This Week: Schema, writing, introvert time and sunshine

I made so much art this week 🙂 It felt wonderful.

Monday was a visiting day, the first ever dedicated exclusively to humans who want to “see the space in action” but aren’t otherwise connected to us. It went super well – all of our visitors were really respectful of everyone’s space and time, plus they were rad humans in their own right. As the visitor coordinator, I couldn’t be more pleased 🙂 Three of them came on an impromptu trip to the art supply store on 125th with us – that location is closing (unfortunately) but everything is 50% off (fortunately). Nahla and I bought a bunch of paint and canvases. Lili got supplies/started making a (terrifying) puppet so that she can do stop-motion animation – she keeps leaving it in places around the school where it’s just looking down at me, all scary and uncanny-valley-doll-nonsense. Its name is Ti and it uses “it” pronouns.


(I took lots of photos with equal parts horror/hilarity/oh god it’s following me…)















On Tuesday I made more art and then the cook noobs made beignets! Nancy donated us a deep fryer, which I’m totally going to make french fries in, and also made the beignet dough because she’s super generous with her time. I didn’t eat any because gluten makes my gut mad, but I heard they were delicious. They certainly looked it!


Wednesday Ry took a group to Brighton Beach and so it was very quiet in the space all day. I was really grateful for it, because I’ve been spending lots of time with other humans and I hit an introvert-wall, which is the point at which I stop being able to process auditory input. It sounds weird but it is a real thing in my brain. I made myself a (glorious) breakfast omelette and then went and started painting in the makerspace. I did not take a progress photo, but I did start painting a scene of Zoe, Saylor, and Sterl based on a photo I took when we went to Brighton last year. Nahla joined me, and we got to have quiet-art-morning time, which was just what I needed. In the afternoon, Roan and I collabra-drew creepypastas with charcoal that turned out so cool. Also, my notes from Wednesday just say “Doug is trying to trade up from a paperclip to a…?” I wonder how that’s going for him. When he left I think he’d made it up to a painted rock and was trying to convince Timo that he needed that rock in his life…

Thursday I made a big art mess with Nahla, Beth and Hannah and it was so rad. We made flow art! I got paint all over me! We used a blowtorch! In the afternoon I added a tulip to the painting. It was going to be a bunch of sea monster tentacles, but as soon as I put the brush on the canvas I knew it wasn’t a monster at all. Siena and Jiana both painted with me in the afternoon – I notice that our Tauruses are into visual-art-making, which makes sense as Taurus is an earth sign (into the physical realm) that is ruled by Venus (the planet of beauty). Before all that, I got to sing with Seb and Timo – Seb was playing the keyboard and I just jumped in. We sang Bohemian Rhapsody and American Pie and some Beatles songs. I started re-learning Yesterday, which is one of my favorites of all time, and got to talk to Seb about SUS chords, which he points out are both kind of cheesy and really beautiful. They really give movement to a song. I made a video of myself playing and singing it just now, but I’m feeling too selfconscious to post it. Quick, here’s my painting to distract you!

Today, I went to the Barnard Zine Library and got to spend some time writing in a quiet, dedicated space with Nahla, Beth, and Hannah. (Thanks, Beth, for planning the trip!) I love libraries – I love the hushed feeling of all the knowledge around you. Libraries are magic. It’s beautiful outside – 70 degrees and sunny, the trees all leafed out, finally, and the sky the clear, bright blue of spring. The birds are out in the park. It’s been a good week. I’ve got so much more to write about and only 5 weeks left to do it before the school year is over – eek!


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Mel Compo is an interdisciplinary artist, playworker, and facilitator at the New York City Agile Learning Center. Their work with children centers play, art-making, city adventuring, and open conversation about language, bodies, gender, networks, emotional intelligence, brain plasticity, and cycles of growth. Mel studied the intersections of SDE, poetry, and the history of American education NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. They live in Brooklyn, New York.

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