Imagine a catalog filled with courses you’d love to take. The courses take place in your favorite part of the country. The only problem? You can only take one course at a time. So how do you decide? Well, I had that question every since I first opened a catalog from the John C. Campbell Folk School. I wanted to learn it all. So what did I do? Looked for a way I could stay there longer than one week, of course.
Three months from today I will officially start my volunteer position at the John C. Campbell Folk School. If you come take a class while I’m there, you’ll find me with a name tag indicating my position as “Student Host.” At your Sunday afternoon orientation session, I’ll introduce myself and tell you I’m your after-hours support person. Locked out of your room? You call me. Feeling ill? You call me. Or my co-host (thankfully, there are two of us!). If you’re an early riser, you can join me for a morning walk before breakfast each morning. When the bell rings to signal meal time, you may find me at your table eager to hear your story. If you’re going to participate in evening activities and you arrive a little early, you’ll find me setting up for them. You may even see me in your class – because in exchange for my duties as Host, I get a free class every week. For fifteen weeks. Yup. I get to take fifteen classes.
Here’s the thing: picking fifteen classes isn’t much easier than picking one. I’m one of those people that will try almost anything, so every class looks interesting. But there’s a catch that actually makes it a little easier to decide. I get three “Silver Bullets” – three classes that I can pick today and be guaranteed my spot. For the other twelve weeks, I make my request a few days before the class starts. If there’s an opening, I’m in. If the class is filled with paying students, I have to pick another.
Since the day I opened the catalog, I wanted to try blacksmithing. So that will be my first Silver Bullet. I’ve taken two writing classes at JCCFS and thoroughly loved each one, so I think my second Bullet will be another writing class. The third? Oh dear…such a hard decision. But I’ll keep you posted:)
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John C. Campbell Folk school is a wonderful place to spend time. I am glad you will be here for a while and look forward to seeing you again.