December 7: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris) This year I feel as if I truly discovered my daughter’s school community; Laurel is in first grade but I feel as if kindergarten was spent feeling out new relationships and getting over the general freak out and adjustment pains associated with the day care to elementary school transition. Before we moved to our current town we lived in a (somewhat uppity) town where our day care seemed largely comprised of double income families where parents were always in a rush at day care drop off and pick up, and, save a few exceptions, people barely knew each other and didn't seem to care to get to know one another. I found it truly bizarre.
I’m not sure whether it’s the socio/ethnic diversity factor, the fact that there’s a much wider range of parent/professional arrangements (stay at home parents, work at home parents, traditional office workers, etc.), or that our kids are getting older and people have realized how important it is for parents to be in touch, but the sense of community is wonderful. We have developed a fantastic network of families at Laurel’s school – where the parents and kids alike are delightful to hang out with -- and we all have saved each other’s butts at some point with pick ups or play dates or what have you. It’s about the closest we’ve got to a village.
As I wrote about in my first #reverb10 post, my word for 2011 is renewal, and part of that involves creative/professional renewal. While I’m hugely grateful for the community I have in the parenting space (and I'll continue to nurture those relationships), in 2011 I would like to connect with the design community. Though I work on design projects daily, I feel very much at the fringe of this community and have often thought that being in touch more regularly with other designers and craftspeople would both expose me to beauty and creativity (because one can never have enough beauty and creativity in life) and inspire me to greater creative heights. I’m super excited about Alt Summit, and hope that this conference will serve as the springboard for developing this community.