It’s finally Friday, and after another (especially) long and tiring week of work, this Friday evening couldn’t come fast enough.
Yes, it’s been one hell of a week. Kids can be and usual are quite insane, and for some reason, this week the energy at camp was pumped up an extra ten notches. With a lack of counselors due to family issues and other personal businesses, the kids seemed to enjoy taking advantage of their increasing outnumbering of those of us who remained.
Despite all the stress, I’m still pleased with the things I’ve done, for the most part. Making connections with the kids is one of the most amazing things, because I don’t know most of them, and it’s crazy to become involved in all their individual lives, one by one. I learn new things about different kids all the time–some things aren’t as pleasant as others. I have to keep in mind that many of the kids come from very difficult backgrounds that range from parental abuse (both physical and verbal) to parental drug usage to poverty and everything else in between. The excruciating thing for the counselors is that we know all these things are going on with these kids, and we only have eight hours to bring any small amount of easy feelings into their lives. Whatever they return to, we can’t do anything for them. It’s sort of awful.
Of course there are always great things to do with camp, it isn’t all negative. But I can’t help thinking about it a few times every day, especially when I look at certain kids…
Aside from all that, I’m still living a personal life. Not much of a social life, though. People are always busy or I’m always busy or just too goddamn tired to do anything. Last week I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. That was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, about an MMORPG and its implications in real life. Wonderfully written with a whole bunch of great references to classic and current sci-fi culture, as well as 80’s culture and so much more. I’m now reading Suttree by Cormac McCarthy, which is definitely a change from Cline’s easy-to-read video game book. McCarthy’s book is supposedly a comedy, though it’s still pretty dark. After all, this is McCarthy we’re talking about.
It’s sad that I begin a paragraph about my social life, and by the time it’s done, all I’ve done is talk about books. Oh well.
I discovered some papers I wrote at the end of Junior year while I was cleaning my room, a while ago. A poem imitating Ginsberg’s “Howl” and a short word-vomit paper about something I had done that was out of the norm for me. My English teacher graded them and loved them, and didn’t have words. They talked in part about my struggles with writing and also with college, and the poem was largely about my dislike for many social norms around St. Johnsbury, which trailed into a long piece about the death of my brother, three and a half years ago. I also received a 5 on my AP English exam. My teacher sent me an email saying simply, “You rock!” and I later saw him–he hugged me.
I don’t have a weird teacher fetish, but I’ll be damned if these things don’t feel amazing. A person I look up to, a person with great intelligence and compassion, who has clearly been impressed with something I’m doing right. It just feels good. Really good. Because he recognizes me for succeeding in things I truly care about, where my parents don’t always seem to know how to react because we’re so different. They don’t get into English and writing and reading and science fiction. It’s not who they are. I feel alienated around them often times, but when people really seem to get it, really seem to appreciate it…that’s what feels best.
Home tonight. I think I’ll crack open some ice cream and popcorn and watch 30 Rock for a while. It’s my new obsession, ever since I had to move on from The Office. Although I’m not quite over it, yet. It’s hard. (That’s what she said.)
I’ll try to write another blog post when I feel interesting.