October, 2005 Tar Valon Times
Letter from the Editor
By Adriana al'Tere
September was a busy month for me; I had to write a paper and of course I waited till the night/day before to write. Then I had to write another paper. And yes, again, I waited. Then there are normal classes, homework, books to read, movies to watch, Survivors to cheer on.
At TarValon.Net, the boards were down for a week, making it difficult to talk with my staff about the Tar Valon Times. Then the admin meeting came along. We've got some awesome changes coming up...y'all had better prepare yourselves.
October will be another big month at TarValon.net. Fall Ball is this weekend (Oct. 8-10). Knife of Dreams, book 11, is coming out throughout the month (the date varies depending on where you live; Belgians and other Europeans are already devouring the book). It's possible Guilds will be started up. Forums will be re-arranged, admin and membership manuals will be written.
In this issue of the Tar Valon Times, we have an interview with a wonderful Aes Sedai, Lifa; reasons why you should be in IRC; a review of the Garrison project led by Aliyenah Gaidin; and preview of Fall Ball.
As always, if you have comments, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send letters to the editor expressing an opinion about anything in this article or the goings-on on the site. I cannot guarantee I will include all letters, but I will certainly read all of them and take them into consideration. If there is anything you'd like to see in the TVT, again, feel free to contact me.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy.
Calendar of Events
By Dart Marouvin
Fall Ball 2005
Fall Ball will be held in Richmond, Virginia. Read the preview in this issue for more information.
Micah Junfir hosts radio show
Micah Junfir will continue to host his weekly radio show on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 pm in the Olde Warder and Hen chat channel. Interested parties can visit #oldewarderandhen. Junfir will be playing music from the 80's and 90's. Children under the age of 17 are asked not to listen without permission from their parents.
Shaoman holiday to be observed
Shaoman, a Westlands holiday oriented around children, will be celebrated the 20th of October. The holiday is celebrated by the pampering and praising of community children. On this day children will often go around their community to knock on doors and request treats.
Free week to be held
The Feast of All Soul's Salvation will be celebrated by the declaration of a free week, October 30th through November 5th. The feast is celebrated every decade in the Westlands.
Hey! Who's that? Why, it's Lifa Sedai!!!!
Interview by Valadilene Aldieb
Recently I had the opportunity to interview the oldest, and most wise (obviously) member of the Red Ajah. She is not necessarily well known outside of Senior Members, and she does have a tendency towards sarcasm, but those who do know her enjoy her friendship and humour! Thank you Lifa for the chance to get to know you better and the opportunity to share a bit about a Sister!
Valadilene: Why the Tower?
Lifa: I was bored in work and did a Google search for Aes Sedai. It was actually the Theories on the old ezboards that attracted me, and then I looked at the rest of the site and figured it was a pretty special sort of place so joined, and here I am now, over 2 years later!
V: Why the Red Ajah?
L: The sense of humour.
V: What do you want to be when you "grow up"?
L: I could tell you that I'm never going to grow up. Or, I could tell you the truth, that I grew up ages ago and still have no idea what I want to be.
V: Do you have any special talents?
L: No. I'm very boring!
V: What are some things you really, really enjoy (doing, eating, slapping, or otherwise)?
L: I like lots of stuff. I'm very active, go to the gym regularly; I cycle, run, and swim. I particularly like the outdoors and I do a lot of hiking. I'm also a compulsive shopper, especially for clothes, shoes, handbags, coats, shoes, coats, handbags, and did I mention shoes?
V: Do you have any heroes? If so, who and why?
L: I don't think I have any heroes, but there are a lot of people that I admire. Former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, Jennie Longo Ciprelli, Sonia O'Sullivan, Gillian Bowler, and Danuta Gray; all women who are very successful in their chosen field. And of course, I admire my Mum; it's her influence that has made me the person I am today!!
V: Do you have a favorite band or song?
L: The Pixies
V: Do you have and words of advice for Tar Valon?
L: You shouldn't ever expect anyone to do anything for you. Be able to do it yourself or pay someone professional to do it.
Why You Should Be in IRC
By al'Cary Mandoragon
#Wheel? I am sure most of you know what it is and how it relates to the site. However, those newer to the site may be unaware of the vital role it plays in bringing the site together and providing a common avenue of communication.
While the message boards are the heart of the Tower, they generally tend to limit us to specific groups of friends, who all post in the same threads, with generally very little intermixing. As well as this, with various forum restrictions, there are whole levels of membership that we can't really get to know. However, chatting in #wheel allows us to overcome such barriers, and mingle with members of all age, location and rank in a fun and informal setting.
For those of us newer to the site, #wheel is the best place to get to know Senior Members, and to gain sponsorship to join the Tower as a novice or recruit. While most are perfectly happy for you to post in their threads, this can often be a daunting task for a new person faced with established threads and established participants. As well as this, there are large numbers of members who shun public forums in favour of hanging around in the private areas.
On the other hand, most active members will come into #wheel fairly often. You can run into people from every Ajah and every company, who are all happy to chat and answer any questions you might have. The room is almost always active with plenty of people, except if you live in an annoying time zone. Discussion is always varied, and there is bound to be something that everyone can join in on.
For more details on how to get into #wheel, check the Introductions forum where there is a step by step guide on how to get in there.
Band of Brothers, Garrison Style
By Cursor Wrathwind
"I felt that the interaction between senior members and junior members had gotten lost and to the point where I thought something had to be done." Aliyenah Gaidin's recent endeavor (for lack of any proper title I'll call it the "teams project") has fought to remedy that very problem he felt as a soldier. With his project, Aliyenah seeks to bridge the gap between the men of the garrison.
And how exactly does he plan on accomplishing this valuable task? The answer can be summed up in one simple word: teams. Aliyenah's project seeks to organize all the members of the garrison, recruit, soldier and Gaidin alike, into various teams who, on a regular basis, must work together to complete team missions assigned by the project's mastermind in order to score points--yes, there is inter-team competition. "The project is about interaction, getting to know people. The missions we have are meant to be fun and at the same time interesting." That much is certainly true--thus far, the team missions have included team versus team cage fighting, writing a story about an assigned Ajah, and, currently, writing a song for the mission oh-so-suggestively titled "The Art of Seduction." Maybe there are valuable lessons to be learned in the garrison after all.
Of course, meticulous and extensive work and thought has gone into the process of creating teams. The teams themselves need to be formed carefully--the success of the project and the vision of a garrison where "every junior and senior member can find something meaningful to do and spend time there because they want to" depends upon the dynamics of the team. So, the project is about interaction, but interaction between whom? "I decided to build on seven different teams mixing recruits soldiers and Gaidin from all companies. My idea was to have a few people from each company mixed up with the all the recruits and divided into seven teams. This was also an attempt to increase the interaction between the companies. The recruits would also get the chance to get to know more senior members." Aliyenah plans to keep the teams small, preferring numerous small teams as recruits are added over a few big teams because "I want the feeling to be just like in a family," our own band of brothers.
Each team also has a leader, a Gaidin who informs them of any vital information, manages their discussion and leads the team's efforts in the missions. "I knew I had to have a link between everyone that was involved and myself. Therefore I created team leader, a sort of chain of command, if you will. I tell the team leaders what's going to happen and they inform their team members. When I was looking for team leaders I first and foremost picked out guys who could take charge of a situation and be a role model for their team."
So, one final question must be asked. Does the system work? Aliyenah believes so. "I already feel that the project is a success [...] because the activity in the garrison is much better than before. Now it's just up to all of us to keep it that way." Perhaps some of you reading this or those involved in the project may disagree. Well, Aliyenah has a comment for you as well. "To critics I say: Please pm me!!! Concrete criticism is something I welcome. I like to know what everyone thinks. This project is still just a baby and therefore it is important that you let me know how you feel about it. I know that everyone is not going to be happy with everything, or how I do things, but that's life. We can't all be a 100% satisfied. And besides, this isn't about YOU!! It's about EVERYONE!! It's a feeling of being together, a community or a big family if you like." Aliyenah looks for the plan to continue for a long time, hoping that in the end he will have done all he can to transform the members of the Tower Garrison into a true band of brothers.
Fall Ball Preview
By Jeffan Caliarthan
We all know that Fall Ball, one of the major Tower Events of the year, is coming up on October 8th. Planning Tower events isn't an easy thing to do, and even with a solid plan, everyone is so excited that not everything can go right. But we have great people planning the event, so it should go really, really well. As Fall Ball hasn't happened yet this year, this is just a quick look into everything that people will be doing and seeing and their thoughts on the fun that will occur.
The general agenda is a simple one, but it promises to be a lot of fun. Some of the things planned include: Raising Ceremonies Saturday night, a dinner at the King's Arm Tavern where people will enjoy an authentic period meal, and the rest of the time Tower members will hang around with other Tower members and enjoy each other's company.
There are many things to look forward to, based on the agenda, but here are some of the things the attendees are looking forward to personally.
"I'm looking forward to meeting my near-sibs the most. Closely behind that is meeting everyone else that I've either talked to in chat or on the boards. It's meeting the people that has me excited the most." - Melisande Arneil, Accepted of the Gray Ajah
"I guess I am looking forward to meeting people from more than just the DC area. This will be a much more diverse group. Plus I am looking forward to getting together once again with people I have met and gotten along with." - Sean Dragoran, Recruit of the White Tower
Meeting Tower members is always a fun thing; you see them in the forums, and chat with them in IRC, but meeting them in real life is something that you never forget. Some feelings on meeting Tower members:
"It couldn't feel better!" - Giles Ru'Orden, Recruit of the White Tower
"I'm sooooo pumped about meeting other Tower members!!! It's gonna be a blast!" - Melisande Arneil, Accepted of the Gray Ajah
I also talked with the coordinators of the event, Ubahsur Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, and Kariada Sedai of the Gray Ajah.
Their views on what the most memorable moment for everyone will be:
"I believe the most memorable event will be tied between the Tavern dinner and spending the night on the Beach to see the sunrise over the Atlantic - that is not counting the opportunity to spend time with our Tar Valon family!" - Ubahsur Kindellaer, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah
"Well I couldn't say for everyone....I think that most people really enjoy the ceremonies & the toast (that is, after all, a featured event at every party). The tavern dinner we're having at this party is something we've never done before, though, so I think that will stick in a lot of people's minds." - Kariada Kunai, Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah
The things that Ubahsur and Kariada Sedais are looking forward to doing:
"Personally, I am looking forward to being able to show 30 odd wonderful people whom I love the hidden gem that my city is. Richmond has the best of both Southern and Northern cultures, while retaining a strong sense of self, history, and community which I have found out of balance in many other cities around the nation which I have spent a significant amount of time in. And for those not able to attend at this time, anyone is more than welcome to visit Allin and me in Richmond and get the grand experience!" - Ubahsur Kindellar, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah
"Oddly enough, I'm looking forward to the very beginning, when everyone arrives and gets checked in. *lol* I missed that part at Anni Party last year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again, meeting people for the first time, and seeing the looks on everyone's faces as they welcome each other with hugs and smiles. " - Kariada Kunai, Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah
Judging by everyone's answers and feelings towards this particular event, it is bound to be exciting. There can't be many things more exciting than getting to meet people you have gotten to know, but haven't had the opportunity to meet and spend time with!