Learners' Collective Newsletter 37: Yr 2021-22
9 July 2021
What an eventful week we had! LC started with a boom and a bang. Large majority of them met on the trip last week, but a few of them were meeting after three long months. Soon they got into their business of playing ball. The new kids were given orientation of the place and were allotted lockers. Too many things were happening this week. Some of the highlights were:
The facilitators did a skit, which we have been planning for a while. The skit was done in two parts for two days. We wanted to convey a few key messages.
What is freedom?
What does this space mean to you?
and How will you manage this space?
The first key inquiry was, why did you choose to join LC? What is better here than the previous school you attended? Someone responded, there are no uniforms here, I don’t have to take permission to eat or go to the bathroom, I can walk in anytime, etc.
Few thought provoking responses were, I can speak in any language I wish to, all are equal, I can choose what I want to learn and what activities I want to do, we make our own rules and I am free here.
The second inquiry was, what is really “free” in this place? Rolling on the floor is that what is freedom? Not attending sessions? We tried to emphasise that we are all bound by the rules we set for ourselves. And that is the only way we can function in this community.
The third provocation was, the need for bullying and what happens when you are at the receiving end. Two of the facilitators bullied the third one to show how it looks from the other side. Name callings, ignoring and depriving them of group plays which were displayed last year were presented. A slice of it all.
And the last was the overall feeling of respect for self, everyone around and for things in LC.
LC rules were read aloud for the benefit of all. Any kind of contesting of rules can be done only through judiciary was also specified.
We had a lot of junk and the majority of this was thrown away. Now the place looks a lot organised and tidy. Housekeeping is something that has always been challenging. And we know it will continue to be…:)
We had a few birthdays in the past weeks and were flushed with cakes. Thank you parents for sending them!
Pani puri is always a hit, a super duper one. Kids ate to their hearts satisfaction. Till their shirts were tight and their buttons popped. Few tried to put two puris in their mouths. Everyone was speaking in “O” language with puris in mouth. The little team who was managing the affair popped the puris to see if it were crunchy and sipped pani to make it to the exact taste that was desired. Sweet, tangy and spicy! A few accused them of scamming too!
Body Awareness Sessions
This was conducted in two groups. For 9 yr + olds, over a period of three days. Introduction to adolescence, body changes, hygiene and care of private parts, inappropriate touch, exhibition and view, breast development, breast supports, menstruation and menstrual supports, mood swings, and how to deal with that was discussed.
For the smaller age group, names of different body parts, private parts, differences in boys and girls, safe and unsafe touch, hygiene, use of washrooms etc. was discussed.
Both the sessions were conducted for boys and girls together. Initially there was some inhibition, but after sometime they were openly participating. One of the children also asked the facilitator if she had to face inappropriate touch ever.
Vinayak sir came today. After three months of break, it seemed the kids were a bit out of touch. But soon they were sweating and cartwheeling. We also played dodgeball.
This was the main attraction of this week. Not to steal shine from the other events. But necessarily speaking this is the first time we held elections and being a democratic set up we are keen to see how this process turns out. Every candidate had to speak in front of the Junta and put forth their promises once they were elected. Many of the promises made were to appease the commoners, we understood…:) Few of the promises made were, stopping of bullying, putting a stop to ball fighting, eradicate violence from LC, eradicate two sessions compulsory rule, start minecraft, start video games, etc.
Yes some of these could seem a bit unnerving. But this is a process we need to go through. Taking control is not the solution. Will keep you all posted. Swearing in ceremony is on monday!
That’s all for now…Have a great weekend!