Up until then, I never understood what the point was. One is taken away each day from home, a place of comfort, to a top-level security facility with guards and disciplinarians who, while pretending to be parental figures, ridicule and berate you with gratuitous rules, test-taking, and attendance. Surely, I convinced myself, they did this to prove that, like other animals, human children can be domesticated.
So again, you can understand how this new place they were calling “The Roeper School” seemed rather alien. For some reason, the students thought it okay to call teachers by their first names; the students also thought it okay to debate whether or not the world flag should be more prominently displayed in front of the school than the U.S. flag and, furthermore, whether the U.S. flag should be displayed at all! The teachers also thought it okay to hold class outside on the grass, in circles, because the sunshine and fresh air would help the students with their learning.
Once more, one can understand how Roeper marked one of the most important turning points in my life. It was the place where I learned to be true to myself and true to my community. Roeper’s Golden Rule.