This is a reflection I wrote last week that included Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Green School (I could not post it until now since we were not allowed to mention his arrival):
There was something different about Green School today. I mean, apart from entering school from the East side, and having to do a dress rehearsal for Ban Ki-Moon’s arrival, there was something else strange in the air. It was eerily quiet. There was something less cluttered about our school. It was not just me that noticed it. Walking back from break I had several conversations about how peaceful it all seemed. Then it hit us: There were no parents. Because of Ban Ki-Moon’s upcoming arrival no parent were let on campus. I realize that most “normal” schools don’t have parents very integrated into their system, but the again, Green School is not a “normal school.” Here, we see parents everyday, sitting at the Warung drinking coffee, talking, gossiping; it is normal. But it hadn’t dawned on me before what it would be like not to have their presence. To be perfectly honest, it was kind of nice.
It is not as if I didn’t like having so many people around initially. In fact, when I talk about Green School to people that have never been here I incorporate the fact that parents like being here just to hang out. I think it is a super unique quality, but it also makes it lose its school atmosphere. It was refreshing to see only kids and teachers walking around for a change. Sometimes when kids are let out on their fifteen minute break, the lines are full of parents also getting food. Most days, my High School classes each spend about 10 minutes just waiting for our internet to function somewhat properly because there are so many people also using our bandwidth. It takes time out of learning and disturbs the classroom’s flow. All I am saying is that sometimes having so many parents or people here only causes more conflict. So perhaps Ban Ki-Moon’s upcoming arrival gave an unexpected realization- what Green School could be like with only kids and teachers being here.