I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 335 - Thinking Day

Daily Kup (My Life Thinking Globally)
Princess Potatohead and I, with our Daisy troop, spent the afternoon at a local church at a World Thinking Day art fair. Thinking Day is a Scouting event celebrated in the 144 countries of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). It traditionally takes place on February 22nd, the joint birthdays of Scout Movement founders Lord Robert and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, an early twenty century British couple who never forgot each other's birthdays. Like so many of my relatives, Robert and Olave got a belated celebration since their birthday did not happen to fall on a weekend this year.

Thinking Day was created in 1926 for the purpose of reminding Scouts and Guides everywhere of their global connection to each other. In later years, WAGGGS established a theme for each year's celebration, most recently based on the UN Millennial Development Goals (MDG).

This year's theme was 'empowering girls to change the world', a monumental goal for the future of humanity but difficult to translate into action for five- and six-year-olds who much prefer balloon animals and face painting.

Thinking Day when I was a Brownie and Junior (when we stuck out feet out the bottom of the car to make it go) consisted of each troop choosing a world country and setting up a booth with a snack or art activity. Forty years later, the observance of Thinking Day consists of each troop choosing a world country and setting up a booth with a snack or art activity.

Brownies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
When I was a Brownie Scout in about 1966, the only countries in the world that we knew about in Northern New York were in Europe. These were the only countries in our social studies books. Our history books talked about Egypt and Carthage but forgot to mention that these places were in Africa. We were told that there were spices in India but I don't think the topic would have come up except for the mythology about Columbus taking a wrong turn.

My troop leaders must have shown up late for the leader meeting after all the "good countries" (that is, the European countries that we knew something about) were already selected by other troops. We were given a little country that people where starting to hear about on the news -- South Vietnam.

In 1966, American was not the innocent place that it had been before the assassination of the President three years before, but was still a few years away from the deaths of Bobby and Martin and the protests that would change the public discourse permanently.

My troop leaders dutifully helped us to envision South Vietnam as a terrific place full of rice paddies and Girl Scouts. We could use what we knew about France, a "real" country that was in our social studies books, because we were told that there were French people in Vietnam helping out the Vietnamese. We made conical hats out of butcher paper as our costumes and called them "coolie" hats because that was not yet a derogatory term since it was in our history books in the chapter about building the American railroads. The yellow flag with three closely-spaced horizontal red stripes through the middle took shape from poster paper and tempura paints. We practiced our performance for the presentation: crouching in our pretend rice paddies wearing our hats and being jealous of the troop that got Germany with their fake lederhosen.

Cringe. Good times.

Thinking Day for Adults
Couldn't we all benefit from a true Thinking Day? One dedicated to, well, thinking? Jay Leno, not exactly an intellectual, was nonetheless spot on when he famously asked Hugh Grant, "What the hell were you thinking?"

We each have our own lists of public figures to whom that could just as well be addressed, though I'm betting that Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan appear on 80% of those lists.

In fact, it's probably just what my mother — never one to mince words — said when she saw me in my pointed hat kneeling in the fake rice paddy.


Brother Phil said...

Mom, never one to mince words? I truly had to think about that.

Burning Khrome said...

One definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary for mince is "to damage by cutting up." I think we can all agree that this is a genetic trait of our particular tribe, the original prototypes for the X-men's Wolverine.

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