TODAY’S HAPPINESS FACTOR: 8 out 10
As I prepare for my appearance at a statewide conference I have taken myself down memory lane by gathering in all of the photos from our time with interns at Blue Rock Station. Looking at those photos is like an emotional roller coaster – lots of ups, lots of leveling out and only an occasional dip down. They are an inspiring lot.
With the middle of February glaring back at me I have begun to receive quite a few intern requests. Most of them are from women, which is not unusual. All of them are from young folks looking for a chance to learn in a way they have failed to experience in a formal education system.
Our way of teaching is to assume that the learning comes from both sides so we have skill-building afternoons where interns teach all of us things that they know. We also have cooking class once a week.
We use the Happiness Factor Model that I developed as the structure for our time with interns. They arrive with high expectations – ours are equally high and remain that way so that we are always reaching forward to find what we need.
The goal is to create a sense of security so they will push themselves to learn new things. We want them to feel safe to make mistakes and to be creative. There is a sense of community and family because we cook and eat together, plus share the workload on projects. Everything is up front with lots of talking through ideas, creating time lines, and evaluating progress – both physically and psychologically. All of this creates friendships – often lasting beyond their experience here, and a sense of wholeness and health. No wonder it is a challenge for all of us when it is time for them to go back out into the world.
And what do we get in return…inspiration from their ideas, their energy, their questioning, their knowledge, their nurturing…and so much more. Truly I believe we would not still have the energy to do what we do without the interns that have walked through the gate to give us a small part of their lives.
Here’s the story in photos:
Each of these amazing folks in the photos, and many more have left their mark on us and Blue Rock Station. If you know someone who would like an opportunity to experience sustainable living with us please pass this along, and don’t forget to press the “like” button.