Day four

This morning I was able to wake up later than usual. Breakfast was really good, the pound cake was excellent. We later went to National Geographic and listened to several speakers. Lunch was here as well and was somewhat confusing in its set up but we managed. The group then traveled to the Arlington campus to do our simulation of a court case, eat, and meet more speakers. I met Forrest Pritchard who is a hilarious farmer as well as Lois Marie Gibbs who happens to be one of my favorite role models.

Day three

So today was our field visit day and I had elected to travel to Mount Vernon. We were given a private tour and were able to see a side of the property that I had known existed but had not seen on my previous visit. I was given unique perspectives on the house and was very well entertained by a “Scott” from Alaska who played James Anderson.  We later traveled a short distance to Arcadia Farms to see how they produce their food at a level far above the current organic certifications. These people called it sustainable organic farming and anyone can do it, even with a small garden.

I have to complain a bit here though. From the start of this program it has been very disorganized and I am very unhappy with the lack of reliable information and the general disrespect shown to the students who are only mere years younger than themselves. I want to emphasize here that this is most certainly not always the case and is not true of all the advisors. Some are very kind and caring. Originally, I didn’t mind the lack of organization too much, we’re a large group of kids some slip ups can be expected. However, when this was still going on the second day it was a little ridiculous that they were still that disorganized. We were told so many different things about the time of breakfast alone that we didn’t know what to do. One of the advisors told his group that the people going on the early departing trips wouldn’t get breakfast because it wouldn’t be open yet, even though we had guaranteed three meals a day with the exception of two lunches that we were told of before we came to the conference. This I could tolerate. I could handle the lack of soap in the bathroom. I could handle only having one roll of toilet paper between four girls. I couldn’t after today.

We ran out of toilet paper this morning. Not a big deal, just ask an advisor. So after we came back from our field visits we had an hour to ourselves to do whatever. One of my roommates called the counselors who were there to help us if we needed it. She asked them what to do since we ran out of toilet paper. The counselor told us that we would have to go to this building and go to the front desk and ask. When the girl asked her where this building was she simply told her it was the next building down from ours. I volunteered to go check it out and get the toilet paper. It’s a good thing there are signs because I wouldn’t have found it otherwise. So I go to the door and the guy in the window won’t let me in, my keycard doesn’t work, and the door is locked. I go back to my room thoroughly irritated at having to walk up five flights of stairs again, even though that was my own choice (there is an elevator but its very slow). When I get up to the room I decide to call the other guy counselor.

I was polite and explained that we didn’t have toilet paper. He asked me what room we were in and I thought that maybe he would send someone to us. I was very delusional. He told me to go to the same place I had just been. I tried to explain that I had done that and had gotten no response and as I was explaining he ignored me and handed me to the girl counselor. She then proceeded to cut me off and say the same speech that I’d already received. To which I said NO I have already done this and no one came there. She then told me that I would have to stand at the window and wait for someone to come and let me in… what? You are telling me that I don’t have access to a very important resource not to mention the fact that you were rude and are treating me as if I was five? Out of a desire to remain as professional as possible I said okay thank you and hung up.

The girls in my room had heard the whole thing and were just as shocked and upset as I was. So I decided to try again. Thank goodness that on my way down I bumped into my head advisor. I asked her if she could help me and she was more than willing to walk me all the way down and back to make sure I got what I needed. She was just as confused as us as to the lack of such an important resource. I thank and praise her for being as kind and helpful as she was as it helped me to calm down. To be clear: I am NOT inferior just because I am younger, just because you are older or are in charge does NOT mean you can treat me with disrespect and as though I am beneath you. To say I am pissed is an understatement.