Inspired by Tim’s post of owning our errors, I reflected yesterday with my senior year co-workers about how the day went. Yesterday was the first day of the last year of Starfire U for our seniors. We’ve been working diligently over the past couple of weeks creating and molding a structure that allows our seniors to work on capstone projects and also allows us to go out with just two or three people, really focusing on people’s interests and neighborhoods. It’s a beautiful process working with structure, choice, and helping people learn the importance of keeping commitments all while allowing space for spontaneity, guerrilla service, and of course, fun. It’s a great process for our final year—encompassing the first year of discovery, the second year of PATH, year three of capacities and volunteering and internships, and now – putting it all together with a capstone.
Yesterday, I went out with Justin, Jamie, and Leah to begin thinking about what a capstone could be. We went to Forest Park to find a coffee shop to discuss Jamie’s senior project which we knew would have something to do with fashion based on her PATH and from the excellent Starfire Professional Dress Fashion Show she put on a few month ago.
The four of us went in my car, a four-door PT Cruiser. We listened to the radio, talked and brainstormed what a capstone could like for Jamie. When we got to Panera, we ordered easily, and found a table for four with no problem. This is the beauty of the day—it was easy. We got there easily. We ordered easily. There was not a line of 12 people all from Starfire waiting to get a bagel. The cashier didn’t ask what organization we were with. She didn’t ask me if Jamie could have an orange juice with her bagel when Jamie ordered one. We quite simply looked like, and were, a few people getting bagels and working on a project together. When we sat down, we didn’t need to pull three tables together and ask for chairs from others’ tables, which we often did (and still do sometimes we we go out).
Here’s a picture of all of us (all 15 of us) eating at a Max and Erma’s in 2008. Notice how no one else is around us. That’s because we were in our own private room.
So I guess, the reflection is that there’s nothing “wrong” with groups. In fact, sometimes groups are great, and typical, and necessary and more fun. How boring would a grill out be with just two people? How silly would a wedding reception be with just 3 people? But to continue to do it Starfire U, doesn’t quite make sense. So we’re changing, admitting our mistakes, and trying to simulataneously create and destroy our way of doing things.
There’s an authenticity to admitting what we used to do was wrong, or harmful, or silly, or just plain thoughtless. There’s power in that error, in that, it keeps us honest, and keeps us creating and changing how we do things, and why we’re doing them to begin with.
Cheers to Senior Year, and thanks for coming along for the ride!