Friday, July 9, 2010

Sampler Platter vs. Buffet

Positive thinking and positive spinning is sort of a new thing for me.  I spent a lot of my life seeing the bad and stupid, focusing on negative aspects of situations.  Part of the reason for the title of this blog is that it forces me to post from a more positive point of view.  I'm glad for that.  It's not that I won't post about anything bad, just that I'll at least attempt to take the time to see another angle.

I was all set to post a blistering blog about O's trip to D.C. last week.  But, there's a way to tell you about the trip without sinking into the negative abyss.  I'll say this...O was excited about experiencing a buffet of what our nation's capital has to offer.  What she got instead was a sampler platter.  She was excited to have evening leadership workshops to really hone her leadership skills and learn some tact (she IS my daughter, remember, and tact isn't her strong suit).  What she got instead was "herding the heads" wherein they brought all the participants into one room to control the chaos before dispersing to their rooms for the night.  She hoped to bond with roommates who saw the world of possibilities and were there to learn.  What she got instead was two girls who were free of supervision for the first time and who acted like caged animals who had just been released into the wild.  She looked forward to teachers who were excited about the natural process of learning and who would help her get the most out of the trip!  What she got instead were adults who were rude and belittling to everyone under 18; who were more interested in schedules and count-offs than encouraging passion or identifying needs.

Gosh, that does look a little negative, huh?  But here's the good stuff...

What she got from the experience is that D.C. is a wonderful place that she wants to explore.  Gettysburg is a powerful destination that brings a pause to your thoughts.  Mom is always available; even for midnight texting.  It feels really good to be supported in your passions.  Every experience has something of value if you look hard enough.  The drive from Atlanta to Washington isn't that bad if you're with people you really enjoy spending time with.  Middle School is NOTHING like seen on t.v..  Condescension, belittling, and threats are poor qualities in a person and do nothing to develop leadership.

So, it wasn't what she expected or hoped for.  It was worse than what she feared.  It was nonetheless an experience she will take with her for the rest of her life, an experience that will shape her thinking and her interaction with others.  It is now part of her history.  Would she do it again?  NO.  Would she do it over?  YES.  Every experience you have is part of who you are.  She really likes who she is and became more confident because of seeing so many sheep.

My personal opinion...if you receive anything from People to People, don't be sucked in to thinking it will be good just because it was started by a President.  We will never engage in another P2P event.

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