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Fools Friday: An Educator’s Journey

$19.95

Fools Friday is the story of one man’s life as an educator, of the unique independent school he founded and led for twenty-six years, and of the hundreds of young adults who touched his life. In episodes ranging from senior pranks, counterfeiting rings, and the New Lunar Society to trauma and tragedy, Tom Pike explores the two qualities he found equally present in his teenaged students: the carnival spirit of Fools Friday and the essential Quaker belief that each of us has the sacred within us. In teenagers, he shows, both qualities are close to the surface and can burst forth at any moment. The goal of education, he argues, is to find a way to let this happen while initiating young adults into a world that forbids both. Fools Friday recounts moments when this worked and moments when it did not, learning as much from negotiating failure as from celebrating success.

In episodes drawn from forty years as a teacher and administrator working with young people, Tom Pike explores the crucial years when teenagers are figuring out who they are and what that might mean in an adult world.

Fools Friday: An Educator’s Journey shows how the often baffling, sometimes tragic, and always heartfelt choices made by teenagers come from this emerging sense of engagement with the world, and the different roles educators, parents, and peers can play in this process.

Product Description

Tom Pike was raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where he graduated from Eastern High School. He studied engineering and philosophy at Stanford University and as a graduate student at Princeton, trained as a teacher and educator, and returned in 1967 as Assistant Headmaster of St. Francis School. In 1977, he became founding Headmaster of St. Francis High School. He retired in 2003 and continues to reside in Louisville.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements …………………………………………………………….. 9
Author’s Note ……………………………………………………………………. 9
Senior Prank ……………………………………………………………………. 11
F.O.I.L. …………………………………………………………………………… 19
Fools Friday ……………………………………………………………………. 28
Third and Broadway ………………………………………………………… 49
Tree of Life …………………………………………………………………….. 61
Sudden Death ………………………………………………………………….. 64
Second Chances ………………………………………………………………. 71
The Sign Out Policy …………………………………………………………. 75
The New Lunar Society ……………………………………………………. 83
Vinegar and Oil ……………………………………………………………….. 90
Recovery ………………………………………………………………………… 97
Discomfort ……………………………………………………………………. 102
Boundaries ……………………………………………………………………. 110
A Chick Course ……………………………………………………………… 116
Questionable Acceptance ………………………………………………… 124
LEO ……………………………………………………………………………… 132
The “N” Word ……………………………………………………………….. 140
Esther …………………………………………………………………………… 149
The Counterfeit Caper …………………………………………………….. 154
Senior Projects ………………………………………………………………. 167
The Sacred ……………………………………………………………………. 177
About the Author ……………………………………………………………. 184

Reviews

In an era when too many, especially politicians, don’t think we can trust students to think, Tom Pike gives us another path: believing in them. Pike is an educator who not only deeply cares about education, but who also understands the most effective ways to motivate and empower young people. This book could not come at a better time.
John Yarmuth, U.S. Representative, Kentucky
Tom Pike’s important role in the history of Louisville education gains recognition with his engaging memoir. St. Francis High opened the fall I began writing editorials for The Louisville Times, and over the succeeding years I saw what a difference his students made in the life of our downtown, especially in Theatre Square, which was completed at roughly the same time.
Keith Runyon, Retired Editorial Page Editor, The Courier-Journal
Tom Pike's memoir is an absorbing ride ... tales of an educator's journey filled with light, humor, loss and patience. With an unusual affinity for adolescents and how their minds work, Pike writes of his trust and faith in his students through listening and understanding.
Kit Llewellyn, College Advisor, St. Francis School