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let's salute schools with excellent workshops.

updated tue 21 aug 01


Stephani Stephenson on mon 20 aug 01

In response to Paul's recommendation of workshops and schools:

I have to say I would not read a list for very long, who's main purpose
was 'naming and shaming'. . Yet , interesting how there are
organizations such as the 'better business bureau' or professional
groups which have been created to offer 'assurance of quality' from
member groups or a reference for consumers in some fields. Non profits,
for example have such organizations. Not sure whether these really work
but they do exist and hopefully serve a good purpose in some
situations.! there is , it seems a fine line between the negative aspect
of 'shaming and blaming' and the constructive aspect of alerting people
to a con or a rip off....

I had the pleasure of working as an assistant for Paul Lewing's workshop
(as well as Mel and Dannon, Peter King and Lewis Katz.) at Nottingham ,
CA, in the summer of 1998. Paul was a consummate professional and his
workshop was both thoroughly enjoyed and enjoyable. I would 'run dog'
for him or any of the above instructors any time.
I respect all them to a very high degree. However I will differ in
recommending the site:

1998 was the only summer Nottingham offered a slate of workshops. They
were good workshops.
Since then , consistency and customer service would NOT be adjectives
of choice for describing the situation there. Buyer beware. Prospective
residents beware. I say this in seriousness and sincerity , based on my
experience, yes, but also from many conversations with people I have
since met and talked with .

You have many components at a workshop:

the sponsoring organization and staff
the site ,the equipment and the materials
the instructor
the rest of the participants
you, the individual attending the workshop

all categories have weaknesses and strengths alone or in combination.
There can be shortcomings in a couple of areas which can be overcome by
excellence or strengths in other areas.
So even if four out of six pistons are firing you can still have a fired
up experience.( 2 out of four you might see some choking)

part of the difficulty with saluting and recommending as well as
whistle blowing and dissatisfaction is that you are seeing and
experiencing a very small slice of the pie at a particular 'point in

it IS truly amazing how experiences can differ. Yet places, do ,over
time develop a track record, good or bad.

Stephani Stephenson