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 Initiation Workshop Assignments -Watcher

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The Watcher

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PostSubject: Initiation Workshop Assignments -Watcher   Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:51 pm

Week 1: 6 Virtues of GT + non-intervention

            Tradition, Understanding, Loyalty, Self-discipline, Integrity and Respect, plus the rule of non-intervention, are the core virtures of the Gallifreyan Tradition Society. While some are already strong personal virtues of mine, others may need more work. The following goes over my relationship and experience with this virtues, and if applicable, how I want to move forward in them.

            Understanding is the key virtue for me. It is the one that I personally consider to be the most important and devote the most attention to. It’s part of my identity and goals. Understanding is the driving force for me. I want to understand as much as I can, and I feel like through understanding I can be a better person. The more I understand the more good I can do and the better I will be able to take into account others feelings. I still feel the need to stand by what I said in the discussion that I feel it is difficult to find a negative side to understanding. Gaining more information and trying to better understand the universe and those around me doesn’t really seem to have much of a downside to me. One thing to note is that understanding and agreeing are not the same thing. Trying to understand someone you disagree with or are against doesn’t mean you are agreeing with or condoning their thoughts and actions. Understanding someone you disagree with can help you know better how to stop them from doing wrong. If you understand yourself, and you have more control and confidence in yourself. If you understand others, you have more information and ability to sympathize and do good things. If you understand those you oppose, you know better how to combat them. Understanding is one of the few things I will hold to basically no matter what. I believe it is a truly positive thing, and built my goals and identity as The Watcher around it.

            Respect is also a very important one to me, although not quite so much as Understanding. I try to give out my respect freely, I would prefer to give someone my respect first and revoke it if necessary, than to assume someone needs to earn it and treat them with disrespect right off the bat. And I believe that each person deserves at least some fundamental respect as a living person. They don’t have to have my reverence or my agreement, but I would not fall so far in disrespect that I would treat someone as less than a person. Just because someone has lost my personal respect, doesn’t mean that I should stoop below my own decency and not afford them some respect as a living person. Show respect to others, but don’t allow those without respect or regards for others to get away with it. When you allow someone to act without regard or decency for others, you are disrespecting those they are harming. Thus it is more respectful to withdraw your respect for the aggressor, out of respect to the aggressed.

            It used to be that I would refuse to lie, under almost any circumstances. This could be seen as having very good integrity, but as it turns out, that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes by telling the truth, I did the wrong thing and did more harm than good. I thought if I gave someone all the information and told the truth they would be able to make the right decision, but people are flawed, and I learned that sometimes the right thing to do is to lie. Sometimes to be honest and moral you have to lie to protect someone. But I still try to tell the truth as much as I can. I will keep secrets to protect others, but otherwise I try to be as open and as honest as I can be. I will not go against my own truth or my own morals for the approval of others. I’ll keep integrity in my morals and identity. The main exception to this is safety. I won’t reveal my own or someone else’s identities or truths if puts someone else in danger, or would result in unjust consequences.

            Self-discipline I have mixed results with. When it comes to sticking to my morals and controlling emotional outbursts, I feel like I do a decent job most of the time. But when it comes to keeping myself organized and motivating myself to get things done, I’m a bit of a mess. Keeping myself in line with chores and assignments and responsibilities doesn’t always work well. I almost always get things done on time, but probably not as well or as punctual as I would had I better self-discipline.

            Loyalty is probably one of the most difficult ones for me. Especially if you think of loyalty as only to a person or a group. I am loyal to my morals, but not always to people. That might be considered a flaw on my part. If someone I was previously loyal to turns against me or what I believe to be moral, I will not continue to stand by them. I value my morals much higher than an allegiance. There is no one I would stand by no matter what, and I often don’t feel comfortable swearing to stand by someone or something no matter what, because what if they go against everything I stand for? How could I stand by them then? But perhaps I should be less quick to jump ship should things turn sour, and instead try and stay with them, but try and find the issue and help fix what has gone wrong. That’s something I can try and work on.

            Tradition is also a tricky one. I tend to just think of tradition as old customs and beliefs, but I remember someone mentioning that it could be interpreted as respecting and learning from the past, which I can probably get behind. But you can use information and concepts from the past without continuing to use them in their original form. Like with loyalty, I’m willing to follow with tradition that I feel aligns with what I think is right, but I don’t feel the need to hold onto it if it begins to be toxic or too stagnant. Traditions can be good and have a sense of consistency and unity, and can help preserve the past and its memory and knowledge, as long as people doesn’t get so lost in preserving the past that they loose touch with current times.

            Non-intervention is probably the most difficult for me. At least with the others I sort of know where I stand morally and what I believe is right. With this I’m unsure. Judging when it is best to intervene has always been a struggle for me. Due to some past issues I’m not going to get into in this essay, I tend to find myself defaulting into a protective or advocate role, and thus intervening a lot. I feel the need to stand against things I disagree with. But a fair amount of the time I got it wrong. I intervened in things that weren’t my business, jumped into a situation without fulling considering the consequences, or accidentally made a situation worse by involving myself. I’m trying to learn to fight that strong instinct to immediately jump in and help. Because it doesn’t always work, and if I take time to step back for a minute and consider my options, maybe I will be able to make better decisions.

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PostSubject: Re: Initiation Workshop Assignments -Watcher   Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:29 pm

Week 2: Chapter Affiliations


          My chapter affiliation and what it means to me are rather difficult to discuss, mainly because I haven’t really decided on it yet. I’m definitely aligned with the two curiousity and learning based chapters, Patrex and Arcal. I just struggle with determining which one. I lean towards Arcal because of the focus on science and research, but away from it because of the more reserved and analytical mindset. I lean towards Patrex because of the predisposition for creativeness and enthusiasm and hands on approaches, but away from it because the chapter is perceived as being more art aligned than science.


          If chapters are based on what you would be most successful with, than Arcal might be right. I’m much better at science than I am with art and music. I can’t compose a song for my life but I can work a lab easily. Unless of course one chooses to remember that science can also be an important aspect of the Patrex chapter.


          Part of the issue is I feel like the science side of Patrexeans gets lost. While the Patrex mindset may seem to match me well, the stereotype of Patrexeans focusing a lot on art and music doesn’t really fit. I like art and music, and I’m passionate about it, however I’m not particularly good at it, and can’t really discuss it for long periods of time. The chapter is so strongly associated with art and music that as a science nerd I don’t feel like I truly belong there, even though all of the other signs tend to say I do. If the general social image of Patrex wasn’t so centered around art and music, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to associate with it. But I’m a science nerd. The Arcal stereotype of a dorky nerd fits. I adore science and learning and I can infodump about it for hours. I feel like because of that I have to align with Arcal, even though I’m not entirely sure it’s the right fit for me.


          Another issue is that before I knew that Patrex was not all art and music, I originally aligned with Arcal. So in addition to my current confusion, I also feel a reluctantance to leave behind the chapter I have aligned myself with previously. I feel some form of loyalty and allegiance to the chapter. It feels more like home and where the other science geeks are. Patrex feels like a distant what-could-have-been if things had been slightly different.


          Right now for me my chapter affiliation is nothing but an identity crisis. I still don’t know where I belong in the chapter system. And I’m not sure if I’ll ever find out. I’m not sure I want to chose. I would love it if both was an option, if I didn’t have to choose, but I know that’s not how it works. For now I will probably continue sticking with Arcal out of loyalty and habit, but I still can’t help but wonder whether or not I belong more in Patrex.

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PostSubject: Re: Initiation Workshop Assignments -Watcher   Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:46 pm

Week 3: GT Culture
Acceptance and learning seems to make up most of the culture and identity of the Gallifreyan Tradition Society. The general atmosphere is very accepting and open, probably mostly due to the radical acceptance practice.
Respect also seems to be a big part of it, as the belief is that even if you don’t personally relate to or understand someone else’s experiences, you should still respect them. Everyone here has their own situation and struggles that may not be understandable by everyone else, but we should still try to respect each other’s boundaries and experiences anyway. There is radical acceptance of everyone’s experiences and beliefs, while still making sure that rude and judgmental behavior isn’t tolerated.
As far as comparing GT to other communities go, there are some limits to what I can say due to the fact that most of my experience with other communities online is via Tumblr. I cannot say much about alterhumanity as I did not allow myself to interact with that community for a long time, and I have little to no experience with the pop culture pagan side of tumblr. The only tumblr community I really have enough experience to compare with is fandom.
GT seems to be a lot more accepting than fandom, which can be somewhat judge-y and elitist and has some cringe culture to it. Being ‘wrong’ or interpreting canon a different way is frowned upon more in fandom. The Classic Who fandom seems bent on finding the supposed dark truths of Gallifrey (which might be a little bit related to call out culture, but I digress), whereas GT allows people to have their own canons and their own truths. We may have a something of a collective idea of what Gallifrey was like and how it should be, but everyone is still allowed their own version of it. Not to say that fandom doesn’t allow for some variance in ideas, but it does have some very popular fanon and they tend to frown upon those who disagree with it. Fandom tends to focus more on the wider Doctor Who universe than GT.
GT is more about learning and growing. If someone makes a mistake or does something wrong, they can apologize and learn from their actions, instead of being immediately condemned, as seems to be the norm on Tumblr in general, regardless of the community. There is also more willingness to believe that even if something is not perfect, that it doesn’t mean there is nothing of value to be gleaned from it. We know Gallifrey was far from perfect, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some aspects of it that we can learn from.
It also seems like GT is a lot more focused on being a united group. Fandom seems to be more just that they are united by a common interest, and therefore interact a lot with each other. GT has that, but also puts in effort to be a close community. We try and make sure we all feel a part of the same group. And we have some virtues and morals we try to stick to as a group.


(Apologies, this one is not particularly good or well organized.)

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PostSubject: Re: Initiation Workshop Assignments -Watcher   Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:48 pm

Week 4: Reconstruction
      Mostly, I’d hope there would be lots more people. We need more people if this group is going to grow and expand. Ideally, we’d be able to find a way to somehow undo the damage bad rumors and cult allegations have done to our relationship with other communities (like the Doctor Who kin community). That’s not something that can happen in a day, obviously, but I’d hope that 10 years from now we would be in much better standing with other communities, and would be able to work with them. The more people we have in our community and the more connections we have to other communities, the more resources and ideas and opportunities we have to help us grow and help each other. Plus then things might be more lively. I’m the kind of person who likes a large network of friends, so the more people we have around to chat with the better.


      One of the main things I’d like to see in the future is for Acadamia Gallifreya to be expanded. I know at some point if I ever have the time I’d like to try and lead a class on discussions and theory on the mechanics of the Doctor Who universe and how things seem to work, especially in meta. We could have more Doctor Who and Gallifrey related classes like that or we could have classes about other skills and things. Maybe we could even have study groups to help younger GT members who are still in school study for their high school or college classes. I just want to have more discussions and learning opportunities, and I think if Academia Gallifreya grew, that would help.


      I also would love it if we had more and bigger Houses in different places. Again, this is one reason why having more people would definitely help us grow. It gives us more of a presence outside of the online world, and gives people more opportunities to participate in GT offline. Also I just think it would be great if more people had access to Houses if they wanted. Being able to have that chosen family and community to live with and support each other in real life might be really great for some people. And the more Houses we have the easier it would be for people to join one if they so choose.


      I remember at some point someone mentioned possibly setting up something so that GT would be able to help members who are stuck in abusive or otherwise bad living situations. Of all the things GT could achieve in 10 years I think this would probably be the most influential and helpful to our members. It would allow us to make a direct positive impact, and be able to help keep our members safe.


      Also I’d love it if there were more events and activities to do, in addition to the holidays and occasional games. I want to be able to do more fun things with everyone. If the Houses and offline aspects of GT grow then we would have more opportunities to do activities together in person, like meetup to go to a con or something. Online things would be good too. Just more opportunities for us to have fun together. It seems like lots of us have some stressful things going on in our lives, and it would be great if we had more laid back fun things to do together and bring us together more.


      Really, mainly, I just would want there to be more of us, and more going on. Right now we’ve made a lot of progress, and it's great, but we are still a bit small. I want to see us grow in numbers and in motion. It harder to make things happen and keep things happening with not so many of us. I’d hope that 10 years from now we’d have patched up the hostility between us and other communities, and been able to work more with others and get more members so that we can have more opportunities for participation and growth.

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