A Loss of Faith: Reflections (Part 11)
I was on the phone with the Manager of Accreditation and Monitoring when we got the electrifying news of our son’s departure from this world. I was in such shock, I behaved as though nothing had happened and soon contacted this man again to resume our discussion. Having been apprised of my tragic situation, he volunteered to personally help me in applying for accreditation.
The accreditation process is long and convoluted. To make matters worse, we had already been conducting affairs as a de facto school for over two decades, meaning we had developed novel ways of doing things, and making these ways fit a government system was difficult. And, we were applying for accreditation months after the deadline, with only a few months before the start of the next year.
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Life Altering Tragedy: Reflections (Part 10)
Some things just cannot be predicted, yet when they do happen, we often clearly see the signs indicating they would. As good parents, we knew our youngest son was experiencing some extremely difficult things in his life because we were experiencing them with him. We felt his pain, experienced his despair and saw his despondency. When he ended his life, a part of ours died too.
I cannot presume to be able to remember the multitude of lessons learned through this tragic event, but I will try my best to summarize what was learned, starting here and continuing through to the end of this series.
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Overcoming: Reflections (Part 9)
The easiest thing to do is quit, yet we all know quitters never win. While I did not carry the burden, I still felt responsible to the many parents and students who had come to believe we would find a solution to the dissolution of our relationship with our former associate school.
We had spent four months preparing our charter school document, failed and now we only had four months until the start of the next school year. Somehow, I still believed we would get our own school authority, although I was now keenly aware a charter school would not be the answer. We had all the excuses for giving up, but we didn’t.
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Give It Your All: Reflections (Part 8)
After we were dismissed by our associate school chairman, we found ourselves in a familiar predicament. Hundreds of families were looking to us for sponsorship in their home education programs, yet we had no school through which to offer this service.
This time I was clear about what we should do. We had already met the Minister of Education and had described what we were doing. This provided her with an alternative to the status quo public schools and a possible connection to the recently passed Choice in Education Act. As a matter of fact, the Minister saw what we were doing as a potential pilot project.
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Never Feed the Bully: Reflections (Part 7)
Continuing with the attempted acquisition of Education Unlimited in early 2021 is necessary to demonstrate other lessons learned. Although there were some misgivings on the part of some staff who thought giving the chairman what he was demanding would appease him and make the problem go away, I could not and stood my ground. Repeated efforts by this “pastor” to dissuade parents from continuing with Education Unlimited and to persuade them to join his school’s largely non-existent home education program ended up alienating the parents who found this activity bewildering.
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When Nothing Makes Sense: Reflections (Part 6)
Home education documents are essentially parents’ records since they are the ones instructing their children at home, and it is they who have the responsibility for maintaining proper documentation, especially for Education Unlimited’s value-added transcripts. So, the fellow who demanded I provide non-existing documents was inadvertently admitting to not having done his job. He brought the matter to the Chairman of the Board (our associate school’s Pastor) who directed me to deliver the records, as demanded. Since I had limited access to the records that didn’t exist in the first place, the only thing I could do was tell the Chairman I could not do what he was demanding. He heard me say “would not” instead of “could not”, which initiated the deterioration of both our personal and professional relationships.
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The Closer The People, The Greater The Pain: Reflections (Part 5)
While 2020 was a great year, 2021 started out with a bang. Although it was not a bang from a gun, it felt like a projectile had been hurled our way. However, as the saying goes, we dodged that bullet.
It all started when a disgruntled parent, who most certainly should have known better, got angry at me for failing to do HIS job. He wanted me to deliver transcripts he had contributed nothing toward after deciding to leave Education Unlimited and go with the new option for notification only. I found myself caught in an awkward situation. I would have given this dad the documents he was demanding, but since he had done nothing with our parent-completed transcripts, there was nothing to deliver!
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Tested: Reflections (Part 4)
It seemed to come upon us very quickly and by March of 2020, we were all being told to do things none of us were happy about. We complied in the hope of securing health and safety for everyone. Covid-19 was the worst pandemic since the influenza of 1918-20, which we were told, killed nearly 100 million people because they just were not as smart as us. All we had to do was follow the “experts” and it would soon be all over.
Nobody really knew what was happening. We defaulted to doing what we were told, even if the rules seemed to be confusing and constantly changing. We were told it would only require two weeks to flatten the curve. I wondered about this curve as it was nowhere near flattened after two weeks, nor after two months, nor two years for that matter!
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Listen, Hear and Then Obey: Reflections (Part 3)
While I have been involved in political activities for most of my life, I am not much of a “groupie”. Aside from my serious involvement in the establishment of the Reform Party of Canada a long time ago, I now tend to maintain my memberships in political parties more so I can be in the know of what is happening and influence when opportunity is presented.
While I often communicate with political leaders and government workers, I believe most of my contributions go largely unnoticed, but then again we never really know what effect our efforts actually have. One thing is certain: you won’t have any effect if you do nothing other than complain.
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It Happens! Reflections (Part 2)
Those of you familiar with the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” may remember the scene in which Forest says, “It happens” which ends up being preceded with an “Sh”. Maybe this was meant to show bad things happen just as often, if not more often, than good things, and we should all know “it happens” events will occur to us all at some point in our lives.
Those familiar with my wife and I will know that we experienced a number of bad events these past two years. You will remember that 2021 started with major problems with our sponsor school followed by an event of crushing consequence before continuing with even more disasters to make 2021 the worse year my wife and I have ever had to endure. Unfortunately, 2022 didn’t start well either. In fact, it nearly ended before really getting started. More on this, later.