Monday, March 30, 2009

The Bar of Expectation

If you've got something to write, then write it! If you have something to say, say it! If you see something that needs done or something that needs changed, do it! Change it!
However, always remember to be treating those around you the way you want to be treated.

This past weekend (March 28-29) brought loads of excitement, learning, challenge and an inadequate amount of sleep. The Leadership Institute hosted two days worth of lectures. They called the weekend "Leadership Institute Political Boot camp."

Everything from how to wear a name tag correctly to exciting projects to put together for your campaign volunteers was discussed.

What I found to be the most interesting aspect of the boot camp, though, was how the TeenPact students and the other students (college student or other high school students) interacted with one another and how different the were from each other. There was a marked difference.

A slight disclaimer, before I continue writing and you continue reading:
I strongly recommend you send any high school-college aged students in your household to a Leadership Institute event. They are very informative, you learn and grow a lot, and basics on running a part of a campaign (and some not-so-basics on running a part of a campaign). LI (Leadership Institute) teaches the mechanics of politics, plus (during the boot camps) they give students LOTS of excellent books! :) (always a bonus for home schoolers and other interesting in researching and getting involved in politics)

All that to say, I was shocked at the marked difference between TeenPact students (current or former) and the other students in the classroom.

At the beginning of boot camp Derin (LI program director) informed the students to take "as many notes as possible" during each lectures. There were two notably different reactions by the students already. There was the "ah, yes. Notes, no problem." reaction and the "As many notes as possible?!! Oh my gosh.. I cannot leave one word from the slides out of my note book!!" The latter reaction came mainly from the home school students (we can, after all, be an oddly compulsive group of people). But the second, more noticeable difference were the interactions with the students and the speakers (which only accentuated my respect for TeenPact professionalism). The first guest speaker had just completed his dynamic speech and, obviously, an applause was in order. Every student applauded, by the TeenPacters looked around the room, expectantly for the other students to give a standing ovation, as they had... and they did.
Upon the completion of the second speaker though, the TeenPacters tuned into the difference in speaker protocol and did not stand but merely applauded.

Fascinatingly enough the TeenPact students either ate with one another or ate with their parent - not necessarily with the other students. Talk about segregation! (Speaking as a TeenPact student) We knew the protocol and the expectations of the other TP students and this was a different group of people with different motives behind their desire getting politically involved... with different moral standards.

I fully support the Leadership Institute and will continue looking for, and when the opportunity arrives, attend their events. But, honestly, after this weekend I don't see myself getting any more involved with politics outside of volunteering. Some politics are ugly, and it appears to be a dog-eats-dog system. C'mon, I would have a guilt complex just thinking about publishing extremely negative information about my opponent! Does this mean I won't think critically or get involved? Absolutely not. Analyzing can be a shear pleasure and I enjoy writing (as you see). Research is a hobby of mind as is photography, attending political events, making connections with people in higher office than myself (which doesn't take a whole lot since I'm only a student), and learning gas much about leadership and standing up for my beliefs (based on a Biblical standard) as I can.

I will stay involved, I will use my voice, I will take action... But I will also do my best to be above reproach, go above and beyond and raise the bar of expectation.
Will you do the same?

For more information on sending your high school student to a TeenPact school or Leadership Institute event please visit their web sites:

For more conservative political resources visit:

Many internship programs are involved for students who wants to get involved

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Warmth for Winter

* Burnt-orange nail polish
*feather-down, fleece-lined blanket
*Hot "English Breakfast" tea, if a tsp. of whipped honey
*Pictures of tropical islands
*knitted scarf
*An adorable puppy to sit on your lap
*blazing fire
* Basic Message Oil
6 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
8 srops of essential/ fragerance oil of your choice
Blend the two together, well. Warm up the oil before using - make sure to message between your fingers and your cuticals.
.... any questions?