Robin: freedom and tranquility at De Ruimte

Robin (16) has said goodbye to De Ruimte after six years. During his farewell meeting, he showed a photo presentation and spoke the following words. A chronological report of his years at De Ruimte, in which he has achieved and brought everything: gaming, the pixel circle, sailing camp, lessons, De Ruimte Rangers, volleyball. A common thread in this was cooking and baking, on his last day he baked the most delicious cakes with Frithjof! And another common thread was the freedom and tranquility he experienced. Read his story here.

Welcome to my thesis! Today I’m going to tell you about what I’ve done here and what I’m going to do next. I’ve been on De Ruimte for a total of about six years so I hope you enjoy my story. For my thesis I made a slideshow with photos from my time at De Ruimte. So also the people who find my story boring have something to do…

My brother Maarten had been at De Ruimte for two years before I came to school here. I was still at De Kameleon, in class with my best friend Ferdinand. I enjoyed doing challenging math assignments with him and playing soccer together during the breaks. I knew De Ruimte from the stories at home and I went to parties, DIY days and a day as a guest. I had thought that I would also go to De Ruimte if I had to choose a secondary school.

First year: need for freedom

However, I became increasingly unhappy at school because I was not given the freedom and tranquility to learn in my own way. Halfway through group 6 I made the decision to do viewing days and on April 1, 2016 I would go through the intake circle. I really wanted to go to Soest, but I was sick that day. Luckily my mother drove me to school for an hour and luckily I was accepted!

In my first year I mainly got acquainted with this school and how it works here. I immediately took a cooking class with Hettie and really enjoyed it there. I also took a few other classes. I immediately joined my brother’s group of friends in ‘de nisjes’. And I went on a sailing camp.

Second year: gaming and the gaming certificate

In my second year I joined the Pixelkring. That was a circle that was about the rules of gaming. There we made a game certificate. We also hosted a Mario Supersmash tournament with the Pixel Circle. The rest of the time I’ve been busy gaming and a few lessons. And because I wanted to use my typing diploma, I was a note-taker for the mediation circle for a while. That year I also went to a sailing camp, where I only went by train to Friesland on the way there, because on the Monday of the camp we still had a game tournament at school. That was a lot of fun to do. At the end of the school year, our family went to America for three weeks and I gained more confidence in my English.

Third year: domains

At the beginning of my third year it turned out that a lot had changed at school. Suddenly they started working with domains. Because of my age, I got into domain 2, while almost all my friends got into domain 3. I had a hard time with that. That prompted me to come up with an outflow goal so that I could also go to domain 3. I also worked on buying mats for the exercise room. These were intended for a sports tournament for which unfortunately there were not many registrations. However, the mats have been used a lot and we have had a lot of fun with them. I also worked on setting up the Space Rangers. A kind of Park Rangers, but then within De Ruimte.

the year: online classes and sleeping in

In the fourth year I made the switch to domain 3 and went to the open day of the sports academy. This year I also tried to organize a ski camp. Unfortunately, that was canceled due to corona. In the last part of my fourth year, because of the lockdown, I mainly followed online classes and slept a lot and long. That was a fun and new experience. I also played a lot of volleyball at school. This year I seriously started doing maths independently at home with a schedule. I did this until my last year to get my transition certificate.

Fifth year: transition proof and baking cakes

In my fifth year I prepared myself to get my transition certificate 3-4 HAVO. I also spent a lot of time online, which was great fun. I didn’t do a lot of interesting things, but it was a fun year. Together with Frithjof I also baked and distributed cakes for the school every Friday and arranged a budget for this.

Docent Frithjof en Robin in de keuken op democratische school De Ruimte. Links staat Frithjof, hij heeft een schoteltje met taart vast en met zijn andere hand wil hij een stukje taart prikken. Robin staat rechts en heeft ook een schoteltje met taart in zijn handen. Hij kijkt blij.
Frithjof en Robin met hun zelfgebakken taart.

Sixth year: transitional certificate and doing nothing

In my last year I mainly worked on my transition certificate and had a good night’s sleep. I spent a lot of time on the couch and lying down or in classes.

Freedom and tranquility

At De Ruimte I learned a lot about all kinds of different things. I have learned to be more independent, but also to ask for help more. I have also found what I want to do later in life. I learned to cook and bake. And English, Dutch, mathematics and many more subjects. Personally, I think the most important thing I learned here at school is that freedom and tranquility help me to learn well.

What I’m going to do after De Ruimte

After De Ruimte I go to the sports academy in Amersfoort, because I would like to become a truck driver and ski instructor in the future. I would like to go to a place to teach ski lessons in the winter and then work at a trucking company in the summer. I would like to do this in about three to four years. Then I have completed the sports academy and hopefully also obtained the necessary driving licenses. I think I’ve got enough basic knowledge here at De Ruimte to become a ski instructor and I hope to get good enough at driving. This is because of the lessons and the other ways I have received information on The Space.

I myself had a lot of fun here at school. It is very nice to be here with a group of friends. You can also easily do what you need and what you want to do. My goal for later is not to be not happy!

Six people stand behind a blue volleyball net, on a lawn. In the middle is Robin, student at De Ruimte, he looks up to play a ball back
Robin (midden) in actie tijdens het volleyballen op De Ruimte
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