Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcoming the Present.

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift, and that is why it's called the present."

After months of preparation (which has been much like living in the future) we finally get to slow down, calm down, breath in, and accept the present.

Our school will continue to be a work in progress, but not the stuff of dreams like it has been until now.

I am so happy and excited for this time!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Socrates on Education

In Maine, in a little lobster shack close to the Isle Au Haut, they had the following passage framed and on the wall as reading material for meditation between the cracking of claws and sucking of meat out of lobster limbs. I was ecstatic to finally find it online:

"Whom then, do I call educated?

First, those who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise, and rarely misses the expedient course of action;

Next, those who are decent and honorable in their intercourse with all men, bearing easily and good naturedly that which is unpleasant or offensive in others, and being themselves as agreeable and reasonable to their associates as is humanly possible to be;

Furthermore, those who hold their pleasures always under control, and are not unduly overcome by their misfortunes, bearing up under them bravely and in a manner worthy of our common nature;

Finally, and most important of all are those who are not spoiled by their successes, and do not desert their true selves, but hold their ground steadfastly, as wise and sober minded men, rejoicing no more in the good things which have come to them through chance than in those which through their own nature and intelligence are theirs since birth.

Those who have a character which is in accord, not with one of these things, but with all of them, these I maintain are educated and whole men, possessed of all the virtues of a man."

Socrates (470-399 BC)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Friends hiding in nooks and crannies.

Having friends come to visit me on this rock in the middle of the ocean during this busy time has afforded me the opportunity to spend some moments in the places which make me feel grateful for living here. Instead of running school errands all day, rushing around in my car all over the roads, and dreaming about running school errands at night, and driving my car in my sleep, I run a little bit of errands and then go for short day adventure trips to the recondite natural nooks Aruba has to offer.

Yesterday, for example, Annie, David and I (and Maxi, my beloved cunucu dog) "discovered" a path that goes behind the Balashi Gold Ruins and circles beautifully around the salt flats of Frenchman's Pass where we met 2 of Aruba's most admired endemic species:

The "Infant In Arms", aptly named after swaddled babies of yore, hanging onto the dried vegetation during the hot summer months.

The highly endangered Aruban Rattlesnake, of which we met TWO on our path newly nicknamed "Rattlesnake Alley" or "Risk it". (Considering it's estimated that only around 200 of these snakes exist in the wild, we hit the endangered snake scientist jackpot). We got out of there quickly suspecting that the other 198 relatives of the snakes we saw could possibly be inhabiting this previously untrafficked area.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Putting together the school is a project of never-ending layers. We have come so far in the process and most of the work that is left to be done does not require as many trips to the hardware store as we were making in the prior months. I am grateful to have my friend/extemporaneous Montessori consultant, Annie, be here from Chicago to help with this stage!