Life on Planet Residential, by Residential Overnight Counselor Crystal Rose Vaccaro

Posted on Tuesday March 24, 2015

Wayfinder Schools in New Gloucester demands academic excellence as well as community living excellence of their students. What is “community living excellence” you ask? In order to graduate, with high marks in “community living excellence”, from Wayfinder Schools, one must maintain a solid and healthy relationship with all community members, participate in all community activities, and learn how to cook, clean, and care for personal spaces. The students at our New Gloucester campus are really nailing residential living; in fact, they are excelling beyond expectation. Gold stars for all of them!!!!

Things were not always so bright and shiny. There was a time when cleaning was a foreign language, a time when bread was not cut on a cutting board, a time when sinks were taken for granted, piles of trash were walked around, and vacuums were tough to push. These were dark times indeed!!! Once, every hundred years, a student is born with a burning passion for, not only completing their residential living obligations, but a drive to be a leader in the name of respecting one’s living space. This individual must possess the ability to see the problem (Dirty dishes.), organize the variables of said problem (Who is responsible for the dirty dishes?), create an appropriate action plan (How do I tell my peers, in a respectful fashion, their dishes are literally growing a new kind of mold and they should probably take care of it?) and finally, bringing a plan of action to the larger community (How can I find the bravery to voice my plan for dealing with the unclaimed, lonely, abandoned dishes, laying in the sink, creating their own eco-system?).

The year is 2015 and our small school, nestled in the renowned moors of New Gloucester, has been gifted a student, complete with all the above attributes of “community living excellence”. This student’s name is Ethan Ward and he cares about whether the dishes get done or not. He cares about establishing fair and just solutions to the problems vexing our otherwise placid residential living space. Residential accountability is Ethan Ward’s middle name. People will write songs about how he pushes our recalcitrant multitudes to be accountable for their forgotten messes! Wayfinder Schools thanks Ethan for being a constant reminder of how accountability and creative problem solving can manifest a kitchen, once sad with neglect, into a sparkly world of wonder where unicorns are often seen to take respite.

Crystal Rose Vaccaro