Newest Saturday University

Illinois Senator Kimberly A. Lightford is supporting and opening the next Saturday University!  Email to support this exciting initiative!


Exchange Review: Self-hypnotism

I like to thumb through the offers and requests of the TimeBank and see the amazing talents that people have.  We truly do have everything we need, if we just use everything we have.  One of these perusals led me to a member’s post offering self-hypnotism classes.  I get so excited by the TimeBank that my immediate response was much like a puppy’s– “WHAT IS THAT? I LOVE IT!”  Within moments, I had sent the email and was in communication with Elaine Wagner to learn self-hypnotism.

Elaine is an excellent teacher.  She started with a simple intake, asked me why I would like to learn hypnotism, what I know about hypnotism (not much except for some depictions on the I Love Lucy show which are probably not 100% accurate), and then gave me a basic overview of the common misconceptions about hypnotism (spoiler alert: I Love Lucy doesn’t get it right).

Here’s some of what I remembered from those discussions:

  • There are lots of uses for self-hypnotism from lowering blood pressure, quitting smoking, losing weight, getting rid of other bad habits, increasing creativity, to slowing down time.
  • Everyone is in a state of hypnosis twice daily–when they are just about to fall asleep and when they are just waking up.
  • Someone cannot hypnotize you against your will which means that all hypnosis is, in fact, self-hypnosis.

Throughout the three session with Elaine, I learned various (pretty simple) hypnosis techniques.  I won’t go into details about what the techniques were, but in general if you have practiced mindfulness with breathing meditations (anapanasati), these techniques were are similar.

My experience with hypnotism has been that it is a deep meditation practice.  Contrary to popular beliefs about hypnotism (for instance that someone else might be in control over you), my experience was that I felt in hyper-control which certainly pleased this control freak!

During our last session, Elaine walked me through a regression back to when I was a young baby in order to better understand a bad habit I had (it’s now 100% gone).  That was an interesting experience though it didn’t reveal anything I didn’t already consciously know.

In addition to being a hypnotism practitioner, Elaine Wagner is a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and holistic health practitioner with an emphasis on Chinese medicine.  She has had a practice in Chicago since 1980.  She is a long-time member of the Chicago Time Exchange and offers limited services to TimeBank members.  She needs help painting her living room with non-toxic paints.

For more information on this and other exchanges, please visit!

If you would like to review an exchange you have had through the Chicago Time Exchange (or any non-market economy system), please email Jami at!

90-day Challenge

In order to continue to engage Chicago Time Exchange members, we have decided to participate in the 90-day Challenge, an idea proposed by Edgar Cahn at TimeBanks, U.S.A.  The idea is for all the members of the TimeBank to focus their efforts and energy for a 90-day period on one social issue or one project.

The Chicago Time Exchange has decided to dedicate its 90 days to support The Black Star Project’s Saturday University.  The Black Star Project is a 16-year-old educational non-profit organization in Bronzeville.  They run so many useful programs for the community that include tutoring, mentoring, parent trainings, parent engagement programs, student motivation,  job training and entrepreneurship programs, stop the violence initiatives, and many more.  Their mission is to eliminate the racial academic achievement gap by helping to rebuild families.

The Saturday University is The Black Star Project’s newest tutoring program.  It is an innovative approach to the traditional Saturday school model.  Each of the 15 sites (mostly located on the South and West sides) are driven by the community members who volunteer, teach the kids, manage the sites, develop curriculum and lesson plans, and engage parents.  The sites are donated spaces usually in churches, community centers, police stations, schools, and office spaces.  Each site teaches math, reading, and writing in a culturally-relevant environment.  Each site has their own age range, but the Saturday University system teaches students from 5-years-old to adults.  Students take a pretest when they register and an interval assessment every 8 weeks.  The Saturday University strives to make learning fun, empower community members and parents to take over the education of children, and to improve students’ math, reading and writing skills.

The Chicago Time Exchange can support this unfunded initiative!

Members can help by:

  • Researching and writing grants (with support of The Black Star Project’s Development Department)
  • Tutoring children at a Saturday University site
  • Contacting businesses for financial and material support
  • Finding new sites in your community
  • Helping with marketing and outreach
  • Developing lesson plans and curriculum
  • Delivering snacks and materials to Saturday University sites
  • Calling parents weekly to remind them to attend Saturday University and to keep them abreast of their child’s progress
  • Helping to create parent organizing hubs at each of the Saturday Universities
  • Much more!  The sky’s the limit!

Contact Jami at to get involved!