What a sensational seminar we had this year! Everything seemed to click and come together perfectly. We had created several new changes and all were received successfully. We had more people than ever with a huge practitioner track added in this year, several guest teachers presented exceptional classes, and even the weather cooperated when the sunniest, warmest day of the week sparkled on our new garden party day.
Several people attended from afar this year -- Japan, Singapore and Trinidad. The Foundation students came well prepared with a solid base knowledge of herbs, diet and theory. Although this is not necessary, it was obvious they had done their reading and were actively involved with herbs. The Intermediate students soaked up lots of case studies, herbs and formulas, while the Advanced track not only worked hard in clinic, but found time to celebrate their progress and graduation a few times during the week.
The new garden party we added this year was a huge success! All the teachers and students gathered in our home gardens to socialize, ask questions and eat yet another delicious lunch prepared by our chef -- acupuncturist and herbalist Ben Zappin -- with his new assistant this year, our very own Anne de Courtenay -- course graduate, editor (of our new course to come out this summer), creator of the monthly e-news and manager of our website (in other words, a true mistress of many trades).
I added the garden party in response to your past requests to create a time when students could socialize with and ask teachers questions outside of normal class and meal time. See, I listen to you and your ideas!!!
Another wonderful addition was the presentation of our seminar poetess, advanced student Sydney Barthell. She read one of her many insightful poems every day and inspired many students to write their own stanzas after the seminar. One of these, "Raccoon Time: A Lesson from Rock," is posted in the private student forum, and was written by intermediate track student, Mark Dieve. Definitely go read this wonderful tale about his experience preparing for and experiencing our annual closing Medicine Wheel Ceremony. (I hope Sydney will post some of her fabulous poems there as well -- hint, hint!)
This year during our annual party night we coupled herbal charades with an herbal product contest. Amazing products were submitted this year, including edible cosmetics by Jerry Angelini and two stellar herbal beers by Foundation student Kristi Shapla, which Michael is still enjoying to this day! It was such a successful evening that everyone voted to do this again next year (which may or may not include the wild and rowdy after party!).
So start dreaming up your products for next year's contest. We may judge such aspects as the best overall product, best label and presentation, best tasting, most effective and so on. As well, be sure to tell me any ideas/desires for guest speakers or special topics that you want covered next year. I definitely listen to your comments and try to incorporate your desires so we continue to make our East West Seminar the best it can be each year. And this year definitely hit that mark -- thanks to all of YOU.
Here are just a few comments about this year's seminar:
"What a wonderful thing you have going there, Michael and Lesley; I sincerely hope it continues for a long time." S.B.
"East West is more than a school -- it's a family!" J.K.
"I loved the seminar and the location is amazing. I felt there was a lot of great information and because it was such a quality program I will attend again next year. I feel that every teacher was knowledgeable and communicated well." J.S.
"This was my favorite year. The instructors were supportive and informative, my classmates were stellar, and the food was impeccable!" R.D.
Photos by Lesley Tierra and Foundation student Johanna-Maria Wagner.