Fall 2015 Community Contract
The common theme lately has been, wherever I work is where I live. It started in college, living in a big house with repurposed rooms and too many friends. This was followed by summer camps where campers always felt the need to hang out on your bed and not theirs. Then interning on organic farms with potlucks and adults in bunk beds. Most recently the forest service where we find our campsite together each night all week and when that’s over we both go home to the same trailer on that one dirt road past the last campsite. And now I find myself here at the Alzar school, where I’m again a part of small community. Part of the ruffled feathers and expedited growth of friendships that come with an assortment of people spending all their time together. Except this time my fellow members are just now learning what it’s like to leave their homes and share space with staff and students. They’ve already started to take ownership in their new home and more quickly than that they’ve created a sense that they’re all connected. The connection became real and apparent during the first expedition. When a raft wasn’t loaded, we couldn’t move on; when a person was struggling, we all struggled; when dinner wasn’t cooked, we didn’t eat. The importance of the whole community being on the same page became evident. So in what seems to be a tradition, the students created a set of guidelines in their own words to define what they need to make it possible. This community contract now sits above the fireplace, to remind us of what we all value and need to thrive in such an intimate community. Although, we all know this is going to be a challenge, that’s exactly why we are here.