“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”Roy T. Bennett
It is the week after Family Weekend and our campus has transitioned as quickly as the leaves are changing. Students seamlessly re-engaged in their academics, clinical groups, therapy sessions, and daily chores. As each of you have likely had a few days to recuperate from the traveling and emotions that make up a Family Weekend, our students on campus seem to have not missed a beat. A sense of relief can almost be felt as some of our students share that after a weekend with family, they are reminded why they are putting in the effort to develop and challenge themselves to become healthier versions of themselves. Several students shared that it becomes obvious during a Family Weekend that they have in fact made changes that improve their lives, and that makes jumping right back into the program so much easier.
After many parent/teacher conferences, students have become revitalized in their academic efforts, and achievements. One student today proudly exclaimed that he has 47 lessons left before he graduates. This student who arrived on campus several months ago, never thought that he’d finish high school! There are several students who are even welcoming the idea to bypass enrichment blocks to sign up for extra school!
Speaking of enrichment blocks, the students have lost no opportunities despite the long weekend. This week in sports, the groups created a hybrid style game combining the elements of football and ultimate frisbee. While this was mostly just based on fun and friendly competition, it was interesting to watch them create their own rules and scoring system with what might just become the next “Ironwood classic”.
Students also took advantage of their creative minds in music and art group this week. In art, students took turns modeling in pairs and worked with chalk and charcoal mediums. The focus in these pieces was to illuminate the significance of light and darkness in a portrait. In music, after a moving performance from “The Hot Irons”, we are excited to see what this new band can pull off, next. Today, the group had conversations around song ideas for the next family weekend and showcased their current skills and interests.
As the week comes to an end, our students will venture north to one of the most beautiful places in the country, Acadia National Park. Students will spend time climbing mountains and wading in the ocean and this landscape provides a powerful reminder that we are surrounded by astonishing beauty in all directions. I hope that each of you will also find a bit of adventure and respite this weekend knowing that your sons and daughters are making the most of their time at Ironwood. There is hard work taking place on our campus each week, with new hope and inspiration underway!