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

• 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)

• Prayer of St. Francis inquiry

Day Two

• Morning walk
• Reading the newspaper

Driving or Sitting with the Signs

• 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


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


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