Re: DSM: We like minded people

Robert Swanson (
Sat, 04 Nov 2000 23:28:26 -0800

The basis?... On the lighter side, I could so relate to the portrayal of
Einstein on PBS. When his parents saw his poor reportcard they told Albert
not to worry about problems with school, but to focus on what he enjoyed.
Secondly, Albert got to go to his father's shop where some very smart people
mentored him. So, one, he had smart parents directing him, and, two, he had
smart mentors to guide him. (I recall no such direction in my life. I did
enjoy reading Scientific American early on but no one said go for it. I read
in secrete as if it were Playboy.) Imagine Albert not having mentors. He
would have ended up being a massage therapist!

The behaviorist who taught my class would have been a great artist, but not
after a teacher criticised his art. He gave up his love. Poor mentoring.

There seems to be so many poor influences instructing us to submit, to buy
into, to accept what is handed us on a plate. This has always confused me
and thrown water on my enthusiasm. So much have I looked for opportunity in
many places and so often let down. Come on now -- don't we all yearn for
joyous creative togetherness? Don't we all hate the apprehension? Really,
do Sudbury students move past our mixed up society continuing their freedom
years later? Or do they yearn for mentors such as Einstein had?

On the heavier side... Science does not claim to find many people using
their head. I suspect that people fully utilizing their cerebrum would
express intelligence qualities rather profound. The cerebrum is what... 75%
of the space in our heads? We use 10% but in service to the brain stem. What
we are talking about here is evolving from lizard to truely human in the
first seventeen years of an advantaged youth. Sudbury began as a thought
about what is successful education. Seeing this potential, why not continue
the true mission of Sudbury? And how about asking the students if they are
interested in giving this a shot. I'd like to provide an audio tape by
Joseph Pearce, notes on the tape, and Pearce's book, Magical Child. Let's
allow them exposure and interest and study of their own developmental
process. Who are we to keep this vital issue as an inconsequential
afterthought? Who are we if not mentors laying a foundation for success? We
are mentors anyway - the silence is deafening!

I have great respect for these authors and their books:
 "Magical Child"
 Joseph Chilton Pearce, Jospeh Chilton Pearce; Paperback; @ $12.55 each
     (Usually ships in 24 hours)
 "Living Joyfully With Children"
 Win Sweet, Bill Sweet; Paperback; @ $13.95 each
     (Usually ships in 24 hours)


on 11/4/00 3:09 PM, Mike Sadofsky at wrote:

> I'm curious. Is there a basis for this assumption? Would
> you care to share that basis with those of us who have
> indeed experienced strong individuals at Sudbury;
> individuals who clearly led paths, even as kids, that were
> different from the mode of their peers.
> Only history will determine whether Sudbury spawns an
> Einstein, Schweitzer, Steiner, or Poe. I have a lot of
> difficulty in dealing with these examples when looking at
> kids between the ages of 4 and 18 (say). I have no
> knowledge of how your exemplars manifested their
> "potentiating" individuality as children.
> Robert Swanson wrote:
>> I have an assumption about the culture at Sudbury that maybe someone would
>> comment on. As free as people are to play and to talk and to explore, I
>> assume there is no forum for being an explosive individual, but rather there
>> is a status quo of being an adaptable citizen. By explosive I mean
>> potentiating individuals as an Albert Einstein, a Dr. Schweitzer, a Rudolf
>> Steiner, an Edgar Allen Poe..., people inclined to exceptional principles or
>> style and who seem to lead society out of the box. I see the corporations as
>> doing this in a material sense but not in behalf of an exceptional
>> personality. I don't think I am the only one referring to this quality as
>> the law of lowest common denominator.
>> I do see Sudbury students as exceptional in ability to speak forthright from
>> the depths of their experience. I find this intriguing. Where can they go
>> with this ability? Out of the box?

>>>> The common goals of Sudbury and Heartlight are to allow people to create
>>>> themselves. One great challenge we share is to remove conditioning so that
>>>> education (creating self) is really free. This point needs emphasizing. We
>>>> are not free. The invasive conditioning of family and friends and media
>>>> permeate our lives creating a status quo of stimulus-response. Even at
>>>> Sudbury this status quo is determining activities and determining the
>>>> punishments of the judicial committee. There is no thinking
>>>> outside the box
>>>> when status quo is the dominant influence in the community. Not
>>>> sure?...Just
>>>> ask students what are the peer pressures running behaviors and
>>>> the creation
>>>> of rules. I'll wager that no answer will say the pressure is to be an
>>>> evolution as an independent thinking self. Sudbury does focus on
>>>> honesty and
>>>> responsibility. How about we add awareness of influences on behavior and
>>>> awareness of what can change those influences? (Taking responsibility for
>>>> influence is the path to intrinsic motivation and honesty. Blaming is the
>>>> path to extrinsic motivation and deceit.)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Mon Nov 06 2000 - 09:05:37 EST