Portugal, I’m a jester.

I spent the fall in Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the entire world. Now, I’m in Aveiro, Portugal: a city less than 77 sq. miles in area that looks like a ghost town when students go to their homes in neighboring cities on the weekend. My role has transformed from … Read More

by Samir Ahmed

Check Your Story’s Focus or Lose Your Audience

An author’s greatest asset is the ability to shape what details the audience can see. This insight came to me during a talk by Experience Institute all-star photographer Kevin Von Qualen. Kevin showed my class how a great photo really comes down to choosing your focus. A creator, in any art form, must decide what … Read More

by Derek Kessinger


I’m pursuing the beautiful intersection of where work meets love. As depicted in my flight plan, this involves the convergence of consciousness, communication and commerce. It also involves deliberate focus on expansion of my own consciousness. I view this as fundamental to discovering and releasing my potentials as well as accessing the most effective channels … Read More

by Gareth Gwyn

Space for peace

It’s 9:27 on Sunday morning. My dad sits in the driver’s seat in front of me dragging our minivan 45 mph along the highway. My sisters are rag dolls falling asleep on one another and bouncing with the road’s bumps and curves, another sister plays games on her phone, my mom taps virtual cards in … Read More

by Kali Lewis

The Shed

I’m in a shed in the middle of nowhere. There is a small wood-burning stove that is falling short of its only duty, and the girl next to me just pulled out an extra pair of socks to place on her feet. The wind has been howling for hours. I’m on my third cup of … Read More

by Kacie McGeary

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EXP3 uses story to reflect on their first term

They were all nervous. This was the first big critique of the year. Even though Ei doesn’t share many similarities with traditional education programs, we do assign something akin to homework; a documenting assignment that tasks students to synthesize their previous term’s experiences into a story to be shared with the greater Ei community. For many of … Read More

by Dane Johnson

Law of the jungle: as old and as true as the sky

“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, like trees.”  Rainer Rilke While in Iquitos, Peru, the largest city in the world inaccessible by road, my friend Netta and I met a friendly Peruvian who volunteered to take us into the jungle. So the three of us got some rubber boots and … Read More

by Gareth Gwyn


This semester I’ve been interviewing students at Illinois Wesleyan University, capturing 20 individual’s undergraduate experiences. I’ve called it user-centered research – interviewing, and researching – but my preferred title for it has become “story-catching”. Through these interviews I’ve met someone who taught herself Chinese, a future missionary, closet creative writers, and people heading for a … Read More

by Kali Lewis

Don’t be a conversation poacher, embrace mentors

Term one in Hong Kong is over: I hiked a handful of mountains; ate equally adventurous foods with strangers while communicating using only glances/pointing/smiling; immersed myself in the mystical venture capital profession (seriously, I emceed Hong Kong’s version of Shark Tank); but most importantly, I made some incredible friends; many of which are now mentors … Read More

by Samir Ahmed
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