Tagged writing

2017 Story Writing Intention

I believe stories can be the next powerful tool to help normalize self-directed education. I realize that the students at ALC still read books and watch movies where school learning look very different than what we do. They want to play school at ALC, and sometimes, they worry that they aren’t doing what other kids are doing. I imagine that being a student in a small self-directed school is more challenging when you see kids in just about every other media outlet doing something different than you.

Where are the examples of children powerfully navigating their lives in a self-directed education model? Where are examples of children sharing their intentions for their day or week, choosing to learn about whatever they are interested in? If the only examples they get from movies and books are of kids sitting through classes to learn, then the kids are getting the message reinforced that this is what learning looks like. Imagine the confusion of reading and seeing this example, and then going to a school where the adults are telling you that this is not the case, that learning can be different.

So, for 2017, I want to embark on a story writing journey. I want to focus my writing on stories, on sharing some actual stories from Mosaic, but also writing fiction pieces that are just written for entertainment – but all the kids will be in a self-directed education model.

I may not be an incredible writer, and that’s ok. I want to write anyway. Maybe someone reading will be an incredible writer and they will write better stories involving children who self-directing their education.

I have built a page here where I will compile my stories in one place, so readers don’t need to hunt through my blogs for them. Enjoy if you wish!

Tuck Everlasting ALC Fan Fiction

Last year I wrote a fan fiction piece during Writer’s Workshop with the students. I only shared it with a few of the kids, who either loved the story or thought it was very weird. I’m sharing it now to share with the ALC Community my 2017 Story Writing Intention. Currently, I am working on a longer fiction piece, one that will have all made up characters and is inspired by The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Narnia series.

I had Alona’s permission to write using her as a character, but she had no idea what I was going to do to her in the story! I hope you enjoy it.


**If you have read Tuck Everlasting you will have a better understanding of what is happening in the story. This is a fan fiction spin off.**

I looked at the small spring of water, my mouth feeling dry and parched. I could almost feel the cool water trickling down my throat. Hesitantly, I reached out to touch it. Just touching it couldn’t have an effect on me, I thought. Yet, at the very last second, just millimeters from the glassy surface of the water, my hand froze, then I withdrew it.

This was not any ordinary spring. This was not any ordinary day. I stood here with the opportunity only one other person on this planet has ever had, the opportunity to experience immortal life.

I thought the story of the Tuck family was just a story. I read the book and watched the movie just like so many other children out there. It was made-up, fiction. Right? Wrong.

I found my mind wandering back to the day I met the Tucks. They were so curious about ALC and were eager to enroll their 15 year old son, Jesse. Now Jesse has been a student at our ALC for over two years. I could always sense a wisdom in his eyes that was well beyond the “17” years he claimed to be. Had it not been for the bond between Jesse & Alona, I would have never found out the family secret.

See, Jesse was Jesse Tuck. From the book Tuck Everlasting. The supposedly fiction book that has sold 2 million copies. For all these years, the Tucks had quietly hidden from the public, transforming their lives every few years, always on the move. The longest they ever stayed in one place was 5 years. After that, they had to leave or their secret would be out. They are immortal. Never aging, trapped, suspended in bodies that never change.

Sometimes they lived for years hidden in some remote off-the-grid house, living off the land and away from civilization.

Eventually, Jesse would either erupt with anger over the tedium and sameness of the remote living. The family would pick a town to move to and enroll Jesse as a very tall 15 or 16 year old so he could have three to five years of making friends and a “normal” life. But in the end, it was always the same thing: leaving, saying goodbye to everyone he knows, never to see them again. He would send them letters, and then as cell phones were invented, texts or emails, but always with the intention to slowly fade away and out of their lives forever.

Two years ago, our ALC was where Jesse ended up. He had never experienced a school like ours before and was full of questions. He loved the freedom to choose what he wanted to do and learn each day. I mean, think about how many trigonometry and P.E. classes he has had to endure each time he re-enrolled in school! Here, he was free to explore any interest of his choice, with other people who were excited to explore those interests too. He also had ample time to do what he actually wanted to do: make friends. That was the actual reason he would drag his family out of the safety of rural living. The loneliness was unbearable.

Within a week of joining us, it was clear that he and Alona were going to be great friends. He loved to write fiction and learn about biology. He had so many stories to tell from his 200+ years of living. He also had extensive experience treating animals without any medication. For during their time living remotely, there were no vets to visit on account of a sick pet or upon finding an injured wild animal. Therefore, he learned different ways to communicate with animals to understand them, as well as how to identify hundreds of wild plants that could be used to treat their injuries and ailments.

Alona, of course, was fascinated by his knowledge of healing. When Buns fell ill during the early weeks of Jesse’s arrival at ALC, Jesse quickly identified an iron deficiency and fetched some weeds outside for her to eat. Within a day, Buns was happy and energetic again. After this experience, Alona and Jesse were inseparable as they feverishly explored animal biology and healing, learning from and with each other. Alona also had years of research behind her, despite her young age. Combined, the knowledge they had of animals was remarkable.

At that time Alona was 15, and so was Jesse…supposedly. Of course two years later Alona was a full grown 17 and Jesse still looked exactly the same! He would joke that he hit his growth spurt early and that explained why he never grew taller or filled out more.

As Alona excitedly filled out college applications, encouraging Jesse to pick the same college or one near her top choices, inside Jesse was in agony. This was the best two years he had experienced in the last two centuries! To say goodbye to all of us now and go back into hiding again felt unbearable to him. For those who know Jesse’s story in the embellished, and what I thought, fictional, story, he lost gaining a forever friend and potential wife when Winnie Foster refused to drink from the spring of water that granted immortality. Jesse has long wanted a friend, a partner to share his life with before Winnie and ever since. His shared passions and deep friendship with Alona was too much to bear losing. His family felt his despair and his mother, Mae, was pushing for the family to leave soon before it became even harder for him to cut ties.

Again, for those who have read the Natalie Babbit version of Tuck Everlasting, you may have thought the spring was forever lost after builders developed the land and covered it with a concrete jungle. After almost being discovered during the Winnie Foster brush-in, Mae reached out to Winnie to spread a rumor that the spring was located in her family woods as described in the book. Then the true location of the spring would be forever hidden. Winnie told the tale to her children and friends as an urban legend, a fairytale of sorts, and eventually it was published in Babbit’s book as fiction. By convincing others this was made up, their secret was safe from the world.

Jesse wanted Winnie to join him in immortal life, yet Winnie could not do it. When faced with the decision, she realized all the implications that came with immortal life: including always watching death, but never experiencing it. It meant isolation and loneliness, as Jesse knew. It meant hiding your truth from the outside world. It meant constantly moving, never settling down.

Over the centuries of living, Jesse had wished many times to die, but immortal life was forever his curse. When faced with the realization that he would have to say goodbye to ALC and his closest friend, Alona, he snapped. He did the unthinkable. And then I became involved.

You see, a week ago, one week before the end of Alona’s last year at ALC, Jesse asked us to go on an end of the year camping trip. Since neither of them had cars yet, I was requested to be the driver, (and also for fun as I am a good friend to the both of them). “One last hurrah together as members of ALC,” Jesse proposed. Alona and I were excited to go, calling it their ALC graduation party.

Yesterday, we arrived at the campsite. Jesse directed us, saying he wanted us to go to his favorite camping spot. Without using GPS, he navigated me to the mountain by car. Without any map, he led us on a 4 hour hike to a remote campsite. He obviously knew this area like the back of his hand.

Yesterday, mine and Alona’s lives were still normal. Yesterday, Alona was still a mortal being.

If Jesse could be killed, I might have been angry enough to kill him for what he did! This morning, while I made breakfast, Alona and Jesse went for a walk to check out what wild edibles grew in the area. I was so calm and peaceful as I scrambled eggs and fried up turkey bacon. I remember humming “Lean On Me” as I cooked, one of my favorite songs. I was interrupted by the sound of hysterical sobbing and crashing in the woods. I looked up to see Jesse’s tear soaked face emerging from the brush nearby.

“Jesse, what happened?” I tried to remain calm, but my heart felt heavy and my eyes searched frantically for Alona. I didn’t see her anywhere.

“I…I…I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” he choked out between sobs.

“Jesse, where is Alona? What happened?” I asked, my concern growing.

“I…,” another giant sob bursted out, “just follow me.”

I followed Jesse through the woods, my heart pounding in my ears. He took me to a big tree with the small tide pool of water shimmering between its roots, and there Jesse told me everything, his past, is life, about it all.

On their hike that morning, Jesse led Alona to the tree. He wanted to ask her to drink from the pool and have immortal life alongside him, in hopes that his loneliness would end. Once they reached the pool, Alona ran over and drank from it, unaware of what this pool of water was or Jesse’s story. It was hot and she was thirsty. Through sobs, Jesse admitted that there was time to stop her, but he hesitated. He wanted her to drink it. He was worried that if he stopped her, and then asked her to drink from it, she would say no. So he didn’t stop her.

However, immediately after she drank it, Jesse realized his terrible wrongdoing. How would Alona ever forgive him? He robbed her of choice – choice in a matter that is life-changing. After letting her drink, Jesse dropped to his knees and told her everything. Alona slapped him in the face and then ran off in the woods. Jesse thought she must have been trying to get back to camp to find me. Still in shock over his grave mistake, it took Jesse a few minutes to get up and go after her. Unfortunately, it looks like Alona got lost in the woods trying to find me.

“Jesse, you know these woods well, right?” I asked.

“I know every nook and cranny. Every branch, every rabbit hole.”

“Go. Go and try to look for her in the woods. I think I need to stay near the camp in case she does find her way. I’ll find our whistle and blow it. I hope she hears it.”

Jess ran off. And now here we are back to the beginning of this story:

I looked at the small spring of water, my mouth feeling dry and parched. I could almost feel the cool water trickling down my throat. Hesitantly, I reached out to touch the water. Just touching it couldn’t have an effect on me, I thought. Yet, at the very last second, just millimeters from the glassy surface of the water, my hand froze, then I withdrew it.

Of course I don’t want immortal life. Right? I remember thinking about this when I read the book when I was younger. I remember thinking about what I would do in Winnie Foster’s place and knew I would do the same thing. Immortal life is not a gift, it’s a curse.

But a part of me is still curious. What would it be like? Never aging. I’d be thirty-two forever. I could have children and live to see their great-grandchildren. I think I could even convince people I was as young as 25 and then live in one place for over a decade without having to move. That’s an advantage I would have over Jesse, thankfully I wouldn’t be frozen at an age that looks so young. I would be treated as an adult.

But what about my government ID? I would have to get fakes after a time because when I’m 60 I can’t keep my same birthdate on my current ID! Logistically, immortality would be quite complicated. I have no idea where I’d even get a fake ID. However, the Tucks have managed, I’m sure they have figured something out.

Can I even imagine outliving my family? My husband, my children? That would be hard. I couldn’t imagine re-building a new family after my current one had passed away.

Wow, this is now Alona’s fate. She has to be thinking of all this right now, too.

Deep breath in. This is not an option for me. Unless…

Unless Tomis would drink it too. This is what Jesse feels! What he did was terribly wrong, but his loneliness and desire to have a partner join him in his immortal fate drove him to those few seconds of hesitation that has forever changed Alona’s life. Perhaps Alona will recover from her shock, and probably anger, and come to find excitement and happiness in her new fate alongside Jesse.

The End

Roll A Story

I gained a week of life after school on Friday! The entire day I thought it was the Friday before Halloween. I carved pumpkins with the kids, thinking this was the last opportunity to do so. I also gave out these fun Roll-A-Story activities, some being Halloween themed and others not (because not everyone likes or celebrates Halloween), during our Friday reflection time. Then after school I realized it was Oct. 21, not Oct. 28. Silly me!

Still, I thought the Roll-A-Story was super cute and the kids seemed to enjoy it. Some kids wrote their stories on paper, some wrote them in blog posts, and some told stories out loud. Here’s the Halloween Roll-A-Story I used:

 

Roll One – Main Character Roll two – Setting, Time Roll three – Setting Place Roll four –

Plot

1 Vampire Midnight Haunted house An unusual discover is made
2 Witch Halloween Night Graveyard A Mystery Needs to be solved
3 Ghost Noon Abandoned School A dangerous journey takes place
4 Monster Sunrise Pumpkin Patch Someone is afraid of something
5 Zombie Sunset Laboratory Something or someone is missing
6 Mummy During a rainstorm Dark Woods Someone needs to be rescued

You use a die and roll 4 times. Each roll dictates an element to your story. I rolled 6, 6, 5, 4. So I wrote a story involving a Mummy during a rainstorm, in a laboratory and in this story someone is afraid of something. Enjoy!

 


Mummy Mystery

The sound of pounding rain on the metal roof was deafening. Dr. Morkle winced as she carefully unwrapped the outermost layer of the mummy’s bandages. It felt like an impossible task to have the mummy ready for the museum display next month. There were many tests to conduct on the remains, so much careful and deliberate care needing to be given so they didn’t destroy this archaeological wonder.

I bet this mummy is from over 9,000 years ago, Dr. Morkle thought. Her fingers continued to quiver as she cut back another bandage layer around the mummy’s face. She was afraid she’d damage the remains and lose her job.

“We are trusting this job to you,” her boss told her. “Are you up for it? This is going to make or break your career here.”

Thinking back to his words, Dr. Morkle shuddered. Her boss was really intimidating and she wished that he wouldn’t use fear as a way to motivate the scientists to do their best. Dr. Morkle needed to see if there was any remaining tissue left in the mummy to do a DNA analysis. She was also going to conduct mass spectrometry, an analysis technique that sorts the different kinds of molecules in compounds. From this, she could find out if the mummy remains contained caffeine, plant steroids, arsenic, lead, and even opiate drugs. This would tell everyone a lot about how this person lived.

She peeled back another layer bandage, and finally could see the actual remains. She sucked in a deep breath, this was Dr. Morkle’s favorite part of her job. She was about to see firsthand the actual tissue of someone who walked this earth so many years ago. As she reached the tip of her forceps to push the bandage to the side, there was a loud bang.

She looked up and saw a huge dent in the metal ceiling. The torrential rain still sounded like a symphony of hammers banging on metal trashcans. Was this hail, she wondered?

Just then the lights flickered twice, and then the entire laboratory went black. No, no, no, this is not good for my deadline, Dr. Morkle thought desperately. Boss wants the tissues samples first thing in the morning!

Using her hands, she felt her way through the maze of tables to find her desk. Just as she slid her hands over the handle of the desk drawer to retrieve her flashlight, the sound of the rain stopped completely and the lights came on. The sudden quiet almost sounded as loud as the pounding rain and felt like a heavy drape over the entire lab.

Happy to get back to work, Dr. Morkle went back over to the sarcophagus. She grabbed her forceps again, but as she leaned over, dropped it on the floor with a loud gasp. It was empty.

 

Uncovering Origins to Inform Our Decisions

On Thursday, Alona came to our small group room with a book from our library called The Book of Origins. She was feeling like having a lazy start to her day since she hurt her Achilles tendon at dance practice the day before. I leaned over to check out the book, and saw that it started with the origins of wedding traditions. My interest was piqued and I decided to join her for some reading that morning (yes, skipping all language practice!).

Alona wrote a pretty detailed blog post about what we read that day, both of us learning some pretty terrible origins about how the marriage traditions we practice today got their start. You can check out Alona’s post for those details, I won’t dive into that here.

What I will dive into is the conversation Alona and I were able to have because of our reading. As I read about the origins of the veil, best man, and other traditions I see happening at EVERY wedding I go to, I went to a whole other place in my mind about humans and why we do what we do. I found that as I learned the history behind the start of these traditions, I began releasing any connection to wanting to carry them forward. I became excited thinking about other things I could do for my wedding and how I could create a new type of celebration that would launch the start of a lifetime of partnership.

Alona and I discussed how many people do what others have done before them, thinking that if others are doing it that way, it must be the right thing to do. However, if we all took the time to research the history behind the actions, traditions, or social norms of the people living before us, perhaps we could better discern which practices we want to carry forward and which we do not. Alona was able to relate this to how her family has chosen to live. I’ll leave out the personal family details, but clearly, by virtue of choosing Mosaic for their children’s school, both of her parents have made a clear decision to avoid the traditional methods of education and have committed to unschooling their children. Alona and her younger sister have been unschooled for their whole lives.

This had me thinking a lot.

First of all, I simply remain in awe and gratitude for the parents we currently have supporting Mosaic and its existence. To realize the pressure they are under from the dominant paradigm to conform, yet they choose not to, I am deeply and utterly amazed at their courage and desire to try out something different.

Secondly, I was thinking compassionately about the parents who come in contact with unschooling, free-schooling, or homeschooling, knowing that their child is unhappy in traditional school, wanting something different, but unable to make that leap. There are times I just want to scream, “WELL TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT THEN. YOU CAN DO THAT IF YOU CHOSE, IT’S ONLY HAS HARD AS YOU DECIDE IT TO BE.” But that’s not a very compassionate approach. The origins reading and conversation with Alona had me considering what all parents are up against. For many, it’s just too damn scary to do something different. If you aren’t deep in your convictions for why you are choosing a different path, you will more readily buckle under the pressure of the rest of society asking you, “What if you mess up your children?” The easier thing to do is to do what everyone else is doing. That way, if your child is “messed up” you can say that it was the system’s fault, not yours. I’d like to note that I firmly believe in and see the resilience and strength of human beings and know that if you are live an empowered life, there is nothing that can possibly mess you up. But how do I thoughtfully and kindly express this to parents under the heavy pressures of society? How do I support parents wanting to make a leap into something different for their children but feeling like they just can’t do it?

 

There is No Magic Answer

While there is no magic answer, there are many people that are working hard to debunk the rationale behind traditional education, including educating parents about the origins of public schooling. Perhaps, like my experience learning about wedding traditions, more people learning about why public schools exist might realize that this is one tradition not worth following.

 

John Taylor Gatto*

John Taylor Gatto  has spent 30 years teaching in public schools and almost as much time trying to educate students and parents about why public schooling is actually a terrible place for children to learn. I admire him deeply for staying in the public school system for so long as he tried serve children within a system he believed was harmful. Gatto also dedicates himself to writing books and public speaking so he can educate the American public about the origin of public schools, in the hopes that educators and parents will open their eyes and realize that school, as it exists today, is not healthy or beneficial to our youth.

In this five hour interview, Gatto gives what is described as “The Ultimate History Lesson,” where he goes into a lot of detail behind the origins of public school. If you ever hear @Tomis passionately state that traditional schools are not serving our children, know that he’s not just speaking from opinion. He’s done a ton of research in addition to working in alternative schools for 6 years. He’s watched this interview in full at least 4 or 5 times. He’s very aware of the origins of public schools, which helps him remain deeply committed and convicted in his work.

If you don’t have five hours to spend watching this, you can also read Gatto’s speech to the Vermont Homeschooling Conference. A portion I will copy and past here:

“Let me start with the DESIGNING EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE papers. They were the collusion with the federal education department and the presumably independent state agencies. They redefined education after the 19th century Germanic fashion as (quoting now from the document) “as a means to achieve important economic and social goals for the national character” — and I would hasten to add that none of those goals included the maximum development of your son or daughter. State agencies would henceforth “act as Federal enforcers insuring compliance of local schools with Federal directives”. The document proclaimed that (I’m quoting again), “each state education department must be an agent of change”, proclaimed further “change must be institutionalized“. I doubt if an account of this appeared in any newspaper in the state of Vermont or for that matter any newspaper in the country (U.S.). Education departments were (I am quoting a third time) “to lose their identity as well as their authority in order to form a partnership with the Federal Government“.

“The BEHAVIORAL TEACHER EDUCATIONAL PROJECT outlines specific teaching reforms to be forced on the country, unwillingly of course, after 1967. It also sets out, in clear language, the outlook and intent of its invisible creators. Nothing less than quoting again “the impersonal manipulation through schooling of a future America in which few will be able to maintain control over their own opinions“, an America in which (quoting again) “each individual receives at birth, a multipurpose identification number which enables employers and other controllers to keep track of their [underlings]“, (underlings is my interpretation, everything else came out of the document), “and to expose them to the directors subliminal influence of the state education department and the federal department acting through those whenever necessary“.

In Gatto’s acceptance speech for the New York City Teacher of the Year Award in 1990 he states:

“Schools were designed by Horace Mann and Barnard Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.

To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic – because the community life which protects the dependent and the weak is dead. The products of schooling are, as I’ve said, irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on the telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal but as human beings they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves.”

Gatto also has also written a book that I consider very easy-to-read called “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.” Through Gatto’s time in public schools and through his extensive research and study of how the traditions in schools came to be, it is clear to him why schools don’t work. While I have only taught in public school for 3 years, I have still spent 17 years myself in traditional schools and have come to the same conclusion based on my experience and research. I find that when I feel pressure to conform to social norms, diving back into the research that Gatto speaks and writes about help me to stay deeply convicted to my work.

 

 

Jeremy Stewart and Dustin Woodard: Class Dismissed

I also had the pleasure to watch the Charlotte screening of Class Dismissed, produced by Jeremy Stewart & Dustin Woodard. Both Stewart and Woodard are homeschooling dads who grew tired of answering the same questions again and again from those not understanding the paradigm they live in. “How do your kids become socialized? How do they get into college?” are two questions asked repeatedly by those who have not realized that there can be a successful life outside of traditional schools.

Tomis, Nancy, Jeremy, Charlotte, & Dustin at the Charlotte premiere of Class Dismissed

It gets tiring. As Stewart described in the Q&A after the screening, the idea to make this movie came from him just wanting to hand a film over to every person asking those questions. I cannot wait for the movie to come out on DVD so I can do the same!

This film powerfully demonstrates that classrooms and desks are not needed to learn, in fact, for many, they hinder a person’s ability to learn about who they are and what they want out of life. The film covers the origins of compulsory education and debunks the common fears about venturing into homeschooling. It depicts unschooling in a way that reminds us all that life is living, and living is learning.

I valued watching this film so much because I could identify deeply with the thoughts of the mom they followed for two years on her journey to explore homeschooling. The movie depicted her struggle as she heard the doubts of others. I have struggled in the same way.

Like this mom, sometimes doubts have affected me so much I start veering back towards traditional methods. But when I stop and look at the children in front of me, I remember the fact that all humans want to learn and all humans want to have lives that they enjoy living. I remember then that I must always strive to connect with each individual and honor them as an individual in order to serve them best. I don’t have to make them want to learn, they come to me that way. I only need to connect with them and build a meaningful relationship with them so they will see me as a person who can help them learn all the things they want to. I am so thankful for Stewart and Woodard’s work over the past four years to create this film as a service to educators like myself. They helped me connect even more deeply to the work that I do, and also have provided me with a tool I can use to serve more children in my community. I cannot wait to share this film with more parents and educators in Charlotte!

I was not the only one immersed in gratitude after watching the film – one of our 9-year-old students spent her time in Writer’s Workshop the following day writing this blog post in appreciation of our school. She attended the film with her family. It’s powerful to know that the students in the school appreciate the opportunity they have here!

 

Ken Danford & NorthStar for Teens

One of my early inspirations for creating ALC Mosaic came from the work of Ken Danford with North Star: Self Directed Learning for Teens. This group is also powerfully changing the lives of teens and helping them to realize that they can leave school and start living now.

I came across the following video today of a teen that I saw speak at the AERO Conference in 2013, and am so thankful for how North Star is doing all that they can to share with the world the success stories of teens leaving school and making their own lives. They have been doing this for over 17 years. The more I can support them by sharing these stories, the more I can support parents who know the public school system isn’t serving their children to make the leap into a lifestyle that does.

In this clip, Jonah sums it up well. He is thankful that he hasn’t spent the last 6 years of his life fighting with teachers in schools and with his parents. Instead, he’s had the time to explore and learn everything he’s wanted to.

Instead of only thinking about “what he wants to be when he grows up,” he is able to be something right now and consciously choose what that is.

Imagine what a world would look like where everyone was considering what they were doing in each present moment…

 

So…What Next?

I continue writing. I continue sharing. I enjoy following the footsteps of these great people before me who want to get the message out there that schools were not created to serve individuals. I continue sharing how we can serve our children today differently.

 

*John Taylor Gatto suffered from a stroke on July 29, 2011 that has left him paralyzed on his left side and bedridden ever since. There is a fund in place to provide him with support for transportation, communication, and food. Please consider any contribution you can make & share the link to support: www.thejohntaylorgattomedicalfund.com