Emerson College Newsletter

February 2013

Dear Friends,

It's only been a little over a month since we last sent news to you all but it feels a lot longer..

All this happened since our last newsletter:

  • The students are back from their Christmas holidays and have settled into their new term.
  • We have a new cohort for It's My Life, Angela Lord's course in Anthroposophy
  • A new open studio initiative has developed in the old Orientation Year classroom, led in part by Amanda Cid - one of our Visual Arts graduates.
  • Our new gap year course finally has a name - Catching Fire - and it is certainly sparking our imaginations as we watch it grow!
  • We're also in the midst of redesigning our website, which we hope to have up and running within a couple of months.

We've also had lots of snow on campus in recent weeks - the drive turned into a skating rink and we almost lost our water supply after a leak in the village caused by the cold weather. Thankfully everything was fixed very quickly, but we had a fun afternoon filling up bathtubs and sinks full of drinking water and worrying whether we would ever be able to flush the toilets again!

So lots going on up on Pixton Hill, as usual. Please do send us your stories, old photos, feedback and questions - we're always very happy to hear from you!

And I'd like to take a quick moment to thank our wonderful photographer, Loreline Lateur, for her gorgeous photos, which have been brightening up our newsletters, Facebook Page, and Twitter posts for the last couple of months now.

Keep warm everyone! (Or cool, for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere!)

Lots of love,

Matt Blissett



Catching Fire - for Young Adults Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life.

Our course development group have been working very hard on the new gap year course for young adults and have settled on a title for the course and are close to having a detailed curriculum to share.

If you are interested in this course, or know someone who you think might be - fill in the contact request form on our website and you will receive updates as they become available.


Conference on the Fifth Gospel at Michaelmas 2013

The Fifth Gospel is one of Rudolf Steiner's seminal lecture series and so Emerson College and The Christian Community in Forest Row have agreed to collaborate in running a weekend conference to celebrate the 100 years anniversary of these lectures in the autumn of 2013.

Rudolf Steiner first referred to the Fifth Gospel, the Gospel of Knowledge, at the laying of the Foundation Stone of the First Goetheanum on 20 September 1913 in Dornach. He also, on that occasion, recited the Macrocosmic Lord's Prayer for the first time. The first Fifth Gospel lecture then took place on 1 October 1913 in Oslo.

The conference will appropriately take place on Michaelmas weekend 2013 from 27-29 September. It will include eurythmy performances and a dramatic performance. The keynote speaker will be Professor Peter Selg, the Director of the Ita Wegman Institute in Dornach. A brochure will be produced and circulated soon.

Old Orchard Cottage Kindergarten and Day Nursery

Since opening our doors of Old Orchard Cottage day nursery and kindergarten we have managed to build on the principles and values that we set out to do in early September. Set in the grounds of Emerson College away from the hustle and bustle of college life, the cottage provides a home away from home child care setting for seven young children from the ages of two to six. A home having been filled with family life for many years the children experience the setting in many ways as a mirror of their own home.

Our aim when starting out was to create a space for children through child care that would nurture their physical, emotional and spiritual development; a place where the needs of the family was also taken into consideration and supported on their unique journey. At present we can have up to ten children which will allow the little ones time and space to develop naturally while great care is given to implement the Waldorf curriculum.

Our morning begins with free uninterrupted play while the teacher is busy in artistic activity. This could be painting, felting or drawing. The children join in before tidying away and the snack table is then laid. The children gather for the morning verse and seasonal circle time of finger games, songs and rhymes. After a short rest a freshly prepared organic snack is enjoyed by all and once again we come together to wash and dry dishes and prepare the room for story time. The children can then enjoy the outdoors where the teacher may be planting, clearing and chopping wood. We come together again for stories and songs before saying good bye to one another.

As well as the Kindergarten we are now offering afternoon care where the children will experience more of a relaxed rhythm. This will start with a shared organic lunch followed by a rest and then a seasonal craft or project.

Hannah Roberts

For more information please visit our website www.olddorchardcottage.org.uk or call Hannah on 07815 064014.

Coming home to the Word with Paul Matthews

I have met many people at Emerson who confess that they came here without fully knowing the reason why. Either they had an instinct to come or their “feet led them here”. Yet once they have walked the grounds for a few weeks, worked with their teachers on opening up to new ideas about themselves, and ate the home-cooked vegetarian meals, they feel home. And that feeling stays with people a long time, so much so, that they often return again and again.

I am one of those people who has returned. I completed the three month “Heart and Craft of the Storyteller” course with Ashley Ramsden and Roi Gal-Or in December last year. One module of that course was creative writing with Paul Matthews. His playfully profound style and impish sense of humour were a delight. And he is a master of the teaching art. So I decided to come back for his 10-week “My Word” course.

Paul teases the inner poet out of everyone. He allows us to fall in love with words again. And he brings back the deeply spiritual quality of language, its soulful rhythms, its capacity to transform how we perceive the world. As he believes that poetry can build community, we are constantly working with other people. We hear each other’s true voices, discovering the unique signature that we all have. “What will you write upon the world! By what name do we call you? How can imagination serve the truth?”

Magical questions from a magical teacher in a magical place.

—Graham Stewart

The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner

Jonathan Stedall, Emerson alumnus and former trustee, has produced and directed a film about the life and legacy of Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy—Emerson's guiding philosophy. This film is being distributed by Cupola Production and Collective Eye and is available for purchase at the following website: www.rudolfsteinerfilm.com and has so far sold over 3,500 copies!

Warm congratulations to Jonathan in this project and we hope that his plans to see this film distributed to international television networks come to fruition!

February Events at Emerson College

Forest Trails/Senderos de Bosgue: Open Studio

Monday, Jan. 14th, 9am to Monday, Feb. 11th, 7pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

Conceived by Amanda Cid, Yaqué and Mati and with support and imagination by Sebastian Wittstock, Graham Stewart and the Emerson Students.

This is an 'Open Studio' event. The Ground floor of Ruskin East will be open throughout the month during which a space for social gathering will be created for the local community, with talks and exhibitions on specific evenings.

Come over to Ruskin and share time and your creativity in the "creative" atelier space.

Gawain and the Green Man

Saturday, Feb. 9th, 7:30-9pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

The Middle-English Midwinter Tale told with song and shadow illustrations by Michael and Wendy Dacre

Here is our new version of the finest poem in Middle English - the strangest of all the King Arthur stories, told with a close ear for the original stunning language, with haunting songs to enhance the scene and luminous shadow illustrations to feast your eyes.

The story is indeed stout and strong, as is the language wielded by this Northwestern contemporary of Chaucer's, although our Green Man is not the perfect gentle knight (albeit green) of the poem but a creature from the depths of time...

This is a companion piece to our ever popular version of Beowulf, and shares the same mix of textures, aural and visual, that is our hallmark.

Held in the Storytelling Hut, suggested donation: £7. Please contact our office on +44 (0)1342 822 238 or at info@emerson.org.uk for more information.

Poeticall Musicke

Sunday, Feb. 10th, 3-5pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

Second of six Sunday concerts at Emerson, featuring music by composer Benjamin Britten or music which influenced him.

George Clifford, Rachel Foot: Violin

Kate Conway: Viola de Gamba

Alex McCartney: Theorbo and Lute

BAROQUE BRITTEN A recital of early music associated with Britten including Purcell's Abdelaza suiet, Chacony, Golden Sontana and solo lute music by John Dowland

As part of this event Sally Schweitzer, Britten's niece will speak about her recollections of her uncle in an interview with Tom Scratchley

Tickets for all concerts are £10. Children may attend free although a contribution would be appreciated

Poets' Corner

Monday, Feb. 11th, 7:30-9pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

with Paul Matthews.

Exploring poetry and creative writing, on Monday evenings, with 3 additional weeks remaining as of February 11th. This course will cost £6/session.

Working with Horses

Monday, Feb. 25th, 8:30am to Thursday, March 7th, 10:30am

Forest Row

East Sussex

Led by Marie Franco.

The Horsemanship course will explore the Biodynamic approach of working horses in its holistic sense. It entails natural horse husbandry and care, equine phenomenology and psychology, equine body and posture language, leadership from the heart and spiritual connection.

The course is held in the Rachel Carson Building, Monday-Thursday, 8.30am-4pm

Cost £450

To make a booking, or for more information, contact us at +44 (0)1342 822 238 or info@emerson.org.uk

Early Childhood Study - Workshop 4: Traumatic Experiences

Friday, Feb. 15th, 6:30pm to Sunday, Feb. 17th, 12:15pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

with Heiner Priess

Certain experiences are so powerful that they overwhelm the soul, shatter the mirror of consciousness and penetrate into the etheric body.

They cause an invisible inner trauma. The scar resulting from this wound is dimly perceived within the soul as anxiety and on the surface causes disturbed behaviour.

The disturbances appear as over reactions which have an automatic quality, because they are not under the control of the human being.

How can anthroposophy help to restore the mastery of the ego, when it has been overpowered by trauma?

Cost: £140, bookings can be made on the Early Childhood Study website here: http://www.earlychildhoodstudy.com/booking.php

Make a Sun Hive with the Natural Beekeeping Trust

Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 9am to Sunday, Feb. 24th, 5pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

Led by Heidi Hermann

Based on an ingenious combination of skep baskets made of rye straw and wooden support structures, the hive is intended for installation at a height of at least 2.5 metres (8 feet).

The shape of the hive harmonises with the movement gesture of the bee colony and enables the bees to design their brood nests according to their own innate criteria.

The hive was designed by German sculptor Guenther Mancke, and represents the fruits of many years of research into the nature of the honeybee colony.

Cost: £140, including organic lunch and refreshments.

The wooden hoop frames and support structures will be available ready-made and may be purchased separately. The complete set of wooden parts costs £100.

Soul Development 21-42

Saturday, March 2nd, 10:30am-5pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

Biography Learning Support Group led by Lourdes Callen

"When I change, my child changes too".

This group will integrate biographical and personal development work with support for those working with children; creating in this way the base for a healthy development of the child. We will come to understand children’s needs deeply through understanding our own childhood and adolescence, and the influence of our own upbringing. We will also practice abilities for observation, for grounding ourselves, and for expanding our capacity to love.

December 8th — Understanding the first years of childhood.

January 26th — Understanding the years from 9 to 21.

March 2nd — Soul Development, 21 to 42.

May 18th — The years from 28 to 42.

July 6th — Spiritual development years — after 42.

Cost: £90/£70 conc.

For bookings, please contact Lourdes directly on: 01342 826727 or atimeforchildhood@gmail.com

Working with Healthy Boundaries

Sunday, March 3rd, 10:30am-5pm

Forest Row

East Sussex

with Lourdes Callen

Parenting workshop, exploring positive ways of responding to children – finding the creative balance

We will share our findings and experiences related to: How can setting healthy boundaries help.

Cost: £90/£70 conc.

For bookings, please contact Lourdes directly on: 01342 826727 or atimeforchildhood@gmail.com