Saturday, September 6, 2008

run-down of a week of newnesses

Hi. I have had a week of newnesses & I will report on things as they have gone.

Monday - an open house for th School (Jacob suggests "a school," as surely other "schools for designing (a) societ(y/ies)" exist(s)). Instead of describing SDaS, Susan Parenti (w/ accordion interludes) described eight predecessors, showing th threads of art, cybernetics, sociology, etc. that went into this latest weaving. People generally schmoozed. I forgot several Korean names (all of which I have since learned well).

Tuesday - "A School! Uncertainty!" wrote I in my class notes. Indeed, th willingness to accept uncertainty - indeed, to encourage it to organically enter th space & allow us some divine Chaos to begin from - we take as a starting point (Discordian flavor mine). "TRUE FALSE TEMPORARY" wrote I also - a fine reminder. Each false statement contains a seed of potential. We can make th false true. We began a study of theatre in designing a society & gestures - what do our gestures say about us? Synthesis! Estrangement! We reconvened for a shared dinner at Danielle Chenoweth's house & did more schmoozing.

Wednesday - I & three of my housemates spent th morning w/ th Prairie Monk, a local legend 1000% devoted to restoring th prairies that used to thrive in this area. He came from Australia decades ago to study them, but none remained! So he has a foundation, & he has taken to hiring folks like us to visit his prairie & pick seeds - in this case, th seeds of th New Jersey Tea plant - to use for replanting prairies. So we followed Dave Monk around as he showed us dozen of local landmarks & a few tiny prairies, & we picked seeds for 2 hours. Not bad work!

In class we discussed CHOICE. Not a small undertaking! Words like "alternative", "decision", & "criteria" look very different to me now. We had some rather tense discussion about what "best alternative" & "best decision" might possibly mean. (I could get into some of th interpersonal craziness going on w/ classmates & opinions, but I best not). After a much-needed break, we did some breathing & focus exercises (Zip Zap Zop; Dibby Dibby Dip - Dip Dip Dip; Zip Zap Boing). We wrote wee bits of dialogue in which th first three lines do not appear to have any connection - BUT - th fourth line makes a connection possible. Classmate Jian & I wrote this one:

A: We've been walking in circles all day.
B: I am hungry.
A: Penguins sure are silly-looking
B: Let's come back to th zoo next weekend.

We had a lengthy house meeting at La Casa, th co-op I now live at. We got a few things accomplished. I feel good about th people I live w/ & how things have worked out so far.

Thursday - change of topic, change of teacher. A class called "Political Economy." We picked apart th concepts of "capitalism" & "property" for a good long while. Susan wonders how we can have business w/o monsters (WalMart & friends). Much yet to discuss to discuss.

We rehearsed music for a concert yet-to-come: in particular, a piece of Jacob's: "In Something Else," a take-off on Terry Riley's "In C." Folks visited for a run-thru & much beautiful did take place in our very (red) living room.

Friday, yesterday - in class, more discussion of criteria - that which we consult when making decisions. Mark introduced two principle kinds: appointed criteria, that we choose consciously to take into consideration, & inherited criteria, which we cannot choose, because we have grown up w/i a culture that insists on telling us how we ought to make our decisions. We touched briefly on th concept of "problem," & I had a million questions bubbling up, but they will wait. In my notes, I wrote "problem - ???". Problem presents a problem for me.

We presented our work for th week - first, to find & capture common gestures that we see around us. Second, to write a list of false statements that we'd like to become true. By making these desires explicit, we make it possible for us to adopt new criteria when making decisions, & thus to create society (one decision at a time). My list:

False Statements I Want to Become True.

  • People, all people, recognize th interconnectedness of all things.
  • When they need it, every person has a shoulder to cry on.
  • I always know how to take a joke.
  • Every day I experience something beautiful & take a moment to appreciate it.
  • Everyone in this room has hugged everyone else.
  • All people have enough food to eat.
  • Animals do not get tortured to provide food for humans.
  • Whoever wants to can fly into outer space.
  • I can take any shape I can imagine.
  • Human beings simply do not kill

I expect I'll revise that list a bit as I go, but anyway, I started w/ that. & that gets me thru my class notes up till now.

That evening, Jacob & I emceed an "Opening Night of Fun" at th Red Herring Coffee House - five hours of eclectic music, poetry, games, coloring, conversation, coffee, exclamation points, & joy! We had pop songs, udderbot, bluegrass, avant-garde guitar, a minimalist jam, a one-man band, xenharmonic keyboard, poetry, Just Intonation song settings, 7-line poetry, dictionary oracle readings, & a LEGO table. I read poems, (including a few in th invented language Great-Ape by Oulipian Jacque Jouet), played Nodal Nim tunes, & attempted to play my Cümbüş songs but broke too many strings (ah well, another time). We had a great turn-out, & generally felt very satisfied about how things went. We look forward to hearing constructive feedback from our classmates & teachers.

Saturday, today - life rolls on. I woke up late, so didn't make it to th farmer's market. SDaS students visited th Parkhouse where Rob Scott had invited us over for painting & "vibes." Indeed, it felt positively vibey. I slapped some colors onto a page & a piece of fabric, then assembled a short poem. We'd have stayed longer, but we wanted to do some more seed-picking. Jacob & I met up w/ Steve (another student) & Michael (a former resident of La Casa) & zippy zapped back to th prairie. Good pickings today, I say.

I took a nap & a bath, & now I report my doings to you. My run-down doesn't capture much at all, I think, but there you have it. I'd love a visit from good friends. Come to my place & meet th strange new people in my world. All things go.

Much lovesacks,

No comments: