This blog post originally started as a Q&A response on Facebook. I sometimes get questions in my Facebook Messenger from folks, and I’ll pick a few to answer publicly rather than privately – because either I find the question interesting or it seems to have a much broader appeal. So, here’s how things started….
Q: I think you could do excellent as an online teacher for Pagans, Druids, etc etc. Have you thought about exploring that direction at all? I think you would be awesome!!!!!
::blush:: Thanks. Have I thought about doing that? Yes. I have taught face-to-face and online Introduction to Computer classes for a handful of collegiate systems. But that’s a bit different than what you’re suggesting here. But yes, I have thought about it. Only issue I have – is charging money for it. Yes, I get that its “my time” and I should be compensated for it. I just don’t feel right about charging something that could be done over a handful of conversations sitting around the fire, sipping a drink of our individual choices, and enjoying the stars. I also grok that people are hungry for knowledge and direction for a Spirituality that has firm roots within Nature. This also boils back into my podcasting….feck…..let me change this over to a blog post, because this is going to get lengthy.
So, let me approach this a bit more methodically and a touch more in-depth.
I have been an adjunct faculty member at a few junior college systems in Texas, as well as a few national for-profit systems. Teaching is something I had a lot of fun doing. There is a strong appeal to helping people understand concepts, whether those be related to Information technology or their own Spiritual Path. That moment of seeing the light-bulb go off and the individual actually “get it” is a real rush for me, as the individual that helped guide them to that point of understanding. When I left the adjunct faculty base to work in Administration, I was sad to leave all of that behind. Turned out, I could continue to teach even in this capacity. Faculty and Administration folks would come to me with data requests or questions about the data sets that they had procured. I essentially fell into a role of Data Evangelist at the college I worked with. I helped more than one faculty member put together data studies for a dissertation or some sort of grant funding, which was a lot more fun. I got to teach them about their data, and I learned a bit about their topic. So I do have to admit that teaching an Introduction to Paganism type of class has a certain allure to it.
This is another area that I get a lot of questions on – will I go back to podcasting? Well, I can’t say “never” – that would be foolish. However, I have said in the past, and continue to say now – “never again, without someone else joining in.” I enjoyed running my two podcasts, “From the Edge of the Circle” and “Upon a Pagan Path”, and you know there is a “but” coming… But I really hated essentially having just a conversation with myself. After a time, I felt that the shows were becoming repetitive, dull, and stale. Thus, I stepped away, twice. Did I enjoy it? Yes, it was a lot of fun – particularly when the listeners would send Emails and we could converse back and forth. I never really got that intense about download numbers. I truly didn’t care enough about how many times the episodes got downloaded. Just like I don’t really care how many times these blog posts get read. I only hope that the stuff reaches at least one person, who needed to hear or read what I was saying at that moment. I’d be more than thrilled to go back to podcasting again…but not alone.
Book Writing, Blogging, Etc.
I have been asked if I ever thought about writing a book. Yes, I have. And I am. Currently, I am not sure it will ever see the light of day, though I am on thinking of publishing pieces of it on Patreon. If I ever decide to do that, I will let everyone know it exists. by the way, my Patreon level is set at the lowest possible point – $1. And it would stay that way, even if I published portions of my writings there.
Blogging…well, I actually enjoy writing. I am not the greatest in the world at it, but I do try to put my emotions behind what I write. I write here on the blog for the same reasons I did the podcast – in the sheer hope that a single individual will read what I have to say and be able to get something out of it at that moment. That really is all I have ever asked out of Life. To be helpful.
See, I have no desire to become some kind of “well-known” Pagan. Nor am I willing to present myself as a matter expert on anything – except my own Spirituality. I know what works for me. What works for you might be the same, somewhat similar or so different so as not to seem to be the same thing…and all of that is awesome, from where I stand. I’m not writing to denigrate someone else’s Spiritual perspective. I write to discuss what did or did not work for me, in the hopes that it stirs some internal debate for you. So that you might turn over the topic on your own, ask yourself the hard questions, and hopefully be honest in your replies to yourself. All of this feeds into the last aspect of all of this teach classes online thing….cost.
Gimme Your Cash-Flow
There is a ton of debate about paying for services within the Pagan community. How much should you pay for a hand fasting, a Tarot reading, for someone to perform some kind of ritual based on the Wheel of the Year, a Pagan-oriented convention, a weekend gathering, etc etc.?? Now, I am of the mind that you pay for whatever services you are accepting from someone else. An online tarot reading? Sure a twenty-spot (US currency) should sound about right to my ear. Not that I do tarot readings…but that’s another blog post. I have no issues paying for services that I procure from other Pagan folk. But somewhere inside of me, I have an issue charging people for my services. And its something I cannot readily explain. However, if you were looking for the greater sticking point to me doing online classes and teaching and stuff….this is the tip of that iceberg.
So, would I teach an online class? Maybe. At this particular moment, I have nothing planned or even organized. So the appropriate answer would be – not right away, if I was going to. Will I go back into the podcasting world? Maybe. Find me another person or persons that want to do a show together. Not alone. Not ever again. Will I write a book? Sure. Publishing it is another story altogether. 🙂 There is one larger reason why I move with slow reluctance in all of this – I have no desire for fame or even fortune. I only need enough money to live comfortably, and the way I live – its not that expensive in the first place. And fame? That’s certainly not my bag. I just cringe at the idea of being considered a “subject matter expert” on any topic. I am always learning, always finding new methods, changing, improving….I’ll never consider myself an expert. However, I can steal from Duran Duran….I could get used to the idea of being No-no-Notorious….. 😉