I have to admit, I wasn’t excited for another visiting week. Initially I was stoked, because there had been plans for @theanchor to bring two QIVC teens I like to the city, along with @themadhatter, to join Bear and the ALC-NYC crew (including @Tomis!!!) for the week. But then the teens bailed. Before the week was out, Milo would leave before I really got to hang out with him and Bear would get stressed, but I didn’t know any of this Tuesday morning. All I knew was that I had been ready to have still more new kids at school because the visiting teens put me in that hostess mindset that give me energy. Without them to do that, and after weeks of surface conversations with various visitors (“When someone says ‘stop’ please respect that…We don’t curse at each other here…Please don’t command me to carry your things; if you bring them to the park they are your responsibility…,” I was wanting a week to focus on deeper conversations about the school culture.
How awesome is it to think you want something, not get it, and then have it proven that the thing you got instead is actually as good as or better than what you thought you wanted? Sometimes, I really love being proven wrong 🙂
We had five visitors lined up for the week, and after a somewhat head-achy first day we decided to ask one not to return. That decision was significant: it’s always really hard to meet a kid we could help here (and who is unlikely to get that help in conventional school) and choose to send them elsewhere. It sucks. So I was proud of everyone for being able to make that choice, recognizing that our community right now doesn’t have the bandwidth (and our prospective September community will be down two culture keepers–@shadowjack and @lillaw–whose energies and influences we highly value) to welcome such a kid without significantly compromising the health of our culture.
The other four who visited were really fun. We decided in change-up this morning to welcome them into the community, and I’m really excited to start school with them in September! *fingers*crossed*
Tuesday I took kids to the park for much of the day, so I’m not to sure what happened at school. @failspy brought in the trike he won at a hack-a-thon over the weekend. It’s pretty impressive…I’m sure he’ll blog about it soon so you can read all the details…;)
Wednesday was an ALL DAY, ALL SCHOOL BEACH TRIP! Ryan and I got to go on a trip together! And Tomis was there! And Bear! And Chuck! And (nearly) all the kids and all the visitors, and all the horseshoe crabs and Russian grocery stores and khachapuri! And the ocean. It was so wonderful to see the kids tear across the sand. They played all kinds of games together, swimming and building and burying each other. The day had started out cloudy, but Ryan and Sterling (one of our visitors) called the sun out, and it worked. I got to have some funny conversations about bathing suits and religion and technology. I had one less-than-fun conversation when I was feeling nauseous after getting cat called by old men the one time I left the beach to take a kid to a shop. Overall, the day was really excellent.
Yesterday, I honestly don’t remember much of. Sometimes when I am working on writing something, I fall into the work. It’s this ability to hyper-focus that made studying in conventional school fast and easy for me, but it’s also the reason I try to avoid doing certain kinds of reading and writing during the school day. It makes me less present for the people around me. I was content with how my writing turned out, though, and I did have an awesome time playing a new cooperative storytelling game called Machine of Death with @timotree @themadhatter @lillaw @douglasawesome and @failspy.
Today, we had a longish change-up in which we decided that we will not use screens for non-business things from the time clean up starts to the time our gratitude circle finishes. The kids were all in favor of the proposal, recognizing that it will make the transition to clean up easier and de-incentivizing them to rush through cleaning then play instead of helping each other. Their willingness to try new things and their self-awareness doesn’t surprise me at this point, but it does always leave me a little awe-struck. Props especially to @awesome, who doesn’t always attend gratitude circle at this point, to agreeing to the arrangement right away. We’ll see how it goes on Monday (today being a blogging day, we’ll transition from cleaning to blogging…).
We also checked in with @douglasawesome about his week running his own spawn point. @failspy @jacobcb and @shadowjack have all joined. After some initial hiccups getting them access to each others’ trello boards and arranging substitute spawn-leaders for afternoons when Douglas leaves early, it sounds like they got into a good flow and are running things smoothly. Which is super exciting! I can’t wait until kids run all the spawn points and staff are just nearby for support 🙂
Feeling tired and a little tested, but overall very content with the week and appreciative of everyone who was in it. Bye until June 🙂