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Posts related to Columbus and the United States

All change is local. This time, I mean it.

by Deborah Frieze January 20, 2014

Are you familiar with runes? I was first introduced to these ancient Norse divination stones by Meg Wheatley when she told me that Berkana, the name of the institute she founded, was the rune for growth and rebirth. Ever since, I’ve cast a single rune each January 1st to give me a clue about the year to come. This year I drew Jera which means harvest and fruition, a time of reaping rewards from seeds sown long ago.

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Learn from India: A personal learning journey

by Aerin Dunford December 23, 2013

“A ‘learning-exchange’ was taking place all the time as the boundaries of age, culture and socio-economic background simply vanished in the process of our mutual friendship.”

 – Vipul Shaha

A little over a year ago, Vipul Shaha was living in the United States and had just completed a degree in educational psychology from Harvard. In the eyes of many, the world was his oyster—filled with opportunities to start changing things for better. Yet Vipul himself was not so sure about this. Despite his desire to be constantly learning about “‘cutting-edge’ theories and innovative models in education,” he had a sense that his learning edges were to be found elsewhere. So he decided to embark on a self-directed “Year On” adventure in his native country of India.

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Reclaiming myself in community

by Tuesday Ryan-Hart September 30, 2013

Early in August, Deborah Frieze and I gathered together with 20 of our friends for an experiment. We called it “Village Week,” and our idea was to bring together folks whom we dearly loved for a week of play, learning, good conversation and rest.

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Life and Death Outside My Bedroom Window

by Deborah Frieze July 24, 2013

Every morning I wake up and watch life and death outside my bedroom window. We have two beehives perched on the roof of a first floor sunroom. As I watch the hive come alive with the morning sun, most of the bees begin their very full workday, zipping in and out, hovering as they await return entry. But a few of the bees have a different task: Their job is to pull the dead and dying out of the hive and deposit them on the roof, where some lay lifeless and others tremble with their last breaths.

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Leaving Utopia: A Glimpse of How the World Could Be

by Deborah Frieze April 16, 2013

A little over a year ago, I made my first visit to Järna, Sweden, home of the Youth Initiative Program (YIP), a one-year social entrepreneur learning program for 18-25 year olds. As I was preparing to depart, one of the YIPpies stopped by my room to ask me how I felt about my visit. It was then that I spoke the lyrics to what would become the first song I ever wrote when I said, “I feel like I’m packing to leave utopia.”

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Shaking the world with a new dream

by Filiz Telek November 21, 2012

I am pacing the sidewalk in front of a two-story brick building, inhaling and exhaling deeply, slowly as the cold autumn wind blows the dry leaves all around me. There is a stark contradiction between the abandoned houses that I see across the street and the intimate community gathering I just stepped out of. This is a place of contradictions and what I am feeling inside perfectly reflects that. My tears are coming down my cold cheeks but I am not sure whether I am crying because of immense love and possibility I’ve been immersed in, or the undeniable decay and collapse of neighborhoods that I see all around me, or the radiant joy and gratitude I feel in my heart having witnessed the most amazing relationships and collaborations in this community, or the overwhelming grief of centuries that this place holds – pinnacle of racism, class warfare, the crushing of human potential by a vicious capitalist system.

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More Evidence That We Walk Outs Need Each Other

by Deborah Frieze August 23, 2012

Last week, I participated in my first Tweet Chat. This was a four-hour, pre-arranged Twitter session using the hashtag #wowochat to link tweets together in a virtual conversation. Fellow Walk Out Walk On-er Aerin Dunford and I decided to co-host an inquiry among Walk Outs involved in learning and education. Our invitation was this:

Many educators unsatisfied with our current school systems are walking out of institutions and limiting beliefs about what’s possible. These brave folks are walking on to create new learning spaces outside of formal educational infrastructure; to challenge attachment to grades, diplomas and degrees; and to convene breakthrough conversations.

During this Tweet Chat, we’ll explore questions like:

  • What has compelled you to walk out of mainstream education?
  • How do you integrate your fears as you step into the unknown?
  • What are you called to walk on to now in your life?
  • Is it possible to create the new without engaging dominant institutions?

 

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Walking On to Localism

by Deborah Frieze July 9, 2012

I am starting a new project. It is another learning journey, one that I’ve been poking around the edges of for a few years now. This time, I’ll be exploring the U.S. and Canada, instead of the Global South. But it’s still about Walk Outs who Walk On.

Let me start with a preview and explain the rest after. Here is a photo-film that I created with my dear friend and colleague, photographer Dan Séguin. The narrator is Paul Saginaw, the iconoclastic co-founder of Zingerman’s, a popular deli and community of food-related businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Flexing Our Muscles of Discernment

by Deborah Frieze April 25, 2012

It’s been one year and two weeks since Walk Out Walk On was launched into the world.  I just returned home from Denver and Boulder, Colorado, the final two stops on the book tour, and now is a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned over these last twelve months. And here it is:

The United States has lost its sense of subtlety.

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America broke the rules of living systems

by Deborah Frieze February 20, 2012

“Without ethics, politics has no limits. America broke the rules of living systems, and lost its balance. All the oxygen flowed to a smaller and smaller section of the body politic. The history is brief and unquestionable: close to toppling, the society momentarily pulled itself upright, and then became even less ethical, less balanced, more endangered than ever as a lawless financial system came back from death, and like a foolish patient after a heart bypass operation, continued in its old ways.”

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