Member Spotlight: Kitan Tataru

Kitan Tataru Member Spotlight

It’s been almost exactly two months since Kitan Sedai was announced as the new Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers (MoAS). That’s enough time to settle in and set some goals, so we at the TarValon Times checked in with her about the position, her time as a member of TarValon.Net, and her advice for the Junior Members (JMs) that she supports. First, though, I wanted to get to know the person behind the avatar a bit.

Originally from Southern California, Kitan Tataru now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, Brandon Gaidin. Their miniature schnauzer, Jinx, rounds out the family.

Having joined in 2004, Kitan Sedai has seen the vast majority of the Tower’s history. She regaled me with the story of how she (and the White Ajah) helped Brandon Sanderson participate in a toast at the tower’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration. She shared a raucous recounting of Fall Ball attendees being ejected during a Gaidin’s raising.

And while those stories were entertaining, our MoAS has more enlightening stories to share as well. Asked to comment on how the tower has changed during her tenure here, Mistress Tataru had a lot to say.

“When I was first raised to Aes Sedai, guesting and demotion didn’t exist,” she said. Kitan Sedai has even authored a Library article on the guesting system, since she saw it implemented from start to finish.

Of course, a discussion of integration goes hand in hand with guesting. As one of the White Ajah’s representatives to the Integration Focus Group, she was intimately familiar with the problem and proposed solutions. (For any who aren’t familiar, “Integration” was the process by which men were given permission to join Ajahs and women were allowed to become Gaidin.)

“So what we were asked was: How do we accomplish this? What will this look like? What will the process be? What structures will we need to change – or not change?” Kitan Sedai said of their discussions. Of course, the Integration Focus Group overcame those obstacles, and the membership groups exist as we know them today. Before any JM can aspire to join one of those groups, though, they must go through their time as an Accepted or Soldier – and of course, that brings us to Kitan Sedai’s new(ish) position.

“As MoAS, I’m really focused on helping the Accepted and Soldiers Aspire. When someone Aspires, it’s because they’ve found their home,” she said. It makes sense, when I think about it, but I found it encouraging that the MoAS would be focused on helping JMs find their membership group home. Of course there are administrative issues that go along with being MoAS, but for Kitan Sedai, the focus is on helping JMs find that home:

“My biggest goal as MoAS is to help every Accepted or Soldier, regardless of whether they’re having having a hard time or not, to feel that they have a place in the Tower, even if they haven’t Aspired and don’t know where or when or if they will.”

As an Accepted myself, I can tell you that this goal is backed up by Kitan’s actions. Her Office in the Hall of Initiates is filled with helpful information. Recently, Kitan created a roundtable discussion between JMs about the transition from junior membership to senior membership. The discussion has ranged three pages, and covered topics like the test for raising to SM, what happens when members aren’t sure where they belong, and guesting strategies.

Participants in the class, of course, have been very grateful for the direct outreach from Administrators to JMs on their own terms. “All the insight is greatly appreciated,” said Dar’Jen Ab Owain in one post.

“It was good to know about Aspiration in detail,” Lyndo Shiranui agreed.

It’s a lot to have taken on already just two months into her term as MoAS. Still, Kitan Sedai looks on the role with optimism and eagerness. “I know this might sound cliché, but I feel that being MoAS is an honor. I’m excited to bring my experience and knowledge with me to the role, and I hope to make a real difference in the experience of every person who’s an Accepted or Soldier during my term.”

Needless to say, based on everything I’ve seen so far, Mistress Tataru is off to a great start.

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5 Tips for Healthy Living

Healthyliving

 
Living a healthy life isn’t always easy. We’re all busy with work, school, family and that never ending to-do list, and often looking after ourselves (mentally and physically) falls to the wayside. Why not try out one (or more) of our quick tips for healthy living?

 

1. Drink More Water
As adults we are recommended to drink 2+ Litres (or 70 fluid ounces) of water per day. That sounds like a lot of water!! Why not start with just increasing your daily water intake by 1 glass? Or maybe have one glass of water before each meal?

 

2. Take Time For Yourself (even if it’s just a little)
Time for yourself can be a rare commodity, but it is priceless! Doing something just for you can refresh you and help you to tackle the next thing in your day. Maybe it’s 10 minutes before anyone else is up. Maybe it’s 10 minutes while everyone else is busy doing something else. But if you can take it, you should, you deserve it!

 

3. Eat Your Greens
Most of us could definitely eat healthier. But eating healthily is a long term habit to get into, why not just start with adding a piece of fruit into your daily routine? Or have a few more vegetables with your dinner? Baby steps are still steps forward, and your body will thank you for it!

 

4. Sleep!
For most of us, sleeping is just what we do with our leftover time. You know, that time between when we’re finished what we have to do for the day and when we have to get up to start again. But getting enough sleep (whenever possible – because let’s be realistic about it) helps our body to recharge, allows us to process what has happened during the day and helps to keep us healthy. Why not try going to bed 30 minutes earlier and see what happens?

 

5. Be More Active
We don’t all have the time (or the inclination) for a 2 hour gym session. But being more active doesn’t have to be about pumping iron or running a marathon (if it is, we applaud you)! It could be as simple as parking at the far side of the parking lot, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. Every time you get your heart rate up and keep moving you’re being active.

 

Come chat with us in our Health & Fitness Forum in the Discussion Halls. You can share what you’ve been doing, and learn from and support one and other. You can also check out the Working From Home article written by our Keeper of the Chronicles, Mieriana Souvra. Even if you’re working from home, I think that we can all relate.

 

Let us know if you have any other tips or tricks, we’d love to hear from you!

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TarValon.Net Blood Drive 2020

Blood Drive

 

TarValon.Net has held a blood drive initiative every year since its initial response to the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. The original response was so positive that it became an annual Outreach campaign.

 

Donating blood has become another way for members to embody the idea of being “Servant of All“. If you are able, you can donate blood. If you are not able to donate, you can help promote the initiative. Blood banks all across the world are in need of donations.

 

The Red Cross offers different ways to aid those in need. You can provide your financial assistance, your volunteer time, and certainly blood donations. You can also search for local-to-you blood banks.

 

As Serinia Edoras, The Amyrlin Seat, has explained, a pint of blood can save up to three lives. There has been an increased need for donations due to COVID-19, as pointed out by Leala al’Dareis, Head of the White Ajah.

 

In 2019, 27 pints of blood were donated by Tar Valon members. As indicated by Elia LePhant of the Brown Ajah, that is the most donated since 2015. In 2015, 32 pints were donated.

 

If you donate, you can go to 2020 Donor Form and record your donation. Be sure to indicate if it is a “double red” or Power Red Donation. This form of donation uses a special machine to retrieve 2 units of red blood cells and returns the plasma and platelets to the donor. The deadline for form submissions for 2020 is January 10, 2021.
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Randland Travel Advisor: The White Crescent

White Crescent Review

Out for a jaunt through Randland? TarValon.Net’s trusty travel advisor gives you the good, the bad, and the braid-tuggingly awful!

 

White Crescent Review

 

The White Crescent is no more than a half hour’s stroll from the docks to the city walls, with the inn a mere fifty paces inside the gates. The innkeeper, Cavan Lopar, tries to keep a clean establishment and made visible his disapproval of the mud still clinging to my boots from the docks (though he made no mention of it). He was quick with a smile and very helpful when getting situated.

 

The room was what you might expect: a bed, some hooks, and a window. Nothing stood out in a good or bad way.
Dinner was the best part about the place: a spicy fish stew that really hit the spot. The spiced wine was nothing to write home about. Dinner plus a gleeman and his lute made for a perfect uneventful evening!

 

Overall: A decent, no frills establishment.

 

(Reference: The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 49, “A Storm in Tear”)
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TarValon.Net’s September 2020 Recap

TarValon.Net Recap September

 

September of 2020 at TarValon.net seemed like a month of transition – transition from vacation to school, transition from quieter to livelier. The month started slowly, but it became more and more active as it went on.

 

Events September

 

During this month there were several things of note happening:
  • A winner for the International Red Cross Fundraiser was chosen and sent a prize! For the blog post about the fundraiser check here .
  • We opened our Costume/Cosplay Forum, where people can share their knowledge about recreating stage costumes or designing their own versions of Wheel of Time costumes, as they’ve imagined them. Check out the newly opened forum here.
  • The Costume Team is running a sew along, since a lot of people have shown interest in the American Duchess Cape pattern. If you are interested in joining, check this thread here.

Duchess Cape

  • The Department of Marketing is also challenging all members to draw something every day during Inktober! Read about our very own set of Wheel of Time drawing prompts on our blog post here.

 

Hiring September

Several people were appointed to new positions at TarValon.Net during September. We would like to congratulate:

 

Raisings September

The Hall of the Tower was busy contemplating several raisings. Many congratulations to:
  • The newest Accepted – Cinna Vrammar,

A graphic that says Congratulations Cinna Vrammar our newest Accepted

  • Kenith Sna’aps, who was summoned to start training as the newest Novice,

A graphic that says Congratulations Kenith Sna'aps our newest Novice

  • Owena al’Saturni Aes Sedai, the newest Sister of the Green Ajah.

A graphic that says Congratulations Owen al'Saturni our newest Green Aes Sedai

Bonds September

 

We saw a new bond, created under the Light, connecting two people, who have sworn to fight the Shadow together!
Congratulations to Faeril Munlear of the Green Ajah and Atreyu Silverstar of San d’ma Shadar Company on their bond.

 

Open Positions September

 

Open positions at TarValon.net during September:
  • Head of the White Ajah – Applications closed September 25, 2020.
  • Tar Valon Times Writers and Artists – Applications closed September 25, 2020. Our Editor Aleita Taviah is still interested to hear from you if you would like to contribute to the Tar Valon Times. E-mail her at editor@tarvalon.net anytime with your interest or ideas.
  • Forum Moderators and Discord Operators – Applications due October 3, 2020. If you are interested in applying, check the thread here.
  • Director of Research and Records – Applications due October 9, 2020. If you are interested in applying, check the thread here.

 

We would like to say thank you to Leala al’Dareis, who is stepping down as Head of the White Ajah, and to Atarah al’Norahn, who is stepping down as Director of Research and Records. Good luck to all the applicants!

 

The month wraps up with the Fall Executive Meeting, which was held on September 26, 2020. Stay tuned for next month’s recap, where we will cover the results of the Executive Meeting as well as everything else interesting that has happened at TarValon.Net!
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