Getting to Class on Time

I live in New York City (USA) and have been teaching RC for many years. I notice it’s become harder for people to come to class on time. There’s often an appointment running over, a last-minute obligation, or some other good reason for people to be late, from fifteen minutes to an hour or more. This has a big impact on the class, the relationships, and what we can do.

I recently taught a class about coming on time. I gave a talk and had us do mini-sessions to look at our early distress and what could be coming up for us. Since then people have been making more of an effort to get to class on time, and helping others do the same.

My goal for the talk was to be welcoming and relaxed (as opposed to having capitalist expectations for people to show up on time or be told that they’re bad or at risk of being fired), while also holding out the strong expectation of arriving to class on time.

Here’s the list of things I said:

  • Arrive on time, just as you would for any non-RC class, appointment, and so on.
  • Being late really cuts into what we can do as a class.
  • This class is a place of opportunity for moving our lives forward in big ways. There’s no other place like it, outside of RC, where things are set up this way.
  • You matter; you are integral. Without you nothing’s the same. Nothing! You are valued, brilliant, wanted, precious beyond measure. Right now you might not realize it, but you are! Without you, class is like a train off its tracks, a car without wheels.
  • I am good at cleaning up messes, putting the train back on its tracks. That’s what I did with my family as a young person. I can do that, but I don’t want to anymore (not in the patterned way).
  • You are a leader! We are all leaders here. You get to take charge of your distress here. Don’t listen when it tells you that you can disappear and no one will notice or care. We care. I care! You matter!
  • Everything in your life will go better, much better, if you spend as much time here in class as you can.
  • I shouldn’t have to remind you each week to come on time. Come on time!
  • Have sessions on this. Decide, act, discharge. Talk with me about what comes up for you and gets in the way. We can think and discharge together. You can move this.
  • Capitalism will make you feel that you have too much work to do, or one more urgent thing you have to finish, so you have to be late to class. That’s distress. There will always be more work, another thing to do. Part of capitalism is to keep us running around so that we can’t think, can’t come together, can’t unite. Our uniting is a threat to capitalism. All the more reason to get to class on time! It is revolutionary. It will move your life, all of our lives, forward!

Robert Vichnis

New York, New York, USA

(Present Time 190, January 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00