IDEC: Headspins, Helado, and Hineys

Democratic Educators: We so crazy

This is your brain on IDEC.

I’m back from the International Democratic Education Conference 2008, my head still spinning from seven days chock full of energizing workshops and conversations. Here are my relevant stats:

  • Average hours of sleep per night: 5
  • Mosquito bites: 6
  • Guest bloggers for Reschool Yourself: 7+
  • Servings of dessert: 20?
  • Blog posts composed in my brain: 25?
  • Workshops attended: 33?
  • “A-ha” moments: Beyond number

Here are a few topics for upcoming posts:

  • The FAQs of Democratic Education: If kids aren’t required to go to classes, won’t they lurk around on MySpace all day? Does this type of education work for kids from unsupportive homes, and how possible is it in public schools bound by government regulations? Won’t kids go all Lord of the Flies on us if unchecked by a firm authority?
  • The coolest alternative schools and programs you probably didn’t know existed
  • A list of online tools that make me marvel at the powers of the Interweb
  • The IDEC “Kids’ Table”: An introduction to my all-star cast of young rabble rousers who are gonna shake things up in education, big time. And they’re fun to have a beer with, to boot.
  • Why I now trust myself to raise kids one day and not screw ’em up TOO badly. (I said one day, after a bonsai, a kitten, and a puppy have all survived on my watch.)
  • More “Reschooling Reasons” and a new series of posts called “Reschooling Tools”

Though I lived and breathed education for most of my waking hours during IDEC, I also found time to unwind by enjoying these extracurricular learning opportunities:

1) Sampling a multitude of dessert options, including pumpkin and cherry pies, apple cobbler, and spongy banana-chocolate chip bread. On the opening night of the conference, one woman baked 14 pies with fresh fruit (blackberry-apple, yes and yes). I’ve happily recruited my friends to my hard-core sampling strategy: Choose one of each item, rotate, and repeat. Today I was introduced to an ice cream flavor called “Tiger”: creamy orange with black licorice stripes. (Gill and Darren, I’ve got two Tiger and Jagermeister floats for you, coming right up.)

Black licorice and ice cream, together at last

Black licorice and ice cream, together at last

2) Discovering a shop offering — are you ready for this? — 218 flavors of gelato. When I walk through St. Peter’s pearly gates one day, I expect to be met with this beautiful sight. I got a little verklempt as I walked around La Casa Gelato in a hypnotic state, sampling flavors like Fig & Almond, Vanilla Butterscotch Chip, Lavender, Red Bean, Black Sesame, and Bailey’s & Coconut. I decided on Banana Creme Pie, packed with pieces of flaky pie crust.

3) Visiting Vancouver’s gorgeous Wreck Beach by night and by day. On Wednesday night, a bunch of conference folk and I descended the 400+ steps to the sand to watch a spectacular meteor shower and the moon lighting up the water.

On Saturday afternoon, I walked back to Wreck Beach, and I wasn’t sure that it was the same place I’d been before. First of all, it was so packed with vendors and sunbathers and frisbee players that I could barely move. Second of all, many of these aforementioned beachgoers were completely naked. Yes, Wreck Beach is known for being “clothing optional.” My visit was a reschooling experience in itself — I had never seen so many folks struttin’ around just like God made ’em, smartly avoiding tan lines of any sort. And to answer your question, I was quite content to go with the clothing option.

Advisory at Vancouver's Wreck Beach

Advisory at Vancouver's Wreck Beach

Fun Fact: When searching for a photo of the beach, I discovered this helpful resource: Naked Wiki, “the clothing optional living encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”

Another Reschooling Reason: Tiger ice cream and nude beach visits should be graduation requirements, and you probably still need to meet both of them.

Flickr Creative Commons images courtesy of cecilanne and cfarivar, respectively.


YOUR TWO CENTS: Leave a Comment!

Where can you find the best dessert, or the best beaches, in the world?

Comment (1)

  1. Casandra

    MMMMM… Casa Di Gelato on a hot day…. MMMMM


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