Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh Me! Oh Life!

Dear Compass Students,

I am at home alone with soft music playing as I think of the year we just completed. This time of year is always an uncomfortable mixture of excitement and sadness. It doesn’t help that I may never see many of you again. Separation and moving on is the nature of this game I suppose. We dance in and out of each other’s lives and hopefully we will leave behind something memorable.

Looking back on our year there is no doubt in mind  that you have been a special group. The whole idea of a tiny pioneer school was very exciting and important to me. You have made it memorable.  I want to say thank you for working so hard and being so motivated. There were many times when you could have complained, but instead you carried on.

I know I tend to dwell on the doom and gloom. It may appear that I only see the worst in people. Our class discussions tended to focus on the morbid and the problems of the world. I must not have painted a pretty picture of your world or your future. I am sorry for this. I focused on the global issues you face because we need your help to start turning things around. Business as usual is leading us down a very dark path, and I for one am ready to turn around. This sense of disaster, however, is not the taste I have wanted to leave in your mouth. I wanted to show you the ugly, so you could appreciate the beautiful. The world is an astounding place. It is filled such wonder that you have not even begun to experience  yet. You may not be able to contemplate this wonder at your age yet, but someday you will be have a moment of utter joy, I hope you will be able to look back at this time in your life and remember the things I taught you. All those long afternoons discussing community, identity, and love. The role of the individual, the common good, teh power of a garden. The power of art. The power of you!

I know it feels like we may have abandoned this blog, but there is no reason why we can’t stay in touch in this space. I would love to read your writing and have you read mine. I will continue to use this blog with my students next year, and I hope we can use it as a way to communicate with each other.  Drop by now and then to see what we are doing. If you continue to write I will do the same. I promise.

If you haven’t done so already you can also join the Facebook fan page for updates. Try to make that a two way line of communication. Send me notes, links, photos. I am not done teaching you yet. I hope you are not done learning. With the Internet and the tools I have taught you to use, there is no reason why we cannot continue to learn from each other for years into the future.

Thank you for a great year and remember that words and ideas can change the world.

O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;  Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;

The Question: O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;  That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

What will your verse be...


  1. Thank you sir for everything you've done for us! You've planted new ideas into our brains. Ideas that I know in personal will come in useful. You've shown us that by seeing the ugly side of life, then you can truly appreciate the beautiful side of life.

    Thank you sir once again! We wish you the best in the future!
    Good luck,
    James A.

  2. Thank you, now I see english not as just another subject, but an art. You've inspired me to enjoy writing and really get my thoughts out. I'm glad you're not done teaching us.