Research and Donuts


Our daily work has been all over the place in terms of content these last few weeks, so we took a minute reflect on what we've been doing and how it all fits together. We noticed that our NOMAD government work and bill passing process (and our flag presentation for Burlingame city council) are part of our commitment to be informed and active citizens. We are studying murals this semester as a way to notice the stories, values, desires and change of the communities around us. We brainstormed a list of these communities or issues to come back to as we make our way through our study of murals.


Part of being an active and engaged citizen (or a representative in a government) requires one to listen to multiple perspectives and opinions from people of all backgrounds. Paying attention to the street art around us is just one of the many ways we plan to do this this semester. We decided to also each pick a book to read that tells the story of a person or group that is marginalized in some way. We spent the morning browsing the library, suggesting titles to one another and sinking into books.


Our new laws, fines, and purchasing abilities are bringing up all kinds of ideas, frustrations, and teachable moments. Alex spent his lunch hour writing a bill to propose that if someone forgets their bank account (the journals in which we keep track of our money), they should get fined rather than not paid at all. Not calling anyone out here... but this is just one of many bills emerging from personal experience ;)


Some of us enjoyed spending our hard earned NOMAD money on donuts (yes, they are on the approved list as stated by our law).


And then we all hunkered down for a serious conversation about fines. What behaviors require fines and are currently necessary to enforce? How much should each fine cost? This conversation was largely inspired by one of the first fines I gave out (and to nearly all of the class) for crossing a busy street without me. When they asked, worried looks on their faces, if they were in trouble or if I was mad, it was so satisfying to say, "I'm not mad at all, simply enforcing the rule you created with the consequence you devised."

Christie Seyfert