This post finds another year commenced on the educational forefront for Fairhaven School. New students mixed with old yesterday, and we all checked in about both our summers and our plans for this year. The day was smooth and remarkably drama-free: some played basketball and football; some played Legos; many got certified for computers, the grounds, and kitchen appliances. The JC convened to hear two leftover cases.

New students gathered in the middle of the day for an annual ritual: comparing notes about the injustices and frustrations of traditional school. Only two minutes between classes. Twenty minutes to eat. All of those worksheets. For these, Fairhaven School will begin with decompression, with rediscovering a sense of agency, with ownership of time and responsibility. This is my life, and I will live it on my terms. Here is the radical mission we enact.

The horsey girls set up jumps on the porch. An older girl on a mission came in even though she felt sick to set up her writing class. A colleague’s car sported a brand-new Temple University sticker in honor of her freshman son who graduated last year. How me miss him and the others who have left! Carrying on,  his brother and other members of the Electronics Corporation built two computers. We sang Happy Birthday and ate cake to celebrate another’s birthday, and I believe she’s fourteen, the same age as the school itself.

Do we take it all for granted, this unique environment where the young people spend their days blissfully being themselves? Do we recognize the countless achievements simple liberty allows? Today is the second day of our fourteenth year. Let us celebrate, and never overlook those parents, staff and students who have come before to make Fairhaven School possible. Today, let us rejoice in what has become ordinary for those of us who get to be here every day, those of us who understand the new student who joins many others in calling her new school Fairheaven.

Here’s to the best year yet!

Mark McCaig

Fairhaven School

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