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Old 05-24-2004, 09:26 AM
phouka is offline
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Well, that was a fucking waste of time.


Could I have those three days back again? Or better yet, shrink the time spent at that workshop down to about three hours, keeping the good stuff and forgetting the useless tripe?

I'm a teacher, okay? And as a teacher, I need a certain amount of continuing ed credits, and I also like to explore different topics in search of things that will help me be a better teacher. So when the district advertised an upcoming seminar based on horses - training, interacting, and whatnot, I was really interested. I have a friend who trains miniature horses, and what I learned from hanging out with her was that training animals shares a great many parallels with working with students. You must be consistent, you must clearly share your expectations, you must allow a little room for self-expression, and so on.

What I got instead was the distilled essence of namby-pamby fuzzy-headed New Age holistic homeopathic horseshit. Understand, please, that I am a Wiccan, and as such fall into the New Age category. However, I'm also a rational person who wants evidence to support claims, has an affection for Occam's Razor, and less tolerance for minor crap like auras and dream interpretation than you'd think. I should have known I was in for it when the schedule listed twice as much time for "processing" than it did for actual physical activities with the horses. I did pretty much know I was in for it when the "safety lecture" was each person reciting "I will take 100% responsibility for myself, thus contributing to the safety of the group." A lovely thought, but when I've explained that I've been around the regular size horses - you know, 1200 pounds and more of skittish temperment - I'd like a little more than just "oh, we'll tell you what to do".

We meditated. Meditation is fine and dandy. I like meditation . . . when I'm taking a yoga class or at home on my own. Meditation in order to open my psyche to the horse's spirit just doesn't strike me as a fruitful use of my time when I'm hear to learn things that can help me in the classroom. Should I be foolish enough to meditate in an effort to open my psyche to my students' spirits, I do believe I would be killed and eaten by them.

Oh, and did you know that horses can talk? Yes. Silly me. I thought the workshop leader originally meant something like "horses have a complex and intuitive body language. If you learn to read their signals, you will be able to predict their behavior." No. That would be a valuable use of my time. Along those lines, I only caught a few comments that might possibly serve me. Instead, I was told that different horses said things like:

- take me seriously. I want to be a part of the workshop.
- you are sad and frightened. I will be your healer.
- if you lose 25 pounds, I'll take you on a ride.
- I was a warrior horse in a past life.

I learned that the workshop leader is part of a government funded study of hippotherapy. That's really nice, and I think it should be available to more people. However, when she said her coworker had included the names of two other scientists on his grant documentation when they had been dead the past ten years, I should have realized, it wasn't done as a gesture of respect. No, it was done because those two dead scientists continued to advise on the project. Death is, after all, just another form of Being, and the dead are just as likely to tell us they still don't like Chinese food as report that the Other Side is full of fluffy bunnies and daffodils.

The first day of work, I found out that I'm allergic to horses. The workshop leader nodded sagely and told me that my body was trying to tell me something. Yeah, like maybe how my immune system perceived animal dander as a threat, I thought to myself. She happened to walk by as I sneezed while standing next to a gelding. "What were you just thinking?" she demanded. "Uh, crap, I don't have a Kleenex?" I answered.

Ye Gods. Three days of this. Three days of "ask the horse how old she is. She'll tell you." Three days of "my, what a beautiful aura you have." Three days of having every comment I made parsed for spiritual significance. Three days of mystical bullshit so thick and steady, I could have fertilized the school grounds for the next school year. What did I get out of it? About twenty minutes of getting a mare to run in circles around me and trying to read her signals that she was ready to come in and join the herd.

And because I kept my thoughts mostly to myself or phrased them only in the mildest form of suggestion ("that sounds like an interesting idea, but in order to be successful with the established hierarchy, you need a control group"), I have been adopted by this group. I'm supposed to be one of those who goes out and spreads the gospel about this workshop. I was tempted to release my Wild Woman Archetype in an effort to stimulate their third eyes by putting a stilleto through each forehead involved.

And, oh, crap, I just realized this woman has my email address. *sigh*
  #2  
Old 05-24-2004, 10:49 AM
JRDelirious is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phouka
What I got instead was the distilled essence of namby-pamby fuzzy-headed New Age holistic homeopathic horseshit. Understand, please, that I am a Wiccan, and as such fall into the New Age category. However, I'm also a rational person who wants evidence to support claims, has an affection for Occam's Razor, and less tolerance for minor crap like auras and dream interpretation than you'd think.
[...]
I was told that different horses said things like:
[...]
- I was a warrior horse in a past life.(bolding mine-jrd)
[...]
Death is, after all, just another form of Being, and the dead are just as likely to tell us they still don't like Chinese food as report that the Other Side is full of fluffy bunnies and daffodils.

The first day of work, I found out that I'm allergic to horses. The workshop leader nodded sagely and told me that my body was trying to tell me something. Yeah, like maybe how my immune system perceived animal dander as a threat, I thought to myself. She happened to walk by as I sneezed while standing next to a gelding. "What were you just thinking?" she demanded. "Uh, crap, I don't have a Kleenex?" I answered.
[...]
I was tempted to release my Wild Woman Archetype in an effort to stimulate their third eyes by putting a stilleto through each forehead involved.
*clap*clap*clap*clap*
Bravo! Bravo!

Great rant. Good mix of specifics of what is being complained about and expressions of smartaleckness and hostility. The imminent release of the Wild Woman adds just the right edge to it.

And I see that horses fall for the same past life nonsense? What, was NOBODY just an ordinary plower of the dirt in a previous life??? How did all those kings, warriors, wise lamas etc. EAT, or get their toilets cleaned?
  #3  
Old 05-24-2004, 11:38 AM
MysteryFellow63427 is offline
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I'm sorry, you got totally ripped off. On the new age horse retreat that *I* went to, they taught us how to use the vulcan mind meld on the animals.
  #4  
Old 05-24-2004, 12:01 PM
slortar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phouka
I learned that the workshop leader is part of a government funded study of hippotherapy.
I'd pay good money to see that. Do you know what hippoes do to people who invade their territory?!
  #5  
Old 05-24-2004, 12:03 PM
ivylass is offline
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This:

Quote:
Originally Posted by phouka
I learned that the workshop leader is part of a government funded study of hippotherapy.
scares the tar out of me. I don't suppose you'd like to write to your representative on behalf of all us hard-working taxpayers??
  #6  
Old 05-24-2004, 01:41 PM
Cheesesteak's Avatar
Cheesesteak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phouka
However, when she said her coworker had included the names of two other scientists on his grant documentation when they had been dead the past ten years, I should have realized, it wasn't done as a gesture of respect. No, it was done because those two dead scientists continued to advise on the project.
Or.... it was done in order to fraudulently secure the government grant. I think a quick note to your congressman might get these people on the straight and narrow, and off of the government teat.
  #7  
Old 05-24-2004, 02:02 PM
Yamirskoonir is offline
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I was a warrior horse in a past life.
  #8  
Old 05-24-2004, 02:37 PM
tdn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamirskoonir
I was a warrior horse in a past life.
I was a little horse in a past lifetime. I had a slight cold.
  #9  
Old 05-24-2004, 02:57 PM
Yeticus Rex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak
Or.... it was done in order to fraudulently secure the government grant. I think a quick note to your congressman might get these people on the straight and narrow, and off of the government teat.

Probably with the help of The Riddler...
  #10  
Old 05-24-2004, 03:04 PM
Moirai is offline
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Are you kidding me?!? That is what passes for "continuing ed credit" for teachers in California now?

I weep for my kid's future. Actually, I don't, he is in private school.

But seriously, in a time when our state is facing a severe shortage of qualified teachers, this is how we keep the ones we have up to speed? I am calling my fucking congressman. Granted, if the seminar was what you imagined beforehand, I think it would have been great. BUt what you had to endure was pathetic.

No offence phouka, but I could just slap the teachers' union right now.

And yeah, putting two dead guys on your grant app as "advisors" is fraud. Report 'em.
  #11  
Old 05-24-2004, 03:14 PM
Shodan is offline
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Quote:
if you lose 25 pounds, I'll take you on a ride.
I used to get this one on dates a lot. She must have been a horse in a former life.

Regards,
Shodan
  #12  
Old 05-25-2004, 12:01 AM
Lando Griffin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeticus Rex
AAAHHH!!! I thought I'd seen the last of him years ago...
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