:: eye of the storm ::


About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

dinsdag 25 juli 2006

Drama, drama, drama - Brooks (the head boys counselor) had a fight with Craig and quit this afternoon. I never liked Brooks and I'm certainly not sorry to see him go, but I AM sorry that we have no one experienced enough to fill his shoes. This could be a recipe for disaster unless they get something figured out. I'm sure we'll hear about it eventually - news always trickles down.

Oh, and I called Camp Laurel, and Keith (their director) asked me to come see him face-to-face tomorrow morning at 8:30, while my six horseback riders are having their lesson. I don't think he would have asked me to come talk to him in person if they weren't willing to hire for just one week, so that's a good sign. I'll keep you all posted.

I also got a voicemail saying that my car is fixed, no charge - that didn't take long (I just took it in this morning, on my period off). Now I've just got to arrange for a VW driver to pick me up again tomorrow morning and take me back to the dealer, and we're golden.

In other news, I had a camper flip out tonight - Emily, my six-weeker, who's been here since the beginning. A younger girl, Lexi, who's eleven, came up and said something to Emily's friend Audrey, whereupon Emily started berating her (Lexi) out of the blue. I admit that Lexi can be annoying, constantly asking questions and talking about herself, but she's really a very sweet girl, always eager to please - she's just a 'young' eleven and hasn't really got all her social graces ironed out yet.

Emily said something like, "Would you chill out?! You do this every single day!" etc. etc. etc., and she said it all in a 'yelling' voice, which surprised me. I tried to talk her down for a second, pulling out my 'mother' voice (which I don't often have to use, and especially not with this kid). "Emily. Calm down. You're crossing a line right now." Her answer involved another expletive and a Lexi-directed comment, "You are the most f***ing obnoxious girl in the whole world!"

I confess that I didn't react instantaneously - I was too busy picking my jaw up off the grass. Emily can get overexcited and fly off the handle, sure, but ninety-nine percent of the time, she is really an incredibly mature 13-year-old. I genuinely like her as a person, and I never, ever thought she would speak that way to a younger camper.

About two seconds later, reflex kicked in and I grabbed Emily by the arm, muttering her name through clenched teeth and walking her off to the side. In retrospect, I didn't even think about Lexi (who looked confused, then burst into tears), but another counselor had been standing with us, had heard the whole thing and was able to deal with her. And Emily is my camper, and therefore was my first responsibility.

We stood by ourselves for a long time and talked about how it's okay to think someone is annoying, but not okay to tell them, and how eleven-year-olds can't be expected to be as perceptive or mature as thirteen-year-olds. "She's so annoying!" Emily kept complaining, "She's always coming up and asking me what I'm doing, if I have anyone to talk to, where I'm going... all the time!"
"It's the beginning of social graces," I explained. "She's learning how to make small talk, how to converse with people. She just hasn't got it all smoothed out quite yet. By the time she's your age, she'll get it." Then things moved on to how Emily had been recruited by a Julliard dance coach for his summer program. She had been specifically selected, one of very few, but had been sent to All-Star by her parents instead of going to the dance program. I had never known that, and she got teary-eyed talking about it. I could tell she'd really wanted to go.
"I've been really positive about this whole situation. I came in ready to have a good time. But I've been here almost five weeks now and I am so over it! I just don't want to be here anymore!"
Boy, did I feel that. "And you are definitely not the only person feeling that way. You've talked to Sam and Julie [other 6-week campers] and some of the counselors - you know that a lot of us totally understand how you feel. There's nothing wrong with being angry or frustrated. But you need to make sure you express it in conversation with people who understand, rather than lashing out at other people. You know I'll talk to you whenever you want. But you may not speak that way to a little girl who has nothing to do with your situation."

In the end, she apologized to Lexi, and when I caught her (Lexi) alone later, I explained that Emily had had a bad day, was feeling a little homesick, and ended up taking her emotions out on Lexi even though she hadn't done anything to deserve it. She seemed to understand that, and I don't think there are any hard feelings. But I was disappointed to see Emily act that way. Not really surprised - she's been here only five days less than I have, and the campers don't get days off the way the counselors do, so a burnout is understandable - but disappointed nonetheless.

I cannot wait to get out of here.

4 Comments:

Blogger DrJDG said...

One summer I had a job working for Holly Farms chicken. When the chickens were sufficiently grown (i.e. ready to be converted from chickens to "chicken") they would be removed from the large, hall-like building they had been inhabiting, and my job was to strap on a mask, take a snow shovel, and clean out the waste they'd left behind. Holly Farms had about 15-20 of these coops, and it took HOURS to get them clean. I still can't smell amonia without getting nostalgic. I was, up until I read this post, convinced that I had had the worst summer job ever.

No I realize that you do ... :-)

26/7/06 11:44  
Anonymous Claudia said...

Sounds like you did a good job of smoothing things out. Camp, like school, is less about the sports or academics or whatever the focus and so much more about learning to get along in the world in a somewhat safe venue. You seem to totally understand that and probably contributed to both girls in a way they may long remember, just not right now.

One has to wonder why her parents did not allow her to go to the summer program at Julliard. A window of opportunity was presented and missed; how very frustrating for her as she obviously has talent or would not have been chosen.

26/7/06 17:38  
Blogger Jess said...

Yes - one of the things Emily and I talked about was how the annoying kids really NEED camp, and the social contacts and experiences it presents, more than those like her, who are already so socially skilled. They get more out of it. She didn't want to hear it at first, but when I embedded it in a compliment ("You get along with just about everybody. You are one of the most likable people I've ever met in my life. But not everyone is that fortunate.") she seemed to get it.

And yeah, I felt horrible for her when she told me about the Julliard thing. She had never let on once, in five weeks, that she hadn't come here willingly or that she'd had another, better opportunity. I hope it'll still be open to her next summer.

26/7/06 19:35  
Anonymous Anoniem said...

thats crazy why did brooks quit? i wonder if jess will leave as well hahah. im sorry you havent had much fun.

marie

26/7/06 19:57  

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