Squeezing an entire quarter into 5 weeks? Not a good idea. Especially when the instructor wants you to taste every aspect of a field as broad and wide as Public Works. It's not just about toilet water ya know.
I dreamed last night. About the past, about three different periods of time in my life, with three different people. I don't like dreaming about the past. It's a waste of good dream space. I'd rather go places in my dreams, not re-live the mundane.
There is a school of thought (in my experience mostly in the south) centered on teaching young girls to "be nice." As lessons to pre-pubescent girls go, its not a bad one to learn necessarily. But, when does nice turn victim? I have two beautiful vivacious nieces. (No really, they are.)
One just finished high school. The other? Still in the belly of the beast. They are coached to shut their mouths and walk away. Probably wise in almost all instances. But, there are times when being nice to someone means slapping a welcome mat on your back and eating tread for the duration.
They are not taught to stand up for themselves, to draw a line and know how to respond when someone crosses it. Not talking about the immature reaction of slapping someone "cuz they pissed me off," or screaming like white trash in the streets. My nieces are way too classy for such a reaction and really what's the point?
But the more subtle, drama-less technique of clarifying a point, speaking an opinion, being honest without attacking. Jokingly I tell them to kick butt and take names. (As you can imagine, this flies really well with the nice women in their lives who consider anything but doormat status masculine.) But, I see them once, twice a year and without the ability to practice real live techniques, or as they say in academia, conflict management, its all just whistling Dixie.
There is one BIG reason they need to learn this lesson. BOYS.
While girls can be catty and hateful, unless dealing with a bully..most of the time in high school they can stick their noses in the air, walk away and look superior. But with boys? How can my nieces stick up for themselves with boys if they're taught implicitly every day that being nice is what counts above all other things?
I see their mother. Attractive, smart, nice. So nice she couldn't tell boyfriends no in high school, so nice she couldn't tell her first husband to get a job and be a man, so nice she couldn't leave when a one-time husband drank and became a little rough, so nice....frankly, so nice it became downright sadistic.
But, like I said, also smart. It took her a couple decades, but eventually she found a way to be nice and actually have a life. She married a man who guards her boundaries like a pit bull. She gets to stay nice while he goes to the mat with her tormentors.
My nieces can do better, be better. It's just too bad being nice is the highest bar of expectation set for them. The litmus test for success in life.
I can't believe August in upon us. This summer has yet to be hot. Not that I'm complaining. I love the way everything is staying green and robust. (Not liking the rust on my Cleveland Pear Trees though...gotta find the time to spray them in the next few days or we'll have pre-mature leaf shedding.
Have you ever noticed the word pre-mature is never attached to anything good?
And CERTAINLY nothing NICE.