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    Abram de Bruyn

    @nancy I found it difficult to get my hands on a copy of this book during the first two/three weeks of holding this intention.  I understand the problem of it being just too difficult a read or being too dense to read and respond to with all of the other projects I’m engaged with.  So yes, failure in that sense on my end too.  I know I’m not the only person that failed in this way (@drew).

    Reflecting on this, briefly, I think we should look at some of the wins from trying a book club in this way.


    • I loved the way that you set clear questions to respond to.  This was an advantage of one person actually having read the book prior to choosing it.  Someone holding coherence for the questions/challenges of the reading helps to focus our attention.
    • The book that was chosen was decided on by someone who had the time and energy (at the time) for holding coherence
    • Everyone (in theory) was holding space to engage with the same material.

    I’m definitely into reading ALL of those books at one point or another, as I get them into my hands.  I’ve been reading Finite and Infinite Games like a bible for quite a while.  There is just so much I want to read and engage with.

    Suggestion on moving forward:

    I think that I like the idea of more digestible ‘readings’ as opposed to entire books.  This is for academic and research purposes, perhaps we could take samples of larger books that people find particularly juicy, and create challenges/questions for what we are reading? (This of course is yet another project to sink time into)

    While reading particularly engaging material on education, do this work as it comes to you.  Think of what challenges you and what questions you would have for the text or your peers.  Provide samples of the reading in a post, along with the questions or reflections you wish to engage with.

    So perhaps we should be focusing this group in the direction of READINGS instead of whole books.  


    Abram de Bruyn

    Abram’s Intentions:

    I intend to learn the best ways to make my Blog kickass.

    I intend to learn how to make apps.


    I want to have an app that could store all of the stuff I want to blog about offline.  So that I can use my smartphone to collect notes that can be sent into the blog as draft entries that I can then fix up when I’m at a desktop.


    Abram de Bruyn

    *bright gleeful chipmunk giggling*


    Abram de Bruyn

    I thought that I mentioned this in my last post, but rereading it…oops.

    What about RAALFs?

    Resident Artist Agile Learning Facilitators? This would be for people that can REALLY model successful independent learning who may not be able or interested in committing long term to the educator role.  These people would have a skill set that the community would be interested in an ongoing project with.

    I’m thinking beyond the current volunteer basis that we have others come in.  Tomis mentioned that he’d support the idea of myself and my father working on a film documentation project about ALC.  What if we had space (i.e. board) for an artist to make work about the school with the kids for the wider world.


    Abram de Bruyn

    So then I guess we are looking at multiple pathways to ALFing (I imagine there will be more)

    1. Adults coming from an education background/interest
    2. Teens coming from within the community (YAALF)

    @charlotte; @dean; I feel that these sound like much bigger and different projects (all SUPER exciting!):

    1. Teens coming INTO the community post-school for detox – real life prep/alternative
    2. Summer camps
    3. Boarding school (these last two I heard Eric bear mention something about wanting to head in the direction of)

    I think that it’s important that if we have multiple pathways into the facilitating roles (there could be more) that we make sure to hold space for the needs of each.  Obviously we are expecting a lot more independence of our (current) Adult ALFs than I imagine we would of YAALFs.  They will all need to be supported to experiment (fail and fail again!), which means having clear spaces for these experiments.


    Abram de Bruyn

    [Aaaargh.  Just wrote an epic personal response to this and then for some reason the browser refreshed automatically and wiped it! Rewriting it again, but briefer, lucky you! Less to read!]

    YAALFing and ALFing

    @tomis I hear you on this project.  Definitely there will be students who will want to move into an ALF role down the track.  I could name them for you now as a prediction, but I won’t.  I think that is both a big part of the work we are doing with this style of education (read: empowerment) and also is likely to offer the community the best possible ALFs (these kids will have YEARS on us).

    There is also the added bonus that it will create a clear alternative goal and pathway for students that want to get deep into this work.  This will reward the community immediately as we see people (not naming names) who are already engaging in the work becoming clearer in their own challenges and next steps (i.e. for learning to hold spaces sacred, coping with bullying, leading so that others can lead etc).

    I see hear a friction in my own process of becoming a more fully engaged and active ALF.  It is both my role to learn HOW TO lead students to create more open and collaborative space, AND TO support the kids to DO THIS themselves.

    This can be seen in the tensions:

    • Should I focus on modeling my passion OR finding and firing up their passion?
    • Should I speak now about something I see as a problem OR support the kids in noticing this themselves if it happens?
    • As a new ALF should I be seeking more opportunities to lead the group (in set the week etc) OR should I be holding silence for students to see the opportunity to lead themselves?

    I recognise that these are not binaries (I will discover students interests because they will be interested in my own), but these questions hover over most indirect discussions/interactions I have (oh, you love comics and sci-fi? want to go to a comic store?).

    Proposal: we need to make explicit which spaces and when new ALFs are being supported to lead and when we are looking to the kids to lead.


    Abram de Bruyn

    I couldn’t agree with you more:

    While I love seeing lots of “doing”and value it tremendously, I also recognize the CRUCIAL times in my life where I was able to give myself space to “do nothing”. Not that I actually did nothing, but I gave myself permission to have time and space with no expectations. It has been these times that have catalyzed so much action in my life because it allowed the actions that I have taken to be purposeful and meaningful to me — making my engagement much greater than if I had been guided or pushed into just doing something for the sake of it.

    I’d managed to squeeze in my interest for alternative education into what free time I had for myself.  It wasn’t until I had some actual free time that anything catalyzed around this passion.  I had a week of just going to galleries and shows, without stressing out about my (lack of) work.  That’s how I ended up meet you (@tomis) at the Approaching the Elephant screening.

    Doing Nothing.  That’s also how I discovered Sufism and met a whirling dervish who took me on as an apprentice for a year and a half.  Of course, that’s (really) another story.

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  Abram de Bruyn. Reason: oops. left formatting notes in that were showing up in the WYSIWYG

    Abram de Bruyn

    Ok, sweet.  I know that in the first week, Internet was a problem for a lot of the people at ALC.  It will be good having a more reliable connection.

    I think an upgrade for the internet could also be to have a ‘Non-internet’ board at the school.  You know, like savory and sweet.

    It WAS only the first week and I know that we are moving towards more online activities including the blogging etc. but i think that an awareness of our time spent on screens (without judgement or limitation) would be cool.  I heard a lot of complaints about how they couldn’t do anything when the internet went down.

    A visual way of representing non-screen based activities would be cool.  It could be color coding, it could be a separate board.  This conversation could be suitable elsewhere too. @merlinworks @tomis

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