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I really hate it when I write something brilliant and informative to post and then I accidently delete it all. Seriously. But I'm trying to recreate it.

So, I've taken 5 classes so far here at SERVES, the Washington Service Corp conference. A couple were so-so (informative, but not entertaining or even particalarly attention-getting). A couple were by a professional speaker who talks to corporations (and volunteers) about emotional intelligence and that sort of stuff. He was really funny, and had a few things to say. One was by a school counciller/educational researcher guy--he has an organization that's called something along the lines of Kidsfirst. The program was about Bullies. I (he) use the capital B because these are not just kids who sometimes bully other kids because they have a bad day or no social skills or something. No, Bullies are the 6% of kids in school who have a high need for power and control coupled with very low empathy for other beings. They have average to above-average self esteem and do not necessarily have problems at home. They do not feel remorse for their actions. It wasn't just that Bullies enjoy what they do, but that they're really good at hiding it from adults. Sound a little like sociopaths? Yeah. That's deliberate. It's interesting, because it's just a very different view than you usually get. I mean, he had the research and some beleivable anecdotes. It's just very new to me. He some advice about trying to get through to these kids, consequences that involve trying to teach empathy or at least appropriate social behavior, but his bottom line was to try and protect the other kids. He also had advice to give victims, which included the standard Stand Tall, Make Eye Contact, Be Firm, but also included Avoid the Bully and Own the Insults ("You're stupid." "Yeah, I kind of am." Seriously, where do you go from there?). It was really thought-provoking.

The ocean and beach out here is beautiful. It really is. I've only been out twice, because today it started raining around 11:30 am and it hasn't stopped since. I was out this morning, where I ran into Samara again and watched her draw patterns in the sand with her foot. I need to figure out how to start a conversation over e-mail with her that is not totally stilted, because she seems cool. I was also out on the beach last evening, to watch the sun set. I had a very enjoyable time standing out in the freezing surf and reading Robert Service to the waves. I had just gotten out of a seminar that was all about dropping your "image" and being who you really are in the moment--it had some Zen qualities to it--and in that moment I felt an intense desire to read Robert Service in a theater-pitched voice to the waves, while being dramatic with my tone and body. It was incredibly awesome.

So, possibly this is something I should have realized sooner, but I've finally figured out my deal with poetry. I love poetry, I do, but for me it is an intensely oral experience. I cannot enjoy, or even really fully comprehend, poetry when I read it silently. I have to verbalize it.

Alex, Abbey, Megan and I went out tonight to watch The Departed. Can I just say, I would have gone into the movie in a completely different frame of mind had I known it was based on a Korean film? By the end, I felt like laughing hysterically, which was not exactly the most appropriate reaction. I mean, it worked for me, but I may have been freaking the others out a little.

I'm trying to find a mechanic to go to--the car is occasionally making a weird noise, though not all the time--but it's kind of hard. I asked for recommendations, and someone said "Don't go to the guy in Morton, go to the guy in Glenoma, he's really honest." And someone else agreed with that. But then Kim called him for her own car and he told her that an estimate cost $50-100 and that that money could not then be applied to the repairs. It was just for the estimate. And that seems really expensive for something that might not even be a real problem.

Also, I have this kid I'm working with. And I think he may be learning-disabled. And I talked to the teacher. And (check out how I put my sentences together after writing Halloween stories with 2-4th graders), the teacher thinks he may be learning-disabled too. But apparently she can't recommend him for testing (even just to his parents) because if she did the school would have to pay for it and apparently they can't. And I don't know what to do with that. I mean, I talked to my supervisor whose advice was just to watch the situation and keep talking to the teacher, but seriously. I don't know what to do with that.

Also, I'm in charge of the PS2 at the "Make the Grade Party" for the junior high Halloween evening. Can I just say, I am really amused at how owning a PS2 has automatically made me the expert on fixing/running the thing? Twice I've been called down to the Teen Center to fix it, and both times it was just that wires weren't plugged in right/completely. I mean, these people are more than smart enough to figure this out themselves. Just, somehow, because I'm here they don't. It really reminds me of when my mom gets frustrated with her computer and calls me over three times because she doesn't get this "double-clicking thing". I mean, she uses the computer a lot. She uses it just fine when I'm gone. I find it really hard to believe she never double-clicks on things. Ah, but I love her anyways.

So there's my last week.

October 2016

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