John Hardy: My green school dream
(I’m technologically challenged and am trying to get the video to appear directly in the blog . . . but it’s a work in progress . . . the link will have to do for now)
When Al Gore came to talk at Hamilton College my sophmore year, like most of the world, I was no doubt influenced and moved by his “Inconvenient Truth” presentation. He displayed more facts than I wanted to hear, more depressing pictures than my eyes wished to look upon and implanted into my mind more visions of my generation’s increasingly grim. The world was shocked when this movie came out, yet as is the case with human emotions, it is often easier to look the other way when faced with a harsh reality rather than divulge the energy and emotion needed to combat such a dooming truth.
John Hardy does otherwise. Also influenced by Al’s “Inconvenient Truth,” Hardy, rather than accepting “reality,” decided (in his retirement mind you) to challenge it. His TED talk on the Green School he built in Bali touched me to the core; he combines my interest and love of teaching, Southeast Asia, environmental policy, architecture (I am from Chicago) and even my college major, sociology, and presented one truly inspiring project.
His courage to challenge the future, create something new, and build a social movement provide a new source of inspiration on serious current problems in society including environmental development, education, and child obesity. Everything from the architecture, to the cooking mechanisms, to the “plumbing” are delicately planned and procured to be completely green.
Additionally, this school also introduces new teaching methodologies as students become involved in their school and are literally engaged in their environment. Coming from a teacher working in Vietnamese classrooms and thus amongst a society that turns a blind eye to children with learning disabilities, the Green School tackles disabilities with a proactive attitude; by altering the title of dyslexic to prolexic, students are given a supportive and encouraging environment rather than one that highlights their weaknesses.
This one tiny project has so many lessons imbedded within it; lessons that our society needs to support and spread. Please watch and enjoy.