It Feels Good

Associated School: 

Yesterday was the second day of school at The Hudson Valley Sudbury School. For me it was an emotional start to the year. My youngest is now officially enrolled as a fresh five year old, and two of my oldest graduated last year leaving me to start the year without them. It’s been bittersweet. I know that they were ready to leave.  One is at Sarah Lawrence College, not too far from home so I can still lay eyes on him every so often. I look forward to watching him grow, I eagerly await the stories of his classes, his adventures and what it’s like to be a Sudbury grad, and of course to watch him serve as an alumni at various school events. The other has flown across the world to conquer the professional video game stage, signed as a well-paid, pro player on a team in Asia. He’s on a team that is navigating having players who speak 4 different languages; he’s training, he’s greeting fans, he’s keeping color-coded spreadsheets about technical play - the opportunity of a lifetime. They are both exactly where they should be, and they have taken these steps with a grounded confidence that makes me proud. And I’m doing what I can to miss them in a positive way.

My five year old has taken to the school with gusto. He wakes up early so he can take the school bus (even though I go in two hours later) and makes sure to check if I will be leaving later than the bus. He comes home exhausted after hours of make believe games, of running hard. He’s excited to tell me how he beat a new level in a game he’s been playing, bought something from the school store or was the first on his team to be ready for End of Day Cleaning. His confidence and independence are soaring. While I miss having my baby at home, attached to me, it is blaringly obvious how happy and ready he is to be there. He has also been a walking reminder of what my 17 year old was like when he enrolled just shy of 5. It’s a changing of guards as his graduation means we no longer have any students from when we first opened. 

So many things have changed within these walls and on this campus since the day we opened 14 years ago. With the exception of two staff the entire student and staff body is different. The building has been painted, there is an incredible playground, a garden, and an entirely new building has sprouted up. The processes, for the most part feel well oiled and there is solid history behind law decisions and culture. It feels secure and grounded. It feels good. 

Now, feeling that the school is stable, that the ship is in good hands, I can look toward the future. We have some exciting projects in the works: we’re looking at ways to build a strong endowment, maybe even so strong we could run the budget off the interest, and we’re thinking about ways to support the Sudbury philosophy worldwide – sending ambassadors out to help startup groups, etc. – we’re thinking a bit outside these walls. It also feels good.

Yesterday, as I sat on the swings and looked around the campus I was struck by how many things had changed and at the same time everything is the same. I watched a group of boys climb high into the trees, a couple of young girls walking arm in arm chatting, 3 young boys were playing hard in the sandbox – leaping from the boulder while battling imaginary bad guys, a group of teens were talking in the garden, surrounded by fresh veggies and flowers…. They were all so happy to be back at school. And I could feel it from the swings as I surveyed the campus. So I hopped up and took an hour finding each person in attendance, and I asked them one question and wrote down their unfiltered answers. It confirmed my beliefs. I am so grateful to be part of a school where feeling “good”, “great”, “awesome” or “serene” is at the forefront of their minds.

  • Their answers to “How does it feel to be back? (and for the new members of the community – “How does it feel to be here?”)
  • It so serene, cool and chill. Weird, but cool chill. I’ve never been so relaxed in a school setting before. It’s weird to get used to.
  • It’s like family
  • Liberating
  • It feels really good. I feel more grounded. I missed all the people more than I thought I would. It feels great to be back with people who feel the same way as I do.
  • Cool
  • Good, good, great!
  • Amazing
  • Good
  • Feels pretty good
  • Fine, great, it’s nice to be back
  • Good!
  • I like it!!
  • Weird
  • Good
  • Thumps up
  • Little bored
  • Good
  • It’s good
  • Pretty good, better than my last school!
  • Yeah, it’s gooood
  • Good
  • Why did it start so late??
  • Oh yeah, it’s great!
  • I had a great summer but it’s good…so what are you doing?
  • Good
  • Good, I mean, you can’t top good!
  • Welcome. And I’m not alone all the time, my life is back on track!
  • Energizing
  • Same old same old – I’ve got this one (pointing at a friend) and this one (pointing at another friend)
  • Pretty good, bored, a bit stressful
  • I never left, but for the most part it’s absolutely wonderful to have all the kids and commotion back. I like having kids back even if it’s harder to get work done.
  • It feels pretty good, but surreal not having the people who left.
  • It feels real great.
  • Good, I’m bored at home
  • LIT
  • Really awesome, best day. I’m really so happy. I’m glad to have some time away from my family and to be with my friends.
  • Awesome la vista, awesome ba bista
  • Awesome, awesome, for real!
  • Good, great
  • Great
  • Amazing, really! I missed my friends
  • It’s the cat’s pajamas to be back
  • Good
  • Meh
  • It’s good, I like it
  • It feels amazing, like I never left
  • I missed school
  • A hearty 7 out of 10
  • Cool
  • Good!
  • It feels like chocolate pudding
  • Hopeful
  • Invigorating – there are so many opportunities
  • Good
  • Good, I’m excited to have something to do
  • Great
  • Feels like a reset on my brain, a nice exhale, first stretch of the morning, first sip of coffee all at once, all day long. 
  • Pretty good
  • Radical
  • Feels kind of like…something
  • Pretty fantastic
  • It feels like Christmas morning, lots of anticipation, bubbling excitement and surrounded by family

Contact Us

Hudson Valley Sudbury School

84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY 12401
Phone: 845-679-1002
Fax: 845-679-3874