Today, I began my adventure at ExAlt. The space is located on the 2nd floor of an old school building (part of a larger complex of buildings) south of San Juan. Upon entering the space, there is an immediate feeling of life. There are tadpoles, a small frog in a terrarium, a mosquito breeding experiment, and plants- including a hanging hydroponics garden- everywhere.
I thankfully had the opportunity to spend some time in the space before the other humans arrived so I could get acquainted with the space I would be facilitating in for the week. The setup includes:
A cozy couch area that one immediately notices upon entering the space, complete with ExAlt pillow (modeled here by Diego)!
The weekly calendar, which we populated with offerings this morning after we set our daily intentions, can also be found in this corner.
A makerspace, complete with tools for wood/metal/other stuff-working projects, soldering irons, popsicle sticks, a sweet electronics workbench, malleable, quick-drying plastic called U-mold, as well as a whole host of goodies from the now defunct electronics super-store, RadioShack. Below is Danny, hard at work on a soldering exhaust fan.
A reading nook, which features an old-school library check-out system and comfy pillows. Gabi spent a good chunk of the morning reading here, until Aleaia and I joined him to read “The Prince and the Pauper,” (weird, double-Mickey Disney version) and then Alina joined us to play Mancala.
Next to the reading nook is the “Technology Lounge,” where I facilitated a game of Geoguessr this morning (challenge our score here). There is a huge monitor with cables to connect computers and a raspberry pie with Scratch, which Diego was playing with this morning.
Moving around the room to the right, we next come to the office. The agile roots of ExAlt are posted (planted?) here.
The little lunch area comes next on the circular journey around the room, followed by the natural sciences discovery area. Here you can find many of the aforementioned plants, including various sprouting beans that are just about ready to be planted in the garden (featuring all kinds of organic produce), located behind the school.
The center of the space is fittingly the holder of intentions, the mirror of self-reflection, and the birthplace and container of community agreements (via the community mastery board). Here you can find the kanban boards of @alex and the kids, which I was really impressed with. Inspired by @drew and the ALC Everett crew, it funnels everyone’s personal intentions- designated by a specific color post-it- into a group container for each day, incorporates group activities, and is divided up into 1-hr time slots.
Needless to say, I had an amazing first day. Though the highlight was probably a philosophy discussion about the nature of life, death, and consciousness with Gabi, Alex, and Danny, the photo evidence I have of one of the many awesome moments is here:
Yes, that is a 3-ft. long Iguana, and yes, I did chase it along with Alex and the kids.
Until more awesomeness,