Home » Personal Growth

Category Archives: Personal Growth

Global Village School Student Writing: All My World’s a Stage

Several GVS students recently participated in a writing competition put on by YES! Magazine.  Here is the entry submitted by Alex, a GVS 9th grader.

A gift. Does everyone have one? Yes. It may be obvious, or not. Some may push it down, or some may discover and develop it. A gift comes in many shapes and forms. It could be the gift to write, to communicate with animals (like the boy in the Blessings Revealed article), to dance, to fix cars. But my gift is none of these. But can’t anyone do these things? You may ask. Yes, I say. I may be able to do these things with time and perseverance, but what is my real, true gift? The gift that I was born with to give to the world, and to myself? It is the thing that I love most. It is acting.



Global Village School Student Work on the Subject of Bullying

Bullying – Dying to Be Accepted

By K, a GVS 11th grader

I chose to study the subject of bullying because I strongly feel it is relevant to the time we are living in right now.  Old modes of behavior that belong in ‘The Old World Order’ are being put away in favor of a new way of thinking about human development.  High profile cases in recent times have brought attention to a subject that has long been considered a rite of passage for young people.  The true nature of this rite has been exposed as a human rights violation.  It is not ‘kids being kids’.  It is an institutional and societal-condoned breach of basic trust.

I have been a victim of bullying.  It was so degrading, because I didn’t want to be known as weak, but I didn’t want to fight.  I also didn’t want to be known as a tattle tale.  There is a saying: “Snitches get stitches,” which every high school teenager is familiar with hearing.  I walked into a bathroom the first day of school and three boys on the wrestling team confronted me.  One of them challenged me and then put me in a chokehold.  I was vulnerable and outnumbered.  Luckily for me, I have a strong support system at home and the situation was resolved. Still, it stayed with me, in my mind.  I can imagine that someone who does not have support at home or does not feel they can talk to their family about bullying would feel very isolated and helpless to take action.

Bullying has become a national epidemic and suicides have drawn attention to the plight of teenagers who are victims of the practice.  This is why I chose to write ‘The Ten Amendments’ to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  They make provisions for children to be protected from the practice of bullying.  It should be a zero tolerance law.  No one should be afraid to be who they are because they fear being bullied.



Urban Homestead – Living Green in the City

Get tips, tricks, and insights from this family trying to live a low-impact life in the heart of the city of Pasadena.



Want to Feel More Alive? Study Shows You Need to Go Outside

Parents, make sure you’re working some time outside into your curricular plans!

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/want-to-feel-more-alive-study-shows-you-need-to-go-outside.php

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

We kind of already know this – if not intuitively then through past studies – but a new study has shown that when you spend more time out in nature, you feel more alive. Published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the study shows that getting out and communing with nature is better for feeling rejuvenated than reaching for the ever-so-urban cup of coffee. “Nature is fuel for the soul, ” says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. Both physically and mentally, we’re zippier when we step into the wild.

Science Daily writes, “The findings, adds Ryan, are important for both mental and physical health. ‘Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings,’ says Ryan.”



Bedtime Reading: Children’s Stories To Inspire You In Your Sleep

by Pam Allyn

When the sun goes down, fears come up. The blessing of a transcendent story for any age is that it helps us to escape, to relate, to connect and to understand the perils and magic of our mortal universe.

Great children’s literature assures us that frail looking boys with scars on their foreheads can become heroes, spiders can write words to save lives and bunnies can go to bed fearlessly. Great children’s literature inspires us to want to live backwards: to live as openly and tenderly as a child. Great children’s literature for adults encourages us to live every day with intention to make the world harmonious for children, just as Fern’s father did in Charlotte’s Web when he lowered the ax on that fateful day and spared Wilbur.

Here, below, are my top recommendations for bedtime reading for all ages for the year 2010. In the midst of the swirling clouds of conversations on recession, terrorism threats and environmental anxieties, our great authors, honoring the mysterious yet profound world of childhood, steer us toward peace and community, and the promise of hope in the morning.



Looking back on the last decade of Global Village School

As we move into our 11th year of existence we’ve been looking back on earlier times.  Here’s a glimpse of 2002, just a few years after Sally embarked on the progressive homeschooling adventure that is Global Village School:

The drive to Sally Carless’ house is indicative of her nature. The road is a small, private road with huge boulders and wild sage lining its edges. Massive oak trees suspend their limbs above the road, adding a green canopy of vegetation, and breaking up the sunlight with patches of shade. You cross a creek over a small bridge, up a little hill and then back down. There, at the edge of the Los Padres National Forest, with avocado orchards to one side, sits a small older ranch house. Here, surrounded by natural serenity, is where you can find Sally Carless, founder and visionary of Global Village School.

Global Village School is a nonprofit distance-learning school founded in 1999 designed to teach tolerance, practical social activism, peace and an understanding for those of different religions, races, physical disabilities, ethnicities and sexual orientations. Global Village School offers customized K-12 curriculum and a high school diploma program. The School’s mission is to teach children how to become proactive in their own lives for social change and social awareness, while at the same time providing a safe haven for students who are harassed or ostracized in the average school environment. The ultimate goal is to provide a place where everyone “belongs,” and develops a sense of individual self-worth sufficient to produce a conscientious, proactive world citizen.



Early Morning in Ojai at the Dawn of the New Year

I head out in the dark
to catch the magic moment —
the crack of dawn

My dog runs ahead
her exuberance, her ecstasy
is contagious

I look West
and the full moon
is hanging high in the sky
by an etheric thread

I look East
and the dark sky begins to blaze
from the hidden sun

My big booted feet
take strong, giant steps
The crow of the roosters
Cheers me on

I turn and head for the wild
I lean against a huge boulder
and watch the bright full Moon
Slowly sink

The Earth feels like Eden
Like a playground
Where all we are asked to do
Is feel the forces of Life

The first light of day
A mixture of the sun and moon
Illuminates the world
Everything is aglow

Together we stand
Between the sun and the moon
In a field of joy


Morning Meditation Under the Great Oak

It’s no use trying to save the world
When I myself am drowning



Don’t Make A Resolution Till You Read This!

Thinking of making New Year’s Resolutions?  Think again.


The most popular thing to do at New Years (besides drinking champagne) is probably to Make Resolutions.  You tell yourself, your friends and your family (and if you’ve overdone it on champagne, perfect strangers!) that next year you’ll do it DIFFERENTLY.  Next year, you really are going to lose those extra 20 pounds, even if you have to starve yourself to do it.  For a time you stick to your plan.  You diet, you join the gym and you lose some weight.  Somewhere between Valentine’s Day and June, you lose your momentum.  Summer rolls around and you beat up on yourself for not sticking to the diet and you dread putting on a swimsuit.  Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas you realize you really did eat that whole plate of cookies and you swear to fast until New Years so you don’t end the year without losing a single pound!  Now it’s New Years Eve and you hate the sense of failure to meet your “resolution”, so you try to muster up some confidence to try again next year. (Maybe this contributes to the amount of champagne consumed on New Year’s Eve!)


Instead of making resolutions, what if you Set Intentions for 2009?  (more…)


The Only Thing I Ever Created With Anger Was An Argument

Or “What I Learned From Proposition 8″

I used to be an activist. In the third grade, I was incensed by the soccer players at recess who trampled the daffodils peeking their heads up through the dirty snow. I lobbied and lobbied and finally got the school to put up a little wire fence around the garden. I bullied my classmates who bullied other kids. In high school, I was going to single-handedly save the rainforest, protect the whales and end nuclear proliferation. My first bumper sticker said, “If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention.” By the time I got to college I was burned out. I couldn’t raise the fire that I needed to march on the administration building or on the St. Paul capital.