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Dear Boundless Families:

Your kids’ journey to Boundless went safely and swiftly. Thanks for that.

The younglings arrived to such exquisite sunshine that this, along with the goodwill strewn about freely around here, couldn’t help but seduce the meek, inspire the confident, and engage the most diffident.

It’s been a lovely day 1. But the game is young. There is not much to report yet, so let me give you the lay of the land.

The youngest OE class, recently back from their afternoon baptism in the Madawaska’s rushing waters, were chilling on the basketball court. The card games have begun. Julian, our safety guy, brought out his guitar. I will join them on a special mission in 10 days, so it was worth my while to approach them and introduce myself.

I see roughly half of them at two picnic tables, so I seek clarification,

“Are you guys OE or English?”

Almost jumping out of their seats, they are quick to declare OE, as if an identity has been forged. Seems early to me, but I sense something real here, and I quip,

“You know, the OE people are fundamentally better human beings than English students.” 

They offer a resounding agreement by hooting it up. I left them feeling like this group is on it’s way. 

The older OE class is led by Kevin Klin (KK), thankfully without the middle name Ken. KK’s MO is to keep kids moving. The anxious granny inside me always appeals to KK to slow it up, to let kids breathe. “No problem, KK reassures me with his wry grin.” 

All this mean is that the kids have already conquered Mount Everest , and will save their Mars colonization for tomorrow morning. KK is incapable of slowing down. Your charges will be unable to resist the allure of it all for the activities planned will soon blow them away.

Which brings me the the younger english class, all 18 of them – 12 guys, 6 gals. 

The girls found solace in each each other quickly, and have already started peeing in pairs and trios, and the preening will begin by tomorrow. Guaranteed. They took to the onslaught of curriculum rather easily. They strike me as more mature than the fellas, who are busy forging their own turf in class. They are rambunctious, quirky, with occasional brilliant outbursts. About half the fellas will need creative engagement strategies. Led by Mackenzie (Macky), who is no stranger to teaching the young and the restless, I have no worries as she is all over it.

Finally, there is the 25 student strong english 4U class. There are two side stories I must address before going further.

The first is about Jim Purdue Risk, their course director, who is descended from Finnish warlords who whooped it up on the wrong side of the castle.

Jimmy helped me start Boundless in the mid 1980’s, and then was swooped away by love, settling in the nation’s Capital. He got old and boring.  He currently runs the English Department at Bell High School. Hpe the reader hasn’t fallen asleep yet.

And yet my desire for his return only grew over the decades. Of the thousand staff I have worked with in my career, Jim is in the top five. Problem is, he knows it.

After much pleading for his return, Jim condescendingly agreed to let down his ample hair, shockingly robust despite James approaching freedom 55. He’s just like all his perfect Ottawa peers. Indeed, he is an Ottawan in look and feel. Half of these exalted citizens look they they are about to run a triathlon. They are so glib in their Glebe. Indeed, Jim, just yesterday, took 20 minutes off his prep work and mountain-biked his way up a 400-foot hill.

His teaching standards are formidable and your kids will be in for a similar ride.

The next sidebar is a confession that my youngest precious sweetheart is in Jim’s class. This presents unique challenges. No one wants to be known as the Director’s daughter.

I need not worry. Oh no, not me. Dani has given me guidance. 

“When you walk by my building, you are allowed to acknowledge me, but not allowed to say hi.”

I gulp. “Okay, I say, is there anything else?”

“Yes, you are not allowed to like any other student in my class”

So there I have it. Crystal clear. About as much wiggle room as balancing on a razor blade.

This means I haven’t a real clue how the 4Uers are doing. I must stay away until my exile has been rescinded by my queen.

A little bird told me that virtually every student in that class is ready to bear down and nail this course. I’ll get more dirt in my next email.

A little tip to parents – no news is good news. Many of you probably have no problem letting go. But some, like me, have to work at it.

If you don’t hear from me, all is well.

I’ll write again in a few days as the drama unfolds.

Kind regards,

Steven