Even though we’ve been away from home for ten months, the internet keeps us tethered to our once and future lives. Back in Los Angeles, the community of our children’s school is the center of our family’s life. Westland School is a remarkable place and its progressive educational philosophy was one of the inspirations for our trip. In the past few months, we’ve learned of the struggles another Westland family has been dealing with. Our friend Neil Bagg, father of two kids, a boy and a girl, just about the same age difference as Franny and Finn, has been diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). We know from personal experience how terrible this disease can be and the strain it can put on a family, both emotionally and financially. The Westland Community is now spearheading a fundraiser to help Neil Bagg’s family afford a wheelchair-accessible van — and we, in our small way, want to spread the word to the community of A Year To Think. Please take a moment and click here to learn more about Neil’s Wheels and the movement to “give forward” and help a family in need.
As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel of our journey around the world (three months to go and savoring every minute), the Westland School community is one of the things we are looking forward to most. The school is a bastion of normality and good values on the westside of Los Angeles. Last year, we made a short film for the school to share its vision with prospective families (the beginning of our short movie habit). Here’s the film we made called “This Is Westland” where we attempt to answer the question “What is progressive education?”Our journey has been the greatest field trip we could imagine, the ultimate progressive learning experience. But no matter how far away we are, we remember the importance of feeling connected to a community. While we are across the world, our thoughts and our hearts are with Neil Bagg and his family — and we look forward to the mobility that he will regain with the campaign for Neil’s Wheels.