Chapter 18 Outside the Grid


“It was at Sundance that I organized a peace rally, through the schoolyard, at age 8.  I have no doubt that the initiative and leadership skills I developed at Sundance are part of what led to my starting an organization, YES!, at age 16, that is now a global network of visionary young leaders from 65+ nations.”

                              ___Ocean Robbins

I realized when writing this book that while we provided a wonderful structure within which people could learn and grow in their own unique ways; a lot went on “outside the grid.”  These weren’t “planned.”  They were events that happened spontaneously, instead of or even in spite of what we had planned.

When the Reunion was held in September of 2007, for those who were part of the school in the 70s and 80s, I posted a large schedule, outlining the “Offerings” for the day, along with times and places, age restrictions, and so forth.  This was not only to be an amusing bit of memorabilia, but a helpful guide to the afternoon’s activities.  Of course, it was seen by the community as only as a suggestion.  Everyone was having such a wonderful time meeting old friends and catching up on what they’re doing now, that it was a perfect reminder to me that, although there was plenty of structure, some of the best things happened in the cracks, or outside the grid.

Jane Thom, whose son attended Sundance from October 1987 to June 1990, writes:

An experience that tickled me was hearing that Aaron, along with others, was out protesting a temporary ban on skate-boarding (while legalities got sorted out). His sign read, “Roses are reed, violets are blue, we want to skate, don’t you?”  He told me about Amber cheering their protest on, encouraging their right to challenge authority even though she was strongly opposed to the skate-boarding situation at the school.  Sundance was a haven when we needed one.  Thank you.

Some people have fond memories of the consequences they were given for their inappropriate behaviour. Josh Miller writes:

The best thing about Time Out was seeing Bindo. 

Bindo was the secretary from the school’s inception. Many students formed close relationships with her.  Lucky for Josh that he got to know her when he was at TimeOut in the Medical Room, which was attached to the Office.

          Krista Amyotte, who went to Sundance from 1979 to 1983, recalls the camaraderie that developed while some of the students got up to after-school pranks:

          Who remembers going downtown after school for free hot dogs at Little Sammy Fatburgers? There were tons of us there every week. Some of you kids were probably not telling your vegetarian parents what you were up to.

          Ida Ripley,  who attended Sundance from 1979 to 1988, vividly recalls one offering that happened “outside the grid.”  She writes:

Does anyone else remember when someone’s dad brought in that dead racoon and he proceeded to skin and dissect it for us to see?

 

Marhya Evans writes:

I was at the school for 82-83.  I don’t remember any of my classmates but I do remember taking home our class pets for the weekend (two guinea pigs) that were supposed to be two males and they ended up having babies in my bedroom!

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