Friday, September 28, 2012

Cascadia and the Iron Waffle

The timeline for Cascadia and my specific experience with it was something of a long one.  It began in hypotheticals, half promises, and lots of confusion.  Was I volunteering?  How much was I paying to go?  What would my duties be?  How much running and stress was there going to be?
The last thing on my mind was lesson content.  I was only going to be a volunteer.  My duties (theoretically) included the same things I did in the city: set up the range, tear down the range, marshal the range when Jason needs a break, and make sure no one does anything crazy.

I booked the time off work.

I packed up the van and the trailer on Friday afternoon.

I rode out to North Van, unloaded the van, and hopped on the boat (still confused).

"Oh Aaron, you're teaching the Beginner Archery workshop."

"Wait, what now?"

Yep.  Teaching.  I was supposed to run the standard 2-hour workshop that I had spent a great many hours watching and assisting for the last several months.  A bit of a bombshell, but my options included getting Jason to teach the course, trying to teach it and crumbling to itty bitty pieces, or actually doing a good job of it.

I was introduced to the man representing Jubilee for the weekend and then I set myself to work.

Assess the facilities, determine how much equipment I would have, plot the lesson, talk to Jason during supper and get his thoughts, and then drink myself into a stupor and spin fire with Terri.  (by the way, fire spinning is stupid amounts of fun)

Then the next day was the lesson.  Up bright and early to stretch by the dock, then a big breakfast, then a bit of prep work on the Jubilee range, and then I went to fetch my students for the morning.

I gave the history talk to the late comers on the way up, had a short talk on the bow and it's technology and was terribly nervous through the whole affair.  Once the history talk and the preliminaries were done, I got into the physical component, and then everything got easy.  Helping someone's form is easy.  Eventually Jason got one the scene and started running a couple other lines, and then before I knew it, it was all done.

I didn't know what to think of it.  In all honesty, I still don't.  I've heard nothing but good feedback from everyone, including Rish, so I guess I can take that as a sign that the job was well done.  Well done, but not done to my own standards.  The goal for next time is to be able to deliver the whole spiel without appearing so obviously nervous, and to make non-awkward conversation for the first half of the workshop.

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