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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Wasn't sure where to post this.)

As I mention in my signature, I'm working on designing a Vegan retreat/philosophy school.

Quote:
Vegan food; Classes in Cooking (and Un-Cooking) and Nutrition; Yoga and Tai Chi; History of Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion; Aesthetics and Arts; Logic and Epistemology; Theories of Modern Moral and Social Philosophy (Evolutionary Psychology, Social Contract, Utilitarianism); Metaphysics, Ontology, and Quantum Physics.
  • All room and board would be provided during the semester (including healthy vegan food!).
  • You don't have to be vegan, just interested in learning. (Hopefully you'll leave with inspiration to go vegan!
    )
  • Tuition-based attendance would be generally available (no way to comment on cost yet).
  • Free work-study programs and scholarships would be available for some people.

If you might be interested in visiting something like this for a semester / vacation gap-year, please help with feedback/opinions on amenities:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/73GDXM3

I've gotten a bit of feedback, which I'm very thankful for, but I need more for it to be statistically relevant.

I'm happy to answer any questions about the concept, and I'd love to hear your ideas. Thanks!
 

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I took it.
 

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I'll take it


Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

[*]All room and board would be provided during the semester (including healthy vegan food!).
That'd be the icing on the cake! *runs away*
 

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I took it. A lot of the questions would depend on how long the retreat was. For instance, I can go a few days without Internet access, but anything longer than that would be difficult. Also, the longer the time, the more personal space amenities I would need: a desk, couch, personal lamp, etc... Certainly could not go without water for more than one shower!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

I took it. A lot of the questions would depend on how long the retreat was. For instance, I can go a few days without Internet access, but anything longer than that would be difficult. Also, the longer the time, the more personal space amenities I would need: a desk, couch, personal lamp, etc... Certainly could not go without water for more than one shower!!
That was my thinking... a week, and I could share a room, go without phone/internet, leave my cat with family, and so on. A month, and I'd definitely need communication with the outside world. Up to a year, personal space would be a must, and more space than a shorter visit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys!

As to time:

It might be better to err on the conservative side of it being as comfortable as it needs to be to imagine doing it in a relatively longer term sense (like a university program or class). Shorter courses would be viable in themselves (such as a week or two), but probably not with regards to travel costs (tending to average around a thousand U.S. round trip, depending on where in the world one is coming from).

The work-study program (which would provide room and board, and plane ticket cost) would tend to be bit under a year long. (My thought was the gap-year and working holiday demographic for those courses).
 

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That sounds non-accredited and therefore pointless and not something worth doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by River View Post

That sounds non-accredited and therefore pointless and not something worth doing.
It depends on what your goals are.

Do you take classes primarily to learn, or primarily to obtain a "very expensive piece of paper" (as some call it)?

For many people, it is the latter, and there would be no reason for them to attend. Prospective employers usually do not look for knowledge of yoga, vegan cooking, and metaphysics.

On a practical level, accreditation has pros and cons; on one hand, if the accrediting body is reliable, it helps ensure minimum standards for schools which helps in school selection without excessive research; on the other hand, accreditation makes education substantially more expensive and can narrow its scope and variety to that which can be held in a university large and established enough to obtain such accreditation (which makes the course material additionally reliant on a certain additional measure of politics).

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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Why is this in action alerts? Doesn't this thread belong in animal rights/welfare?
Sorry, I didn't know where to put it.

Since the purpose of the thread is data collection (a survey rather than a petition, but similar), I thought this was as good a place as any.

I would not protest it being moved if the mods deem it better placed elsewhere.

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Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

I did your survey for you Vep.
Thanks Clueless!
 

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Herbivorous Urchin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

It depends on what your goals are.

Do you take classes primarily to learn, or primarily to obtain a "very expensive piece of paper" (as some call it)?

For many people, it is the latter, and there would be no reason for them to attend. Prospective employers usually do not look for knowledge of yoga, vegan cooking, and metaphysics.

On a practical level, accreditation has pros and cons; on one hand, if the accrediting body is reliable, it helps ensure minimum standards for schools which helps in school selection without excessive research; on the other hand, accreditation makes education substantially more expensive and can narrow its scope and variety to that which can be held in a university large and established enough to obtain such accreditation (which makes the course material additionally reliant on a certain additional measure of politics).
No, but people do look for someone who actually knows what they're talking about to be able to teach them, which is where accreditation comes in.
 

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I have completed your survey.

I would have thought that for most people a retreat would be just that.. a retreat from the normal trappings of life so the provision of 'hotel facilities' and internet connection would be neither required or welcome? But obviously your survey may prove differently!!


Also..I am coming from a position where it would only be practical for me to attend such a retreat for a month maximum during which time I could probably survive without my home comforts! I suppose for anyone attending for longer it would not be practical to be cut off so completely .

A friend of mine attended a Catholic retreat and was content with her hard bed and bare room during four days of deep contemplation and reflection but I am sure if her stay had been longer she might of been glad of a little more luxury and maybe a fluffy pillow
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

I'm curious how a waterless shower is done?

(Sorry Dormouse
)

I did your survey for you Vep.
Ah, my mistake. I meant hot water. I have not yet figured out waterless showers, but I'll let you know when I do. Perhaps a chinchilla-esque dust bath?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

It depends on what your goals are.

Do you take classes primarily to learn, or primarily to obtain a "very expensive piece of paper" (as some call it)?

For many people, it is the latter, and there would be no reason for them to attend. Prospective employers usually do not look for knowledge of yoga, vegan cooking, and metaphysics.

On a practical level, accreditation has pros and cons; on one hand, if the accrediting body is reliable, it helps ensure minimum standards for schools which helps in school selection without excessive research; on the other hand, accreditation makes education substantially more expensive and can narrow its scope and variety to that which can be held in a university large and established enough to obtain such accreditation (which makes the course material additionally reliant on a certain additional measure of politics).
I agree with River. I wouldn't waste money to learn from someone who might not know what they're talking about. Any hack can open a retreat/school.
 

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I took the survey and honestly I am one of those people that can't live without the comforts of home. I can't "rough it". I need a hot shower, a bed, private bathroom and shower, heat, electrical outlets, computer access, phone privilages, etc. I like my privacy and space.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippy View Post

I have completed your survey.

I would have thought that for most people a retreat would be just that.. a retreat from the normal trappings of life so the provision of 'hotel facilities' and internet connection would be neither required or welcome? But obviously your survey may prove differently!!


Also..I am coming from a position where it would only be practical for me to attend such a retreat for a month maximum during which time I could probably survive without my home comforts! I suppose for anyone attending for longer it would not be practical to be cut off so completely .

A friend of mine attended a Catholic retreat and was content with her hard bed and bare room during four days of deep contemplation and reflection but I am sure if her stay had been longer she might of been glad of a little more luxury and maybe a fluffy pillow
Usually retreats are just like that--a few days. I'm not sure you could call something a "retreat" if it lasts a whole year.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

Usually retreats are just like that--a few days. I'm not sure you could call something a "retreat" if it lasts a whole year.
yep, thats more like going thru a life crisis
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks again to all who have answered!

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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

Usually retreats are just like that--a few days. I'm not sure you could call something a "retreat" if it lasts a whole year.
Retreats seem to be getting shorter and shorter these days; the most common being a few days simply because, I think, people are so very busy.

Classically, they used to be a bit longer (the same with in-law visits)

Quote:
Originally Posted by offthahook View Post

yep, thats more like going thru a life crisis
Haha, maybe. I don't think it has to be so dramatic, though- gap years and working holidays are actually pretty common for students.

Retreats of a month are common, and a year tends to be the longest common duration (which seems to be more common in Buddhist retreats than Christian ones, the latter tending to be shorter in duration- three days to a week being really popular).

For reasons of travel costs, anything shorter than a couple weeks might not be worth the trip, unless somebody has a travel budget lined up for a vacation anyway.

For the free work-study program, a year is the only viable option, because the program has to pay for the plane ticket (something that can not be accomplished in a month, considering other costs such as food and board).

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Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

I agree with River. I wouldn't waste money to learn from someone who might not know what they're talking about. Any hack can open a retreat/school.
Which is one reason the main emphasis (at least initially) is for it to be free, with a work-study system.

If you find that the yoga teachers are just sitting cross legged there babbling in tongues, that the tai chi is just doing the hokey pokey very slowly, that the food tastes like cardboard, and the philosophy amounts to nothing more than talking about whether or not a tree makes a sound if it falls in a forest with nobody around to hear it- you can leave, and you're not out much.

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Originally Posted by RabbitLuvr View Post

Though to be completely honest, I cannot leave my pets for even one night. Will there be something like afternoon classes?
Due to travel costs (Seemingly around $1,000 U.S. average to get from one place to another on Earth) unless you lived in the area, it wouldn't seem practical.

People could probably bring pets with, but sometimes travel can be hard on older animals. Cats and small dogs can usually fly *in* an airplane (special area in the cabin), so that's not so bad at all, but otherwise, travel by boat or train might be pretty tough. There's also quarantine, which tends to be a few days or a week depending on what country one is coming from and going to (might be able to arrange an exception with local government, though).

I do not think it would be difficult to arrange a doggy/cat daycare service, provided the pets can be gotten there easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbitLuvr View Post

I'm also not willing to not have access to my phone during this time.
Good to know, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippy View Post

Also..I am coming from a position where it would only be practical for me to attend such a retreat for a month maximum during which time I could probably survive without my home comforts! I suppose for anyone attending for longer it would not be practical to be cut off so completely .

A friend of mine attended a Catholic retreat and was content with her hard bed and bare room during four days of deep contemplation and reflection but I am sure if her stay had been longer she might of been glad of a little more luxury and maybe a fluffy pillow
Thanks Happy!

Fluffy pillow can be provided!


The purpose is to find out what people need and want to feel comfortable.

Seems like almost everybody needs a private bedroom. Most people are willing to share a bathroom- that's all really good to know.

Almost everybody also wants internet, but that's not too surprising as there may be a sample bias (this being an online survey).

It'll be good to see if these trends continue as I get more responses. This is all very useful information.

Thanks again all!
 
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