Flow day: Embracing and learning from failure

Brian Park, Staff Writer

The annual Flow Day took place again on Apr. 5th. Alumni, teachers, students, and guest speakers all signed up to answer the question “How can we better embrace failure within the TJ community and use it as an opportunity for learning and growth?”

Presentation topics ranged from sports to sciences, for example presenters showed unique sports that are unknown in the community.

“My presentation was about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is a form a self-defense from Judo and traditional Japanese Ju-Jitsu using techniques that can overcome a size or strength disadvantage,” junior Maya Parker said. “My presentation was meant to introduce people to Jiu-Jitsu [and that it is] an art in which making mistakes and learning from them is not only commonplace, but is a requirement for growth as a practitioner.”

Speakers took a personal perspective on the question when deciding their presentations and each gave unique answers. Some, including temporary dropout and senior Max Pabilonia, plan to continue to share their stories.

“I have always been very open about my experiences with being a mentally incapacitated, institutionalized, high school dropout,” Pabilonia said. “And because I am an activist for people who are sick with tick borne diseases and I plan to be an activist for people who have lived through abusive treatment because of their mental illness, I plan to continue to share my experiences with the general public to educate them on these two very serious problems I have lived through.”

Flow Day was an opportunity for presenters to share their experiences. For example, Pabilonia found that being able to share her experience of having a break year was potent for both herself and the audience.

“It felt really empowering to be able to share the parts of my story that I shared,” Pabilonia said. “I wanted people to know that dropping out of TJ can be a very positive experience and that no matter how difficult your situation is, there is always a way to make the best out of it and grow from your experiences.”

The speakers felt that the students were engaged to the presentations. Flow day is also a chance for people to be introduced to new activities and consider trying them out.

“There was a surprisingly positive response to the presentation,” Parker said. “We had a higher turnout than expected, and by the end of the presentation, I sensed a real enthusiasm from the audience. There were several people that came up to me at the end of each session and expressed an interest in trying Jiu-Jitsu, which surpassed my expectations for the presentation. That was really the most rewarding part of the experience.”