No one at Deep Root Center will force you to do something you don’t want to do. Not only that, we don’t, and, won’t tell you what you should do, either. Which is exactly what we mean when we say DRC is a non-coercive educational environment. We believe that everyone, even the youngest child, is capable of making unique and positive choices that speak to their interests and aspirations.
Deep Root Center provides, every single person who walks through our door: mentors who care deeply, a vibrant, respectful community, the facilities, supplies, and resources to study and/or create anything they can imagine, and talented, local folks who are willing to share their skills and knowledge. DRC also offers the safe space where you can make mistakes and move on with a new and profound understanding of yourself. You can only gain the full advantage of all those things; however, if you are committed to being fully present with a positive attitude about the other people here and the opportunities offered.
Despite the above disclaimer written in very large font (no small print here to intentionally confuse, or deceive you), as well as the explanation presented during the initial meetings, some students don’t quite understand that at DRC we expect them to take charge of, not only, their education, but their life. Even after being with us for a while, they are oftentimes rude and disrespectful, refuse to engage with the community, and respond to, “how can we support you?”, “what do you want to do?” or, “what are you interested in?” with either a blank stare or an, “I don’t know,” accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders. In addition, they either ignore suggestions or respond negatively to every single one, without, attempting a constructive conversation.
This is not an attempt to judge or play the blame game; I do believe this behavior is most likely related to apathy and hopelessness as described in last week’s post. Nevertheless, I have come to realize that, in truth, what some are seeking is an escape from reality and from responsibility – a literal “get out of school free card.” Surprise! Deep Root Center is not that place! It simply is not what we offer here. It is the complete opposite. DRC is the real world – an educational space where everyone, who wants to, can learn and grow. It is where you will be supported to make decisions that affect your life and where we will hold you responsible for all of your choices.
Therefore, as much as I would like to say, “Yes, Deep Root Center is for everyone,” it plainly is not. It isn’t for those who want an easy way out, are chronically apathetic, or are looking for a place to wile away their time until they turn eighteen. This is not the place to sit and wait for something to happen to (or, for) you. And, if you are seeking an environment where you will not be held accountable for your actions (or, in-actions), DRC is not it! To put it quite simply, if you are here (or, checking us out) for any of these reasons, you will be sorely disappointed.
However, if you are seeking a place where you can be creative and curious, explore and make mistakes, get your feet wet, both figuratively and literally, follow your dreams and spread your wings - with a community of folks who will support you, unconditionally, in all of those things --- please get in touch --- we are the perfect place for you.
In the end, as with most endeavors, what you get out of DRC depends fully upon what you put in. It is totally up to you!
Summer isn't that far away! Register your child for Imagination Station, DRC's Summer Program - the last two weeks of August.