It has been another awesome week at the Center. I am learning how to negotiate this innovative educational environment not only as the facilitator, but also as another participant. Which means I am becoming more comfortable introducing ideas either through actions or verbal suggestions and just as comfortable watching the kids come up with their own ideas. With two, and sometimes only one kid here, we haven't yet got a set schedule of classes; it is pretty fluid. We do what feels right at any given time.
On Monday, Elwood wanted to learn more about tribes. Of course I was delighted to bring out my favorite Anthropology resource; a book called Anthropologist Scientist to the People by Mary Batten. It tells the story of a woman who spends large amounts of time in the field studying and living with the Ache in Paraguay. It is an amzaing book because it tells a story, while teaching the basics of cultural anthropology. I read a chapter and answered questions as they came up. The amazing part is, the other youth in the room was listening too. Some of you will recognize that the title of this post is an Anthropological term. I couldn't resist!
Later that day, the boys were tossing around the "barley bag" I heat in the microwave and use to relieve the stiffness in my shoulder. Eventually, one of them said "it would be nice to have a hacki sack to throw at each other." Then the other said, I know how to use the sewing machine." I offered fabric from the same old shirt that I made the barley bag from and they decided to use some popcorn kernels for filling. They got out the machine and with a bit of rearranging assigned tasks, and instruction created a hacki sack. They also took apart an old alarm clock and ipod that afternoon.
We walked over in the frigid wind to Bell's Garage and set up a shadowing opportunity for Nate. The folks at the garage were very pleasant and eager to help.
On Wednesday Elwood was here by himself. I thought it would be nice to start working on the mural again, so I mixed some brown paint and asked him how he wanted to implement the underworld part. He eagerly grabbed another palette and began mixing more brown and showed me exactly what he was thinking. We spent several hours building our version of the underworld. Later that day I read another chapter of the anthro book. We also spent time trying to get Linux onto another USB drive and failed both times we tried it.
On Thursday, I read another chapter and this time Nate had a question or two. Then we went skating. The boys and MacKenzie found a puck and spent a good portion of time kicking it around the arena. It was amazing to watch the accomplished skater of the group take the other two in hand to show them how to skate backwards and kick the puck without falling on their butts. Such gentleness and kindness embodied in one kid. It is so amazing to realize I get to spend everyday observing this kind of compassion and awesomeness.
That afternoon, Nate went to the garage while the other two got the paints out and continued work on the mural. It has expanded from the original along with it's underworld to a body of water and Hogwarts castle next to it. Elwood finished his week at DRC with an electric guitar lesson.
Spread the word our next Open House is scheduled for March 20th. The first day of Spring!!!!