Thursday, July 24, 2008


Only a day left as I continue to blog. There is not much to say for the morning. We only practiced our speeches for tomorrow. Now we have to prepare for the actual presentation! I felt that I did better than last time, but I feel that it still needs some work

In the afternoon though, now there we had a lot of action! We had a self-defence workshop and we also got some information on tribal leadership. This was presented by Michelle Nuey, manager of special services and also a member of Mashpee Wampanoag. Within their tribe group, Michelle leads their traditional dance and she basically tells us about how a leader has to guide the whole pack in one direction or else it would be chaos!
Then came the fun part! We leaned the basic self defence posture and also a couple of self defence moves! The fact that you should not panic and aim for the vulnerable spots was stressed. Also, for every time we "strike" we had to cry out "NO!" This is a basic thing to do because it can cause confusion to the opposing person, or it can aware others of your presence. It was truly so fun and I am super happy to have been able to learn from Michelle. This is definitely something I will never forget and I will make sure to teach my siblings too!

Then we had our last community time. Everyone made a circle and we praised someone for why they were a leader. Then the next activity was everyone stood in a circle facing away from each other with their eyes closed. The RA's picked out a couple of people each time and then asked questions. If the question applied to someone they knew in the circle, they would tap them. The feeling of being tapped was truly uplifting. It gave you a very warm feeling and it made me smile a lot. I think I will leave very happy!

1 comment:

dongosney said...

Jessica⎯I’ve tried to be as supportive as I could be throughout this whole process but the thought of having a half dozen enlightened and empowered young women returning to my community armed with self defense skills that can easily be turned into offensive weapons has me just a little bit concerned.

Back in the mid ‘70’s when the kung-fu movie craze was all the rage I was working at a Jack-in-the-Box right next to Vallejo’s only movie theater. Every Friday and Saturday night the theater was packed with young people checking out the latest martial arts movie and learning all of the slick moves of the masters. Several times during each showing, some of these youths would jump out and practice their moves in the aisles or even up on stage. Some of them would bring in nun chuck sticks to show their prowess to their friends. I have to say, Jessica, that these movies were a boon for the ambulance people, as these young people would hurt each other or, more often than not, themselves and require a quick trip to the hospital.

Now I fear that we’ll have a resurgence of those times now that the six of you have been taught these skills.

I’m a man of peace and would never try to hurt someone else⎯especially a young woman⎯but we read all the time how it’s rarely the intended victim that goes to the hospital. All too often it’s the innocent bystander and that sounds like me.

When you return home, you all need to promise that you’ll practice restraint. Practice those leadership skills and save the self-defense stuff for when it’s really needed.