Tag Archives: alternative education

Devin Murphy’s List of Life Goals (Version 1.1)

This is a revision of my personal list of life goals. If you go here and have a look at the original incarnation you will notes that their were some things on the list that I have removed from this list do to the fact I did not have the financial ability to attend and the resulting fact they have taken place with out me being at them. Also you will notes I have added an item to the list as well as completing one of them.

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What fallow is a list of goals to which I hop to achieve. And some of these goals are short-term goals achievable in a few years, months or even just weeks. But others are more long-term goals only achievable by the fruition of some of the short-term goals. And it is worth noting that this list was inspired by a workshop, which was port of a coming of age retreat to which I helped to facilitate not this Fall but last Fall. And it is also worth noting that the very workshop that inspired this list was itself inspired by the one and only John Goddard and his “Life List” of 127 goals to which he wrote way back in 1940 at the age of 15 will living in LA. It is as well worth mentioning he has to date completed 104 of his 127 goals. Now I am not saying that I will necessarily be like John and complete the majority of my goals, but I do hop to complete a godly some of them over the coming years of my life. Ok I am only 26 not as young as Goddard was wen he wrote his list but I still think I am young enough to make a big bent in my list. A list to which I am sure will continue to wax and wane as I complete and add new stuff to the list and from time to time even removing a few items from the list whether do to an inability to no longer achieve them or a change of interest on my part.

Devin Murphy’s List of Life Goals

Things To study/research:
-The long-term affects of bullying on the bullied
-Learning styles
-Teaching styles and teaching techniques/approaches
-The causes of bullying
-From grate masters in the felled of education (I have yet to determine who the masters are but I will and then I will study/learn from a few of them)

Things To Accomplish:
-Open an alternative high school and tech their
-Marry and domestically adopt two children
-Became a Unitarian Universalist youth adviser
-Read the bible, both the new and old testaments (in 90 day)
-Have some of my art displayed in the lounge at “My Church” the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa as the fetched artiest of the month
-Put out a CD of original poetry and/or songs
-Finely get the “Secondary Potential” web site on line (I completed this task)
-go to university (Concordia in Montreal, Quebec) to study and get accreditation to be able to teach art at a secondary level (i.e. in high schools)

Events to Attend:
-The CUC ACM 2008 in Ottawa from May 16th-19th (I completed this task)

Devin Murphy’s List of Life Goals

What fallow is a list of goals to which I hop to achieve. And some of these goals are short-term goals achievable in a few years, months or even just weeks. But others are more long-term goals only achievable by the fruition of some of the short-term goals. And it is worth noting that this list was inspired by a workshop, which was port of a coming of age retreat to which I helped to facilitate this past weekend. And it is also worth noting that the very workshop that inspired this list was itself inspired by the one and only John Goddard and his “Life List” of 127 goals to which he wrote way back in 1940 at the age 15 will living in LA. It is as well worth mentioning he has to date completed 104 of his 127 goals. Now I am not saying that I will necessarily be like John and complete the majority of my goals, but I do hop to complete a godly some of them over the coming years of my like. Ok I am only 25 not as young as Goddard was wen he wrote his list but I think still young enough to make a big bent in my list. A list to which I am sure will continue to wax and wane as I complete and add new stuff to the list.

Devin Murphy’s List of Life Goals

Things To study/research:
-The long-term affects of bullying on the bullied
-Learning styles
-Teaching styles and teaching techniques/approaches
-The causes of bullying
-From grate masters in the felled of education (I have yet to determine who the masters are but I will and then I will study/learn from a few of them)

Things To Accomplish:
-Open an alternative high school and tech their
-Marry and domestically adopt two children
-Became a Unitarian Universalist youth adviser
-Read the bible, both the new and old testaments (in 90 day)
-Intern at the Albany Free School and/or the Harriet Tubman Free School
-Have some of my art displayed in the lounge at “My Church” The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa as the fetched artiest of the month
-Put out a CD of original poetry and/or songs
-Finely get the “Secondary Potential” web site on line

Events to Attend:
-The International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) 2008 held in August from the 11th-18th and maybe the Fifth Annual AERO Conference in Troy NY, USA from Jun 26th-28th
-The CUC ACM 2008 in Ottawa from May 16th-19th

I am getting financially and emotionally ready to actualise my dreams!

Well slowly but surly my life is going towards better things. Ok I must believe this or I will fall into a deep state of panic. And I don’t want to panic because I have panicked enough over the last few months. So I am going to focus on creating a great life for me. And I think that this is going to involve me getting financially and emotionally ready to actualize my dreams. Dreams that I hope will accumulate in me teaching in the alternative high school that I hope to help fawned. But to get there I must first get a job to pay for my room in the shared apartment I am now living in. Ok I did have a job but I was not what they wanted so they let me go even know I was a hard worker, so I am back on the job market. And to prepare myself to tech at my future school I am as well as getting financially ready, also one of four facilitators of my churches coming of age class (a welcoming and preparation class for preteens to become youth). And next year I hop to be doing an internship at the Albany Free School, as well as this coming summer possibly going to one or two conferences on alternative education.

The Forth-Annual AERO Conference

My head has been spinning with great ideas ever since I got back from the forth-annual AERO conference. I should explain that the AERO conference was an event dedicated to, the learning and discussion of ideas and concepts related to alternative education. It lasted for four days long and went dawn in Troy NY, USA from Jun 28th-July1st at Russell Sage College. I along with my brother Curtis, his friend Carla and our friend Joel went down by car sharing two dorm rooms will there as well as food we brought do to dietary desires and restrictions. It was a really excellent time we all went to many wonderful keynote addresses. I particularly enjoyed the one titled “Transforming Your Public School We Did It; So Can You” given by a man named Arnie Langberg, who was a former alternative public high school principal in Colorado. I liked it because he spoke about the need to value the teachers. Well in regards to the learning environment, he felt if you had treacheries that felt shown respected then you will have an environment conducive for children to learn in and he also know the opposite to be true. As well as the dally speaker their was a whole host of dally workshops including one run by two members from The Village free School in Portland Oregon called “The Growth of Our Village” to which I went to. At this workshop they talked about the successes and fallers, but mostly the successes they have had over the years leading up to and since the opening of their school. And wen it was over they sent us a way with a big fat set of useful info and documents to which they had collected and written since the beginning of the planing stages of their school. This package it will help Joel, my brother and me in the setting up of our high school to, which was the catalyst for us going to the conference in the first place. Besides the programming they had a local rock-hip hop group perform a set one night and a DJ dance party another night. All in all it was, SO VARY POSITIVELY AMAZING!

I recently received an e-mail from my friend Joel…

Like I said in my last post, my friend Joel Fox along with my brother Curtis and I, have decided to undertake a process which will hopefully lead to the creation of at least one high school. A high school, which will be much better at meting the needs of youth and, those that they have with in society and, that society, has with regards to them, then the currant public school system dos (Canadian public system that is). So, on that note, I recently received an e-mail from Joel, which in my opinion was one of the most weighty heart profound, and genuinely awe inspiring things I have ever head or seen him articulate. In the second paragraph of his e-mail he asserted that, “School is totally cerebral. There’s no emotion – we’re told to leave it at home. It doesn’t matter how we feel. Yet, is emotion not one of the most important parts of our life? It’s it’s own family of intelligence, according to a certain psychologist dude. (I think you’ve heard of him.) Ahh yes – his name is Howard Gardner.“ We’ll I totally agree with this statement having had my creative bone totally squashed out of the learning process. And isn’t creativity just an expression of our emotions! Then he goes on to give us Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, which is as follows.


We learn, we communicate, we solve problems in at least seven ways.

Intelligence is the ability to see a problem, then solve a problem or make something that is useful to a group of people.

According to him, there are 7 Intelligences:

Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence can be developed in maths lessons eg stories with time, lines, story maps;

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence can be developed in drama by scheduling rehearsals, measuring for sets, scale models, estimating costs, budgeting;

Visual/Spatial Intelligence can be developed through studies of society eg models, map making, illustrations;

Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence can be developed through science and technology eg the study of vibration and making of instruments;

Bodily/Kinaesthetic Intelligence can be developed through music eg singing and clapping, rap songs and dance;

Interpersonal Intelligence can be developed through co-operation and team learning strategies used in any subject and group problem solving work;

Intrapersonal Intelligence can be developed through peer tutoring, buddy systems etc.

So for more info on the Theory of Multiple Intelligence just go to the Cook School web site.

And later one in the e-mail he writes this:
“And, speaking of support, I think the schools are totally missing out on AMAZING opportunities to create a community. Why not let the parents get involved? How about the veterans? They would LOVE to tell stories and hang with kids. Groups and people of all kinds, dance and theatre troupes, special guests of any and EVERY kind could be invited to perform at schools. This already happens a LITTLE – but mostly, I think, because those performers invite themselves.
How about parents, anyway? Why don’t parents each get a day to show the kids their special knowledge and expertise that they use in their work. Or even a special hobby of theirs. I don’t think school should be focused on what work you want to do in the future. It should be focused on how to pursue what you love, what really make you tick. I know I am bound to be slapped with a big “UNREALISTIC” for saying these things – but that’s why I’m tellin’ you, mah special crew. Unrealistic. That’s makes me laugh. Is it better to be realistic and slightly depressed and unsatisfied or contently following your dreams? Is it realistic to throw away what you love to follow the dreams of a cold, heartless system? I think one of the main assumptions that is leading the world astray is that we NEED to work all the time to stay alive and be happy. But it’s the system’s DESIGN. This is just how we’ve designed it – it doesn’t have to be this way. We can redesign it so that people don’t have to work at things they don’t love. We can redesign it so that it’s focused on people’s needs and how to meet those needs, what would make life the best it could possibly be.
And THAT, mah boys, is JUST what we are doing.”

So aren’t those some of the best ideas you have ever heard, well about school that is! Well I think so that is why I’m sharing them with you here. But to end this post I would just like to say this, we don’t have to throw the concept of organized secondary school education out the window just, most of the methods and processes we are currently using to manifest it.

Picture this…

Picture a 4-year-old-kid standing on the front steps of his families downtown Toronto co-op townhouse, sporting a winter coat, his small snazzy rainbow stripe-patterned backpack and his red winter hat. And picture him eagerly asking, is it time to ones again take the ferry over to Centre Island for school (or something to that effect). And picture his mom saying no it is not, you still have to what a hour (or something like that). And picture the little boy doing this every day for two whole school years (fall to spring). Now picture this same kid much older living in Russell, a small town just east of Canada’s capital Ottawa. And picture him every weekday (fall to spring) tacking a ride in a school bus company bus and sometimes even in a minivan to high school at Rockland District High School in the town of Rockland. And get this if you can, picture him feeling in order to make it throw the days their, a walkman playing, wen ever he gets the chains to turn it on, his favourite new country and oldies rock ‘n’ roll songs is needed. Now if you can contrast the to scenes what do you notice. Well you find in the first one, unbridled joy radiating out in all directions from the little boy. And in the second, the boy is trying to make it throw something, which he finds not that, pleasant. Now contrast the second scene with the scene portrayed in this poem I wrote.

Help Me Up
Oh I don’t want to be abused, ooh again
Oh I don’t want to be abused, ooh today
Help me up
Help me up

Oh I Have just bin abused, oh yeah again
Oh I didn’t want to be abused, ooh today
Help me up
Help me up

Oh it happened on a school bus, ooh today
Oh for no good reason, oh I got punched
None helped me
Help me up

Oh it’s not the first, not the first time
It began with the hurtful act of name calling
Help me up
Help me up

Know-ones addressing it
Wens it ending
Wen is it going to end, end for good
Wen is it going to end, end for good

Help me up to the point of moving on
But not forgetting that this is, wrong so wrong

Oh I don’t want to be abused, ooh again
Oh I don’t want to be abused, ooh today
Help me up
Help me up

So in the third scene, the one, protrude in the poem, you see that the situation for the boy has gotten mush worse.
So you are probably wandering now what happened to him. Well I can assure you he is now doing the best he can do. And how would I now this you maybe sacking yourself. Well I was this boy. And believe it or not, he has decided with his best friend Joel Fox and his Brother Curtis, to undertake a process that will hopefully lead to, the founding of a high school. One, which will lead to at least some kids, not having to go throw anything like this.