Letters About the 2002 Phoenix Summer Camp

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Hello Lisa!

I believe it was Fred who passed Jeff and I your business card along the advisory that you'd be interested in any feedback on the Phoenix Summer Camp that we had to offer. First off, from a psychology standpoint (I've trained in and currently work in psychology research, among other things...), you and G.M. Delaney do things "by the numbers" in terms of using effective approaches to teaching, team-building, motivation, and demonstrating support to your students. You manage to avoid many of the "traps" that many others in your position(s) seem to fall into rather easily such as the "dual messages" trap, where what is said is not necessarily what is actually put into practice. You both seem to make a sincere effort at "practicing what you preach", and this is both extremely rare and highly commendable, and very important when it come to building trust in both your leadership and the teachings of the art!

High marks are also in order in the area of your adhering to a "humanistic" approach to presenting the art; you present it as a tool for the development of the individual human potential as opposed to using the individual human potential as a tool for the development of the art, which is also a unique and (in my thinking) enlightened approach. Many arts/instructors we've been exposed to tend to gravitate towards the latter, and with predictable (and dismal) results: when one loses, the other wins, which means there is no real victory. The desire to create "win-win" for both the students and the art by putting people first is refreshing, and if this path is walked in sincerity and with consistency, we can't help but think that success is all but assured! You both seem to recognize that if the art serves people well, the people will naturally seek to serve the art in return and we think this is exactly as it should be.

In terms of any criticisms, one has to be truly familar with a thing in order to have earned the right to be critical, and not feeling that we know enough to have earned that right, we refrain from any comment on that point at this time. Perhaps when we become more immersed in the art and more knowledgable of the details and strategies we'll be able to offer valid critical evaluation with the motive of improvement, but now is hardly that time. We really enjoyed the training, the people, and the learning, look forward to more of the same, and that is what is truly important here.

Thanks again for a great weekend!
Marlene (& Jeff) Harris
Mesa, AZ

Of all our human resources, the most precious is the desire to improve.
(Author Unknown)