Day 234: Hack House

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August 21, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

A new semester approaches.  Not for me, actually, but for millions still between grades or working for diplomas of one kind or another, these last few weeks of summer are precious.  In them lies opportunity for unwinding (before what might be a very wound-up year ahead), sleeping in, grilling, camping, traveling, watching movies all night long…and taking classes.  Summer school?  A drag?  Not so.  For me and the remainder of the post-college population, life itself is a semester – one with some mandatory classes (how to get and hold a job; how to shop for groceries; how to start and raise a family; how to keep your sanity) and some pretty awesome electives (how to travel, how to weld, how to build a greenhouse, how to stay creative and keep dreaming).  These classes are open to almost anyone, but how well you do depends solely on you.  Today’s project is a school for the independent and independently ambitious, and it’s asking you: How much do you want to learn?

The Hacker Dojo has operated for the past two-and-a-half years as a space for creativity, collaboration, and self-directed, peer-supported, extra-institutional learning.  No credits, no degrees, but a lot of lessons from people who don’t just know the subjects, they love what they learn and hunger for more.  Last year, the city of Mountain View, CA saw fit to bring the hammer of injustice down on the heads of these hackers and hackademics – closing half of the space they operated, disallowing large classes, workshops and events…and still charging the full price for rent…all until some hefty upgrades and modifications could be instituted.  Now, the Hacker Dojo is asking us for help in coming back to life, fully-operational and better than ever.

We are currently not allowed in more than half of the space we pay rent on, not permitted to hold large classes, and not permitted to hold many classes at once. This is due to restrictions placed by the city of Mountain View on the Hacker Dojo. We are looking to lift these restrictions by updating the building, and to create some amazing new resources for our community such as a dedicated event space and makerspace/design studio.

How much do you want to learn?  Are there limits to your curiosity?  Does school end when the bell rings?  When Pomp and Circumstance echoes through the stadium as you walk across the stage?  Or are you not content to let a transcript be the judge of your knowledge, your understanding, and your experience?  Help others take charge of their education by supporting an indie-school for the gifted, talented, passionate and inspired – back the Hacker Dojo on Kickstarter before August 25.


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