Sunday, February 5, 2012

Citizenship

I should be folding laundry or cleaning the bathroom or finishing the dishes. But instead I'm kicked back in the recliner, watching Psych and writing a blog entry. I lead such an exciting life :).


Year's ago I learned the Six Pillar Shuffle as part of some volunteer work I did with CHARACTER COUNTS! My friend MaryAnn and I would teach it to lots and lots of grade schoolers every year during CHARACTER COUNTS! week. It has been etched in my mind.

  • Twist is for Trustworthiness
  • Roll is for Respect
  • Reach up for Responsibility
  • Spread our arms for Caring
  • Flap our arms for Fairness
  • Stomp our feet for Citizenship
The Six Pillar Shuffle .... is a kick ! 


Like all good songs, it also has motions. It was quite the workout.


Today's stories are all about "Stomp our feet for Citizenship."


****
Back in July one of my 4-Hers was packing up to spend a week at Girls State. 


Have you heard of Girls State? I went to Girls State when I was in high school. At the time I had no idea what I was getting into. It was just an honor to be selected, so  of course I went.


But in case you have never heard of it, this is what their web site says...
"What is Girls State?
The American Legion Auxiliary believes that training our youth about the basic ideals and principles of our system of government will help to ensure the survival of our republic. Through a unique citizenship training program, Auxiliary members teach the youth of our nation to understand, comprehend, and appreciate their roles as United States citizens.


Elections are held to fill city, county, and state positions. Activities include legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies, debating, and voting. The citizens also receive instruction in Parliamentary Procedure. This "hands on" method is unique and extremely effective. Girls State affords participants an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens by informing them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and hopefully encourages their participation in the democratic process as they progress into adulthood. Other activities include journalism, singing, talent shows, field trips, group devotions, and patriotic ceremonies. "


So back to the original story....


My 4-Her K was packing up to head to Girls State and I happen to be at her house for dinner, right before she left. We got to talking about what to pack and what the week would be like. She mentioned that she wanted to run for the top office of Governor.


Well, that was so exciting to me for two reasons. 1. Because it was a great leadership opportunity with many challenges and 2. because I ran for Governor when I was at Girls State.


So we chatted a long time about my experience, what she knew about it and what she was planning. She was headed down there with a plan. I gave her a few tips that I could remember that I wish I had known ahead of time. 


K had been talking to her dad and mom and I'm guessing a lot of other people in her life about current issues happening in the government and political scene. She tried to get insights on the issues and advice on how to deal with them. 


She has had lots of stage experience. Public speaking was no problem for her. 


She was taking supplies for her campaign and had some design and slogan ideas.


She was as prepared as she could be.


Throughout the week, I would get text messages from her mom. Updates on the voting process. K was working her way through the petition and primary and then onto the final election. 


I was so excited to get the final text saying she won!!! I am so proud of her! It is a huge accomplishment and honor. 


To add to my pride, I was pleasantly surprised to find out her hometown realized the huge honor also.


This is what now welcomes visitors to town.




I am sure that this will not be the last time we see her name in the public's eye. 


****


My next story is not so grand, but citizenship none the less. 



This is my self portrait taken after I donated blood.
I'll spare you any photos of the mark on my arm.
The photo that would have been better for this story is the one of me pale as a sheet of paper. 

I was feeling well during the donation process. I lounged back and read my book. I had a great "nurse" who  stuck me very painlessly. 

The problem began after I had filled the pouch and they took off the arm pressure band and took out the needle. I was still reading my book while all of that was happening. So I know the reaction was not because of nerves. I felt a rush to my head and then I broke out in a cold sweat and got a little nauseous. 

Of course my "nurse" went into action. The head of the lounge was put down, the feet were put up. An ice pack was put under my neck. When none of that helped, I was instructed to cover my mouth and cough hard three times. (I'm not sure what that was suppose to accomplish, but at the time I was so weak that I could barely cough.) Next came the brown paper bag. They had to hold it over my mouth while I laid there with my eyes closed, breathing slowly and sweating up a storm. My face was covered with droplets of sweat and my clothes felt soaked. The last thing they did was went and got a fan to blow on me. 

Once I finally felt strong enough to sit up, I made my way over to the refreshment table. I drank a bottle of OJ, a big glass of water and ate a cookie, clementine and bag of trail mix. It took me at least 30 to 40 minutes sitting there before I felt strong enough to walk out to my car. 

When I got outside, I was freezing in my damp clothes. I came home, curled up in a big comforter and slept for an hour. My brother turned up the heat for me to try and get warmed up.

It was a rough way to practice good citizenship. I'm not sure if I can do it again. But after reading the long list of restrictions of who is allowed to donate blood, it made me wonder how many people are really able to donate blood. I have a feeling that there are less people able to donate blood then there are who can't. I won't go into details. But if you have ever donated blood, then you know what I'm talking about.

On a good note, my iron count was 16.7. It has to be above 12 in order to donate and the machine stops measuring at 19. The "nurse" was very very pleased with my count. :) My mom will be jealous.

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