Thinking and being

Sometimes you don’t need to think. You just need to listen to the music, engage with art, feel a part of something bigger. To be.

Thinking is our default state. And it will remain that way until the moment we decide to turn it off.

Breakthroughs

What causes a breakthrough moment?

Are they even real? Or are they meanings we assign after the fact?

Can they be designed?

They certainly can’t be standardized. What feels like a breakthrough to one person is quite mundane to another.

Do you only need one? I feel like there’s a breakthrough that happens when people really become changemakers. I feel like it’s irreversible and I have no idea where it comes from. I feel like I’ve seen them happen, but maybe it’s all assigned meanings.

Hopefully I’ll have a breakthrough about this topic.

The path of most acceptance

Are we all just following the path of least resistance?

When do we break the cycle of doing what’s easiest? Are we breaking the cycle 99% of the time or 1% of the time?

Path of least resistance doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing the least amount of work. It means that you’re following the path of likely acceptance.

The path of least resistance might be to take difficult classes, go to an elite institution and get a fancy job because any straying from that path would incur massive resistance from friends and family.

So maybe it’s not about resistance but instead about acceptance. We’re all doing what we feel would be most accepted?

Accepted by who? Luckily we get to decide. Although not all of us take that opportunity and instead let it be decided for us.

Maybe the freedom isn’t in your actions, it’s in the choosing whose acceptance to value.

More time or more love

As always, Seth Godin summed it up perfectly.

When you’re thinking about doing a better job, you think about trade offs. If I’m going to improve x, I won’t have as much time for y.

In reality, for most of us, doing a better job doesn’t mean giving more time, it means giving more love. More emotional labor. More connection.

Same amount of time just with more humanity.

A little story about a moment I’m proud of

As I’ve learned more about progressive education, I started listening to a podcast called Human Restoration Project. They interview educators from across the country who are experimenting with innovative practices.

Last Thursday, I opened up my email to see the subject line: “Podcast Inquiry” from someone at Human Restoration Project!!

Somehow, a show that I listen to and admire reached out to us to hear about the work we’re doing in Delaware.

You never know who is watching. You never know where the next opportunity will come from.

I was honored to be on the show and I’m excited to share this episode:

https://www.humanrestorationproject.org/things-fall-apart/2018/11/11/s2-e26-engaging-students-with-meaningful-work-and-partnerships-w-zack-jones-dual-school

What’s a lyric

Today we played a little game with some teenagers where we said “what’s a song lyric in your head and what does it mean to you right now?”

From 10 students we got 10 different answers. We had debate around what the artist actually intended it to mean, versus how a student interpreted. An easy hook into a deeper topic of art and where meaning comes from.

We also got some real responses from teens who might not have otherwise vocalized their thoughts or feelings.

Perhaps the most important part is that everyone took pride in the lyric they chose and the meaning they made.

Any time students can be proud of something they made, said or did for no extrinsic reward, that’s a positive moment for all of us.

I don’t know what to do next

Does anyone?

Does no one?

Like always, the answer is somewhere in between. Our conviction depends little on outside circumstances and primarily on our confidence and confidence is built through repetition.

If you don’t know what to do next, figure out what you’d need to know in order to know.

Instead of “I don’t know what to do next, thus I won’t do anything.” Start thinking more like “I don’t know what to do next, so I’ll see if anyone has faced this dilemma before. Maybe I’ll read books, or find a mentor, or search online for other case studies.”

No one knows what to do next. Some people are just better at finding out how to know.

All that it takes to start moving down that road is a little self-awareness, curiosity and hard work. Luckily those are things we’re all capable of.

Seasons

Life comes and goes in seasons.

Unless of course, you live somewhere without them. If you do the same thing on Saturday as you do on Wednesday. If very little changes day to day.

Otherwise, you know how seasons feel. None are better or worse than others. They just are. And that’s beautiful.

Separating learning from life

Learning isn’t something that happens when you’re ready and expecting it. It doesn’t happen on a set schedule.

Learning happens because you’re living. Because you’re trying things, meeting people, being exposed to new ideas.

One of the biggest tragedies of a traditional school model is that it teaches students that learning only happens inside school walls. Recess is play. Home is home. Learning is school. Sadly, lines are drawn between everything.

In reality, learning is everywhere.

What’s college for?

Learning? Kind of.

The piece of paper? Kind of.

The connections? Kinda of.

To find yourself? Kind of.

To acquire marketable skills? Sometimes.

Status? Mostly.