Protocols are procedures or routines associated with certain tasks. In The Narrows, we'll follow certain protocols in our work, and this Adventure is all about introducing you to these protocols so that you clearly understand what is expected of you.

Shall we proceed? Some of the below you will have seen before. No worries, repetition is the mother of skill.


Taking Notes

It is expected that you will maintain a notebook or folder with notes for absolutely everything you do in The Narrows. For example...

  • Completing an Adventure? Great. But you must have some notes with the name of your Adventure (Protocols, for example) and appropriate notes regarding things you learned from it.
  • Weekly Check-Ins - each week you'll meet with the Guide and a small group of your peers to review your progress. You should take notes during this conference.
  • Content/Inquiry - as you make your way through the inquiry process related to the content area you've chosen, notes will be a CRITICAL component of your learning. You will need to take notes on every resource you use.

Notes represent an active engagement in learning. They show the Guide that you are participating in a meaningful way. Yes, absolutely, they require effort and work. But you didn't think you'd reach the top of this mountain by just sitting there, did you?

As your Guide, I'm here to help, for sure. To shine a light, to encourage, to support. But only you can do the work, friend. And if you hope to live a life of adventure - one that allows you to support yourself and others, that gives you a sense of pride and joy, that allows you to contribute to the world around you - well, if that's what you're hoping for, then the work must be done.


The Work Flow

Every week in The Narrows may well look different, but there are some structures within which we must operate, and these structures are described below. Please read each section completely, and carefully, as you will be required to adhere to each.

The Daily Open: 10 mins

  • Your first priority is to get to class, read the side board, get logged into The Narrows, open the Weekly Expedition, and be ready to work (naturally, if you do all that before the 1st bell, you should claim the 'Sunrise Sesh').
  • At the bell, the Guide will greet you and then lead a 'minute of silence'.
  • Role will then be taken verbally, and each member of the Narrows will provide a 10 second update on their focus for the day - the entire class will listen quietly to each update.
  • The Guide will make announcements as needed.
  • Members will ask questions if need be.

Work Time

  • Based on where you are in your inquiry, you'll be doing the work each day that relates...that helps bring you down the path you're on.
  • This may have you working in any of the 4 stages of inquiry (1: Introduction, 2: Engage, 3: Investigate, 4: Act).
  • Regardless, you will be productively working to acquire in-depth understanding of your content/topic and high levels of proficiency in the required skills.
  • Throughout it all, you'll be taking notes, supporting others in their work, or seeking help from others, as needed.
  • You'll maintain an organized work-flow such that you can properly participate in your Weekly Check-Ins.

Weekly Check-Ins

  • You will be assigned to a small group, and in that group, you will meet with the Guide at a given time each week. Though this time may change occasionally, the intention will be to maintain a set day/time that you and your group will meet with the Guide every week.
  • These check-ins will involve the following for each member:
    • Lightning Round: 60 second update from each member to summarize, in detail, where you are in your inquiry, adventures you've attempted/completed, etc, based specifically on the previous week's outline for the week ahead.
    • Review of tangibles: all members bring notes, drafts, anything you've produced that demonstrates what you've accomplished over the past week. At minimum, this will include notes from Adventures and from sources you've accessed, but could/should include more. These tangibles will be assessed by peers and by the Guide.
    • The week ahead: each member will clearly and specifically outline what they will be focused on in the week ahead.

Almost to the end of the trail my friend. Feeling a bit weary? No problem, take a moment to rest. Go back a bit and review the ground you've already covered. The Guide will wait.


The last component of your weekly work-flow is the Weekly DPU. Of course we might add to this - most likely will, in fact - but for this Adventure, this is the last protocol we'll discus.

Weekly Digital Portfolios (DPUs)

  • One of the required tasks you'll complete each week is the publishing of your DPU. This digital portfolio, as explained in a previous Weekly Expedition, will follow a specific format that will allow you to show, in a consistent way, your weekly progress.
  • The specifics of this format are explained in this document and this video, and since it was previously described in a Weekly Expedition, I won't go into those details here.

Phew! That was a lot to take in, Visitor...nice work. As always, though, I have to caution you. The above protocols are incredibly important, and you'll be expected to not only understand them, but to use them daily in your work.

If you're unclear about ANY of the above, go back and re-read them. Talk to your fellow adventurers and get their input. If neither of these things are enough to clarify, go see the Guide.

ONE NOTE: Of course the Guide is here for you, but as you know, everyone in The Narrows must do his or her part. And that means your FIRST RESPONSIBILITY is to live in accordance with our values. If you have not given a truly honest and significant effort toward understanding HOW we work (have you really read everything above with the intention of fully understanding it??), how could you possibly expect anyone else - your peers or the Guide - to help you? As they say...if you don't care, I don't care.

Yes, friend, the Guide understands that you've spent many years in school being told exactly what to do and how to do it. You've been given specific instructions and judged against a single right answer. And the Guide feels for you. He truly does.

But here's the thing. You know how when you were young, you got Legos as gifts for birthdays or Christmas? And those Legos came in a box with a picture on the front, and a set of instructions inside, that if you followed just right, you'd end up with something that looked just like the picture on the front. It can feel good to follow directions and get what you were expecting.

When the Guide was young, he got Legos, too. But not in a box. No. Instead, he got a pile of random Lego pieces inside an olive bucket (the Guide's grandparents on his mother's side are Greeks...empty buckets of Kalamata olives were common). When he wanted to build something with legos, he'd dump the entire bucket out on the floor, and using nothing but his imagination, he'd create something. No instructions. No colorful examples. No right answers.

When you've learned for years that following specific directions and getting specific answers is the goal, and that it comes with a certain sense of satisfaction, it's hard to do things another way. Hard to believe that you have what it takes to make something worthwhile of your own. Hard to be given a pile of Legos and come up with your own instructions.

But the Guide believes in you. And he cares about you. And he knows that being able to do this is EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED to thrive out in the world we're all living in today. Of course it's hard...but you can do hard things.

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