by Valerie (with commentary by her as well)
Twin Oakers have been known to make some very “creative-tasting” desserts. We also dumpster-dive a certain amount of food. Between those both, you never know what might make an appearance at dinner, or if you might find it to your taste….
The “O&I” Board (Opinions and Ideas) is where people can post a proposal to change something in the community. Proposals are written on clipboards on a big board, and any member who wants to can add their comments, expressing their enthusiasm or concerns about the proposed change. If you’ve written a comment, and someone else agrees with your perspective, instead of writing their own repetitive comment, they can just “ditto” what you wrote.
We have a system where any member can leave any other member a note for business or personal reasons. The system is getting somewhat less use now, since most (but not all) members are online and can message each other, but it still does get some use.
We have our own in-house (“in-commune”) All Request Dance Band (ARDB). A few months before every big holiday, the band asks people to suggest which songs they’d like the band to perform. People make requests, the band chooses some, they rehearse them, and at the next holiday, we dance the night away to those songs. New Year’s Eve (NYE) is one of our bigger dance parties.
Every month we have a new group of visitors, and inevitably, some members and visitors are interested in each other. We discourage intimate connections between members and visitors, since members have a power imbalance in that dynamic and we want to avoid that impacting any potential membership process (hence the “un-PC”).
The sign of a healthy community is not whether or not there is conflict–since conflict is an inherent part of living together–but rather how the conflict is handled. Ideally the two parties will talk about what happened and find resolution, but sometimes it’s just a relief to be able to let something go if someone leaves.
We have members whose job it is to go shopping in town for the group. To order an item, you fill out a “Twin Oaks Requisition”–T.O.R. for short. Ideally people put their TOR in a day or so before the town trip happens, but sometimes you have a very last-minute craving for your favourite junk food or you just have forgotten, and you can try to catch the town trip before they drive away.