This morning, there was a full solar eclipse and a super moon. Over other continents. I have astronomical envy…especially since we’re getting snow here in NYC, on this first day of spring.
I’ve been trying to keep my personal life energies and ALC life energies separate this week more so than usual, and I felt like I was succeeding in doing that mostly…being here so fully (as always) when I’m here and home when I’m home. Sitting down to reflect now and hold the two next to each other, they’ve both been full of challenges, surprises, small gifts, and reminders of things I knew and forgot.
With some of our more powerfully grounded and inspiring curious teenagers off-site, a newer student struggling to hold focus during meetings, two younger visitors who also struggled with meetings, two culture committee submissions to address on Monday, interns and volunteers cancelling or calling out for various reasons, AND THEN Ryan and Douglas both getting sick…the week was a bit of a struggle. Mostly at beginnings and endings of days. And Monday and Wednesday when a certain avid Red Crucible player brought some intense (and infectious) game rage to the MakerSpace. Things were feeling super imbalanced for most of the week, and I found myself with both shakes and headaches almost constantly.
But we had @Tomis <3 this week. Monday, we had a teenage girl visit, and she played hours of MM with Askani, Lyla, and Thanos before they all worked on helping Tomis create text for a webpage he’s working on. Tuesday, I played Hobbit Loveletter for the first time (the game isn’t widely available yet…It was discovered on a trip to the Uncommons, where it’s available for play and purchase before it hits the market). Wednesday, I was so present to my gratitude for my amazing partners in this work (and how awe-some this work is and how awe-some my life is) made me feel somewhat invincible. Thursday, I had a blast in the park with Jesse and Lyla. And today I watched Labyrinth with Askani, Alfie, Timo, and a rotation of Oliver/James/Logan/Adin. Then Alfie and Logan wrestled in the dark with David Bowie blasting in the background and my laughing a lot.
Between winter, kids growing, and new teenagers enrolling, I’ve been doing lots of salon-style facilitating. This involves sitting somewhere (usually with a cup of tea) and doing something with my hands (drawing, wire weaving, fidgeting) while we have philosophical conversations about everything. It’s been lovely–my academic brain has been quite happy–but when the balance tips again towards high energy munchkins and the weather turns warm for a second, I’m reminded of a bunch of aspects of facilitation that I’d forgotten about. Like helping kids learn to share and use their words to solve disagreements. Checking before leaving if anyone needs the bathroom. Making sure there’s a spotter for those jumping off furniture onto mattresses. Explaining how things are spelled, what signs say, and what different organs do to fascinated audiences (Your heart’s a muscle?!?). Declaring my love for a friend, being challenged by a 6 year old that if I don’t want to marry this person then I don’t love them, and getting to answer that there are lots of kinds of loves (***munchkin***mind***blown***). Facilitating for slightly less self-aware humans is always super fun and humbling the first time I do it after a long break. Especially when they want to race through the park and climb trees. They challenge me and constantly remind me not to be such a boring grown up 😉 They make me feel absurd for taking little things too seriously and forgetting how quickly time flows, with changes constantly inspiring new growth and breathing new life into old lessons.