First council circle and a tree house!!

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Writing is super hard! Many students, NOMAD students included, struggle to get started or get their thoughts on the page at all. All of them have loads of brilliant, articulate things to say all day (which is, by the way, great writing in and of itself), but they have a hard time capturing those words on paper or a screen. We started a journaling particular today that tends to help students begin to overcome their hesitations. Their task was to write on the prompt, "tell about a time you felt incredibly alive" by writing without stopping for 5 minutes. We discussed the voice of the writer and the voice of the inner editor. They both play vital roles, but we have to ignore our inner editor while first expressing ideas, then allow it back in to help us revise and edit. 

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Still curious about the flags we picked out at Judy's Flag City, we continued researching these flags and creating small presentations that we plan to share at the end of term NOMAD exhibit night. Lots of fantastic questions have been asked regarding these flags as we explore a crash course in the briefest of histories of many other countries.

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Rachel was inspired by Roman Mars' Ted Talk about city flag design, so she took it upon herself to design a new San Francisco City Flag. It features a blue background to symbolize the city being surrounded by water, a red-gold stripe and a white-grey stripe representing the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge, and a star with five points to boast the diversity of the people of the city.

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We sat in our first council circle today, sharing a story about a time we felt most alive. It amazes me, every time, to feel the heightened sense of closeness that comes after a council circle time and time again. I think it's a testament to the power of ritual and making space to really listen and feel heard. I explained that the goal of our first council circle was to get to know one another more deeply and begin the long process of seeing one another for who we each truly are. The kids took this invitation very seriously.

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We felt inspired to build a tree house of our own - a space to call our own, something to feel a sense of ownership over since we don't yet have the NOMAD bus. All kinds of ideas related to laws, a constitution, flags, rights, and more began to bubble up at the thought of building a treehouse. We found an ideal space to build one, and we proceeded to spend part of the afternoon physically brainstorming by placing abandoned boards on the branches to scope what might be level and how big our platform might be.

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There's nothing better than a brainstorm to move a new idea forward! We spent a few minutes brainstorming ideas, steps, or anything else related to our treehouse idea.  We then organized our ideas into categories and a vague timeline. You might be happy to note that one of the first steps listed is "ask parents." Assuming parental permission, support from qualified experts, and adequate research, we hope to make this idea a reality!

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