'What If No One Shows?'

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During the months before the Gailer School opened, Harry Chaucer kept a journal, recording his innermost thoughts. Following are some of his entries:

APRIL 6.

I wake up excited about the realization that the school, my school, seems to be beginning. I wonder if Ester went through this, close to the turn of the last century. She must have worked with a group of parents, had her first students, wondered if she could pay the bills and how much to charge. She must have agonized over leaving her secure work with the public schools, wondered if her normal school education was adequate to the task. I feel a kindred spirit with her.

In the public school, there is no place for voice. Instead, there is party line. There is the party line of the administration (we use reality therapy, we're a success-oriented school, etc.) and the party line of the faculty/union (we're professionals, we're underpaid, we don't believe in the house system, we don't trust beyond our group boundaries). Most fundamentally, it was the inability to develop my own inner and expressive voice that has driven me from the public schools.

MAY 15.

Sleep is elusive. The thought of this undertaking can be overwhelming. This evening, I woke up (with the help of a 9-week-old dog named Matilda) ticking off innumerable items on a "to do" list. Things to do to start a school. There must be at least 500,000; 500 that I could list without straining, many of which deserve careful consideration. Where is Ester when I need her?

JUNE 6.

We had a community meeting last Thursday....At 7:25, there were only four people, including Andrea! I was a wreck. What if no one shows? Maybe starting a school isn't such a great idea. Maybe I'm not able to attract students. What made me so arrogant as to think that I could create a better school? Who am I to be so confident? If no one else shows up, should I continue my presentation? As it turned out, in the last five minutes, the room filled to capacity—50-60 people showed up. Some had to stand for lack of seats.

Vol. 02, Issue 01, Page 45

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