That's quite a creative solution, Alexander! Good Luck!
> Hey Cindy,
> I might have the perfect solution for you !
> My last attempt at getting this off the ground failed partley because
> I was too successful in showing the mechanism of real learning to
> parents. (They all left town to search out going concerns when they
> discovered I had not raised enough money, and that the time scale
> was too long ie, fantasy 3 months, reality 18 months + they all have
> to be involved.)
> I know that the problems each community faces differ. Here are some
> of ours. You may find that our solution works for you though :-)
> Problem 1)
> Here in Japan, land is -really- expensive. This has been the main
> stumbling block. If we go outside the city limits, you find the cost
> of land goes down by only 20%-35% or so from the city prices. Even
> farm land in the middle of no-where costs, and then we would be too
> far from the target customer.
> Problem 2)
> It is actually illegal for any Japanese parent residing in Japan not to
> send their Japanese child to a school approved by the Central
> Government. Approval requires using ONLY Government approved
> text books, a Government approved daily time table, a Government
> approved yearly time table and Government approved teachers,
> ho by law MUST be Japanese citizens. MUST !
> I tell you! If I succeed in getting it going here, I should dedicate
> to flying to other locations around the world to help creat workable
> Our solution. #1
> There is a piece of land 100 meters from where I live. 3-4 tennis court
> size, appartments all around, vacant for the last 30 years or so. Worth
> $10m, we can't buy it. Renting is impossible, as the law gives too
> generous rights to tennants. Why not be employed to "look after the
> land". When the bank wants to build something/ sell it, they can give us
> 2 months notice to go. Not so secure, but ok to get started.
> Our solution. #2
> My "main man" and I found a hill-side town, recently developed for
> nice houses, with many plots for sale. The hill overlooked the fields
> just outside the city (soon to be covered with concrete though),
> clean air, and the city bus service terminates 2 busses from town
> right on the hill. 100 meters from the bus "turn around point" the
> terraced fields rise up the hill to the forest.
> We were interested in these fields, as space will be important. Too
> expesive. 1 tennis court sized plot $2-3 mill. Poo. Then, we noticed
> that the city govnt. had built a huge children's park, slides, swings,
> climbing frames, base-ball zone, soccer zone, running track, toilets. . .
> right at the bottom of the houing area.
> "Ah ha!" my friend said, "The City goverment will help us after all,
> to the tune of n billions of yen by providing this here facility!" YES,
> we could get a plot for a small house next to / near the park, put
> the school on the plot, let the kids go where they please! The cheek
> of it! That one small plot though, was still too expensive. Back to the
> drawing board.
> #3 Our Solution El Suprimo
> We got to joking around how the city gvnt. could provide us with all
> kinds of locations, museums, parks, exhibitions , all for free. They'd
> be indirectly funding a school that opporates diametrically opposite
> to their ideal! . . . and then it hit us.
> We'd make everything in the whole city a facility of the school,
> including the beach! The idea runs like this:
> because almost everything is accessable by train, bus and bike, kids
> can decide from week to week where they want to put the school
> the following week. If sand castles, shells and sea-weed leads them
> to the beach, so be it. A week at the museum? OK, The apple orchard
> in the hills? Here's the map! The zoo? The Biological gardens? Hiking in
> the forest? Ohori Park? Odo Park? The park with little electric cars
> for kids to drive and learn road safety?
> EX CE LENT !
> So where's the school? We are going to get a big bus or truck, strip it
> out, put a kitchen in, a toilet, mini library and whatever else we decide
> we need.
> It happens that my right hand man is in the second hand industrial
> equipment biz, you know, tractors, buldozers, etc. He was at an auction
> a week before our revelation at which a couple of airport concertina-
> busses were sold for $50 each! Now they don't come along everyday
> but hardly an auction goes by without something going for a song. And
> an airport bus, can you imagine the milage? too and from the airport
> building along the tarmac to the plane, for ten years. It was like new.
> They had never even changed the tires! But driving a concertina on
> Japanese roads ???? That's tough, but the inspiration was given.
> And what about a permanent site? Well, we have decided that that
> -is- still important. Discusion on why later. But think of it. If the kids
> need to spend 6 weeks exploring a new beach front and it's forest, ok!
> Any comments?
> Alexander Streater
> Message to teachers (and parents):
> Children learn in spite of us, not because of us!
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