The Phoenix Journey

The Keeper 2018 ©

 In a Jedi Community long long ago…..

Okay. So maybe it was just 18 years ago. XD

 I was still in highschool when I joined the Jedi community, just starting out. The school I attended required laptop and internet access, which was great! It allowed me to do far more than I could have at home on our crappy dial up computer. At highschool I had joined an HTML Web Designing class which from the very first class outlined final’s expectations. Simply, at the end of the years for our finals we were to present a fully operational website with a list of HTML coding applied and used within. The rest of the year we pretty much did whatever we wanted.  The teacher brought in donuts a lot, students played games, I spent my time at and their chat rooms learning about the Force, meditation, and discussing my other class assignments like history where I spent hours talking about the rise and fall of Rome with other Jedi. It was really great and I learned more in those chat rooms then I did in my history class….mostly because my method of learning requires more hands on discussions rather than chalkboard facts.

 In any case, despite our very lenient classroom time for web designing, I still had to have a working website at the end of the year. It was because of this finals assignment that I started looking at the Jedi Community not from the eyes of a student, but the eyes of a participating member. Back then, there was a lot of dreams. Dreams to have lessons, posts, and beautiful poems or stories saved in a library for future students to access. Dreams to networked news information from all of the Jedi forums into one place to easily keep connected….a time when Facebook, twitter, and other social media networks were not around.  Dreams to record our history, conscious that time changes and the past that was, at the time, our present….would one day be lost.

 All of these dreams were just conversations in a forum thread. And I wanted to make them real.

 My finals website was extremely basic. After all it was my first one. But it had poems that were favorites among the community, stories, songs, and a couple lessons. I passed the class and carried what I learned into my own personal study. This developed into the forum platforming at the time called E-zboard where I self taught myself how to work the unique code into a working forum called “The Jedi Dojo”. It was the first time I learned that people like to talk….but are not so quick to actually share. Following the dreams of the members I began to save the lessons, and maxims of Jedi that we all loved. I made sure to give full credit and sources….but was quickly attacked for copyright theft and threatened to take the content down or be sued.

 The site died swiftly and not long after e-zboard failed as a platform.

This however did not deter me. I continued to teach myself how to build websites., and each one that failed due to lack of participation or platform failure, I learned a little more on how to improve my work and process. I listened further to the dreams of the members and sought out new ways to record them without angering them.  Admittedly, to this day I am still figuring out how to balance that.  Haha, work in progress!! Always!

 In 2008 community events sent my work into a spiral.

A group I was a member of was shutting down and all the members were without a fall back group to go to. I valued many of the members there and wanted to give them a springboard to fall back on. A place where we could at least discuss ideas until we all found where we wanted to go. I needed something that would embrace this and promise a potential future should we accept it. It was around this time that the ideas of “Standards” was prominent in the community and I was tinkering around with ideas myself. It was also a time when “Grey”, “Shadow”, “Christian”, and many other branch off Jedi’s were jumping about.  I wanted something that would unify us…not divide us.   So my husband suggested “J.U.S.T Jedi.”

 “Just” to stand for two things. Just…as in we are Just Jedi and nothing more…All the other titles and attachments are nothing but personal preferences, at our core…we are Jedi.

And more fancily worded Jedi United Standard Training for, well, obviously defining reasons.

 It worked well! I wrapped up the project with a new logo which was a phoenix. The idea was that we were falling to ash with the old group shutting down, and rising like a phoenix in our new goals and forward growth.

Unfortunately the server crashed and everything was lost. After that nothing would take hold. Everything was in a state of transition from forums to social media. Forums were a thing of the past and everyone wanted, instead, Facebook groups. And I was becoming a mom along with the time, responsibility, and duties that came with that. So Just Jedi became a Facebook group and projects fell to the wayside of dreams and random tinkerings.

 Today, Just Jedi is now a fully active and alive website where we document Jedi History, maintain a database of active groups both online and offline, provide platforms for advertising and communication along with a slowly developing Self Study Training Curriculum that anyone and everyone can take should they desire to learn more about Jedi and what Jedi learn.

 I was asked to write this article about Just Jedi to share with everyone here at Ways of the Force. No matter how many times we fall to Ash….We will always rise like the phoenix, better than we were before.

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