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FEBRUARY 22, 2010

NEWS

Assistant Dean’s Office

(Shifts in the Corridors of not how the office sees itself Power, continued from Page 1) in relation to the students, it’s larger goals was expand- regarded as a necessary evil. ing and transforming the “It’s like being the sheriff,” student life team to create a Mr. Carl said, “You’ve got to more amenable have a sherenvironment, iniff.” The cluding the overadministrahaul of security. tors, howUpperclassmen ever, don’t have not-so-fond want the ugmemories of a lier details security that was of the job less communicato get in the tive and more way of what punitive. The the office is change in maketruly trying up and dynamic to accomof the security plish. “Disteam has given cipline, atthe students setendance, all curity personnel of the things that they can go Assistant Dean, Mr. David Carl, that can be to for safety and holding his sheriff badge. Photo uncomfortsupport, instead by Jamie Wrobel. able aren’t of having to lie to them or conceal illicit activity from them. Above all, the job of Assistant Dean is a custodianship of the life of students on the St. John’s campus, in and out of the classroom. The way most students understand the role, however, is that of a disciplinarian. Though that’s

thought of from a punitive standpoint,” Ms. Mora said, “but from the standpoint of improving the community. It’s not about discipline, it’s about doing our best with housing, health, the activities that are available, extracurricular opportunities, and all of the things that round out the student experi-

ence.” Student administration has seen its own changes in context with the Assistant Dean’s office. Mr. Carl has done his best to put as much responsibility in the hands of students for self-governance as he possibly can. “My mantra is ‘student leadership, student responsibility’. I’d really like to see this place run for the students and by the students.” A few years ago, when Judith Adam was in the office, students trashed the Upper Common rooms shortly after a refurbishing, and Ms. Adam closed the Commons until someone came forward. When the incident repeated itself in a similar fashion this year, Mr. Carl turned it over to the Student Review Board, who shut it down of their own volition. Dean Carl has since been approached to open it, but refuses, “I’m not going to undermine the authority of the student government.” Though tutors are a natural choice for the position of Assistant Dean, it’s hard for most candidates to accept the idea of leaving their academic responsibilities. Mr. Carl has kept involved with academic life as best he can,

Page 3 involving lunchtime poetry study groups, advising senior essays, and a faculty study of Schopenhauer. In terms of student activities, Mr. Carl has been keeping a workout group while the class’s founder, Mr. Venkatesh, is on sabbatical. “I enjoy getting to do something which is not only non-Assistant Dean, but also non-academic,” Mr. Carl said, “There’s nothing like suffering together to build camaraderie.” Next semester, Edward Walpin will be stepping into the shoes of Assistant Dean. “There’s a new sheriff in town,” Mr. Carl said. Mr. Walpin is looking forward to his time in office, and the administration is more than confident in his energy and ability. He’ll also be only the second Assistant Dean in over a decade to serve out a full three year term. “There’s a kind of inevitable, mounting frustration,” said Mr. Carl, “and I think the reason no one has done it for more than three years in the past ten to twenty years is because when you’re new, everyone is super excited, and students get a clean slate. Your first year is great, but in the second year

Q & A: Kirn Khalsa, Santa Fe Yoga Teacher

By Andrew Rizzardo

Kirn Khalsa has been doing

yoga since 1975 and has been teaching for over 30 years. She is the owner of Yoga Santa Fe (www.yogasantafe.com), which has been offering local classes since 2004. The Moon: What is yoga for? Why would anyone take a yoga class? Kirn Khalsa: To give you Yourself. To feel more balanced physically, mentally and spiritually. Can everyone practice yoga? And is kundalini yoga universal, or are there different yoga styles for different kinds of people? Yes. The different styles of yoga appeal to different people. Some focus more of physical stretching, some on cardio work out. So yes there are many kinds of yoga, however the essence of any yoga practice would be to create yoga (union) between you and your higher self.

In that case, what kind of person is kundalini yoga right for? For someone seeking to be more aware in their own life, to be aware of what motivates you, to learn to listen to the calling of your soul and let that be what motivates you. For that person who seeks to be in a closer relationship with their own True self. For a householder, vs a renunciate, someone who wants fast results. The practice is designed to create powerful effects within a short period of time, benefitting the life of a householder. Can kundalini yoga make us better people? I mean, can kundalini yoga teach us virtue? And what are the greatest of the virtues? Yoga means union, the journey to union creates more authenticity for the practitioner. The journey itself is designed to bring to light all those aspects of yourself which keep you from manifesting your greatest life, and then to raise your vibratory frequency to be in alignment with your soul instead of your ego, and your fears. Yoga does not teach virtue as a mental concept, it enlivens the process of enlightenment which will make you embody virtue. The greatest virtues are: kindness, compassion, acceptance, tolerance, balance, enlightenment. Does kundalini yoga teach us how to improve our communities? Directly, or indirectly? I mean, are kundalini yogis encouraged to involve

themselves in political life? Yes, kundalini yogis can choose to be involved with politics. The path of liberation for a kundalini yogi is to move from: individual, to group to universal consciousness. As you liberate your self from your fears, you teach others to live beyond fear and raise the level of global awareness. Initially the work of the yogi is very myopic, very focused on developing the self. Then the next phase is to live your now more balanced life in service to the highest good for all. Then the final phase is to live as a liberated being, which to a yogi means to live in the space between the breaths. To live in this world, but not be of it. To live beyond the play of polarities. How is kundalini yoga a “technology”? Yogis make use of techniques in their practice. The turban, for example, is a technique to a yogi in that it contains the energy of the highest spiritual center the 6th and 7th chakras. Wearing white expands the aura. Eating healthy food helps to create a healthier body. Meditation calms the mental field. There is so much more here… Is kundalini yoga a religion? I’ve talked to some students here who are afraid to take a class because they think you’ll try to convert them! How would you respond to that? Or even more importantly, how would you reassure a concerned parent?

No, kundalini yoga is not a religion. About 90% of the kundalini yoga teachers worldwide are christians, jews, buddhists, hindus. How compatible is the practice of kundalini yoga with religious beliefs like Judaism, Christianity, or Buddhism? Can a person practice yoga without challenging, philosophically or otherwise, the beliefs they may already have? Yoga is a practice which gives you yourSelf. It will create more authenticity in your life. Yoga is not a religion, yoga is a practice which make you more real in whatever path you have chosen to walk. The St. John’s curriculum is designed to encourage comparative studies, but we also try to keep in mind if something works just fine, it isn’t always the best idea to try and improve it anyway. Socrates, for example. Do you encourage your students to study other systems, or encourage the practice of other kinds of yoga? This is not about right or wrong, better or worse. The life of a yogi is to get out of comparisons, beyond the polarities of the mind, into the actual experience and expression of your soul which is the neutral/universal love space. I took a qi gong class at your yoga school once, so I know you do other things than kundalini yoga. If you want (See Yoga in Santa Fe, continued on Page 7)

New Element “Discovered” in SJC Lab The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced this past week that a new element has been discovered. In a radical break from recent history, the element was discovered not by a major research institution using a large particle collider, but by a lab assistant here at St. John’s College. The discovery came when an unnamed lab assistant, having overindulged the night before, fell asleep in the Faraday cage while preparing for class. What happened next still isn’t clear, but the assumption is that some mixture of drool from the slumbering lab assistant, spiked soda he had been drinking, and a cheese burger he had been eating became charged when it came into contact with the cage. Unofficial reports indicate that when he woke up, the assistant was confronted by this amazing leap in science. In another break with tradition, the element was not named by the person who “discovered” it, but instead named itself. “I am Neesium,” it was reported to have said, “I think that’s pretty obvious.” The first thing Neesium did upon becoming conscious was to walk over to Nickle (Ni) and punch it in the face. “I don’t want anyone getting us confused,” it said. The new element is taller and better at sports that all of the other elements. It also has great hair, a fact that no other element can claim. When the IUPAC arrived to collect samples of Neesium it simply looked at them and said, “You guys want to do what with me? I don’t think so. I’m going to go watch some football; why don’t you egg heads make yourselves useful and go get me a Beerium?”

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everything starts to catch up with you.” Additionally, tutors have the luxury of being around campus, and being actively involved in student affairs. You can find them in the library, the coffee shop, and the classrooms, and associations between students and tutors are usually positive. Mr. Carl looks forward to returning to that dynamic. “Hopefully my time in office will have more good memories than bad,” Mr. Carl said, “There’s a lot of excitement about getting back into the classroom.” There are only about ten graduating seniors this year who were in Mr. Carl’s freshman unit three years ago, and are the only students on campus with a familiarity of Mr. Carl as a tutor. “One of the wonderful things about being a tutor,” he said, “is having a student as a freshman and three years later having that student again as a senior.” Starting the Fall term, 2010, Mr. Carl will have an opportunity to begin that cycle again. Jack E. Smith IV is a Freshman at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He can be reached at jacksmithiv@ gmail.com

SF3 Encourages Student Participation By Kathryn Thorpe Santa Fe Students for a Sustainable Future (SF3), the student sustainability group of St. John’s College, now meets every Tuesday during lunch at 12:15. The newest items on the agenda include: a meeting with the campus planning committee to discuss the funding of an energy audit, a seminar held at Santa Fe Prep that was hosted by the Sierra Club and focused on climate change, and organizing weekly gardening tutorials for the spring. The energy audit will explore ways for the school to become more energy efficient. The seminar at Santa Fe Preparatory was an informative event for anyone interested in the current climate change crisis. The weekly gardening tutorials will make use of the product of the composting project that we implemented last semester as well as the currently unused garden beds behind the school, near the Student Activity Center. You don’t have to be a memberof SF3 to attend these classes; you only have to have an interest in learning. January Freshmen are especially wanted for their help in maintaining the garden during the summer. The hope is that, eventually, the food grown there will be sold to the student body. More information will be given about the gardening tutorials as SF3 sorts out the particulars. For more information on any of these topics, feel free to contact me. Kathryn Thorpe is a Freshman at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. She can be reached at thorpe.kathryn@gmail.com

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