[Discuss-sudbury-model] donation offer

From: Linda Siska <siskal_at_hotmail.com>
Date: Thu Nov 21 04:07:00 2002

When I was in high school, back in the sixties, I was one of the shy, quiet types who sat in the back of the class and was rarely noticed -- not by teachers, and not by my peers.  I studied hard and did extremely well; my grades were my self-esteem.  But I was enough of a rebel to resent a system which gave me so few choices.  My time, my life, were not my own and I hated it.

I knew there had to be a better way.  I resolved to someday open a school of my own -- a school where children would want to be -- a school that empowered instead of imprisoned.  I went off to college and majored in education, reading _Summerhill_ and John Holt on the side.  The plan was to teach a few years in public school -- just to gain experience -- and then strike out on my own.

Life has a way of altering our plans.  I married young, had children, and moved to Germany with my husband.  Through all of the changes, my desire for a 'someday school' never abated.  I studied Montessori, Waldorf and alternative schools looking for the right model.  When I answered an ad in _New Age Magazine_ for a school called Sudbury Valley, I knew I had found what I'd been looking for.  The problem was, I was still in Germany, living in a military community and never knowing from one year to the next if we would stay or 'go home.'

Eventually, I took my teenage son, a high-school drop-out, and moved temporarily to Framingham.  Sean was still a minor, so I lived with him for the first of his two years at SVS before returning to my life in Germany. 

I am now 53 years old.  My husband will be retiring in another year, and we will at last be returning to the states.  For my dream of a school, it is too late.  I no longer have the energy or determination it takes to get a Sudbury model school up and running, nor do I have the desire it takes to keep one going.

Surprisingly, I have no regrets.  Looking back on my life, I believe my dream was not really about founding a school but about finding SVS.  It was at SVS that my son regained a sense of dignity and self-worth, and it was there that he met the beautiful young woman whom he will marry this coming June.  And it was in Framingham that I met some of the most incredible women it has ever been my privilege to know.  Life is good, and I am blessed!

What I do have is a full set of 'start your own school' materials from SVS.  If there is someone out there who could use the books, tapes and videos, please let me know.  I will gladly donate them to your cause and know that my goal is being fulfilled, though not by myself.

Yours in common spirit -- Linda

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