I’m back from Capon and the land without internet or wifi, and therefore, will continue to post some of the blog posts that I wrote during the interim later today. However, I did not successfully write a post for every day, but I’m kind of okay with that. Rather than spending that time off on my own with my computer, it was time I spent taking advantage of all the great moments Capon has to offer without technology.
I feel like every year I blog about how much I appreciate having a week tech-free, but it’s just so true! I love how at Capon we’re forced to unplug and just get to be in the moment chilling with our family and friends.
Living in all of the moments is such a refreshing feeling; from the fast-paced ultimate frisbee games or rowdy badminton matches to the quiet times reading on the porch or taking a nap on a hammock. When you have time to kill between meals you find all sorts of adventures and games to play like “Super Pong” where we play a game of ping-pong meets foursquare across three ping-pong tables.
Then into the late night when you think all of the moments are over for the day, still we might have a serious chat about family drama or a fake talent show that will make you laugh your socks off when friends re-perform acts from their childhood.
Capon is like the camp you never grow too old to attend, every year I can’t wait for another week of amazing food, great company, and intense tournaments of the weirdest kind.
Till next year Capon; can’t wait until another week un-unplugged from technology and plugged into the real moments.
I once had an English teacher who told my class on the very first day, “The real reason that we read, and especially the reason we read old literature, is really just so that we can feel smart when we understand references at a cocktail party or other conversations.”
At first, we were all shocked that our English teacher wasn’t trying to give us some long speech about how brilliant old writers were and how we need to read them to understand our history and how it affects our future, yatta yatta, etcetera etcetera. After a moment though, and especially now that I look back on this statement, I have come to realize just how true it is. The best part of reading is feeling “in on the joke” when some obscure reference is made. And I noticed this especially true in terms of me spending time taking Latin as my foreign language.
Let’s be real, we all know few people in the world even speak Latin at this point, but the reason I took it is because it’s all about stories. All the myths and histories wrapped up and mixed into one. When we were in class we would be translating actual novels and texts from ancient times that get referenced all the time in modern literature. I find myself being more appreciative of this middle school decision of mine all the time.
Tonight was a great example of feeling “in on the joke” when I saw the new musical “Head Over Heels.” I’m having a hard time finding the right words to describe the show, so I think I’m just going to use the description provided online. (Which was all I knew about the show going into it because it’s still in previews, therefore, no reporters can comment yet.) :
“An inspired mash-up of posh and punk, Head Over Heels is an Elizabethan romp about a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom.
To save their kingdom, the family embarks on a journey where they are faced with mistaken identities, love triangles, sexual awakening and self-discovery.
Set to the iconic pop music of The Go-Go’s, Head Over Heels delivers an experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen.” – tdf description
The show was hilarious in itself, but I feel like I was really able to appreciate it that much more because I felt “in the know” when it came to certain references due to my background taking Latin. Now while I know I was never all that great at Latin, I did stick with it all through middle and high school and thus was quite amused with myself this evening for being able to pick up on the references in the show made to ancient works/general themes you just find funny for some reason after talking about them for years.
I just love witty writing and this show had a ton of that on top of the twists turns and dramatic gestures that come along with giving an ode to the olden times.
This whole post was a lot more fluent in my head while still at the theater, but I suppose everything is as it should be because I clearly saw a good show based on how my mind is now blown and dead with thoughts and challenges spirally around inside not knowing how to manifest themselves into coherency just yet.
Today has been long and tiring. Starting at 4:50am after about three hours of sleep, my day consisted of first travelling to Vermont and then have the whole second half of the day engrossed in day 1 of the Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership International Seminar hosted by Up for Learning at the University of Vermont.
Like most first days, we started our conference getting to know our community which is always fun! I love networking with new people and reconnecting with those whose paths have crossed with mine before. We started the day with a poem activity where we were given a powerful piece by Margaret Wheatley (featured image) and then asked to pick out a sentence, phrase, and single word that stood out to us in regards to our conference. We then shared with our table and then did a “wave shareout” with our one word to the entire room. I found that if you took the most commonly chosen single words we got an interesting sentence to describe what this gathering is all about:
“We invite a curious community to trust in brave conversations.”
Personally, I had some good “ah-ha” moments today that are going to frame the next two days for me:
- Most students don’t just decide one day to researchabout innovative schools, and therefore, they remain unknowing that there is anything besides the traditional system even as a possibility for their education. Yet we know the movement will be strongest if learners are driving the change since, after all, learners are the largest population in a school community. So how might we engage students from traditional school systems who aren’t being supported in thinking about alternative education paths? How do we help these students know what their options are because from my experience when presented with the option of a traditional school versus a learner-centered school, learners almost always choose the later.
- There is an interesting distinction between student voice, student agency, and student-adult partnership which I haven’t considered before. Students/learners can feel like they have a voice, but that doesn’t mean it’s being heard; students can have agency in their work, but not take ownership of the work. How might we achieve various levels of all of these distinctions of student worth in our everyday learning communities?
- In education, we often are debating the semantics of what it is that we do in our learning environments. However, perhaps we need to spend more time focusing on why we do it then thinking about how we do it before we start to dive into what exactly it is. With this in mind, I believe I need to spend time with our production team taking a deeper dive into why we do what we do with Trailblazers in order to start exploring what the future may hold in terms of possibilities for growth.
Yesterday was a crazy day ending with a gym sleepover I worked for 50 some kids ages 5-15, so sadly I couldn’t blog until tonight.
My family has a habit, which is apparently a bit odd according to my friends, where we end up watching TV shows together. To the point where you are not allowed to watch the show without the others.
For example, my mom, sister, and I all watched The Gilmore Girls together and considering that show had like 7 or 8 seasons, this was an intense commitment of watching almost every episode together.
Then my sister and I have our current show: Shadowhunters which we know it’s not great but we’re too deep…
Our entire family watched Once Upon a Time together after starting with just me then my mom getting hooked, then slowly everyone else joined the bandwagon.
My mom and I watched RISE together.
My aunts and I watch This is Us together.
You get the idea.
Point is I don’t think I realized how much of a norm this was with my family until last year when I started watching The Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. This show is based on one of my favorite book series of all times so I had to watch it, and I was only about an episode in when my brother started looking over my shoulder at the kitchen table where I was watching. He stuck around for another episode and then asked me, “Can this be ‘our show,’ like how you and Kylie have your show?”
It was really sweet because I hadn’t realized that he clearly felt like he was missing out since at some point in time I guess having “a show” became a part of how my family bonds. We all have pretty busy lives, so we’re not altogether too often and when we are it’s often after a long day where we want to chill out and apparently watch an episode of a show.
I obviously said yes to my brother, but it’s been funny because he’s still fairly young so binge-watching isn’t something he’s into yet unlike how my sister and I watch shows. So now a year later we just finished season 2 today; albeit season 2 only came out in March so there was some reason for the delay.
It was just interesting for me to think about all the different ways family’s bond with each other.
For the first time in a long while, I woke up this morning to no alarm clock.
Then I went downstairs and had breakfast and realized there were absolutely no specific events of the day. I proceeded to start to read my history textbook and then fell asleep while trying to get through it…
The amazing part was that it didn’t matter. I could fall asleep on the couch and just stay there!
I’m currently at the lake with several other family friends as well, and so they all went on the boat while I was asleep. I awoke to just me and the dog and continued to just relax, listen to some gymnastics music (it’s time to start editing music for next season), read a bit more from my textbook, and grab a snack. Of course, eventually, everyone came back and things got hectic again, but it was really great to just enjoy a day with no plans. Even though it’s summer, that has yet to really happen until today.
I can’t believe this day is here, the first members of the Innovation Diploma who entered as freshman have officially graduated today!
It’s crazy to believe that it’s been four years since this program began with a group of 12 unsuspecting young learners and two facilitators out on a daunting journey to figure out what it would mean to graduate with an additional “Innovation Diploma.”
A lot has changed since then. We went from barely understanding what innovation is to teaching top companies about design thinking. The team currently has Design Briefs in the works with Chick-Fil-A and Delta amongst others!
I love seeing how the program grows every year, even despite me having graduated at this point. I care because each year the program grows it also reflects on all of us who have graduated; it shows how the work we left behind has paved the path for those behind us. Furthermore, it shows how the way we run school is changing a little more each year for the better.
It was a pleasure to work alongside this group of now-graduated seniors while I could and it’s amazing the work they accomplished during their time in the Innovation Diploma. I can’t wait to see what they do next, though it is crazy and a little sad to think that there is no longer anyone left from the original group, theDisney Cohort. It all started back from that first time we hacked the system together by collaborating on what innovator we wanted to be named after, and then it was a crazy ride from there.
Now there will be no one left in the program who lived out that first year, messy as it was at times, it taught us all the true meaning of prototyping early and failing up to continue to make improvements for the future generations. I hope the years to come will remember and appreciate just how far this amazing program has grown in such a short amount of time.
Congrats class of 2018, and goodbye Disney Cohort; continue to dream and design a better tomorrow!
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney
From brainstorms to rainstorms, it’s been a day.
I feel like I’ve been going non-stop from 6:30am until now which I haven’t done in a very long time. My day started with a 3.5-hour brainstorming vision meeting this morning, then teaching at Paideia, then coaching at the gym, then ended with getting dragged along to a baseball game that got stormed out without starting.
I’m not very wet and very tired.
I don’t know how I use to maintain this kind of stamina in high school. It’s crazy to think this use to be a norm for me of getting up at 6:30 and going to bed at midnight with so much in between. Now I wake up between 8:20-10 typically and I always feel so much more well rested to the point where now I especially just can’t handle early mornings.
It’s crazy what we expect high school students to cram all into one day. That’s not even getting started with diving into the topic of how much content we try to cram into every hour, day, semester, year, etc. Who said in just 4 years so much has to be learned and decided on?