Is taking the high road really all it’s cracked up to be?
IRON MOUNTAIN — From a very young age, my siblings and I were always told to treat others the way we wished to be treated. We were taught to turn the other cheek, instead of seeking an eye for an eye. Judgment was for the Lord, we were told, and vengeance was not ours to take. We were taught that if we had nothing nice to say, then we shouldn’t say anything at all.
For my entire life, I’ve tried to live by these words. It’s not because Bible verses perpetually popped into my head or I saw the image of my mother every time I wanted to throw an insult, but rather, it’s just how I was raised. In truth, I’ve said many words that were not kind, and I was most at fault in saying them to my siblings – somehow, it’s always easier to hurt the ones that love you the most, even though it should never be – but I’ve never sought revenge, and in situations where I have been clearly wronged, I’ve always tried to take the high road, but was taking the high road really all it was cracked up to be? It definitely didn’t help me in the short run, but did it really help me in the long run? Why is taking the high road such an important thing to do?
As a teen, I went to a boarding school instead of a traditional high school. It was small, affiliated with my church, and smack dab in the middle of a corn field in Wisconsin. I wasn’t sent there because I was a bad kid, which was the typical response from those who asked why I was there. I went because it was just what my family did. My grandmother and aunt went to an academy in Illinois. My parents and uncle went to the academy I went to, and my aunts and uncles ended up teaching at academies at some point as well.
For many young people of my church, its simply what is both done and expected. Thus, when I was 14, I packed my bags, got in a car, and drove the four-hour trip to where I’d be living until I was 18.
Being so young, I had a new-found freedom that most kids that age don’t experience, yet at the same time, more rules than before. We had to attend Vespers each Friday night to welcome the Sabbath, and church every Saturday. We went to school half the day, and work the other half; during my time there I worked as the library aid, science teacher’s aid, business office aid, and finally as an RA for the dorm. The dorms had a “lights out” curfew, and a no phone policy. We didn’t have TV’s or iPads, and there certainly wasn’t any type of social media. Facebook and Twitter were blocked school wide.
As students, we could be put on “social,” a type of discipline designed for couples who were dating. If you were caught holding hands, kissing, alone together in a room with no supervision, you’d be put on “social,” which would ban you from both speaking and being within a certain amount of feet from each other for however long the administration deemed fit. Girls couldn’t wear jewelry at all, and shorts and skirts above the knee were not allowed. You couldn’t leave the premises unless it was with a parent or parent approved adult, and you could only leave on “open” weekends where nothing was planned, and even then, it had to be approved.
Some of the rules seem rigid, and I haven’t even said them all, but when I was a baby-faced freshman, I couldn’t be more excited for the adventure. At first, I loved it, but those tides quickly turned. By my junior year, I was being severely bullied. For my freshman and sophomore years, I’d dated the “most popular guy in school” – swoon – but when I decided to break up with him the summer before my 11th year, I became ostracized. The people I thought were my friends suddenly wanted nothing to do with me. He spread rumors amid the entire school about me that weren’t true, all so that if the truth ever did come out of why we actually ended our relationship, no one would believe me; instead, they believed him, and the lies he created. He began dating a new girl, and she took it upon herself to try and make my life miserable. For my junior year, she used acts. Some days I would find my backpack emptied out into a trash can, others I would walk into the cafeteria and have my tray “accidentally” spilled. My towels would be stolen from the dorm bathrooms, and once my shampoo was swapped out for Nair. She even opened my mail once and blacked out the writing.
During my senior year, because her acts hadn’t yet broken me, she turned to words. She made snide comments as I walked by, just loud enough for me to hear. She spread further rumors throughout the school; she called me fat and ugly, and negatively compared our clothing or hair. With all that happened, I stayed silent. I never said anything back to her, and I never spread any falsehoods about her or my ex. I didn’t even tell the dean what was going on, but she still knew, and chose to do nothing.
My breaking point was my senior year. I was walking down to the dean’s office, to get permission to leave because my mother was on her way, and I overheard my nemesis and the assistant dean talking. They were talking about me, lying about me, together. I listened for a few short moments, and then walked right in. I looked at the girl who had determined to make the world hate me, and then to my assistant dean, who was dumbfounded.
“I’m leaving,” I said. “Do you have a problem with that?” She stared blankly at me and shook her head, giving me her non-verbal permission. I nodded, and then replied, “You know, you both seem to have a lot to say about me, and I’ve never said anything about you. Perhaps you should take that into consideration,” and then I turned to my assistant dean, my faculty, who was supposed to protect students like me and I said, “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
I didn’t let them see me cry; I only let my tears lose once I got to the car with my mother. I told her everything. She had only known a few small instances as I’d hidden most from her. I knew if I’d told her, she would’ve pulled me out, and I wanted to be strong. We left that moment, and I stayed out of school for a week as my parents tried to decide what to do. In that time, no one called. There was no faculty that tried to reach out, no friends or peers that wanted to make sure I was ok, and yet, I felt that I needed to go back. I was the senior class president, the yearbook editor, resident assistant, school student recruiter, and a writer for the paper. I had engrossed myself into so much to forget what was going on around me, and made myself a pivotal part of extra curriculars, yet no one seemed to care that I was gone. When we went back, we sat down with the principal, dean, secretary, and the senior class sponsor. My parents laid everything on the table; I’d even kept a log detailing everything that was ever done or said to me. My ex was suspended from the basketball team for one game, and his girlfriend, the instigator of it all, received a talking to.
Was speaking up worth it? Was taking the high road the better decision? Nothing really changed after that. I finished out my schooling, and left. I’ve never gone back. My mother constantly says she wished she’d known, so she could’ve done something more. I always tell her it wasn’t her fault, and that if I had never gone to academy, I would never have been so involved, I wouldn’t have had as great of grades, and I wouldn’t have gotten into Purdue. If I hadn’t gone to Purdue, then I would never have student taught in Chicago, or ended up teaching there. I wouldn’t have met my husband, and I wouldn’t have moved back home when I did.
Things happen for a reason, even though we rarely know what that reason is. Good times come and go, and the decisions we decide to make can alter our paths. I can’t say that I’m happy about my high school experiences, or that I condone not speaking up when you’re being wronged, but I can say that I don’t regret taking the high road. Even though others chose not to see it, I know that I didn’t do anything wrong. No matter what they did to me, they could never say with any kind of justification that I’d ever done anything to them in return. My solace now is that my life is wonderful, and I am so happy. I have friends and family that love me, and know who I really am; I’ve built a life for myself that is grander than anything they thought for me. I can’t say that in that moment, taking the high road made anything better, because it didn’t. Seemingly, it only made things worse, but in the long run, it was worth it, because I know the truth, and honestly, they do too.
Scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
Sunday: Scenes and sounds, noon; Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.
Monday: Pretty nails, 10 a.m.; library cart, 11 a.m.; brouhaha, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.
Tuesday: Crafts, 10 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.
Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.
Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; Freeman Casino Royale, 1:30 p.m.
Friday: Mass, 11 a.m.; Wii bowling, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.
Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; spinning records, 11 a.m.; Daily News, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.
Room visits, 1 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Exercise, 11 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; trivia teasers, 10:30 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m..; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.
Monday: Memory books, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday: CF library,10 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; action movie, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; smart shoppers, 10 a.m.; getting pretty, 1:15 p.m.; Men’s Club, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.
Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1 p.m.; Presbyterian church, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.
Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; casino trip, 9:30 a.m.; volleyball, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.
Saturday: ICMCF word search, 10 a.m.; hangman, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.
Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m. daily.
Movie, 10:45 a.m. daily, and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Gathering place, 11:40 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 11:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Popcorn Day Fridays.
Protestant Church service, 3 p.m. Sunday.
Exercises, 10 a.m. daily.
Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.
Monday: Who, what, when, 10:15 a.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday: Movie and a manicure, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; Flip Five, 5:45 p.m.
Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; Deal or No Deal, 2 p.m.
Friday: ManorCare monthly, 10:15 a.m.; Lucky 13 game, 2 p.m.
Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.
Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Parachute, 1:30 p.m. daily.
Monthly support group for grief and loss, 2 p.m. second Monday of the month.
Weekend pet visits.
Sunday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; tee time golf, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.
Monday: Shopping outing, 9:30 a.m.; creative art, 10:15 a.m.; Family Feud, 2 p.m.
Tuesday: Men’s breakfast, 7:30 a.m.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; crafts, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday: Bag toss, 10:15 a.m.; entertainment, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; Bunco, 6:15 p.m.
Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattergories, 10:15 a.m.; Derby Day, 2 p.m.; Whammo, 6:15 p.m.
Friday: Yoga, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.
Saturday: Jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; coffee social, 2 p.m.
Maryhill Manor, Alzheimer’s Unit
Bread making, noon daily.
Chicken soup,communication program, 4 p.m. daily.
Sensory Group, 6 p.m. daily.
Movie, 6:30 p.m. daily.
Sunday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-a-long, 12:15 p.m.; bowling, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; balloon ball, 3:30 p.m.
Monday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; Animal Kingdom, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; kickball, 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; table ball, 10:15 a.m.; sing-along, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; creative art, 2 p.m.; balloon ball, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; coloring, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; through the years, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; golf, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-a-long, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; men’s group, 2 p.m.; parachute, 3:30 p.m.
Friday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; coloring, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; creative art, 1 p.m.; happy hour/music and memory, 2 p.m.; kickball, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-along, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; parachute, 3:30 p.m.
Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Juice pass, 10 a.m. daily.
Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.
Sunday: Bible study, 2:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.
Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.
Tuesday: Alphabet game, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.
Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.
Thursday: Left, center, right, 2 p.m.; rosary, 3 p.m.
Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.
Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.
Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.
Monday: Bible study, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Balloon badminton, 10 a.m.; monthly birthday party, 2p.m.; one on one time, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Bird feeder craft, 10 a.m.; Yahtzee, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; music by Jason and Amber, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; horticulture, 2 p.m.
Friday: Catholic communion service, 10 a.m.; baking, 2 p.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.
Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Uno cards, 2 p.m.
Pinecrest Medical Care Facility
Life connections, 9:45 a.m. every Monday.
Busy bee, 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Rosary 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Sunday: Grace church, 10 a.m.; shopping outing, 10 a.m.; sensory, 2 p.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.
Monday: Beauty shop, 3:30 p.m.; mind joggers, 3:30 p.m.; ball toss, 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Movie, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Making cream puffs, 10 a.m.; coffee and cream, 2 p.m.; Scrabble, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday: Manicures, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; balloon toss, 6 p.m.
Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; spa music, 10:15 a.m.; Jerry Beauchamp, 2 p.m.
Saturday: Hand massage, 10 a.m.; life stories, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.
*Activities director out on leave. Please call the home for additional information.
Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.
Meal noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Lunch at noon.
Bingo on Tuesdays.
Free meal drawing on Thursdays.
Meals Monday through Friday.
Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m.
Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.
Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.
Birthdays acknowledged every day.
Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.
Blood pressure and blood sugar testing every fourth Wednesday.
Crystal Falls Center
Head Cook, Tracy West
Meals will be served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m., with the salad bar opening at 4:30 p.m. The dinner donation is $5 for those age 60 and older and $6 for those younger than 60. There is a $1 charge for take-out containers. All are invited.
Cribbage will be played at 1 p.m. Wednesdays and be concluded in time for dinner.
The center is closed Thursday through Sunday.
A site council meeting takes place at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.
A blood pressure reading can be taken by request at any time while the center is open.
Monday: Soup, salad, beef stroganoff, noodles, veggies, homemade dessert.
Tuesday: Soup, salad, chicken pot pie, homemade dessert.
Wednesday: Soup, salad, cabbage rolls, homemade dessert.
Crystal Lake Center
The center is closed on weekends.
Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m., crafters, scrap bookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.
Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.
Last Saturday of the month: Music jam starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free.
Dances take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Admission is $6; coffee is free.
The Photo Club meets 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.
Evening meals are usually on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with the meal served at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $4 is accepted for seniors age 60 and older but not required.
Home-delivered meals are for seniors 60 and older can be delivered seven days a week. Suggested donation is $4 per meal. For information, call Chris Tramotin at 906-774-2256, ext. 235.
Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call the center to book a ride.
Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.
Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.
Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County
Director: Tiffany White
Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations needed 48 hours in advance.
The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.
Four senior dining locations are listed below:
Fence Center/Town Hall
Meal at noon Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.
Florence Community Center/Town Hall
Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage and board games are available. The coffee is always on as well.
Senior Dining Center-NWTC, Aurora
Serving lunch at 11:30 am, Monday through Thursday.
Tipler Town Hall
Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.
Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora
Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Jigsaw puzzles, cribbage, cards and board games are available. The coffee is always on as well.
Coordinator: Pam Haluska
Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60.
Morning coffee is available daily.
Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50/50 drawing.
Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.
Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.
Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.
Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.
Friendly interaction with other crafters.
Iron River Center
Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60.
Thursday meal, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner at 4:30 p.m.
DICSA operates all meals and transportation out of the Iron River Center. Rides are $2.50 donation for age 60 and older, and $3 required for younger than 60. Call 906-265-6134 to schedule a ride
Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center
Corrie Maule, Meal site manager, 715-251-1603
Jill Anderson, senior center director, 715-251- 4154
Noon meals served Monday through Thursday.
Transportation to the meal site from the Niagara, Wis., area is offered.
They welcome any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place — join them for lunch and then stay for a meeting or social time.
Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play.
Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome.
Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in a while are encouraged to come back.
Director: Susie Slining
Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea, and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.
Two special-themed meals take place each month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50 drawing.
Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50.
Cards are played daily after the noon meal.
Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.
Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.
Puzzles always in the works.
A senior coloring class meets daily. All are welcome. Some materials will be provided.
Tuesday — Evening meal at 5 p.m. with lasagna, broccoli, garlic toast, fruit, juice and dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50/50. Please sign up in advance.
Telephone reassurance is available for any senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone check to see that all is well.
Note: A CSFP food card (green card) is available to income-eligible seniors. Make an appointment to get signed up. File of Life packets available at the center.
Note: Ask about the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps people pay their Medicare part B premium. You may be eligible. The local MMAP counselor can be reached at 1-800-803-7174, or dial 211.
Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.
Cards: Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.
Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months.
A puzzle table is available to enjoy.
Volunteers are always welcome.