Home » Blog

Wednesday, October 29

After check-ins this morning we passed around the one-on-one check-in signup sheet and all present picked a preferred day, person, and frequency for checking in with a facilitator.


India led a workshop on LARPing, a very interesting subculture.  India talked about doing a part 2 next week, and possibly setting up a LARP day just for us!


India leads a LARP workshop


There was a little bit of confusion around Writing Lab, today’s Quiet Work Time focus.  In our check-outs we realized the need for event hosts to announce it if they are canceling their event and that event hosts should be at the place/time of their event for at least five minutes to see if anyone shows up, and if not they are free to leave and go to another event.


Today we had the first Ewok Hour!  Sam held Sushi Jam which was a great success.  People brought sushi-stuffings to share and we all had a good time learning the ways of sushi making.  Thanks for hosting, Sam!  Soleil will be running next week’s Ewok Hour with a surprise card game.


Preparing sushi
Preparing sushi
Soleil’s sushi!
Connor’s sushi excitement



A few folks had to leave early, and everyone else headed into the lounge for Leadership Class with Sue.  I always take that block of time to catch up on Emails and such.


Today we spent a little extra time doing checkouts and changed the format a little.  Everyone went around and described their day and what the highlights were.  I think we still have a little ways to go to find the perfect question that leads to really productive self-reflection.  I want to try something new next week; giving everyone binders.  I think having everyone write their morning intentions down in their binder and then reflect about their day with a brief journal entry at the end of the day could be what we’re looking for.  Having intentions written down keeps them from disappearing into the æther.


Don’t forget costumes on Friday!

Monday, October 27

Today we had a few guests; Nancy who runs ALC Mosaic in Charlotte came and brought two of her students, our good friend Steve who we’re working with on nonprofit stuff and permanent location searching, and Robyn who is a mother of two young kids and planning on opening an ALC, for younger kids, of her own here in AVL.


After our brief check-ins, Nancy facilitated our Changeup Meeting on creating intentional culture norms at Endor.  It was great to see the way she facilitates these meetings.  Nothing had been added this week, so our previous solutions moved down the line towards mastery and other solutions we tweaked a bit.  We decided to try two weeks of having mandatory five/ten minute check-ins with a facilitator.  My fear of making this only optional is that someone having trouble with the program and not feeling empowered to bring their concerns out in front of the group could fall through the cracks.


Then it was time for Q.W.T. (quiet work time) in The Lounge and nothing scheduled for anywhere else.  Our guests “schooled” us, I’d say, by getting right on Duolingo and practicing the languages they’re working on.  Today’s early QWT is Math Jam themed, so many other folks played Set, winner of the Mensa Select Award 1991.  In that time slot I sat down and made a new schedule board to better visualize the week – there it is pictured below.



In the eleventh hour most people found themselves in The Lounge discussing Mosaic, self-motivation, and Unschooling with Nancy.  Very stimulating stuff.




Quinn held ethics at Dobra at noon.  I arrived a bit late and was happy to find discussion in full swing, if not a little loud.


Ethics was cut a bit short today as our good friend Brenna the potter (check out her website, she makes beautiful stuff) came in with clay and held Clay Day!  It seems like everyone had a really great time.  Those who left their pieces to be fired can pick them up next week.

L1030848 L1030850



We had an extra long checkout today and saved some time to continue some of our discussion with Nancy from earlier.  Nancy had a very interesting insight into self-directed-learning about the importance of self reflection; that whatever you do with your time, be it “productive” or not, as long is it’s what you set out to do and you reflect upon it when you’re finished then you’re on the right path.  That really rings true with me, and I want to integrate that into our check-ins-and-outs.  We also covered the need to have “point people” hold the space for “jams,” so we went through the list of weekly occurring things and people volunteered to run them.  Soleil will be hosting Math Jam, Ember Writing Lab, Liam Language hour, Rochelle Art Jam.  Since Sam had taken the initiative to run Sushi Jam on Wednesday, we decided to make Ewok Hour a reoccurring event every Wednesday at 11:00 where a participant will facilitate something, anything, and close by choosing who will host next week.  Should be really fun!



Thanks for coming, Mosaic!


Friday, October 23

After our meeting this morning we split into two groups, those wanting quiet work time and those taking part in Art Jam.  We set out on a field trip to buy art supplies, which was harder than we thought.  The art supply store on Haywood St. has closed down, so we went to Malaprop’s, Earth Guild, and Staples.  We ended up spending a lot of the time slot tracking down supplies, so Art Jam went until the beginning of lunch, annexing and somewhat morphing into the Whisper Challenge which had been scheduled next.  This means that we blasted music in our headphones and tried to lipread each others instructions of what to draw.


Over lunch we practiced the moonwalk and read some headlines.


After Lunch a game of CAH (Cards Against Humanity) started up.  I’m always torn over this game – my desire to not censor people and my desire to make sure people are comfortable (and inspire self-awareness) are at ends with each other.  Positive and negative rights.  Ideally, anyone uncomfortable with the game can walk away or speak up, but of course it is more complicated than that.  So, I did what I often do in such situations which is to look on the internet to hear what other people say.  Other people say badly on the internet, at least of those with enough of an opinion to bother writing a piece about Amazon’s highest selling game in the first place.  I feel that societal rules on this one are somewhat different for teenagers and adults.  Anyway, the point I wanted to make about all of this was that I want to start holding a weekly Self-Critical Jam where everyone would spend an hour looking for and reading articles that contradict their beliefs.  I think it’s important to not spend too much time focusing on the negative, it’s good to be PRO things, but it seems like a healthy way to spend one hour out of the 168 you’ve got each week to reflect like that.  Ok, I’m rambling.


Happy Friday,

Wednesday, October 22

What a great day!

Today we kicked off a with our morning check-ins a little early and then got straight to our things.  We seemed to have hit a kind of critical mass of people and projects, so there was four separate activities successfully going at the same time: Music Jam in the Lounge, a game of Catan sharing a table with a people playing Lethal League in the kitchen corner, and the Adventure Playground discussion part 2 happening at the other end of the room.  I really feel like we’re making progress!


Giving folks a half hour warning before the start of lunch seemed to just become an hour long lunch.  The one thing scheduled for the 11:00 – 11:30 block was canceled.  I imagine we will find a way to work this out.


After lunch we had the Leadership Class with Sue.


Also, the blog post I wrote for Monday seems to be missing. . .


In other news, Nancy and a few students from ALC Mosaic will be visiting next Monday!  We’re really excited about that.

Friday, October 17

We had a pretty relaxed day today.


After our morning meeting, everyone took some time to work on personal projects or “do their own thing.”  Steve Cooperman of Geronimo Education, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor to be, came in for a visit and talked crowd-funding with our in-house expert, Hannah.


Nick Rake of the Asheville Makers came in and helped with computer repair.  We also got to talk to him about maker projects like Circuit Scribe, Makey Makey(which we have two of at Endor), and Arduino.  I have been in touch with the Makers for some time now about holding an Arduino course, so that should be happening in the coming weeks.


Being that it was something of a slow day, we elected to see a movie after lunch.  The group decided to see Spaceballs, which we didn’t get to see in its entirety.  If you’d like to finish it, it’s available on Netflix, Google Play, and at the Weaverville Public Library.


Today was the first day we didn’t have access to both rooms at the studio.  Our rental agreement with them is that we technically rent one of the two rooms, but get free access to the other room when it is open, and it almost always is.  Today that seemed to work fine.


Have a good weekend,


Wednesday, October 15

Today we started the day as we did on Monday, with everyone going around and setting an intention for the day, putting the shareable intentions on the schedule and the personal ones on kanban boards.  We had a hard time keeping morning intentions under 15 minutes per our week’s solution to meetings being too long.


We pushed scheduling one-on-ones back to explore different models a bit first – there are many different ways to arrange this and we want to make sure that the first thing we try has good results and carries momentum, even if it needs to be changed down the line.


Rochelle hosted Writing Jam; today’s focus was time travel.  Some of the media we referenced included the movies Primer and Memento, and the book Meanwhile by Jason Shiga, which I will bring in a copy of on Friday.


Sue Dolamore came in to teach the first installation of the Leadership Class she will now be holding on Wednesdays.  I know that everyone had a really great time in the class, and I look forward to seeing how the facilitation techniques folks learn there can play in to the other things we do at Endor.


Today we observed the need to have a scheduled break for lunch, so from now on we’ll be leaving 11:30 to 12:00 unscheduled for that purpose.  It’s an ever improving process, or as is said in Japanese, “Kaizen.”


Here‘s a link to Unschool-Mom Karen Roddy’s language immersion program, En Famille.

Here‘s a link to the Improv workshop we talked about.

Here‘s a link to the Adventure Playground article.  Since we didn’t get a chance to finish our discussion, we can pick up where we left off next Wednesday, the 22nd.



Week 2! Day 4

Last Monday we used Open Space to schedule things throughout the week.  It didn’t seem to work very well in this context, so for the time being we decided to try scheduling every day individually, each morning.  We will do this for a week and reassess next Monday.


After setting intentions for the day, we ran through using the new boards and had our first Changeup Meeting, using the Community Mastery Board we made on Friday.  We identified a problem, meetings are too long.  Quinn suggested limiting all our meetings to 15 minutes or less, so we decided to try that for a week and revisit the problem next week to see if that is a solution we’re happy with.


I am limiting myself to facilitating one thing a day this week, so I put Business Card Jam on the schedule and left the rest to everyone else.


Soleil held space for stretching in the morning, so Rochelle used some of her Certified Yoga Instructor skills to lead a yoga session.  Some of us want to have 15 minutes of stretching/yoga each morning before Morning Intentions from now on!


A game of Munchkin was put together, Quinn put Ethics at Dobra on the schedule to reoccur every Monday at 11:00, including today.  Today we discussed burdens of responsibility from a prompt found here.  Lake again performed a reading of Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes.  In Business Card Jam, we took a look at my large collection of business cards and discussed their pros/cons.  I’ve always thought Unschoolers would do well to have business cards. . . I’ve always wanted them, and I’m only putting it together now!  We also started designing Endor Student IDs.


We also had a Governance Meeting that covered setting an age maximum of 22, (now we’ll be 14 – 22, a more explicit way of saying “high school to college aged”), we talked about what information should be kept confidential, we decided to set up one-on-one check-ins with facilitators at a frequency decided by the student (a scheduling sheet will be available on Wednesday), and we talked about profanity.  Everyone present got a chance to talk about their personal tolerance with language, and we went around and everyone gave out explicit permission to be called out if using oppressive or disrespectful language.  Due to the 15-minute-meeting-rule, we didn’t have time to cover archiving/publishing governance decisions, so that’s agenda item #1 next week!


In our closing meeting we remarked on how one thing running over schedule can effect the rest of the day (Munchkin ran 30 minutes over, biting into Ethics and throwing off all that followed).  I said that as a facilitator I could remind everyone of breaks in the schedule.  We also talked about a desire to spend more time on things that are “productive.”  We talked about that a little bit and how we can make more of that happen in the future.


No pictures today, sorry!

October 10

Today we opened up the day talking about structure at Endor and how we can better schedule our time.

Some people voiced a need to have more things going on throughout the day, so in the morning we discussed how best to use the schedule to stay on track with the various projects that each person takes on.  I personally want everyone to feel empowered to facilitate meetings/workshops/jams and to put them on the schedule, so for next week I’ll be facilitating less so as to open space for others.


Lake brought a book titled Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes and held a reading.


We made a Community Mastery Board, a tool from ALC to identify cultural problems and implement different solutions for them.


We also made a Skill Share/Requests board, and a Long Term Group Goals board to keep track of and chart bigger projects – pictured below respectively.




Some people held Math Jam while I hosted a discussion on binocularity, the ability to see humans as subjects and objects at the same time.  Our conversation evolved into one about artificial intelligence and the origins of original thoughts.  Really stimulating stuff.  The binocularity piece can be found here, and the Radiolab episode about Clive Wearing we listened to can be found here.



Clay juggled a piece of foam.




Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, Oct 8

Day #2 at Endor!
We had a pretty loose schedule today and everyone is still getting used to self-organizing in a centralized peer-filled space.


The economics board game The Settlers of Catan got a lot action.  When the first game was being set up and four players were already ready, a waiting list for later games self-organized itself into being on the wall next to the table.



We had a creative writing workshop writing short stories with three-noun prompts from a generator online.  The prompts we had were:
– Freedom Coffee Cockroach
– Justice Brooch Watch
– Death Eagle Beer
Some funny stories and songs emerged from the prompts, the first being by far the most popular and coherent.


DJ Time went on the schedule on Monday and met today with folks sharing mixes and mashups. When we get the student-blogs set up I see that being a good place to share music and playlists.


We’re coming up against a little bit of a space constraint with respect to number of work stations. Interior Design Team came up with making a cuddle puddle area with the yoga mats at Zahiya. We’re also looking for more folding tables/chairs to use around the building, so if you have anything you could lend, let us know!



In our closing meeting a few people voiced a desire for a more structured day, so on Friday we’ll have time to have a discussion on how better to use the tools we have for keeping on-track with projects and identifying steps to keep ourselves productive.

Orientation Day

After many moons of preparation, we finally launched today!
It was an atypical day with everyone orienting themselves in the new environment. We went over the Agile Learning Center tools that we’ll be using, including change-up meetings, gameshifting, stand-up meetings, closing meetings, and kanban boards. Rochelle taught a full workshop on kanban boards. We also played a few games and set up things for the rest of the week.

Most of the orientation type stuff we did today will be summed up in an orientation-packet that will be coming shortly, so don’t worry if you missed orientation.