Monday, November 08, 1999

Sudbury Maui School



Life is bizarre.

Our current living situation is right out of The Princess Bride -- our landlord (the dread
pirate Roberts) calls us every few days and says "It's been great having you guys live there,
I'll most likely kick you out next week."  It's been like that for a month now.

In our comprehensive and exhaustive search for more stable residence, B and I checked out a
Makawao bulletin board that's tucked away in a parking lot corner, behind glass, next to a
dumpster.  There was one new posting:  "2 bed 2 bath on ten acres, $700/mo" and a phone number
-- we called within ten minutes.  The housing market has been crazy.  30 to 50 people calling
on every vacancy.  It's mostly people who are being displaced as landlords sell their homes on
the booming market.  Anyway, I call the random bulletin board number and, before I have any
clue about what the situation is, I'm getting grilled on all aspects of how, with what, with
whom, and why I intend to live.  I give her the normal bit: "recent physics PhD and computer
scientist move to Maui to do research and surf because it's beautiful here."  Then she gives
me the run down on this rental; turns out it's on the grounds of a school.  Well, that could
be really cool or it could be hell.  Then she fills in a few more details. She tells me it's a
brand new school modeled after the Sudbury Valley School, and we set up an appointment to see
it.

First off the Sudbury deal is wild -- the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.  Fantastic!
This is the ideal learning environment, self directed study with adults around only to
consult, facilitate, and play with.  Awesome.  They even have a web page up at

http://sudburymaui.org

Dang, I've even thought myself of starting up just such a place -- and here it is.  So B and
I, suppressing hope as best we can, go to check it out.

It's beautiful.  A ten acre estate sitting atop a ridge overlooking jungle and ocean.  And the
house is a wild architectural stew of random elements -- koi pond and swimming pool in the
basement, huge kitchen in the middle, observation perch on top, random bedrooms lining the
periphery, and a large central staircase in the middle of the whole thing.  And kids
everywhere -- playing guitar, running around, playing with legos, running around some more,
painting stuff, jumping on a trampoline.  Total chaos!  I love it.

B and I attempt to express our enthusiasm without going over the top, but it's kind of
difficult since this is so frickin' cool.  Anyway, the apartment itself is decent too --
though it needs some work.  So we leave, and hope, and wait, and hope some more.
Contemplating the possibilities.


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gar@lisi.com