I'm Lana Bachynski, Tea Time Co-Founder and Senior Board Member. I can assure you that nothing goes through Tea Time without my knowledge of it -- particularly not anything of this magnitude! Please allow me to shed a little light on this misunderstanding.
The Showreel, worthy as it is, is most certainly NOT in direct affiliation with Tea Time. Our board members have done our best to relay information and answer questions when asked, but we are in no way responsible for the collection of work, the accessibility of resources, or the selection of work to be shown in the final product. Tea Time is simply a network to help broadcast opportunities such as this on a larger scale.
While it is regretful that there has been much confusion around this subject for the students and instructors alike - and we are very thankful to all those currently helping to resolve the issue in a mutually satisfying way - frankly, it is an insult to us - and to me, personally - that you would take information handed to you and use it to speak poorly of Tea Time’s initiative towards online students – Particularly because we pride ourselves as being one of, if not the only community, that actively reaches out to the online student body in ways far beyond the casual group on Facebook.
Since day one, Tea Time has made sure to take comprehensive notes of guest speakers, in-club lectures or demos, and events we host or attend, posting them to our blog (teatimeanimation.blogspot.com), so that those who cannot be in attendance might still be able to glean something that benefits them. Over the last year, we have expanded upon this – specifically with the hopes of creating a stronger bond with the online community. Our website (teatimeanimation.com) features a structured forum for giving/receiving feedback on work; sharing industry news and job openings; space to ask technical questions and get support; and a growing resource library of tutorials, rigs and props available for free use.
Furthermore, because we know it gets tiresome to just have to read a bunch of notes, we have started to bring everything Tea Time directly to the online community. Our weekly meetings are streamed live every week from our dedicated site (hangout.teatimeanimation.com), and, when possible, we have begun to live stream some of our Guest Speaker events as Webinars with Watch Later capabilities (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grUatd29ZNU). Tea Time has even launched a secondary chapter in Pittsburgh, PA, that we openly invite online students in that region to join, or, if they are so inspired, to begin their own local chapters with our full and direct support.
Finally, I should like to point out to you that Tea Time Animation is an Alumni/Student run organization. While we are largely affiliated with and greatly supported by the Academy, Tea Time is not directly maintained by any AAU faculty or personnel, which means Chris Armstrong is not the authority figure whose word you should hold to in future matters regarding Tea Time. I am.
I would be happy to answer any further questions or concerns you may have about ways the online student body can get involved. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me through our e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or our twitter, @TeaTimeAnimates, or our Instagram, @TeaTimeAnimation.