Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ron/Gregory notes - obnoxiously long

Hey all, Ron and I had a few hours to chat about VBA as we drove to Skeezers yesterday, and here are our notes. Some of them are responses, questions, etc to Christopher's notes, and others are just some ideas or thoughts or whatnot. Okay here we go.

The T-Rex attack - Wednesday? Friday? Ron has thought that the T-Rex attack was earlier in the week, and the kids had the decision to either fight or feed the T-Rex. Christopher's notes mentioned it happening on Friday and dealing with the sun-stone. Just throwing out the two scenarios, to see what everyone thought.

Skybax Training - Both inside (Plains) and outside (Treetown)? I think they can go and do their activities in either space, depending on what else needs to be done that day. Ron had thought about hanging the sky-chairs inside, but as long as they could be supported, outside would be fine. 
  --The three Skybax activities: 1-The skychairs, 2- A Balancing Game? kids walk across a 2x6" board on the floor while holding a spoonful of water? 3-a Story from the Shaman. 
The Shaman- a character who resides in the teepee in the Plains, near Canyon City. He gives an introduction to each of the training exercises for the skybax, and he is also a storyteller. He tells a story (based on something religious) that gives the skybax rider faith enough to climb.
**The Shaman also has the labyrinth with him in the teepee, which Dr. Kwas walks. Word.

The three Skybax activities are interchangeable per day. We are still up in the air as to how they will work schedulically (i made that word up). Perhaps each group meets with the skybax rider each day and they do something different. The kids only get the skybax token or patch or pin for their hats when they complete the skychairs - so this way, each group will get it on a different day. This is better for the hat ceremony, but more difficult for scheduling, because every activity will be done in a different order every day. Let us know what you think.


Based on all of the notes, etc, we were able to compile a tentative schedule for some of the days of the VBA.

Shipwreck through tunnel, enter into Dinotopia
Dinotopian Mayhem - as the kids enter Dinotopia, the world is alive with inhabitants, both humans and dinosaurs, going about their lives. The kids enter and can interact with any and all of the characters who are around. We may be able to see some of the principle characters doing something to attract attention, ie, Skybax rider or Lee Crabbe. After a few minutes of controlled chaos in Dinotopia, a trumpet sounds.
The Hatching - A trumpet signal calls all of the Dinotopians to gather in front of the Hatchery to watch the hatching of a new baby dinosaur. The kids come too. This is the first performance of the day - it only happens once and everyone witnesses the hatching. Then the groups split.
First rotation:
*Waterfall City - The first group heads to Waterfall to register their names in the Registry of new arrivals to Dinotopia. In the Library, they meet Nallab, who tells the kids about the Dinotopian language and alphabet. Here they get maps of the city, they decode the Code of Dinotopia (maybe each kid takes one line?) and they meet the Librarian/Time-keeper, a Dino puppet. They also meet Arthur Denison, a recently shipwrecked individual who is studying in the Library. The kids proceed to write or stamp their names into the Registry in Dinotopian (hence the learning of the language).
*Hatchery - Second group stays at the hatchery where they hear a story. The story is based on a parable but is missing a lot of the facts. If a miracle is performed, they don't know what it is, or what happened. Perhaps the doctor can argue with anything in the story that is not factual or scientific. Perhaps here they also learn a song. (We would like to make Music a part of the VBA organically and not "lets all stop for music class now") Perhaps this song is a lullaby for the new baby dinosaur. They learn about Dinotopian living, people and dinos together in peace, etc etc, and they witness either the doctor or some other Hatchery worker using the dino hand puppet with the new born.
*Skybax/Craft - The third group heads to the great plains to meet the skybax rider, and they learn about her and her quest, what a skybax is, etc. They are joined by the parade guild who helps the kids make their hats.
--Each group will rotate to all three stations and complete all three bits of thingies.
Then Snack - The Hatchery gathers all three groups together to eat and celebrate the birth of the new dinosaur. All the kids gather to eat together.
The kids split up again into their groups. 
-Arthur and Bix - the first group meets Arthur and Bix, and learn that Arthur wants to find something that will help the dinotopians live better. He has half of the key.
-Oriana - the second group meets Oriana, she wants to find the story behind something (??) and she hs the other half of the key.
-Lee Crabbe - the third group meets Lee Crabbe, a shady character who wants to get off the island, and maybe he can use the kids to help him.
The kids rotate to meet each of the three characters. They all then join back together. Hopefully someone will notice Oriana and Arthur's matching keys, and that they could help each other. The blow-off arrives when Arthur, Bix and Oriana agree to work together, and in comes Crabbe, saying that they must take him with them, because they have the missing piece to his map. He opens a scroll to reveal a drawing of the key. Underneath the key is a map to the world beneath, which he will only share with them if they take him along. And so the Denison Expedition is planned.
-The Hat Ceremony - All kids are present to receive their first hat decoration, in a "welcome to dinotopia" fashion. they leave their hats.
-Lesson - groups split up for lesson, not in Dinotopia (think Alice)

The kids enter through Waterfall City (and will from now on) and are brought to the Hatchery, where a sick dinosaur is delivered from Tree-town (Possibly we meet Norah here? Does she bring the sick dino?) We meet the sick dino. The kids split into groups for a rotation:
-Denison Expedition  - the kids start collecting what they need for the adventure. Possibly this section of the rotation is linear? The kids build off of what the group before them has done instead of re-doing the same activity?
-Skybax - training begins!
-Doctor - the third group, in the hatchery, attempts to help the baby dino through puppets, etc.
After each group has visited all three areas, they are brought together.
Dinotopia Olympics:
The kids are brought outside for the opening ceremonies. Dinos and humans perform juggling, fire dancing, etc, and welcome the kids. They then partake in snack (tables and vendors with breads and fruits, etc) and games and contests in small groups.
They are all brought together again and split into two teams, one for each of the joust champions. They do a maypole to decorate the lances of their champion. The champions enter and joust around the track for the rings. We get kids involved to be flag bearers and ring-holders for each champion. Maybe a crowd warmer gets the kids cheering for their champion?
-Hat Ceremony - still all together at the end of the games, the kids receive a token in the colors of their champion for their hats.

Plot breakdowns:
The Denison Expedition:
Monday - The Expedition is planned (see above). 
Tuesday - The groups participate in research, packing, and gathering supplies, information and equipment so that they can proceed on the trip. 
Wednesday - The group enters the Rainy Basin, making their way through the "maze" (no dead ends, just a curvy, back and forth space) and they reach the ruins, but can go no farther. T-Rex attack?
Thursday - The expedition enters the world beneath, where they see the rock formation illusion and the sunstone. The group leaves, leaving Crabbe behind. "He'll follow them and be up in a minute." 
Friday - The revelation that Crabbe has taken the sunstone. T-Rex attack? The story ends.

The Skybax Rider:
Monday - Introduction (see above)
Tuesday - Training
Wednesday- Training
Thursday - Training. Thursday ends with a full group performance of the skybax taking its first flight.
Friday - the Skybax rider climbs to the top of the silks (only part of the way up for the flight?) to meet with the Adult Skybax up in the rafters. She is moving up to the next level of training. Yay!

Dr. Kwas and Sick Dino:
Monday - Meet Dr. Kwas
Tuesday - The sick dino is brought to the Hatchery (in the morning, full performance). They try to find a cure. Possibly the kids make their dino hand puppets in attempt to rouse the sick dino with familiar stimulus, but it doesnt work :(. Maybe some research here, the start of looking for the cure?
Wednesday - The search for the cure takes the Doctor and the children to Treetown, where he meets Norah, the Treetown lady. She teaches him to slow down and be humble, to seek peace, but beating his butt in a quarterstaff duel.
Thursday - The hunt for the cure takes the Doctor to the Shaman, who makes him walk the Labyrinth. Perhaps there is a story here? 
Friday - the cure is found in the edges of the Rainy Basin, and the dino is revived and healthy enough to attend the parade. Whether the healing itself is an all group performance or happens three times is up in the air.

Christopher: As far as a unified theme goes, Ron and I were thinking about centering around the parade. None of the main characters are going to go, because they have nothing to celebrate. Throughout the journey, each of the characters journeys lead them to celebrate faith, and they all join in the parade with a new-found sense of joy and celebration (except for Crabbe - he's a lost cause).

I apologize for the length and un-organized-ness of these notes. Hope to see you all soon!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

CWM Notes

Who let Shana write the intro? Anyway: I've been throughing my notes around rather vigorously trying to find a way where everyone can read them. Here they are in all their unedited glory.

Tentpole- An event that all groups are able to witness. Usually involves a performance more than participation, though this is not always the case.

Major Tentpoles:
Shipwreck (Mon)
All the kids are gathered into the hallway by the kitchen. The hallway is covered in black fabric. The children are asked to close their eyes and the story of the shipwreck is told with sound effects. They are asked to play along.

Hatching (Mon)
Introduction to the island and its inhabitants. In keeping with the book and the general idea of journey, beginning with birth is a good idea (also establishes Dinos as cute, provided we don’t do Jurassic Park and hatch a raptor- that’s a creepy baby dino) This will also be our introduction to the doctor (who I really hope will not be named Kwas). Possibly to the sick Dino but we might want to save that for Tuesday.

Skybax sent from the great plains (Mon)
Skybax rider is sent on a quest until she finds something she can trust, until she can take to the skies without fear.

The Denison Expedition is planned (Mon)
Arthur, Orianna, Bix and Crabbe decide to seek the world beneath, Arthur is hoping to find technologies and things to help the dinotopians live better. Orianna is seeking some meaning to (a story shard? The origins of the parade?). Crabbe wants a way off the island and likes Arthur’s ideas. Bix just likes an adventure.

Dinosaur Olympics (Tuesday)
Competition that is not destructive. Cooperation in contest. Takes place in Treetown and is our first introduction to this local.

Sick Dino (Tuesday)
Baby Found ill at a location (treetown?), brought to the hatchery for help. Doctor is called. That mission begins.

Quarterstaff Duel (Wed?)
The doctor is taught to slow down and to be a bit more humble.

First Flight (Thur)
The Skybax rider takes her future partner for his first flight. She climbs the silk to achieve this.

The sunstone is lost (Fri)
The Denison expedition has come out of the world beneath. Denison has new perspective and Orianna discovered a reason to celebrate at the parade (familial connections ala book?). Crabbe discovered the sunstone and, though he earlier agreed he would not, has taken it from the world beneath and hopes it will be a source of power to either enslave the dinos or get him off the island or some other nefarious purpose. In the rainy basin, Crabbe’s greed and treachery is revealed. A rex attacks, the sunstone must be let go and left with the Rex if we are to escape alive. (Dad, if you read this think the end of "Pirates of God") Crabbe is chastened and the expedition realises that the sunstone was never a worthy goal, whereas a quest for knowledge and faith was. (Light metaphor?)

Healing (Fri)
The Doctor manages to mixes something to help the baby dino, he is fit enough to be in the parade.

Parade (Fri)
Yippee, I love a parade

Things that happen daily:
Hat Ceremony-
At the end of every day before closing prayer each group has their own hat ceremony. Each child is called up and given a charm or something to hang on their hat in honor of their good deeds for the day and then they hang up their hat.
Key Sayings-
There are sayings that are repeated by different characters that help drive home the ideas we want the kids to remember. For example: "Breath. Have Faith" It teaches the kids to take a moment and have faith in difficult moments. Bix says it during the T-Rex attack. Someone says it to Emily when she is afraid to climb to the top. Norah says it to Dr. Kwas when he is in a rush to grab the herbs.
Things for the parade on Friday-costumes, hats, wings, banners, noisemakers

Three major plotlines
-The Doctor-
Search for a cure is also a search for humility and love, without love there is no healing.
This trip will take him from the hatchery to waterfall city (recipe search) to treetown (quarterstaff duel), to the great plains (labyrinth) and then into the rainy basin (finding the medicinal leaves, rex attack?) to find the medicine he needs. Through this process he will learn the story of the peacemaker healing someone (lazarus?)

-Denison Expedition-
Four people (Orianna, Arthur Denison, Lee Crabbe, Bix the Protoceratops) will try to find the entrance to the world beneath and uncover a new perspective on the world. This will take them through Waterfall City (searching for Orianna and her key), through the rainy basin (facing a Rex attack, negotiating ruins), into the world beneath (seeing the stilagmite, discovering the sunstone, and the vision chamber?) and back again. Through this process they will learn the story of the Peacemaker’s resurrection.
"The golden age (i.e. the kingdom of heaven) is not a future goal, it is here and now and dwells in you, a current position of service and love."

-Skybax rider-
Must face her fear and trust in God in order to fly. This is embodied in her need to help her future skybax partner take his first flight. She must figure out a way to get high enough to show her fearlessness. Her journey will take her from the great plains to waterfall city (seeking her story) to treetown (skybax training) back to the great plains where she climbs the silks. Through the process she learns the story of the Peacemaker and his friend walking on water in the storm.

The major issue I'm dealing with is the lack of a single plot line. It would be helpful if we had all three linked some how and that the kids were aware (as in Rome or Egypt) of one major goal that they were working towards . So, ponder in your heads and I will see Jersey in a week.