Let us set you up on a Blind Date – With a Book!

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It’s back! Time for Grey Havens Group Inc’s signature fundraiser – Blind Date with a Book. Last November, you gobbled up lots of good books for Grey Havens, but we’ve still got plenty more, and we love to share the joys of reading. Won’t you join us?

On Saturday, February 11th from 11 am – 4pm, come to Lucky’s Market in Longmont and choose a book (or two or three) to take home with you. Books are sorted by genre then wrapped in a Lucky’s bag to disguise their titles. In exchange for a donation in any amount, you can take home a reading surprise, just in time for Valentines Day!

All donations will be used to promote literacy, imagination, community and inclusion by supporting The Grey Havens Group, Inc. We hope you know by now that our nonprofit values creative and critical thinking and teaches philosophical inquiry. Grey Havens YA is our young adult chapter, but we also serve younger children, adults, and older adults all along the front range and beyond.

Right now, we are working on implementing our Philosophy in Public Spaces Initiative, increasing our young adult and kids programming, recruiting volunteers, and planning exciting new events for the community. We are also developing a podcast in order to share the benefits of Geek Philosophy with the world! This Saturday, you could help us to achieve these goals and enjoy a fabulous literary date in the process. We hope to see you there. Thank you for your support!

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May the Force be with you,
Kelly Cowling, Executive Director
Robyn Bosica, Deputy Director
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Why We Re-read

The Grey Havens Group

In An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis wrote that anyone who loves to read must also love to re-read. He also gave a definition of myth that included the fact that the outcome of a myth feels inevitable. Pleasure in reading it does not depend on suspense. It carries the weight of the self-evident. It breathes extra life into truths that would not feel as vital if expressed as axioms.

In “Story of Your Life,” the story on which the film Arrival was based, Ted Chiang depicts a mother who is also a linguist reading “The Three Bears” to her young daughter. The mother asks why her daughter wants her to read the story exactly as written if the daughter already knows the ending. “Because I want to hear it” is the answer.

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Later this same mother and linguist explains that some statements, such as “You’re under arrest,””I christen this…

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What Is Geek Philosophy? Part 3: Wholeness

The Grey Havens Group

After our last post on the principle of Slow Reading-Close Reading, we promised you a post on the Geek Philosophy principle of Wholeness. It turned out that it was easier to promise the post than produce it. Wholeness is a principle that, as you might have guessed, encompasses all our other principles. It is also the hardest to explain.
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There are two kinds of wholes. One is the collection, like a basket full of stuff. It’s an artificial whole that someone put together. If you want to really know what is in the basket, you have to take the collection apart and examine each piece. The other kind of whole is an organic whole or unity, a whole that just came that way, like a tree or a person. You can try to understand a tree or person by examining their parts but you won’t really…

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Harry Potter’s Back (and more)!

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Art by Kazu Kibuishi

For more than a year, muggles, witches, and wizards alike have been asking us when we would bring back our Harry Potter discussion groups for 8-17 year-olds. We are thrilled to announce that Prefects and Junior Prefects are back at Carbon Valley Regional Library in Firestone and Erie Community Library. Both libraries are part of High Plains Library District where they know all about the magic of reading!

All of our discussion groups are conducted according to our Geek Philosophy method that encourages young people to speak and listen to each other in a spirit of wholehearted inquiry. We can’t think of a better way to approach the thought-provoking works of J.K. Rowling. 

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Send us an owl: What are the most important lessons you have learned from Harry Potter?

There is one catch to all this, however. Junior Prefects and Prefects in the High Plains Library District are being run as pilot projects. In order to continue the discussions past February, we need to show that young witches and wizards are excited to gather once a month or more to talk about magic! Please sign up and tell your friends!

Carbon Valley meetings will take place on the first Tuesdays of the month, beginning December 6. Junior Prefects meet 4:30-5:30 p.m. Prefects meet 6:30-7:30 p.m.

8-11 year-olds: Register for Junior Prefects here.

12-17 year-olds: Register for Prefects here.

Erie Community Library meetings will take place on the second Tuesdays of the month, beginning December 13. Junior Prefects meet 4:30-5:30 p.m. Prefects meet 6:30-7:30 p.m.

8-11 year-olds: Register for Junior Prefects here.

12-17 year-olds: Register for Prefects here.

Are you a Jedi as well as a wizard? Register for Fandoms Unite: A Star Wars Story to share your excitement about Rogue One and all things Star Wars with fans your own age! The story begins on December 1 at 4 p.m. Register here. May the Force be with you!

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Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for event updates. From time to time, events open up for an expanded age group or new spaces are added. Don’t miss out on the magic! 

You can get more information and register for any High Plains Library District programs by calling 1-888-861-7323. 

What Is Geek Philosophy? Part 2: Slow Reading-Close Reading

The Grey Havens Group

As part of our ongoing series on the practice of Geek Philosophy, we are taking a look at our principle of Slow Reading-Close Reading.

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Geek Philosophy is inspired in part by the philosophy of Wolfgang Johann von Goethe. He believed that it is possible to get to know the world like you know a friend, through the development of intimacy over time. Let’s say that I have a friend named Luna. When Luna does something particularly characteristic of her unique self, I might say, “That’s SO Luna.” This suggests that, because I know Luna well, I can communicate a lot about who she is by pointing to one particularly telling moment in her life. Goethe called this the pregnant or poignant instance.

Goethe believed that we could find poignant instances in the lives of plants, animals, rivers, and rocks in the same way…

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“Where your treasure is…”

Imagine that you are tidying a room after a meeting and you find that what was left behind is actually treasure placed there for you to discover. Imagine that you hold another meeting, and another, and another, a meeting almost every week for four years and, every single time, new treasure is left behind. There is so much treasure that, when you spread it out across your living room floor, it is three layers thick. There is so much treasure that it would take almost another four years to sort through it all but you never do sort through it all because there is always a new piece that catches your eye and makes you go back to savor all the pieces you looked at before. Imagine that each piece is priceless and the pieces just keep coming.

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This is what life is like for Grey Havens YA facilitators because, every week during our book discussions, we give our participants markers, pencils, pens, and paper then let them go. They use the materials to illustrate discussion points, to express their wry humor and poignant dreams, to confidently create. From clever scribbles to detailed drawings that take more than one meeting to complete, they have left behind treasure in the form of small glimpses into their intricate minds. Creative and critical thinking, that’s what we’re all about. Astonishing ideas emerge during every Grey Havens YA book discussion. Not all of them are spoken.

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Send Us an Owl: Our photos don’t do justice to either the quality or abundance of art we receive from our YA members. Send us your own photos or, if you are a YA member, tell us about your favorite work of art from a Grey Havens YA meeting!

The Power of Stories like Star Wars

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Let the Wookie Read! It is so exciting to me that communities across the world get to connect the power of reading with the awe of Star Wars for the entire month of October. How will you celebrate? Let’s start by commenting below and sharing with us some of your favorite Star Wars stories told in print.

I think a lot of us here at Grey Havens understand the power of a good story. Some of our young and older adults, including yours truly, didn’t really like reading until we came across Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings. One good story was all it took to enlighten our minds and spark a passion for more. Star Wars can do that too. Because of Star Wars, countless families will go to libraries during the month of October and probably find new and exciting books to read, maybe for the first time.

Grey Havens celebrated on October 15th at Carbon Valley Regional Library in Firestone, Colorado. It was a delightful day of droid racing, light-saber making, dramatic readings from William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, Jedi-training, and more — including an Interactive Viewing of The Force Awakens after hours. It was wonderful to put our nerdy love of Star Wars to good use by engaging people in reading and community.

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Here at Grey Havens YA, a part of the Grey Havens Group, Inc, we do not separate “low” and “high” art, all art can be meaningful and inspire discussion. We take films, television shows, and YA novels as seriously as we’d take the work of Shakespeare. That’s why it was so fun to combine Shakespeare and Star Wars, to talk about the fictional Jedi and their unique way of life, and to have engage the imagination by interacting with a movie we all know and love.

If you want to learn more about Grey Havens, check out our parent website at GreyHavensGroup.org, and come visit us on Halloween. We love to host fun discussions and events for adults too, and we’re kicking off our adult programming with a Hobbit Halloween and Harry Potter DeathDay Party at our new adult venue: Local Editions in Longmont. Stop by  anytime between 6pm – 8pm for a flyer, some candy, and a chance to learn more about getting involved in this amazing and nerdy organization.
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What Is Geek Philosophy? Part 1: The First Rule

One of the trademarks of Grey Havens YA is our use of what we call “Geek Philosophy.” We’ve already talked about it a lot here with our young adults, but now we are sharing our method in short posts over at GreyHavensGroup.org’s website to help re-launch our adult programming. Take a look and get excited! #BoldlyThink

The Grey Havens Group

Geek Philosophy is our name for the holistic, Socratic method that our trained facilitators use to guide all of our book discussions. This series of short posts will present the ideas and techniques of Geek Philosophy, including how our discussions can help us to live thoughtful, examined lives. For an overview of the technique, take a look at this post on the blog for our young adult chapter, Grey Havens YA.

The first rule of Geek Philosophy is this:

Statements are propositions. Propositions are questions. Questions are more important to us than answers.

All of the discussions hosted by Grey Havens Group take the form of dialogues. “Dialogue” literally means through (dia) talking (logue). Our goal is for each participant to arrive at something new–an understanding or perspective–through talking but we have no wish to dictate the form that something will take. Through talking and listening in community, everyone gets something out…

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A Week in the Life of Grey Havens Group (and a tasty way to help)

This week, Grey Havens Group, Inc. has been very busy preparing for a fantastic fall that will include multiple book discussion groups for ages 8+, Star Wars programming, and more Harry Potter-style magic! We also taught facilitators to use a holistic, Socratic method to promote creative and critical thinking through the discussion of literature and popular culture. Tomorrow, we begin the new program year for Grey Havens YA by welcoming new members and including family members in a demonstration of the fun and enriching experience of our Fandoms Unite program. These are only some examples of the kinds of things we do every single week.

Please stop by Menchie’s Main Street Marketplace in Longmont tomorrow, August 27, between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., buy some frozen yogurt, and present this flyer so that Grey Havens will receive 20% of the price of your purchase. Something as simple as treating your family to froyo can help us to keep doing all that we do. Thank you!

Send Us an Owl:  While you’re at Menchie’s, create a froyo sculpture, take a photo, then tweet us or leave a comment in the Facebook announcement, and we’ll let the likes judge the winners! Thanks again, everyone and enjoy! 

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The Last Stand: Jim Kraven’s Diary #4

Círdan’s Note: Did you know that Grey Havens YA created its own roleplaying game called The Last Stand? In the game, our young adults (and leaders) get to play as any character they chose, some are original creations and others are personal takes on existing fictional characters. Our very own Jim Kraven (aka 145barbarian) is the group’s chronicler. He travels with his son Timmy as he journals about each gaming session to keeps us all up to speed. We’d like to share with you now the latest entry from Jim’s journal. Note that “limbo” refers to the times when we’ve stopped playing the game…our poor characters get stuck there a lot! 

When you support Grey Havens YA through our Saturday fundraiser at Menchies, you are helping us to continue to provide these young adults with the environment they need to be imaginative in community.  Be sure to read Jim’s latest diary before diving into this one, and check out the end of our post for the Menchies flyer and a FROYO Challenge. Enjoy!

Day 5

I wonder if anyone else here knows about Limbo. We’re all here, stuck frozen in place. Timmy is standing next to me. He looks like he’s about to cry. He can be such a baby some times. I should ask him why Limbo makes him cry. We all just gained these powers. Must be the GM’s (Game Masters) at work again.

Mango MemeWe’re all back now. Timmy’s crying. Calvin is here. He’s on a search for some quality content. Alas, he didn’t find anything. Everyone is doing their thing. We’re all still recovering from the Nightmare attack. Nova still isn’t back. He’s been gone a while. A small party is going out to go find supplies. And by a small party, the GM’s mean all of us. I threw Timmy up into a mango tree. He got some mangos! But he didn’t come back down. He can’t climb down, and I can’t climb up.

We can now read the book to summon the heavenly beings. We need to draw some symbols on the ground……I’m just gonna leave that to the rest of the group. Right now I have to get Timmy down. The two heavenly beings are here. But some rain and thunder followed. Shelter. We need shelter. There’s a cave. Somewhere. The rain is acid rain! We have to get to that cave! Good thing it isn’t far.

We all get there and Feather finds out the cave is incredibly deep. She also found a book tied to Bucky. Some sort of red book that alters Bucky’s mind. Bucky has the bunny though, so we aren’t going to read them yet. Bucky doesn’t want us to have the book. But we don’t want to destroy it. Feather is gonna hold onto it. It appears to be in Russian. Bucky sets down the bunny and goes after Feather’s backpack. Bucky’s aiming a sniper rifle at the backpack. Feather’s lute calms down Bucky. Duke Brilliance found bones rattling around deeper in the cave. The sounds are getting louder. They’re coming our way. They’re murderous. I grab Timmy and position him behind me. I tried to use my newly gained powers, but I still don’t have a handle on it. A couple of us are going to sneak around them. If we can get behind them, then we can have the advantage. I messed up. They noticed me and Feather. I left Timmy behind in the mango tree. He doesn’t need to be here during the fighting. Hopefully the tree protects him from the rain. I dodged it’s attack, then proceeded to hit it. There’s still all five skeletons. One of them lost an arm and a leg. One of the skeletons is dead. One of the skeletons hit Feather and dragged her back to the fight. She looks pretty bad.

We need to kill these skeletons. The skeletons are fighting back now. We can’t seem to kill them. Calvin’s sick roasts made the skeleton more powerful. Skeleton tears. Odd. They seem to heal them. I wonder if we can use that to heal ourselves. The skeletons hit Calvin back and he went down in one hit. He’s laying comatose in a lambo with a skeleton. I’m just watching right now. The skeletons are attacking everyone else. The demon fire flew over and hit us. There are only two skeletons left. The goddess of light is helping, but the dead skeletons are coming back to life. Bucky smashed the stone.

All the skeletons are dead now. Let’s see if our healer can be useful. The healer healed everyone. Calvin is out of his coma, but he isn’t looking good. A couple of us are pretty beat up. We’re gonna go deeper into the cave. At least, that’s what I thought. Everyone is freezing. Limbo is back. Timmy isn’t here still. I’ll write more tomorrow.

Send us an owl: What’s your favorite roleplaying game? 

And now for the promised FroYo Challenge! Visit Menchies in Longont this Saturday August 27th any time between 11am — 11pm and make a frozen yogurt sculpture! Tweet us or leave a comment in the Facebook announcement, and we’ll let the likes judge the winners! Make sure to present this printed flyer during your purchase so that Grey Havens can receive 20% of the proceeds. Thanks, everyone and enjoy! menchie's full pagejp