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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!

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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Keeping up with Grey Havens!

Hello, awesome Grey Havens followers, supporters, fans, and families!

Have you been a bit nervous about all these crickets chirping on GreyHavensYA.com? Never fear! We are currently in the process of revamping both of our websites, and that means a little silence here and there. The best place to find GreyHavensYA updates, photos, and fun stuff is at Facebook.com/GreyHavesnYA and @GreyHavensYA on Twitter.

Grey Havens YA is just one branch of The Grey Havens Group, Inc, a local nonprofit. Our organization’s website has migrated to GreyHavensGroup.org. Please check it out, but be aware that we are still tinkering. You can find all Grey Havens Group, Inc news at Facebook.com/GreyHavensGroup and @GreyHavensGroup on Twitter. There will be a lot of news coming about trainings, events, new discussion series, and more! Make sure you find us on social media and email us at greyhavensgroup@gmail.com or greyhavensya@gmail.com if you have any further questions.

Coming up this month:

  1. Geek Philosophy Star Trek Edition TODAY (Friday, August 11th) at Carbon Valley Regional LIbrary. Doors open at 5:30pm and the movie starts at 6pm. We’ll be watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and having a fabulous discussion afterward. Free and open to all!
  2. Grey Havens YA will be presenting two panels at MALCon this Saturday, August 12th! Coping with Character Deaths at 12pm and Youth in Fandom Culture at 3pm. See you there!
  3. Grey Havens will be hosting a Menchie’s Fundraiser on August 27th! We will be sharing the flyers as soon as we receive them. Make sure to take a flyer to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Longmont on Saturday August 27th. It’s going to be great!

And now, we’d like to share a few photos from what we’ve been up to all summer…

Our main sumer project has been Hogwarts Preparatory Academy, a summer camp for 50 young witches and wizards ages 8-11. We hope you enjoy just a few of these photos, and visit our Facebook pages for more.

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Mischief managed!

Send us an owl: What favorite nerdy thing did you do this summer?

WordPress Helper Monkeys to Hold You Over…

Hello fans and followers of Grey Havens YA! We are in the midst of writing an amazing year-in-review post, but we are also swamped with magical to-do’s as we get ready for tomorrow’s #YuleBall2016. December has been quite a month and 2015 quite a year! Thank you for all of your support and excitement.

We are thrilled to kick off 2016 with the Yule Ball. Make sure you keep an eye on our blog and our Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout and after the ball and for our 2015 review post coming soon after that. We may even post some updates from our very-last-Yule-Ball-shopping-trip today…stay tuned to social media and watch for the hashtag #YuleBall2016.

You are all awesome! In the meantime, here’s this super cool WordPress-generated review to hold you over:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Make Your Own Fantasy Art at Geek Fair 2015!

You can be a fantasy artist at Geek Fair 2015!

The Grey Havens Group

So far, you have been introduced to the creativity of two of our guests at the Upcoming Geek Fair 2015, part of the Longmont Museum’s Cultural Resources Fair, but now we are here to announce an opportunity to tap into your own creativity! The talented and personable Nate Doyle of the Colorado Miniature Painters Alliance will be hosting a Make-and-Take Miniatures Table! You can create a vivid work of art like this and the best thing is that it will be yours to keep forever!

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The CMPA is a group of miniature painting enthusiasts from around the state of Colorado. They run painting workshops at some of the local conventions and have regular meetups where they paint and learn from each other. They love to paint, they love to teach, and they love new people. They can be found on Facebook and their website.

All of the beautifully detailed miniatures in…

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The Stuff of Myths and Legends at Geek Fair!

We are honored to announce that one of our special guests at Geek Fair on September 20 will be Myths and Legends Con! Please help us to spread the word and don’t forget your cosplay!

The Grey Havens Group

Here it is, geeks of Boulder County and beyond! Today, we are announcing our very first special guests at Geek Fair 2015, part of the Longmont Museum’s Cultural Resources Fair on September 20 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.. It’s the magical folk of Colorado’s Myths and Legends Con (MALCon)!

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The Grey Havens Group loves the intimate but incredibly celebratory geek experience that you get at MALCon each year. This year, Grey Havens Group member, Stant Litore, was one of the convention’s special guest authors and looking at these gorgeous photos from the recent con is like playing spot the Grey Havens Group/Grey Havens YA member!

MALCon2015_0023_zpshvp7jfyt A Grey Havens YA member unites two fandoms at MALCon 2015!

Of course, MALCon attracts geeks from all around the galaxy, not just from GHG. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with like-minded fans at an annual event where the focus is on “our modern myths…

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