Can “Truth or Dare” Really Be a Study Technique?!

Did you ever play Truth or Dare when you were younger? Perhaps you play it now?

Recently a client of mine gleefully reported a fun study game that she and her study buddy made up while they were doing homework the other night. It wasn’t quite Truth or Dare (it was actually pretty G-rated), but it was super creative. Not only did she have a lot of fun studying her Spanish vocabulary, but she learned a lot too!

Tune into the video to hear me describe my client’s version of Truth or Dare for studying… and let me know if you try it, too!

Hey, don’t have time for the full video? I’ve got your covered, here’s a quick summary.

I’m always intrigued by the many wonderful ways my clients can surprise me with new and exciting ways to study. I have one client who was telling me last week about how she and her study buddy came up with a little game. She didn’t refer to it as such, but it was reminiscent of Truth or Dare.

Gretchen Wegner | The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying | Study | "Truth or Dare" |

As I said, my client has a study buddy, and so they were both studying for their Spanish class, which they are in together, and they decided to have a sort of race. They agreed that whoever could learn the flash cards the fastest, and do the best on their mock exam, could ask the other to “do” something – thus the truth or dare aspect. In this case, my client won and got to read one of her study buddies poems, which she didn’t usually get to read.

This is an amazing example of making studying Anti-Boring. I can’t promise to make school fun, but I can certainly make it anti-boring. So if you want to find out about more awesome tips and tricks check out the Anti-Boring to Powerful Studying.

College Prep Podcast #138: Safe, Fun & Life Changing Adventure Travel Trips for Teens

Gretchen Wegner | Megan | Claire Perrone | Adventure Travel | Teen | Teens | Moondance Adventures | students |

This week on the College Prep Podcast with Gretchen Wegner and her co-host Megan Dorsey:

Ever considered adventure travel as an interesting summer option for your teen?

There are many companies that take teens on cool trips around the world and build their life and leadership skills, to boot.

On today’s podcast, we interview an expert in the field of adventure travel. Claire Perrone, of Moondance Adventures, started off as a 12-year-old on her first Moondance adventure. Since then, she has transitioned from the role of student to a leader to Community Service Director; so she can speak about adventure travel for teens from a few different perspectives. Specifically, she, Megan and Gretchen discuss:

  • What is adventure travel?
  • What are the benefits to students of participating in these types of trips?
  • How can you tell if your child is ready for this type of experience?
  • What should parents look for when finding the right trip for their child?
  • How is a Moondance trip different from the hundreds of other travel opportunities?
  • What is the affordability of adventure travel trips?

Moondance is a teen adventure travel company based in Nashville, TN. They offer 25 awe-inspiring summer programs for high school aged students, domestically and abroad. Check them out on their website or their popular Instagram feed.

Click here to tune into the podcast and learn more about adventure travel.

Danger! InterPlay Now in San Francisco

Gretchen Wegner and Randy Newsanger
Gretchen Wegner and Randy Newsanger

Next month my new InterPlay class with Randy debuts in San Francisco. Heed this warning:

InterPlay is designed to unlock the wisdom of the body.

But unlocking the wisdom of the body is DANGEROUS!

Why? Because if you uncover what you really know, if you trust it, and then if you act on it: it will CHANGE your life.

Of course, life transformation doesn’t happen all at once. Thank goodness. Change sneaks up over time. That’s why we call the processes “sneaky deep.”

What we really do in InterPlay is have a lot of fun together. We tell stories, move our bodies, free our voices, play with physical contact, and share stillness.

And somehow all that fun, connection, and reflection turns into — gasp! drum roll please!! — personal transformation. At whatever level is perfect for you. For example, I found more boldness and freedom to be myself.  Others discovered:

  • More comfort in public speaking and self expression.
  • A recovered sense of play in daily life.
  • Greater ability to embrace spontaneity
  • More ease connecting with others
  • Permission to relax & reflect
  • Practical tools to deal with overwhelm and stress

InterPlay is hard to describe, but easy to do. It’s not for everybody. But it might just be for you. Try it and see! For more information about the new San Francisco class starting Monday, August 10th, go to www.interplaysanfrancisco.org

To read others’ perspectives on how this subversive practice changes lives, here are a few additional resources:

P.S. Big thanks to Dorothy for the tweet that inspired this blog entry.

P.P.S. The delightful-and-dangerous Randy Newswanger is my partner-in-crime. Come to InterPlay in SanFrancisco and you’ll get to play with the two of us.

Intergenerational Healing


The following post is written by Cynthia Winton-Henry, co-founder of InterPlay.  Every Monday she sends out a morning email, and this week it was so sweet, I just had to share.  There are so many applications for the InterPlay philosophies and practices.  Soyinka Rahim’s intergenerational work is yet another crucial example of how InterPlay bridges the divide of difference (in this case age) — and gives people a common way to play.  Here are Cynthia’s words:

In an intergenerational, multicultural InterPlay session, Soyinka Rahim led five adults and five children in a warm up.

We squirmed and delighted in moving each body part. There was a mom who had lost her hair due to chemo for breast cancer, her two creative, home-schooled kids, a grandma in her seventies who loves to dance and her two shy grandkids – a boy two years old carrying a toy truck and his sister. There was a single mom whose first grade daughter was wrapped around her mom seventy percent of the time, and there was me. Everyone enjoyed moving. The two year old wanted to watch.

Following Soyinka, we reached out our arms then wrapped them around ourselves. As we hugged ourselves Soyinka said, “Just say to yourself ‘I love you. I love you. I love you. Like a chant.” As I did it myself, I watched the moms and grandma with eyes closed, sway, and say those words. They weren’t trying to say them. They knew that this was important work for them, too.

We moved and played as a group for an hour and half. By the end the littlest and shyest child, the one who was allowed to watch, was dancing and asking people to talk in funny voices as we passed a dragon puppet and used weird voices as we said, “Thank you very much for coming!” As we blew bubbles and thanked Soyinka for leading this class, I thought, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Is the golden rule. In this session we got to do both, and all ages became more than neighbors. We became friends.

(More information: Multigenerational Play with Soyinka in Oakland – 1st Saturdays of the Month at InterPlayce, 10am-noon)

Wreck This Journal Week One

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqV_SURZVXg]

Welcome to Week One of The Next Chapter: Wreck This Journal.

I’m completely and utterly thrilled to be participating in a creative book brigade with Jamie Ridler and  a whole crew of amazing bloggers.  This summer we’re “reading” — Ahem!  Perhaps it’s more accurate to say we’re “destroying” — the book Wreck This Journal.

Watch me as I destroy this beautiful book — this morning I go at it with coffee stains, orange juice, and a smashed flower.

It’s also my first attempt to Video Blog (otherwise known as vlogging).  I have to say, the idea of Vlogging is so-completely-wonderfully in line with the whole Wreck This Journal philosophy.

See, this summer we’ll be playing around with creativity as a process of messing things up! Imperfection! Chaos! Disaster! Destruction!

And those of us who vlog are trusting ourselves to make it up on the spot while the video is running. Talk about potential for disaster! I guess I could edit out the bad parts, but there’s something delicious about sharing myself and my ideas in all their rawness, imperfection, and chaos.

In fact, if you watched the video, you’ll undoubtedly notice that it ended abruptly.  Totally accidental. And totally perfect. My final words were something like, “In InterPlay we start things, we mess them up, and we find a way to end–”

This summer, I invite you to do this process along side me.  Start something! Mess it up! And then find an ending! (Even if that means allowing the ending to find you).

Wrecklessly yours,

Gretchen

What the Heck Is InterPlay?!

So, I do this thing called InterPlay. And it’s kinda hard to explain exactly what it is.  People still scratch their heads and say “huh?” when I try to describe it.

Officially speaking, it’s an active, creative approach to unlocking the wisdom of the body.  Sounds great to me! But there are tons of people out there who have no idea what this means.

So, I’m devoting the summer to this problem: How do I describe InterPlay so that people get it!?

Why Do I Care About InterPlay?

But hold the phone — why does it matter if people “get it”?  Why do I care?

Partially because I want people to get ME. And InterPlay and its philosophy of body wisdom is a big part of who I am.

But I also care for this reason — I’ve found a great deal of freedom in my life thanks to the InterPlay philosophy and practices.  I think it’d be most excellent if other people got to experience this freedom too.

New Agey Blah Blah Blah?

I’m a pretty open person, and I’ve gone to a lot of new agey workshops on personal development and body/mind/spirit integration.  So much of it is really good stuff, and I’m a better person for it.

But this stuff also inaccessible to a great number of people. The language used by gurus and their followers is often so insular. Not to mention “airy-fairy” or “hoity-toity”. Their practices — for example, gazing into another person’s eyes for minutes at a time, or sharing deeply personal pain stories in public — feel threatening and uncomfortable. Most people (myself included) don’t like to dive head first into transformation.

Good for Average, Regular People

InterPlay is one of the first workshoppy things I’ve done that made me think — Wow! These folks have figured out how to bring body wisdom to your average, regular person.  There’s no need to be ultra spiritual or liberal to benefit from InterPlay.

Those of us who love it share bits and pieces everywhere we go.

Bobbie just called me yesterday to share how she used the babbling activity in a recent church meeting (Result: a group of people who’ve been friendly-but-distant for years starting feeling more connected).

Dorothy even got Iraq veterans doing — and loving! — a hand dance. (Result:  “It’s a new way to express myself,” one of them reflected gratefully. Yes!! More about that in a guest post soon.)

Uh oh. Look what I just did! I’d intended to try to explain what InterPlay is briefly and clearly. Instead, I used a bunch of wierd terms like “babbling” and “hand dance.” Does it put you off, because you have no idea what these things mean?

Come On, Already, Gretchen — What the Heck is InterPlay!?

I really do have a commitment to talking simply, directly, and clearly about InterPlay.  I just don’t know how! So, before I end, let me take a stab at some more statements:

  • People often practice InterPlay by gathering in groups in dance studios. But it can actually take place anywhere.
  • In any InterPlay experience, folks get together (community), do stuff (play), and then notice about it (reflection).
  • The “stuff” that they do includes improvisational storytelling, movement, and playing with the voice. I’ll be describing these forms in more detail in future blog posts. The “noticing” includes anything a person is comfortable saying about their experience. Often people don’t say anything at all.  Luckily, in InterPlay you don’t have to articulate your experience in order to have it.
  • In any InterPlay class, you’ll experience the 5 daily requirements — tell a story, use your voice, move around the room, have some stillness, and have easy, playful physical contact with others.
  • All activities in InterPlay are broken down into small, bite-sized pieces that are easy and comfortable for participants to do. (For example, “Take 30 seconds to tell your partner what you had for breakfast this morning”).

Please Give Me Feedback:

To those of you hearing about InterPlay for the first time, I’m curious: what have I said here that resonates? What confuses you?  What questions do you have?  Your feedback will really help me get better talking about this thing that I love so much.

Stay Tuned…

Starting this weekend and every Monday throughout the summer,  I’ll be blogging about the InterPlay core elements.  My goal is to provide clear, non-jargony descriptions of the core elements of InterPlay, including:

Body Wisdom Tools: Easy Focus, Body Data/Knowledge/Wisdom, Internal Authority, Physicality of Grace, Exformation, Spiritual Practices, Incremenality, and Affirmation

Body Wisdom Practices: Warm-Up, Babbling, Big Body Stories, Circle Stories, Contact, DT3s, Following and Leading, Group Toning/Singing, Hand-to-Hand Contact, “On Behalf of” forms, One-Breath songs, One-Hand dances, Shape & Stillness, Side-by-Side Stories, Solo Movement, Walking/Stopping/Running, Warm-Up, Witnessing, Noticing

Or Just Come Play

The truth, though, is this: no matter how much I say about InterPlay, you really need to experience it to get it.  Here is a quick brainstorm of ways to try it live and in person:

Goodness, this has been a long post.  Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom. Please DO leave your feedback! Here are those questions again:

What have I said here that resonates? What confuses you?  What questions do you have?

Your comments will really help me get better talking about this thing that I love so much!

As always, playfully yours!