Crazy Calm in the Valley

by | Jul 27, 2021 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

Stephen, the Mentor for the grade twelves, just popped into my office this fine Monday morning and said he felt befuddled about the class.

“There are no problems. It’s eerie.”

I witnessed this myself yesterday during a brief visit. They were on a break. Some were ping ponging. Some were teasing me about my baldness.

One kid, S. has perfect 1970’s hair. I lament out loud that mine used to be exactly like his. This claim, being met with suspicion by S., was confirmed by Jimmy, their teacher, who knew me way back in the day when he helped me start Boundless in the 80’s.

There’s a chuckle.

I ask K. and O. the only two gals in the class, if their peers are behaving like perfect gentlemen. They assure me the boys are beyond reproach (paraphrased of course). The boys roll their eyes.

I offer to give three extra marks  to anyone who can beat me in Ping Pong. This was received with a resounding “F..k ya”. Jimmy is perturbed. I am unsure if this would be approved by the Ministry of Education. I have yet to be challenged.

Which is all to say that the kids were hanging out like they were already a tribe. No fanfare. Just a level of comfort. They are a class that has found its sweet spot.

Jimmy sees me putting this all together and adds,

“Academically, they came here with Covid rust. They’re past that now.”

The group is doing Orwelle’s 1984 and a second novel that the kids get to choose themselves.

The rest of the English crew (all other grades), are being taught by Tony, who’s 6-foot 6-inch frame could easily cast him in THE GAME OF THRONES. He’s a legend in these parts. As our former Principal, who makes his way back to the Valley each summer to let his dog Panino and his partner run wild, Tony literally wrote the book on Boundless summer English curriculum. He and Mary-Michelle, their Mentor, both comment repeatedly on the kindness of this group.

I don’t mean to dull the reader’s brain by using a worn out term such as “kindness”, lest you think I am embellishing, but indeed, this group is simply a stellar cohort of human beings. Which, lo and behold, reflects pretty well on you, the consumer of this missive. Oh my. A compliment to start your week.

There is a young lad in the younger group on the spectrum. His peers have taken him into their hearts, showing patience and that word again – kindness. This endears me to that class big time. Teachers can’t engineer this. Only decades of good parenting can.

I do hear tales of some fellas being boisterous late at night. “Others are trying to sleep don’t ya know!” But one can forgive teens being let out of their respective Covid prisons to feel the joys of face-to-face . Really, a simple “Pipe Down” is all that’s needed.

They are devouring the novel True Grit – Tony’s favourite for teens as it’s ever so relatable female protagonist masters her own alienation – a perfect theme for Covid. They’ll also do a second novel of their own choosing. 

“What, two books in two weeks? Are we nuts?”

Parents, just you wait and see. 

In short, every student in English this session came here ready to learn, hang out with humans, and get down to business. I confess to falling in love with our Covid scale of operations. It’s half our usual size and I worry I will get addicted to it. Things are so crazy calm around here.

I count our many blessings.

Thanks for sending your kids to us.



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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb