Monday, December 17, 2007


The day finally came, I'm now a college graduate! :) The ceremony was relatively quick, but still a tad longer than it needed to be. I still haven't figured out why they needed so many people to talk about stuff that no one is going to remember in a few days and why they couldn't just have us walk up on stage, get our diploma holder (real diploma to come later), and then go. But whatever. None of the graduates really wanted to be there, we all did it for our families but I guess that's how they all go. I do like the idea that I never have to go to class or write a paper ever again, that's pretty cool. I'm going to miss all my friends though and hanging out with them as often as I did. But I don't have to study or take tests anymore, how cool is that?!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Life Since September

It's the holiday season and about time. I'm now in a sweet-spot, so to speak, of the semester. I'm still in college but almost graduated, working in my field, but not with too many responsibilities, and I'm almost done with teaching karate. I'm going to miss college, a lot really. Not so much the classes or the teachers (there are only a few teachers that I actually respect and will really miss), definitely not the homework or tests, but I'm going to miss spending as much time with my friends as I've become accustomed to.

I know what working 40+ hours a week does to your social life, thanks to camp, and I know how hard it is for me to get together with some of my friends as it is, so I know my social calendar will pretty much die and I'll be living for the weekends. Also, my friends will be moving back to their houses (some across the U.S. :( ) and won't be in that central location anymore, making it that much more difficult to see each other.

I realize that this is all part of getting older and graduating and all that, but it still makes me sad. I spent two and a half years of my life with these people, for hours and hours at a time in some cases, we've endured the same horrible professors and difficult tests, been on those long shoots, auditioned for and gone to plays/movies/dinner together, helped each other with homework, partied together or in some cases just hung out and enjoyed each other's company. The mot noteworthy examples of enjoying the company of friends would be when I spent something like 2-3 hours watching wrestling with several of my guy friends. That was an interesting night!

But, I have a great internship who has said they're going to hire me for sure when I graduate and to name my price! So, I have a job lined up and Dan's got his foot in the door of a couple of different places. Wedding plans may finally be in within reach! I'm keeping my fingers crossed and sending prayers up for that! Sometimes my days are up, sometimes their down, which is how life is suppose to be: a wild ride. ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Media Badge = All Access

This past Saturday was my first day at my brand new internship. One of my friends at school got an internship with this company and said that they still desperately needed good interns so I had her forward my resume along. The same day that I sent them a follow up e-mail was the day that they called me and asked me to work the following day (Saturday)! I agreed got the info I needed and couldn't wait for the next day to begin.

We would be taping a horse race, which was cool because I'd never been to one before. Apparently, that particular track has a big event every year to raise money and it's pretty swanky. Not everybody was dressed up but a lot of people were and there were tents sponsored by banks and hospitals with catered food inside! But I digress...

I get to the track, park, and set out to find the people I need to meet up with. Guess where they were? Down ON the track conducting interviews with the winning jockeys, trainers, and owners of the horses. AND when they were doing that, they were on this little hut that was down on the level with the track but just off it so they were out of the way while still having easy access to the people they needed to interview. They set me right off to work when I got there, I held a reflector during the interviews and babysat a tape deck during the races. It was pretty cool.

Everybody was really nice and friendly, professional at the same time and knew what they were doing (which is a change for me ;) ), but it was still a fairly laid back atmosphere to work in. I'm really excited about this internship and can't wait to do more. They're going to have me in the research department two days a week and out doing production one day a week, unless there's no research that needs to be done, in which case: more production. That's tentative for right now, I'm doing in later with my friend from school to talk to the appropriate people about my schedule and when they need me to come in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Karate Starts Today

I'm excited! I haven't worked since the end of August, I've been living off my last paycheck from camp and the little bit of money I've had in savings. I'm not ready to have a job again, but I'm ready to have money. It's actually the sweetest deal I've ever had for a job: Tuesdays/Thursdays 3-5pm and Saturdays 10-12 and get this, I'm getting paid up front. Here's how that works:

The karate school that I'm working with (not my original school where I trained) does after school programs and the students pay up front for the whole semester's tuition, like it's a regular class they're attending. The other instructor I'll be working with will be there to help teach for the second half of the semester, so I get half of the tuition that's brought in for the Tuesday/Thursday classes. The Saturday classes are all me, so I'll be getting all the tuition. I have the opportunity to earn a good bit of money. I won't say how much but it's a lot. :)

It's a great opportunity for me to start budgeting my money and watching it way more closely. I'm definitely going to be able to finish paying off my computer and I'd like to start putting some money aside for when I graduate and I need to start paying off my loans. I don't want to count my chickens, but I'm hoping to have enough kids sign up that I'll be able to buy my own car (a nice used one, nothing fancy) so when I move out of my parents' house, that's one less thing I'll have to buy.

The downside to this job is that I'll have less free time on the days I have class, because it's at the same school that camp was, which is a good distance from my house (45 minutes on a good day), so travel time is included.

As far as I can tell though, it's the only downside. Sure, there may be one or two of the kids from camp that I was not fond of, but I only have to see them for an hour at a time (maybe two, and I stress maybe) as opposed to the 6 straight hours I had them at camp. I already know that I can work with the instructor and my paychecks aren't going to come up as $0.00 (which happened at one of my restaurant jobs and it was a mistake that took them forever to fix). I know the admins already since it's at the same place as camp and a couple of my friends from camp are also working at the school for other things. So I'm really stoked about this job.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to School Time...

It's back to school season. I only have one class and it's on Thursdays, so I am going to have a goooood semester. I'll be up on campus as much as I can just to hang out and see everybody, especially since it's my last semester. I've already got couches in dorms lined up to bum off my friends (who are awesome btw!) and my goal is to have other residents see me so much they'll think I'm a resident too. Despite the fact that my class is larger than it should be (and may or may not contain people I'd rather have in other classes where we will not be given group assignments and my grade will not depend on their abilities), my schedule got screwed up, and I'm graduating later than I should be, I'm looking forward to spending these last few months with my friends before we all graduate in December (another perk of graduating late) and get sent off into the real world.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What Did I Do This Summer?

I was arrested for "illegal minoring"...

Learned two different dances to "Cotton Eye Joe"...

Searched for gold during the Klondike Gold Rush...

Busted some of my kids out of jail...several times...

Fixed a knee, without the use of a band-aid...(See How To Fix A Knee)

Got paid when I didn't go to work...twice!

Was transported to a secret wizarding world for two straight days...

Solved a murder at a beach resort with the aid of a Belgian detective...

Raided, pillaged, and plundered my weasley, black guts out in many towns in the Caribbean to become the number one most feared pirate...

Got all of my defendants declared "Not Guilty"...

Defeated Bowser and his minions....

Got to swim during adult swim for the first time ever...

Defeated the Elite Four and the Champion for the fourth time (Blue, Gold, Emerald, and now Pearl)...

Met up with several friends from school...

...and so much more. Despite working 45 hours a week for 7 straight weeks (I was out for a week when I hurt my foot), this has been a great summer. I wouldn't trade any of it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

How To Fix A Knee (for kids age 7 and under)

It was a rainy day and we were playing capture the flag inside (except it was called "Treasure Chest" and there were multiple flags) when one of my kids comes over to the bleachers where I'm sitting and sits down. I ask him what's up and he says that he hurt his knee (I forget how he hurt it, I think it involved someone else and the hard gym floor). So I ask if I can fix it, he says yes and moves up a row to sit next to me.

First, I had him close his eyes and keep them closed until I said to open them. Then, I asked him what color the pain was.
"Blueish, blackish, and a little yellowish" was his reply.
"Okay," I said, "Now, don't open your eyes! I'm going to wave my hands over your knee, I'm not going to touch it, then, after I count to three you're going to open your eyes, but you have to focus on that color and think about it hard while I'm doing that, okay?"

He squeezes his eye lids together while he's focusing on the color and I move my hands around just in case he's peeking.

I snap my fingers and he opens his eyes. His jaw drops when he looks at his knee and doesn't see the colors he's been focusing on so hard.

"All better?" I ask.
"Yeah!" He exclaims happily.
"Now get back out there and play!"

He jumps off the bleachers and runs back to his side of the gym. When he gets there, he turns back around and gives me a big smile and wave before quickly dashing off to the opponent's side to retrieve some treasure.

I got that trick from "Full House" a show that is definitely too old for him. It comes on Nick at Night (I think) and WGN, two things he's not very likely to watch, especially if he has the Disney Channel or Cartoon Network. Even if he had seen it, it wasn't likely he had seen the episode I got it from, or if he had, he may have believed that it would work because it had worked on Michelle.

I'd been dying to try that all summer to see if it would actually work, and it did! I don't think though that any kids older than 7 or 8 would believe in it enough for it to work on them though.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Common Phrases

Here's a list of things I've said to my kids at some point this summer:

Get your hat out of the water fountain.

Don't put your pizza in your soda.

No we can't play extreme musical hula-hoops.

If you can't keep your hands to yourself, you two are going to hold hands for the rest of the day!

Put the stick down.

No rocks down the slide.

Don't "pants" him while he's on the monkey bars!

Do you need an ambulance? No? Then you're fine.

Did you really think you could fool me?

I'll add more as they come to me...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holy Crip, It's A Crapple!

I've been laid up at home for the past two days because on Tuesday morning (it's Thursday today), I hurt myself at camp.

Karate class had just started and we were doing warm up kicks. A side kick is something I've done a million times. I even did a flying side kick on Friday to break a board with no trouble at all (I even flew over two counselors when I did it too). But something happened when I did it on Tuesday and I landed on the top of my foot instead of the bottom like I was suppose to. My foot rolled and I managed to catch myself before I had fallen completely on it but the damage had been done.

After a few minutes of sitting out, I went to the nurse to get some ice, wrote the incident in her book and headed back to class. I kept assisting with class, coaching some lower belts from my spot on the floor. While my two students were getting water, I checked on my foot, a lump had started to form. Great. This meant that there was no way I was finishing this day of camp and possibly a trip to the ER. The instructor came over to see how I was doing and, when he saw my foot, went to the office to let them know what had happened and to find some counselors to cover me and take care of my group since I would be leaving camp early. He came back with an admin and another counselor. The admin told me that I could go home (and I told her it wasn't quite that easy because I drive a stick shift and it was my left foot that was growing a second ankle) and I gave the other counselor an extra roster and schedule. It was around 11 o'clock when I finally hobbled my way over to the office to wait for my mom to come and pick me up.

During the long wait for my mom (we live 30 miles from camp, it takes 40 minutes with good traffic to get to the campus), I was having a good ol' time hanging out in the office. I love all of the admins (who are technically all of our bosses), they're nice, friendly, and funny, qualities I'm not used to having in a higher-up, lol. There were only three admins that day, they were short staffed, so specialists (the people who run the different activities) would come up and help out whenever there was a free period for them. People are constantly dropping kids off late or picking them up early for things like doctor's appointments, swim practices, and things of that nature, and they need help finding their child or the child needs help finding his or her group. That's what the specialists were hanging out in the office for, that and it's air conditioned. Any time someone came into the office that I knew, they would look at me funny and ask what I was doing there. The observant ones who saw that I had my foot elevated on a chair asked what happened to me. Either way, rather than giving them an explanation, I would happily if they wanted to see!

Most people said "no" but would take a few steps towards me to look anyway, especially since I didn't wait for their answer and lifted the ice away to reveal what the admins dubbed as my "second ankle." One guy was actually honest when I asked him if he wanted to see; "Yeah, I kinda do" he said and moved over to look. I kept the admins laughing at how I was showing my injury to everybody and I probably surprised them by how much I was talking and laughing about it.

My mom finally arrived and I limped down to the car and we headed home. The swelling had stopped increasing, but the lump on my foot was the size of a golf ball, maybe bigger, so we opted for the emergency room to get x-rays and make sure nothing was broken. We were in and out in about two hours, which is pretty good for the ER, especially ours. I called Dan while we were on our way over, since he works there I was hoping to get the process sped up, but they weren't all that busy so we really didn't need the hook up. While I was waiting in the hallway (to be seen, to go to x-ray, to get checked out, etc., there's a lot more waiting than actual treatment...), I was chatting it up with Dan and other people who were waiting for their kids or other patients. If it wasn't for the wheelchair I was sitting in, people probably wouldn't have known that I was there to be seen!

The x-ray didn't show any broken bones, thank goodness, but the doctor said that I had a contusion which is a really, really bad bruise (how he put it). I got my foot wrapped up, was given a big ugly shoe and a set of crutches, was told to keep my foot elevated and iced as much as possible for the first several days, and that I couldn't go back to work until Monday. Oh darn, I had a doctors orders to stay at home and not work. I left the fact that we have a pool in the backyard out when I called work back to let them know that I wouldn't be in until Monday, they might think it's a little too convenient... ;)

I was told that my foot would feel a lot worse before it got better, especially the day after, but it didn't. It only hurt when I moved it a certain way, or poked it. Both of which I could easily avoid doing, so I was pretty much happy as a claim to stay a home and prop my feet up by the pool with my mom and sister ready and willing to grab me anything I wanted. One of my friends, when I told her about my injury, seemed to be more upset about it than I was. When I explained that it was a week off of work spent by the pool, she calmed down a bit. I also had friends come over and visit me and take me out for dinner so I could get out of the house! I think I went to the mall almost every single day that I was off of work after I hurt my foot (I think I only didn't go once). The first time was the day I hurt my foot because my sister wanted to drive (just got her learner's and I am 21, a legal adult with a driver's license) and I wanted to get some new DVDs since I was going to be at home for a while.

When I iced my foot down, I had a most *wonderful* little thing called "The Ice Man". Dan got it after his knee surgery and let me use it for my foot (since he hasn't had a need for it for a while). It's a cooler with a hose attached, basically, it runs nice, cold, ice water through the hose up to a pad that you wrap around whatever's sore. The water circulates so it takes a long time for the ice to melt and the water to warm up. There's even a temperature gauge where you can adjust somewhat how cold the water gets. It became my new best friend for the few days I was on my bed most of the time, that and my computer.

The bump went away overnight, but the rest of my foot swelled up like a balloon and turned purple. Thus the bruise part of the contusion I guess. It was pretty cool and I took the pictures that I posted above :)

Monday, July 9, 2007

"Bell" Hornets

A female European hornet
Officially known as European Giant Hornets. Not to be confused with actual hornets, these "giants" are actually related to wasps and not hornets. They make their homes in hollow trees, wood posts, and the like. Several of the websites I have looked at have described this insect as normally docile and more passive than aggressive, unless they're defending their nest. Females can measure up to 35mm long and have a tendency to sound like helicopters when they are in flight.

Why an entry on the European Giant Hornet? One of my kids was stung by one during a free period. We usually spend our free periods on the playground where the kids can play several games of chicken and get some energy out. The playground is made out of wood, and it's hollow, which makes it the perfect place for nests.

I hadn't seen any hornets flying around before, but from what I've read, it seems as though they get more active as summer progresses, which explains it. I spoke with one of the camp admins at the end of the day about spray ing the playground so no one else would get stung. She said that they had spoken to maintenance about it but for some reason they hadn't gotten around to yet. I'm hoping the news that a kid got stung will get maintenance moving.

I felt so bad for the kid that got stung, he ran to the nurse's office and I had to run just to keep up with him. The nurse put some green stuff on the sting (the stinger had fallen out, probably on the run over, or he hadn't let the hornet stay on him long enough) that was suppose to help, put a band-aid on, and gave him a ziplock bag full of ice. It took a little while for him to stop crying, so one or two of the other kids, myself, and my other counselor, started telling bee sting stories, stories about getting stitches, and soon he was chiming in with more stories of his own. My other counselor even said that he can now have the award for most band-aids in our group and he liked that very much. He must have told that to his parents because the next day, he (the camper, not the counselor) told me that his mom got the award for most band-aids when she was in camp too. He's a tough little guy and got to pick what color popsicle he got later because he was so good about being stung.

For more information about the European Giant Hornet, visit these websites:

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Olympic Day

There are several special days over the course of the summer at camp. The first of which we had yesterday, Olympic Day. This consisted of a long show put on by several counselors at the beginning of the day. They had divided themselves into two teams: The Spartans (above) and The Athenians (below) and were to compete against each other in a variety of very messy activities for the
children's amusement.

The activities got messier as time went on. First it was be the first to find a piece of bubblegum in a plate full of flour and blow a bubble. Then it was a trivia game where the first person to get the right answer could splat their opponent's face with a shaving cream pie. After that, each team took turns breaking an egg over one of their team member's faces as that team member balanced a cup on their face.

After that, it was gross balloon popping.


The object was to put a balloon filled with either vinegar, mustard, BBQ sauce, or other gross liquids (or semi-liquids) between you and your partner's chest, run down the stairs of the amphitheater without dropping it, then, when you get to the bottom, try to pop it by crushing it between you.

And all this was just the show before the actual day.

They had mini-periods all day for the kids to compete at different events themselves and win ribbons for first, second, and third place. Sometimes, they worked as teams and the whole team received ribbons, other times it was on an individual basis and only three kids got ribbons. It was a lot of fun and I took lots of pictures to make CDs for my kids, so even if they didn't get that many ribbons, they would have plenty of pictures to remember Olympic Day. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Super Counselor!

Monday, the first day of the week, the day where we get new campers, new weekly schedules, it's a fresh start. Usually.

One of our kids was going on the overnight trip and the "procedure" for getting them to the right place to leave on time is to take them to the nurse so she can check them out then they get on the bus from there. My co-counselor and I are pretty good at taking turns with who takes the whole group and who takes the one kid where they need to be. It was my turn, so I take one of our boys over to the nurse's room. She wasn't there. Okaaaaay. We were a few minutes early and we had left before they made the announcement to get the overnight kids to the nurse. So we waited a few minutes.

Soon another group showed up looking for the nurse so I knew we were in the right place. We were suppose to have the kids at the nurse by 9:15, and when it rolled around, the nurse was still nowhere to be found. The group that came in after us eventually left, while several other counselors just dropped off their kids and left without even checking to see if the nurse was there. I somehow ended up with fifteen or twenty kids and only one other counselor in sight staying until the nurse got there. Thank goodness for him because otherwise I would have been illegally outnumbered (not literally "illegally" but you know what I mean). Neither he nor I would be going on the overnight, there were counselors assigned to go but they were nowhere to be found either!

One of the lifeguards happened to wander by and stop in, thankfully. He went up to the office to find out about the nurse. When he came back, he informed us that the nurse was going to be late but she would be in around 9:30. I looked at the clock, it was already a few minutes past 9:30. Great. At quarter to ten, one of the administrator's came into the room for something else, but then found out about the nurse still be absent and said that we should all go down to the pavilion and wait for the nurse there, rather than have everyone in the tiny space. So the ONE other counselor (and junior counselor at that, he wasn't even 18 yet) and I took all the kids outside and down to the pavilion. Which was where we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally, after ten, ANOTHER administrator happened to walk by and I explained what was going on and how the nurse had STILL not shown up, and she immediately went up to the office to see what was going on. When she came back, she said that the nurse still hadn't arrived yet, but the bus for the overnight doesn't leave until the children had been checked in, so there wasn't a whole lot we could do in the meantime besides keeping the kids out of trouble. I thanked her and let her know that there were just two counselors watching all of the kids (and one of us was a junior counselor) because everyone else just dumped their kids and ran. And those were the words that I used when I explained what happened later, "dumped their kids and ran."

At about 10:30 or so (more than an hour after we were suppose to have dropped off the kids and moved on to the first period with the rest of our group), one of the overnight specialists (someone who just runs the overnights), came over and started to take attendance to see who was with us at the pavilion and who was waiting at the bus circle. Next, we got the kids lined up outside the nurse's room (she had still not arrived) and had them go in two by two and get them checked in to make sure none of them were sick or anything. After that, we went over to the bus circle to wait for the bus's to show up. Even though everyone had been unofficially checked in, it was only a temporary solution. Any children who were taking medication with them on the overnight still had to be checked in by the nurse no matter how late she was. A legal issue in which we had no choice.

11 rolled around and the nurse had STILL not arrived, but reinforcements had arrived! The counselors who were going on the overnight had been summoned and were at the bus circle with us. The kids at this point were getting tired of waiting and kept asking when the nurse was going to come and when they could leave. I kept saying "she'll get here when she gets here, the bus isn't going to leave without you."

Finally, around 11:30 the nurse shows up, the few kids who have meds go and see her while counselors get the bus loaded with gear and kids, and the original junior counselor and I can go back to our groups, just in time for lunch. I quickly explained what happened to my other counselor and gave more full a story to our specialist who said that I did exactly the right thing and to make sure that the administration knew that the other counselors were just dropping off their kids so that they could come up to my "level." A simple thanks and/or acknowledgment is really all I need.

My last several jobs did hardly anything when a good or exception job was done, unless you whined and complained and made yourself noticed the entire time you were doing it. Their opinion was that of "you're doing what I hired you to do", it was expected, not appreciated. I got several "thank yous" and made sure to thank the junior counselor who stayed several times myself.

The rest of the day went fairly smoothly, aside from a loose tooth, many tears, and a trip to the nurse and the office.

One of the boys has a loose tooth and accidentally got bumped in the mouth, which made it hurt and bleed. It had to be one of the boys who has a flair for the dramatic too.

"I feel like I'm going to die!" He said through tears.
"You're not going to die, I promise." I replied, trying not to laugh.
"But it feels like I am!"

I took him to the nurse, got some ice, tissues, and a case in the event that the tooth fell out so we had something to put it in. He was fine when it was just the two of us and I got him talking, keeping his mind off it. But when people asked what happened or if he had time to think about it, he would start crying again. Later, after the last period, my co-counselor took him to the office to see if he could be picked up early (he is one of the children who is picked up late, he goes to supervision after camp is over). He wasn't able to get picked up early, so he did his best to tough it out. The last I saw of him, he was swimming around in the pool as if nothing was wrong.

So yeah, not too bad a day at camp. I'm glad it all happened after I've been doing this for a week, so I have an idea of what I'm doing at least. We'll see what the week will bring...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

First Week

I have been so busy in this first week of camp that I've hardly had time to check my myspace/facebook accounts, much less be able to put a decent blog entry together. So many things have happened in camp this week, and since I've barely had time to sleep much less blog, I can hardly do them justice. Since I have finally gotten the hang of a 45 hour work week, I am hopeful that I will be able to post more frequently in the coming months. So this post will just be a quick run through of the things that stand out in my memory of what happened this week.

The first day of camp was crazy and fun. My co-counselor had been a counselor before so he knew what he was doing and where we were going for the different activities, thank goodness. Our group is a specialty group, they do more of one activity than any of the others. Because it's a specialty group, the ages range and it's co-ed (somewhat). The youngest is 6 and a half and the oldest is 11. The group has a grand total of 17, and only two of them are girls. Little boys are easy for me and difficult at the same time. Easy in the sense that I can raise my voice and not hurt feelings (and sometimes I do need to yell just to be heard), but difficult in the fact that I still have no idea why rocks and sticks are so interesting and why they must constantly pick them up and throw them at each other. That's where yelling comes in handy though.

The main difficulty we had with the big difference in gender numbers was changing into bathing suits to go to the pool. The two girls changed fairly quickly as you can probably imagine. The boys not so much. I thought it would be easier if we let them change in the bathrooms of the building our activity before swim was in. Bad idea. Each bathroom only had two stalls and that's what the boys were using. I'm not sure how long it took, or how many times my co-counselor would open the door and tell them to hurry up, but when I had finally had enough, I opened the door a crack and yelled,

"If you boys don't hurry up, I'm sending the girls in to get you!"

To which the girls' reaction was to run up to me, each raising their hands, and crying, "Oh let me! Let me!" Needless to say that was not the reaction I was expecting, though it did amuse me a great deal. I thought boys and girls have cooties at this age, maybe that was just my generation...

We ended up getting to the pool just before 2:30pm, I thought we were actually early because our other periods had been on the hour and half hour marks. The life guard I spoke to about which group we were and who needed to be swim tested didn't say anything about whether or not we were there on time and even thought we were early too when I said as much. She swim tested the kids kids and then the whistle was blown for adult swim shortly after they finished (which was about ten minutes or so).

I sit down next to my co-counselor after helping some of our kids apply sun screen and he asks if we just want to stay there for the next period. I give him a blank look and that's when he tells me that we were veeeeeery late. We were suppose to be there at 2, not 2:30 like I had thought. I looked at our schedule and he was right, I also looked at what our next activity was suppose to be and couldn't bring myself to tell 15 boys that they couldn't swim anymore and we all had to go to Dancing. We passed the world along through another counselor who was heading up the hill to upper camp where dancing was (the pool is at the bottom of the hill, and it's a pain to walk up and down it all day if you don't have to) that our group wouldn't be making it and the specialist could go home early if she wanted. According to my other counselor, the woman who does dancing is cool and probably wouldn't mind. I know I wouldn't mind if I got to leave early on the first day.

So we stayed at the pool longer than we should have, nobody noticed or minded. It was the first day after all, everyone just chalked any craziness up to that fact. The kids didn't mind that we missed dance, like I thought. We got them changed and back up the hill for popsicles and pick up close to right on time. We took turns taking kids to buses and afternoons supervision (some kids parents come later or some kids have a bus that comes later), the buses left close to on time and then the parents were allowed to come up. Pick up went smoothly for the first day, so I'm told, and I was on the road by 5.

We had a knotting class. Our group got the first knot (which was suppose to be the whole half an hour lesson) within the first five minutes. So the specialist moved on to another knot that was a bit more challenging. Most of the kids got it quickly and moved on to the playground, but some stayed behind to practice and learn more knots. The girls ran off to play with another group of girls who had started a game of Red Rover and stayed with them until we moved on to the next activity. Meanwhile, the next time I look over at our specialist, one of the boys is tying his hands behind his back with a newly learned knot.

Turns out, the specialist told him to, so he could see if he could get out of it or not. *Shakes head* Boys...So the rest of the day I told people that my group tied up the knotting specialist.

We had archery on Wednesday and everyone had been looking forward to it all week. Most of the kids could hit the target with at least one of their three arrows, but some flew way over and behind them. I got two arrows in the yellow portion that is in the middle (one of which landed in the very middle circle) and most of the boys saw this. I had hoped it would keep them in line later on knowing that I could hit a bullseye with a bow and arrow ;)

During the lunch period on Thursday, but after most of the kids had finished their lunch, some of the boys began fighting with their towels. Not twisting them up tight and whipping them at each other, more like just swinging them around trying to hit each other. Since we each lunch indoors and there were no other groups around, I didn't mind because there was really no one else for them to hurt in their little game. On the one hand, I wanted to be the cool counselor to show them how to roll up their towels and snap them at each other. But on the other hand, I didn't need 15 boys rolling up their towels and whipping each other near me and in an enclosed area.

After karate class on Friday, but before the period was over, we played a game called "Tiger Tales" which is where two people face each other, both with a bandanna tucked in their belts and try to get the other person's without losing their own. The karate specialist purposely saved me and my co-counselor for last, knowing the kids would want to see us face each other, and he was right. During our round, I could hear the kids betting on who they thought was going to win. I didn't think they were serious. I won, surprisingly (my co-counselor has a good two inches of height on me and is way more athletic), and when I sat down, one of the boys leans over to me and says, "You won me half a popsicle!"

Everyone, at the end of the day during dismissal, gets a popsicle. They are the ones that are like two popsicles stuck together with the two sticks and everything, so it was easy for the boys to bet halves of popsicles. I still couldn't believe that they were actually betting, but I did notice when we did finally get popsicles that everyone was eating a whole one and no one gave up the halves that they had lost.

I also had to deal with my first crier of the summer. One of the boys constantly lost game after game of chicken on the playground and wasn't happy, he felt he had a disadvantage because he had a band-aid on each of his hands. But I talked to him for a little bit and got him to calm down enough to practice balancing with me on another section of the playground and he was happy again in a few minutes. He actually went back to playing chicken with everyone else and didn't mind when he lost. No biggie.

So that was the first week. I keep telling my friends that no matter how bad it seems (whether it's 95 degrees with lots of humidity or it takes me an hour and a half to get home because of traffic), it's still sooo much better than working at a restaurant with customers. I've always been one to work a lower paying job that I enjoyed rather than a higher paying job that I hated. My dad is the other way around and while his personality type can stand that, mine can only take it for so long. I am so happy at camp, I'm having so much fun, and I can't believe I'm getting paid to do what I'm doing. This is the kind of stuff I'd do as a volunteer for my church or something, so to get paid for it is awesome. I thought I was going to have a hard time with it and the kids weren't going to listen at all, but we seem to be doing pretty well, even the specialists say we have a pretty good group. I just hope this will all carry through to the end of the summer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blog Name

Flagpole is the official beginning of each day of camp. Two staff members get up on the stage with microphones and get the kids excited and wake them up by singing fun and easy songs. Today, the third day of camp, we sang "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More", which I had not heard before and had stuck in my head all day. When I looked for the lyrics we sang this morning online, I couldn't find them, but found lyrics that had the same tune and refrain (pretty close anyway). I thought the title of the song matched fairly well with my recent job change from the customer service industry to a summer camp, thus the name of my newest blog.

In case you were wondering, here are the lyrics I found (some of the others were actually pretty horrific about Mary and her little lamb...):
ARTIST: Trad and Anon
TITLE: It Ain't Gonna Rain No More, No More

It ain't gonna rain no more, no more
It ain't gonna rain no more
How in the heck can I wash my neck
If it ain't gonna rain no more

Oh, a peanut sat on the railroad track
It's heart was all a-flutter
Around the bend came Number Ten
Toot! Toot! Peanut butter


Oh, my uncle built a chimney
He built it up so high
He had to tear it down again
To let the moon go by!


Oh, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck could chuck wood
If he held a saw in his little paw
A ton of wood he could


Oh, it isn't going to rain anymore, anymore
It isn't going to rain anymore
The grammar's good, but what a bore
So we'll sing it like before


A man laid down by the sewer
And by the sewer he died
And at the coroners inquest
They called it "sewercide"


A rich man rides a taxi
A poor man rides a train
A bum he walks the railroad tracks
And he gets there just the same