Sunday, July 31, 2005

Oh, the joy.

Two more weeks of campers, a week of cleanup, and then I'm free... to pack. I'm headed back to school on Sunday, the 28th. The horrible thing about that is that classes start on the 29th. Supposedly I'll be assigned a roommate, but the last thing I heard from housing was that they hadn't given me one yet, and the person would be randomly assigned sometime between the time they sent me that little notice and the day I move in. I'm half expecting someone I'll be able to scare out (like I did with my last roommate) before December. The optimistic part of me is expecting an empty room again.

It's not that I don't like sharing my space, but sharing your living quarters with someone takes a lot of energy and some degree of friendship. Jessica* never even talked to me, except to ask if it was okay if she watched tv, or to tell me when she was leaving. The friendliest thing I ever got out of her was "Have a good time at class." I'm still not sure why she left, though I'm assuming it was a combination of having a room available with her friend, thinking I didn't like her much, and knowing I usually had my boyfriend over on weekends when she was at home. It amuses me to think that I scared a roommate away just by having a boy in the room.

Anyway, I've got to get ready for camp again. Time to put on the DisneyWorld smile again and play the happy counselor for another week. And maybe this week I'll actually be able to see the boi. I miss him.

*Names changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


I've got about fifteen minutes before I'd like to be on the road and headed back to camp. This week I'm with Outpost, which combines two of my (usually) favorite activities, camping out all week and riding horses. They're older girls and should be able to handle whatever we throw at them, and I'm looking forward to a week with less fighting and frights than last week had.

For those who haven't heard, last week was a nightmare. We had girls who wouldn't stop fighting except to start whining and wouldn't listen to instructions until we repeated them three times, we were late for lots of activities, they were up too late at night (meaning I was up too late with them) and halfway through the week one half of the girls were on a trail ride and ended up in a nest of ground bees. Scariest moment this year, so far: Hearing screams, and a few seconds later seeing three horses come galloping down the trail they just went up, riderless with reins loose and looking like they're going to run right past the area you need them to stay in. Luckily they did stop as soon as they got to their arena, and stood outside the fence while I caught them. The girls were okay too.

I'm sure I could use more sleep but at least I'm ready to go. Hopefully next week I'll have time to catch up on news from the outside world. This weekend...

The 16th marked a full year with the boi. ^_^ I spent the day with him and we went out to the movies last night. It was a good day, and made up for the crappy week. <3 to him for driving all the way up from Pittsburgh to spend some time with me, and >O to my mother, who told me I can't drive down to see him because of my inexperience with city driving. Bah. At least I've got a car now.

And YES, I heard about London. And I'm concerned about the future of the world in general, but mostly about America, Asia and Europe.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Flag Burning: A Quick... Rant?

Excuse me while I pull out my Pocket Constitution (tm) and my attitude and pound some of these arguments into dust. Actually, the people posting in the thread have done a good job of it already, but I'd like to say this in my own way.

First off, for those too lazy to click the above link, the debate is on flag burning. A randomly amusing side note: my Government class held a similar debate and I and my friend were the only two who argued for being allowed to burn flags.

Okay. First quote: "woa woa woa.... the 'right to protest' isnt a right... its a spinoff if freedom of speech, assembly, and press... so burning a flag is not a political or social 'right', it is an inflammatory expression that can do no good for a cause.. only lead to violence".
Number one, this poster isn't too well educated, or is just plain too lazy to capitalize and spell correctly. Either situation would normally cause me to ignore the argument, but this one bothered me so I went to look it up. It's true, there is no specific wording in the Constitution that allows flag burning, but neither is there something denying it. The rights of free speech, peaceful assembly, and petitioning the Government for redress of grievances are mentioned and as far as I know, protesting falls among those categories. So as long as I'm not protesting with a gun in one hand and a dartboard of Bush in the other, my right to protest is still protected indirectly. It's a political right because the foundational laws of my country allow it, and it's a social right because everyone has the same rights I do and we're all entitled to protection of those rights. Also, as far as I knew, you're the one who controls what you see and how you see it, and it's up to you to decide how to react. If you really want to pick a fight with someone who's burning a flag, feel free... I'm sure it'll be Civil War Version 2 in no time. However, you have the right and the ability (I hope) to peacefully and sensibly protest the burning of a flag in your neighborhood, in a public park where your children play, or during any sensitive times like national holidays and September 11. It's a lot better to walk up to someone and ask them why they're burning a flag and whether they can move the protest elsewhere than to run screaming and swearing down the street and cause more trouble than the protester(s) would have in the first place.

Number two: "[Quote: Nowt wrong with flag burning. If a democratic country that endorses free speech arrests a person for burning a flag, are they democratic? No.]
That is complete bullshit. A democratic country can easily pass a law banning flag burning. People vote to pass the law, therefore it is democratic.
Besides, calling "setting something on fire" the same as "speech" is inane."

You are completely full of bs, sir. Where do you actually draw the line between "speech" and an unprotected action? How does writing sound to you? What about sign language? Not everyone uses their voice or their keyboard to communicate, and if you'd like I'll pull out half a dozen articles on body language for you just to prove that point. I'm sure everyone has heard the cliche saying "Actions speak louder than words." Well, it's true. The way you walk down the street and what you wear tell people more about you than a simple description in words. If I choose to set something on fire as a way of communicating, it can be called speech. If my motive in setting a fire is simply to cook food or for heat, there's no communication involved and you're right, it's outside the label. Still, be careful of generalizing. There are situations in which someone will speak without saying a word, and if you're ignoring actions as a form of communication you're going to be in trouble.

Three: "if it was my personal belief that i want everyone with black hair murdered by next sunday, would you protect and respect my personal beliefs...
you see, personal beliefs dont make an action right or wrong, moral or immoral, its the national and state laws and doctrines that decide whats right or not."

...oooh... You're in over your head. Can you present me with a logical, well thought out and well supported argument that states that personal beliefs have no effect on legality? Can you tell me that what I think about murder, rape and incest does not affect my set of morals and values, or what I teach my students and my children? Can you explain how this absolute right and wrong works, and how the "national and state laws and doctrines" were put into place if they were never written down by people whose morality informed their judgements? There are few moral absolutes, and among them are: "Murder is wrong" and "Rape is wrong". I have never in my discussions of philosophy heard anyone say that "Flag burning as a form of protest is wrong" is a moral absolute. If it was your belief that everyone with black hair should be murdered, most people with a well developed sense of morality would turn you in to the nearest mental hospital or police station. I advise not using obviously morally wrong beliefs when arguing against something that has less to do with morality than with political and social ideals and the use of symbolism.

The American flag is a symbol of our nation. It does not stand for each individual seperately, but as a whole. It stands for our government and our foreign and domestic policy and our way of life; it does not stand alone as a freedom or a right or even as a protector of those freedoms or rights. Yes, we should respect the symbol of our nation and our ideals, but if we disagree with the ideas or policies that the flag is being used to represent, I see nothing wrong with protesting by burning the representation - the flag. Our flag has always represented the founding principles of this country and I realize that it is upsetting to many people to see a material representation of their intangible freedoms being destroyed by a seemingly hostile protester. What we need to remember is that the flag is not only there to stand for our constitutional rights, and a protester is usually taking action against some other representation such as the "War on Terror"; these representations are changeable and protesting them is not taking shots at the constitution. It's simply another way of saying "Hey, guys, someone in the Capitol is doing something I don't like, and I'm telling you/them about it loud and clear."

Besides, if the flag and its symbolism are really that dear to us, why do we allow it to be plastered all over bandannas, clothing, cheap toys and other things, most of which aren't even made in the USA?

I'd have said more, and used better arguements, but it's late and I'm tired. Thanks for reading this far, please feel free to continue the discussion via comments or email.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Lifeguarding, Lateness, and Life in General

So. I'm back from my first full week of camp. With children. The girls were only there for a three day session, but it was still tiring, because I had to be at lifeguard training half an hour away from camp from 1 to 5 every day. It didn't leave much time for getting to know the campers.

On the postitive side, lifeguarding means spending lots of practice time in the water, and I got pretty tan. The negative side was that the lake we were in was full of seaweed, dead fish and zebra mussels. The mussels were the worst part, since their shells are sharp enough to cut your feet open and therefore we had to wear water shoes at all times. I never wore them before this week, because they suck, and it was tough to swim with them on. Meh. But... I'm a certified waterfront lifeguard now. I passed all the tests today, and so did Mush and Flipper (my co-workers).

I got a cell phone too. Last time I came home, Rick snuck up here and I got to go out with him for the day I was home :). He wanted to replace his cell and so he got me one too. We're on a family plan together, which is cool, and he paid for the phones, but I promise I'll pay my own phone bills. ^^ After all, I'm making more in these six weeks of camp than he is doing six weeks full-time work.

My new(er) car is still uninsured, but I'm going to work that out tomorrow, and if the DMV is open I'll see about registering it too. Meh. Meh, Meh.

Anyway, I'm tired and I wanted to take a hot shower but sister got there first and used all the hot water and I'm too lazy to go back in now that the water's likely to be warm again. I still have laundry to do too. And I miss Rick a lot, as usual. Mom was late picking us up tonight, which made everything seem much worse, because two hours is a long time to wait for a ride when you're not sure when the ride's coming and in the meantime you're being eaten alive by insects and watching half your co-workers getting excited and packing and leaving for Camp Arrowhead. Yeah, that was fun. NOT.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Of camp, and other things

I lost my wish bracelet. Finally. It fell off sometime during the week and I didn't realize it until after Thursday, which means that it could have been dropped in half a million places. I don't mind, though. Two of the three wishes are already coming true, and the third seems to be promising as well.
I have a car. And it's not the Toyota Camry I was expecting I'd get. Dad's selling that one, and has offered (and actually bought for me today) a little '91 VW Golf. It's white, which I don't like, but it's got the coolest bumper stickers ever (it belonged to some aging hippies) and once it's polished up a bit it'll be a great little car. And it's still a standard, which means lots of fun learning to drive it in Jamestown and the surrounding area. I hope the drivers around here will forgive me for stalling in the middle of an intersection. :p
I get lost easily. When I picked up the Golf today with Dad, it was out in the middle of nowhere somewhere near Cherry Creek, and I had to get back home on my own with the new car, so I definitely took the long way around because I couldn't remember which way to go. It was slightly frustrating getting lost but I found my way back okay and didn't have to turn around or ask for help. I guess I'm proud of myself for not getting so lost I didn't know which way was up, but next time I'm going to Mapquest my destination before I leave the house. It's sad that I can't find my way around my own county yet.
I'm taking a lifeguarding course this week, so I will be away from camp for five hours a day. The great part is that not only do I get the chance to be a lifeguard at camp after I take the course, the Girl Scouts are paying for it. How long does a lifeguarding certification last? I'm sure it'll be useful outside of camp even if it's only a year-long certification anyway.
Camp is fun. We got a bunch of cup stacking stuff... you know, the sport that Canada does a lot? Yeah. Well, we're now practicing so we can teach our little girls how to stack cups. Wow. The little children arrive on Wednesday. I get to be with an archery group.
There are two international counselors from Denmark and Russia. Russia is good at ping pong and is teaching all of us. She's also teaching my sister a bit of Russian, which is amusing, especially because some of the words sound particularly dirty even though they mean things like "how" and "fine."
I miss everyone like crazy, especially Rick.
'cept he's here now, so it's okay. 'Night!