Joshua, Jimmy and I had a blast seeing The Greatest Showman yesterday, singing along in the movie house and upon returning home, we searched YouTube videos to continue belting the tunes and find which parts of the fictionalized depiction was real and not. There are a lot of negative reviews and low ratings but it made me think how the critics may be like the bespectacled pundit in the movie itself who could not derive joy from something many people drew delight. All in the spirit of fun, plus the message hit me in the heart.
One of the film’s anthem probably resonates with most dreamers (unless it’s too cheesy for them):
They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say I’ve lost my mind
I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy
We can live in a world that we design
‘Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make
You see there’s a crazy project I’m involved with that embodies a vision of the world that may not sit well with many out there. The project’s unofficial kick-off fell exactly on Valentine’s day, a gift to myself via an online hour-long conversation with Ken Danford, founder of North Star self-directed center for teens and Liberated Learners which “supports the creation of centers based on the North Star model that promote living and learning without school.”
There are young people in my own family whom I know would benefit from this kind of radical alternative but even opening the topic to their parents who are my close relatives is something that I wouldn’t dare do so why am I even contemplating such a thing for total strangers? Because I know there are families who are more open-minded than some and who would welcome this type of “inclusive club” for their children.
Although I have listened to Ken Danford’s TEDx Talk, School is Optional, it was Joel Hammon’s TEDx Talk, Teacher Liberation that prompted me to email the two of them about the possibility of setting up a place like North Star here in the Philippines. I was scared and excited at the same time — scared knowing how ludicrous and impossible it would sound to some, and excited because this is staking your life on something you believe in.
Following are centers across North America that Liberated Learners have helped set up. What will the one in the Philippines look like?
Read more about North Star and the Princeton Learning Cooperative: