Is This All a Dream?

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

I’ve been stuffing my face with organic vegetables the last few weeks. So have your kids. The stuff flies off the shelves. Craig, the Head Cook, is shocked.

“I have never seen kids eat vegetables like this before.”

Perhaps it’s because they have a stake in the land. They have helped this garden along. About four students spend most of their free time there. It’s just about the most adorable thing I have ever seen.

The garden, along with our forest reclamation projects, are keeping everyone busy. Trying to heal land is less complicated than healing a soul. But the two are linked. Surely.

And they earn Science credits for this!?

Am I in a dream?

The Boundless bigshots have fantasized about this kind of education for decades. My favourite writers about education – Herman Hesse, Castaneda, Allan Watts, Aristotle, Black Elk, Huxley, MLK – are purring in their graves.

You can see the impact on the kids.

This is our eleventh go-around at the boarding school. Those in the know understand that session one, historically, is a grind. Once the honeymoon of the first week is over, and the reality of routine and obligations take root, the roses fall off their blooms. Inner demons emerge. Kids start missing home.

Your kids have bonded the most quickly of all new boarding school groups in our history. I can’t tell who’s new anymore, and who’s been here for two years.

As all advanced groups do, they are developing their own language and culture. I can’t keep up with their antics, pranks and body odour. Yet I walk among them and am showered with affection, ping pong and verbal jousting. They run up and show me samples of their work like eager toddlers. I conceal my tears. That wouldn’t be cool. Not yet anyways.

Quiche popped into my office the other day. He is using me to avoid work. I decided to do the same. We chat. About leadership. People have been expecting him to take on a larger role in the group. Physically, he is an immortal God. His mind is sharp. But he laments about his voice.

“I am quiet. I hate speaking in public.”

I tell him about my favourite motivational speech that I ever heard, rendered by a guy named Ted Gretzky (Wayne’s first cousin), who was a treasured and shy leader at Boundless for a decade or so.

About to lead his crew through treacherous rapids, he paused, gazed at his wards with intensity and a hint of a smile, and said, “Let’s go”. Those kids followed Teddy to the ends of the earth.

Quiche takes the story in.

He looks at me with his charming Scarborough eyes, and utters, quietly, “Hmmm”. Quiche is learning. He has begun to step up.

This story is matched by countless others. There are times the staff look at F. and think he is a gift from the heavens, for his kindness is so infectious. S. like his sister a few years back, wouldn’t speak for the first two weeks. Now his mouth is yapping and his fingers are tapping on the laptop with keen intent.

Ewe is still a pain in the ass. C. and Reechee, both arriving as delicate flowers, have found comfort in each other and just about everyone else. L. is the most delightful monster of a 15-year old we have ever encountered, and brings joy to everyone around him. Seb prends she is an Elder sometimes. But with humility. That’s how you become an Elder one day. Izzy is now laughing at himself being an incessant whiner. He is taking himself a little less seriously. Priceless.

Your kids’ growth is as beautiful as the gifts of Autumn. It is beyond gorgeous here. Tear-jerking colours. Rainbows between the rains. The air is as pure as it used to be before humanity screwed it all up.

Indeed, this is a dream.

Families, this is my last post for the session. My next one will be about ten days into session two. It is unprecedented that 95% of students in session one are continuing on. This speaks volumes.

Big Halloween hugs to everyone.


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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb