Emerson College Newsletter

MAY 2013

Dear Friends,

As Spring comes at last to the Emerson campus there is change and new growth – not only in nature, but in the College itself. New courses and initiatives are preparing to start here in the autumn. A new management structure has been developed and is beginning to take shape. We’re taking a fresh look at how we do things and work together, building on Emerson’s purpose and what people most value about their experience here.

In our recent announcement of new programmes, we shared some new courses and events coming to make their home here. In this newsletter, we want to share what’s happening more widely at Emerson. We announce the book launch of "The Story of Emerson College" on 17th May, in which Michael Spence explores and celebrates the College’s founding impulse, work and form. We also share a message from the Board of Trustees on their intentions for developing Emerson College into the future, including recruitment for new senior managers.

We celebrate the return of Lifeways this summer for another week of activities for men, women and children. We say farewell to Arjen Heuse, biodynamics course leader, and give a preview of new developments in the Biodynamic programme. As always, there are workshops and programmes coming up we hope that you (or someone you know) might join us for.

This is an exciting time for us at Emerson. We want to share our enthusiasm and renewed focus on developing Emerson College as a centre for transformative learning and development based on physical, social and spiritual awareness. Over the next few months we’ll be very busy, particularly with the development of our management team and our communications programme - look out for a new website soon. A big thank you is due to Matt Blisset for carrying the newsletter till now.

We look forward to sharing - and creating - the unfolding new story of Emerson College with you.

The Emerson Publicity Team

Charlene Collison Briault and Srisha Sreedharan

You can contact us on: srisha.sreedharan@emerson.org.uk

In this newsletter:

- Book Launch: "The Story of Emerson College"

- Sensing the Direction for Emerson College: a statement of intent from the Trustees

- Lifeways 2013

- Goodbye to Arjen Heuse, and new developments in the Biodynamics programme

- Student perspective: the Pixton morning cafe

- Upcoming workshops and events

- New courses and programmes

- Recruitment of senior managers

- Volunteers programme

"The Story of Emerson College" book launch

Friday 17th May

You are warmly invited to the book launch of

"The Story of Emerson College" by Michael Spence

Ruskin Hall, Emerson College, 7:30 pm

Please see link for more details:

Book Launch

Sensing the Direction for Emerson College

A statement of intent from the Trustees

Last Autumn, the Trustees of Emerson College embarked on a process to clarify the vision and purpose of Emerson College, in parallel with a reassessment of the senior management roles (see link http://www.emerson.org.uk/vacancies/). It seems right to give a brief report on what has emerged from the process of discerning vision and purpose, although this has not yet been completed.

Over the winter months, we conducted individual and group interviews to discover what lived in the students, staff, teachers and members of the Association regarding Emerson College's purpose, and the visions of how this purpose could be realised.

What has emerged from this process so far is a sense of direction, which we have distilled into a set of intentions. These will be discussed further with key stakeholders so that we can create a statement of vision and purpose that will not be quickly forgotten but which will inform all that we do.

We intend to develop Emerson as an adult education and research centre, with the College at its heart.

  • We will develop education programmes informed by the image of the human being as body, soul and spirit, in particular as described by Rudolf Steiner. Some of these will be run directly by the College, and some will be hosted here.
  • We will focus on developing methods (spiritually informed practice) rather than on providing answers.
  • We will develop the site to support these activities, exploring what other initiatives could enhance the experience of students at Emerson College whilst bringing in much-needed funding.
  • We will work to embody the values we teach, starting with using the land as a place of learning and production of the food we eat. Classroom learning will be linked to the life of the community.
  • We will work to ensure that Emerson is sustainable in the widest sense - ecologically in how we build and maintain our buildings and grow our food and in our use of energy, and humanly in the way we respect, value and treat each other.
  • We will seek to engage the whole Emerson community in working to this purpose, engaging course leaders, staff and students in decision-making.

Tom Ravetz

For the Emerson Trustees


"Life is odd........ until you see the bigger picture!"

Sunday 28 July - Saturday 03 August 2013

A summer week with workshops, activities, music and adventure for men, women and children.

Many odd things occur in life......... rambling in some remote area of the world you meet a couple who live in your home town; a chance meeting with a stranger or an overheard remark alters the course of your life. We say “what a coincidence!”, but in fairy stories such things are commonplace, yet filled with meaning and purpose.

So spend some days with us at Lifeways, and help to build an interesting and rewarding week, where young and old can all enjoy a break from normality with plenty of space for individual experiences.

Morning workshops and afternoon groups will run for five consecutive days.

See attached documents for more information about Lifeways 2013, workshops, accomodation and meals. (Please complete and send or email the booking form to attend. Contact details are on the form).

Lifeways 2013 Information: docs/Lifeways 2013.pdf

Lifeways 2013 Booking Form: docs/Lifeways 2013 Booking Form.doc

Farewell to Arjen Huese, and new developments in the Biodynamic programme

We say good bye to Arjen after 11 dedicated years at Emerson College teaching on the Biodynamic Horticulture training course. He will move his young family back to his roots at Warmonderhof in Holland where he graduated with a Diploma in Biodynamic Horticulture. After leaving Warmonderhof, Arjen started market gardens in Germany and Holland before coming to Emerson College.

In the early days of the biodynamic course it was funded and accredited through Warmonderhof and the classroom was located in the North Dining Hall in Pixton. After a short job working in the garden at Emerson, Arjen’s teaching potential was quickly realised and he has been at the heart of the BD programme since. (Arjen left Emerson for Brazil for a short time but was drawn back to Emerson). The programme began to grow and the course was able to move into the new ‘BD building’.

When the funding and accreditation through Warmonderhof ended, it was here that Arjen’s other talent as programme leader began to develop. With the help of others he approached Plumpton College, and accreditation and funding was once again a reality for the students. The current curriculum and course structure carries on today from this foundation and partnership.

While carrying the BD programme, raising his young family and being the entrepreneur that Arjen is, since 2007 during the summer months he has run his very successful Wealden Flowers business. This has included offering courses on cut flower production and writing his book, Cut Flower Grower’s Handbook. His beautiful sweet peas and many other flower varieties are very popular and have adorned many a wedding venue as well as supplying Emerson events and graduations.

- Deborah Watts

Academic Administrator of the Biodynamic Course at Emerson College

New developments in Biodynamic education

In autumn 2013 Emerson College is introducing a Diploma programme in Biodynamic Horticulture. This course provides a grounding in biodynamic horticulture, covering:

  • the farm as an organism
  • crop production

  • plant science and phenomenology

  • soil science

  • animal husbandry

  • biodynamic spray preparations

  • cosmic influences in biodynamic agriculture

In addition to providing a foundation training in biodynamics, the course provides the opportunity for personal development and community building – important skills for many biodynamic growers. On completing the course students will receive a recognised Edexcel level 3 qualification.

Keep a look out on the Emerson website for further details.

Pixton Morning Cafe

Every weekday morning at ten o’clock, the tea-room in Pixton is busy with students and staff who come to spend their mid-morning break in our little college cafe. Starting out at the beginning of the academic year as an experimental offer of teas, coffee and biscuits, we have grown with students’ suggestions into a wider selection of organic fruit, snacks, fresh eggs and the ever popular still-hot-from-the-oven baked goods both from our own kitchen as well as from the local Cyrnel Bakery.

Many students now take their breakfast in the cafe, come for a hot drink or just to linger and chat with fellow students and friends. It is also a time to make a delivery to or “purchase” something from the Free-shop that is situated in the corner of the tea-room. Here anything from clothes and shoes to books, films and small and large odd-bits change owners and finds new use. For me who serves at the cafe it is an extended half-hour of intense activity and social pleasure.

- Marte Tveter

I feel that the café brings a real sort of heart warmth to the college…”

- Ali

“It’s a good place to go when you’re struggling with your painting or sculpting and need to fill up on energy….”

- Chris

Upcoming Workshops

My Word

Creative writing and speech with Paul Matthews and Lindsey Dearlove

Wednesdays, April – June 2013, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

See the Emerson website for further information, under “Part Time Courses”.

Pathways to a Sustainability Career

Friday 7 June, 4:00 pm to Sunday 9 June, 4:00 pm

A weekend residential workshop brought by experienced sustainability professionals from around the world. This workshop is designed for recent graduates who may have little or no knowledge or previous experience of sustainability and who want to explore this area as a potential career path. The course will give you a unique insight into the world of sustainability, enabling you to develop practical skills and knowledge needed to become a sustainability leader and to network among like-minded people.

For more information visit: http://pathwaystoasustainabilitycareer.tumblr.com/

“The Mystery of Music and Meeting: Dissonance and Harmony in Social Practice”

Two research workshops with Steve Briault and Gregers Brinch.

Workshop 1: Saturday 25th May

Workshop 2 Friday 7th – Sunday 9th June

For details see: mystery of music

Right Use of Power

Workshop with Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T.

2 day workshop: Fri 8th - Sun 9th June
4 day workshop: Fri 8th - Tue 11th June

This is a workshop experience for personal and professional development. Empowering, relevant and dynamic, this programme is presented through talks, discussions & experiential practices.

Please see link for more information and booking: Right Use of Power


New Courses in Autumn 2013


An inspirational course for young adults on finding meaning and purpose in life.
Please see link for more details about the course:

Diploma in Anthroposophic Health Care

An inspiring and professional training for nurses and carers who wish to deepen their understanding of the role of the caregiver. For details, see Anthroposophic Healthcare

Ongoing Courses

See our website for other ongoing courses including Visual Arts, Storytelling,It’s My Life” and others.

Emerson is Recruiting

Senior Management Roles

Emerson College is changing. Part of that change has included a thorough review and restructuring of all senior management roles.

We are now recruiting for four new senior management positions to help develop Emerson as a leading centre for transformative education and development.

We're looking for experienced and innovative people for the following roles:

- Head of Educational Development

- Head of Administration

- Head of Hosting/ Facilities

- Head of Site Management

All roles are part time. Details and how to apply can be found on the Emerson College website, under "vacancies". See: http://www.emerson.org.uk/vacancies/

Volunteers Programme

Every year volunteers come to Emerson to help in a variety of ways. Volunteering is a great way to spend time at Emerson and to take part in its rich and constantly changing community. For information on volunteering and how to apply, see link and download file: Volunteers Programme

Contact Us

If you would like to receive this newsletter regularly and are not already on our mailing list, you can sign up here: http://www.emerson.org.uk/email-list-subscription/