How I have prepared myself to be an effective adult (fourth 2010 thesis)

(Fairhaven School has just graduated five students. As a way to celebrate the class of 2010, over the next month, we will be posting the theses that they  successfully defended. In italics below is a brief description outlining how somebody earns a Fairhaven diploma, followed by the seventh and final thesis. Enjoy!

Students who have spent at least three years at Fairhaven School may earn a diploma by defending the thesis that they have prepared themselves to become effective adults in the larger community. Diploma candidates must declare their intent to graduate and answer questions at a special winter Assembly of parents, students, staff and public members. They also meet with their individual graduation committees, and defend their written theses before a Diploma Committee made up of three experienced staff members from other Sudbury schools. A majority of positive votes from the Committee is the final requirement of  the diploma process.)

How I have prepared myself to be an effective adult

Effective adult means many different things to many different people.  I believe an effective adult has responsibility, knowledge of self, effective communication and community integration.

When you are self responsible, effectiveness within the adult community is assumed.  When you aren’t responsible for your self other pursuits become irrelevant, not to mention impossible.  A job is essential for food, clothing, housing, and general finances.  And if a person is to have a job they must have responsibility.  I believe when you know who you are work becomes an act of gratitude.

I see work as something that becomes apparent through constant pursuit of happiness and balance.  With the pursuit of a balanced life there are many opportunity’s for responsibilities.  I believe through responsibilities we can find peace.

Now that I am of legal age, responsibility means knowing what needs to be done. I have learned to manage my money, take care of my car, and contribute to the household.  I am currently working for the Bowie Blade delivering newspapers once a week.  I have learned to be dependable in doing my job and recognize the importance of work ethic.

During my time at Fairhaven the judicial committee exhibited a fair justice system; I believe this system taught me responsibility as a necessary characteristic. Being written up repeatedly through out the years has been a cycle of learning resulting in a new perceived value of responsibility. The first case I remember was when I was 5 years old. My friends and I rolled a giant pumpkin across the co op grounds only to be written up later.  The pumpkin had an owner and we hadn’t asked permission.

Knowledge of self is critical to being an effective adult.  I believe an effective adult recognizes their infinite potential for self discovery and growth.    I believe it’s important to consistently ask yourself what you need concerning this.  I have been seeking knowledge of self primarily through a spiritual manner. Meditation has been a beneficial route in self discovery.

At Fairhaven I have been given an abundance of freedom.  This has been essential in pursuing the constant discovery of where I want to be in life.  Following enrollment I found interest in video games and learned to read from playing them.  I grew up with a love for nature that was nurtured by the structure of Fairhaven; spending hours in the woods, collecting rocks and building forts.  I was quick to follow my heart.  At Fairhaven I also found an environment ideal for relationships, that environment being one with few restrictions that would prevent me from discovering my truest nature.

I have been producing and composing music since I was 14.   Working with music has helped me open to myself and others.  Music is my primary inspiration as a career.  I also have interest in horticulture. Living in a rural area, I feel much motivation to learn how to live off the land.  I aim to project my value of a better world, through artistic and other expressions.

I believe an effective adult recognizes communication as the connection with the outer world and manifests this knowing with that very communication.  I believe communication to be essential for any connection. At Fairhaven I have learned to communicate with clarity and integrity, from discussing my job as “sound guy” in the plays, to talking about life with younger students. I find the widest knowledge to come from communicating to the widest age group.

An effective adult recognizes the importance of being integrated within a community.
Community is essential in a balanced life.  I find my inner balance most present when I reflect upon a community for support.  I have participated in music corp. and have been the DJ at school dances and coffee houses.  I have enjoyed being a part of many of the school plays as the sound engineer, helping to create various musical scores.  I have found much contentment coming from simply being a part of the bigger picture.

I went to the Fairhaven school co-op at age 5 and went to Fairhaven at age 6 when the doors opened.  I have been a student at Fairhaven for 12 years. During my time at Fairhaven School I have acquired responsibility, communication, integration within the community and knowledge of self. This is what an effective adult is.

By Jimmy Jackson

Fairhaven School Class Of 2010

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