Today was our final All X meeting. The concert hall filled with emotion as our students reflected on their final days at the Experimentory, and how they will bring creativity and character back home on Saturday. Media Proctor Abby Shepherd talked to the director of All X, as well as three students about the meeting.
After his brief role as the Big Cheese at the Color War, Mr. Thrasher returns to the concert hall stage for the final All X meeting on Tuesday morning. After a "mini-talent show" of a film, a puppet show, and an a capella performance, Mr. Thrasher introduced the topic of the meeting.
|Mr. Thrasher announces the topic of the All X meeting|
Earlier in the day, we talked about his idea for the structure of the final gathering. "It's about bringing lessons from the Experimentory into the outside world,“ he said. "I want them to reflect on their time here and think about their challenges here at the Experimentory and what they did to rise above those challenges," he told me, "also thinking about people back home and how they can help people back home rise above similar challenges.”
Derek and I talked at lunch about the All X meeting. “The Experimentory has creativity and character [as the motto], but after the Experimentory, you can still spread the message to your school, family, and friends,” he said. He also told me about how he will exemplify creativity and character back at school by helping others and bringing up more creative ideas in class.
Mr. Thrasher connected his message to Derek and others through interactive methods. “I think my highest priority is to make announcements not seem like announcements,” he told me. Mr. Thrasher wanted his All X today to help the students see themselves onstage and “to digest the information.”
“Today's going to be focused on transitions,” he announced to us at the All X meeting. He encouraged the students to close their eyes and think about struggles they had at the program and how they overcame them.
|Students close their eyes and think about a hardship they've had at this summer.|
Emily thrived at the opportunity. “Usually the schedule is so rushed that you don’t have time to think about what you’ve done [at the Experimentory] and reflect,” she told me. Olivia agreed. She told me that the All X meeting "helped us slow down and think a lot about our experiences here so we can bring them anywhere we go."
Slowing down and reflecting also solved the issues the two students had this summer. Emily told me that she learned in Music + Film how to slow down and develop ideas before rushing into them. In Architecture + Culture, Olivia and her partner were having problems communicating. Olivia told me that the next time she faces that struggle, she will take the time to focus on each problem instead of trying to solve so many problems at once.”
At the final All X meeting, I was reminded of the growth of these students over the last four weeks, especially as compared to the first All X meeting. The students showed me how empathetic, inventive, and responsive they have become, and I loved seeing and hearing how we have influenced the approach they will have to situations back home.
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