Sunday, June 11, 2006

Route so far...

Hi everybody,

So, I just looked up directions (it's fun to go to Mapquest and type in my address in Oakland as the start point, and the end point as Amarillo, Texas!!!). What I'm thinking is...

Bay Area -> Texas (Amarillo, John may know of some other places) -> Oklahoma City -> Lawrence, Kansas -> Ohio (Cleveland and Columbus areas) -> Charleston, WV (and if Drew comes along, maybe some rural areas around Charleston) -> Virginia -> Washington D.C. -> California.

Any thoughts? Any beautiful parks or hikes along the way that you know of?

Feel free to email me, if you can't find a way to respond on this blog.

Also, if you have any interest in donating to this project, please write me. I'm planning on opening a separate bank account for it, and it's becoming more expensive as I begin to count up the supplies!

Love,
Rachel

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dear Everyone,

Here is a draft of ideas for structuring the inquiry trip. It is very open to feedback, suggestions, and collaboration!


Curriculum outline for summer inquiry project

Key Ideas and Intentions of the Trip:
• To learn about political viewpoints.
• The trip itself is a home for creativity. We work to nurture and support this atmosphere.
• The trip itself is a home for honesty.
• The trip is a home for exploration, for discovering solutions to political divides that seem to keep us apart. The intention is to have an open-mind, solution-based perspective.
• The trip is a home for experimentation. We strive to experiment with kindness and open-mindedness.
• To learn.
• Discover where we are resistant and work with it, question it, inquire

Themes:
• How can we listen, form authentic connection, and stay in our truth with an open and listening mind?
• What is the experience of being changed?
• What is the Republican perspective?
• What is the Democratic perspective?
• How can we communicate?

Materials/Curriculum Support:
• Journal: I will design an inquiry-based journal. It will:
o Use quotes, poems, prayers, etc of truth, exploration, and unity to support and guide us in our own exploration of truth. For example, in the Prayer of St. Francis, the first line is “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace” and an inquiry question could be “How am I an instrument of peace?”
o There will be space to link these quotes and questions with our experiences on this trip
o Possibly have short articles to reflect on and explore
o Possibly have activities to do, that we will then journal about (for example, one page might say “Go to the Republican National Committee website and write three beliefs that come up for you. Do The Work, and when you get to Question 4, return to the website and, while looking at it, ask question four and turn it around. Journal about your experience.”)
o Possibly have a section where we can record our thoughts of fear and anger/frustration and confusion, if these or other emotions emerge.

• Articles, movies, websites:
o Republican Website
o Thomas Frank
o Ralph Reed/The Christian Coalition
o Democratic Website
o Green Party Website
o Read a newspaper every day (The NY Times)
o Possible authors to read: Plato, Socrates, Byron Katie, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Gandhi, any ideas for more specific political thinkers?
o Possible movies: Syriana, Lord of War

• Possible Field Trips:
o To Barstow (John knows the name of the place)
o Tennessee – The Highlander Institute
o Washington D.C.


“Hot Topics” in the current political climate:
• Iraq
• Terrorism
• Immigration
• Partisan Divide (Democrat/liberals and Republicans)
• The Patriot Act
• Taxes
• Social issues including welfare, race relations, GLBT rights/gay marriage, abortion, religion
• Religion

Day one

Before leaving:
• Why are we here? What are we here to learn about? What is our intention? – make a worksheet and/or activity where we explore our intentions and interests.


Car Ride:
• The car rides throughout the trip will be excellent time to do:
o The Work on our thoughts
o Editing interviews/footage
o Writing entries for the blog, writing emails, writing articles
o Listening to music, speeches, other relevant materials

Before the first outing of sitting outside:
• What are our fears? (do activity on this and question our thoughts)

Evening/night
• Prayer of St. Francis inquiry


Day Two

Morning:
• Morning walk
• Reading the newspaper

Driving or Sitting with the Signs

Mid-day:
• Journaling and/or an inquiry exercise

Driving or Sitting with the Signs

Evening (some combination of the following):
• Journaling/exercises/JYN sheets (including on one another)/inspiration inquiry
• Editing
• Sign-making
• Communication through email, blog, etc
• Communicate with one another, and organize materials as needed
• Hiking if available

EACH DAY WILL FOLLOW THIS BASIC STRUCTURE

We will be fasting the entire trip… ha ha, just kidding. We will make time for meals.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Welcome to the summer inquiry project blog!! This summer I am, along with a few other open-minded, inquiring people, planning a road trip to states that voted Republican in the last election. The idea is to learn about and explore political viewpoints of all varieties, and to understand them more deeply. This idea is inspired by my experience with The Work of Byron Katie, and my love of open-minded conversations. "The Work" is four questions and a turnaround statement. It serves to help anyone question their mind and belief systems. Now, the goal of this summer trip is not about getting consevatives to question their belief systems -- it is about us as participants, questioning our thoughts and learning. And it's also about opening up dialogues and, perhaps, building connection. We'll have a loose curriculum of exercises to follow. The trip will take place from August 1 - August 18, and currently we have places to stay in Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Virginia, and West Virginia, and possibly Ohio and Oklahoma. So far four people have expressed strong interest in going. This is, of course, subject to change, so if you are available and very interested in coming, contact me. And check back with this blog for updates:)