Michael (ftmichael) wrote in radical_thought,

  • Music:

Boston Skillshare 2007: Request for Workshops

(a play in one act)

SKILLSHARE ORGANISING MEMBER (SOM): Say! Did you hear that the Boston Skillshare is happening again this year? It's the fifth annual Boston Skillshare event, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15! (Location to be announced.)

YOU: That's great news! As far as I am aware, the Boston Skillshare is the only ongoing hands-on skill-based DIY anti-authoritarian conference being produced! Last year, I loaded up on carbs at breakfast, then did some yoga, enjoyed a little rum that was ear-marked for the fire-breathing workshop, and then built my own banjo out of a gourd! what a great event.

SOM: I'll say. But it can't happen again without your help.

YOU: I'd be honoured. What would you like me to do?

SOM: Well, we need folks to lead workshops.

YOU: (bashfully) Surely I don't have any skills to share. I'm just a regular Joe off the street.

SOM: That's what they all say, chum! That's why this year's organising collective has painstakingly drafted a list of workshops we might like to see, listed below - to get the gears in your mind turning in the direction of all the skills you can undoubtedly share with your fellows. Perhaps you have picked them up in your vocation, or are an enthusiastic hobbyist, or possess wisdom gleaned from the unique experience of living your life that people will line up around the block to learn.

YOU: Well ... it is true that I am fluent in Afrikaans, I enjoy crochet, and I spend my leisure time translating my favorite radical literature into Braille using a homemade Braille press I fashioned out of a coat hanger and some twine ... but who would want to learn that stuff?

SOM: Who wouldn't want to learn that stuff?! There's only one way to find out: fill out a workshop form and see who comes to your workshop this April! Trust me, someone is curious about what you can teach them. Humans have an innate desire for learning. What good is a cerebral cortex and the capacity for rational thought if not to apply the magic of human curiosity in a hands-on, democratic fashion?

YOU: Bwah?

SOM: Sorry about that. I dabble in rudimentary neuropsychology myself. When I'm not organising skillshare conferences, building a ham radio out of a coconut, practicing the glockenspiel, or labouring at my day job of hackneyed playwright.

YOU: A ham radio fashioned from a coconut? I am intrigued! How do you wire that thing for electricity? Do you drain it first? Or does the milk perhaps act as a transmitting agent for sound waves ...?

SOM: (clears throat, gloatingly) ... See?

YOU: All right, I'm convinced. It's quite likely that someone wants to learn what i have to teach. But surely another could share my skill with more wit and panache? After all, I'm no expert.

SOM: Pshaw! You don't have to be an expert to teach a workshop at the skillshare! The whole event is about regular people sharing their knowledge in an anti-authoritarian setting with other people with curiosity and a desire to learn! If someone else knows better than you, let them come to your workshop and share their experience with the group! to teach is also to learn, you know.

YOU: I'm nervous. I'm not so great at public speaking. I've never taught a workshop before.

SOM: Nothing to fear, my good friend! The skillshare organising committee is ready, willing, and able to assist you in putting together a detailed lesson plan, so you don't lose your head at the zero hour. If you're interested, we can even host a workshop for workshop facilitators on how to facilitate a workshop, although it may create some trouble for the time-space continuum.

YOU: Well, you crew have thought of everything! I'm convinced! Wild horses couldn't keep me away from a workshop proposal form at this point! Let me at 'em!

SOM: Certainly. Just log on to http://www.bostonskillshare.org and click the link for workshop submissions. Or talk to any of the organising collective - Amy, Bart, Carissa, Ciara, Encian, Joseph, Lizzie, or Sarah - to get your mitts on a paper form.

YOU: Fabulous! I'll see you in April!

SOM: The wisdom you will impart shall be a gift to us all. You're doing your community a great service.

Okay, so here's the workshop list we came up with. Feel free to take on any of these workshops, permutations thereof, or lead a skill in something we didn't even consider!


HOME AND GARDEN: composting, vermiculture (worm compost), fermentation techniques, gardening, container gardening, tree pruning

USEFUL STUFF LIKE IN COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG: knife-making, welding, leather work, pottery, ceramics, rug braiding, basket weaving, getting stuff free (dumpstering, etc), hunting/gathering, jewelry-making, lock-picking, spinning wheel, alternative fuels energy, how to make fly-fishing lures, calculating energy efficiency, cartography, furniture making, clock-making

SEXY STUFF: kama sutra, flogging, making sex toys

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: how to ride bikes, sports (basketball, baseball, field hockey, etc), skateboarding, dance, yoga, martial arts, self-defense

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: de-escalation, non-violent communication, languages, consent, boundaries in general

HEALTH CARE: dental hygiene, herbalism, massage, reproductive self-health mental health, DIY menstrual products, CPR, first aid, nutrition

FUN TIMES: magic tricks, lasso-ing, snake charming, juggling, poi, fire-spinning, fire-breathing, tree-climbing, piercing & body modification, tattooing

SEWING-RELATED CRAFTS: felting, knitting (with & without patterns), crocheting, how to use sewing machine

SKILLS FOR AROUND THE HOUSE: cooking, cooking for allergies, canning, pickling, interior design, repairing electric stuff, plumbing, fixing computers, computer programs, coding languages, navigation, curtain-making, making clothes, stick-shift driving, bicycle repair, auto repair

MUSIC & SOUND: playing musical instruments, making musical instruments, singing, building electronic geegaws, hip hop beat box

ART/PAPER CRAFTS: silkscreening, editing, poetry, writing, bookbinding, book-making, art techniques (painting, collage, etc), photography, photo-developing, stencilling, mail art, letter-writing

POLITICAL-TYPE SKILLS: protest/demonstration stuff, applying for aid in Boston, anti-racism & assorted anti-oppression skills, teaching history, how to be anarcho, animal rights, keepin' it positive


For more information on the fifth annual Boston Skillshare, please visit http://www.bostonskillshare.org.

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