In my efforts to keep up with all of the happenings on campus this week, I found myself constantly engaged in conversations with students. They have become excited to tell me what has been accomplished, some funny note, or a particular topic that they are focusing on. I challenged each of them to share something that I haven’t previously heard in prior weeks. The anticipation of “the interview” of sorts, has become a highlight during meal times. This week, in line with the previous weeks topic of unique perspectives, a student suggested that SHE should have the opportunity to write the weekly update on this last day of August.
“The farmhouse has been very busy with preparation for the upcoming Family Weekend which will begin next Friday, September 7th. The house has been filled with excitement knowing the day is becoming ever-so close. The latest projects include de-cluttering the house and the upstairs barn. A roll-off dumpster was brought onto campus and we are finally removing years of things sitting in storage. One of the biggest projects has been in the garage. All residents have been engaged at some point and we are excited to clean the space, re-organize all the art materials, and eventually add new features to this room like workspace tables, new storage and furniture. This re-arranging has also made more mural space for future graduating residents!
Along with the end of summer cleaning session, there have many other happenings. The garden is full of recently blooming flowers, bushes, berries, and vegetables. Students have been harvesting baskets of produce regularly that include tomatoes, zucchinis, carrots, beans, basil, kale, parsley, pumpkins, radishes, and watermelon. The garden continues to bloom with all the love and care given by the residents.
This week, Farmhouse residents have been engaged in their therapeutic groups such as experiential, recovery, and DBT. In experiential, both the boys and girls participated in an obstacle course while there were connected by handkerchiefs! Quite a twist! Along with those groups, they have been enjoying other extra-curricular activities like dog-training, yoga, sports, and music. This week, in the girl’s dog training, we worked on the training Bruin, Chip, CJ, Kokonut, and Rocket to sit, stay, heal, and jump through hoops and over hurdles! While the girls were in dog training, the boy were participating in a peace and uplifting yoga class. Later that day, residents participated in music class and got their band ‘Emmet’s last day’ together for an extra practice before the big Family Weekend performance. Student who aren’t apart of music played an exciting game of basketball in sports group. Farmhouse resident have also been working extremely hard in art class on their latest circus themed sculpture project that will be shown over Family Weekend.
Other fun activities have been enjoying time spent in the kitchen baking and a field trip this past weekend. In the kitchen, groups have been making meals such as curry chicken, sweet potato burritos, grilled pork loin and fresh zucchini right out of the garden. The girls group went to Sears Island to walk along the beach, pick up litter, splash around in the ocean and explore the island. The boys went to Lake St. Georgia to swim, put their toes in the sand, and overall have a blast off campus.
Overall, we are each working incredibly hard, trying our best to manage each challenge that comes up. We are all supporting one another and with that, campus has been filled with a sense of ‘comfortable community, friendship, and kindness.’”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I am not sure it would have been possible to give more accurate representation of the comings and goings of campus last week. I am grateful that this student was driven to share her perspective and I sincerely appreciate the first-person account of all things Ironwood. We all send our best wishes to those of you back home. We look forward to seeing many of you next weekend and thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work with your family.