Did you know that throughout recorded history, humans have had an attraction and affinity for gemstones? People from kings, pharaohs, monarchs, and businessmen, to artisans, shamans, scientists, and commoners have honored the power of the stones and worked with them for various personal and spiritual purposes.
That’s just one of the many topics Eagle Rock School students learned about at the end of October during the latest installment of Eagle Rock Explore Week. Students had a chance to discover a variety of topics related to hobbies, music, art, sporting and outdoor activities and other pursuits intended to enrich our community and better their lives.
The weeklong learning options had the added benefit of offering a slight break for many of our Instructional Specialists, so they can prepare for the rest of the trimester, while enabling students to pick up knowledge they’ve self-selected as being beneficial to the future.
We have listed the titles of some of these opportunities below, along with the name or names of the instructors involved:
Effective Communication Through Percussion: Few events in life can match up to experiencing the synergy of effective communication. Whether you are a musician interacting with your band mates, a soloist performing for an audience, or a participant in day-to-day conversations, nothing is more validating than getting your point across.
In this Explore Week course, students connected as an ensemble and with the audience. In order to do so, each participant studied a specific percussion instrument — or set of percussion instruments — and developed enough skill to express his or her thoughts clearly. At the end of Explore Week, they performed for the whole Eagle Rock community.
Juan Torres, who grew up in Ecuador and Colombia, literally surrounded by Latin and Afro-Cuban music, taught the class. Well-versed in keyboard instruments such as the marimba, vibraphone and xylophone, along with jazz drum set, and drum corps timpani, Juan plays with the Estes Park Jazz Big Band, and teaches concert, jazz, and marching percussion at the Estes Park School District.
Digital Mixed Media Self Portraits: Both novice and experienced students in art participated in this Explore Week course, which combined digital art with collage and painting. Students were encouraged to create a mixed media self-portrait that pushed the boundaries of traditional artistic mediums, taking selfies to a new level.
Dani Schwinn, who has a degree in studio art with an emphasis in painting and mass media communications and will graduate this spring with a Master’s in Art and English Education, taught this course. She began working with mixed media in 2012 as the perfect way to combine all her passions onto one canvas.
Essential Creative Arts Exploration – Art and Writing: This course explored the connections between personal experience, art materials and processes and self-expression in order to discover the Eagle Rock students’ place in the world. From an objective standpoint, the course was designed to help students connect more deeply with their essential nature through various art and writing processes.
Individual and group experiences included oil pastel on paper; scribble drawings; touch drawing; embellishing sticks from nature using yarn, beads, clay, feathers, paint, etc.; journaling; poetry; acrylic paint; visual journaling; some sharing; and meditation.
The instructor, Patti Glasglow, is a local acrylic/mixed media artist and expressive arts teacher who is passionate about human beings becoming self-actualized and self honoring. Patti has a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with an emphasis in art painting and art education, and has participated in expressive arts workshops across the U.S.
ROCK Your Power - The Crystal Technology: In this Explore Week course, students researched ancient traditions related to crystals. They learned about the scientific and metaphysical aspects of crystals and how to utilize them in everyday life. The course was designed to help participants learn about crystal energy and gain personal development through understanding and self-reflection. By exploring the aspects of self, students found that they can connect to the attributes of the crystals and learn to amplify that power. The course included hands-on work with crystals including crafting personal pieces of gemstone jewelry and individual crystal pouches.
Instructors Megan Rebeiro (herself an Eagle Rock School graduate ) and Cory Brodnax (author, artist, activist and founder of OSO Collective) regularly collaborate to create spiritual education and transformational workshops. Collectively they have been exploring gemstones for more than 20 years. For the past five years they have been working intentionally to incorporate gemstones into spiritually-based education with a focus on youth development. They have done workshops around the country from California to New York City and said they enjoyed working with Eagle Rock students.
The FENIXX Project – Student Leadership: In this Explore Week course, Eagle Rock students learned about the Fenixx Project — a leadership program designed to help students learn to manage the many challenges of leadership. Students learned how to remain focused in highly charged situations, perform under pressure, build a stronger leadership presence and manage conflict more effectively. They incorporated the concepts developed in the first five weeks of Eagle Rock’s student leadership project and put those into deeper action, in what was described as a physically, emotionally and intellectually active class.
Tim Tolliver — a fifth-degree black belt and a three-time World Cup champion who is no stranger to Explore Week at Eagle Rock — taught this class. As a performance coach, Tim works with executives, athletes and young people to manage their emotions, focus their attention and be at their best when it matters most. Tim is also a teacher in the School of Embodied Leadership at the Strozzi Institute as well as a master facilitator in the Advancing Leadership Institute for DDJ Myers, working with leaders across the country.
201 — Student Teachers: As new arrivals transition from their wilderness experience and prepare for their academic experience as a student at Eagle Rock, we use the 201 class as an opportunity to support and prepare them for academic success at Eagle Rock. This class was open to veteran students interested in learning more about teaching and learning, and what it means to set up an engaging and relevant learning experience for the new students. This class offered a great opportunity for those interested in learning more about what it means to be a teacher or to work on leadership skills.
This course was taught by Eagle Rock’s Director of Curriculum, Jen Frickey.