For those of you who have LP students and have already gotten the LP update for the week and now have to get email novels--I mean updates--from me for two different studios. But faint not! We will have another amazing guide next year and then you'll at least get a different voice updating you on the various happenings of the different studios. But until then....you're stuck with me....even when I write ridiculously long introductory material...like this sentence with all of its baroque dependent clauses and cascading turns of phrase....
But enough of that! Your heroes went on quite the unique adventure today! They really have been on quite a unique adventure this whole year. The story of their journey has been entirely different from the other studios in the tribe. Theirs has been a light-hearted adventure so far. As far as I know they are the only studio who hasn't had a member in tears yet, the last studio in the school to ask for an eagle buck, the first studio to laugh and play together, the last studio to seek out a guide for anything, and the most content to just hang out together in their room.
Some of it is just the personalities of the eagles. Some of it is they are feeling comfortable in their rhythm--progressing past some of the trials of the ES, but not yet feeling the LP pressure to find a calling and with urgency prepare for it with the real world looming ever closer. I suppose maybe you could call it the sweet spot lol. Whatever it is, it has a good vibe.
Happy, committed, fun-loving friendships permeate their room. The mismatched collection of hand-me-down couches feels right at home. The 'beautiful' artwork that scatters the walls adds a bit of flair--one of the wall hangings has a misspelled word. I wondered if any would ever notice. That particular wall saying has been moved more than once. Nobody has noticed. I'm not entirely sure anyone has even read it. But they love it nonetheless. I think there's a reason the rest of the school gravitates to the DS room during lunch and freetime. It's that room. There's often a funny video being watched and laughed at together. A creepy crawler visitor or two. And plenty of eagles dialed in-- headphones on, the rest of the world tuned out, experiencing flow. The pressure washer they bought for the entrepreneurship quest sits in a corner. It somehow fits right in. The box it came in is stuffed under a desk. Also--somehow right where it belongs. The gasoline they purchased would also be there somewhere if the guides hadn't asked them to store it outside.
It's walking into the MBA student lounge more than a middle school. You might catch the tail end of a prank or two on your way in. Or see an eagle reading upside down. Or some other social, psychological, or geological experiment taking place (honestly nothing would surprise me at this point). What you are guaranteed to see are several feet propped up comfortably, contagious smiles all around the room, and friendships across the board. They love being there.
They feel mature and independent enough to be able to handle the daily problems that arise. But not quite mature enough to take any of them too seriously. It's magnetic.
At the beginning of the year I predicted that I would be spending the most significant amount of my time with the DS out of necessity. My prediction that BItcoin was going to jump back to $60k again was more accurate. Every time I step into their studio to observe, I'm stumped. With the guidance the LP has needed, sometimes it is days between my visits during Silent Learning time (though we obviously interact every day). I brace myself as I enter, expecting to have to revisit 1000 things they've certainly forgotten by now, and I usually end up saying virtually nothing, asking a mere question or two, and then leaving scratching my head a bit. It's not that they resist guidance at all. They just have no real need for it at the moment. I'm hilariously delightfully baffled (and if the trend continues I suppose I won't have to hire that new guide after all!)
So...with that as a backdrop, you can imagine I wasn't entirely sure how to approach their hike this week. I haven't really been able to diagnose any real problems yet this year (which is frankly a new phenomenon for a guide who has as one of his main jobs the task of diagnosing and then inspiring, equipping, and connecting the tribe through it). And mind you that isn't to say things are perfect and that there aren't several little things transpiring every day that could be addressed...it's just the strangest thing because none of them feel like they need to be addressed?? Either way, I decided that I would leave it entirely up to them whether they just had a 'casual stroll galivanting through the beautiful fall colors' (there's an easter egg for all the LP parents still reading ;) or whether I included additional challenges for the chance to lower the interest rate on their quest loan. They unanimously voted for the latter. So...the heroes were tied up, blindfolded, and the challenges began.
Honestly, they did amazing. There were several bridges etc to conquer. Whenever the path became too easy, I would offer them an additional 1% to traverse paths less traveled by. They took turns leading, guiding their fellow travelers across the quite rugged terrain. They listened well. When they were faced with important trade offs between time, quest incentives, and feelings of fellow travelers, they calmly and quickly considered all, held votes, and then moved forward. Not always voting in enough of an organized fashion as to be certain of the outcome, but nobody seemed to care. So apparently they are all in tune enough that they have a hive mindset and could all just intuit what the outcome of the vote was without really raising hands or getting firm counts. Or maybe they are all easy going enough they were good with either option?
Only once was that not the case. And the heroes who had been outvoted sorta went, 'meh'. And the hike continued. Minus a brief moment we were nearly attacked by a bear (that sounded nearly identical to this video...hmm...) they had fun the whole way. Even when things were stressful, and even when that stress brought out a version of them less than their best selves.
And yet, amidst all that, inspiring growth is still evident. Like when one eagle essentially had the rope around the back of his neck (no choking hazard, but painful at times), a few of his fellow travelers suggested he lower it around his waist. He refused and said he wanted to keep the challenge because he didn't want to take the easy way out.
Well you've made it this far. You've earned access to some incredible videos. Click here to watch them.
-- Lance Stewart
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Hi, I'm Lance Stewart.
I'm the founder and Head of School at Aim Academy.
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