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Gazette 3 – On stories, games, and place

Gazette 3 – On stories, games, and place

Please forgive the splash of water
Quite stormy the swells were that brought her
But Olivia the sea turtle is now here
As she was the first to volunteer
To bring you this news of our college
Of the Owl that went rogue
This way to gain even more knowledge
And the special person with whom we spoke.

Stories are strange creatures, moving in intricate ways and with a timing all their own. The tales my creatures bring to your doorstep do not necessarily follow a chronological order, nor is their importance perhaps always clear or apparent at first sight, and the intervals at which they occur may seem whimsical at best.

But always is there a form of reason to the rhymes.

For stories – new tales and old myths – always find ways to seep into memory, to anchor themselves to thoughts and imagination, to become incorporated into flesh, whispered within the wind, or woven into braids of someone’s hair.

The words my familiars bring to you – and which they often embellish with a small touch of their own nature – are not simply mine: while I spin tales of what I have observed and learned and gathered and heard and have been told, these tales are played by my colleagues, the Players (past, present, and future) of the Games, characters enacted and histories engaged. But perhaps more importantly they are played by you: each story a game for you to discover, to connect to, to create new relations, to disregard, or disagree with, to deem foolish, to simply acknowledge, or to be taken to heart; every reaction is a move within a game.

Thus I would like to invite you to play, to take the game of storytelling and story-listening seriously and thus become a serious part of the story yourself. Become aware of the moves you are already making within the games that are at play. Whether you have taken to Olivia, perhaps fed her a leave of lettuce, angrily brushed away the water that brought her, or had already forgotten her existence, know that my familiars never travel without a story to tell and that I await Olivia’s return eager to learn of your next move.

Settling into a Place

Learning always takes place in a certain context. And while that context for Buckminster College is for a large part an elaborate dream of ideals, images of potential futures, flying castles, ardent research, and abstract structures and ideas, it is also importantly very concrete. The Governance and initiators of the college have chosen Bruges as the stage so to speak, but rather than a mere backdrop the city will play an active role within the school and games of Buckminster College. And the other way around we have every intent to play an active role within the city ourselves as well.

And what to do when one wants to establish a remarkable position within a place? A first step is to contact the caretaker. And so our principle, provost, and philosopher visited the mayor of Bruges Mr. Dirk de Fauw and offered their friendship. And after an engaging hour they left again with the promise that he would be there at the opening of our very first building (the stones of which have not settled into a place as of yet but are becoming a little more defined with every turn of our travels).

The Owl

Many of you have by now met our Buckminster owl as he brings news, establishes order, and regulates many of the ongoings of our flying campus. It has appeared though that no matter how well trained familiars, mascots, colleagues, or companions (the role of our Owl has not yet received one specific title) are, sometimes they go rogue.

Our owl took it upon himself to take the Players of The Ravens’ Bead Theorem under his wings, bring them into the castle while the faculty was unaware, so that the Players had the chance to learn more of the secrets of Erica and her beads. However, even when they think they are unobserved my colleagues proofed to be just as enigmatic as they are during their sessions, so if this particular excursion into the castle was much help in discovering the mysteries of ravens and colours and beads, has yet to be determined. Nevertheless the story grew with all these new observations.

The Tour

The school project of Buckminster College is ever growing and developing further – sometimes imperceptibly slow, at other times in giant leaps (though not always yet ready to be shared). If you are interested in the possibilities of the school, the potential, the process of growth, and how you, or your children can be involved in it,  you can already join a tour. While the stones thus have yet to settle into a place, the first steps of the trail are ready for you to get acquainted with at https://www.buckminstercollege.org/edu/acquaintance-tour/tour/