Freedom and Responsibility

(Year 5, Week 4)

Smart Goals

The week kicked off with heroes listening to a launch about goal setting. One of the toughest things to do is to set goals and go after those goals full speed ahead. The heroes agreed that sometimes it feels easy to decide on the goal they want to hit but in reality, it is very difficult to always meet the end goal.

That is why the measurable component of the SMART goal is valuable and should be taken into high consideration. Part of being a responsible hero is learning to trust oneself and work towards big goals. In the Discovery studio, this is where they learn to scratch the surface. The idea behind love of learning is so deeply rooted in the studio that it is talked about non stop when setting goals.

They talked deeply about what happens when they don’t hit goals and they brought up that sometimes it feels easier to just lie instead of be honest. They had a discussion about what it means to be on a hero’s journey and why lying can sometimes feel like it is an easier option. Change cannot come without vulnerability and the heroes were incredibly vulnerable. They agreed that if a goal can be easily measured then there is less fear when they don’t reach that goal.

What does it mean to set a goal?

Is it smart to chase after things we love doing?

Is it also smart to do hard things in order to get to the things we love?

These are all questions the heroes wrestle with and are a big part of helping point the heroes to new ideas, new goals and new possibilities. The heroes ended the launch with being challenged to face a challenge while simultaneously, chasing a dream they love.

Studio Contract

The heroes are nearing the end of the first session. At exhibition next week they will be celebrating the signing of their Rules of Engagement and their Studio Contract. Over the last four weeks the heroes have been working together to add and take things off of their contracts. Most of the launches have centered around the terms;

“Being a kind neighbor.”

“Practicing the Golden Rule”

“Treating my body and others with respect.”

“Always doing my best work.”

To name a few. It is exciting to watch their eyes light up when they come up with a new contract promise and all vote on practicing using it throughout the day. Heroes Academy would not work without the contracts. They are sacred and the heroes hold them up with incredible respect.

Once the heroes sign their contract, they are set to run and use for the rest of the year. While the first session can definitely feel a little chaotic at times, it is all completely necessary. It is important for the heroes to build out a contract that they believe in and respect. It is important for the contract to be their creation. During session one they are challenged to talk deeply and openly about what they expect out of themselves and what they expect out of their community. Once the contract is signed, the heroes know that they have agreed to uphold their contract and use the contract to keep the community as sacred as possible.

As one hero put it,


The guide shared the following Ode with a few of the heroes who were struggling to find words.

It's a year almost that I have not seen her:
Oh, last summer green things were greener,
Brambles fewer, the blue sky bluer.

It's surely summer, for there's a swallow:
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken.

Oh happy swallow whose mate will follow
O'er height, o'er hollow! I'd be a swallow,
To build this weather one nest together.- Christina Rossetti

When the guide asked the heroes what they believed the Ode was about. They all chimed in and said, “birds! Of course it is about birds.” They then went on to talk about how they really loved the descriptive word choices that were used.

The guide then asked,

The four heroes who were struggling raced off to find a dictionary and thesaurus. They all agreed that the short poem opened their eyes to new words and the possibility to use metaphors in a deeper way. Most of the heroes in the studio kept bringing up the fact that they felt their poems were too short and didn’t have a lot of fun detail. One hero had described feeling as though her poem wasn’t as deep as she wanted it to be.

Over the next hour the four heroes crammed around a giant dictionary and found some of their favorite words that they added to their poems;

It was quite the sight to see them transfixed on the dictionary and trying to come up with ways to add the words into their poetry.


The heroes deeply enjoyed learning more about Picasso this session. Below is some of the art work that they have got to learn more about:

Weeping Woman 1937
Two Girls Reading 1934
Old Guitarist 1904

The guide shared her experience living in Picasso’s birthplace of Malaga, Spain. She told them stories of how the town celebrates him, his work and his legacy. She told tales of the museum in his honor and the studio his family dedicates to his work. Many of the budding artists in the studio wanted more details on how they could one day, have their very own museum!

During the session, the heroes learned about the ups and downs of Picasso and how his art changed throughout the years. This created a spark within the studio. They really grasped that he did not start out as some brilliant artist. When they were shown paintings from his childhood, many realized they resembled a lot of their work. This quest was a reminder that anyone can become great. The difference, though, sometimes has to do with old fashioned luck but most of the time it has to do with finding a calling, getting a mentor like Picasso did and working every single day at the craft one wants to excel in.

Studio Maintenance

The week ended on a bit of a serious note. Studio Maintenance. The heroes had a tough time during the week with keeping the studio a sacred place. Usually SM is a tough conversation. Sometimes the heroes are so busy having fun, working on projects and just living in the moment that clean up can be tough. However, it is a huge part of keeping the studio as sacred as possible.

During Town Hall the heroes devised a plan to keep themselves accountable and to make sure that the squad leaders aren’t the only ones keeping the studio clean.

It is now part of the system that the heroes cannot go out until personal maintenance was picked up. On Friday it was the first time they missed morning break time but by the end of the day heroes could be seen keeping themselves accountable. Sometimes all it takes is a little failure to remember what is important.


The heroes really dove deep into goal setting this week. They had an honest conversation around failure and lying that helped some heroes turn around their mindset on tracking. They got to travel the world through the eyes of Picasso and they discovered one of the world’s best kept secrets…The Dictionary. It was a huge hit in the studio and a few heroes think they should be able to choose it as their Badge Book. They hit some failure with studio maintenance and in true hero fashion, they rose up to the challenge and worked hard to get it right the second time around.