Another Successful Explore Week Draws to a Close

Here at Eagle Rock School, we find ourselves halfway through another highly anticipated Explore Week (Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017). And even though the regular class schedule has been sidelined for the week, our students aren’t ignoring their regular community chores and responsibilities.

Our student body strives to become a well-oiled machine, and our many and varied campus routines are just part of what keeps us accountable on this small mountainside community that we’ve worked so hard to establish and maintain.

After all, we know dishes aren’t going to wash themselves. Which is why we maintain a strict KP schedule during this “off” week from classes. Same goes for daily exercises, taking meals together, regular Gatherings and evening programs.

Turns out the magic of Explore Week is a full five days of exciting course offerings that fall well outside the realm of reading, writing and arithmetic. Below is a description of some of these unique offerings for Explore Week 73 (the 73rd such event since the founding of Eagle Rock in the early-90s), a little about their instructors, and what the students are getting out of the experience:

Step into the Cipher — In this musical adventure, students who fancy themselves as potential emcees, rappers, poets, or beatboxers, get together to make music, test rhymes, and share their talents.

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The title of the class comes from hip-hop, which describes a “cipher” as a sacred space — a circle of talented musical people where community is firmly established. It’s a laboratory where our students can make music, test rhymes, and share a piece of themselves with all who enter. Students are exploring hip-hop as a tool for community building, and they’re writing verses, poems, and hooks to bring their stories to life with sound.

The instructor for this course is Continue reading…

Artist in Residence Highlights Summer 2017 Explore Week

As if a selection of diverse and interesting courses weren’t enough, we’re adding Scott James to our Explore Week mix this time around, which means this poet and artist is on campus and meeting with students all week long.

As our official “Artist in Residence,” during Explore Week, Scott is in the midst, on the periphery and face-to-face with students every day this week. In fact, during most lunch and dinner hours, he’s poised over his vintage typewriter, ready for a good poetic challenge. The deal is, any Eagle Rock School student can walk up to Scott and offer a word — any word — for inspiration and Scott will write an original poem around that word. In fact, that’s pretty much his specialty, and a few years ago he churned out and gave away more than 1,000 such impromptu poems.

An Eagle Rock Public Allies Fellow in ER 40-42 (that would be the 40th through 42nd semesters since Eagle Rock’s founding in the 1990s), Scott currently resides in Austin, Tex., where he performs his instant typewriter poetry for events and parties, and helps writers turn their ideas into published books. His tools of trade include a 1946 Smith-Corona and he uses high-quality and handcrafted papers and techniques in his art that blend improvisation, metaphor and classic poetry.

Scott’s artistic career has included performance around the country, including Chris Guillebau’s World Domination Summit and Austin’s SxSW Interactive festival. And during Explore Week, this poet is available for one-on-one sessions with students. He’s also sitting in on several courses and conducting four workshops.

Meanwhile, for the students themselves, they’re all participating in one of the following course offerings: Continue reading…

Another Highly Anticipated Explore Week is Now Underway

From deftly dribbling a basketball to graceful salsa dancing, Eagle Rock’s student body is immersed in alternative courses this week during Explore Week, an event that occurs three times each year and is highly anticipated by students and instructors alike.

The reason behind this enthusiasm is the opportunity Explore Week presents to students to take on non-traditional courses that don’t necessarily fit into the mold of an academic curriculum.

This week’s event features courses taught by our own instructors, current Public Allies fellows, folks from our mountainside community, as well as noted experts in the courses offered.

Below is a list of courses — and a little about their instructors — from this trimester’s Explore Week, which wraps up Friday afternoon:

Improv Theater

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When you make something up on the spot, it’s called improvisation. In this Explore Week course, students are practicing improv theater through active games and exercises. They are learning how to control their Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s Latest Explore Week Draws to a Close

Classroom education here at the Eagle Rock School resumes on Monday, Nov. 6, following Explore Week, a brief, five-day period of time during which our students are taking advantage of an opportunity to explore new and diverse subject areas they otherwise might have dismissed or never knew they could study.

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This is the latest in what has traditionally been a three-times-a-year educational experience that enables students to ‘poke a stick’ at a particular subject matter with which they might not be familiar, but which might appear interesting. If nothing else, these engaging courses — which are taught by subject matter experts who often travel great distances to be with our students for the week — serve as an introduction to future career pursuits or hobbies that can be followed up on by the students themselves going forward.

Not necessarily unique to Eagle Rock (other progressive schools across the country — including Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Alumni Return to Campus Teach Explore Week

After the first five weeks of classes at Eagle Rock School, students take a break from regular classes and participate in Explore Week — so named because it offers an opportunity for our students to explore outside interests in structured courses taught by guest instructors.

Instructors come to our mountainside campus from all over Colorado and across the country. Past instructors have included previous staff members, fellows, and other important members of the Eagle Rock community. Over the summer trimester, we welcomed back not one, not two, but three alumni: Charmaine Mitchell-Persens (she arrived at Eagle Rock as a student in the spring of 2002 — aka ER 27), Stephanie Sweets-Baldwin (winter 2001 — ER 23), and David Sanchez (winter 2010 — ER 53).

Charmaine and Stephanie were co-teachers for a course called Hair Care, Hair Design and Extension Wear. Of course it was one of the most popular courses during Explore Week and Stephanie and Charmaine were able to encourage self-discipline among the students.

Explore Week Course Eagle Rock School

For instance, students were asked to come prepared, which meant Continue reading…