written by Manuela
Students‘ meetings take place at least once during every stage for round about one and a half hours. For some, they are a great time to exchange opinions and for others, they are pure hell. Today, I will write about our students‘ meetings.
It is the time when all students come together and talk about things to organize or problems to solve. But it is also known to be the unbelievable long time to pose every dumb question. Of course no one from the sailing crew or teachers is allowed to be there to guarantee full privacy. It is our own space to talk about everything that is going on right now. Because it would be a gigantic chaos without them, we have two moderators, one male and one female who try to organize the whole meeting. They also represent all the students and discuss the students’ problems with the sailing crew. Because many of us want to be in this position, the moderators change every stage. There have to be one students‘ meeting at the beginning of every stage because new watches have to be made and new plans for the cabins.
Right now Jan and I are the new moderators and coincidently we have our first meeting in the new position. So now, I’ll tell you my first experience at students‘ meeting as a moderator.
After our weekly ritual ‚Besanschot an‘ we rang the bell and walked through the hallway screaming: “Students‘ meeting, in the mess room! Now!” After about five minutes, everyone was sitting nice and neatly in our “living room”. Ruth made the introduction and told us the topics for today. This meeting was about two topics. First, the next time when we students are allowed to taking over the ship from Falmouth to Kiel and second the fact, that every position on board is needed and every task important and necessary. It seemed, that the sailing crew was a little bit disappointed about our motivation with regard to doing routine things like safety rounds, galley duty or the daily cleaning hour.
Jan’s and my task now was to make sure that, until the end of our journey, everyone would remind themselves to do everything correctly and with the right attitude. We did that by talking to and with all of the students and thinking together about possible ways to improve all of that with the goal to have a good solution for us and the sailing crew. After we had a good amount of great proposals we sum everything up and voted for the best thing to do. That lead to the result that we will be more aware of the need of doing everything right and taking our check list for the safety round with us.
Then we changed the subject to the other big topic we had today: taking over the ship. Surprisingly, we had no problems with it, because all the positions had many applicants and it seemed like, especially after our first theme, everyone was highly motivated.
Finally, we asked for any questions or comments to talk about, discussed about four to five little things and then ended our first students meeting for the fifth stage after just one hour.
You may think, that our job ends there but we had to do one last thing. We went to Ruth in the saloon and reported her what was going on at the meeting. She seemed happy about our solutions and it felt very nice because we both felt respected.
Our first students meeting was not as difficult as it seemed to be and I was proud of Jan and me that we could make it so quick and without any dumb questions. It was a good start in a new position!