Today I visited a high school that reminded me of the high school I attended, and I remembered just how badly I wanted to dismantle that building, brick by brick. I wanted windows. I wanted to lie beneath leafy trees. I wanted to hike up behind the athletic fields and wander into woods I hadn’t explored.
So at 18 when I enrolled in a tiny Vermont college at the end of a paved road, where an old farmhouse housed the administrative offices and classrooms were in a former hay barn, I knew I was in the right place. The first night I slept there, I fell asleep staring through the window at the crystalline stars.
I’ve tried many paths with my own daughters, from private school to homeschooling to public school, and perhaps the one thing I learned is not follow what your own adult peer group is doing – that initial impulses are sometimes dead-on – and that if you’re feeling penned in, look for the egress, or at least a window sash to open.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats