Lode Van den Broeck
I was a Summerhill child from 1972 to 1975. I never had any contact with the school or its students again until the last reunion several years ago. The latter was a very emotional and healing experience for me. The renewed contact with that lost piece of personal history, and with the people who were part of it, is good for me. Summerhill has had a very decisive influence on my further life; both negative and positive. Cognitively I had to catch up because I didn't learn to read, write or calculate in Summerhill. So I had to make up a lot of damage afterwards. I have felt pretty stupid for many years. That was because in Summerhill I spent most of my time in the woods or in the drawing, painting, carpentry and pottery workshops. The latter has therefore had the positive effect that I seem to have developed a rather extraordinary ability to observe things very thoroughly and to be creative. It has also ensured that I do not have the slightest problem of wandering in the here and now. Fortunately, I was able to solve the backlog and not only did I succeed in architecture studies, now I am also a teacher, full-time researcher and therefore also a writer. In all of that, as well as being a father, regarding the education of my two sons, I think much of the non-conventional I experienced in Summerhil lives on. I hope to be there next year.