To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Year 3: Fourth Interlude

Hi, there, Daniel-of-2015 here.

Sorry about last Friday. As I said, we had a problem with our internet connection and then by the time we got it fixed I had other commitments I needed to meet. My schedule is too full these days to let me adjust to unexpected events—an obvious problem. In fact, for the next few months I’ll shift back to doing just one post per week, on Mondays.

My parents know I’m overworking myself and they ask why I can’t just drop this blog completely. After all, I’m not being paid for the project, and I’ve hidden my identity here so I can’t even put it on my resume. I’ve tried to explain to them that I have a duty to continue, a duty laid upon me by the others in the community. The thing is, at the moment the school doesn’t exist. If we don’t manage to re-establish ourselves somehow, then what we achieved, what we built and learned, will more or less evaporate and be lost. The reason I write this blog is to disseminate the principles and the sense of our community so as to hopefully inspire other people to pick up where we were forced to leave off. It’s our legacy. And that’s why I can’t just quit the blog because I’m too busy. The project is bigger than I am.

But we are making progress on other aspects of our legacy. As I’ve mentioned, Aiden has joined our school as its first new student since campus closed—so far, that doesn’t make much practical difference to him, since we’re just helping him through his homeschool program, which all of us would have done anyway. But it’s a big deal for him emotionally and it’s huge for us. For the first time in years, we’re thinking as a group about how to design a curriculum. We don’t know whether, or even if, we’ll have more students, but it feels good to be acting like a faculty again.
At the same time, we’re making progress in other areas.

I mentioned, a few months ago, how we’d had a conversation about whether to move forward as a group, to become something more than a group of friends who used to have a school together. Since then, we’ve been talking a lot about what we could do, how our interests and resources could come together to create some kind of educational or service community—because that’s what we’ve always been and that’s what we’ll need to be again if we’re to continue, if we’re to have a reason to exist.
We don’t yet have a hard and fast answer to the question, but what we’ve been doing is talking about our individual projects to maybe see how they fit together, whether one or more of them could become the new medium of community activity.

For example, there's Andy's bicycle shop, Sadie's restaurant, Karen's martial arts studio....

And there’s the homeschooling network. Some of the families in the community have always homeschooled, but they always did it independently of each other. That changed when Allen and Lo got involved. They had to get David re-enrolled in something quickly, so they didn’t have a lot of time to research and weigh their options. So they talked to Sadie and to Sarah and her husband about different ways to do homeschooling, and the three families formed a loose network. Through those conversations, Allen has gotten interested in children’s education as an extension of his work as a therapist. This fall, he and a group of other parents plan to open an after-school center that will also work as a resource room and community facility for homeschoolers.

Allen didn’t initially plan on his learning center having anything to do with our community as a whole, but we’ve been talking about it and throwing around ideas. Perhaps our community could develop new members through a high school rather than a college? Perhaps we could become a training program for teachers and camp counselors? Perhaps the community of parents with kids in the learning center might have some role in our future?

Anyway, among the group of us we have at least half a dozen projects either already launched or still in development around which we are having these kinds of discussions.

It’s exciting.

And in the meantime, my daughter is really starting to talk—whole sentences and everything—June is doing well in her career, I am still a mostly stay-at-home dad with way too many projects to look after, and this blog will continue for the foreseeable future.

It's the least and the most I can do for the community at present.

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