We had a smaller crowd in church today. The high school boys had a free Saturday night so decided to attend church downtown last night so they could sleep in today. The girls of the William (4th-5th) and Dennis (1st-3rd) Homes are on a field trip to Custer State Park to take in the annual Buffalo Roundup. It is amazing to see over a thousand head of those magnificent animals come running down the prairie hillsides. Tatanka was always the lifeblood of the Native American people when they hunted on the plains.
After church, three of our staff were going out for coffee and invited me to come along. Often, I stop in at one of the students’ homes, but this was a nice change of pace, to chat about a wide range of subjects. Often at work we talk business, but it’s always interesting to hear of people’s varied backgrounds, interests and experiences. One thing that helps St. Joseph’s Indian School be so solid, is our committed, experienced and caring staff.
One of our staff was put to the test this afternoon. When I stopped in at the Rec Center, a lone 3rd grade boy was sitting in the middle of the gym floor, refusing to budge after all the rest of his home headed back for supper. Sometimes our Lakota (Sioux) students don’t cope well with stress, and can have tantrums or exhibit oppositional defiant behavior. Houseparents, teachers and counselors know those times will come, and the situations call for lots of patience and understanding in order to get to the root of what is really bothering the student.