By: Richard Watson
About the Book
We’re Gainin’: Collins Brook, A Maine Free School - A Memoir is set in Maine during the turbulent 1960 and ’70s. It chronicles a man whose traditional public and private schooling focused on the intellectual and physical, and how he discovered in Summerhill schools his emotional and spiritual life.
At age 27, Jacob (then Dick) Watson and his wife Sharon founded Collins Brook School and, with volunteer help, built classrooms and dormitories. Democratic school meetings tackled challenges of optional classes, ‘magic meadow’, organic gardening, stealing, bullying, food, and animals: Freya the Newfoundland, Randolph the beef steer, Priscilla the pig, and Washington the mallard duck.
When a fateful plan to merge Collins Brook with another Summerhill school collapsed and his marriage ended, Watson found solace sailing the Maine coast and islands. Learning to listen to his still small voice within, he became an interfaith minister and started another Maine school. This book includes photographs, student writing, newspaper articles, bedtime stories, and transcripts of school meetings.
About the Author
Jacob Watson is a former grief counselor and Hospice Chaplain. He helped start the Center for Grieving Children, is the founding Abbot of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, and is a spiritual teacher. The author of Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts and Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit, and Spiritual Companion, a monthly newsletter, he is the recipient of the Huston Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for Interfaith Education.