Any astrophysicists out there? Someone help me out...

Because I'm pretty sure Aim exists in a time vortex...or black/worm hole? Time passes in the strangest fashion at a school where so much is happening. The days, weeks, sessions...entire years fly by. When the afternoon rolls around, moments from the morning seem like a lifetime ago...and yet big moments like those from the Top Ten Moments at Aim that the eagles voted on last week seem like yesterday even if they happened years ago. It's confusing lol. (And in case you were wondering, the moment that topped the list was "My first day at Aim" followed closely by "All the hugs" :) 

Such has been the first two weeks of this session. One might describe it as beautiful chaos. I walked around the school this afternoon smiling from ear to ear as I peeked in on each studio. I was blown away by how much deep learning is taking place. 

The DS has settled into a very comfortable rhythm....perhaps too comfortable. There have been a few conversations about accountability and what is the best way to spend free time. But they have been quick to respond and make changes!

The LP has been a whole different ball game. This studio has been grappling with its identity a lot more than DS. They have struggled with everything from interpersonal conflicts, to disagreements about standards of excellence, to definitions of words in their shared vocabulary, to accountability, to what types of friends they want to be, to what should be the requirements for participating in their Next Great Adventures. This had led to a combination of both victim and hero mindsets swirling around at various times. It has also led to moments of true panic, true friendship, and true heroism. They are learning how to face demons most adults would run away from or refuse to even acknowledge--with warm-hearted and tough-minded approaches. And it is building their IQ, EQ, SQ, and AQ at a phenomenal pace. (For those of you unfamiliar with the 'other Qs', you can get a brief overview here, or just google it lol. I'm sure there are better descriptions out there as I just grabbed the first one that did the trick.) All of this is providing a massive dose of Learning to Be. 

Meanwhile, this entrepreneur quest is providing a massive dose of Learning to Do. This quest is testing the eagles in very different ways than last quest. If I had to pick one of our launch questions to sum up the week I think it would be, "In the world of business, is it better to be an actor who errors on the side of action even if at times it means being rash, or a collector who errors on the side of getting more information even if at times it means being paralyzed by inaction?" If I had to pick one picture to sum up the experience so far I think it would be this:

Getting out in the real world and figuring out how to do something you've never done.

During a recent conversation with an eagle I learned of a debate held amongst one of your families about how much enjoyment I may or may not get from tossing your learners into the deep end. I'll of course refrain from wading into the debate since 'guides don't have opinions...and they certainly don't answer questions' lol, but it hearkens back to a question we asked last year during the Price of Freedom quest about whether you want your military leader to be an unfeeling monster or to cringe at the pain of every single bullet fired...a lot of pros and cons were brought up in that debate. Either way, this recent conversation somehow (d)evolved into a description of a fictional scene that may even surpass the last analogy used of chickens and foxes--where all of the eagles are treading water out in the middle of the ocean when Mr. Lance comes along and pours a few drops of blood into the water with a maniacal grin and then rips open the door to a cage full of sharks. I'm trying to commission an artist in the studio to make it into a comic for a caption contest...but to no avail yet lol. 

That's an absurdly long backdrop to a simple point I'm trying to make. Keeping your head above water in the middle of the ocean surrounded by sharks takes a lot of courage. And builds a lot of muscle too. And so does figuring out how to purchase and pump gas for the first time, pouring said gas into a pressure washer...only to realize it requires ethanol free, so you're left scrambling to figure out how to pump it out and replace it with the proper product so you can make your appointment with one of your first customers. 

As does:
  • working collaboratively with a diverse group of eagles to come up with a shared plan
  • figuring out how to execute on that plan
  • making decisions with imperfect information
  • learning to live with the consequences of those decisions 
  • and deciphering when to pivot along the way
That's what your eagles have been up against so far. With much more to come.

Hi, I'm Lance Stewart.

I'm the founder and Head of School at Aim Academy.

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