It was before dawn, a few months ago, as the Middle School Eagles trudged up a steep slope in the Texas Hill Country. As the sun rose, we could see for miles in every direction.
The message: The hard work of the Hero’s Journey is worth it because it allows you to see further (and farther!) At the top of each peak, a time for celebration, a moment to enjoy, rest and reflect, while planning the next climb.
Yesterday was such a day at Acton Academy. We assembled the final portfolios – one copy for school and one for home — and the Eagles cleaned and cleaned and cleaned to get the classroom back into a (semi) pristine state.
The portfolios were imperfect in the sense that they are works in progress, with grammatical mistakes and misspellings to prove that no adult oversight was allowed. True also of equally imperfect and beautiful thank you notes to some of the “fellow travelers” who have helped us this term.
Imperfection. Mistakes. Works in progress.
And yet the learning, the sense of accomplishment and the feeling of ownership were profound, both in the scratchings in the portfolios and the reflections offered in the final group discussion. There’s absolutely no question that these Middle School Eagles are heroes-in-waiting, who will change the world.
Our final moments together shifted to the horizon, to the crime solving, genetics, biology, psychology, Salem Witch Trials, apprenticeships and many more adventures that will come in the spring.
But for now, two weeks of rest and celebration with our families, as it should be.
Merry Christmas everyone.