Author Topic: Shortridge  (Read 6902 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 20alfalfa

  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Shortridge
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:31:17 PM »
Alright, here goes.  I am currently attending Shortridge Academy, run by a certain Mr. Adam Rainer, former attendee of Rocky Mountain Academy, and currently hires Don Vardell (this man pops in and out of therapeutic boarding schools all the time) and Amy Fuller, former CEDU employee. Well, I'm glad to say I have not been horribly physically abused, like in most schools, and am currently pretty comfortable. This, combined with the other posts defending Shortridge must make it look like Shortridge is a good place. Nope.
Although not abusive, Shortridge has an unfortunate habit of being petty and intolerant, elitist and superfluously focused on their own traditions and dogma than practicality and help. I'd like to share my story to see what you guys think, and I hope this sheds some light on yet another CEDU clone. Any questions that I can answer about Shortridge, I will, since I don't really know what you guys want.

tl;dr: I go to shortridge, and I can answer questions about it if you need me to.

Well, my story starts Nov. 3, 2010 on a wednesday close to noon. I was checked in by a man named Frank, he was somewhat old, and as I watched, a very good liar. Ironically, I have always been interested in psychology, and as a result, can identify the various speaking techniques upper administration uses on parents.  Consequently, he fed me some bullshit about how the school was, and I proceeded downstairs. I was moved in to my room, which has six kids in three double bunks per room. The living conditions are small and sparse, but MUCH better than some stories I've heard, and am grateful for that.

tl;dr: Living conditions fine, but still not exactly suitable for six kids per room and 24-30 per dorm. quite unsanitary

Now, three times a week we have "group" which is not really therapeutic. We mostly sit and talk about how great Shortridge is, and we also cover problems kids are working on, but these problems are always short-term conflicts produced BY LIVING AT SHORTRIDGE. Its never something like: "I have a drug problem, how do I avoid negative coping skills", its "This kid in my room doesn't like me", or "I would like to call out this student for breaking this arbitrary rule".

tl;dr: Group therapy accomplishes nothing, as we focus on pointless short-term conflicts that don't get into issues students were sent away for.

Other things this school does is workshops. Now, workshops have changed drastically since I first arrived at Shortridge sixteen months ago. However, nothing important has changed. All the workshops are designed to do are simply get kids to like Shortridge and their friends at Shortridge, and disassociate themselves from their friends at home. Workshops happen around once every three months or so.

tl;dr: Shortridge uses workshops, which do not do anything but encourage the separation from outside friends and focuses on how great Shortridge is.

Now, Shortridge has a three Phase System.
 Phase One: No outside contact besides one twenty minute phone call to parents. that's it. No home visits, and can only leave on off campus visits after being scheduled by school with parents. Parents cannot bring friends to see the student. Phase One students cannot go to their rooms without permisson and supervision without an upper Phase student or staff.

Phase Two: A student can apply for Phase Two after their four month mark. They should have been through at least 2 workshops at this point. "Achieving" Phase Two gets the privlages of home visits and e-mail. Let me interject and say that because of my attitude at Shortridge's program, I have been a Phase One student for FIFTEEN MONTHS. I have been home once, for one Christmas. Let me tell you, its quite purgatorial.

Phase Three: At this point, Phase three students have been here for at least nine months. Of course, it is rare for more than three Phase Threes to be attending the school. In Phase Three, the student gets to watch movies on their computer, gets longer visits, and can be at the dorm unsupervised for one hour a night. Of course, Phase threes are often "mini-staff", and will NEVER break a rule.. They have been completely conditioned by Shortridge, and will support their "sancticity" for the rest of their lives, I'm sure.

tl;dr: three phases, each unlocks what amounts to bread and circuses. No visits for Phase Ones. No outside contcact, either.

Consequences: Shortridge has a very consequense based system. As a Rage against the Machine fan, I think of it as "fear is their only God". you see, we students do our own dishes, and staff will only do clean for us if a lot of parents are visiting the school for a day, which happens two to three times a year. If you break a rule or are late to class, you could be given a "Dish Crew", where you have to do a clean job. Not to bad, but monotonous. As a result of too many dish crews, plates are often covered in food from the day before. If your offense proves disrespectful enough to staff where further punishement is nescessary, or a manipulative student dislikes you enough, you'll get a "WORK PROJECT". Work projects consist of manual labor, and oftentimes involves pointless work like moving some rocks somewhere or cutting down and splitting wood for fires that we don't need. Of course, I've heard that students have also worked on staff houses on campus, like a free labor crew. This happened before I arrived, however.

tl;dr: consequences are too long and pointless, often giving students a chance to manipulate staff into consequensing undeserving students

That's it, at least for now.

Well, sorry about the unexpected essay, but I figured someone might find it useful. My story is pretty much the same as every other student, except that my parents have sided wit hShortridge, which means after I graduate high school at Shortridge (who is narrowly holding on to its accreditation)   I will be homeless and jobless because of Shortridge.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"We really need to see this through
We never wanted  to be abused
We\'ll never give up, its no use
If we\'re fucked up you\'re to blame."
                                   The Anthem Pt. 2, Blink 182

Offline Ursus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8989
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Shortridge
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 09:41:04 PM »
Quote from: "20alfalfa"
Alright, here goes.  I am currently attending Shortridge Academy, run by a certain Mr. Adam Rainer, former attendee of Rocky Mountain Academy, and currently hires Don Vardell (this man pops in and out of therapeutic boarding schools all the time) and Amy Fuller, former CEDU employee. Well, I'm glad to say I have not been horribly physically abused, like in most schools, and am currently pretty comfortable. This, combined with the other posts defending Shortridge must make it look like Shortridge is a good place. Nope.
Although not abusive, Shortridge has an unfortunate habit of being petty and intolerant, elitist and superfluously focused on their own traditions and dogma than practicality and help. I'd like to share my story to see what you guys think, and I hope this sheds some light on yet another CEDU clone. Any questions that I can answer about Shortridge, I will, since I don't really know what you guys want.

tl;dr: I go to shortridge, and I can answer questions about it if you need me to.
Hey... Thanks for posting all this!

With regard to Don Vardell... Lessee... Admin at Peninsula Village, and Executive Director at Academy at Swift River, Excel Academy, Island View RTC, and Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment. Did I miss any career stops?

Fwiw, I gotta say... with regard to the issue of abuse... that the more subtle psychological mindfuckery often screws you up more, and for far longer, than the more blatant and sometimes arbitrary physical cruelty. Just my 2¢ / opinion / personal experience... I s'pose a lot depends on the person.

Quote from: "20alfalfa"
Well, my story starts Nov. 3, 2010 on a wednesday close to noon. I was checked in by a man named Frank, he was somewhat old, and as I watched, a very good liar. Ironically, I have always been interested in psychology, and as a result, can identify the various speaking techniques upper administration uses on parents.  Consequently, he fed me some bullshit about how the school was, and I proceeded downstairs. I was moved in to my room, which has six kids in three double bunks per room. The living conditions are small and sparse, but MUCH better than some stories I've heard, and am grateful for that.

tl;dr: Living conditions fine, but still not exactly suitable for six kids per room and 24-30 per dorm. quite unsanitary
What were some of the things Frank told you re. what Shortridge was all about?

Quote from: "20alfalfa"
Now, three times a week we have "group" which is not really therapeutic. We mostly sit and talk about how great Shortridge is, and we also cover problems kids are working on, but these problems are always short-term conflicts produced BY LIVING AT SHORTRIDGE. Its never something like: "I have a drug problem, how do I avoid negative coping skills", its "This kid in my room doesn't like me", or "I would like to call out this student for breaking this arbitrary rule".

tl;dr: Group therapy accomplishes nothing, as we focus on pointless short-term conflicts that don't get into issues students were sent away for.
Do you think that kids sometimes get insanely anal-retentive re. those rules? How seriously do kids take them, or are they just tools to exploit in the attempt to disturb or enforce the then-current pecking order?

Quote from: "20alfalfa"
Other things this school does is workshops. Now, workshops have changed drastically since I first arrived at Shortridge sixteen months ago. However, nothing important has changed. All the workshops are designed to do are simply get kids to like Shortridge and their friends at Shortridge, and disassociate themselves from their friends at home. Workshops happen around once every three months or so.

tl;dr: Shortridge uses workshops, which do not do anything but encourage the separation from outside friends and focuses on how great Shortridge is.
Were parents included in these workshops? Or were these oriented to student-only participation? What particulars make the workshops different from the three times per week groups? What were/are some of the themes or foci of the workshops?

Quote from: "20alfalfa"
Now, Shortridge has a three Phase System.
 Phase One: No outside contact besides one twenty minute phone call to parents. that's it. No home visits, and can only leave on off campus visits after being scheduled by school with parents. Parents cannot bring friends to see the student. Phase One students cannot go to their rooms without permisson and supervision without an upper Phase student or staff.

Phase Two: A student can apply for Phase Two after their four month mark. They should have been through at least 2 workshops at this point. "Achieving" Phase Two gets the privlages of home visits and e-mail. Let me interject and say that because of my attitude at Shortridge's program, I have been a Phase One student for FIFTEEN MONTHS. I have been home once, for one Christmas. Let me tell you, its quite purgatorial.

Phase Three: At this point, Phase three students have been here for at least nine months. Of course, it is rare for more than three Phase Threes to be attending the school. In Phase Three, the student gets to watch movies on their computer, gets longer visits, and can be at the dorm unsupervised for one hour a night. Of course, Phase threes are often "mini-staff", and will NEVER break a rule.. They have been completely conditioned by Shortridge, and will support their "sancticity" for the rest of their lives, I'm sure.

tl;dr: three phases, each unlocks what amounts to bread and circuses. No visits for Phase Ones. No outside contcact, either.
How common, or uncommon, is it for someone to be on Phase One for such an extended period of time? If more than three Phase Three students (at a time) is so rare, roughly what percentage of the school is on Phase One, on Phase Two?

How many months or years do most students attend Shortridge Academy?

Quote from: "20alfalfa"
Consequences: Shortridge has a very consequense based system. As a Rage against the Machine fan, I think of it as "fear is their only God". you see, we students do our own dishes, and staff will only do clean for us if a lot of parents are visiting the school for a day, which happens two to three times a year. If you break a rule or are late to class, you could be given a "Dish Crew", where you have to do a clean job. Not to bad, but monotonous. As a result of too many dish crews, plates are often covered in food from the day before. If your offense proves disrespectful enough to staff where further punishement is nescessary, or a manipulative student dislikes you enough, you'll get a "WORK PROJECT". Work projects consist of manual labor, and oftentimes involves pointless work like moving some rocks somewhere or cutting down and splitting wood for fires that we don't need. Of course, I've heard that students have also worked on staff houses on campus, like a free labor crew. This happened before I arrived, however.

tl;dr: consequences are too long and pointless, often giving students a chance to manipulate staff into consequensing undeserving students
Lol. Gotta love dishcrew... What about bathroom detail?

Quote from: "20alfalfa"
That's it, at least for now.

Well, sorry about the unexpected essay, but I figured someone might find it useful. My story is pretty much the same as every other student, except that my parents have sided wit hShortridge, which means after I graduate high school at Shortridge (who is narrowly holding on to its accreditation)   I will be homeless and jobless because of Shortridge.
What caused you to end up at Shortridge in the first place? And why do you believe you'll be homeless and jobless because of Shortridge?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
-------------- • -------------- • --------------

Offline 20alfalfa

  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Shortridge
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 11:06:46 AM »
Hey. Sorry about the late reply, I can only get on when I am 100% sure no one is watching our computer screens. Its a necessary precaution, if staff really start looking through this site they might block it, and I would like to avoid that.

Anyways, I'll answer some of your questions:

"Do you think that kids sometimes get insanely anal-retentive re. those rules? How seriously do kids take them, or are they just tools to exploit in the attempt to disturb or enforce the then-current pecking order?"

Well, it depends. I've seen kids do both, mostly the first option. Enough people manipulate the rules to their advantage where its a trend, however.

"Were parents included in these workshops? Or were these oriented to student-only participation? What particulars make the workshops different from the three times per week groups? What were/are some of the themes or foci of the workshops?"

Parents where not included in workshops, and nothing is student only. Staff are involved in workshops, but it varies on who covers each one. As for the themes of each workshop, the Fornits Wiki entry has info on that, I think. Each workshop lasts about two days. We're allowed to sleep now. It wasn't always like that. But I'll give you a rundown on the ones I've participated in:
Innocence: talk about childhood traumas, etc. emphasis on moving away from past behaivior
Friendship: talk about more current problems, emphasis on bonding with students at shortridge
integrity/choices: talk about defenses you use to avoid things, emphasis on having integrity
That's it. The difference between these and group are minimal, as both really accomplish nothing.

"How common, or uncommon, is it for someone to be on Phase One for such an extended period of time? If more than three Phase Three students (at a time) is so rare, roughly what percentage of the school is on Phase One, on Phase Two?

It is extremely rare for anybody to be in Phase One past seven months. I have the record. I probably always will. It takes a unique person to do this for so long, I guess. I would say that 70% of the student body are Phase Two; 25% are Phase One. On average, there's about 60 kids here. The average stay is fourteen to sixteen months. The longest stay on record is twenty-three months.

What caused you to end up at Shortridge in the first place? And why do you believe you'll be homeless and jobless because of Shortridge?
I was sent to Shortridge because I had problems in school. No drugs or self-harm issues. I was depressed for a little while, but not to an extent requiring therapy.
As for the homeless thing, my parents refuse to believe anything I have to say about this school, and decided that I should be cut off from any support from them. Either way, I really shouldn't have said that. It was the result of an uncharacteristically immature bout of self-pity, and I apologize.

I don't know. I've seen this place drive three kids to suicide attempts in one year. I had to take the noose of one of them. He lived, but still. One girl cuts herself almost every goddamn night and staff don't do shit. Meanwhile, we're told what a wonderful opportunity this place is, and what a great decision your parents made.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"We really need to see this through
We never wanted  to be abused
We\'ll never give up, its no use
If we\'re fucked up you\'re to blame."
                                   The Anthem Pt. 2, Blink 182

Offline Goodlife

  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Shortridge
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 01:45:10 AM »
Short ridge just had a major rebellion by it's graduating class. Windows broken and furniture thrown everywhere. Some of the weaker students just curled up in a ball in a corner and hoed they didn't get beat up. Sounds like a pretty crappy culture.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline eaglet

  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Shortridge
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 01:01:27 AM »
Alfalfa, if you can let us know that you are safe somewhere... please do.  I think that you will not be homeless: "it takes a special kind of person"... I have you pegged for a survivor. I hope you are a long way from that place and that you carved: "nolite bastardes carborundorum" for the unfortunates that may follow... better yet, maybe you led the riot that caused dozens of parents to rethink their decision...Remember that lots of people thrive without their parent's money.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »