By Mathias Craig -- When I was 16 I attended Midland School about 45 miles north of Santa Barbara in California. Midland is an amazing place where you learn traditional high school material but also develop a close connection to the land. Midland teaches students to differentiate between needs and wants, to live intentionally and conscientiously and to work for the greater communal good. Alum Peter Coonradt has produced a movie about Midland entitled Midland Stories. As part of the film, Peter visited blueEnergy in San Francisco and Nicaragua to trace my life since graduating and to highlight Midland's influence on that journey.
Peter says of the film, "Midland School is the microcosm, the metaphor, the paradigm, the embodiment of what I find beautiful, sane, healthy, worthwhile and the direction I'd like to see humanity move. The people in Midland Stories embody strengths and values I admire, and they add up to a community I'm lucky to be connected to. I made this movie to remind myself what the right kind of world looks like and feels like. These stories weave together vastly different perspectives on the Midland experience. Midland Stories is a sequel to “Midland,” the movie I made a couple years ago about my rediscovery of Midland School after being away from it and not thinking about it for forty years. That first movie takes place entirely at Midland, and it's meant to convey the sense of place and the flow of rugged, elemental daily life. However it doesn't confront the question of how Midland is relevant and connected to the rest of the world. I don't raise that question explicitly here in Midland Stories, but it was in the back of my mind the whole time I was making it. What has real value? How can you apply your Midland experience to live a fulfilling, useful life? How can we make the rest of the world more like Midland?"