BIG TEST AT THE DUCKFORD SCHOOL
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 1998 9:36 PM EDT
Subj: BIG TEST AT THE DUCKFORD SCHOOL
To: [Helena, Sabia, Aindrea, Balthazar, Fermina, Bohemond, Martino, Cathyn and Celine; to their addresses in those days]
cc: [Gunwaldt and Artan]
I've joked from time to time "There won't be a test," but that's not so. The test is ongoing. The thought struck me on Sunday. There is one big item on the test:
—Show by word and deed that you are growing in awareness.—
Good luck! I'm not the one who'll score it—everyone you know scores.
I have my opinion, but I only see what you let me see, what I espy, or what I hear from other people and you either confirm or deny. I'm only one of many proctors.
It's an open book test, an open world test. Everything is fair. You can get all the help you want to, before during and after situations and decisions.
Gunwaldt and I have discussed that maybe it's too hard. That "awareness" thing—what the heck IS it!? It's the "knowing" that I had on the list of virtues, I think, that we struck off the list and kinda put back on, and took off...
Whatever you're working on, whatever aspect of humility or generosity or courtesy—be aware of your thoughts and the situations you're in. Are you doing better than you would have a week ago? A month? A year? Is your curve rising? Be aware.
When I was a younger musician I panicked when people said "improvise." I didn't know how. I was afraid. Now I can toodle and doodle without fear.
Gradually you'll gain judgment and skills, but you can't wait until then to start living your life. Live what you have now, and add to it daily. Show by word and deed that you are growing in awareness.
Make yourself proud of you, and I'll be proud too.
Doña Aindrea wrote: "Kind of like multiple choice, true/false, matching, and essay, all at
Then there are the extra credit physiological items—blood pressure, attitude, posture, thoughts...
Someone else asked "How can we check our stats?"
Gunwaldt already said I was giving you the answers when he previewed the first mailing. I don't care if I give you the answers. I can't live and act and be for you, you have to do the doing yourself.
Stats can never be reliably checked. Some people will never give you feedback. Some cheat like East German judges, but might disappear later like East Germany too. Flattery is a skewed score.
The best judge is you. You can take clues, though, from others' reactions to you. Do they seem pleasantly surprised at something you've done? Do they seem grateful to you? Glad to be near you? Are people asking your advice? Smiling more? Those easy little indications are sometimes as clear as someone holding up a card with a 9.5 on it.
Don't take others' lack of joy as unhappiness with you, though. It doesn't work both ways. Sometimes people are full of fears and unable to see joys. That's where you put a compassion-patch, and go about your merrier way.
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