Last 6 months in our Service Period
By Lillian Hallmark
After returning to the Academy after our service period we have several things to get in order. We are back to the communal living, common action and food production. However it’s not all. We are also in the process on making our own product. Which we will share with others who are interested in learning about Fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poor (stay tuned). We have many ideas on what we would like to make for our journal product.
I will write two articles about gender inequality and the environment. The articles will compare Belize to either St. Vincent or my home country Norway. My team mate Mariana will illustrate the articles. Manal will make videos on “How to live sustainably” that you will be find on Richmond’s Youtube channel. Baha will make short stories or poems describing the true story about the world. It will have music and will be beautiful. This is all up to us, what we would like to share with others. There is no limit to what we can do (unless it includes putting a flag on the moon, RVA does not have budget for that).
Not all of people like to write essays, meaning they should not be forced to. Others are more artistic and like to create art and images to inspire others in a different way. Let their creativity bloom into something beautiful.
Other things we are doing is of course the DMM’s. Which can be described as short essays in various topics, such as environmental science, the group of the poor and expressive arts. The difference between the university setting and our academy is that we are in charge of our own learning process. What this means is that we set the due date ourselves. We choose which of these different tasks that we want to do and decide ourselves if we want to work as a team or individual.
At university during groups presentations and research projects you really understands why Batman works alone. Here you have the choice. In Environmental Science we choose interesting topics such as: why there should be more backyard gardens, the way we are destroying the ocean and technological solutions that can change the world. There are many other topics we have to get though, like leadership intelligence, how artists use art to express world problems and our future.
As I mentioned, we set our own deadlines for the Dmm’s as well as exam dates. We have different types of exams. People’s exams which is presentation about topics that we are learning about. One presentation is about our Service Period in Belize and Ecuador. We talk about what we did, challenges and footprints that we leave in the village. We have a presentation about how artists use their art. Can be music, painting or street art you choose, for creating a change (http://cloudhead.org/2013/09/03/the-power-of-art-to-affect-social-change-shown-in-5-ted-talks/).
The other exams we have is a Skype “interview” with One World University in Mozambique. It is scary at first because its is an exam. But the feeling is over pretty quickly because it does not feel like a terrifying exam. The last exams we have are the written ones. These are all exams where the topics are fairly interesting. And all in all we have about 10 exams spread out in a 6 month period, much better than 5 exams in 2 weeks at other universities.
As well as the studying, community living and journal product we also have our responsibility area. There are several things that you can get involved in at Richmond like the garden, kitchen, sports and culture, promotion and buildings and energy. We are all trying to improve things here at the Academy. We are the ones living here and we make this place into our own.
If people have a great recipe that they want to be made in the kitchen, send it to the kitchen team. If there are people who have an organic way to get rid of ants in the garden I would personally appreciate it. Sports and culture sets up culture nights where we learn about the different countries and people who live at RVA. There is also football every Wednesday at 4pm for who wants to play.
Just as Lillian, you can also enjoy all that the Academy offers§, during your service period. There is nothing better than combining fun with helping the planet and its people.
Finally, we invite you to share this article in your social networks. Likewise, you will remember to leave us some comment about what you would like to study in RVA.