If it's a Masters in Education, it's a worthless, easily-earned piece of wastepaper, good only for milking extra pay from the local public school administration.

Real Masters degrees are in the sciences and are a shitload of work that the vast majority of people can never attain. If you can get the same pay as someone with a Masters in mathematics or chemistry for going to five weeks of summer school and writing a silly "thesis" on classroom behaviors you've witnessed, why not? If you have no integrity or scholarly ambition, I mean.


True there are some teachers that are not the brightest apples in the barrel. However, to obtain a multiple subject credential, it currently requires two full-time years of graduate work. Getting the Masters requires additional research and a thesis. It also requires 645 hours of volunteer time in classrooms just to get the basic credential.

As for the silliness of the courses, there were science and math pedagogy classes, as well as linguistics, psychology and statistics involved in my education. I also had to sit for three exams required by the state. The first was easy. The other two were not so easy.

I am currently studying for an advanced degree in Language and Literacy. One of my professors once said that brain surgeons are well trained to operate on the mind. Teachers also operate on the mind daily and should receive excellent training and the proper tools. Would you want your brain surgeon to have to go around begging for outdated surgical tools?
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:41 am

"I quote small phrases merely to refresh the memory of the post--I assume that people have read it in it's entirety, I am just trying to allude to the parts I am referring to."

There's a lot of um, words, just in this thread alone. You took a little part of a big sentence and turned it around in such a way, that it seemed like I was complaining that I only have six weeks of vacation which was not the point I was making at all and you left out a very important point, that it's often not vacation at all if I am attending courses during the summer, which is a lifetime requirement to keep renewing my credential every 5 years.

"There are not, as you have said, two different year-round track schedules in LAUSD--there are three. But it's been proven that more students can be accomodated with the lesser amount of tracks, so most of them are on the three track system (A, B, C)."

Well actaully there are at least three schemes that I'm aware of Single Track, Four-Track (90/30), Three-Track (Concept 6). The latter two are considered Year-Round Schools. Though why this needs debating is tiresome to me and probably exponentially to anyone who is actually reading this.

Four-track schools have these start dates: Aug. 15, July 1, July 1 and July 1. Track C has a break Aug. 14 to Sept. 30 which work be great for Burning Man. I couldn't find a position with those dates, before my deadline for placement was up since I signed an early hire contract.

Three-track schools have start dates of Aug. 26, July 1 and July 1. Track B has a break from Aug. 23 to October 23. I didn't hear of a single opening for a Track B school while I was searching. Also, with those dates I wouldn't be able to go early and help build the city, thus not "ideal" for my plans.

Oh, and by the way, one can't have a grandmother dying every year. I got days off that I needed this year because of my wedding. So if my grandmother dies next year and my grandfather the following, I think someone may notice. I'm not one college student amongst a student body of thousands. I am one teacher on a staff of 50.
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:50 am

LA was just an example.
If the event was held in LA, it would be easier for me to attend.
If I lived in Minneapolis, I would have said, “Moving it to Minneapolis
would be easier for me.”
It was a hyperbolic rebuttal to the comment about “making BM easier to attend.”



Just a wee bit of difference between making attending easier for someone and nearly impossible for someone else. :wink:
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:59 am

glam_daddy wrote:
Taking the results of this poll and extrapolating it to the entire Burning Man
population is bunk. 71 people voted. That's 0.2% of the population. Try
again.


I know thats why I stated "i know im being general here.." and "just thinking out loud"

I still think a date change would work out good.


Guess that's what they call sampling in statistics. :wink: But seriously, it's too early to make any conclusions until a larger sample is gathered. That aside, if the numbers continue to run at similar percentages, then Glam Daddy is making a great point. We know that the majority of people are fine with the date. All were trying to do is get an idea if the number of people effected was in anyway significant. If 50% are, then hell yeah. If only 15% were effected, that's still a significant number of people.

I also disagree that this poll is flawed in any truly significant way for our purpose here. Of course I can just put out a yes or no poll, but that's kind of boring.
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Postby Ivy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:22 am

You took a little part of a big sentence and turned it around in such a way, that it seemed like I was complaining that I only have six weeks of vacation which was not the point I was making at all and you left out a very important point, that it's often not vacation at all if I am attending courses during the summer, which is a lifetime requirement to keep renewing my credential every 5 years.


That was the point you appeared to me amking to me--that's why I pointed it out. You said that out of 9 weeks, you ususally spent three of them comducting work-related business, leaving you only 6 weeks to travel. Perhaps it wasn't your intention to sound like you were whining about it, but that's how it came across to me.

Well actaully there are at least three schemes that I'm aware of Single Track, Four-Track (90/30), Three-Track (Concept 6). The latter two are considered Year-Round Schools. Though why this needs debating is tiresome to me and probably exponentially to anyone who is actually reading this.

There is a five track system, but, like Is aid, becuase it doesn't accomodate the most efficient amount of students per year, it's pretty rare. mainly used for specialized programs.

I also understand that your grandmother (or whatever excuse) can't die every year. Have you considerd doing a year of BM, then a year off, alternating? No? Becuase you don't want to, right? But you don't want to give up your job, either, right? I understand that you couldn't for whatever reason get a position that worked around BM, but that's not a problem that's uniquely yours. Perhaps you give up BM and focus on finding a position that syncs with your attendance at BM?

What it comes down to in this arguement for me, again is choices: you want to have your cake and eat it too. And you want BM to accomodate you. I think that's what irks me far more than the actual changing of the dates arguement.
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Postby PJ » Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:49 am

Stormy wrote:The only *potential* social equilizer is education.


Don't confuse "education" with knowledge, learning, ability, or skill.

Education is an industry; in my opinion an obsolete one. The origin of the modern American formal education system is 18th-century Prussia. As a small country surrounded by what were then great powers, its king undertook the world's largest social engineering project to build a nation of warriors--creating the world's first public school system accomplished the feat so effectively and quickly that the concept was latched upon by 19th-century American industrialists as a way to turn rural and urban children into compliant workers, without which big business of that era could not grow. It worked as intended but the results have been mixed. US literacy rates today still lag far behind what they were when one-room country schools were the norm.

The post-industrial-age modern school systems' primary role is to keep children out of the house so both parents can contribute to the modern economy. Again results are mixed; the chief economic results of two-income families have been vastly expanded federal tax receipts and inflated home real estate prices. That is, despite the doubling of the percentage of the population in the workforce living standards stagnated.

(Some interesting history regarding the origins of the school system can be found in The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto. I've seen some teachers cry when reading parts of this book--it can be like losing one's religion.)
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Postby III » Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:23 am

>obtain a multiple subject credential, it currently requires two full-time years of graduate work.

???

sure, i got a single subject, but i went to school with plenty of people who got their ms in a year of night school, plus a semester of student teaching.

and i'll agree that a masters in education is worth a whole lot less, brain level wise, than my b.s. in engineering sciences.

fortunately, i'm one of those old farts who doesn't care about burning man...
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Postby Ivy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:28 am

Hey trey, I was wondering this yesterday but did you end up getting that job you interviewed for?
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Postby stuart » Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:52 am

That is, despite the doubling of the percentage of the population in the workforce living standards stagnated.

sorry for the drift...

this is a fact that pisses me off. People pointing to the boom, talking about how well we are all doing. Bullshit. Families seem to have the same standard of living as when I was growing up. Oh, except that it takes two people working to achieve it.
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Postby stuart » Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:55 am

That is, despite the doubling of the percentage of the population in the workforce living standards stagnated.


sorry for the drift...

this is a fact that pisses me off. People pointing to the boom, talking about how well we are all doing. Bullshit. Families seem to have the same standard of living as when I was growing up. Oh, except that it takes two people working to achieve it.
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Postby stuart » Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:55 am

fuck
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Postby III » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:50 pm

>did you end up getting that job you interviewed for?

nope. nor the one after that.

i am currently in limbo with la unified thanks to my ex principal being a controlfreakbitch who can hound you all day for not having the proper useless fliers up in your classroom, and wants all those reports she requests yesterday, but can't get off her ass for 5 minutes over the course of a month to write a simple "he didn't suck" recommendation letter.
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Postby PJ » Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:00 pm

III wrote:i am currently in limbo with la unified



Tried any private schools? I'd like to think that your real-world science background would count for more there. (But I have no data to back that up.)
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Postby Ivy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:03 pm

That sucks. It sure sounded like you should have been a shoo-in.

Well, good luck (with LAUSD (aka Satan incarnate), you'll need it...)
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Postby Tiara » Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:38 pm

There are several valid arguments, both for and against a date change.

I'm lucky. My current job/career doesn't prevent me from spending a week or two in the desert in late August or early September. For that matter, it wouldn't keep me away from BM in July or October either.

I sympathize with teachers who are unable to attend the event due to its current timing.

I also agree with the idea expressed by AG: Do we really want to make it easier for "frat boys" or other college-age show-us-yer-tits party seekers to attend? (I'm sure there are many college-age participants who contribute substantially, and I don't mean to demean them.)

Traffic is horrible for those who try to drive home on Monday of the holiday weekend (but really no burden at all if you leave Tuesday or later). Then again, having that extra "vacation" day is nice.

Here's an aspect of changing the date that isn't getting a lot of attention: WEATHER. I expect the heat-seekers would prefer the event to be earlier, when nights are warmer. But an equal number of people hate the heat and would gladly wear furry hats to deal with the colder nights later in the year.

How about sunlight? If the event is a few weeks later, nights would be slightly longer and dawn would come a little later.

Lots of factors to consider. . .

Does the fact that the website is already counting down the days til the next burn mean that the 2004 dates are already decided?
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Postby III » Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:13 pm

>WEATHER

that's the only argument that carries any real weight, i think.

lat eseptember is the beginning of the rainy season. the people at the event won't see it, but the clean up crew perpetually risks having to deal with an unmanageable risk. anyone remember '98?

moving the event earlier into the summer would reduce the risk of a failed clean up effort.
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:45 pm

III wrote:>obtain a multiple subject credential, it currently requires two full-time years of graduate work.

???

sure, i got a single subject, but i went to school with plenty of people who got their ms in a year of night school, plus a semester of student teaching.

The coursework for a single subject degree is quite different. Since single subject is geared towards teaching one subject, say physics, most of the coursework can be done as an undergraduate. Just a few pedagogy classes and one is set to go as a teacher.

For multiple subject there are more course required because a)all subjects are taught by one person (with minor exceptions) b)thorough training in developmental psychology is helpful because you can't just spit out information, you need to meet your student at their level of development c)applied linguistics are necessary if you are teaching second language learners (especially tricky if you have a student in intermediate grades. How do you teach them English and keep up with increasingly sophisticated subject matter?) d)more courses in literacy are required than 6 years ago (basically teachers are being trained to be quasi-literacy experts to lessen the number of referrals for special programs). So those are the major reasons why it takes longer. Hope that clears up some of the confusion.

and i'll agree that a masters in education is worth a whole lot less, brain level wise, than my b.s. in engineering sciences.


Guess it depends on the particular masters and the college it's being offered at. The four literacy classes that I took with a particular professor were harder than any courses I've ever taken. Our reading load was enough that it would have made an Ivy League student groan. The detailed levels of assessments were also very time consuming, but ultimately one has to make a diagnosis, much like a doctor, why is this student failing to read fluently. One has to pick apart the very complicated process of reading in someone else's brain.

What was the point of this again? Each masters is different. Why not pick on someone with a masters in poetry or philosophy or whatever? Each one has differing requirements, utilizing different skills. I've seen some amazing scientists who can't put together a decent paragraph, let alone an email or memo, etc. It seems that you're using the old IQ system. If we use a Gardner approach to intelligence, then measuring intelligence get trickier. If someone is an amazing composer are they necessarily less intelligent than an engineer? Just curious where you're coming from here.
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:49 pm

III wrote:>did you end up getting that job you interviewed for?

nope. nor the one after that.

i am currently in limbo with la unified thanks to my ex principal being a controlfreakbitch who can hound you all day for not having the proper useless fliers up in your classroom, and wants all those reports she requests yesterday, but can't get off her ass for 5 minutes over the course of a month to write a simple "he didn't suck" recommendation letter.


Sounds like a horrible sitch. What happened?
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:54 pm

PJ wrote:
III wrote:i am currently in limbo with la unified


Tried any private schools? I'd like to think that your real-world science background would count for more there. (But I have no data to back that up.)


Well unfortunately, private schools don't require any credentialing. They tend to have more teachers with bachelors than anything else and are willing to put up with salaries and benefits much lower than public schools. I'm not saying that the pay and benefits in public schools are all that amazing especially after paying six+ years of college tuition, but in many districts one can live comfortably on one's salary. LA also has a very strong union. Their pay is much higher than SF (even though the rents are lower), they don't have to do yard duty or turn in weekly lesson plans and they have lifetime health benefits.

Of course it all boils down to sanity. Those benefits aren't worth much if you hate going to work every day.
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Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:58 pm

Ivy wrote:
That was the point you appeared to me amking to me--that's why I pointed it out. You said that out of 9 weeks, you ususally spent three of them comducting work-related business, leaving you only 6 weeks to travel. Perhaps it wasn't your intention to sound like you were whining about it, but that's how it came across to me.


As always, it boils down to context. So now we have 2/3 of my sentence. I wasn't making a complaint. I was responding to someone else's hyperbole in regards to all the free time that teachers have on their hands. The third part of that is even with those six weeks, I sometimes need to take summer courses, which generally run about 6 weeks.

I also understand that your grandmother (or whatever excuse) can't die every year. Have you considerd doing a year of BM, then a year off, alternating? No? Becuase you don't want to, right? But you don't want to give up your job, either, right? I understand that you couldn't for whatever reason get a position that worked around BM, but that's not a problem that's uniquely yours. Perhaps you give up BM and focus on finding a position that syncs with your attendance at BM?


Well actually, I will be taking off a considerable amount of time from Buring Man in the next 2 or 3 years. I may only go one or possibly two more years. My clock is ticking and if I don't have a child soon, my doctor believes that my chances of getting pregnant will be slim. While adoption is an option, I would prefer to at least try the old fashioned way.

I have actually worked out a plan for next year. I will drive out early and help set up the perimeter. I will fly back Monday night before the Burn and fly back Thursday evening. So I will miss much of the event itself, but I'll live.

However, dealing with the stress of trying to attend for two weeks this year and not succeeding and having some heated debates about what to do next year has made me think more about the crazinesss of these dates. And year after year, I hear scores of stories about how people try and work around academic calendars or just skip BM altogether. I actually realize that the dates wil not be changed for 2004, but I've heard that they might be changed for future years. I may not attend at that point, but I'd like to help out those who wish to.

What it comes down to in this arguement for me, again is choices: you want to have your cake and eat it too. And you want BM to accomodate you. I think that's what irks me far more than the actual changing of the dates arguement.


I'm curious why you have continued to be so irked about this.
Peace,
Stormy

Edited to remove uneccessary conjecture.
Last edited by Stormy on Thu Sep 25, 2003 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ivy » Thu Sep 25, 2003 10:28 pm

I'm curious why you have continued to be so irked about this.


I already told you why I'm irked about it. You want it your way. I don't want it your way. Seems clear enough.

I suspect it's hitting some personal nerve for you.


Yes, it strikes a personal chord with me. If you're so dying to know, changing the dates would put me hard pressed to attend if the event was moved--I work as a non-union trade laborer and right now I technically live below the poverty level. Being able to stay until Monday and getting paid for that as a federal holiday makes a great deal of difference to me.
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