Do work that calls to your soul, give what you can, be who you should be.
In the dream, school pays you, serves the neighborhood, and puts beauty at the center of things.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk through the desert for a hundred miles on your knees repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Summer, In Amsterdam
To Support Your Work
- Summer Invite 2018An urban retreat.
Work on a project in the orbit of others doing the same. Amsterdam as classroom.
July 1-July 31
To Promote Your Delicious Neighborhood
- Bakers, Baristas, Brewers
The claim is that a good cup of coffee served by an owner who knows your name is one sign of a decent world. Let’s scale that.
July 9-July 23
It was like someone turned down the noise so I could think
Last summer was tough, I was wrapping up my year in Amsterdam on a soft note. Having fallen in with a lazy crowd after the deaths of my dad and step-mom, my energy was low and this was reflected in my output. Then it happened, that magic expat moment. I walked into my favorite local coffee cafe and discovered a group of some of the most creative, supportive and well behaved global citizens I have come across in a long time. In the company of this new band of merry "makers" --photographers, songwriters, barristas, dj's, mothers, designers-- my craft and drive were elevated almost instantly. I had discoverd Molly School, and they let me read my poems and tell my story and contribute to my community--this whole wide world, in a bigger, freer and smarter way. Most importantly we worked on our own projects with the sense and aim of sharing our gifts on each others behalf, each other being all of us, you too.
Classes And Such
- Walk & Walk
Walk. Talk. Query. Gather up wisdom as best we can.
A Good Thought
If the best thing we do is look after each other, then the worst thing we do is pretend to look after each other when in fact we are doing something else.
In 2017, I joined Molly School on a whim, hoping to engage more fully with a personal struggle I'd been dealing with regarding the ways viewed myself as a writer and artist, and how these views bumped up against my growing desire for more contact and community with other creative people. My month in Amsterdam allowed me to think about these things, as I’d wanted, but more importantly, I was provided much opportunity to just be an artist and a writer, surrounded by people, other artists or not, who believe that the creative process is important. I received an incredible amount of support, balanced with much free time to work. I felt encouraged to join at my own pace and always felt warmly welcomed at any Molly event or gathering, where there was often a great mix of “regulars” and new, interesting people to meet.
Clearly the trick in life is to die young as late as possible
--William Sloane Coffin
Be careful, very careful about organizations . . . Organizations kill work.
What's the good of an economy without the people in it?
--The West Wing
Wait, What Is This?
Hi, this is Ted, writing on behalf of Molly School.
People ask all the time: What is Molly School?
Right now Molly is two summer programs and some spring classes in Amsterdam.
For me it's a way to enjoy Amsterdam and do some work. It's where Susie told me to get my shit together and Alison reminded me of my worst fault, where I met Charlie and Slade and began to teach the way I think I should.
It is also where we are trying to turn the wheel of school and community and economy enough so that the way you learn and relate and earn can be changed a little too. (Molly is also the only school in the world self-authorized to award dog points, but that's another matter.)
But to a certain degree, I think the question "What is it?" is really a screen for "Will it be of value to me?" And that is a much harder question to answer.
Usually, of course, such questions are answered in terms of money. "If I spend 5000 dollars on this, will it be worth it?"
Is all the big cash it costs to go to Stanford and Harvard worth it? Probably. But the money spent to go there is no guarantee the emptiness you carry with you will be filled up. Is "value" just a way of saying "return on Investment?"
One of our hopes at Molly is to get you to worry about money less and think about it differently. We think of money as water and instead of everyone having their own reservoir and well, defending it at the cost of the life they might be living, we prefer the image of the river. We want money to flow through us, and you, to the betterment of those who share the riverbank.
Because with the help of Cinema and Slade, Siebrand, Louisa, Rafe, Erin, Arjen, Sharona, Manus, Alison, Peter, Kirk, Dash, Carmen and a bunch of other wonderful folks I am trying to imagine a school that does not decide your path or measure your value or set as its chief goal making you rich. Instead, the goal is to help make your path clearer, more joyous, and yes as best we can, more financially viable. This is a school about being who you should be: alive, productive, connected, free.
I know, I know, this sounds hippy dippy. I know, I know the river image will not pass muster with Harvard or Stanford economists and, perhaps, with you. And If you are sure you want to be a dentist and need to get busy learning how to fill teeth, then we suggest dental school. But for many people what's needed is no more than time to breathe, a pen, a notebook, a place to take a good walk, some people to show your art or business plan to, a person to meet at the bar or the coffee place so that you don't work all day.
We estimate the cost of that at 5000 a month because 5000 a month is about what it costs to have a great month in Amsterdam. Not a sleep on the floor and eat spam month--which we can do if we need to--nor a canal house, eat out every night month. 5000 is clean and it is enough to make things good AND leave everyone a little money to give away, to keep the money flowing. Some people pay that into the river, some pay more, some draw that from the river, some draw less. If the river gets low, we do our best to keep things fertile and share the water. If the river gets high, well, we will water more land.
Can this work? Dunno. But we are going to do Molly School whatever budget we have.
The above is the start of a rather endless explanation of why we do things the way we do them and what we believe. Thanks for reading this far and if you would like to read more plase click here.
Those Saying It Better Than We Ever Could
Laurence McCahill writes beautifully here about creating a happy learning community. Worth the read.
A simple twist makes a huge difference. Here, it is a circular kindergarten that permits kids to run and climb and learn in way that is “natural” rather than industrial, physical as well cerebral, offers the texture of the world rather than the interface of the digital.
We Are Not Machines by Charles Davies