What a wonderful start to the year and first half of Life Development Institute’s (LDI) spring trimester. At its onset, LDI students sprinted into their education in January. The trimester has seen enormous success among our students who have gained employment, succeeded in academics, and learned the value of self-management in independent living. LDI’s spring trimester courses have continued to offer students insight into Business Organization, Career Exploration, Career Readiness, Cooking, Disability, Cultural Awareness, and Personal Finance. Diversified curriculum combined with strength-based instruction results in continued evidence that identifies verifiable growth and success. However, like many things in life, even education requires its students to recharge.
As such, students across the world are offered breaks in their studies. In fact, spring break is upon LDI, which is a great reminder to everyone that time must be taken to recharge. A ready response to this is to simply state, “of course, we are not machines.” Isn’t it ironic though that even machines need to recharge? Consider the anxiety faced when a cell battery blinks red. Immediately, urgency is felt as one tries to find the phone’s charger and an outlet. This fear is heightened even more if someone is traveling and notices that the cell phone was not charged the night before. Turning it off and on and off and on simply to save the battery as one holds onto hope that it will last for as long as possible, which really means to last until an outlet and charger can be found.
Interestingly enough, this example of a cell phone’s battery life is reminiscent of human life, even beyond the classroom. Life Development Institute has been given the opportunity to work with persons who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, and other learning disabilities. In helping LDI students’ transition to independent adult living, one realizes that education, work, relationships, and life in general requires a “break” to “recharge.” This does not mean one walks away and quits. Rather, one recognizes that if the battery on the body gets into the red zone, then a state of panic will ensue and thrust this person forward into the search for an outlet to recharge.
When this happens, people respond in many ways. Sometimes, they turn to destructive habits and lifestyle choices, which in the end drain the remaining charge and require significant work to reboot. Other times, people believe continuing to dive blindly into that which is most cared about will satisfy the necessary recharge. Instead, these persons often “flame-out” in the red zone and again require a break to come back fully charged. Wouldn’t it make more sense to follow the wisdom of education and take a break when it is needed? Wouldn’t it be better to satisfy your body’s requirement for recharging by having some personal time to rest, relax, and renew?
In teaching LDI students, the vision is to “Empower Courageous Self-Expression.” Success, therefore, hinges upon the person’s ability to live independently while maintaining physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Encouragement to recharge as necessary is a core lesson that is taught so that one can sustain excellence in living. Therefore, spring break is not simply “party time.” Rather, spring break represents an opportunity for Life Development Institute, its students, its staff, and the community at large to reflect upon the value of recharging in the areas of life where it is most needed.