Ironwood Web Update

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost

The aptly named poet creates visions of blistering winters with many a word. He offers words of advice wrapped in adventure, hope, fortitude and perseverance. Stories of hardship, the unknown, and personal challenges. This past week, under the shadow of Frye mountain, Ironwood could have easily been the scene of a classic Frost poem.  Even as I type, the wind sounds angry outside, whistling through the frozen branches of the nearby forest. An average “low” of 8 degrees with a wind chill topping out at -17 degrees offered plenty of our students to call on those same qualities that Mr. Frost characterized in his stories. Still, despite the unforgiving environ, the Ironwood campus and our students forged on ahead.

This week’s experiential group got “lost” in the woods and were encouraged to clear their minds and focus on observations, sight, sounds, smells, touch and taste, as they wandered through the woods. Some residents reported feeling low energy and sad before the walk and then reported feeling more energetic and calmer toward the end of the walk. The group made several observations about the sounds of footsteps, the many animal tracks found and feeling of the cold air/snow on their skin.

This week in “Character Development” we covered Compassion.  Compassion, like all of the traits discussed in this class, is important for our students to better understand and work on, internally.  While dissecting the definition and matching it up with real life role models, student will hopefully internalize the value in their own developing and unique “characters”.  As Maya Angelou would say…”My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” 

On Thursday, we reopened the Lakehouse, following a few months of renovations and licensing.  This was a big project for our leadership team and we are excited to have this resource available for many families who have the need.  Four upper level residents moved over from the Farmhouse this week and they are enjoying new responsibilities (and liberties), as they enter the next phase of young adulthood.

The week after family weekend is always emotional, for one reason or another. Students are exhausted, but inspired. They are hopeful, yet anxious still. It is obviously a whirlwind of emotions for everyone; however, the comraderie and the support of staff helps each resident remain focused on the future. One would think that given the post-family weekend and winter “blues,” that many would stall out…that hasn’t been the case for this group. It’s humbling to consistently see signs at Ironwood, that your sons and daughters are intrigued to investigate their “road less traveled.”

Have a nice weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl!