a photo of the inside of mel's eyeball. it is red and yellow and green, with branching red veins.

Year 4 Intentions!

Honestly, I can’t believe the summer’s over. I’m writing this on Labor Day; tomorrow, I meet up with the other ALFs to do some last-minute school prep and the day after, we start! While I’m sure it’s cliched of me to say that this summer has flown by, it’s also true – it’s felt like time outside of time. I stayed in the city for the whole summer for the first time in my adult life, and it was a surreal experience. I moved back to the neighborhood in Brooklyn where I lived as a tiny human and spent most of July reflecting on what home is, what it means to be from somewhere, what it means to belong to a place. I also worked this summer at Play:ground NYC, where I learned loads about risky play, boundary setting, and how important it is to care for your body with adequate food and hydration and rest (especially when you’re working outside in the hundred degree weather!); as a bonus, I got to ride the ferry there and back as a part of my three-island commute.

But time does exist and our rock continues to hurtle through the void through its cycle; today is for intention setting, more than reflection and sharing. (With an eye towards more, bigger reflection and sharing to come – I’ve got some bubbling projects that I’m excited about!) So here it is, a list of my intentions for this, my 4th (!!!) year at ALC-NYC.

  • Feed and water my physical body as though the quality of my facilitation depends on it (it does!). Eat whole fruits and vegetables, drink the clean, free water that comes out of the taps, don’t skip meals, prepare the majority of the food I eat myself from whole ingredients.
  • Go on weekly field trips! I’ve started a list of free things to do in NYC (should I post it on this blog?) and want to prioritize trips that are financially accessible to all. I particularly want to (re)visit the museums I love most dearly: the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum.
  • Go outside! Play tag. Learn to identify trees. Become familiar with the birds in our neighborhood. Explore Central Park beyond our northern corner. Practice handstands. Swing. Hang upside down. Be in the sunshine and the weather.
  • Write write write! I have a zine project with a clear goal that I intend to publish by the end of 2019. Also, I’d like to publish more blog posts than I did last year – particularly of the short-reflective, and long-resource flavors.
  • Make art! I intend to do inktober again, and I’m thinking about NatNoWriMo. I intend to carve and print lino blocks, to make watercolors, to draw in ink and pencil. I intend to make unplanned art messes and crochet corals and splatter paint and play piano and sing and dance and and and…
  • Learn more Spanish! My baby Spanish is sad… but it doesn’t have to be. I intend to practice daily with duolingo, podcasts, translating books, listening to pop music, and friends…
  • DM a DnD game! I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons before, but I’ve never been the Dungeonmaster. Last year, I played a Pathfinders game that was fun for a while and then petered out – then, over the summer, one of those players asked me if we could bring it back! This time, I’ll be making the world and running the monsters and I’m so excited about it…
  • Learn about the body! I’m looking forward to continuing to learn about anatomy and physiology with the crew from last year, and I’m also hoping to do some more exploring of ways to support my body and others’ as we navigate challenges. We’re all just meat robots running on electricity and will be for as long as we’re alive; it feels like an important thing to learn about how that works!

I have a tendency to set really lofty intentions and this isn’t really an exception; but I have noticed that writing down my intentions helps me keep them, and that most of these are things I was already doing as I facilitated in my joy last year. Here’s to another year of adventures!

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Mel

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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