• Attendance

    July 2012
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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

  • Subjects

  • Portfolio

Trackers Supplemental (The final one!)

So, not to beat the dead dog 20 times over, but just wanted to add the schedule of trackers in here. First of all…there was a handout of the schedule that we were neither told about or got. I know they will shrug this off as a no-big-deal communication mistake with those gimpy people, but we did ask EVERY DAY about schedules and were blown off every day. If the person we asked was not the right person who knew, I would think she could have said, “I don’t know, but X person will know.” The thing is, this stuff happens to Nik and I ALL THE TIME. Well, not quite to this degree, this is a little extreme in that we did ask repeatedly and were never even told of a handout. Usually we will get somewhere at some point with getting information. But often we are dismissed as unimportant to talk to or think about. I don’t think they have a policy meeting and say, “If disabled parents come in, blow them off.” I think it is more of the subtle, underlying bigotry that people don’t mean to have and don’t maybe even know they have where you are considered not as worthy as someone who is more like themselves. Obviously we could have gone to greater depths to pursue, but it is hard when you really don’t know what you don’t know or when or if you are being given different information than your average parent. And then the Aaron stuff happened and it was just hard to keep track of it all.  Ever since my deaf blind friend, Haben Girma talked about how the dorm cafeteria wouldn’t email her the menus (they were busy and they just forgot) until she threatened them with a law suit and then suddenly they remembered all the time, I think…hell yeah, This IS a big deal and you aren’t going to blow me off. I deserve the same information access as everyone else. I don’t let them get away with it anymore.

But anyway…check this shit out: Below is the schedule I got after the fact. I have learned two things. One, I know that martial arts is not what I think it is. I actually learned this from talking to those Duellatorium whateverium guys at OHEN last week. martial arts are the art of war (big duh! now that I look at the actual wording.) And martial arts can include the so-called Western Martial Arts, which is stuff like swords, machetes, cannons, really, anything. We aren’t talking about any old self-defense holds and bowing at the dojo and shit. When they say martial arts at Trackers, they are talking about the skills of warfare. I say this, because the words “martial arts” were the big words I misinterpreted very badly in the original description of the camp. The other thing I learned, is when you read a cute little description of camp or class…don’t think it is just a metaphor. If it doesn’t describe what they are actually going to do, and the skills they are actually going to teach, ask and find out before signing up. Assume nothing. What is on the schedule is completely and totally not what I expected. And not anything close to what I gathered after reading the course description. Someone on the other blog said it was a bait  and switch. And I would not go that far. I wouldn’t say they lied, but they do present things a certain way that is not quite as it seems and leaves a lot open for interpretation. There were virtually NO outdoor/naturalist skills in this camp. It is war skills just set outside.  Wow! Do I feel dumb when I see what I set my kids up for. So NOT what I had planned.

Secret Agent AcademyMonday: Scout Pit for Cadet Orientation, Three Creeks Park (15 mins) in Northern
Clackamas for Stealth & Evasion training.
(25 Minutes Transit)Tuesday: Mt. Tabor Park (20 mins) awareness and teamwork exercises, kid’s
self-defense and martial arts, foam weaponry rotationsWednesday: Group A (half of school) remains at the Scout Pit, knife/
shuriken throwing, laser mazes, cryptography climbing and
rappelling.Group B (other half of class) Goes to Mary S. Young (25 mins) park for more
Stealth and Evasion, improv theater, foreign languages.  (30 Minutes Transit)

Thursday Group B remains at the Scout Pit, knife/shuriken
throwing, laser mazes and cryptography, climbing and rappelling.

Group A goes to Kelley Point Park (30 mins) park for more
Stealth and Evasion, blowgun target practice, improv theater, foreign
languages.

Friday: Mary S Young Park (25 mins) for Spy Games, with foam knife training, tug
of love (tug of war), stealth obstacle course, cooperative foam battles with
two-person teams.

Finally, just as a last chuckle about the whole thing, they do this sort of stuff under blindfold, which I find kind of funny. Somewhere I read that in a certain apprenticeship they have you blindfold for a day. In parenthesis it says, “get assistance, don’t die or get hurt.” Of all the other things they have them do, this is the only one that says don’t die. It struck me funny. I think it is supposed to be some kind of like…get in touch with your other senses thing, or just to build character to see if you can do it thing or both. First of all, disabled people have been fighting against disability simulations for fucking decades. Because they usually just manage to scare people or show them how awful it is or what you can’t do and is a net negative when it comes to disability human rights. I personally and many others have walked out of speakers panels when dis sims are done. You can talk about capacities for employment whatever for an hour and then have people put blindfolds on and everything you said and more goes out the window and you completely lose them.  Disability takes SKILL, KNOW HOW and TRAINING to be good at it. You cannot just try it on, and you can’t learn too terribly much in a day. I have spent weeks and months in training with blindfold and earplugs in, and so have many others who have learned the skills of disability. So, they can do their day and get what they get out of it, I don’t really care. But it just made me think how I felt intimidated around the Trackers people because  I don’t have their skills. And I don’t, for sure. But I have tons of skills that deal with “character building” and facing your fears or whatever, finding your other senses if you want to call it that. I have my own skill set s that they don’t have. I have my own set of facing my fears and courage they can’t get. (And they ain’t doing what SHE did.)  And with that, I will leave you all with my blind husband jumping out of a tree he just climbed. It would be  kind of fun to bring Trackers people to OUR kind of training. (Actually, I think they would probably do very well in many ways. But it might net us all some mutual respect for each others skill sets.)

Eh, I’m not making a big point here with this pic or anything, I just like it and my partner rocks. He is way more than meets the eye.

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