Re: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

From: Mark Ide (mide@rcn.com)
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 10:13:02 EST


Dear Bill:

Thank you very much for taking the time to write and reply to my questions.
I not only feel I understand further, but I'm moved to feel more deeply for
all those people (children, teachers, parents, etc) still prisoners of that
way of being.

Peace,

Mark
----- Original Message -----
From: <Sugmapl@aol.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 11:02 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

> Hi Mark,
>
> Thanks for the questions.
>
> I once visited a school with four and five year olds in the class. I was
with
> them for a couple of hours and then we sat down for morning snak. We all
sat
> around a table in little chairs. Just as we got settled the care giver was
> called away to another room to attend to another child. Just as soon as
she
> leaves, the whole table, all the children "arrive". Back and forth, up and
> down the table talking and smiling and laughing. In one stunning instant,
> they have become completely different. I had not seen this all morning. I
> keep eating my sliced apple and peanut butter. On and on they go, this and
> that, back and forth, up and down, laughing and smiling. And then the care
> giver comes back. And in another stunning instant, in one instant, they
are
> gone, back to the way they had been all morning. Stunned, I at least knew
I
> didn't need to visit any more schools. Five year olds, the whole lot of
them,
> already knew when it was safe to be present in their own lives, and when
it
> wasn't.
>
> Constant chronic attack, leads to constant chronic defense. The child is
in a
> fight for their very survival, and so the defense is reasonable and
> necessary. But then the behavior becomes automated. Soon the defense
itself
> will cripple them. Because the defense takes so much of their emotional
> energy.
>
> And then they arrive at Sudbury. And the description is that they at first
> just sit. They are resting. They can't believe the barrage is over.
Remember
> they are used to being attacked, literally, hundreds of times a day. (In a
> middle school math class, I once visited, the teacher said "shh", every
third
> word. That would be about once every three seconds, or a thousand times a
> class).
>
> So, then Sudbury fails to attack all day and all week and all month and
all
> year, year after year. And so the child, year after year fails to see the
> need to defend. And thus, arrives at undefended life. And now, freed from
> spending enormous amounts of energy defending themselves, they have
enormous
> amounts of energy to build their own lives and pursue their interests.
>
> Plasicine is just an example of what they create (with all this energy)
when
> they are free. A discription is found in "Kingdom of Childhood" (Sudbury
> Press). A description of defense is found in "The Fantasy Bond - Effects
of
> Psychological Defenses on Interpersonal Relations", Robert Firestone.
>
>
> Warm Regards,
> Bill Richardson
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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