DSM: Re: Getting it

Dawn F. Harkness (dawn@harkness.net)
Wed, 22 Nov 2000 12:45:56 -0500

WARNING WARNING WARNING - Dawn's opinion follows, all the nervous nellies
get out of the pool! Rick, I am assuming that since you asked specifically
for my opinion you will be able to handle it. I have given your questions
some serious thought and I find them to be disingenuous and self-serving.
Let's review:

>So I hope that you all will be patient with folks like me, people who
>have worked in the trenches and are honestly searching. If you had met
>me 8 years ago, some of you might have called me evil and weak, just in
>it for the money. (I would have laughed, by the way, knowing how little
>money there is in teaching.) And I probably would have given up on the
>sudbury model in sadness -- and probably given up on education
>altogether, thinking there was no good alternative.

>Maybe I'm the only one with this kind of history. But what if there are
>millions like me? I don't know, but if there are, the appearance of
>irrational anger will drive people like us away. What if we're the
>second stage in the spread of the Sudbury model?

How does this jibe with previous posts where you have flamed others with a
level of hostility I have not seen matched in this forum over the years I
have been reading these exchanges. For example:

>> I shuddered when
> > you suggested rat-lab stuff for children and I
> > wanted to knock you on your butt.

or my personal favorite:

>"Growl! Snarl! Snap!" Come on, Dawn, be cool. Unless you are the proud
>owner of a secret police force and several thousand goon squads, you aren't
>going to further the SVM revolution by being haughty.

I would point out that it was also you who wrote:

>This reminds me of some of the in-your-face discussions I had with my
>classes. The word "discussion" says it all -- comes from the Latin meaning
>break apart. We hammer at ideas (and sometimes each other) until we find
>what's inside. I'm having fun.

What a hypocrite! I gotta tell you, your lack of consistency on this and
other topics demonstrates to me a lack of any real convictions on your part.
That is why I don't take you very seriously. You drift with whatever
political whim seems to be in vogue for the moment. It worries me that any
fool can decide, "Hey, what a neat idea. I'm going to go out and start a SVM
school." People like you make me wish that the founders of SVS had a
copyright on the "look and feel" of SVS to prevent misguided tag-alongs from
doing just that until they passed some sort of certification process. (If
SVS kids have to get certified to used the microwave, I think SVM school
founders ought to have to get certified to use the model, but that's just

For all your assertions that you "get it" I really don't think you do.
>From your description of your life story combined with your other postings,
I don't see enough evidence that you've done your homework. My 10 year old
gets the model better than you do (and she should because this is her 7th
year as a student.) How much time have you spent in an SVM school in any

I'd like to see the SVM expand as much as anyone else. But the founders of
SVS had some very deep convictions which they would not compromise for
ANYONE no matter who was made uncomfortable by their style. From your
postings, I have come to the conclusion that you are no
Danny/Mimsy/Hanna/Joanie and I worry that if you represent the second stage
of SVM schools, it will be the start of the end of the model as it was
originally conceived. If you are serious about starting a SVM school, then
I urge you to get a spine and adopt the entire model with conviction. Don't
try to manipulate folks into seeing the value of enrolling in your school.
If you can't do that, please call it something other than an SVM school.
Call it Rick's School or anything else, but don't water down what these
special people have created.

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