“I learned that I used to get angry very easily and now I don’t let things bother me as much…”
“I learned that I actually like reading. I used to pretend I was reading, but I would do something else. Now I actually like it…”
“I learned about what it means to take care of other people and to be responsible for the others in our studio, especially the younger ones…”
“I learned about integrity…”
– Highlights from our THA Warriors on their last day of school
A Call To Adventure: Last summer our heroes embarked on an incredible journey. They walked into the doors of The Humanist Academy not knowing what to expect. They didn’t know what this weird new school, where there are no grades or report cards, the adults don’t answer any questions, they are not grouped into a classroom by age, they learn math and reading by themselves, etc., they weren’t sure what The Humanist Academy had in store for them.
Fellow Travelers: To their surprise they were not alone in their anxiety and discomfort. They found a group of amazing fellow travelers that became their family. They learned from one another, competed with one another, played games together, read together, collaborated with one another, set goals together, cleaned together, gave each other specific feedback, listened and argued respectfully with one another, created proposals together, planned and executed exhibitions together, laughed, cried, and loved together.
Trials, Failure, Crisis: Our warriors went through very difficult, real life experiences every single day, which build resilience, grit, and character. Despite showing a unique excitement for school everyday, their journey was not easy, and they went through a lot of challenging experiences: being asked for that first integrity point, losing an appeal during a conflict-resolution discussion with council, feeling isolated by other warriors in the studio, continuously getting into arguments with a sibling or close friend, losing papers that would have counted towards a Writer’s Workshop submission, getting stuck in a Core Skill and not having an adult intervene, grammar packets, getting a strike for dishonesty or physical harm, feeling behind my peers in my badges, leading an exhibition without any help from adults, taking responsibility for my own education at such a young age…
Rebirth, Transformation, Atonement: Despite the numerous challenges, struggles and failures our warriors faced, they never gave up. They exemplified persistence and resilience like true Warriors. They overcame these trials and times of crisis and grew stronger. It is amazing to look back on this year and think about all they have accomplished: the LipDub, Core Skills Exhibition, Zoology TED Talks, an Ethnic Feast, an Engineering Expo, a puppet show, publishing their own children’s books that will go in our THA library, a White Coat Ceremony with Anatomy Monologues, an Identity Quest, an Independent Study Quest, and producing a Sanskrit Skit, creating 50-100 page portfolios of their work, just to name just a few. Obviously, they also grew significantly in their Core Skills, in their presentation skills, in their leadership abilities, their understanding of qualities and values like humility, honesty, integrity, and gratitude. But most importantly, they grew in character. They were challenged by each other and their Socratic guides to think deeply about their decisions and their impact. They were challenged to seek long term benefit over immediate gain, excellence over mediocrity, grit over laziness, and compassion over contempt, and love over hate.
The Return: Our warriors returned to their normal worlds on Friday, June 23rd, 2017. They had an amazing week full of celebrations, discussions, a IOWA testing, and a field day. While they returned to back home to their ordinary worlds, we know what they went through was quite extraordinary.
We look forward to starting the journey all over again this August. Thanks for an amazing year!
Hope you enjoy the pictures from our last week!