I know the information sent out on your various lists did not do justice nor did it explain anything to you, so I wanted to take this space to explain just why the OMS decided to get rid of me.
Yes, I say get rid of me because I did not quit. Despite what was said in the email.
When I signed up for the class last year and agreed to teach the High Magick course and the OOBE class, I thought that certain things would happen. I had hoped that it would carry over to everyone’s lives and enrich us all. But things turned sour pretty fast.
First was the demand that I teach only in IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, and that I present the lessons there. This started the same day I signed up. I explained multiple times that I did not have access to a computer at home reliably, I only had access to this from work, and that I could not sign into IRC and teach in that manner, that it would have to be via message board (my preferred means of teaching at the time) or by email list (my new favorite). I was pressured to teach via IRC anyhow and asked if I would be showing up at the chats quite often.
The basic idea of the OMS was that I spend one hour uploading my lesson to the IRC channel, and one hour in Q&A for all the students who showed up. I was supposed to do this every two weeks. If you missed the chat, you could get the archive, but not ask any questions. And you better have been logging the chat.
Each time I patiently explained why I could not, and each time it seemed to be ignored. I was forced to submit my lessons directly to the administrators, for them to post. They demanded all the responses from the students come to them again, for them to post. There was only one thread of discussion where I was allowed to post my thoughts directly and for students to directly interact with me.
The only thing that changed this was that the java script controlling access to the boards and classes died and the admin was forced to move us to an email format. I sung paeans of praise for that switch. I thought that was the end of it.
Apparently not, since I started getting more and more requests for the Astral Projection archives to be made available. Each time I tried to post that I had them on this site (at the “OOBE Class” link to your left) that post was edited and the students were told that the admin would send them the requested classes. I was summarily told that ALL resources were to be kept on the OMS’s servers, and that I was not to mention my site at all.
I was stunned. I had tons of information on my site that I could reference faster than re-writing it all from scratch in my lessons. Why re-invent the wheel?
Things did get better when the email class went into full swing, and I have to praise the students that did stick with me throughout that time, out of 14 who signed up, only 3 graduated. I don’t know if that was frustration on the student’s part with no direct interaction with their instructor, or just the difficulty of the material.
Then I started the High Magick course and reprized the OOBE class. I thought that since it was going to be in email format from the beginning, this would be different.
Nope. I begged, asked, pleaded, demanded access to the students. I was told that ALL posts, regardless of the fact that I was the instructor, would be going through the moderators. I was able to get into IRC a few times, mainly because I was frustrated and I needed some kind of feedback from the students to make sure that they understood the material. I got swamped by people wanting to talk to me and interact with me.
I had the brilliant idea to start putting my email address on my posts so that my students could email me directly. I didn’t notice it but those sections on my classes and on my assignments started disappearing. I DID notice it when an appoligy I wrote to my students about how I couldn’t get to the chats vanished off the assignment along with another plea for them to contact me (since I was barred from the listing of the students along with the rest of my needed resources just like the students).
Why they had such a problem with me trying to interact with my students I will never know.
The next thing that upset me was I referenced a document that I had previously written and uploaded to this site (in fact it was this document on Sex Magick ) in my class. The administrator of the school decided that I didn’t need to reference my site, and instead that I needed to have it copied to her server and the files section of the Yahoo group. And it should be immediately emailed back out to everyone.
So, I wrote another lesson, with pictures that had been sent to me by some volunteers in an experiment, and also some pictures that I made illustrating different means of arranging the elements. Once again, without even clearing it with me, not only did the pictures I had on my site get taken, but the documents, lessons I referenced, everything that pointed to another site, including pictures from other internet sites, got taken off where I had them referenced and put on the Yahoo Group. I don’t think that anyone was even consulted in this action.
I made my frustrations clear to the Administrator of the Online Mystical School, who summarily flamed me (Okay, I’ll admit that I was a bit harsh in my initial email), and then summarily banned me from the classes. I said that I was considering leaving the school, and the administrator decided that meant that I wanted to leave.
I wanted you all to know that I truly enjoyed the classes, and that the main reason I stayed there was you all. I loved teaching you, hearing about your successes, but when a teacher is prevented from basic interaction with their students it becomes a torture, not a joy. Especially when there is someone who needs extra and special help.
I do plan on continuing the High Magick lessons here. It will take some time to make the necessary arrangements, but for now, please email me at daven@erinsjournal or use the online form that you will be taken to by clicking on that link (it cuts down on my SPAM.) As soon as I have the ducks in a row in this matter, I will be notifying you all that it is ready and we will continue. Until then, I will be putting the High Magick class on this site as well, to allow you who want to to continue reading it.
I look forward to speaking with you all in person in the near future.