Dear Boundless Families:
Aside from the fact that the skitters gnawed a number of your kids’ limbs off, and that the deer flies, new to this insectivorish insanity, tore into untarnished teen flesh like Kamikazes – things are pretty hunky dory right now. I hung out with both groups for a while, and managed to note a few quotes and conversations for your edification.
I approached one English student and for all within earshot, I bellow, “So how disturbing is it that Tony (their group leader) doesn’t wear shoes?”
He giggles, “Kinda freaks me out, to be honest”.
Tony senses he’s the runt here, and rushes over to declare that he has created a cult, now numbering 7 kids, who refuse to put their shoes on any longer.
I deflect this nonsense by soberly inquiring “What about the rest of it (the English experience)?”
The student reflects a moment and gets metaphoric, “Kinda like a country club atmosphere”.
I’m dumbfounded.This is supposed to be about True Grit. I am hoping the title of the novel sublimates into their character. Call me a dreamer.
He adds, ” Every time I need help, someone is there. It makes the course go quicker. And it’s beautiful here.”
Trying to stir a hornet’s nest, I create a mini social continuum for him to rank his group.
“So, how would you rank the people here. Are you loving them. Middling them, or are you in some kind of social hell?”
He pauses sheepishly for he knows I am invested in him saying good things, and he plays me a little by hesitating.
Then, exposing his perfect orthodontic work, he grins, “ahhh, I’d say I’m loving them”.
I soon encounter another English student who’s been here for his third straight year. Teasing him, I wonder out loud,
“You were a monster two years ago, and now I hear you’re an angel. What gives?”
Aghast, he challenges me, “Who said I was a monster?”
I quickly confirm it’s Trevor, one of our teachers who left a year ago, so like the scoundrel that I am, I know I can’t be held accountable.
Instead of challenging me further, he decides to take the question seriously. He gets all quiet, and after a moment, he unleashes a cliche that would make any Zen Master proud.
“I learned to breathe out instead of holding it in”
Perplexed, I push him, “what the heck does that mean?”
He says its about self expression – that he thinks its easier for him to talk things out now.
There is a group of mystics out there who believe that if one soul is saved, you save all of humanity. So I emerged from the conversation feeling a little more hopeful about the state of the planet, which serves as a powerful antidote for every time I read one of Trump’s tweets.
I mosey along to the outdoor crew. Kevin Klin, their trusty leader clad in clothes that he himself characterizes as being “Variety Village Burlesque”, came up to me and declared that “they are just loving on each other”.
Parents, this is not a reference to some B Porn episode, its just how this generation communicates the fact that people dig each other.
Its striking how a leader rubs off on his crew. Connor, an alpha jock-like male, raided our drama-clothing bin and emerged wearing glitter and a feathery sash. This is no joke. The inner weirdness of all students is letting itself out. This makes for a exquisite cohesion. The bugs and the rain and the high water and the writing assignments are simply no match for this closeness.
This is all to say that tonight, the end of day 4, every single human being has settled into the place and is learning copious amounts of good stuff.
Even little Maya, whom we were so concerned about because she is a grade 8 grad in a world surrounded by bigger and more boisterous boys, has been adopted as the little sister of the clan, and is having the time of her life with her new older siblings.
Until next time,