Re: DSM: Hello ( real message )

From: Amanda Phillips (
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 20:38:35 EDT

Hello Andre,

Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, am sad because I never had the
opportunity to go to a school like Sudbury Valley. How different my life
would have been! But I'm finding that even though I didn't have a school
like SudVal, I had myself, and that is the most important thing. I, too,
left school because I knew it wasn't right for me. Although I have no degree
and not even a high school diploma, I am now an accounting manager of a
group of six people. I learned everything I know on my own, and I know you
can, too. So when you figure out what it is that you want to do with the
rest of your life (or even for just the next few years), you should feel
confident that you will be able to succeed based on your own efforts.

You seem very bright, and I'm happy to hear that at such an early age you
are taking charge of your own life and doing what is best for you. You
should be proud.

Perhaps the answer to "What are you going to do with your life?" might
include starting a Sudbury school in Brazil! :)


>From: André Sanchez <>
>To: <>
>Subject: DSM: Hello ( real message )
>Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 15:55:56 -0300
> 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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