Dear Boundless Families:
Eager to reacquaint myself with the zeitgeist of each tribe, I have been snooping around the kids, trying to be a fly on the wall. This has proved rather impossible, as I have a reputation for being the crazy old guy. Kids sniff me out life curious yearling puppies.
Case in point, a young lad named Quinn from Mixed English sees me resting against a tree about 50 metres away from the action. I am trying to take in their moment without disturbing it. The gang is swinging 60 feet in the air, and Quinn just finished his turn. He’s beaming, and purposely crosses a seemingly great divide to share his joy.
“You should try it”, he offers with a glint in his eye. It’s amazing how teens can sense the jugular lime vampires.
Inwardly acknowledging my sorry excuse for flesh, I try and deflect,
“Take a seat”, I say. He does so. I notice that there is not a milligram of body fat on his turbo charged caloric processing machine. I can’t stand him already. I can’t shame myself either, so reluctantly agree to do that swing. Lucky me.
But not before Quinn starts chattering. He tells me all kinds of things. That he, a grade 9 grad, got switched into a room with three grade 12 lads and how awesome that was. How he wrestled Aaron (course director) yesterday and that he never tapped out and that Aaron told him he, Aaron, needs Vitamin I (as in the letter I) – code for Ibuprofen. That this school is way more fun than regular school and that teachers pay attention to him.
“Aaron even promised to tell me and my roommates a bedtime story.”
I approach Aaron, thinking all kinds of horrid images about how he could be recruiting them for his Vegan cult or turning them into Animal Rights militants.
“Aaron, they tell me that you give bedtime stories”.
With his impossibly alluring orthodontic smile, he concedes that this is true.
“What the heck are you corrupting them with now?”
“I’ll explain later”.
I decide instantly that I don’t want to know.
Next I head over to the OE cohort, who returned home this afternoon like battle hardened Greeks from Troy. Like Quinn, a kid with the initials KT targets me from afar.
He is alight with confidence.
“I am so proud of myself”.
“Way to go Sunshine!” he’s not sure what to do with this title, the second time I have referred to him as such. But he ends up accepting it. He hugs me. And that’s that.
This was a boy on day 4 who sheepishly trods into my office wanting to go home. I ply him with chocolate and tell him, “Decide”. He does. And now he is going home an emotional millionaire.
Sometimes I see the 4uers at different places around property. They take their philosophers’ walks just about anywhere. A few nights ago they are doing some drama thing overlooking a meadow, while burgers are being prepped on the barby by an English teacher who I privately refer to as Athena. Daughter of Zeus, for she is the Deity of Wisdom incarnate, and a calming force in group process.
And I am thinking this is the way education should be. So does everyone else in that tribe. There are really good people in that class. Virtuous behaviour is like a lock that lifts all naughty ships. This is exactly what has happened since Day 1. The 4uers have breezed through this experience and simply adore each other.
Currently both English classes are “culminating”, a rather questionable euphemism to describe wrapping everything up in one big test (or essay in the case of English). There is calm.
OE has also been phenomenal since day one. This cohort is the most well-oiled machine of the whole summer. Their torsos shall be swollen when they step off the bus.
In fact, this has been my favourite session of the summer, if only for the fact that is has been the easiest on this old man. And I love many of those kids of yours.
Thanks for entrusting them to our care.
It’s been a privilege.
Happy September. May your transitions be smooth ones and your reunions in just two days be all that you hope for.