February 23, 2010
I’m sure you know the freshmen are in China, sophomores are exploring their creativity here on campus, juniors are camping in the winter woods, and seniors are all over the map with their independent projects.

I’m here on campus trying my hand at solo-parenting while Pete is out with a group of junior girls. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for anyone who parents without a partner. This morning at 4 I heard the sweet voice of our 3 year old, Reiley, saying, “Mom? Mom?” It was followed shortly by our infant Osie crying, “A-Haaaa… A-Haaaa.” We all gathered on Mom and Dad’s big bed where I changed a diaper blow-out and nursed a fussy baby while trying to convince Reiley that it was still night-time. Didn’t work!

I share that little snippet of my day because I’m sure many of you have been in the same position. Maybe now the girl who was once your little crying infant is gaining the skills she’ll need for spending a night alone in the Maine winter woods. Maybe the boy who was once your 3 year old is far from home preparing to spend a few days with a family in China that is so similar and yet so different from your own.

The 4 point program, now in its 25th year, offers Gould students a modern-day rite of passage as they grow from adolescents to adults. Their journey may have started more than a decade ago with dirty diapers, fear of monsters, and an overwhelming desire to be close to family. Now they’re leaving their “comfort zone” as they move forward in their journey to indepndence.

I often think of the words and teachings of Kurt Hahn during 4 point. Kurt Hahn founded the Outward Bound Schools.

The aim of education is to impel people into value forming experiences…to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, and undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial; and above all, compassion.

-Kurt Hahn

Until next week!

One Response

  1. Avatar tkimball says:

    Awesome post! Your story of Osie and Reiley this morning is vaguely familiar…

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