Tuesday was our 80th day of the pandacademic year, meaning we still have about 55% of our in-session days with Learners left. We have about the same number of days as conventional schools, but because we have more breaks during the year, and a shorter summer break, we are fortunate that our time forced apart by Covid-19 risk stage level five in the Austin area will impact us a bit less than it would if we adhered to a conventional school calendar. Still, being apart stinks and we beg you to wear your masks and stay home when possible.

On Tuesday one of the young Learners who has struggled with not speaking over others in the morning meeting joined early. It was nice to have him show up early so we could all say hi to him, and so that he was there to hear me start the meeting with a rundown of the agenda for the meeting. Knowing that we would first review practices, then provide an opportunity for people to share announcements, and then answer the prompt helped him to ruminate on what was next, when he could speak, and when the meeting would be over.

For the prompt everyone shared what they were savoring in their life right now. I told them that one definition for savor was to taste and enjoy completely. Not everyone was fully present during the meeting, so they did not think seriously about the prompt, or they did not fully comprehend it. But aside from those who passed or said that they did not no, the folks in the meeting were savoring: reading, how I have been experiencing music, a slower pace of life and my time alone, my computer and switch, my dogs, the short time I have with specific friends, being able to stay at home (because it is fun), sleep and my new boyfriend, and unicorns.



Immediately following the morning meeting, Facilitator Lauren and Facilitator Ariel each had a one-to-one check-in with two different Learners, while I had two scheduled back to back. Facilitator Lauren had a check-in with one of the younger Learners who has had moments of heavy engagement during our remote experience, and periods of absence. On this day the Learner was fully into spending time with Facilitator Lauren, and even gave her a tour of her bedroom. After introducing each of her stuffies, Facilitator Lauren informed the Learner that they both had the same stuffy, and they then introduced the stuffies to each other. The one-to-one went so well that the Learner said she wanted to do more of them, and even said she’d be willing to team up with another young Learner if he was too shy to show up for his one-to-ones alone.


The first of my check-ins suffered from some miscommunication, a poorly timed exploding frozen lemonade drink, and technical issues, so the check-in was not very helpful for either of us. But in the second check-in I talked with the Learner about his desires to be a pilot and the ways in which he might be able to get there. I encouraged him that we could set up some extended meeting times to really dive into the options that are available to him, or we could hold off until we are in-person again. I let him know that I was available for him and left it at that. I’ll be sure to be mindful of this stated desire in my future interactions with him, if he wants to engage with it again.


I then moved into the 7-minute workout with our usual crew of four, and then into the coffee and read offering hosted by Facilitator Ariel. Then I had a scheduled meeting with an old friend from New York who is trying to organize some anti-racist action at one of the Ivy League schools. I was honored that he reached out to ask for my feedback and advice, and I shared my thoughts, although I’m not sure how helpful it will be. I look forward to seeing how his efforts play out.



The other two Facilitators had three 1-to-1 check-ins with adolescent Learners that afternoon, and Facilitator Lauren had a yoga offering. And I had a goofy drawing offering. The goofy drawing offering was a first, and it was intended as something fun that would hopefully draw some Learners. Unfortunately, no Learners showed up, but Facilitator Ariel did, and we had a blast. The way the offering worked is one of us gave a scenario that we would each draw, and then we would put the paper or notebook on top of our head, and we would try to draw that scenario to the best of our ability. We then shared the pictures with each other and laughed. Then the other person got to come up with the next scenario. We did four scenarios in total, and they are pictured to the right. Can you figure out what each one represents?

I also confirmed that we are getting some free copies of Usual Cruelty The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System by Alec Karakatsanis! I have been a big fan of Karakatsanis’ work around criminal justice reforms through an abolitionist lens, and specifically his efforts to eliminate cash bail in municipalities across the country. There are a couple of Facilitators and Learners who have expressed an interest in such topics as well, so when I saw that there was an opportunity for educators to get free copies of the book for their communities, I asked the folks at Abrome who would be interested in getting a copy and reading it with me, and then shared that number with the publisher. I cannot wait to dive into it with the others in the group.

At the end of the day roundup, Facilitator Lauren reviewed the Community Awareness Board, asked folks to share any announcements, did game shifting, and asked everyone how they did on their practices. Then each person shared what their greatest mission in life is right now: get knee back by Friday to play a soccer game (outdoors and masked up); see and use opportunities I have for personal growth, serve others, and do my best every day; figure out how to become a dispatcher, then EMS, and then a homicide detective; earn a degree in computer science; get my driver’s license; clean my room; for everybody to know who i am; find a source of income. I added that mine continues to be to challenge, undermine and create alternatives to oppressive systems.

Facilitator Lauren then adjourned the meeting and everyone left except one Learner. We chatted with him for a while, and when he left we did our daily review of the day. It was a good day.


Goofy drawing pictures from top to bottom: tsunami hitting the beach, submarine meets whale, cooking baked beans on a campfire, riding a bike into the city.