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Dear Boundless Families:

 
Not to be confused with the man with tiny hands down south – like seriously not to be confused – I’ll put my money on character trumping charisma every time in group process.
 
This is proving the case with both gangs.
 
Popping by english before lunch today, I hung out and gossiped with your kids like grannies drinking tea on a porch.
 
The group had it’s defining moment on their overnight a few days ago. It was a timeless trip, feeling immortal in a stunning setting, basking in campfire chatter and hilarity, and crashing on their pillows to a mellow sunset. All was well with the universe.
 
Until morning, when it unravelled.
 
After breakfast, Tom one of their favourite teachers, announced they had a written assignment to complete after dishes.
 
“Around the fire pit? Are you sh…ing us? Lets just go back and do it!” 
 
This was clearly an attack of the acne prone zombies. And all the goodwill carefully honed up to that moment was in jeopardy. 
 
It was three of the so called cool kids leading the mini-mutiny. And out of nowhere, the Kingmaker and those who have the altogether rare quality of believing you have to earn your privilege, came down hard on the rebels. They were drowned in good character.
 
The gist of it in English is that the kids realize they have to pay a price to earn an english credit in 12 curriculum days. They don’t love the workload. They can feel the weight of the english blitz and their instincts are to ease the burden. But they can’t. They know they will slip.
 
And the rub of it is that they CARE that they will slip. That young people here are learning to manage large responsibility with the yearning to screw off. They are getting more than a credit.
 
Students still can’t believe that english can be so cool. This morning they broke off in pairs to create podcasts. Yesterday they did a road trip to do research for the short stories they have to write. Most were rapt in the podcast thing. One pair that wasn’t happened to be flanked by two teachers. No room to escape. And for the majority – no desire to.
 
The Outdoor Crew left for the Dumoine river yesterday, and are now in radio silence. Equipped with Sat phones, 600 tons of food and enough rescue gear to outfit the Coast Guard, they are on their own, having to traverse 60 kms, 58 sets of rapids, one 100ft waterfall and countless smaller ones, one 2km portage and countless smaller ones, and the swarms of deer flies that just adore humidity. And its humid seemingly forever right now.
 
A couple kids in the group remind you of the genetically gifted dudes you just despised at school dances all those decades ago. They are not despicable people by any stretch, its just that the archetype sometimes rings true with them. And if they tend to rest on any of their genetic laurels, they are ignored to the point of invisibility. For it is Aidan, and Ben B, and the cast of other noble characters that are setting the standard of kindness. The shy in the group are coming out of their shells like in a turtle hatchery. And the “dudes” are learning they can connect with kids using other strategies. Their edge is softening day by day.
 
Right now the crew is negotiating with the demands of what we call here the “epic day”. This morning alone, the first day of their Dumoine descent, they had to run 17 rapids with barely a break. I typically sit on my thumbs until about 1:00PM, and if the phone doesn’t ring, I know they made it. And evidently, they have made it, for my Maytag repairman woes continue.
 
Wow, just five days left.
 
All is well, and hoping them same for you.
 
Warm regards,
 
Steven Gottlieb
Executive Director
steven@theboundlessschool.com 
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