J’ai décidé d’écrire cet article en anglais, désolée par avance les français qui passent par ici !
- Long Story Short
A few months ago, I have got in touch with Brockwood Park School thanks to the help of a staff member.
Brockwood was created in 1969 by J. Krishnamurti. The very aim of this school was to embody another type of teaching. For the record, Krishnamurti was an incredible thinker, his talks are known worldwide. He was famous for his books and dialogues about life, education and humankind. He inspired many contemporary philosophers. To embody his teachings, he created schools, one in California, several in India – where he was born – and one in Britain. He bought Brockwood in 1969 thanks to a friend of his who donated funds to achieve great purposes. Funny thing about Brockwood: it was bought for £40,000 which was huge at the time and John Lennon also wanted to purchase the place but when he acknowledged that K. was about to buy it, he let him do so.
- My arrival
I arrived on Sunday, July 16th. The weather was nice and I was happy to be there. I entered the place with a former staff member who welcomed me and showed me my room. I had some time to rest and relax. I met everyone at Tea Time. We were all there for the Work Party.
What is a Work Party? Well, it’s when people spontaneously come to a place – like Brockwood – to help, restore and improve its current situation. In return, the accommodation and the food are free.
- My interests: Why did I choose to come?
Brockwood is unique. It’s a place where students, staff members and teachers live. As a teacher, I wanted to discover new teaching techniques and what teaching could be.
That week wasn’t really an insight into Brockwood’s student life because all students were on holidays. However, I’ve met teachers and former students who shared their experience with me. It was quite interesting and challenging because here, in France, where I work, things are really different. We don’t live with the students. They reject school most of the time and they always end up frustrated. On the contrary, Brockwood provides strong relationships, reinforces them and challenges them in a way that no other school does.
- Daily Routine
When we were in Brockwood we had to respect the schedule because the days needed to be efficient enough.
7 a.m. We gathered in the Assembly Hall for a quiet meeting. We would sit on the floor or on chairs and we’d share a quiet moment before the activities could start.
7.15 a.m. Breakfast!!! We’d choose between organic cereals or homemade bread. I used to have mixed cereals and some seeds every day. I’d eventually cut one apple and a half banana. It was great to start the day.
7.45 a.m. Morning Jobs would start. Basically, we had to clean the place within half an hour. I did the rota every morning with some other people. The Rota Dream Team. That was my feeling about it
8.15 a.m. We started our real jobs. I did the cooking all week, chopping veggies, roasting potatoes, washing lettuce or icing a cake. It was quite a thing since I’d never experienced cooking for so many people before. We’ve been eating vegetarian food all week long. A lot of vegetables came from the school garden and food supplies were mainly organic.
13.15 Lunch Time: talk to each other, share experiences, and enjoy the food.
13.45 Rota time.
15.00 K. Time. Dialogue. Dialogues are essentials in Krishnamurti’s teachings. They allow people to communicate. First, we would read a text or listened to Krishnamurti. Then, we shared our thoughts/feelings about it. Sometimes, I wasn’t in the mood, so I would just listen to the others. But I think that listening is also a great deal because without listening there is no communication. I’ve learnt a lot about ego during these times.
16.30 Tea Time.
17.00 Activities. A lot of different activities were proposed during the week but it was difficult to attend to all of them. I enjoyed a Qi Cong session in the front yard which gave me lots of energy. I also learnt a lot from an informal lecture about Alexander’s technique. A nice couple showed us and shared their experience of wildlife. Now, I also want to get to know nature in a more detailed way.
Finally, we would have dinner and it was generally followed by some activities such as intuitive games or a lecture on vitamin D which was ground-breaking. Maybe, I’d talk about it in another article.
I’d love to go back there during the school year to discover how students live and study there. I have learnt to share great moments with people I didn’t know anything about. It was odd to find similarities between me and the others whereas we were very different.
Some of us.
I wish you all the best!
See You !