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Day 24 – Aspiring to Leadership, Finding Peace

Aug 2, 2016 11:01:00 PM

August 3, 2016

Time, it seems, does strange things at the Experimentory. Ask our students to reflect on the fact that this is our last week together, and they often describe two seemingly contradictory feelings at once. On one hand, they can’t believe three-and-a-half weeks have passed so quickly; on the other, their new friends are so close it feels like they’ve known each other longer. These are not bad problems to have. But both feelings were strong as we came together on Tuesday for our final All-X Meeting. Proctor Kento Yamamoto explains.


Mr. Thrasher paces the stage before the rest of the Experimentory.
Prime Minister Lt. Gen. Thrasher, Esq. hosts one more time.

Our last All-X meeting today was jam-packed with a lot of content – a great way to end All-X meetings for the 2016 session of the Experimentory. We had two topics to discuss today: leadership and standards. We started the meeting with a word scramble (yes, both words), and dove right into what it meant to be a leader. Four students had taken the podium and recited their “If I Were President” speeches, exemplifying what it means to be a leader. We also discussed what it meant to speak with conviction – how world-renown leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had delivered speeches.

Our student band rocks out!
Scott and the GEM Pham Band returned to the stage for our final gathering.

The second topic was about “standards.” What expectations do we place on ourselves? How far do we want to reach? Mr. Thrasher, our All-X emcee, posed these questions to our students, and they had time to brainstorm answers on paper. We also watched a short clip from a Tony Robbins talk. He explained that we all have “should” ideas: I should get a 100% on the next test; I should work ahead on my project due next week. Robbins challenges his audience to swap the “shoulds” with “musts.” This raises our standards, and we unconsciously aspire for higher levels. I hope the students were inspired by his words – I certainly was.

To touch on one more Experimentory moment, the students in the “Yoga and Tai-chi” co-curricular experienced a typical Tai-chi lesson taught by Mr. Kelly. Although I joined the group today purely to take photos, I ended up partaking in the lesson as well. We went over the concept of “chi” – the energy that flows throughout one’s body – and how we can detect it and utilize it in both combat and meditation. The students learned a basic form of meditation that all Tai-chi students study. At the end they were all relaxed and aware of their breathing. Mr. Kelly being Mr. Kelly, he ended class with a story of how he got into to tai-chi – a story that filled the students with both giggles and awe.

– Kento Y.

Mr. Kelly leads students in a medatative exercise after a busy day of summer learning.