An Ode to the Handy Person’s Secret Weapon

As nearly everyone knows, duct tape is like a secret weapon when you’re trying to fix things.  It’s also becoming the medium of choice for many artists and crafty types.

“I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape. — Miles Straume on LOST

“Duct tape is like The Force: it has a light side and a dark side and it binds the galaxy together.” — Carl Zwanzig

“Man, I love duct tape. I love how it tapes. I love the sound it makes. I love saying it. Duct tape. Duct tape. Duct tape. Duct tape. Duct tape. Duct tape…” — Deadpool

When one of our new members came in with a set of duct tape armor she had made herself, we loved her creativity and independence.



Everyone had to get in on the duct-tape-armor action:


Gotta see for yourself how we create such a safe space for teens to explore and be all of who they are?  Give us a call or come to an event.  (Bring your own duct tape!)


Teen Shares of the Week

In yesterday’s post, we shared a wonder-filled poem, and asked if you had shared something amazing with a teen you care about that day.

But as we were reviewing our last week at Open Doors, we remembered that our teens have shared some pretty amazing things, too.

Like this:

And this:

And this, found by a Brony member:

New wonders never cease when you’re surrounded by a bunch of creative and fun teens.  Come find out for yourself, or support our teens.

Just Make Pots


Years ago, The Utne Reader published an article about an informal social experiment that was done with two high-school pottery classes.  The first class of students was told that they would be graded on how perfectly they could throw a pot by the end of class.  The second class was told that they would be graded only on the quantity of pots they threw throughout the class — they would get credit for their misshapen pots, as long as they made lots.

By the end of the semester, the class that was graded on quantity, not quality, was throwing much higher quality pots than the other class.  Because they risked nothing with mistakes, and they spent hours at the wheel, they gained the necessary experience to master craft and beauty.

At Open Doors, our focus is this kind of experiential learning, with no downside to creating our own “misshapen pots.”  Instead of being limited by an expectation of perfection — which only gets in the way, especially when one has little experience to build on — our members are free to delve into what works and doesn’t work for them.  The difference is amazing, and it leads to young adults who love to learn throughout their whole lives.

Come see the difference for yourself.  Join us at one of our regular events.

Long Winter

So much I’ve forgotten
the grass

the birds
the close insects

the shoot—the drip
the spray of the sprinkler

the heat of the Sun

the impossible

the flush of your face
so much

the high noon
the high grass

the patio ice cubes
the barbeque

the buzz of them—
the insects

the weeds—the dear
—that grow

like alien life forms—
all Dr. Suessy and odd—

here we go again¬
we are turning around

again—this will all
happen over again—

and again—it will

Timothy J. Nolan

Learning, art, and culture — this poem by an established poet suggests how they are all around, even in our longing –especially in our longing — for a glimpse of green.  Want to connect with more folks who love artists/learners/longers?  Come to our events.

Folded Paper Beauty

One of our members at Open Doors makes beautiful folded paper art.  It’s pretty fun to wander by her work space and see what she’s up to — if she has a moment, she may be inclined to show you several other beautiful and whimsical things on Tumblr and other sites.  Here are two of her works:

Grace folded paper Grace hummingbird

See more on her blog.  Open Doors is pleased to be a landing space for all kinds of teens, including those with a sensitive eye for the beauty in the world.