Re: DSM: BOUNCE: Is democracy for everyone om>
Wed, 11 Aug 1999 13:50:18 EDT

Betsy here, someone who graduated from SVS many, many moons ago ... I was
that 16 year old who had been in public schools interminably, and I learned
the value of what might have looked like "lounging around." It took months
and months for the sounds of other voices to quiet enough so I might hear my
own. There were days of walking alone in the woods where I saw my first-ever
tadpole, days of hiding out in the libraries there finally free to read what
I chose to read, my greatest pleasure. I was less social than most - still am.

The "steps" the staff took were these: they occasionally inquired about my
well-being, and Dan would make a great point of never asking _what_ one was
doing, only _how_ one was doing; they acknowledged me as a human being,
something not experienced in other schools; they shared themselves with us,
when in the late afternoons a certain staff member would plunk herself down
on the couch, and a few of us might put down our books in a quiet room and
start a conversation that would then attract others and hope we wouldn't get
brought up for not being quiet .... there was no one who would say _You
should ...._ and for a 16 year old from a big family and years of traditional
schools, that was the best.

Now, at 40-something, I think I've forgotten that art of lounging around, but
I'm working on it again!

As for the diploma procedure, it is what it is. I value the school's official
recognition because I value the school and the people in it. Simple.

Thanks for reading. B

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Dec 23 1999 - 09:01:58 EST