03 May CBTA Hosts Retreat of Nunnian Institutions
by Jess Falcone CB04 TA07
photos by Puneet Singh MB16 TA17
The first Nunnian Weekend ran from April 27th to April 29th at Cornell Branch in Ithaca, NY. The core group was comprised of two Telluride Association members (Jess Falcone and Morgan Whittler), two CBTA delegates (Alexandra Medzibrodszky and Albert Chu), one MBTA-er (Puneet Singh), two Arete Project representatives (Caroline Kanner and Kavita Hardy), and two Deep Springs College alumni (Zooey Wilkinson and John Dewis, who is also the current Deep Spring development officer), but for shorter periods through the day, we were also joined by other CBTA housemembers and TA executive director, Ellen Baer. We talked a little about the nascent Outer Coast College project, although none of their representatives were able to attend.
After a glorious classical piano concert on our first evening (organized by a house fellow), we jumped right into informal discussions over adult beverages. The next day included organized sessions, such as these: a discussion of how Nunnian values influence each institution; a conversation about a set of shared readings about Deep Springs self-governance; a nuts and bolts discussion of how each institution enables (and sometimes places limits upon) radical self-governance, including how they handle problems and how they work towards accountability. Several house-members joined the participants at the evening lecture delivered by John Dewis, entitled, “What does education look like when the students are in charge?” John talked about how to make education more liberating and student-directed in Nunnian-inspired ways, even outside Nunnian institutional contexts. Overall, participants found the weekend energizing, constructive, and intellectually stimulating, and recommended that it become an annual event. The weekend organizer, TA-Arete Liaison, Jess Falcone, wants to thank CBTA again for accommodating the group, as well as for their engagements with weekend events (and for the wonderful conversation over meals).