J attended his second session (second year) of Not Back to School Camp last week. The first time he said it was "the best experience of my life". This year he said it was even better. He came back initially quiet, processing, but then wanting to talk about everything. He is almost manic in his excitement about the possibilities for his life. He is focused. And while he is always thoughtful, the thoughtfulness is pouring out of him right now.

Last night I stayed up way past my bedtime to talk with him (and N was included in some of this) about:

-Being a good guest in someone's home, what that entails; not taking for granted that things are done a certain way, not making assumptions; always asking to be sure. Also how to be a good host: be honest about your needs and expectations, don't assume the guest knows how you want things done.

-The power of making one's own place in the world; of autonomy in decision-making and the actual doing. Of how our culture's social and economic systems are set up to in some ways oppose that and keep it from happening.

 -What he would like his personal living space to be like. The materials and design for individualized functionality and how they create security and comfort (not to mention being practical.)

 -Working out how to make the money he needs to do what he wants in the coming year. What's possible. Getting employment, making money, saving money, volunteering for experience.

-The deeply logical process of some video games; learning logic through gaming. The value of video game "zoning out" -- frees up the mind to wander and think -- alpha brain waves.

That's the more heady stuff. We also talked about who his favorite people were at camp and why; his favorite parts of camp; and how the running of the camp is structured and what role the campers play in that. He joked around and did some funny voices and worked for a while on trying to imitate N's voice (he is really good at voices.) He played piano and talked about his personal process of learning to play, how that works. We watched some cleverly funny YouTube videos with N. He did exercises to strengthen his legs (while talking.) Finally I had to excuse myself to go to sleep but I have no doubt that if I'd stayed we would have ended up talking into the wee hours of the morning!