Thursday, August 17, 2006

NYC at 16

I was reading on someone else's blog (I'm sorry I don't remember whose, I read so many!) and she was talking about reading aloud from your personal diary as a teenager. Well, I don't have any of those (thank god) but I have something close...I think I've mentioned it before, I spent my 16th birthday (and a lot of that summer) doing manual labour in a boot-camp type place in Oregon. I've just found the '1998 Crew Journal' that the Northwest Youth Corps sent out afterwards, with a collection of photos and journal entries, along with a copy of a news article that was printed in which *I* was interviewed for. I'd completely forgotten about it, but I thought it gives a small glimpse of me as a teenager... Here are the main bits, try not to make fun of me TOO much:

From the newspaper article:
(blah, blah, blah about our crew coming to this island infested with goats and scotch broom. Basically we're trying to rid the island of these bad bush-like plants that have taken over)
'The simplest thing, like popping a root up out of the ground, makes you feel great,' crew member Michelle R---- says, almost blissfully, on her 16th birthday. 'Once we get this field done, we're really going to feel great about ourselves.'
R----, who will be a junior in high school this fall, says she initially resisted her father's suggestion of a one-month Youth Corps stint as a summer project. But after the first couple days, she was a convert.
'It's back-breaking work and it's tough, but we've got to get it done, and the self-esteem when we're done is just going to be great,' she says. 'A lot of adults, I know, wouldn't be able to do this because it really is hard work. But it's satisfying too.' (blah, blah, blah about the projects they have planned, they interviewed another of my crew members, my team leader, blah, blah, blah. Then they bring it back to the goats, who stole our cheese sandwiches one day and everyone finds them amusing, cue me:) 'They are (entertaining, I mean)' says R----, the birthday crew member. 'But the novelty wears off every once in awhile.' The End. Wasn't I a dork? BLISSFULLY?! Was I trying to be funny in that last quote?

Here are some of the things I wrote in our crew journal. They had specific topics and questions we had to answer, but they didn't list all of the questions, so it sounds a little weird.

For the last week, Orange crew is working in the West Eugene Wetlands trying to restore its natural habitat of a wetland prairie. We're trying to accomplish this by ridding it of foreign and invader species like: thistle, tansy ragwort, and pear trees. Oh dear god. Dork, dork, dork.

My three favourite NYC Experiences were... Swimming after a long, hot day. Working, meeting wonderful friends and hanging out with them at weekend sites. My favourite experience was WORKING?

The rest is just too embarassing. I go on about how I've learned so much from my time there, that I'd never really WORKED before, that I'll never forget the friends I'd met. Honestly, I had to look at the names of my other crew members and then squint at the grainy black and white photo they had printed and see if ANY of the names could be connected with faces. Two of my crew members DID go to my same high school, but it's not like we hung out or anything. Shame I can't post the horrible photo.


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