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Author Topic: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio  (Read 2283 times)

the Earl of Whirl

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The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« on: May 01, 2013, 02:33:54 PM »

On my day off yesterday I drove over to this elementary school.  I have seen some unicyclists from there in the past but I thought that was just a short term thing.  Someone told me they were riding again so I stopped by for a visit.

As I pulled into their parking lot I noticed their sign used the unicycle in their logo.  The o in Antioch was turned into a wheel and they had a bear riding it.  When I parked my car the garage I was facing had something like 20 unicycles hanging from the ceiling.  In the entrance of the school were five giraffe unicycles.  And in the main hallway, a few steps later, I saw another two dozen unicycles hanging on the wall!  When I asked what adult was teaching the kids, I was told that the kids teach themselves.  No adult works with them!!!

Many were gone on field trips so I am going back next week to find out more.  In many ways, this is how I imagine one of those top spinning schools in China or Japan.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 02:36:38 PM by the Earl of Whirl »
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johnm

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 06:38:35 PM »



That school seems like a neat place.  Here is a link to a pdf file of a brochure for them describing the origin of the importance of the unicycle for their school and how it fits their philosophy.

link = Antioch brochure

This school would be a great place to make some record breaking/setting attempts.   

As you interact with them you could slip in some comments about how top spinning takes dedication but everyone could learn. ;)
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ta0

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 10:55:11 PM »

Wow!  :o  8) That is fantastic!  Unicycling is not easy.  I am surprised so many kids at the school took it. Perhaps the fact that their parents cannot do it is a big incentive  :P  I agree with johnm, a perfect place to attempt the world record.  Except that one of those kids may decide to break it one day!

Here in San Antonio there is an elementary school with an important unicycle team (Windcrest Elemantary) and they have performed at half time at Spurs games, for example, but I don't think it is a whole school deal like on that one.
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 02:54:14 PM »

Yes, Windcrest Elementary!  I have seen them as I was searching elementary schools that unicycle.  Looks like a great place and they perform for the Spurs every year.

Somebody on the unicycle forum from Harrisburg, PA posted about attending the Antioch school back in the 80's and how he learned to ride there.  They have been doing this for quite some time!  It was touching to hear of his memories of that unique school.

Somebody else posted about another school in Ohio with a big unicycle history.  St. Helen's of Newbury (near Cleveland) is not unicycling now but they had many years of amazing success and everyone in that school had to ride.  Even hallways between classes were open for unicycling!  It turns out that this past weekend was a reunion and they had almost two dozen riders in a local parade.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 02:59:00 PM by the Earl of Whirl »
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silvertop

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 08:42:40 AM »

Sounds like a great school, with a fun tradition!
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 11:03:55 PM »

I went back today and had a great visit.  They were outside for about 45 minutes of recess and I was able to ride with nine or ten of them........and one was on a five foot giraffe unicycle!  They have bars all along one side of the building to hold on to while learning.  They also have a series of poles they can try riding to.  It was all quite amazing.

I might as well have been a unicorn.  They said over and over comments like "I have never seen an adult ride" and "I cannot believe an adult can ride" and "Your seat is so high.  I have never seen anyone with such long legs ride a unicycle." and "How DID you ever learn to ride?"

They have a little narrow walkway around their playground but it is bumpy and does not look very inviting for any record attempts.  The teachers and children were inviting, though, and I hope to go back another time.  Maybe next school year as they finish on June 1st and I have a busy May ahead of me.
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ta0

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 12:45:10 PM »

That this is an activity that the kids learn at the school from their peers and that some had never seen an adult, never mind a teacher, do it, blows my mind. 
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 02:24:31 PM »

It was shocking to see it all.  And then to realize it has been going on for thirty years or more!  Wow!!!
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 10:27:16 PM »

One other interesting thing is how the kids have developed their own set of words to describe what they are doing.  When one saw me free mount she said "Oh! You can get on from the air." Another one asked me if I could just "stay in one spot".  I showed her how I could idle and she said "Yes, that's it!"  A favorite game was when they would hold a hand together with another child and do what they called the "three leaf clover"......or "the four leaf clover" (depending on how many were involved).  These were like pinwheels.  And when one gal was riding around on her five foot unicycle she said "you are good enough that you could ride a five footer".  I told her I had a giraffe unicycle at home but it was a six footer because of my longer legs. "Ohhhhh!" she said in amazement.
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ta0

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 12:00:12 PM »

Fascinating.

Perhaps some unicycle anthropologist should document their culture before it is contaminated by the outside unicycling society.  :P
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: The Antioch School in Yellow Springs, Ohio
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 11:17:33 AM »

It looks like some of what I have written about the Antioch School has been picked up by a blogger.  Interesting.........

http://rebeccakuder.com/

(for those reading this at a later date after she has added more, the part I am referring to is the May 28th 2013 posting)
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