Roundtable with Shelter Seminar Participants

Monday, 25 January 2021

A google document “live” chat/writing experiment.

Guest List:

Jill Magi on behalf of JARA

Andrew Bush

Shadan Ako

Emma Chiu

EzgiHanife

Jocilyn Estes

Alexandra Urbanikova

JM: OK–let’s “start”! Folks on the document, what was it like to participate in the Shelter Seminars? What brought you to the space? And, how do you imagine, as a “student,” the experience was for Andrew? I love this idea of “we imagine each other” as we work together. So, if anyone wants to pick up any of these threads, that would be great!

JM: Please feel very free. We will have the mechanism to edit later–or you should say “edit me” if you would like to backtrack on something you “said” or wrote.

JM: it is wonderful seeing all these lovely cursors move across the page!

EC: Hi everybody, I’m Emma, residing in Taipei, Taiwan currently. I was a philosophy major and minored in Arabic at NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2020.  I was compelled by the idea of the Shelter Seminars because I felt like my undergraduate experience was lacking in something that I couldn’t quite articulate in the beginning. The rigid academic structure of most university experiences, I felt, had a way of hindering personal and academic growth in the way that self-motivated study does not. The stakes raised in traditional classrooms, I found, like grades and participation points, tended to prompt students to react to stimuli in an attempt of showing one’s academic prowess instead of engaging in a meaningful two-way dialogue. For example, I found that in classroom settings, speaking is often prioritized over listening, due to the incentivization of ‘participation points’, which do not necessarily constitute ‘meaningful participation’ as I see it.

The shelter seminars, on the other hand, seemed to be a lot less centered on the fixations and prioritizations that students would commonly have in classrooms. I felt incredibly invigorated during our set seminar times because of the self-motivated energy that you could feel coming from all corners of the world.

JM: EC, can you provide an example? I know it might be hard–but can you be a bit more specific about this notion of “growth” and your university experience? If not, that’s OK! Just compelled by your thoughts and want to know more.

JE: Hi all! I’m Jocilyn, based in Washington, DC. I studied Political Science and Philosophy at NYU Abu Dhabi and now work at a think tank. In my day-to-day I focus a lot on the practical, the evidence-based choices available to make the world a better place. Often that means thinking about issues primarily as technical challenges: problems to be solved. While that can be rewarding and impactful, I found myself missing the uncertainty of interpretation, of stumbling and learning alongside and from other people. Given the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to cultivate a moral imagination that allows me to picture how our world and our systems could be fundamentally different and not simply limit my understanding or solutions to what is immediately plausible. When Andrew reached out about these seminars, it seemed like a wonderful way to foster moral imagination while also meeting new and interesting people during a time when I felt quite isolated. When I think about “imagining each other” I’m struck by how that could also mean drawing inspiration from our ideas of one another. For example, I was energized by simply the idea that Andrew (and my fellow seminar-mates!) would have incredible energy during our discussions. I often joined at 8 or 7am depending on where I was and the season, but I was driven by what I thought would be others’ contributions and my perception of their investment in the seminar.

JM: Energy is real–it is something to sense and it is infectious! Interesting.

SA: Hi everyone I’m Shadan, I live in Kurdistan region of Iraq. I graduated from law school in 2020, and I’m a lawyer now. My participation in the seminar was a unique experience. First, because of the subject that Andrew chose, it was new and important for my field and I think it is important for gender studies. Second, it showed me a new way of learning that wasn’t common for me and the education system that I graduated from. I think the pandemic that the world is suffering from —alongside its bad side—has many good sides, which include gathering us (Shelterers) in a virtual class while each one of us is from different part of the world. Our curiosity and love for learning made us look for a place or a group to keep us on track of learning even after graduation and this seminar was a golden chance which came out at the right time.

JM to SA: Can you be specific about this new way of learning–seminar format? Speaking together? Thanks for expanding on your ideas here!

JM to JE: I love this idea of uncertainty–that you were seeking something like this quite aside from problem-solving modes.

EH: Hi and Thanks to everyone! I’m Ezgi and I’m a pianist in Ankara, Turkey. I did my Masters at University of Texas at Austin in Collaborative Piano Major. Now I teach at Ankara University State Conservatory. Today’s academia is a conservative instutition that is not open to innovations and is not able to transform according to the needs of today. So, it became a stack of antique encyclopedia in which the students are consciously similarized.  Thanks to my friend Alex, who introduced me to the refreshing Shelter Seminars where people are in search of a new way.  Also, the “Men in Gender” seminar caught my attention.  Because every problem takes its roots from this gender chaos and it has been a bleeding wound in every society since the beginning of the humanity. So, the seminar helped me to look at the mirror and try to understand how these gender issues unwittingly become part of one’s individual behavior and our collective thinking systems.  It is embedded in our DNA, and it takes a calm, patient, holistic effort to change things. Luckily, Andrew is a liberating and amazingly open-minded professor, who takes us from the framed world of the academia and brings us to the real world with the variety of texts, different approach of the cinema. He does all this by combining with who we are.

JM to EH: are you thinking that problems in education has been a bleeding wound? Or gender “problems”–can you be specific?

EH: I think it is both. Since the dominant, manipulative, tyrannical, otherizing aspects of masculine thought occupy everywhere, they both create each other.

JM: Thank you all for your developing and growing thoughts in this space. Could someone be specific and tell us what meeting as a Shelterer was like? Was it kind of like a traditional class? Was it more informal? How did you make time?

SA: In our first meeting as Shelterers we clarified that there are no obligations and no requirements. You can attend the seminar if you want to, otherwise, it’s okay and no one will blame you. The only requirement was the piece of reading that we were choosing to read every Monday. Here we can see the distinction of this class from traditional class! About your question for formality and informality, as one of my friends said, the absence of time and place was one of the pillars of the seminar, I would like to say that the seminar was beyond formality and informality! It was a place where thoughts and opinions have been exchanged and new thoughts were born.

JE: I think it is important to acknowledge that our classes often began (or were perforated by) moments of technical mishaps, delays, or other glitches which are common in other arenas of virtual learning. That being said, I think grounding us in a space with shared accountability and stakes (we all agreed to spend our time in this space together not because of a class requirement, but because we wanted to contribute and learn from one another) actually allowed for vulnerability that might not have existed otherwise. It made those internet gaffes and late arrivals feel more like testaments to the lives all of us lived outside of these seminars. And it gave an entry point to bring those experiences into our discussion–and across time zones– rather than leaving them at the door. At least, that’s how I justified my laggy internet connection!

I also think that the subject matter of this seminar was almost prescient. (For context, the past several weeks in DC have had me thinking constantly about masculinity, and how that shows up or doesn’t, and who gets to express masculine traits when). And how we engaged with the topic given our own experiences with gender, sexuality, and the politics of those things was also personal and uncertain given what you did or didn’t know about others.

EC: Due to the different demands that life can impose upon us – work, study, family, or other circumstances – there were various moments where not all our fellow shelterers were present in the seminar. However, I believe that everyone wanted to join the call every week and stay on the call because we all actively wanted to be part of the conversation, and hear each other’s perspectives regarding the gender context or any other facet of the text we were reading. I do resonate a LOT with JE’s statement about our space being grounded on shared accountability and would like to add that even though most of us don’t know each other on a personal level, we share a mutual respect for one another in the academic as well as the personal sphere, which was even more interesting considering the nature of our seminar being conducted online. 

EH: I am totally agreed with what everyone’s said. At our first meeting, Andrew had addressed a very important point. He said that “Please don’t feel the rquirement of expressing the most cool ideas. Just be free to talk about whatever you catch in the readings.” His approach summarizes the character and the substance of the Seminars. The keypoint was the need of understanding not only through readings, but also ourselves and each other. Unfortunately, academia is so obsessed with formulas, dysfunctional informations, proofs and orders that doesn’t involve understanding and communication.

JM: All really interesting. I’m trying to keep up with the threads! It’s a little bit like a blur! Or requires a “soft-focus” read which is interesting–kind of like how I read poetry when I first read it. Or how I read really difficult philosophy! Anyway, this is an interesting space is what I’m trying to say now.

JM to AB: Andrew, what did you learn, as a teacher, in this space?

AB: Reflecting on what EC and others are saying, I think I learned a lot about how we stake or risk ourselves when we come together to study. In my previous experience teaching in university classrooms, I learned to exercise a degree of agnosticism about what brings students to the classroom or what they take from it: I leave it up to them to develop their own ideas and offer what I can. But in this space of the Shelter Seminar, it became necessary early on for people to stake or risk themselves in a different way. We are here to study, for reasons that we all shared with one another throughout the experience. When teaching in the university environment I absorbed a lot of energy from students when they staked themselves by talking about what they brought to or took from the classroom. But here in the Shelter Seminars, I gained a much deeper appreciation for the kinds of conversations that are possible when we risk the conversation and enter into the space that is–as JE put is–a space of uncertainty. And as I would add, a space of experimentation in which we were able to be present to one another in a distinctive way.

Another thing I learned came from the final conversation we had in the class in which someone described the conversations as “organic.” When I teach at university, I am often oriented toward a particular pedagogical purpose, and I think of the organic as a method for reaching that. But when someone praised the conversation as “organic,” it occurred to me that that can be a purpose in and of itself–that the conversation in a seminar can grow, as from the soil and water and air that are our collective experiences and imagination engaging a text.

JM: OK everyone. I am going to “up the ante” a bit. How will you continue? What is next? Andrew, you did not get paid for this–what does that mean? How do you navigate this energy outlay or transfer? Can you continue outside of the educational economy of exchange and “making a living” and so on?

JM: I do not like my phrase above–please alter it! Work with it–strike it!

AB: Before we began the Seminar, it was important to me that we work on a redistributive model in which those who have extra may give and those who need more may receive. This was part of my imagination of an alternate economy, and therefore an alternate mode of sociality in which economic resources might be moving one direction while pedagogical resources were moving another direction, but not as market-style “exchange.” I was able to donate the time and energy because I have that much “extra” in my pocket right now. But my pockets are not deep enough to continue indefinitely!

The other dimension of “energy outlay” is also quite important. For me, the gathering together with students was always an occasion that gave me more energy than it took from me. But it was the administrative task of bringing together students and teachers that was radically new to me and took more energy than I expected.

JM to AB: Ugh! Administrative work! Politely, may I suggest that sometimes trained academics aren’t so good at this!!! Jonny and myself–who have had many different careers–have always noted this in academia! I also try to teach my art students about administration because they are going to have to do a lot of it in their lives!!!

JM: OK. I’m tuning in.

JM: interesting, AB. You know, speaking of gender, I’m super wary of the feminized nature of teaching work and get really anxious about being taken for granted in that context–or assumed, because of my visible gender, to be more supportive than others . . . I think that it would be so interesting to think through maleness and teaching and how it may be so different than . . . well, don’t know what exactly.

JM: Does anyone want to think through teaching, learning and gender in this space? If it’s a derive or offshoot that isn’t interesting, no problem!

AU: [joining the conversation a bit later from Abu Dhabi, a real-time manifestation of how our Shelter Seminars worked, with unexpected delays on the way and shared presence at the end] I find the question of gender and learning/teaching a very interesting one. Often care, deemed a feminine quality, is perceived as something less of and something that can diminish the class rigor. I sense a worry from educators, particularly in university settings, that if they show care in the classroom it won’t be taken seriously by the students or the colleagues. What I’ve learned from AB is that actually care and rigor go hand in hand. It is care that helps learners achieve greater rigor. From the beginning of the Shelter Seminars, care was at the center and it was something woven throughout our meetings and sessions. And I believe it was an essential part that kept us motivated and engaged throughout the weeks.

JM: thank you for this articulation, AU.

JM: Yes, AU! I have taken to using this phrase “pleasure is rigorous” and “a different kind of rigor” in my classes because there are so many weird discussions about grade inflation that circulate and students feel that if they aren’t getting beat up, they aren’t learning. Anyway . . .

EC: I think one of the key components of the seminar that struck me through reading the texts and our endless discussions about gender, is that we often assign labels or roles to concepts that we have in our minds that might not actually bear the same differences that we would imagine. To give an example, we often attribute courage, boldness, leadership, and ambition to maleness, while we leave the nurturing, considerate, caring characteristics to the female archetype. I think that the feminization or masculinization of ungendered personality traits is not the only thing that we attach labels to. Moreover, it seems like in the attachment of these gendered labels, the concepts in themselves are slowly merging together in a way. For example, the tendency to think that a student is young, vibrant, inexperienced, and the tendency to think of a teacher as a wise, experienced figure. I struggle to come up with more examples to illustrate this, but it seems to me that our preconceived notions – motivated by our psychological instincts to connect related ideas – often bring us to muddle many societal roles/labels and their respective characteristics.

JE: EC, I love this point!

AB: JM This is a wonderful question, and it lets me do something we so often did in the seminar: put words to a vague feeling. Here’s my best effort: Autobiographically, it is perhaps important to note that most of my own teachers in university life have been women, while having often radically different approaches to the task of teaching, and different ways of bringing their experience as women to the classroom.  Maybe I learned the rigor of teaching in a feminine key, or tone? Of course my sense of my gendered presence is not what makes it whatever it is. But I do think there are ways a male teacher may bring or open up a feminine presence, and open a space for masculine and feminine, and trans and non-binary presences in a conversation. There’s a lot of uncertainty in this answer to your question, but I suppose that’s an answer, also. At the end, I love the way AU frames the idea of care and rigor belonging together as a response to questions of gender in the classroom.

JM: thanks AB–so interesting.

JM: Maybe my question is too radical! But I am a person who is in her 50s and as an artist I am very accustomed to not getting paid for what I do and I understand this to be part of my life’s work–to find other ways, karmic maybe, to give and receive energy. So this is what I’m talking about. AB–others–will you teach again? Do students of the Shelter Seminars become teachers? Or . . . would anyone like to brainstorm or think out loud in this space?  

SA: Well actually after the Seminar ended my love for teaching had grown. I think I would like to teach and take it as my future career. I think it’s because of the energy that I got from the seminar, because before that, teaching was not something that I was interested  in.  

JM: to SA: very interesting. It’s amazing that you learned about teaching by being a “student.”

SA to JM: What was unique in the seminar is that there was no teacher and students. We all were in one level  exchanging ideas and thoughts about what we were reading. My previous idea of a teacher was like a person who has ideas or opinions and tries to convince all the students to take those ideas and opinions as theirs.  But in the seminar it was not like that, that is why I called it unique!

JM to SA: thank you for the further articulation.

JM: so AB, in response to SA above, you provided administrative structure, but not “instruction” per se? Andrew, you outlined the texts to read? Did you “set the stage” or . . .

AB: Well we did different things on different days.  Early on, I wanted to cultivate my own abilities to give a sort of improvised lecture as an opening volley for conversation. I did that a few times but and then the itch was scratched! But perhaps it set the stage for the kind of organic conversation we had that SA describes. And also, as JE mentions below, while I initially had a set of texts that put me in the “teacher” role, we also adjusted those texts according to what the “students” (and I) were most interested in. In this sense, the more we staked and risked ourselves in conversation, the more responsible to one another we became, and the more responsive, I think. I think that is one reason the hierarchies of the classroom receded from experience for a bit, as SA describes.

JM: to all–I like this discussion of the very particulars of roles in the seminars.

AB: YES

JE: I think one meaningful component of the Shelter Seminars in terms of structure was negotiating what texts we wanted to read together. I use negotiating because that is what it felt like in the moment! In one of our first meetings as a “crew” we went through the subjects and context for many texts that AB suggested might be of interest for the seminar. We then discussed what was most interesting (or completely uninteresting!) to us. This “co-creation” was an important component of establishing the content for the seminar.

JM to JE: interesting. So texts were proposed like a menu?

JE to JM: Yes! We had one large zip file with LOTS of relevant content. Everyone discussed the texts that seemed most beneficial or intriguing to them and we came to a “syllabus” of sorts together. I suppose syllabus isn’t quite right. We also engaged with texts on a flexible basis. At the end of each discussion there would be a question about whether we wanted to continue with a text or move on to another.

JM: Amazing.

JE: All this being said, I don’t want to undervalue AB’s contributions as a guiding force. To me, there didn’t feel like a typical classroom hierarchy in our discussions and engagement. But AB had an indelible impact in moving us along, checking in with each of us, and providing the energy to facilitate discussions effectively.

AU: I think AB had an important role of guiding us through the topic. The way I think about it is as someone who holds a torch and sheds light on what’s out there but then we together make the meaning of what we see. And we can of course direct him on where we want that light to be shed if that makes sense.

AU: Some of the texts were also very challenging! Especially for someone like me who hasn’t had much exposure to gender studies texts. AB helped us digest the texts, focused us on the most “juicy” parts but there was always space to bring our own passages and themes to the conversation. I think we needed that sort of guidance to tackle some of the texts (they tend to be VERY abstract).

JM to AU: I’m following your metaphor–nicely put.

JE: To AB’s note above, when we began, I loved the idea of a redistributive component to these seminars. I’m curious if folks felt that during our sessions. In the US, and in DC where I am, mutual aid networks have received much more attention over the past year than ever before. I was struck by the concept of these networks stepping in during the pandemic to do what our government had failed to do and take care of neighbors. No questions asked, no one more deserving than someone else. “Solidarity, not charity” is the phrase I’ve heard. I think there might be some parallels to what we sought to create in this space. In that, given our shared stakes in this project, would we step in for one another when someone’s idea needed words that maybe they couldn’t quite find? Would we contribute to funds for someone if they needed to up their internet bandwidth or find a text? 

As for what is next, I’d like to continue in some form! These discussions were incredibly rewarding for me personally. In many ways it felt like a form of care to take time on a Monday morning to reflect and discuss with others. A centering breath at the beginning of a long week.

JM: So lovely.

EH. I totally agree with JE. It was a peaceful experience for me. People who do not know each other open up space for each other to make each other feel more comfortable.  Since we live in a world of prejudices, this caring society is very precious.

AU: Such a beautiful point JE! That shelter seminars indeed felt like a form of care.

JM: At a moment when, at least in the US, there has been a burgeoning rhetoric of “self-care” what I think is radical about the space you have all made is that care is not individual–it’s created through collectivity. Yeah! This is a wonderful thing to celebrate, to trace, to replicate, to try again and with alterations as needed. But how freaking uncapitalistic of you all. Cheers.

EC: following on JE’s comment about care: I think that a beautiful part of the seminar, and part of our individual ‘care,’ is that we established this space as a collective, through celebrating our individuality through the seminar. We let the conversations flow and we really gave the mic to the person who had it at the moment, and revised our points accordingly. It didn’t feel like anyone was reigning on the conversation or that there was an ‘authority’ in the space, validating what comments were legitimate and what comments weren’t. All contributions stemmed from a desire to understand the text as a collective, and help each other grasp more or gain different perspectives having been exposed to the same text. In the beginning I thought that such an attempt to let our minds flow would be a disaster, to be completely honest, as I’ve repeatedly seen it play out in traditional classrooms. But in the ‘Shelter Seminars’, I felt a more honest call to reach out to each other and tune into other people’s spaces when they were reading the text. I think that the ‘care’ that flourished in the seminar, branched out from everyone who put in the ears, eyes, and mental energy into making it happen, no doubt.

JM: To all: maybe it’s also fine to allow yourselves to be in the moment, in the echo or “after” space of your first seminar and to see how things settle and allow for the next moment and its requisite administrative duties to emerge also organically! That seems quite counter to a pace of life that always looks to what is next rather than settling into what IS or what just happened in the near past.

JM: OK–another perhaps radical question–what if the spirit of the Shelter Seminars entered into institutional space? Did any of you find that you did your jobs differently as a result of the experience? AB, the next time you teach for an institution, will you teach differently? Is my question not at all the point?!!

AB: Well I certainly will approach institutional teaching quite differently. Learning how to make the university grading system “work” for the benefit of students within the institutional confines has been a tremendous and evolving task for me. This is the first time that I taught an extensive seminar without any “grading,” and the experience of being liberated into our own discipline for study, of being bound to a wandering imagination is something that so much grading mitigates against. So, I will approach grading differently.

JM: Oh I love the phrase “a wandering imagination”!!! I found poetry to be a form for a wandering argument. I chose it rather than continue in PhD study because of its shape. Anyway, an aside . . .

JM: Did you lead your domestic lives differently? Did the spirit of the seminar spread and if so, how? It doesn’t need to–sometimes spaces are contained and have strong cell walls around them. And this is fine.  Just curious.

JM: and with this question, let’s “wrap this up”!!! Knowing that we can reconvene at another point down the road.

EC: I find myself currently in a stage of my life where I am trying to figure out a lot of long-term goals that became a lot more confusing after graduation. The Shelter Seminars gave me a space to reintegrate the part of academic life that I missed so dearly, and gave me further insight about why I was as motivated during my undergraduate life and how I would want it to translate into my future. I think the erasure of the traditional institution and a new structure of ‘instruction’ (not sure this is the best choice of words) prompted me to think about my drive in intellectual pursuits, isolated from all the ‘obligations’ and other types of limitations that universities place on us.

JM to EC: I love how your comment places intellectual life outside of institutions. Yes!

AU: For me personally, Shelter seminars were almost like an alternate universe outside of my domestic life. It was truly beautiful to have that space, I think it’s something I missed a lot after graduation, a space where time doesn’t exist and the only thing you pay attention to is the flow and exchange of thoughts. The conversations were so interesting, I rarely noticed how an hour and half has passed. Almost like if thoughts were another dimension (that replaced time) in this universe.

JM to AU: I love this notion of time that you share here. Very interesting.

EH to AU: Your description is amazing! It was like a space odyssey, no time no space.

SA: As I was reading the comments of my friends, honestly I didn’t want to praise the seminar in all of my responses. But I think it’s hard because as I said from the beginning, it gave me a lot and showed me a new way, a new window to look at the world. I want to say, after the seminar, I started to take a philosophy course, inspired by the seminar and especially by AB. In the seminar he showed us ways of reading and noticing. Maybe that is hard to understand without being in the seminar or observing it. But when I say reading and noticing, I mean being forced to build your thoughts, or let us say, rebuild your thoughts about the world.

JM: to SA: I’m following you–thank you!

AB: I am really inspired by everyone’s descriptions of the Seminars as a different space. There are and will be “uses” and “applications,” and also “effects” (some nameable and others not), but it seems that the most valuable of those become possible only because we risked the time and place in which they were absent. This is maybe just a more elaborate way of saying that the entire experience was an experiment.

JE: I think the Shelter Seminars (aptly named, given how we’ve all come to describe them!) really contributed to how I now approach discussions, teach-ins I’ve helped organize, and workplace convenings. Those spaces are all very different. I’m not always empowered in the same sense I was during our seminar. But I think I’m more apt to consider the contributions of others in a frame of.. “building”—or “growth” perhaps?. I keep coming back to AB’s description of “organic.” Maybe I mean taking proposals, ideas, or thoughts as things to be built on or responded to, not things to use and discard or refute? Even if you might not agree or fully understand.

JM to JE: I think you are proposing something unlike traditional argumentation. I like how you’re talking about ideas as not-a-commodity or a person does not need to eat them, consume them, use them. It is possible to sit and be with ideas. Is this something like what you are talking about?

JE to JM: Yes, I think so! Not to say I always think like this, but I certainly find myself “sitting and being” with concepts, contributions and suggestions more often.

EC to JE & JM: I completely agree in that considering contributions in a more favorable light is a lot more productive to arrive at a more nuanced position. I would say that argumentation – the way that it is carried out often nowadays – tends to lack the nuanced version of the different positions due to the prioritization of refutation rather than understanding. I think that ‘sitting and being’ with seemingly opposing views can give us more space to understand the disparities better as well, and get closer to a more coherent outcome.

JM: interesting, JE

JM: to all: THANK YOU SO MUCH! You are an inspiring group, and your thoughts and comments just glow.

AU: This was so much fun! We should incorporate this into the next iteration of the Shelter Seminars. Andrew, this was an amazing idea.

JE: Thank you all for this time of reflection! It was wonderful to chat with you this morning. I have to run, but this was an excellent way to start the week. Very grateful for all of you!

EC: Thank you all for all of this. It was a pleasure to absorb your ideas, even if it meant not seeing your faces in zoom this time around! This was an amazing experience, very different from other meetings and quite exhilarating to be honest.

AU to EC: Exhilarating is such a good word to describe this experience!!

AB to JM: Re: “the Glow”: your questions are not just mirrors but sparks!

JE: I completely agree with AB’s characterization of your questions, JM! Wonderful.

EH: Group brainstorming was so exciting! Also, I am amazed to read all your inspirationally described experiences trough Jill’s thrilling questions. Thank you all and thank you Jill!

JM: As for this text and editing–let’s sit with it for a couple of days. I will convert this into a word doc and then if it’s OK with you all, I will send, but right now I am wary of a tendency to clean it up too much or reconstruct it into something too sparkly. I like how gangly it is at the moment–I have to admit. I love that it sprawls and rambles. But I want to make sure you are all comfortable with what you said.

AB to JM: gangly and sparkly is nice, indeed!   Yes, let’s sit for a day or two.

JM: OK! So many thanks! And here is to more shelter! I’m going to sign off, but any of you can stay on and add, re-read, etc. In the next day or so I’ll reformat to word . . . stay tuned!

AB to all: I’m signing off also. Thank you all so much for your participation today, and also in the Seminar. Here’s to more!

AU: Thank you everyone!

SA: Thank you all!

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