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In the calm after the storm...

Dee Hall

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Last week I posted a reply to Ben Fuller's question about lack of participants in advanced classes. My response was intended to be a constructive list of possible reasons why non-beginner paddlers might not be taking classes in Maine. It was not intended to provoke anger in anyone, rehash old issues, or disparage any particular outfitter. I tried to be very explicit and clear, and I included some of my feelings on the issue because I felt that I am part of the demographic that Ben was asking about. I realize that some people misinterpreted my intentions, but I would like to reiterate that I truly did not intend to cause trouble, conflict or hurt feelings.


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It seems to me that many of the conflicts that have occurred here have been the result of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of intent. Considering the limitations of Internet forums in conveying emotions and intentions, it would behoove all of us to give each other the benefit of the doubt when we read something that sounds inflammatory, insulting or mean. From what I've seen, there are actually very few instances here where someone is actually attacking someone or some institution.

When in doubt, rather than assuming the worst, we should ask the poster questions to clarify what their intentions are. In the long run, this should result in reduced blood pressure, far fewer hurt feelings and greater harmony on this forum. Just as importantly, it will present a much more appealing face for the NSPN to the outside world, one which is actually a much more accurate representation of what our organization and its members are really like.

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