“The current ACP class is in full swing. This group meets on Saturdays and Sundays for 7 Weekends. These aromatherapy students commute to Ithaca as it is a little closer to their respective homes. One comes from the Buffalo area and others are within 35 miles of the school. For the winter months that is perfect, because sometimes during the colder season, there are weather considerations that make traveling by different modes of transportation a bit interesting, uncomfortably stressful, or just nonexistent.
A good example of this was during our second weekend of classes, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It started out being a lovely 70 degrees in the morning. I sat out on the porch soaking in the sun and wondering if I should bring the plants back outside. By the end of lunch the conditions began to change. Throughout the afternoon, the temperature became colder, the wind whipped up and a flurry of leaves were flying around like snow falling. By the time class was over at 5:30 pm the temp had dropped radically by about 20 degrees and continued to spiral down throughout the rest of the day.
That weekend’s particular classroom focus was on the Chemistry of Essential Oils (EO) and Taxonomy of plants. However, the big thing that was to happen was that the students get the information on their Case Studies. When they leave on Sunday, and from that point on, they are instructed to work with clients for considering ways to assist them with real life issues for which they are seeking assistance. This is most critical to the student’s learning process as they sort out what they have been learning in class, learning about the EO chemistry of the oils, their therapeutic properties and how to create blends from different perspectives. Normally this part of the curriculum occurs by the fourth day for classes. However, this already happened by the third day! We had already studied two chemical families, and about 27 different essential oil profiles; when we normally would have four chemical families by the end of day four.
Since our next weekend together is scheduled to take place the second weekend of December, this was the perfect time for preparing the students to create their case studies. The only issue became the weather’s declining forecast. The experts were calling for a drastic drop in temperature with snow on top of that. This troublesome system was predicted to only affect a narrow path that included Buffalo, and continue across the state toward Ithaca and beyond. Not Elmira so much, which is the area where the rest of the group resides. Yikes! We needed to have a contingency plan for Sunday because the forecast was calling for upwards of 5” of snow.
I can be a mother hen at times when my students are traveling distances (especially by car) and the weather forecast is dire. After discussing the potential deteriorating road conditions with my students and what we needed to accomplish by the end of Saturday, I decided to not worry about the next two chemical families and focus on the case study requirements zeroing in on what they needed to be successful at that task. This provided time for the weather system to work itself out and, in the morning, we would talk after reassessing the situation. If my student traveling the furthest would be in bad snow conditions (if they stayed all day on Sunday), we would simply reschedule class so they would be able to go home earlier before the accumulation hit.
Yep! This is exactly what happened. This is the tricky part about scheduling the ACP classes over the winter months. In the spring, I have students who have traveled from HAWAII, BRAZIL, CALIFORNIA, MICHIGAN, OHIO, MAINE, VIRGINIA and elsewhere. Paying special attention to the weather forecast during the winter season is high on my list of details not to negate. The winter of 2015-2016 was so wonderful for all the classes; it was mild, and easy. The winter before, 2014-2015, was the worst weather imaginable, yet I managed to have a class that started in the late winter of February 2015 and it worked out well.
One of the reasons I try to teach over the winter is because I have requests for the ACP year round and I offer the weekend courses for those who are not able to take time from work to come and learn. A Friday-Sunday class or a Saturday-Sunday class allows them to continue to earn and care for their families. The course work is spread out which makes the process a little more manageable so they are able to complete their program requirements with less stress.
The Spring Classes begin in February or March with a 2-day and a 3-day weekend courses plus I only offer the 5-day course with custom dates in the late spring, summer or fall months. This allows for travelers coming from afar to travel by plane or automobile to arrive without the advent of a weather event (snow).
This winter the weather forecast is predicted to be very cold with snow. But, the good news is that there seems not to be a worry of lots of it. And, of course, that can change. Therefore, we will go with the flow of whatever it is. Luckily, small classes may sometimes offer us flexibility in rescheduling a time if needed. Thank goodness for that!
And the case studies HAVE BEGUN.
Join us again in the next edition of “In the Classroom with Cha …” ~ by Cha Roberts ~ AromaEducators