Dropping out of ADF’s Initiate Path…

When I completed ADF’s Dedicant Path program and started on the Initiate Path, I expected to be continually challenged intellectually, creatively, and emotionally.  I wanted to deepen my spiritual practice and help my community at the same time, and I thought that the Initiate Path would do just that.   And for a time, it seemed to be living up to the promise.  I finished off two courses (Liturgy 1 and IE Studies 1) in six months.  I thorough enjoyed them, and they passed review with only one of them needing a minor revision.

Then came Indo-European Myth 1.  If you have been reading my previous posts you’ll know that I found this work to be tedious and struggled with coming up with the determination to get through it.  When I finally submitted it, I felt like a huge burden  had been lifted off my shoulders.  Alas, my elation was short lived.  Neither of my previous reviewers had anything critical to say about my citations or my choices of sources.  This time around, however, my feedback was all about how much I suck at those things.

Now, I’m all grown-up with emotional intelligence and all that, and can take some criticism even when it is disappointing.  However the entire tone of the feedback was that my submission was nothing more than an irritant, lacking any merit, and how dare I waste their time with such sloppy work, and who do I think I am citing sources that are not on their bookshelf?

Life is too short to spend it churning out essays only to be berated for the effort.


10 thoughts on “Dropping out of ADF’s Initiate Path…

  1. If you are having problems with your reviewer, I can switch you to a different one. I am sorry you had an unpleasant experience. If that was the reply of your reviewer it was very unprofessional and not something I would advocate as Preceptor at all.

  2. I’ve had a similar experience Kevin, although yours is certainly beyond the pale. Very rude. I think it’s difficult for some to put aside their own academic bias and review material based solely on what is asked of the student.

  3. Is this where it ended? Have you considered the OBOD instead? Given that distaste for authority, dogma, and bureaucracy is what attracted me to the path to begin with, it seems a purely self-guided study might in fact be best.

    • Thanks for the comment. The story isn’t quite over yet. I am leaning towards leaving ADF and continuing my studies on my own, in which case I may continue posting here.

      As for OBOD, I just don’t think it is for me. First I am wary of the for-profit nature of its organization. But second and probably more importantly I find the scholarly approach that ADF encourages to be more fitting for me that the eclectic/experiential approach of OBOD.

      • The NOD (New Order of Druids at http://druidcircle.org/ ) has its own course. It’s offered for free to post your work on the forums to be assessed by a handful of people, though if you want to you can become a member (30E / year) and get a mentor to work more closely with you through the assignments and such. I avoided OBOD for the price and ADF because their views don’t resonate with me, but NOD suits me better. Perhaps it will work for you?

        Best of luck with your future studies, be it with an organization or no. :]

  4. I thought you did an excellent job! Did they give you specific feedback? I kinda wonder if it was rejected because it wasn’t pro-pan-IE enough. I didn’t think OBOD was for profit, but they don’t have regular dues- paying for the Bardic study program gives you lifetime membership, even if you don’t progress further. Hence the price. But I understand- they are quite different than ADF- more generic nature spirituality.

    • Thanks. I don’t think the problem had to do with the content at all, it was with my references. The specific feedback was that a) my citations suck, and b) I shouldn’t be referencing books that aren’t on her bookshelf. Of course nowhere does it say that you cannot use resources that are not on the ‘suggested reading’ list for the courses.

  5. My experience with a reviewer was pretty much the same. In my case however she had a problem with a source I used that was and is still in the current documentation and requirements. She just didn’t agree that it should be used and therefore rejected much of my submission…of course this was after having done the research and the work.
    Any organization that would allow this type of rogue activity does not warrant my support, hence my leaving ADF…It wasn’t the only reason for my leaving, but it certainly didn’t help.

    • Wow I didn’t realize that you had left ADF. I kinda fell out of reading other blogs for the last few months while I wasn’t updating mine so did not read that you were leaving at the same time that I was thinking of doing the same.

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