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Zen of
Jordan Glen


NEWSLETTER for
JG ALUMNI + FRIENDS

Vol. 1 Iss. 1, December 2016
'Children are the Future'

jordanglen.org/alumni

Jordan Glen School & Summer Camp
12425 SW 154th St  Archer FL 32618
 info@jordanglen.org  352-495-2728
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Zen of Jordan Glen, our newsletter for alumni and friends of Jordan Glen. It's been over 40 years that Jeff Davis and the Jordan Glen School & Summer Camp team (Lotus Land School in the olden days) has been teaching, inspiring, and challenging generations of young people.

This newsletter will focus on connecting and reconnecting Jordan Glen families with the school and each other through news, memories, pictures, videos, and anything else of interest.

We also hope that families will consider donating to Jordan Glen. We have a list of projects, large and small, that need supplemental funding, and individual donations are crucial. Remember that 100% of monetary, material, and in-kind donations to Jordan Glen are tax-deductible. Every donation is significant to us and goes directly toward programming and supplies.
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Jordan Glen School &
Summer Camp
is a 501(c)(3)
Non-Profit Organization

 
DONATE NOW
All Donations
to Jordan Glen are
Tax Deductible
JG TG, Nov 2016
Forward by Jeff
Dear Students, past, present, and future:

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter to all of you.  I have already seen a few responses and it is gratifying to know that most of your are happy and thriving.

It is said that a Teacher touches many lives; of this I am hopeful but uncertain.  What I do know is that I have been touched by many lives, and have been changed for the better.  Little did I know, when I was searching in the 60's that my path would eventually be so clearly directed and defined, but the vision has held true for well over forty years, and Teaching/Lotus Land/Jordan Glen, has been my inspirational muse, and I have never had occasion to look back or wonder what could have been.  

I think of many of you, and often, in my mind, make comparisons.  She has a mind like....., or he smiles like......., or he has a temper like.......No two of you are ever alike, and each holds a place in my heart and mind.  Jordan Glen is still fun for me.  Most days I get to School early, and just sit, thinking about the day's challenges, looking forward to seeing "the kids" arrive- now included in that package is six grandchildren.  I never thought ahead too much, so having all my grandchildren as JGers, is a bit mind boggling and heart warming on a daily basis.

I want to thank each of you for giving a little love while you were here.  It never went, nor will go, unnoticed or unfelt.  All of your Teachers here have been touched by your presence, and your legacy to us is hearts, minds, and bodies inspired enough to keep on teaching, and loving what we do.  Thank you for this; it is more than most in this world have and has never been taken lightly by any one of us.  We know how fortunate we are.

"At this festive time of year...." I would like to wish all of you happy holidays, a good new year, and much health and happiness.  We are looking forward to hearing from you, seeing pictures, and being brought up to date on your lives.  Thanks to Joel for doing this.

 
          Love,

          Jeff 
WANT TO DONATE
TO A SPECIFIC FUND?

When donating, simply select a fund and we will earmark those monies for the designated purpose. 

Unspecified donations will go into the JG General Fund.
FUNDS
  • Annual Musical
  • Fine Arts
  • General
  • Science
  • Scholarships
  • Sports / Play Equipment
  • Technology
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Other fund  __________


Current Fundraising Goal:
$22,000
for
PLAYGROUND & SPORTS EQUIPMENT

JG Alumni Snapshots
Decades have passed and we found Parker all grown up when we reconnected on social media.

In fact, his adventurous spirit and captivating photos prompted us to ask him to fill us in on his life after JG, because we were sure there would be interesting stories.

Thank you, Parker, for agreeing to be our inaugural JG Alumni Snapshots subject.




Below alumnus Parker Pflaum describes his 2,650 mile vision quest as he hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.

While the grueling physical conditions and extreme solitude would have led most into a Heart of Darkness, Parker transcends the human condition, finds his way and learns about self-acceptance.
Name: Parker D. Pflaum
Jordan Glen School years of attendance: 1991 - 2001
Current age: 29
Currently residence: On the road
High School: Eastside I.B. Program
College: University of Florida, B.A. Summa Cum Laude 2009
Double Major: History and Asian Languages & Literatures (Chinese)
Minors: Geography & Anthropology
Grad School: Harvard University, M.A. 2012, Regional Studies East Asia (China Specialization)
Parker in a 1993 JG graduation performance. We affectionately called him a 'peanut'.
Which familiar faces do you see? David Smadbeck on the piano is a given. 
Please keep us up to date
with your current contact information


info@JordanGlen.org

Contact us if you would consider
appearing in a future JG Alumni Snapshot
This is what Parker had to say:

Perhaps they’re right when they call me a nomad.  Someday, in the not too distant future, I hope to come to terms with that.  But for the time being, it scares me a heck of a lot.  It scares me because, just like most people, I also want a settled life.  A job.  A family.  Or, at least, I think I want that.  Can I have it both ways?

For most of my life I thought that my travels and adventures were just short deviations from “real” life.  Until recently, I believed that the detours would eventually end.  That I would get over it; settle down.  That I’d become like others; “normal”— whatever that means.  Eventually.  Sometime.  In the future.

I turned 29 on April 26 of this year.  On that day I rode a bus from San Diego to Campo, a small town 1.5 miles north of the Mexican-American border.  From that southern terminus, I began to walk north, following the Pacific Crest Trail.  Everything that I thought I would need in the months to come I carried in my 20-40 pound backpack.  (The weight depended on the amount of food, gas, and water that I would need for that section).

I walked virtually everyday from sunup to sundown, for five months.  All told, I walked 2,650 miles, through the states of California, Oregon and Washington: from Mexico to Canada.  There were times, especially when I hurt a lot or was frustrated and struggling, when I chose to listen to music, a podcast or an audiobook as way to disengage and escape.  But most of the time, I simply walked because I wanted to be present for the experience, even when it was hard as hell.  Even so, I couldn’t be present in the moment always, so sometimes I reflected about the past or thought about the future.

At some point while walking the trail, I can’t really tell you exactly when, a series of theretofore unconnected dots realigned themselves to form a new picture of my life and my identity.  It was something that I hadn’t seen before, probably because I’ve been moving too much, and too fast, to notice.
For many years I’ve lived on the road, out of a backpack.  I have traveled overland and overseas from Indonesia to America (no airplanes allowed).  I have ridden a motorcycle, camping along the way, for months from Boston to Florida and west to Colorado.  I have road tripped through every state except Ohio, Alaska and Idaho, and into Canada and Mexico too.

I lived in Changchun, China, for half a year, in Chinese Siberia, which drops to minus forty degrees in winter (Fahrenheit or Celsius, because that is where the scales meet).  I never could explain to others why I preferred a three-day long hard-sleeper train from Kunming to Shanghai rather than a two-hour flight.  But I do; I prefer it every time.

I have been guiding young Americans on cultural-immersion adventures in Asia to make money.  On one trip I led a group of thirteen students on a three-month journey tracing the course of the Mekong River from its source in China through Laos and into Cambodia.  Later I took a group to live in Varanasi, the holiest city in India, where Hindus go to be cremated and have their ashes thrown in the Ganges River to try to stop the cycle of birth and rebirth that has continued unceasingly, without their acquiescence, for eons.
Parker and mom, Leanne
I hiked in the Himalayas in Ladakh, in Kashmir and Jammu Province; circled partway around Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, which lies in Nepal, just across the Indian border from Sikkim.  I took students to live with some of the few remaining Tibetan nomads in China, in Qinghai province in the far west of that country.  I lived with farmers in southwest China where we ate wasps for dinner—both crunchy adults and gooey larva.  
 
I have been a dirtbag climber; I’ve woken to a blood-red desert sun, fine red Utah dust crunching between my teeth, to top out on the famous boulders in Joe’s Valley or to jam my fingers in the classic crack climbs that split their way up Canyonland’s black Desert Varnish cliffs.  I followed remote alpine trad climbs on Haystack Mountain in the Wind River Range in Wyoming and fly fished for trout in the crystal clear streams there with my dog Guna.  I sat in meditation with a Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist teacher in Bodhgaya, just a short walk from the Bodhi tree under which Siddhartha Gautama achieved whatever it is that Enlightenment means, more than 2,600 years ago.
So.  Back to the trail; walking and reflecting on my life.  There I was, out-of-doors for the longest stretch in my life.  I watched the moon wax and wane, a little bigger or smaller, through five full cycles.  When I cowboy camped and the moon was full, its luminous light kept me awake at night.  When the moon was a dim crescent or there was a new moon and I woke in the night, uncertain and afraid of the loud rustles in the dark, the stars comforted me.  Then, each morning, I woke with the sun and watched it travel across the sky and I fell asleep as dusk fell on the world.  And I saw the landscape change from scrub desert to alpine mountains of Redwood and Ponderosa Pine to gently sloping hills of white fir; from spring to high summer and into the rainy and snowy autumn that the Pacific Northwest is famous for.
This new picture of who I was came together slowly, and then, seemed to form all at once.  It was simple but powerful.  It told me that for so long I have been blind and stupid to discount the so-called “detours” of my life.  That nomadism, in fact, defines me to some degree.  It told me that I need to stop waiting for my real life to begin.  That this is it; that I don’t need to be like everyone else.

There are a million ways to look at a life.  To parse it.  To judge it.  To like some things that happen and not others.  There are pros and cons to every life.  And surely we all would change some things, if only we could.  
But there comes a time for all of us in which we stumble upon some small sort of acceptance of the things that, for better or worse, make us who we are.  These things will always be a part of us; we cannot run away from them.  And maybe once we accept them we might even be able to smudge the boundaries of them.
Labrang Monastary, Xiahe, Gansu Province, China
THANK YOU
Parker Pflaum continued
Thank you, Jordan Glen, for the freedom with which to explore, be creative, weird and goofy, to make mistakes and yes, even to fail and, hopefully, to learn from those failures.  It is an increasingly rare thing in our world to allow children the opportunity for independence and to develop responsibility; to learn from the consequences of the choices that they make.  I know it’s a hard thing for us adults to provide this independence for children without too much interference.

There was an extraordinary feeling at Jordan Glen of being in the midst of a swirling world of adventure, fun and lessons to learn.  I similarly appreciate the diverse and unconventional community, full of acceptance and love.  As a child there, you felt that just over the horizon there is always something new to discover.

Jordan Glen recognized that there are a hundred types of intelligence, ability and growth that we can strive for in this life.  Well-rounded is the key word here, but it is a word that falls far short of that which I am trying to describe.  Yes, emotional and social intelligence are part of it.  Creativity, contentment and spirituality too.  Breadth and depth of knowledge is part of it; and grit and perseverance.  Self-awareness, skills and leadership too.

But the whole of it remains just out of grasp.  Always just on the tip of the tongue, just beyond the ability of human language to describe, there is this sense of bigness, freedom and fullness to Jordan Glen.


The most important gift that Jordan Glen left me with is a desire to always keep learning and growing.  How that place accomplished this Mr. Miyagi-like wax-on-wax-off mindtrick is so simple that you’d never guess it.  It was simply fun to be there, and to learn there.
There is an old saying which I’m sure you’ve heard:

“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”

But I think what Jordan Glen taught me is deeper:

“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day.  Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed His Body for a Lifetime.  Make a Man Excited About Learning to Fish and You Feed His Soul For Ever.”

I can say with certainty that I did not leave Jordan Glen with my brain simply crammed full of facts and figures.  But I also left with some amount of self-awareness, self-sufficiency and grit.  I left that place with an excitement which, time and again, allows me to dedicate myself to learning things when it was time to know them.  The joy of learning is simply a gift that never stops giving.

I did not leave Jordan Glen with certainty of what I wanted, nor with answers to life’s biggest questions.  Indeed, Jordan Glen did not make it so that I would not struggle in this life.

Quite to the contrary, what Jordan Glen left me with is a desire to choose the winding road, the hard road, the unstable and uncertain path on which difficulties and challenges seem to abound.  It made me want to live a full life; a deeply examined life full of mishaps and missteps and a total lack of certain ground.  A life that leaves me breathless, exhausted, confused, joyous, saddened, nostalgic, excited, and silly.

Thank you.

[Parker Pflaum]
Find Parker and see how many other people you can name, first and last, in this 2001 Sr. Class photo.
Answer key below
Happy and safe winter holidays, vacation, and New Year
JG Staff & Students: See you TUESDAY Jan 3, 2017
Jordan Glen has a variety of winter traditions that we continue to celebrate.
Enjoy these newspaper articles from our 2001 winter holiday season.
Jordan Glen students especially look forward to winter traditions
Mary Krome was a key reporter on JG holiday traditions
Please make your tax deductible contribution today
 
For over 40 years Jordan Glen has celebrated, inspired, and empowered young minds. Our alumni are part of a rich history and bright future that share a beautiful legacy. Your achievements are a source of pride to us and a nod to your Jordan Glen foundation.

Continuous alumni support is vital to Jordan Glen. Your donations create opportunities for current and future students, as well as supports infrastructure and creative programs at the school.

We thank you for your support now and throughout the years.
DONATE NOW
Have a plan...consider including Jordan Glen in your estate plans. Ask us about our volunteer legal team to advise you on estate planning that includes Jordan Glen.
Dates to Note
March 10-12—Sr. Class Play "Matilda" at EHS Fri & Sat 7pm, Sun 2pm
March 16—Thursday—PreK Play for School, 10:30am
March 17—Friday—PreK Play for Families, 10:30am, followed by Spring Festival
March 20-24—Monday-Friday—NO SCHOOL (Spring Break)
April 11—Tuesday—K-1 Play for School, 10:15am
April 12—Wednesday—K-1 Play for Families, 10:15am
April 21—Friday—Earth Day Festival
April 25—Tuesday—2-4 Play for School, 10:30am
April 27—Thursday—2-4 Play for Families, 10:30am
May 7-12—Sunday-Friday—Senior Class Trip
May 25—Thursday—Graduation for PreK, K, 1st, 9:15am; Graduation for 2nd-8th graders, 7pm
May 26—Friday—Last Day of School
June 5-23—Summer Camp, Session 1
June 26-July 14—Summer Camp, Session 2 
Some 2001 holiday humor from then-student Daniel Perea. Check out Daniel's IMDb profile (Internet Movie Database) to see what he's been up to lately.
ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY...
Nor was Jordan Glen
It's no surprise that the school building was not originally a school. When Jordan Glen began as Lotus Land in the early 70s, the Davis family - then composed of 3 people - lived in the school building while respectively running, teaching at, and attending the school.

Since those days there have been many changes to the building and the grounds:  classroom additions, the Big Room, landscaping, pond and swimming pool, tennis court, school buses, and so much more.

Below is a impassioned, analytical, and entertaining reaction to such changes and updates, as conveyed by Ginnie Mikell in the Dec. 2001 issue of the Jordan Glen Peacock. Thank you to Jill Geremia for being organized and submitting back issues this JG publication.
Jordan Glen is a second home for its students and staff
Recently overheard  - when Josephine said that her favorite artist was Matisse, one of her 2nd graders asked:

 "Oh, what kind of art does he do? Fiction, Non-Fiction, or what?"
THE SCHOOL BUS
While not easy providing a safe, legal, and reliable school bus, Jordan Glen has always offered transportation for students from Gainesville.
We had many good years with our previous bus and received top dollar on a trade-in because we kept it in such good shape. Alyssa Wood, our trusty driver, runs a tight bus, and we're glad!
Learn some JG school bus history in another 2001 JG Peacock article:
Old bus, New bus
Jordan Glen purchased a new 75 passenger school bus last year - with seat belts for each rider
The new bus was big news at school in Fall 2015
E X T R A C U R R I C U L A R   A C T I V I T I E S
O l y m p i c   A r c h e r y   in    S c h o o l s    (OAS)
Jordan Glen is on point with its archery team, part of the national Olympic Archery in Schools program (OAS). OAS has semi-permanently loaned Jordan Glen top-notch equipment including bows, arrows, targets, and more. Since the team's inception a few years ago, the JG Archers have had a wonderful experience learning everything archery: rules, techniques, safety, equipment care, and competition.
The JG OAS Team is comprised of an equal number of boys and girls who usually rank highly in regional and state tournaments against much larger schools. The team is coached by parent volunteer, Shayna Sutherland, along with fellow JG parents Andy Frenock, Ruth Gormé, and Karen Scheidel, and is sponsored by teachers Jill Geremia and Nicole Christie.
Some of Archer's finest archers competing in a state tournament
T h e s p i a n   C l u b
We have a new Junior Thespian Troupe at Jordan Glen. Led by JG teacher and drama director, Amy Richter, these young players will participate in the International Thespian Association and compete against other middle schoolers at Districts in January.
Depending on the outcome at Districts, our thespians could continue on to the State showdown in February. Categories for the competitions will include monologues, improvisation, singing, acting, duets, and more!
JG Thespian Club 2016-2017
Jordan Glen has been productively channeling the dramatic energy of middle schoolers for over 40 years. Thespian Club is led by teacher and JG parent, Amy Richter, mother of JG alumna and current Eastside I.B. student, Katryna, and JG 5th-grader, Nicholas.
T e n n i s
Click above to watch a JG tennis montage
Jeff is still beating students at tennis using a shoe in place of a racket
At Jordan Glen, it's not Tennis, anyone? It's Tennis, everyone! Dave Porter, director of Jonesville Tennis Center (www.jonesvilletennis.com, 352-331-9558), husband of JG alumna, Daniella (Kesler) and dad to JG students Talia (8th gr) and Avi (4th gr), is one of our regular parent volunteers. He teaches five tennis electives, that range in skill level from beginner, advanced beginners, intermediate, and advanced classes.  

Coach Dave also heads up the JG tennis team, where several of the 'advanced' players will officially begin practice in February to compete in the middle school tennis season that begins in April. While the team is mostly comprised of middle schoolers, elementary students can also try out for and play on the team, which has an impressive winning record since it formed 5 years ago. 

Dave says that the interest in tennis grew tremendously last year, with students in his after-school clinics ranging from 3-year-old Pre-K students to JG parents. Dave is expecting a competitive crew within the next few years considering he is starting to train them practically as soon as they can grip the racket.
Watch a video montage of Harry & Grey win the 2016 High School Tennis State Doubles Championship. The Cacciatore twins learned to play tennis at Jordan Glen and are now coached by Dave Porter at Jonesville Tennis Center. 
P H O T O  G A L L E R Y
SPECIAL THANK-YOU TO GRANDMA HAZEL
our unofficial school photographer, as well as grandmother to two JG alumni
and their three younger siblings who are current JG students.
2016 Annual Sr. Class Hike on Rosh Hashana
HALLOWEEN
Featuring the always-surprisingly-delicious Witch's Brew, brought to us this year by Heather Frenchman,
JG mom of 5!
COOKING CLASS
Jill smiles as her well-trained young chefs prepare dessert
Field trip to Gainesville's fresh new Depot Park
8TH GRADE GOLF CLASS
Find Jeff!
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Jordan Glen School & Summer Camp · 12425 SW 154th Street · Archer, FL 32618 · USA

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