I received this email and letter today from the deputy at a Rite Journey school.
I wish we could give the general public the experience of how gorgeous boys really are…when we actually sit with them, spend time with them, listen to them, care for them..
EMAIL FROM DEPUTY:
Attached is a letter from a student that refers to a distinct moment of learning.
For those that have dealt with him over the years, he has often presented a very well worked and apparently sincere account of bullying issues and harassment directed at him. Because of his articulate nature, high academic ability and pleasant nature, his account of any event has often been given significant weight. However, over time, some staff have picked up that he may not always be giving a complete and accurate account of events! It became clear that he would deflect blame, accuse others, deny everything.
As a result of the past few lessons in The Rite Journey – focussed on the importance of your word as a man, admitting mistakes, apologising, etc. – it appears that he has had an epiphany.
LETTER FROM STUDENT
To Whom It May Concern
In the few years I have been at the school, I have been involved in more incidents than most people will witness in their whole life. In most of the events I have made out that I am the victim and am not at all responsible. This is (as you already know) not true, I often lie to get myself out of trouble and to avoid punishment.
In Rite Journey, we are currently learning that telling the truth is not the best option, but the only option. When you admit guilt, you understand that what you did was wrong. When you do this, your sentence is normally reduced by one-third.
Punishment is a way of placing criminals on the straight and narrow. By not ever receiving punishment, I did not register what I was doing as wrong and did not try to fix it.
I used to lie a lot at home, to the point where my parents were not able to tell if I was telling the truth. This damaged our relationship, but I have since overcome this problem and we have become closer than ever before.
A possible new motto for the school is “Turning boys into gentlemen”…I want to become a man, and the first step to doing so is to stop lying.
“The Rite Journey has proven to be a great coming of age experience for my daughter. Throughout Year 9 her questions and observations about life and people grew in frequency and depth. Initially I felt challenged by some of the questions she asked because it entailed a shifting away from our adult-child relationship, and I had to meet her with greater seriousness. This of course is the point and the achievement of this program.
My daughter had the framework and support to help her move through the threshold of adolescence and beyond the ambiguities and awkward stances of not knowing who they are in relation to the world and the people in it. She developed an honesty and earnestness that placed her firmly as a human being to be reckoned with. It was a great experience for her and for us, her family, to see her mature throughout the year. The silence and inner anxieties which often accompany this awkward stage of development were left in the dust and so has a momentum and courage which give us great confidence in the years to come. If you have the opportunity to get your child into The Rite Journey, don’t miss it.”
“Since beginning the Rite Journey programme I have noticed my son’s level of maturity and consciousness has grown beyond his years. The programme provides a forum to explore with his male classmates and peers many issues that are important to young men his age, but are very rarely addressed.
The range of physical challenges presented have helped him become more comfortable with the changes he is experiencing in his body. More importantly however, has been the chance to do ‘inner work’ and reflect on the values and opinions of both himself and others. He has been encouraged to express his feelings without judgement and this has strengthened his ‘core’. It has helped him see his place in the world more clearly and perhaps where he sees himself in the future – what sort of man he will become.
How lucky my son is to have had the opportunity to participate in The Rite Journey programme, which has offered him a supported and guided initiation into the adult world – unlike the haphazard and sometimes ill-informed path that I myself experienced.”
“This is the most important teaching I do…even moreso than VCE”
“There is no doubt in my mind that The Rite Journey has changed my son’s life”
“After 5 years of searching the world, we finally found a program that meets the developmental needs of adolescence on our own doorstep. Not only are staff and students reporting the tremendous impact of the program but parents are also expressing their gratitude for such a process. The program is creating a cultural shift in our college.”
“The Rite Journey has been worth it’s weight in gold”
“The presentation by Andrew Lines and Graham Gallasch regarding THE RITE JOURNEY was universally well-received by attendees at the Fourth International NASSPE Conference (Memphis, Tennessee) – a diverse group of nearly four hundred educators not only from the United States but also from Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Our delegates spoke with great enthusiasm about the insights and strategies they learned from THE RITE JOURNEY presentation.”
“The Rite Journey is already one of the best initiation into successful adulthood programs for adolescents in the world . It is therefore an honor and a pleasure to work with Andrew and Graham to make this program even better. My congratulations to both of them for such a fine trail blazing initiative.”
“The Rite Journey is one of the most exciting and well conceived ideas in boys’ education for a very long time.
It brings together the key concerns of initiating boys into fine young men, with its focus on the pressing concerns of safety, dealing with emotions, values, responsibility, and self awareness. It is dense in content and interaction, and uses powerful but simple ritual stages that will be long remembered and treasured.
It builds community among fathers, mothers, and teachers which would otherwise have been absent, and from this strength offers boys a real chance to become parts of something larger and long term.
Real manhood is about connectedness, not individualism, about giving, not self-centredness.
There are lots of good programs about, but nothing I have seen that is so comprehensive, sustained over time, and potentially so life changing for the boys involved. That it is accessible for all boys, regardless of income or family circumstance, at what is traditionally a rather uninspiring phase of their schooling is wonderful news.
It has potential for wide dissemination, turning a problematic time of life into a force for good..”