Students sign up for 4 pod sessions at a time, meetly weekly on ZOOM for 90 minutes. These group classes will be mixed aged sessions. Students will be assigned age and skill level appropriate homework and various class assignments. Please refer to the “Grades Don’t Matter” section to below to learn more about the philosophy behind the mixed aged classes. All students will keep a personal journal that will be used every class for self reflection purposes. Students will also receive vegan recipes, instructional yoga videos and meditation exercises to practice at home.
Students will spend this class exploring different aspects of who they are and what they care about. Students will understand that what they create comes from what they care about. We will write, share and discuss our inventions and the reasons behind our build a tiny village and write a personal narrative detailing their life experiences so far, where they see themselves in 2021 and the methods of attaining these goals.
Students will learn how to use Google to learn about their ancestry within their cultural lineage and how architecture was influenced through their specific cultural history. We will watch “What is Permaculture? By Bill Mollison, David Holmgren” on Youtube and spend some time discussing the main issues that were brought up in the video about supply chain, labor and pollution. Students will begin designing their initial permaculture farms in Minecraft.
Based on indigenous knowledge from cultures throughout history, permaculture is geared toward transitioning communities to a new paradigm. Beyond developing systems that are simply sustainable, permaculture holds the promise of regenerating communities and landscapes and even mitigating global warming. Students will pick their 5 favorite vegetables and will create a mini-farm for this vegetable in Minecraft.
Imagine a world without money. You were born and your family already had a home. How do you imagine us exchanging labor and resources? How will we “buy” our things? Where are the things found and kept? What are some principles that guide the people of this world? Where do people get their food from?
Design a way for people to live, how does your Homestead connect to the wider arena of life? What are living aspects that you have included? What informed those decisions?
Students will spend the week learning about the water cycle, how water is disseminated to our homes, and what we can do at home to protect our oceans and other water sources. We will be building in Creative Mode underwater. In our Utopia, we will build a water source that is free and uncontaminated. What are some guidelines that we must follow to ensure that our water sources are not polluted? What are some ways that we know how water is currently being caught?
Through the mechanisms of Hydroponics, students will learn the fundamentals of food preparation and how that food travelled from the ground to their kitchens. The second half of class students will learn how to cook vegan specific meals at home with the vegetables that they have picked in their Minecraft world. We will be cooking live over ZOOM. Parents please be prepared to assist with any knife cutting activities!
What do you imagine security would be like in your version of Utopia? How will interchanging parts in your world connect? What current systems in our world deplete us and draw energy away from being happy? What are some of your observations? Today’s class we will build alternative housing. If money does not exist, how will people get their resources? We watch videos on Tiny Homes and discuss alternative modes of living by re-defining success.
In our Utopia land, we have infinite resources. Homelessness, poverty, racism, slavery and the wars have been abolished. What did we do differently to get there? This week we will write our versions of Utopia, our new world. We will reinvent new words, systems, and ways of communicating. Imagine what we could do with all the technology that is available to us. “Imagination is a higher form of perception” – Professor Ray Munro
Students will build a system that connects all their builds. They must be able to justify why they decided to build it that way and what went into their design process. Now that we have the basics down, how will the different sections of your Utopia interconnect? Railroads? Boating system? Maybe a treetop garden? Does this Utopia have any trash? How did we manage to not make any? What type of materials make up this world without the current pollutants like plastic and styrofoam?
Students will find new ways of organizing society with health and mindfulness at the core of what they create. We will learn the fundamentals of the Melbourne shuffle as part of our movement activity and will build on various dance moves throughout the week. We will then build an indoor and outdoor rave center in Minecraft where free vegan food, yoga friendly sidewalks, meditation units and dance studios permeate our worlds.
We will learn about solar, wind and water as renewable energy sources. We will read sections of Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything” and investigate America’s historical reliance on fracking and it’s relationship to plastic production. Students will learn about how to move away from oil and coal within their households, and where they can participate in alternative food buying practices as it pertains to neighborhood and community. We will learn about Japan and India’s vertical gardens and learn about Living Lots NYC where we will build imaginary creations on current vacant lots all over the world. Who knows, we might even pitch some of our ideas to change makers and gatekeepers in NYC.
We will spend this class presenting our Utopia. Students will have the first half of class to finish their builds and rehearse before walking us through their world. Students have the choice to present through any medium of their choosing. Each student will receive 15 minutes to present with 5 minutes at the end for questions and feedback.