Re: DSM: dancing

Anne and Theo Julienne (
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 19:28:36 +1100

Hi Candy,
Thank you for the further details on your "noisy kids" story.
BTW: what happened to the "studious" kids/parents? Did they adjust or did
they leave?
I have been very struck by part of the Windsor House handbook (and I know
that WH is not a "Sister School"). It goes:
>> For young people who are not immediately concerned with College, we also
have General Knowledge Lists which encompass the information that Windsor
House teachers think would be necessary to be able to hold your own in a
general conversation. We are all ignorant about enormous portions of
information in the world, so being comfortable with ignorance and not
ashamed to satisfy curiosity is important. Being ignorant about many things
that a lot of your peers seem to know, however, could be embarrassing. >>
 I have discussed this part of the handbook with my son and I sense that he
saw something in it.
I have come to entertain ideas about "l'homme moyen sensuel" or the educated
"man in the street". Nothing special here, just holding your own in a
conversation as WH puts it.
Yes, I would like that for my son and I sense that he would like that too.
Isn't it easier not to worry about this? Not to think about this?
Is it not perhaps a bit of a cop-out - to ignore this?
Maybe so, maybe not. I can't say.
At this stage I want to offer my son material that can equip him to become
an educated HMS. As the French further expand on it: a man who knows almost
nothing about almost everything.
The material is there for him to take up, that's all.
Thank you for your best wishes.

> Hi Anne,
> Clearly, I didn't present our early experience as well as I would have
> liked. First and foremost, we have always strongly believed in
> individual rights. When students have chosen to have courses - whether
> negotiated with teachers, taught by other students or people recruited
> for that purpose - their rights have been respected. No other students
> have made noise in their area. However, the very fact that there are
> other students running around outside (and since we have 500 acres
> available they are often way outside) was enough of a distraction for
> kids who really didn't want to be in the class anyway.
> The point about the library (the upstairs area of our two story
> building)is simply that it will be as quiet as the quietest person wants
> it to be. Obviously, that rule could change, but hasn't for a long
> time. People who wanted to do classes have done them downstairs,
> outside, and - if they wanted to make quiet easier - upstairs. BTY, we
> usually hold our school meetings downstairs and have rules about
> interrupting a meeting too.
> The bottom line is that the security of a preformulated set of courses
> is tempting for many of us (especially products of traditional
> schooling), but why waste time when kids can follow their own interests
> without setting up something for them to join or avoid? I have no
> trouble with classes arising from interactions between members of the
> school, it's the idea that there are classes we should offer regardless
> of the people involved that I think is a mistake.
> I also think most kids want to please their parents, which is why it
> is extremely difficult for kids to be in a school that their parents
> don't approve of. Again, good luck in your efforts. Candy

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