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Transformations - Aldo Leopold Charter School

Transformations - Aldo Leopold Charter School

Written by Dave Chandler
June 17, 2015

ALCS Book of Transformations

According to scholar, Bernard Down, Daoists understand that: “Death is like the progression of the four seasons, a natural part of the ebb and flow of transformations which constitute the movement of the Dao.” And, the practice of Daoism is focused on understanding “The way things do what they do.”

We lost three members of our student community this past summer. Ella, Kichael and Ella. In an effort to face and reflect on this profound loss and our own transformative processes, this year’s literary collection focused on a series of writing prompts inspired by the works of these students. The book is arranged in the order in which the prompts were presented to students. The responses truly reflect the mysterious range of emotions associated with the grieving process and the wellspring of all that comes from reflection. The pieces bear out anger, sadness, confusion, the search for meaning, and hope. My intent for this collection is provide a space in the classroom and in the final products to bring these emotions to light, bear witness, and grow.

LIFE by Ella Myers

I wish that time could halt.
That moments in our lives where we find happiness could last forever.

I wish I could save another life.
One that could of changed this world.
For better or for worse,
But just to give that soul a last chance.

I wish I could drive out all the darkness in our world and leave only light.

I wish I could let everyone see the beauty that this life has to give…
For people to believe…feel and love without those things being seen…
But instead being felt with the heart…

I wish that those things with nothing left could find their meaning.
And through that they find the flame in their soul and find a way to give.

But most of all I wish that somehow, someway,
I shall leave something behind long after I am gone…
That these things that I wish for could be more than that…
For these things to be true…


  1. Ella Myers writes, “I wish that time could halt.” Describe a moment that you wanted to last forever. In our human experience, however, we have come to understand that everything is impermanent. What have you gained from the impermanence of this chosen moment.
  2. If you could frame a picture of “the beauty that this life has to give,” what would the frame contain? Who might you show the image to and why?
  3. Ella wishes to “leave something behind long after I am gone.” What will you leave behind? Who do you imagine will receive this legacy?

Stories from students to follow…..

Dave Chandler

Aldo Leopold Charter School