When I heard there was a book about statutory rape set in a Waldorf school, I sat up and paid attention. I grew up in Waldorf education. I thought it would be fun to write a few things about Waldorf that took place in the book but weren’t gone into in great detail. As someone who did not particularly enjoy or benefit from Waldorf education, I enjoyed the chance to read a book that portrayed some of the darker elements. Although of course child abuse can be found anywhere, seeing it in the classrooms of my childhood made it just a little bit more real for me.
In Waldorf schools, students create their own textbooks using fountain and calligraphy pens, and we illustrate them ourselves using crayons and pencil crayon. Every Waldorf child learns to use pencil shavings to create the sky, and to never smell the blue paint (ew). These are called our Main Lesson books. Main Lesson makes up the first part of a student’s day, and it consists of a blend of history, math, science, English, and more. All subjects are integrated. Unfortunately, my Main Lesson books are full of comments from my teacher saying “Emma, you don’t put enough effort into your books.” Art has never been an interest of mine. You can see one of my lovely pages in the photo above!
Lastly, what is Eurythmy? Eurythmy is a form of expressive movement designed by Rudolph Steiner, who also founded Waldorf education. It’s a bit like contemporary dance in that it’s the message and emotion that defines the piece. Everyone wears similar flowing robes in bright clothes and wears Eurythmy slippers, which are a bit like soft ballet flats with grippy rubber soles.
Hope that brings the setting a little bit more to life for you. I feel strange saying “I loved the book” since it shows such dark subject matter, but it truly is a book you shouldn’t miss.