making the most of a very short OS

Ralph Copleman earthdreams at
Wed May 30 06:44:33 PDT 2001

To Laurie in Ithaca, and others...

First, nice to know the old "Ithaca Dollars" program is still going.  I
wonder how many folks in the US know it's perfectly legal to print your own
currency (as long, I'm told, as it doesn't resemble the official currency).
I wonder how far I could get with "Ralph's Rubles" in my own neighborhood.

About a short open space...

I personally don't see the point of going through the business of opening
the space if you're only going to have one "break-out" period.  What I tell
my clients who want short OS events, is that you have to give it enough time
and diversity of exchange for the "space" to "open", i.e. for people to
allow themselves to experience each other in some degree of variety.  For
me, OS has always been about enabling folks to deal better with the content
and the issue by giving them an opportunity to experience it on other than a
solely cognitive level.  So, I think, people need to mix it up, mix
themselves up, see new planes, relate on multiple levels, etc.

Having multiple break-out periods permits people to stir their own pot.
Remember that adults learn best by working themselves out of their own
confusion.  And you gotta build in time for confusion ­ or folks won't find
their way out the other side.  The more break-outs, the more confusion, and
the more eventual resolution thereof.

For me, this means I won't do OS for less than four hours (with three
one-hour periods).

A few months back, I had a very informative chat with Harrison, who offered
that he likes 90 minute sessions the best.  Why?  Well, he said, it just
seems to works that way.  I prefer three one-hour sessions to two 90-minute
ones.  Why?  I just think it seems to work that way.  I suppose we could
both be right.

If I were forced to do something for three hours, I'd have to choose between
two one-hour sessions and three 40-minute ones.  What would I do?  Argue
with the client to add an extra hour.

Ralph Copleman

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