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Saving Geneva

(Ed. Note ~ I wrote this post two years ago when I first realized Geneva was in danger of being sold and/or transformed into a profit-making venture.  I am getting the feeling that people are interested in visiting Geneva.  If you go, go with respect of nature and God in mind.  If you go because it’s a sacred place and you want to feel God’s presence, I would recommend going three or four hours after eating a meal and without rushing through it.  Nor anxiety if you don’t connect with God the first time you go.  It may take you more than a few times to feel God’s  presence and understand.  Perhaps God wants to see if you’re really serious about it.  It might help, too, listening to 60s spiritual music — Day by Day, “Joy” by Apollo 100, Get Together by the Youngbloods, etc.)

So…going back to the church I grew up in…I was informed that Geneva, the summer camp I attended when a youngster, is in trouble.

It’s funny because I was just there with my kids on that Saturday prior to Mother’s Day, and I said that I hoped nothing ever happened to this place.

Little did I know…

I went during the magical time of the late 60s and early 70s.  My counselors were my first teachers about the environment.  I remembered being yelled at because we took a shortcut through the woods instead of using the already created path.  It causes more erosion to use the shortcut, hence the counselor getting upset.  And when I say “yelled at” I mean a stern talking to — not berating us.  I also learned to identify trees by their leaves.

The cabins were natural wood with the boys on one side and the girls on the other, with a fireplace in the center.  The cabin below is the one I stayed in several times:

camp cabin

I learned crafts such as pressed flowers, making candles by using cardboard milk cartons, sand, and then pouring the wax inside.  I also learned plaster of paris artwork, and basketweaving.

This is the camp that I learned how to row a canoe.   It was such a powerful experience that to this day, I still cherish the memory of the beauty of  the  Tippecanoe river.

camp walking path

In this area, we roasted marshmallows and hotdogs, told stories, and yes, we sang “Kumbaya” and “We Shall Overcome” as the counselor played guitar.  It’s sad that Kumbaya is now an object of derision.  If memory serves me, it comes from Africa, and means “Come By Here, Lord”.

We also made delicious homemade ice cream by using a hand crank ice cream maker.  We all took turns cranking it so no one had the burden.  We all shared in the labor…hmmm…what a concept. /snark

During the week, each cabin (there were five) created some form of entertainment to be performed on Friday night, our last night there.  One year, we did a skit that involved us being parts of a car.  Our guy counselor and another had a gentle rivalry going on, and he named the car sales after the other counselor.  And of course, we, the car, broke down. 🙂

In addition to the wooded area, there were two meadows where all of the cabins would gather for singing.  As I walked through there, I thought this could be a place to hold the Midwest version of Woodstock, minus the nudity and drugs.  It’s just hard to describe the feeling of the place — like it’s hard to describe the positive light and love of the 60s and early 70s to the younger generations.

And with that thought, it would be great if we could have a concert there to benefit Geneva.  They made bad decisions in building condos there to bring in income, but instead it has caused them to go in debt to the tune of $500,000.  I asked if we could come up with that money, whether Geneva could sustain itself and the answer I got back was “yes”.

I don’t want to see this turned into a non-profit, which is what they are leaning towards if they can’t come up with a way to save it.

 

AFT making deals with Weingarten’s consent **edited

Mercedes Schneider has another great post up on the deals being made by Randi Weingarten.

I tried to reblog it, but i think with all the comments and permalinks in the box, it crashed.

Anyway, here is the comment I posted in the reblog:

I’ve had this blog up on my queue to read when I got a chance, and something can be said for patience and delay…sometimes the rewards are astounding…as the comments here.

When you start messing with knowledgeable teachers, you better bring your best game…cause you’re messing with the best.

From Allyson:
Allyson permalink

Question: what makes you think you can have access to my children’s data without my consent? My kids’ school does not act for me in this capacity-no permission from me!
~~~~~~~~~
From Dave:

Dave permalink

Hi Dan,
I’m an actual classroom teacher here working in the trenches. Nice to meet you. First, congrats on your business. I’m sure it is going to make you boatloads of money in the years to come, mainly from grants from the Gates Foundation among other. Rupert Murdoch will no doubt want to buy you out at some point, but that could be very profitable for you, too.

As a practicing teacher, I must say on behalf of those who feel as I do (and we are legion), that we have had quite enough of the promise of tech companies reforming education and making our lives and our teaching easier. You don’t. Mostly, we view you and your dime-a-dozen tech companies as leeches who are just hanging on to suck whatever profit you can out of our already stretched too thin school (and state) budgets. We’d really appreciate it if you put your considerable intellectual talents to better use, say, by joining NASA or helping find a cure for cancer. Honestly, we got this. We are going to teach the heck out of our kids every year, and we don’t need any further technology updates to do it.

You are right, however, and parents should realize this: an INCREDIBLE amount of precious learning time is flushed down the toilet because of computers, SMART Boards that don’t function correctly, software that freezes and hard drives that lock up, lost or missing passwords–the list goes on and on. Give me a black board, a piece of chalk, books and paper and I’ll turn ANYONE’s kid into a college-bound student. So will three million other educators … as long as you and other techies stay the heck out of our way. See, it’s our administration that’s the problem. They fall for the snake oil that you peddle, and they keep buying more (my district just sunk a 100 grand into a I-Ready, which now has my fifth graders matching letters to letter sounds like four year olds because of the score they got on the diagnostic. Crimony, what a mess! And now my students’ morale is low.

Just please, Dan, get out of the business and save teachers the headache, and the inevitable battle that we’re going to wage and win against you like we did against inBloom.
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And finally from Lloyd:
Lloyd Lofthouse permalink

Dan Carroll:

Pardon my language, … but it isn’t important if you do or don’t.

Before I went to college on the GI Bill, and then was a public school teacher for thirty years (1975-2005), I served in the U.S. Marines and fought in Vietnam. Before that, I was born to poverty with parents who both dropped out of high school at the age of 14. My dad actually spent time in jail as a teen for breaking and entering, and my older brother about 15 years in prison for a host of crimes.

Growing up in poverty and then ending up teaching children who lived in poverty taught me one thing. It isn’t the material that’s going to teach these kids. It’s the teacher, and a well trained teacher can teach without materiel from someone in the private sector offering material that will make that company a profit and/or pay the CEO a hefty annual salary.

In fact, the worst possible material was always the “crap” that was forced on teachers by administrators who had been convinced by someone working for a corporation that it would make a difference—and none of that junk ever did make a difference. I talk from experience.

So, cut the crap, Mr. Carroll. You aren’t doing teachers a favor by offering them “what you think” is access to materials that will help them do their job while possibly gathering cradle to grave informatory on children to sell to the highest corporate bidder or making a profit for some hi-tech company that sells tablets or laptops or software.

Will you deny that you plan to, or have an agenda, or have goals to gather information on children and sell it? If you answer is no, then please put that in writing and sign it with a promise that you will voluntarily go to prison for ten years or longer if you ever break that pledge. In addition, I want to pick the same prisons my brother served in. No white-collar criminal country club.

A dedicated teacher can teach without material, because they will create their own like I did in my early years in the classroom when there wasn’t enough textbooks to go around, And guess what, with teacher created material, many of the children I worked with soared and continued to do well year after year. And most of the material I used for thirty years was generated by me.In fact, most of the dedicated teachers I know seldom used the “crap” that came from people who thought they knew what teachers needed to do their job.

Why is it that teacher generated material works best? Easy answer: because the teacher who works with these at-risk kids usually knows what works best for their student population— that is, when the teacher can engage the students that often resist learning what’s taught.

Of course, I used the stories in the literature textbooks, but most of the support material in those textbooks wasn’t suitable for the students I worked with. To be frank, I didn’t like most of the “crappy” lesson in those textbooks that others felt would help me do a better job as a teacher.

This is where I want you to really pay attention. This is what teachers NEED most:

FIRST: A national early childhood education program—-that is part of the public schools and not run by a private sector corporation out to make a profit or pay some CEO a six figure, or higher, annual salary—-that’s available to every family and/or child as early as age 2 and specifically for children who live in poverty.

There’s a reason why the country needs a non-corporate, quality early childhood education program, and it is the fact that almost 24% of children in America grow up in poverty [more than any developed country]—-for that reason, teachers don’t need some “ignorant fool” [emphasis mine] to offer them material “that will help them do their job,” because material isn’t going to motivate a child who comes from a dysfunctional home or who is hungry or who lives in a community that’s ravaged by drugs and/or street gang violence similar to the schools where I taught for thirty years.

SECOND: New teachers starting out should be offered the best training possible and that’s a full time, paid, year-long residency with a master teacher in that master teacher’s classroom—this is the program that trained me as a teacher, and it made all the difference—and this program must include at least one full-year of follow up support after those young teachers have a classroom of their own.
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You can read Dan Carroll’s mindless comments at the blog.
I had experience with the *cough* smartboards where you really could not draw on them as you would a chalk board. Besides subjecting the kids to more electro-magnetics, it is a “shiny object” to entertain, with little value in educating children.

Like Dave in the comments,  says– give me chalk and chalkboard. The only electricity required is the electrical current running in the brain. 🙂

**edited to correct “Dave” from Dan. Meh. Must have been a “mercury” day.

Daniele Watts

Has claimed that she was handcuffed because of racism.   She was kissing her white boyfriend in public and was handcuffed….when she refused to give identification.

I don’t know if race is involved.  I know that this nearly happened to me in Fort Wayne when I refused to give my social security number or my birthdate to an out of control fire fighter.

She was absolutely within her Fourth Amendment rights not to give her identification if she was not being arrested.  I have paralegal training, and the attorney teaching the class on the Fourth Amendment told us that unless we were under arrest, we did not have to give out any information, and did not have to have our persons or our vehicles searched without our permission.  He said all the client had to do was ask if they were under arrest.

This Amendment was put into place to protect us from a police state–so we would not become Russia, China, or Nazi Germany.

In my case, I was the Fire Captain of my five story building.  I was the one who jumped out of bed at 2 a.m. when the fire alarm went off.  I would communicate to the fire dept and to our maintenance on-call person that everything was okay…or not.

On this particular day,  someone had set off the alarm three times that day.  I called off the fire dept each time, but for some reason, they showed up anyway at the third instance.

I was already back in my apartment when I got a knock on the door from one of the residents telling me the fire dept was here and wanted to speak with me.

The fire fighter immediately began accusing me of setting off the alarm, of making a false report, and other stuff that i can’t remember at the moment.  He said he was going to shut this building down.  Then he demanded to know my soc. sec. number.  I refused.  He then demanded my birthdate, which I also refused, as I had done before with the other fire fighters.  Alarm bells were going off in my head by this guy’s irrational behavior, and I started to walk away.

He threatens that he is going to call the police as I was walking down the hall.  He does.

Three squad cars pull up within minutes. Three.

They, too, were bullying me into giving up personal information that they had no right to.  I didn’t set off any alarm, only reported what I saw, as was required of my job.

This went on for an hour.  They intimidated me to the point I was in tears.  I finally had to give this arrogant, irrational fire fighter my birthdate…because they threatened me with jail if I did not.

Afterwards, the police officer sarcastically said, “There, was that so hard?”

I said that it was none of the firefighter’s business.

He then shot back that I should not be the Fire Captain if I did not want to give out that info.

I had been a reliable Captain. I gave up nights and weekends to be in the building when the staff was gone.  I sure the hell didn’t need this grief.

And I’m not down on the fire fighters.  They’re good guys, for  the most part.

One of them even quietly thanked me for standing up to this creep.

And, no, racism wasn’t involved in this–I am white, the fire fighter and all of the police man were white.  It’s a civil rights issue,  for sure.

Buying our destiny…

…or selling our destiny…depending on your point of view.  Naomi Klein was on DN! today, talking about climate change and our need to change the things we value in order to save the planet.

Perhaps it would be better stated to save ourselves…the planet will survive, i.e., after the humans and animals and plant life are dead from toxicity, the planet will re-emerge clean…like a phoenix rising up from the ashes.

Klein makes a point that the Green movement has been co-opted by the very targets they were fighting against.  Sadly, she states that The Nature Conservancy has been drilling.  Incredible!  Back in the day, it was one of the organizations I donated to.  That and Sierra Club, but when I found that Sierra was “partnering” with Clorox bleach…yeah, I stopped supporting them even before my life took its downturn.

She mentions the indigenous taking on the big corporations –asserting land rights.  You might recall about a year ago, with the natives of Canada protesting fracking exploration on their lands–

My posts on the events:

October 20th.   October 22nd.   November 4.   November 8.  November 24.   December 1.   December 15.

Klein asserts that those who stand to lose the most from the change in what we value–solar over oil, coal, and nuclear energy–are fighting a dirty war with the help of politicians and others who are bought and paid for.

They don’t care what ill health effects are created by the toxic environment.  It’s just mindboggling how they think that their pollution is not going to affect them–do they think they live in a bubble, immune from what happens around them?

An example–the pollen counts have been high here lately, so I haven’t been outside to jog.  I went yesterday morning, and then had problems with deep coughing.  I haven’t really had that deep coughing in awhile.  There has to be a connection.  Not only to the “normal” pollution, but from chemtrails, aka bioengineering–as I saw several trails in the sky to the East of me.  They have been spraying them above the clouds so it’s harder to see them, but they’re there.

I saw these from twenty miles away, Sunday:

chemtrails.9.14.2014

Just recently, Joe Donnelly, Dan Coats, and Jackie Walorski, Indiana politicians, have come out against EPA regulations.  The local radio station is airing commercials (surely paid for by those in the industry) stating that the EPA is a threat.  I kid you not.

Joe Donnelly here and here.

Dan Coats here–from an “EPA abuse” website, most likely being supported by the coal industry;  and here and here–this extension period was needed so they could flood the airwaves with the commercials I’m now hearing….

Notice the “job-killing” tactic–classic playbook.  Why doesn’t Sen. Coats tout renewable energy jobs that would be created if we stopped supporting the dirty coal industry?

Jackie Walorski here:  jackiewalorski.com/walorski-farm-bureau-take-aim-epa/

And here–a big thank you from the Farm Bureau. Pfft.

Note the scare tactics of “big government” and “regulating every faucet”….

Farmers need to realize their part in polluting the water.  And they need to be given some incentive for going organic, and not using chemicals in food production.  Where is the money for that?

Our water flows into the Ohio, which flows into the Mississippi, which flows into the Gulf.  It has been noted that Indiana is one of the biggest polluters (17 million pounds of toxins into our waterways EVERY YEAR), and the coral and sea life are dying because of it.

All the while, mercury in Indiana waterways is ABOVE the standards set from the USGS website.

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Mercury contamination in water and fish throughout Indiana has routinely exceeded levels recommended to protect people and wildlife. About 1 in 8 fish samples tested statewide had mercury that exceeded the recommended safety limit for human consumption. The causes include mercury in the rain and mercury going down the drain, according to a recently released federal study.The most significant source of mercury to Indiana watersheds is fallout from the air. Much of the mercury in the air comes from human activity. In Indiana, coal-burning power plants emit more mercury to the air each year than any other human activity. In urban areas, wastewater discharge contributes a substantial portion of mercury to waterways.