Growing up in Brazil, the education I received was focused on grades and busy work. I dreaded the busy work, but it was the only way to guarantee good grades. So, like many of my peers, I figured out a way to find out what answers I needed to give on a test, so that I could get the grade I needed, and move on with life. This was, sadly, how I was taught to approach education.
When I met Metta in my early 20s, one of the first things that caught my attention was her love of learning: she knew so much about so many things, and in a passionate rather than a show-off kind of way. As I got to know her better, I fell in love with her sense of art, of wonder, her solid sense of self, and her appreciation for all things. When she told me that she spent her entire grade school life in a Waldorf School, I was intrigued - what was this Waldorf education, and was it really that impactful?
To my great fortune, I married Metta a few years later. We moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for Metta to pursue graduate school at UNC, and then we started our own family. Our daughter Giovanna is now in 2nd grade at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, and our son Orion just started Kindergarten. At the beginning of Giovanna's schooling we were living on a student budget, and choosing to opt out of our local public school honestly felt like a big sacrifice. I wondered if we were making the right decision. But every time I felt that way, we would attend a Parent Evening, where her teacher Ms. Robin would explain how intentionally the children's day was organized, and how purposeful each of their activities were, and it all felt worth it. I have stopped wondering if we are investing in the right thing, because in this beautiful, tangled, complex world, nothing seems like a better investment than supporting a school that has - at its core - a mission to help children grow into citizens of this world who are independent thinkers, excellent academics and artists, and who have compassion for themselves and the world community.
At this festive time of the year, please consider making a contribution that will allow Emerson Waldorf School to thrive into the future, and change the world, one child at a time.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!