For those of us who work and learn at Eagle Rock School, community is at the core of our experience. And our daily “Gathering” has long been the centerpiece of that idea.
Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we sit in the hearth area of the Lodge to engage in a 20-minute conversation about community. On Wednesdays, Gathering is held in a number of different ways – but that’s a topic for another blog post.
We begin each Gathering with 30 seconds of silence; then we move on to a 10-minute presentation, followed by five minutes of announcements and five minutes of live music. Anyone can sign up to speak at gathering and the topics are as varied as the students and staff themselves.
A sampling of recent topics is in order:
- Student Song Candea wowed us with a Dr. Seuss-inspired mid-career personal growth presentation.
- Eagle Rock receptionist Susie D’Amico shared her knitting talents and talked about aesthetic expression.
- Our College Tour Explore Week class shared insights from its Midwest tour of college campuses.
- Sonya Stolmar and Ryan Powell addressed one of our 10 commitments – “Develop my mind through intellectual discipline, my body through physical fitness, and my spirit through thoughtful contemplation.”
- Since every Gathering wraps up with music, Life After Eagle Rock Fellow Rebecca Fenn on ukulele, along with and wilderness instructor, Matt Bynum on guitar, brought down the house with their own special version of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”
We’d like to think a successful Gathering occurs when we walk away thinking differently, inspired by live music, and most important, become reconnected.
Recently I asked Robert Burkhardt, Eagle Rock’s founding head of school, to share some of the history behind our Gatherings. Here’s what he recalls: Continue reading…