Reflections: A Rock, A Stick, A Leaf

Alzar School | 06.11.19

Semester 15 has officially transitioned down to Chile and are about to embark on their first week of expeditions. However, traveling the 6780 miles from Cascade, Idaho to Coyhaique, Chile is no small feat. The efforts leading up to students’ travel can be physically and mentally exhausting. Fingers ached from pulling zippers tight and minds were reeling knowing the time left in Idaho was ticking down. On Saturday, after 7 hours of packing and preparing to leave our Idaho campus, although still excited for their impending travels, students were worn out. Despite their spent energy, they gathered outside of the Confluence Building, circling up in the fading light for a reflection activity. 

Meandering silently to the river.

In the late afternoon sunshine on a cool November day, a group of 34 students walked silently down to the banks of the Payette River…

Along the way students were instructed to pick up a rock, a stick, and a leaf. The rock, to symbolize something they have “rocked” during their time in Idaho. A stick to represent something they wish to “stick” to as they head to a new country and experience in Chile. And a leaf, for something they want to “leave” behind. Students journaled, sat quietly along the banks of the river, or walked amongst the Idaho trees, reflecting on their time thus far at Alzar School and in Idaho.

Students journaling.

I too sat and reflected, amazed at the seriousness to which our community took this activity. I kept returning to the thought of how this simple moment of reflection speaks to the gravity which each student has taken their growth at Alzar School. During dinner circle, Jackson accentuated my observation by giving gratitude to all his peers for taking the reflection seriously while commenting on how proud he was of everyone for the growth and leadership skills they had gained over the course of the last few months. The maturity and intention of this group of young adults is truly inspiring and I look forward to seeing how they will continue to grow and challenge themselves and each other while in Chile.