Spent last week visiting the Lake Pend Oreille School District near Sand Point Idaho. It was my first time in this part of the country, and what a pleasure. So great to roll out ideas on executive functions for this group of warm and enthusiastic educators. We talked in detail about my 8 Pillar model of executive skills, and how to apply practical interventions for distraction, memory problems, disorganization and limited time awareness. I always find it interesting to think about the intersection of place and mindset. The largeness of Idaho seems to invite broad thinking. This feeling was amplified as I spent a couple of days near Glacier National Park in Montana.
I was invited to speak to the district by Dr. Joy Jansen who oversees special education in a school district that encompasses 900 square miles! That’s nearly the size of Rhode Island. I had the pleasure of meeting Joy’s husband, Dennison Webb who leads SOLE – a wilderness therapy and leadership program, also in northern Idaho. Unfortunately, the sad events of San Bernardino were unfolding during the same week. Endless hours of media coverage were devoted to terrorism. What a strange narrative that provides about who we are, and what America is all about. It seems to me that the fantastic benefits of wilderness therapy, or the perseverance of educators determined to assist the neediest students is the better, more true story of life in this country.