The thirst for knowledge is unquenchable!
What are Bettina Network Hedge Schools? How do they work?
A Bettina Home is a part of the Bettina Network Educational Institute. We take homes into Bettina Network, inc. because they have something to contribute to our learning; they are full of many amenities not found elsewhere; the knowledge they contribute is sometimes in the mainstream, but most often personal history and experience you can’t find or learn from the history books. As a Bettina Home they are also Bettina Network Hedge Schools.
A Bettina Home/Bettina Network Hedge School, is a place where you can stay while visiting a particular city, country, village either on other business or vacation or a historical review of the area and you want to add to the experience of the trip; or you can travel to a Bettina Network Hedge School just for the experience, knowledge and wisdom it adds to your life.
The family in residence offers their life-experience, a workshop, knowledge of art, architecture, prayer, spirituality, health, cooking, or whatever is their specialty. In Bettina Homes/Bettina Network Hedge Schools, those specialties change as the family lives and grows and experiences life from different perspectives.
Bettina Network Hedge Schools are patterned after the historical “Hedge Schools” of Ireland, which were one of the things Mary Daly was interested in establishing. With everything else she did for the betterment of women, men and children, she did not get around to establishing her closely held love for the idea of Hedge Schools. To Mary it was a way to teach feminism without the interference and regulation of current educational institutions. They are the same for Bettina Network, inc. although we are not limiting the Bettina Network Hedge Schools to feminism. We include all the world’s knowledge, experience, religions, spirituality.
While we have chosen the idea of Irelands’ Hedge Schools for Bettina Homes, many countries around the globe have had and still have versions of the historical Hedge Schools – most particularly where women are not allowed a formal education, or to be educated at all in anything, except maybe a few home crafts, which they learn by doing.
What were Hedge Schools? They were clandestine schools. Places Catholics in Ireland went to learn what was illegal for them to learn under the then existing Penal Laws. These laws forbade the teaching of Catholic catechism as well as all education for Catholics. They were held in inaccessible caves, tiny huts, behind hedges, in groves of trees, or wherever time, space and a bit of knowledge could be passed on.
In the Hedge Schools in Ireland, all those many years ago, the schoolmaster went from house to house to teach and impart knowledge to as many as possible. They were constantly being hunted down for what they were doing and had to be hidden by the local populace. Almost like the Underground Railroad, some houses, which protected the teachers in these schools, had walled off places in the home where they could hide when those searching them out showed up.
In Bettina Homes/Bettina Network Hedge Schools the students travel from house to house, instead of the “Hedge School Masters*” traveling. Although we have a few ‘have knowledge will travel’ Hedge School Masters*” who travel from house to house to hold workshops and lead other learnings at Bettina Network Hedge Schools, we are looking for more. Not all Bettina Network Hedge Schools have traveling ‘Masters*’. Most are places which welcome those thirsting for knowledge and wisdom and the “Hedge School Master*” lives in and owns the house.
We are looking for knowledge that is not readily accessible. Or that has become skewered by vested interests. It is also a place to learn a story from those who actually lived the times – which may be different from accepted history.
The Hedge Schools of old taught Latin and Greek, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, history, spelling, writing, arts, crafts, etc. And the teaching was done by the poorest and most ragged people who had no homes and who taught under shelter of the hedges. In todays world we would look down on such people and consider them lazy, shiftless, ignorant because we don’t look beyond the outer trappings. These “Hedge School Masters*” of old haggled for purchases in Greek, or discussed theories in Latin, and were generally very highly educated both in the traditional knowledge of the world and the wisdom which comes from having lived such harsh lives. They were known as “hedge school masters*”. We are known as “Bettina Network Hedge Schools” and some of our “Hedge School Masters*” may look a bit like the hedge school masters of old.
We don’t give degrees or other accolades to show one’s achievement in particular areas. We do spread knowledge and share experiences with those who serendipitously stay in a Bettina Home.
What are the other parts of this company? The Bettina Network’s Blog shares information and knowledge culled from the talk around the breakfast table in Bettina Homes. Bettina’s Menu of Events spreads information about events which we consider ‘in the Bettina Lifestyle’. The Bettina Home/Bettina Network Hedge Schools share and spread knowledge, experience and wisdom to as many people as we can reach. The Bettina Network Foundation, inc. works to eliminate homelessness.
We are connecting a community of people. We are sharing what we have and weaving a net so we have some protection from falling through into the morass of homelessness, of ignorance, of isolation. The Bettina Network Hedge Schools provide ways for you to travel and learn as you travel. We provide not just a room for the night; or a meal for a part of the day; but permanent places to pass on to others some of the history now being dropped and/or changed as well as some of the learning being skewered and mis-told by those marketing for money. We also pass on the arts and crafts of the world with workshops on creativity, cooking, sewing and how to live authentic lives. – being able to ignore those outer trappings we seem to see first and sometimes only.
There is nothing wrong with money – let me quickly add – just something wrong in the way we are moving to intensify its home with just a few and to make it scarce among the many.
The Bettina Hedge Schools are just another way the Bettina Network, inc. is coming together to help others in their quest to bring all of our money, the way we spend it and our talents together to benefit each other without having to stop to spend enormous amounts of time and resources unsuccessfully trying to cure problems we created in the first place, by the way we have lived on this planet.
*Since today we recognize the title of “Hedge School Master” as sexist – we are changing that title to “Hedge School Facilitator”.
Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.
Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.
TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com
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