Today was the last day of the first year of Brightworks. It is a blur, so more pictures and details will come, as soon as I wrap my head around these days, weeks, months; these people: kids, parents, fellow staff; these arcs; what we’ve done.
Because the best thing about it is that we did it. The hurtles, the triumphs, the things that crumbled and fell and the ones that sang out and brought smiles and joy in the learning and doing.
We did it. This is Brightworks.
Today, tired and a little droopy after Exposition, the kids had a chance to take a breather and reflect.
Debbie’s last Wednesday hot lunch of the year:
Last minute rehearsals:
And test rides:
And then the night began.
And aerial silk curtains powered by moms.
And rickshaw rides.
All that happened. Yes.
Pictures and a fuller story will come tomorrow, but for now:
Peeping of chickadees,
Spies and poison plots,
The unveiling of a gigantic rickshaw,
The biggest double-layer cake I’ve ever seen,
Happy parents and family and friends,
Ovations and happy birthday to Brightworks, and us.
Can’t stop smiling.
I’m not sure where to start in writing today’s post. Is it with the audacious idea that a group of ten- to thirteen-year-olds would agree to do a 64 miles of bike riding in two days, or with the fact that it was their teacher who came up with the idea? Or is it the deluge of rain that greeted them yesterday morning as they were heading out and the bike tune-ups that happened beforehand? Perhaps with the campout, the fist-sized marshmallows, the mile-long uphill ride in Marin, or crossing the Golden Gate in both rain and sun. Or maybe it’s with the parents who let their kids take on this moment of high adventure with barely any hesitation.
But pictures say more than I can. (Josh, I don’t know how you took pictures while riding.) Besides, I haven’t even got the full story from these exhausted but jubilant Goats and the intrepid Josh. I’m sure grand tales of high adventure will come.
The faces of yesterday’s departure:
On the road, by the bay.
The north bay.
The road was tough. At the camp-out at Samuel P. Taylor, the Goats were exhausted but thrilled to have made it.
This morning, as the Goats got ready to head back to the city. They broke camp at 11am.
Back on the much sunnier road.
The Golden Gate.
We waited out front to give a cheer as the Goats rolled into school around 6pm.
They made it back – dirtier, more tired, ready to eat – but so filled with pride in the journey.
As the last week of the first year continues to bring such high notes, I admit that I’m still just as excited to be a part of Brightworks as I was on the very first day of school. Maybe that was obvious.
The Undead Goats have been training for the last two months on their bikes and are now making a 30-mile biking trek to Samuel P. Taylor park in Marin to camp out for the night and test their skills on the road. They headed out this morning in a surprise spring downpour, but were smiling all the way!
Melissa will be driving the van packed with gear up to Samuel P. Taylor.
Headed out the front door.
Reminders from Josh.
A last minute pep-talk from Nora, with encouragement to stay together on the roads and work together to get to their destination.
The line-up, and a final farewell.
We can report at this time that they made it, but more details from the road will come tomorrow when they get back!
Meanwhile at the school, prep continued for Wednesday’s big show!
It’s surreal and strange to think that today was our last Monday of the first year at Brightworks School…
It’s exciting and impossible and terrifying to believe that we only have one more week of school left! The pace has been picking up in a great way, with performances getting ready for show time and rickshaws on their way to being tested, and a little bit of pause for ceremony and reflection.
This morning, Mackenzie showed us a video about Caine’s Arcade in LA and we talked about the persistence of this kid to make his dreams into reality using scraps and imagination.
This led us to Kid City, where we talked about how much this very first Brightworks project meant to us, and how important it is that we see that the deconstruction of Kid City, taking place next week, will really be the resurrection of all the pieces that made up this first draft of an amazing kid-designed space.
We imagined together what kinds of projects the pieces of Kid City will become and where we might see the painted plywood and colored 2x4s next.
Then Clementine, the youngest of the Brightworks kids and the student who will see the most projects made out of Kid City because she will be one of our students at the school for the longest, ceremonially removed the first screw from Kid City.
Hip hip hooray!
Then the second Market Day, hosted by the currency group, happened in Kid City after Mark led some discussion on ways to improve the Market Day experience.
The rest of the day: bikes and trying to fix the MIG welder and play rehearsals and lunch!
Henry made hot lunch for us in lieu of Kristie this Friday. Props!