Response from the Teacher of a Canceled Paideia Class
I am the alumnus who was going to teach Adroit Anticipation of Awesome Altered Adventures 201. I’m not that bothered by the cancellation of my class, mostly because I titled it poorly and I am sympathetic towards the administration needing to distance themselves from anything that looks remotely like advocacy for breaking the law. I should have just called it Adventure Planning, which would have been an accurate description for the information that I wished to impart: an extension of the talk that is given in the dorms every year about how to have a safe awesome time at Renn Fayre (and would only obliquely mention substance use, far less than, say, Karma Patrol training). I emphasized the altered state of mind in my title and description because those who planned to be altered would most benefit from the advice, though I also explicitly stated in the description that it would be useful for sober people as well, and that one should be sober during the class.
- What will adventuring you want? Food, warm clothing, waterproof clothing, water, more water, spare clothes, sunscreen, notebook, writing utensils in many colors, headlamp, spare batteries, duct tape, costumes, warm fuzzy blankets, toys, etc. Last Renn Fayre I packed so much food into my backpack that I was still eating it on Monday despite sharing freely with everyone with whom I had a conversation.
- What do you trust yourself to have while adventuring? Pocket knife? Scissors? Sharpies? Car keys? If you think it might even occur to you to drive while under the influence, don’t bring your keys.
- What will just be weighing you down, or has the potential to get lost/damaged? School work, bank cards, keys, nice clothing, and anything else you will want after the adventure and not on it — as well as anything you would be deeply upset about dirtying or damaging –should be left somewhere safe. I only bring as much cash on an adventure as I’m willing so spend during it. During Renn Fayre you can put your keys in your Gray Center mail box so they don’t fall out of your pocket. Otherwise, clip or zip your valuables into your clothes or pack so you don’t lose them.
- Ease of access: In your pack, keep the things you’ll want most where you can easily get to them (warm layers, food, etc.) Things like spare clothing can be kept on the bottom where they won’t get in your way but will be there if you need them. Keep things that you absolutely want to have if you need them (condoms, asthma inhaler) in their own pocket where you know exactly where they are without having to dig through all your stuff. Keep water bottles handy at all times, so that you can drink every time you look at your pack. If you choose to partake in substances, keep any more you bring with you (see the point above about what you trust yourself to have) wrapped and zipped behind multiple layers. If you can’t remember where you put it or are too clumsy to retrieve it, you should absolutely not have any more. Past you is a better judge of dosage than adventuring you.
- Ease of use: Pre-slice your bread and cheese, peel the stickers off of fruit, take food out of difficult packaging and put it into zip-locks, tape together replacement batteries in the groupings you’ll need them (three AAA batteries for my headlamp, for example). Time spent preparing food or struggling with packaging is time not spent being awesome. Also, it will make it easier to recycle, compost, and generally pick up after yourself. Think how nice Renn Fayre would be if everyone carried a movable feast to share and left no mess behind.
—Landon Goldberg ’07