I’m a Student and a Teacher

Podcasting has been a lot of fun over the years for me.  From the Edge of the Circle has provided me with the chance to meet so many people – from other podcasters to listeners.  The last two years, there have been gatherings where my fellow Pagan podcasters have gathered and gotten the chance to meet face-to-face – as well as being able to mingle directly with the listeners of their shows.  I really wish I had that kind of chance, but costs and free-time are the big killers for me.  As I teach college classes, I have constraints that literally pull me away from being able to attend gatherings that are not fairly close to my locale here in the DFW area.

Two years ago, at the local Pagan Pride Day, I was afforded the chance to meet with David Pollard (CUUPs Podcast) and Renny and Rose (Shhh! There Are Pagans in Texas) – along with fellow Pagan blogger John Beckett (Under the Ancient Oaks).  At that time, Renny and Rose were just starting to stretch their wings into the Pagan Podosphere – so it was absolutely delightful to listen to them discussing how their show was made.  What made it even more fun, was the fact that they had advertised their presence at the event and had listener after listener approaching them.  The interaction was a joy to watch!  Meeting John was a completely surreal moment – I had been reading his blog for quite some time and was a fan of his writings.  So it was an absolute pleasure to talk with him face-to-face (and it still is today, when our paths do cross).  Meeting David was an ultimate joy.  I have known David going back into the mid-to-late 1980s, when he ran a BBS called “Renaissance BBS” – and I was in the Air Force, stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth.  On that particular day, it had been close to eleven years since David and I had seen one another face-to-face.  I quickly made plans to attend the next year’s Pagan Pride Day (2011), but sadly – that particular gathering fell apart fairly late and nothing was able to be put together with such a short time-frame.

But the podcast has provided me with a lot of fun getting to know folks through Email.  Don’t get me wrong – its not like the Emails flood into my Inbox on a daily basis.  I’d estimate that I field less than 100 Emails in a calendar year for the podcast – and that’s a rather liberal estimate.  But those Emails provided me with people asking for an opinion on various topics.  Sometimes, I don’t have the answers – but I try and point folks to other shows that might – or even other bloggers that could provide a better answer.  See, I’m fairly cognizant of what I do and don’t know about the giant mountain known as “Paganism”.  I know my small part of the mountain like the back of my hand.  I traverse the small wooded area and slopes here on a near daily basis.  But there are other parts of the mountain that I know relatively little about.  But I do know who might inhabit that area – and that’s why I point folks to these people.  They want answers – why should they get my theory and what *might* be – when they can go to people who may have a better grasp of the concept and get a far better understanding of what *is*?

In the past, I’ve had accusations laid against me where the podcast was concerned.  One of these was that I was “snobbish” and believed myself to have become a BNP (Big-Name Pagan).  Nothing could be further from truth.  I am me.  Sometimes when it seems that I’ve become too busy – its likely because I have.  I teach anywhere from six to ten college classes in a week for two different university systems.  That’s what I do for a living.  On top of that, I’m attempting to finish my third degree (which I downgraded from a PhD to a Masters degree and have only three clases to go before finishing).  Those degrees provide me with the necessary background to teach the classes that I have.  Add to that, I’m also working my way through the Bardic courses for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.  Now, granted, that particular program is self-paced, but I am aiming to finish that as soon as I can and have plans to continue into the Ovate courses.  So, obviously my free-time gets fairly cramped from time to time.  As for the charge of BNP — I don’t think so.  The number of downloads that I get for the podcast on a monthly basis are meager – at best.  I know there are several Pagan podcasts out there that blow my monthly stats away in a single week.  My show is a fairly small fish in the pond.  And there’s no way I consider myself an “elite” anything…I’m just me.

However, two things that I definitely am:  I’m a teacher, and I’m a student.  Those two things will never change – no matter what is taking place in my life or where my feet are on my Path.  People come to me for discourse on some topic or another – because they are interested in my point of view.  But as I continually tell people – whatever I say is just my point of view.  They can borrow from it as they see fit – or completely discard it as nonsense and develop their own.  Neither one is going to hurt my feelings.  Because in the end, they have to walk their Path with their own footsteps.  And no matter how knowledgable a person is on their own Path – newbie through to expert – I always learn something from them as well.  As I tell my students in my college classes:  I’ll learn as much from you, as you will learn in this class, because you will show me a new way of looking at the material.  I’m a student and a teacher…

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