Sunday, June 12, 2016

This Fine Evening in June


This is how to move a set of encyclopedias.  I could put them into boxes - but the genius of milk crates is that, even as these are laying down or stacked, I can still access them.

These are the encyclopedias that I picked up for $25 in 1986, that I've been using for my trade system ever since.  There are things that I'm putting into deep storage; but not these books.  I don't refer to them all that often: but when I need them, I need them.

I know things are tough everywhere.  Let me say to the fellow who had to pull back out of my Patreon, as I'm sure he's reading the blog and not Patreon's message system.  It's all right, my friend. Thank you for all that you were able to do for me.  I hope it goes better for you in the future, too.

For a couple of weeks now, I have backed off from asking for donations.  I've been concentrating on passing along some of the content that inspired people to donate to me in the first place.  As I've been saying for eight years (and yes, my blog passed its 8th anniversary, unnoticed, about two weeks ago), I have no plans for going anywhere.  Part of the process this month has been watching others bend over backwards to ensure that I have complete and comfortable access to my D&D work and my blog.  I may be surrendering my own place for a time, but it is a place that understands me.  So come the end of the month, I'll still be here, I'll still be writing.

This June evening, I'm just thinking over the changes of the past couple of weeks.  I have now taught three classes for the How to DM Courses, for two students over two weeks.  All have gone remarkably well - and as I expected, the content has virtually nothing in common between the two DMs I'm coaching.  I'm sorry that I didn't think to call it "coaching" from the beginning, since it is much more that than "teaching."  The students have come to me with an impressive concept of the game, so it is clearly my role here to make connections for them, those that they haven't happened to make themselves.

There's no question that the content is deep and abundant.  Conversations are spirited, fast-paced . . . I have to deliberately pick moments when I ask the DM to pause and consider the wave of material that has just come out of me or come out of a quick back and forth between us.  There's no point to conveying material if there's no time taken to absorb it.  Classes are definitely running 75-90 minutes, because there's lots to get through - moreover, I'm finding the interaction so positive that there's no sense of exhaustion or pushing to find material.  It may get to be hard at some point in the future to cut the classes off at 90 minutes.

$50-$60 a class (depending on whether one buys all three or one at a time) may be steep at present. Still, I feel better about settling on that as a price, since during the time I can pin-point issues the DM is struggling with.  It isn't a cookie-cutter course, far from it!  I have an agenda of things that need to be addressed, but since there are many personal ways to address those subjects, I'm obligated to produce meaningful, concrete strategies to manage these things.  This is what concerned me the most, before I started on this idea:  it doesn't concern me any more.  I have been steeped in this subject for so long . . . and trained by answering a ten thousand questions on the blog now . . . that I'm ready. The DMs are leaving happy and with heads reeling from new thoughts bobbing around in their brains.  Makes me feel damn proud.

This post is a bit of a pitch, I admit.  In a greater sense, however, having written this blog so long - and wearing my life on my sleeve, as it were - when I announced my plan to do this there were many who cared about me who took the time to come forward and counsel me both for and against the project.  I know that those people, regular readers on this blog, took the side they did with my welfare in their minds.  I want those people who were worried to feel comforted: something may happen with a new student in the future, but you know we get better at these things as we do them.  All jobs have their unpleasant aspects.

This continues to be my job for the present: the blog, the book, the podcasts (those are all over the place, a mess that is made messier by present circumstances) and whatever else I can do to earn attention, gratitude and respect.

That's the crux of all this.  You, gentle reader, you noticed me.  You've proved to me in concrete terms that I've given you something.  And - the one thing that seems most difficult to imagine - you respect me.

Hey, thank you for that.  It wasn't expected.

I've never had employers that made me feel this good about the things I love.

1 comment:

Ken Filewood said...

Hi Alexis. I'm glad to hear your "coaching" is going well. That sounds like a good name for it.