Ch.39 Day One whole school assembly, Fall 2035

In Chapter 39 the interactive Day One freshman orientation event, Fall 2035

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Serializing Awakening the Inner Teacher: Insight Experiential Colleges. How Women In Congress re-invented liberal arts colleges.

Fall 2035, held at all five pilot campuses

In New Colleges, the word “student” is frequently replaced with the term “co-learner.”

Why? In part, because the age-range of freshmen was 18 to 54. Older folks were journalists, academic researchers and observers from overseas colleges-universities.

As part of their enrollment acceptance package, students at all five pilot campuses received a letter. It began, “To all co-learners, Day One of Fall 2035 semester begins in the gym or auditorium, with a whole-school assembly. It is scheduled for 60 minutes. It includes interaction. Please bring only your journal and pen. Store backpacks and purses in lockers. No water bottle nor coffee containers. No cell phones.”

Not surprisingly the initial freshman event was akin to a keynote speech. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” The Lead Education Facilitator at each campus — New College replacement term for President — or a more charismatic designate, delivered the following session.

The following is from the script used at all five pilot campuses:

Facilitator: When you were an infant, before you could talk, you probably imagined your mother, or main caregiver was you, was your whole world. After you learned to walk and talk, perhaps you imagined, what you might become, a fireman or a ballerina. Maybe in middle school you had a teacher who was a healthy role model for you. You identified with them and their role in the social world. Perhaps in high school, you became more introspective about who you were; and, what you might become, given your unique gifts, talents and interests.

Which of these was the real you?

Was ANY of these the real you?

Could it be ALL of them are the real you, each useful at different times?

You know, a poem was written about this. [“The Blind Men and the Elephant” poem is spoken from memory. If you can arrange it, New Colleges encourages silent, interpretive dance or mime accompaniment, by an individual or by a small group.

After end of poem and performance:]

[Facilitator: Open question] Raise your hand if you can tell me the error of the blind men. [call on hands, take responses. Lead them to: Each assumed the one part of the elephant they were familiar with, entirely defined the whole elephant.]

Raise your hand if you can imagine why I share this this poem with you on Day One? [call on hands, take responses. Lead them to: Each of us is not only one thing, nor one role. We have multiple internal parts, each with useful experience and intelligence. If we are not intending to nor actively seeking out, new hidden capacities in our own psyche, we are not using our liberal arts education to our full advantage.]

I share this poem because before we conclude who we are, what we can or cannot do, New Colleges promotes and encourages listening to all our internal parts sounding together. Only together can all our internal parts inform us where we may serve others; and the world, with greatest success.

At Experiential Insight Colleges you will frequently be asked, “What evidence do you have, you are not fooling your self?” and, “Are you limiting yourself?” How do I know this? Because in the faculty and admin staff meetings we frequently ask each other these questions.

Any questions? [Take questions as time permits]

[Part Two ~]

I wish to share one more New College “headline” with you: Our immortal eternal soul in the human experience is awareness. We manifest it primarily as choice; and, making healthy decisions. The greatest superpower in the waking human experience we have is the healthy choices we make today.

In the next four years, you will be learning, practicing, and — making many errors. Can you learn from your errors? Can you allow other people to make their errors so they can learn? If we can’t figure this out, New Colleges will simply replicate Old Cancel Culture Colleges and retreat to the pleasures of canceling each other, tearing each other down and needless competition.

Please raise you hand if you want MORE canceling each other, tearing each other down and needless competition. [Very few hands, laughter]. Okay, then I’m in the right place at the right time.

In case news to you, in four years — you — the first freshman class, is likely to be the most-studied, most written about, class of learners since i-don’t-know-when. Many of you will be asked questions by pollsters, researchers and academics trying to understand New Colleges. Be warned, they may also search for weakness to criticize or attack us. Now or after you graduate, if you have questions about responding to interview requests, etc, feel free to contact my office immediately. We have suggestions; we can tell you which requests to ignore, which are likely to support your growth.

Did I mention you can call my office anytime for two reasons?

- If you feel you are being cancelled for some trait or behavior; or.

- if you observe a situation you believe expresses cancel culture?

To us such incidents are teachable moments.

I said this would be interactive. Let’s begin. [Milling question shown on overhead screen]

Milling exercise: Something I want to get out of my next four years is ____.

[Demo milling exercise on stage with co-facilitator. Emphasize there is no one right answer. Share whatever comes up, allow multiple responses from your internal parts.]

Dyad exercise follow-up

Sit with someone you did not come with and do not know.

Dyad prompt: “What are the top three things you want to get out of your next four years?”

Person with the longer hair asks the question first, shorter hair person responds first. . . . Switch roles

Journalling.

Milling exercise: One thing I want to give or share in my next four years is ____.

[Demo on stage with co-facilitator. Emphasize there is no one right answer.] Share whatever comes up, allow multiple responses from your internal parts.

Dyad exercise. Sit with someone you did not come with and do not know.

Dyad prompt: “What are the top one, two or three things you want to give or share in your next four years?”

Person with the longer hair asks the question first, shorter hair person responds first. . . . Switch roles

Journalling.

Whole group open-mic debrief

[Lead them to: You are not locked into your stated goals. They may evolve. If they do evolve, you know what this means don’t you? [Put hand to ear and listen to audience] [Lead them to “I am alive and evolving”]

End of Day One Assembly

Some readers of the above will know this plants seeds and norms for addressing anti-bullying and cancel culture.

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