The canyoneering trip was an experience I’ll never forget.
It was an optional activity that me, Dallin, and Grady went on with Cam in Yankee Doodle canyon.
Once we started, it was impossible to climb back out the way we started, so we got to really push our limits.
There was hiking, climbing, rappelling, chimney-crawling through slot canyons, wading, and even some swimming.
The canyon was beautiful, and there were lots of purple flowers blooming.
It was warm outside, but the water was freezing cold.
I was exhausted physically and emotionally by the end, but it felt great to have accomplished it.
—Amber, TFL Student
We toured two local companies; InfoWest and MetaShield.
InfoWest is a pretty sweet company, the atmosphere there was friendly and relaxed.
We got to see their help desk room as well as their server room.
Anyone with a background in Information Technology would agree that they feel at home when entering their help desk room.
MetaShield is a company that creates advanced coatings for materials like glass.
We got to see their chemistry room where “all the magic happens.”
We also got to see their highly advanced, scientific, machinery that’s used to measure various different properties of whatever coating they’re testing.
—Reid, TFL Student
We had a great time out at the Red Cliffs hike recently.
There was a lot of runoff, which created some beautiful clear pools of cold water that only
Grady dared swim in.
Amber, Dylan and I hiked in further while the rest hung out at the first pool.
We had to pass a rocky obstacle using some rope to avoid falling into the pool of water below.
It was kinda tricky, and a lot of fun.
—Cam, TFL Mentor
How can understanding confirmation bias be useful?
Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as supportive of one’s existing beliefs or opinions.
Most of us do not go around trying to prove ourselves wrong.
It feels terrible to be proven wrong.
If feels great to be right.
We get to feel… smart, confirmed and in control.
Facts don’t necessarily change our brain’s confirmation bias.
The only thing that changes confirmation bias is something so glaring that we are willing to believe it and feel terrible about it, long enough to change our beliefs or opinions.
Most of the time our brains would rather be efficient and keep believing the same beliefs.
Even if those beliefs themselves feel terrible.
Confirmation bias is great when prior conclusions are terrific.
If we believe we’re awesome our brains find evidence for why we’re so awesome.
Confirmation bias is not great when prior conclusions are terrible.
If we believe we’re a failure, then our brains find evidence and even make-up stories about what we do or don’t do to prove why we’re a failure.
The process of changing our belief systems to support us in being more successful takes effort.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel good, but new focused thoughts over time can become our new belief systems.
Then confirmation bias works in our favor to confirm our new helpful beliefs.
One of the most rewarding parts of working in this environment is being able to build real, meaningful relationships with our students.
We are all “equals but with different responsibilities” (and age as they remind me often).
We get to interact like a real family to practice relationship skills.
That means butting heads a little, getting our feelings hurt and having real conflicts.
But those things are balanced by the growth, connection and enjoyment that comes from attachment in our relationships.
Success and appreciation from resolving conflicts and seeing the hard times through to the good times makes it all worth it.
I want to share some of my favorite times lately:
- Dave cracking a really dry joke
- Teasing Dylan so strait faced that it takes him a minute to smile.
- Amber’s proud face as she presents a finished design.
- Eric walking slowly by my door hoping I’ll call him in to chat.
- Lee calling to say he got his first job ever.
- Watching Dallin coming back from college tired and looking accomplished.
- Seeing Carlos sitting with feedback and saying, “I want to get better at that”.
- Joseph half-trying to act cold and indifferent as he supports another student who struggles.
- Kyler sharing something on the web to make everyone laugh.
These show some of their best sides, their redeeming qualities.
We get to experience these along with the hard stuff.
We know that parents and grandparents are missing out on it, but only temporarily.
To our student’s families and sponsors I would say that these young adults are at TFL to become who they are meant to be so that they can come back to you better.
But while they are here they will be cherished as long as we have the privilege to do so.
-Jason, TFL Executive Director