Celeste A. Gilman
Self Directed Learning | Academics | Communication Skills | Computer and Technical Skills | Creative Expression | A Culture of Sustainability | International and Intercultural Experiences | The Role of Health
My life can be split into three completed phases, with a fourth emerging. The first starts in Sequim, Washington on September 3rd, 1981. From the first I grew up in the context of the sustainability work of my parents, Diane and Robert Gilman. During my first seven years I lived with my parents and my brother Ian in the passive solar house that my parents built. I spent much of my time exploring the forests and waterways around my home, helping my mother in our extensive garden and otherwise engaged in the creative play of young children. It was during this time that I made my first trip to Europe and my first trip to the USSR, where my family was involved in citizen diplomacy.
The second phase of my life is the one in which I attended the most public school. In 1988 we moved to suburban Bainbridge Island. There I went to the local school for most of elementary school through the first half of 6th grade. In 6th grade I began home-schooling part time, attending math and science classes at the local middle school and writing my first short story at home. Also during these years I made two more trips to the USSR, and three more trips to Europe - including a two month stay in Sweden and a four month stay in Denmark. Because my parents had the philosophy "never let school interfere with your child's education" accompanying them on their travels was never a problem. After our trip to Denmark we moved into a cohousing on Bainbridge. We lived there for over two and a half years.
In 1995 we rented out our cohousing home and headed off to Europe. That year was largely divided between time spent in the Netherlands, Scotland and Australia/New Zealand. This was the beginning of the most intense period of my life. Around this time I lost all of my old friends, and gained precious new ones. After our time abroad we returned to the USA so that my parents could attend to organizational troubles. We settled on Whidbey Island and are here still. On Whidbey I was able to realize a life long dream of participating in the performing arts. I have also continued with my self directed learning; drawing my education from such diverse sources as the public school, books, the web, videos and direct experience.
The biggest event of the third phase of my life was my mother's death. In the summer of 1997 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For the six remaining months of her life my father and I were her primary care givers.
After a period of grieving and adjustment I have latched onto life with a deepened enthusiasm and passion following my mother's passing. During the early spring of 1999 I participated in, and helped in the preparation for, an Eco-Village Training in Findhorn, Scotland. I am currently interested in a career as a facilitator of ecologically and socially responsible design of the built environment. I plan to prepare for this by attending university, starting in the fall of 2000, and by working with people already active in this area.