Our Community: Supporting An Ideal
The community surrounding the Thirdofeight Institute is made up of idealists who love freedom. We also love beautiful things. We love to play. We love the truth and seek joy; we love to be productive, comfortable, and creative, and love to devote our days to helping serve and empower others to do the same.
These ideals have led us to develop specific goals. All of these goals can be distilled down to one objective: we have got it in our minds to build an ideal community.
For years, we have experimented, researched, and studied various attempts at community building throughout history. Through the various iterations of our ideas, we have learned to recognize the importance of safety, security, and beauty while fostering a culture of love, truth, acceptance, and freedom. Healthy boundaries, sustainability, and productivity are values that help to sustain, maintain, and cultivate the kind of community we seek to reflect.
We believe that the ideal community can be cultivated by the application of three basic and intersecting principles:
1. Use storytelling to inspire curiosity, imagination, and play.
Curiosity is the beginning of student directed learning. If a student is curious and is empowered to pursue their unique desires, they tap a potent internal source of power that can fuel them forward in a way that the pathetically pervasive but coercive curriculum cannot.
Imagination and wonder are the lifeblood of curiosity. We carefully and thoroughly seek to foster these through immersive storytelling.
Over the last ten years, we as a company have developed a large, expansive, intersecting story based on the fictional idea of 19th century wizards coming west with the Utah pioneers. These wizards embody a spirit of freedom, empathy, curiosity, and personal growth as they interact with the fringes and outcasts of the magical world.
The story is specific enough to provide a centralized narrative with which anyone might enjoy and interact with while its canon remains open and engaging enough for students and patrons who wish to invest themselves by adding to it through the exercise of their own creativity.
Not only do we use these stories to engage and awaken curiosity, but we try to use these fantastical contexts to channel creative energy by giving students a place to apply and integrate the knowledge and goals we seek to help them develop.
You can go to www.wizardinginthewildwest.com to learn more about the fictional story, as well as get an idea of some of the practical and real venues we have so far developed.
2. Provide resources and means whereby the members of the community who seek greater understanding may readily learn of and work to achieve their highest potential.
One of the most useful means to affect this change is through education. Therefore, a school plays a key role in facilitating learning and self-actualization within our community.
Sometimes students just need access to resources. Others may need a mentor, whereas some need considerably more help to get from where they are to where they want to be.
After a careful internal assessment and onboarding process, we as an organization offer or prescribe a combination of integrative experiences, theoretical discussions, one-on-one mentoring, and skill-oriented instruction to match the unique and individualized desires of each student. We have found this to be a potent combination that provides all the necessary impetus to satisfactorily engage the student while allowing us the opportunity to provide the necessary schematic of fundamental principles within a safe and secure culture of encouragement.
No matter where each prospective student is at in their growth trajectory, it is our intention to first find out where they are, and where they want to be, and then to facilitate that end to the best of our ability within the boundaries of stewardship and personal responsibility of both the organization and the seeking student.
You may read more here on institute.thirdofeight.com to learn more about our educational design, philosophy, and techniques, as well as to schedule a pre-enrollment interview.
3. Embody the inspired goals, ideas, and needs of the community in all the possible ways so that it might fully sustain, maintain, and perpetuate itself.
Our school is designed to not only help students, but to provide a place whereby the various members of our community might learn, apply, and express their own ideals. As we congregate like-minded individuals who are invested in or united by these mutual goals, we anticipate that each member of our community will naturally reflect in their own distinctive ways the undergirding ideals of the community. Our job is to facilitate and empower this embodiment.
As we embody both the individual and community goals, we will not only find joy through the process, but our influence as a community will expand.