This past weekend while most people were catching up on overdue homework, friends, and sleep I was in mediation training. Meditation Training is a one credit, 30- hour training, split in to two weekends, eight hours per day. Yes, eight hours (10am- 6pm) of learning effective conflict resolution skills. The first day, Saturday, was long. I mean, very long. I think I may have put too much thought into the eight hours bit. Once I got over it time flew. Take a peek at the course description.
ID 141. Mediation Training 1
Mediation is a conflict resolution process that is used in close cooperation with the courts. Cases such as small claims court disputes and parent/teen conflicts are often referred by the courts to mediation by trained volunteers. The mediation training is a partnership with Mediation Matters, a nonprofit agency in Saratoga Springs that provides mediation services and receives its funding from the New York court system. This training will certify students as volunteers enabling them to mediate campus disputes through our own peer mediation program as well as cases referred to Mediation Matters by the courts. This is an intensive 30-hour training using film clips, role plays, readings, and discussion that focuses on building facilitation skills.
I am sure the thought of having to be in the same room with 30 people for eight hours straight, four days, may turn people away but I am so glad I did not shy away. Many of the students take the course because they would like to mediate for Fight Club, a conflict resolution/ mediation group on campus. I decided to take the course because my post- college plans involve counseling, I also thought “state certified mediator?, well that sounds super cool!” So I get that often times there is an end goal to taking the course but the skills learned in the course I just really great to have for well, life. I kind of feel like once I am done with the course I am going to feel a bit like super woman wanting to resolve all of my friends minor disputes “Let me see if I get what you are saying, so you are upset because she ate your last box of cheesy mac, and you think he is a jerk because he leaves his socks in the living room?” So maybe I will make the relationships around me flow better but what I look forward to most is being able to use these skills when working with at- risk youth; disputes between troubled teens, or between parents and teens. And I know that a 30 hour training is not all, this stuff truly takes years of practice; of listening mediating what can be some pretty intense and emotionally draining disputes. Listening to Duke Fisher and David Karp share some of the disputes they have dealt with in the past, I would stop and think how I could hardly imagine being in a room with two people that upset at each other. But I would like to get to that point.
I am really looking forward to the next/ last two days of training. I will keep you posted on how they go !
P.S So upset I could not get into the Life Guard and CPR training course. I could have been a mediating life guard!