Discussing Community & Truth with Rosalind Wiseman
On January 5, Cushing welcomed back author and thought leader Rosalind Wiseman and associate Charlie Kuhn to continue our discussions on teens’ emotional and physical wellbeing, and how to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity.
Ms. Wiseman and Mr. Kuhn held a full-faculty workshop in the morning, during which the group created a timeline of Cushing over the past 30+ years to use as a foundation for envisioning our future. From there, break-out sessions were centered on addressing difficult discussions and group dynamics, and why it’s often harder to speak the uncomfortable truth. Groups addressed questions that ranged from racism to sexism, disciplinary actions, friendships, and hierarchy. “We’re here to encourage you to go to the place where you’re most uncomfortable,” said Ms. Wiseman as faculty tackled the various topics. “Think about things that make sense to you and make it your own, because that’s what we’re asking the kids to do. That’s what get us to authenticity and that’s what gets us learning.”
In the afternoon, our guests met with the student body to talk about speaking the truth and approaching different situations in a community. Said Ms. Wiseman, “If you have the ability to speak your truth, people might not necessarily thank you for it. But at the same time, you are the person who has control over yourself. You are the person in control who has capacity. When you don’t, you’re letting people have control over you, and that’s the ultimate cost.
“Being in a community does not mean you have to be best friends. It means you need to be able to work together. You need to decide what type of relationship you want. The strongest communities are the ones that have the ability to have the messy conversations, not the ones where people with the most power just say everything is great. It’s OK to be messy and to have tension, as long as you process and talk about it. You must remember that your right to speak the truth in your community is extremely important.”
39 School Street Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430 978-827-7000 email@example.com
Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.