Re: DSM: Hello ( real message )

From: Melanie Noviss (wiz@idirect.ca)
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 16:17:23 EDT


Hi Andre,
You're not alone. Perhaps if a SVS is not immediately available to you,
you might find some companionship with other teens on some "unschooling"
websites or reading the book The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace
Llewellyn.

When I was a teenager I left school and felt pretty alone and isolated.
I knew it was the right thing for me but I, too, was surrounded by
people asking me: "what are you going to do with your life?" I have led
a conventional and unconventional life these 30+ years and am even more
confident that the choices I make are the right ones for me. I have two
children of my own now and they have more choices than I had.

Perhaps you must be a pilgrim, with all the danger and adventure that
implies. And you will create a path that others may choose to follow --
or not.
Best wishes,
Melanie Noviss

André Sanchez wrote:

> Hello! Before I begin, I just want to explain that I am
> not a citizen of an english speaking country ( I am from Brazil ) so
> don't expect my english to be perfect. Hopefully there won't be any
> problem in understanding me, but tell me if something just doesnt seem
> right. I am sorry if I bore you all with this, or if it is out of the
> subject, but I need to tell someone. I am 15 years old ( 16 in
> november ). When I was 13 years old, I left school. My parents DID NOT
> believe ( and still don't ) in giving me freedom, but I believed, so I
> just didn't go to school when I didn't want to go, didn't ask
> permition to go to the bathroom, and some other things like that. So,
> of course, they sent me to a psychologist, I needed to go to terapy
> two times a week and even started taking some medication. Nothing made
> any diference. So after one year of batles, they understood that
> nothing they could do was going to change the fact that I was not
> going to that school ( or any other similar school ), they made a lot
> of threats, but in the end I was set free. However, one year ago, I
> decided to get back to school ( I still hated school, but the growing
> threats, pressure to "do something with my life", and a few more
> things, overwhelmed me). I was able to pass their test, and the school
> said that my skills were above normal and that they were very happy to
> have someone like me there ( I had some problems with math, because I
> never studied the more complex things about it, things where the
> aplication of a formula was more important to solving the problem then
> thinking logically about it ). I was able to atend regularly for a few
> weeks before I started not going to school ( because I had better
> things to do at home ). Then, somewhere near march or may, I
> discovered the Sudbury Valley School. I read all the free articles in
> the SVS's website, some of the messages from this list and some other
> things from the Internet. I was surprised to see how similar our
> visions were, and to know that I was not alone. I cried the day I
> found SVS's website, and I still cry today. I cry out of both
> happiness and sadness, hope and desperation. In my country, there is
> no school even remotely similar to SVS ( if you know of any, please,
> tell me ), so the only way I can go to a democratic/free school, is by
> going to another country. However, my family cannot afford going to
> another country, it can't even pay the tuiton for such a school. My
> greatest wish, is to go to a school like SVS, but that is not possible
> now. I am afraid that when I convince my parents that this is the
> right school for me, find a way to pay for it, and a way to live in
> the U.S., I will simply be too old. I just can't be tradicionally
> educated, I can't live like that. I can just stay at home, but my
> parents are not happy with me leaving school again, they want a quick
> answer to the question "What are you going to do with your life?", so
> they can make me do it, but there is no way I can answer that. I think
> that I am in a better situation then if I was still going to school,
> but they want to force me into deciding something I am not ready to
> decide. I need advice, but even a friendly word would be nice.
> Even not going to SVS, this changed my life, so I thank you for
> believing in what you do, and for doing something about it. André
> Sanchez

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