Linx InstituteIn my earlier years, I had been involved in gifted education, but I had never really thought about how being "gifted" had affected me in general. But, then a few years ago I read an article about a specific form of depression often found in gifted children. I related so much to this article that it inspired me to delve deeper into how giftedness may have affected me, as well as others I knew. This search almost led me to enter that field as a career, and in the process I talked to Annemarie Roeper, founder of The Roeper School for the Gifted in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Mrs. Roeper told me a lot of valuable information about the gifted, and introduced me to a teacher from Roeper School who was interested in creating a unique new program at Roeper.
As a result of reading the educational ideas of people like Daniel Quinn and John Taylor Gatto, as well as my own educational experience, I felt the need for a great deal of reform in the system. I wanted to help create a new alternative for some children who wanted to learn in a different way that would allow them more freedom to explore their own interests and to involve the community in their education. These ideas were right in line with those of the man introduced to me by Mrs. Roeper.
So over the next several months, we designed a program that we ultimately called The Linx Institute. We designed a plan for the curriculum and a summer program, created a website, and began a business plan. We even secured an advisory board that included Daniel Quinn and author Derrick Jensen. When we pitched the program to the administration of Roeper, they were initially enthusiastic about allowing us to offer it to a selection of their students. However, they unfortunately later changed their minds and decided not to allow it.
Creating the program was a great outlet and learning experience for me, but sadly we never got to see the program come to fruition. Still, many of the ideas that we incorporated into the program have continued to influence my thinking and have been present in other programs that I've seen popping up around the country ever since.