Monday, April 5th was day 116 of the pandacademic year. While most of the best news about Abrome comes on the weekdays, that weekend was really great news for the Abrome community—Facilitators Ariel and Lauren got their second Covid-19 vaccination shots! Facilitator Ariel got his on Saturday so he was present with the Flying Squad, but because Facilitator Lauren got hers on Sunday her entire cell was remote for the day. The Flying Squad was now starting our days out at House Park instead of near Barton Springs because we wanted to make it easier for us to focus on social justice issues (the goal of this specialty Flying Squad cell) and less on food.

IMG_6689 moment of reflection.JPG

As I wrote in the day 115 post, we decided to hold off the Check-in and Change-up until Monday so that the adolescent Learners could participate. The plan kinda worked, as one Learner was still absent. But first we did the morning meeting where we each responded to two prompts. The first was focused on something we wanted to accomplish during the week: drink water, a social justice oriented direct action each day, a good walk around the city, play one of Antonio’s fun games, games Antonio was doing, go to the skate park, and continue focusing on social justice problems. The second prompt asked us each how we were encouraged last week: Antonio kept reminding me to drink water, watching you all climb the tall structure at the playground, seeing Mikey doing “dumb stuff” on the slide, Antonio told me to go home (knee), baby children on slide drew me in, and Kaden jumped off swing so I jumped. I felt seen.

IMG_6690 teens circled up.JPG

After the morning meeting we had a really great Check-in and Change-up, which focused on taking care of others.

After the Check-in and Change-up one of the adolescent Learners asked to speak with Facilitator Ariel about a “mom joke” he made on Friday. He was quite upset because of how it upset Facilitator Ariel, and Facilitator Ariel had stated previously how that was a boundary for him and on Friday he again made clear how hurtful those jokes were. As the Learner became overwhelmed with emotion, Facilitator Ariel asked if they could hug, and the Learner took him up on the offer.

Fair Play gaming.jpg

One of the younger Learners observed this from afar, and when Facilitator Ariel and the adolescent Learner were finished, the young Learner went up to the adolescent Learner and asked if he could also hug him, and the Learner said yes.

I came into the week eager to try to play two different games with the Learners. One was Murder of Crows which was created by our Brooklyn Flying Squad friends, and the other was FairPlay which was created by Alex Khost of Flying Squads, and his brother, when they were younger. The Learners indicated an interest in both in the morning meeting and after wandering into a city park and taking a lot of time to just sit and talk, or climb into trees and contemplate, we all gathered around a bench to give FairPlay a shot.

None of us had played FairPlay before, so we did our best to try to figure it out and have fun doing so. It seemed pretty complicated to me—I guess I’m used to simple games with simple rules like chess and football. One of the adolescent Learners volunteered to be the Game Master and helped move us along, and everyone seemed to have enough fun. Enough fun that they insisted on playing again the next day.

The day went quickly. It was fun playing FairPlay and just being around each other again, in a relaxed, playful way. But more than one person felt that we once again failed to really engage with a social justice issue, so at the afternoon meeting we discussed how we could do more than say we wanted to do something. We agreed that on Tuesday we would do a garbage pickup. Then for the rest of the week we would look to engage with the homeless, make some trouble at the Texas State Capitol, and try to challenge some adults’ conceptions of the rights of young people.