Everyone is born with wonder and curiosity, but it is often beat or conditioned out of us. Often the most gifted among us feel completely ostracized and out of place. This is often the result when so-called schools impose arbitrary or out-of-context learning on students without regard for the unique motivations, preoccupations, or interests of the individual. We are uniquely designed to do just this by addressing directly the desires and interests of these students.
Here at the Thirdofeight Institute, we have a culture that promotes the ideals of individual choice, motivated learning, personal responsibility, creativity, and real-world context and practical application.
We see our role as helping students develop from where they are into the best people they can become. We help our students safely and carefully open their hearts and connect to those purposes that engage them. By doing so, we help awaken, cultivate, and harness their inherent gifts and abilities with the goal of assisting them to reach their ultimate potential.
HOW WE DO IT
Efficiency and effectiveness in education relies on seven interrelated factors:
1. Awaken natural curiosity and imagination in students through exposure to specialized immersive play.
2. Help identify the defining narrative focus of each student and the related consequential subjects that resonate with his or her strong extant motivations.
3. Facilitate and cultivate opportunities for engagement with these areas and subjects.
4. As students gain comprehension and grow in their abilities, we help them work towards any goals they awaken and define. We stay abreast with the growing needs of students by helping maintain access to necessary expertise, resources, and truth in order to answer students' growing abilities and interest.
5. Help promote, design, and orchestrate opportunities for students to connect with relevant peers in their specific fields.
6. Provide ample opportunities for students to harness their new knowledge through relevant applicable market-based experiences. Invite family, friends, and potential new students to come participate and give feedback to these students.
7. Maintain adequate and thorough records and awareness of student progress over time.
We take our responsibility over our students' educations quite seriously, and consider what we do as augmentation of the parent-child relationship, rather than a replacement for it. Therefore, our process requires a high degree of parent/guardian involvement.
When possible, parents are strongly encouraged to participate at every level of the learning process. This includes encouraging parents to enroll as students themselves whenever possible in order to cultivate a home environment that supports and sustains the principles students are learning at school.
What It Looks Like
Once we help students orient to the ideas, subjects, activities, instruments, ensembles, and jobs of their liking, we help connect them to the relevant resources in order to help them accomplish their goals.
There are five general areas under which student engagement falls: projects, subjects, activities, ensembles, and jobs. None is required, but are actively fostered through immersive play and voluntary exploration.
A student project is defined entirely by what the student wants to accomplish, rather than a list of arbitrary parameters. They usually are described by some type of movement or large goal that has awakened within the student. It typically is tied with doing something that in time will help people find more happiness or fulfillment, and is intended to act outside upon others for their good.
It could be anything from advocating conversation with a specific audience, to building and selling something to another audience.
It is always defined by ones personal identity, ones audience, a medium of conveyance, and a driving purpose.
Activities are organized around physical engagement and/or working with ones hands. Again, no student is required, but if a student finds an activity that awakens their energies, we do all we can to facilitate it for them.
It could be anything from martial arts like jiu jitsu, karate, or kendo, to outdoor experiences like swimming, rock climbing, canyoneering, or simple hiking and running. It could include pick-up soccer games, organized individual or partner dancing, yoga, fencing, english longsword fighting, gardening, or any number of physically engaging ideas. These activities usually have a repeating pattern or habit or continued engagement over time.
Other activities include crafts like blacksmithing, broom making, soap making, writing a book, or filming a story. It also incorporates performing on stage, making food, or constructing or manufacturing products to sell.
Students are encouraged to consider and pursue any number of interesting subjects that they find along the way.
These are defined as theoretical ideas or lines of reasoning that preoccupies the student's mind, and which they are interested in and motivated to learn about. They are typically embodied in group of discussions, a book that the student has picked up and is reading, or a recurring conversation with a mentor or friend. The subject might be embodied in the learning of a language, classroom gatherings covering a scientific subject like electricity or physics or philosophy or the general scientific method, one-on-one discussions with a counselor dedicated to improving ones mental health, or some other intellectual pursuit.
Thirdofeight Institute prioritizes music teaching through individualized instrumental learning. We also advocate and encourage engagement with both new and school-sponsored musical ensembles.
Students have the option of pursuing just about any instrument they fancy, and have a selection of a gradient of skilled ensembles which are always seeking for additional instrumentalists to join their ranks. The school also provides individual students opportunities to perform publically on a regular basis.
Rather than be charged enrollment fees, some students enrolled in the school may be given the chance to be enlisted in a job working for the school directly. This can ensure a connection of the mind to the influence of cause and effect, and can help the student to appreciate the relationship between their labor and the benefits.
While parents or guardians are welcome to pay the enrollment fee directly, the school encourages parents or guardians to consider the benefits of requiring their student to participate in at least partial responsibility in paying for their education through formal engagement in a oncampus job.
This kind of engagement helps students to never lose sight of the fact of life that the work that they do is tied to their survival. It also helps the students to grow in respect for the resources they are using in their learning.
PRINCIPLES OF CREATIVITY
As children of God, we are all born to be creative. The creative process brings joy. We can be enabled to create the greatest good or most terrible bad. It is up to us.
But just exactly what is creativity?
Many, if not most people, assume it is something that just happens, or that we are born able to do it, or that we just don't have the gene; that we are powerless to change this.
This is incorrect.
Creativity is actually a science, and it is also a sort of revelatory act. The principles of creativity, when taken together, become a lens through which we can look in order for order to reveal itself. It is the ways and means whereby we can achieve goals which we desire to pursue. Master the elements, and apply them together, and one can increase his or her power of creativity.
Creativity can be boiled down to a few fundamentals. There are six basic elements to consider.
First, know who you are.
Second: discern or decide who your audience is.
Third: know what you want to accomplish through your audience.
Fourth, choose your medium.
Fifth, decipher, decide, or divine the larger purpose in your life behind why it is you wish to create this unique thing you are in this moment bringing into reality.
And sixth, DO IT! It is only in the doing that you will truly learn to master it. Have courage and trust yourself. Try. And then try again.
Know Who You Are
The first element of creativity is to know who you are.
Know your values. Know what you believe. Know what you want to represent. Recognize that your creations will be an extension of you. Do you have a look? What are your struggles? What experiences have you had that have impacted you personally or deeply?
Know Your Personality Type
Certain personality types have certain gifts and native tendencies. the more you can learn about your personality, the less discouraged you will be as you start out.
The best personality test to help you understand yourself that I have found is the Myers-Briggs.
Within this system, there are supposedly sixteen archetypal personalities, and you will match one of them more than others. The theory is that there are four spectrums upon which you will fall.
Your personality will be articulated as a four letter code. Introverted vs Extroverted, Intuitive vs Sensing, Thinking vs Feeling, and Judging vs Perceiving. You can find many different tests online that you can take for free.
Know Who Your Audience Is
Who do you want to influence? Why? What characteristics make them up and motivate you to want to influence them? (Your audience might just be you!) There are many audiences out there who you might want to impact. identify the factors that separate your audience from others. Determine the attributes that stick out that awaken in you the desire to act on them.
Know the Medium and Theater or Realm of Your Work
How will your work be encountered? How will it be experienced? Where will it be experienced? knowing the context of the situation in which your work will be experienced is important. what is the theater of action for your audience? This will largely depend on your chosen medium. For instance, films are experienced on screens, whether in a theater, on a television, on a tablet, or a phone.
Decide On Your Preferred Medium(s) of Expression
Is your medium live performance? Will you act for live stage? For film? is it music? Will it be recorded? Or is your art form something else like interpersonal conversation? Is your art form the interviewing of people? Is your theater a social media account? A youtube channel? Is your medium a podcast? There are almost an infinite number of mediums out there. There are definitely more ways of being creative than painting or music.
The Process of Deciding on a Medium
what is the best means of action that will allow you to have the most efficient effective influence over your audience? what medium do you have the most skills and awareness and resources available in order to have the most effective influence over your audience? what medium are you good at? can you improve on your skills though practice? these are important questions to ask yourself when considering the medium of your creation.
Improving on Your Skills in Your Medium
Exploration and mistakes are essential. Practice makes perfect. trusting yourself is essential. mistakes are the school house of the masters. everybody is a beginner at first. By doing our best, taking a risk and inevitably making mistakes, we provide for ourselves context in which the correct principles have reason to be retained. We awaken in ourselves questions which then might be readily answered. Mistakes create a vacuum of drive and incentive which allow us to ask the right questions. We then naturally have way more ability to remember and retain the solutions to our questions.
Getting Inspiration to Flow More Readily
Cultivate your gifts and talents. Allow your curiosity to flourish. Wander. Wonder. And give yourself permission to engage with experiences that awaken your imagination.
Know Your Objective
How you want to influence your audience? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the state things in the world that inspire or cause you to wish to make an impact and make you want to take the actions you are about to embark on? While identifying these things may be a challenge at first, and is not necessary in order to get started, by identifying and articulating them, you will help yourself to find inspiration when you get lost in thought or forget what inspired you to begin. It will also help you to edit and provide helpful boundaries to help you actually achieve what you set out to do.
Discerning Your Purpose
Learn About Who You Are
Cultivate your spiritual life. Learn about your roots. Determine or discover what you believe in. Become acquainted with and attuned to your values. Search for the meaning of your life.
Be Aware of What Motivates You
The spirit that inspires is the spirit that possesses.We must be careful to recognize and curate what motivates us. What voices we listen will inhabit the consequences of those actions we take under their influence.
Pursue Your Purpose, and the Passion Will Follow
If you can identify and pursue your purpose, the passion will follow. Inspiring purpose is the intersection between the awakened motivation within a purified heart seeking the benefit of your fellow beings and your unique and inherent gifts and talents.
Motivation is Everything
The why is more important than the what. The why is the engine that drives the what. We live in a world that falsely teaches that utility and security are the highest priorities. Preoccupation of ones will with security may address physical needs, but ignores the important spiritual and emotional needs which can be just as significant for our mental health. You should not neglect the things that awaken a sense of your purpose, even if they don’t seem to be a plausible source of income. They very well may be the engine whereby you might drive yourself to the place you ultimately want to be.
Survival Worship or Being Motivated Out of Insecurity is Motivation Inspired By Fear
When we allow pursuit of money to motivate us, in other words, by coercing ourselves, we become possessed by false beliefs. While survival is important, it is not wise to be inspired by it. To do so leads us to make decisions that lead to poor, robotic career choices do not account for emotional or spiritual needs. When we heed our fears, they drain away our otherwise boundless potential energy and prevent us from filling the full measure of our emotional and motivational potential. Listening to fear often leads us to neglect integral aspects of our stewardship.
Your Choices Today Have More of an Impact On Your Future Than You Think
What you do today leads to what you do tomorrow. Listen to the joyful voices within. The more you allow yourself to be acted upon against your creative ideas inclinations, the more remote and quieted the creative voices inside become. The contacts and connections you make in the places and in the time spent today will lead to the places and time you will spend tomorrow.
Persistent Fear is Often a Sign of Faltering Mental Health
If you feel overwhelmed by fear when considering going for your goals, you may benefit from mental health counseling or support.
Your Ideal Career
is an intersection of principle-based mental hygiene, knowing and cultivating ones ultimate life purpose, and cultivating ones unique and distinctive gifts.
Have Courage to Try
Experience is the most reliable teacher. While theory has its place, it can only provide help to a point. Sometimes the only thing we can do to learn more is to try. Failure is another word for "actual learning."
Students seeking a more thorough understanding of the nature of the universe may enroll in our Theory-of-Everything Discussion, where we talk about the underlying fundamental principles of reality. This gathering is taught as an ongoing conversation with a facilitator leading the group. The manual from which we draw all the principles can be downloaded here.
When appropriate, we hold informal video conference calls for students wishing to familiarize themselves with others within their field of study. These gatherings are made up of both students and mentors from our community.
After introductions, the event becomes an open forum where participants can ask questions, make specific requests, volunteer information and resources, and/or just seek guidance from their peers.
We also hold in-person real-life versions of these when possible and convenient.
APPLIED LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Every weekend, the Institute orchestrates a school-wide event where students have the opportunity to try their hand at the new skills they have been developing. These experiences are designed to provide an opportunity for students to be able to receive immediate feedback and community encouragment for their progress. These events also serve the purpose of awakening new curiosity, imagination, and the spirit of play in the visitors and to familiarize and advertise to them what it is we do as a school. New students and their parents can also schedule interviews at this time in order to join the school.
Various Aspects of the Weekend Gatherings
Live Music Jam
As part of our music instruction, we facilicate and include opportunities to participate in various music ensembles. Once a week we host a gathering where they have an opportunity to perform for the public.
The students who select various forms of performance also have the opportunity to share their new skills. The Institute provides all the equipment, including a stage, mics and other sound equipment whereby small productions of comedy, poetry, monologues, or other material can be performed onstage during the events. Larger performances may also use established group spaces if the stage is too small, or not the proper venue or context for the material.
Products for Sale
Students who focus on making or growing products to sell have the chance to sell products during our events. The institute provides resources in the form of magical looking tables, and lean-tos to facilitate students in the selling of their products.
Demonstrations of Skills
Students with a more scientific focus may set up displays to entertain and enlighten visitors, for instance, harnessing the subjects and tools of electricity or chemistry.
Students pursuing painting, drawing, sculpture, illustration, and the like will be provided a unique space in order to display and promote their work. These creations may either be for sale or simple appreciation, feedback, and enjoyment by the visitors, depending on the interest, desires, and willingness of the student.
Immersive Storytelling Experiences
The current environment of the institute serves also as an imaginative storytelling space for storybook events. During weekend events, some of these are populated with fictional characters who visitors can interact with during the event.
Students engaged with costume construction and design may also dress up in character and role play during events.
Role Playing Games
One of the methods we encourage developing student storytellers is through role playing games. Campaigns may be going on both during the week throughout events.
Further adaptations will be made to our events as our students' needs grow. Eventually, the Institute may established specialized events catered to the devoted subjects, dependent on the demands and needs of our students, and the reception of these events by the greater community.