DSM: Close Friendships

Kristin Harkness (kristin@harkness.net)
Tue, 19 Dec 2000 12:05:40 -0500

A couple of people have lamented the lack of close friendships in this
country. I am not in a position to compare, since I have no recent
experience abroad. However, I notice that the examples seem to be drawn
from traditional school environments:

Robert wrote:
> A foriegn student, I don't remember who she was, but I remember what she
> said about friendship. She commented how unusual it is to see people here
> speak personally to each other. In her country her many friends freely
> opened up to speak of their lives intimately. This brings closeness. She
> did not understand that so few people here say anything personal.
> Friendship as she knows it does not exist.

CindyK wrote:
> This is so true. When I was in highschool in Toronto we had a foreign
> student also. She too marvelled at our lack of personal relationships.

My life experience contains many close friendships. However, traditional
school environments are not conducive to friendship, in my opinion. First,
there is little opportunity to talk, which is the basis for friendship.
Second, the people one spends the bulk of one's time with are the same
people one is forced to compete with. My closest friendships were mostly
made outside of school, and definitely made outside of school hours. With
schools insisting on ever more homework, kids today have even less time for
friends than I had.

Sudbury model schools, of course, provide the opposite environment. Yet
another reason I love the model!

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