Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lots of Dreams Need Discipline anniversary to my friend, Anita. Three years of blogging. How amazing and wonderful. She writes of the joy and benefits of posting on a blog. She has changed formats so I'm not often able to read her blogs anymore. I'll see the link on Face book or Twitter, but her blog has left my reading list, but not my heart.
I, too, have found posting to be beneficial. The deadlines, I impose on myself, give me the impression of writing for a newspaper.
I loved being on the Smoke Signal as a senior. I gave up being in Concert Choir, the premiere choir at high school at that time, so I could be on the staff of the newspaper. We actually cut and paste to fit our articles for the printer. We loved the journalism shows at the time, like Lou Grant. This spin off of the Mary Tyler Show, bore no resemblance to that comedy. The editor of our paper saw herself as the woman reporter, Billie, I believe was her name.
I do find it interesting that we didn't make a living out of journalism. I became a nurse and the editor, a speech therapist. Both of us now working in Skilled Nursing Facilities. I know Dawna could write, probably better than I, she being incredibly talented.
Another thing I delved into about this time in high school goes hand in hand with journalism, politics. My junior year, in February, another friend, Bobby and a girl from Sharon and I headed to Harrisburg in her father's car, for a week long Youth in Government, sponsored by the Synod of the Trinity- Presbyterian Church. I longed to be an intern or some job there, after this week in the big town. Hard to call Harrisburg a city, especially socially, at least for state government, big town where everyone knows your name and business. I think I dreamed more of the glamor of hob nobbing with important people, living on my own, catching taxi's or running places on those old streets by the Susquehanna River. I also realized when I met with students from around the state what a slacker I was. Mr. Shaffer spoke truth the year before that I was the runner up for sliding through school. These kids were in honor bands, choirs, classes. I don't even know if we had honor classes in West Middlesex at that time.
The end of my junior year due to my deep interest in government, my mom, always on the watch in the paper, found out about Washington Workshops. In this week long program in June, we stayed at Marymount College, now University-  So, I had the taste of college life, well, dorm life and Washington commute.
I angled ways to get sponsored with Mom's encouragement. I met great people from all over the States, Massachusetts, Montana, Georgia, New Jersey, Long Island, Philadelphia and California are a few I can remember. We hand wrote letters for years, but all got busy in college, as I did in nursing school. They were surprised I chose that path. We called each other Senator. Most became poli-sci majors.
Our session met in the middle of June, very hot, humid weather, but beautiful. We had a small group, because many schools still were in attendance across the country. We dressed professionally every day to go into the city. We met with our senators, mine was John Heinz, a very handsome man and Republican. The Massachusetts delegates had a hard time to meet Senator Ted Kennedy. We did see the Secret Service entourage and knew he was in the middle of that.
My congressman, Mark Lincoln Marks, a Republican from Sharon, in fact his house was just a few blocks from where mine is now. I forget if it were Lillian or Richmond, I think the corner of Lillian and McDowell. He was on a health care insurance committee, which I sat in on for the few days we were on Capitol Hill.
Besides work, we enjoyed touring the Smithsonian Museum and eating at the private dining halls.
When the work week was over and we finished learning about the process of bringing bills to the floor, Saturday morning, we sat in an auditorium watching Patsy Schroeder and George Will debate on a live NPR show. Guess what? They shook hands after the program. Pasty, of course encouraged all us young girls to enter politics Then we headed to the Watergate Complex for an afternoon at the condo of the founder of  the Washington Workshop program, Leo. (I'm sorry I can't say for sure what his last name was, and it is not on the web site.) This is the first time I witnessed a phone in a bathroom. His love for young people seeking knowledge could not be hid. Saturday evening ended the week with  a night at Wolf Trap
Sunday, bleary-eye and sad, good-byes made the rounds. A week effecting us for many years. We met in the fall over Thanksgiving break at Harriman, New York,, the first conference center in America. So great to see old friends, making new friends with other alumni.
After writing this, I do wonder at my choice of nursing. It was safe, I think. I felt I could succeed at this. I think nursing is probably harder than any career choice I could have traveled down the journalist or political path. I have learned much and though, I do not want to be a journalist, I embed myself in the writing life. Am I still like that sixteen year old with dreams in her heart as she has fun with her friends on the streets of her state capitol? Who knows what a fifty two year old  woman can do?
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