Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If I Have to Tell You One More Time.... Book Quotes

If I Have to Tell You One More Time....
Amy McCreedy


  • Empowerment Paradigm
    • Can't control others, but can control themselves and environment
  • Control the environment
    • Kids (and adults) need a private space, that others are allowed only by invitation
    • It addition, common spaces need to be allocated
    • House Rules
      • When I choose to play in a common area, I am choosing to invite my siblings to play with me. If I want to play alone, I can play in my room / private space
      • When I choose to leave my things in a common area, I am sharing them with my siblings. If I don't want my siblings to play with them, I need to keep them in my room / private space
      • Play fighting is allowed only by mutual consent. In the case of this rule, you'll need to develop some family-recognized word or phrase that everyone must respect, such as "Stop now", to put an immediate end to the roughhousing when one child is done (or getting hurt). Role play this several times with each child. 
  • Decide what you will do
    • Emphasize that there is no argument or fight without two participants
    • Each person has the choice to stay and fight or ignore and walk away
    • Role play respectful "open hand" requests versus taking back
  • All in the Same Boat
    • Unilateral consequence that affects all
    • A flight between siblings ALWAYS CONSTITUTES MISBEHAVIOR
    • Remain calm and indifferent to the the two sides of the argument
    • Do not pass judgement or declare a right / wrong
    • Refuse to listen to whining - deliver the consequence if a resolution can't be made and walk away
  • Family Meetings
    • Ground Rules
      • Commit to the meeting weekly
      • Don't bring a problem unless you come prepared with 1 or 2 possible solutions
      • Decisions require consensus, not a vote
      • Live with decisions for a week
      • Everyone has a job
      • Remember the fun
    • Pitfalls
      • Tackling too much too soon
      • Parents take over
      • Too many agenda items
      • Straying too far agenda
      • Too much business, not enough fun
      • One person dominates the discussion
      • It turns into a gripe session
      • Going to long
      • Parents solve all of the problems
      • Families only meet when there is a problem

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Understanding Sibling Rivalry - Book Quotes

Understanding Sibling Rivalry: The Brazelton Way
Berry Brazelton, Joshua Sparrow

Here are some quotes and passages from the book that I want to record:

To an active older child, you might say "You could have hurt him, I doubt that you'd feel good about that." To a quiet but provocative younger one: "Your teasing made her angry. That may be why she got after you." And to both: "You need to take care of this yourselves. But until you can stop hurting each other, I'll have to stop you. Let me know when you feel ready to play together again -- without clobbering each other!"


To the older child, a parent might say, "I know it's tough to have your little brother interfering all the time, but you can tell her to stop, or take your toys into  your room and shut the door. You don't have to hit." To the younger child, a parent might say, "I know you want to play with her so badly. But when she tells you she won't, you're going to have to learn to listen.

"Fairness does not mean the same thing for everyone, but the right thing for each of you. Fairness means doing what I have to do to help each of you learn your lesson. If you learn quickly, I don't need to use time outs or punishments." Fairness means the same rules, but may not mean the same discipline for each child.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dance Competitions of yesteryear

So when I was in college, I wrote emails home about my dance competitions. For the most part, my mom is the only one who read them. I've been wanting to post them, for what it is worth to my friends and fellow competitors of the time.

Hopefully it provides some nostalgia or entertainment.

Please note, that this contains personal references, opinions, and other information. Also recognize that these were written 15+ years ago. Disclaimers apply.

Harvard Competition - Feb 1994


This weekend was AWESOME, as in any off campus weekend with the ballroom family!!!! okay... the whole story:
Background:
Pat & Pam - dancing over a year
Me & Tonya - dancing about 5 months
Angie & Bill - dancing about 2 weeks :)

Fri: Inhaled my lunch so that we could leave be noon. Left at 12:15 - not bad group dynamics..if I do say so myself. The way down was lots of little small talk and sleeping. It was a gorgeous sunset! It was great we were travling uphill from aoubt 5 to 7. The sun just never set. It stayed about halfway down for about 1/2 and hour. And with all the hills and snow. It was beautiful. It was also really neat to see the rivers frozen over with snow on them. The whole drive took us a little longer then 11.5 hours. Pat got a speeding ticket about 10 minutes into New York. He was going 80 in a 55, but the cop gave him 70... He was kinda bummed about it the whole trip. It was his first ticket. The cop was funny though. He said, "What if this car rolled at this speed, what would your buddies look like if that happened. That's why we carry snow shovels...so we can scrape  people like you off the ground". It was hard to keep from laughing. Ate at burger King on the way there.

Boston has got to be the worst place to drive. People just park wherever they want. Next to a curb...in the street. wherever...This makes the roads extremely narrow. Not that this slows anybody down. People are passing each other inches apart going 30. Pedestrians.. they just go when ever they want. Red light, green light, middle of the street, if cars are going at them. Tehy don't care. SO we get to MIT, that is where Pat's friend, melissa, and Steve Hardt are. We had to pass their dorm like 4 times because of all the damn one way streets. It took us about 40 minutes after the inital pass to get there.

We met up with Melissa first,b/c Steve wasn't there. She was really cool. MIT is a very open place. They have co-ed bathrooms. Then we went one floor up to look at the Elvis Shrine that they had set up. About  7 people were smoking dope in the hallway. They weren't even trying to hide it... there was a big ol' bong there.  So after that, I taught one of Melissa's friends to Waltz. Then we went over to Steve's. He was watching Beavis & butthead, of course. We got ready for bed and slept on the floor. I'd forgotten how uncomfortable that was. I was using my nice nylon jacket as a pillow. That was a mistake. Nylon is loud when moved! Everytime I moved, I woke up. Plus, I was sleeping next to Steve's bed... he had one of those fake hands sking out from it. Well sometime in the night, my jacket came untucked and was touching the hand. Everytime Steve moved, it would rub the jacket and I'd wake up. Now you are probably saying well way didn't you just move the jacket. Well I w as tired and having a hard time falling asleep, the less movement I made the more likely I was to sleep. Plus, Angie kept kicking me in the head. We were sleeping in a 2 by 2 kinda arrangement. Now in the morning, Steve's alarm is REALLY LOUD. Bill was the closest to the alarm, but it took him a while to figure that out. Then we are yelling at him directions about how to turn the alarm off. We all dress up and head toward the comp.

It was so funny when we got there. We didn't know where the ballroom was, so we asked people. Nobody knew. People don't even know there own campus. So, we get there. It is in this BEAUtiful hall.. Just what I expected Harvard to be. Stained glass windows and ancient portraits of no-name people. The floor however was also ancient. It had lots of holes and ruts and stuff. Pam nearly had a heart attack after seeing the floor. Then to "help" matters, they added sprinkled wax on the floor because it was too slick. It is going to take us so long to get that shit out of our shoes. We danced swing,foxtrot, waltz, chacha,jive. We won 4th (out of four) on international foxtrot. But even more impressive was we made it to semifinals in American Foxtrot. Funniest thing is that I still dislike the fox trot.  My Latin outfit fits great. My tux needs a little work. I've grown in the chest and shrunk in the waist. If there was a dance that I had to cross my arms, I would have been screwed. And my pants were so annoyingly lose. Needless to say that dancing only a couple of times, then sitting through student syllabus, adult syllabus, senior open rounds... it got to be a very long day. Besides that I'd barely eaten anything. I had a bagel for breakfast at 7:45. Then we had peanut butter and jelly (just one) for lunch. With that much food, I'd didn't even know that I'd eaten. I can totally see Pam as a mother. Just hte way she made the PB&J . She laid out two rows of 6 peices of bread. On one of the rows was a long spread of peanut butter. On the other, a long spread of jelly. Then with lighting fast blackjack-dealer hands she put the peices together. I don't know... it looked very Momish.

We met this incredible lady there. Her name is Kay Teague. She is the collegiate ballroom network coordinator. She is the nicest lady. Other then all the official stuff, she gets adults to donate there outgrown or old clothing, then she will give them to college kids. It was the neatest thing. We were sitting there talking, she looks at Angie's feet and notices that she doesn't have dance shoes on. She asks "what size do you wear?" Angie said 6.5. Kay Teague (everyone calls her this, first and last name... I don't know way...kinda like micheal J Fox) said Perfect, and took off the shoes that she was wearing. She told Angie that if she wore them today... they were hers. These were almost $120 shoes. Taht was SO cool!

Pat and Pam got a 7th,6th,6th, and 3rd. So they did very well also. I can see Pat doing this all his life. He probably won;t go pro, but I can totally see him charming the lady's at a dance. He is very smooth, and has great presence on the floor. I can just see him in the future at some very snazzy place just waltz from one girl to another. IT also helps that the girls think that he is VERY cute.

We left the comp during the team dances b/c we were all so exhausted. We missed out on the fun dances like the polka, hustle, and merengue. but those were after the team and that was like another 1.5 hours just sitting there. We were BEAT, so we left. So I changed back into my Latin outfit ( from my non-fitting tux) to go to dinner. We went to Atlantic Seafood bar or something like that. It was very good. But also very annoying. Here I am STARVING. So I order a fairly big meal, which I promptly inhale. The others order moderate meals and then they get full about 1/2 through. Like I can't eat another bite full. I'm like I could order about 4 more entree's without a problem at all. But oh well... I was still very tired at dinner but everyone else (esp Pam) was very hyper.... Now i'm not sure... This is just my hypothesis, but I think it was the clothes that I was wearing. B/c when I got back I changed into my normal clothes, and shortly afterwards I became hyper again. My Latin outfit is so dark. Ject black shirt, belt, pants, socks, dance shoes ( well not at the resturant, but still) The only colored part was the silver belt buckle.  When I put on my bright green shirt and my blue jeans, I had just as much energy as Pam. Now pam, wasn't just filled with energy, she was leaking...

So after dinner, I called Harvard Smart people. I could only get in touch with Scott Greenburg (was going out with Bethany). Steve, Scott, us six, and 5 of Angie's harvard friends tried going clubbing. One club wouldn't let us in b/c we were wering tennis shoes, and the other had over an hour wait. So we just ended up riding the T around (that's there public transportation thingy). After that we walked along the frozen river and took a walking tour of MIT. Then we skipped down this "infinite hallway at MIT" after that got a bite to eat at the 24 hour coffee house and then we pretty much went to our separate rooms. This time I used the air mattress as a pillow for three people.... much better.

Left this morning about 7:30 and arrived here about 7:30, with two stops for food.

But we had such great bonding on this trip. Pam is such a character. She
is so blunt. We are driving back, and she says "I've got to piss so bad,
that if we don't stop NOW, we are going to have some serious odor
problems in this car." She and Pat and Bill were just heavily, joking
flirting the whole time. Like htey would seductivly lick their lips, or
she would suck the donut sugar off thier fingers. It was very amusing to
watch, actually kidna fun to participate in also. Pat and Pam started
Vwaltzing in the middle of the cafe to whatever song was playing in the
background. In the car, bill and Angie took turns at sleeping on each
other's lap. We would skip or sing or dance in the streets. At one point
in time, we were swinging to a song that we were singing as well. A
couple of cops passed us and gave us the funniest looks. Pam and Tanya
did a chinese fire drill at one of the stoplights (that is where you get
out and run around the car to switch seats with another person at red
lights) Bill and Angie were trying to do lifts, Pat said that is not the
way to get the girl off the ground... upon which Pam jumped up and
wrapped her legs around his waist, then they proceded to do a very
lambadaish kidna dance. This was in the middle of the street so you
know.  It was just so much fun!!!!!

I'm kinda disappointed in my SMART friends. They knew I was coming for a
while, but still none of them were around Sat night.

I had SOSOOOSOSOSOOO MUCH FUN! There is no way that I'll be able to work
tonight at all. No desire....engery is fading fast.

Carnegie Mellon Competition - Feb 1994


This weekend was a lot of fun. Exhausting and painful.... but  a lot of fun. I haven't been this exhausted since orientation.

Fri
I started practicing at about 4:30. But Tanya didn't show up so that made it a little hard to practice. Then we started setting up around 6. It was kinda like orientation, but not as fun. It was like orientation in that we were moving and setting up chairs and tables. See for orientation, we would unstack the chairs and push them really hard across the floor to their final desination where somebody else would put them in their proper place. They didn't happen to like that on Fri. Plus the people in charge were VERY stressed. Several things were going wrong. Like the variable speed tape deck we were supposed to have, never got bought and several things like that. Then around 9, I went to the other room where we were throwing a welcome party. No one showed up till about 10. So I just practiced. At the party we had total of 4 people. Talk about happening! Then we danced a little in the ballroom after the decorations were set. Oh... a couple came in from Illinios. The girl was dancing several dances with a friend of hers who goes to Pitt, so we were trying to set up the guy with a girl to dance these dances with. One of the competitors was a girl from Chatham, who I'm pretty good friends with. We called up her roomate, who I'm also good friends with, and persuaded her that she wanted to compete. So she came down and practiced a little with him. I went to bed that night by about 1. This was the 4th time this year that I've gone to bed before Chad.

Sat.
I woke up at 6:30 to be at the ballroom by 7:30. When I got to skibo... all the doors were Locked. so that was annoying standing outside in the cold waiting for a janitor type person to let me in. The we inflated ballons for 2 hours. Can I tell you how much that hurts your fingers. So many ballons. Plus my shoes have treds... so I'm trying to hold the extra balloons by stepping on the string.... I lost so many balloons... (Oh... I just want to say that if this letter is incoherent that is b/c I've had LOTS of EXERCISE and LITTLE SLEEP... but I'm getting to that). Oh, Pat told me Fri night that the place that he took my latin outfit to get cleaned, closed before he could get there Fri, and was closed on Sat. It wasn't a problem... I just wore a white shirt nad tux pants. So after the balloons, a changed into the tux. I wanted to wear the suspendeders b/c the tux was loose in Harvard. Unfortunately there were no attachment buttons, so the the suspenderes got pinned to the pants. I was lucky, the ballroom was cold, so I was able to comfortablly wear the jacket to (well at least until I started dancing when I got hot) There were not all that many people there. A couple from Illinios and about 6 people from Ohio state. We had a BUNCH of people... I'm not sure how many from CMU. The first thing that I danced was Rookie/vet smooth. I danced it with Julie, one of the team members. We got 3rd in Waltz,4th in American Foxtrot. Then I danced beginner with Tanya. We got 5th Quickstep, 3rd Am Fox, 2nd Int Waltz, 3rd Int Fox. My smooths felt AWESOME. There is just one thing that I was not happy with.... My smile. I concentrating so hard on everything else... the smile was the last thing on my mind. People actually told me that I looked mean. Me?!... look mean?! The only bad thing about the way that the comp was set up was that you danced in spurts. And if you happen to make it to finals these spurts were really long. Like you would do all initial smooth, then semi-finalists, then finalists... right in a row. By the end you are REAL tired. It wasn't as bad in smooth... but after latin... whooo.

Then for latin... I felt totally off the whole time. For Rookie/Vet, I had Julie count for me just to make sure I got the beat :) We got 7th. Then Tanya and I got 2nd in Cha,jive,and rumba and 3rd in swing and samba.  It was funny.. at one of the times I was talking with Pam... she goes. Drew, We REALLY need to work on your samba. Well I only had one lesson. It was still funny though. The rest of the comp was okay. The girl from Illini was fun to watch. She is an awesome dancer. Then we went to dinner. It was two cmu'ers, two illini, and teh whole ohio state team. We wanted to go to spagetti warehouse, but noone really know the way to get there, then we wanted to go to gullifty's, but they had a thirty minute wait. We ended going to Boston Chicken, a fast food chicken place. We had initially taken two cars, but we decided that it would be easier to leave one of them at Gullifty's. So we plied 9 people in a suburban. That was interesting. Then we came back. I changed into my "semi-formal" clothes. Which when I got there I found that it wasn't semi fomral enough. So I went back to change again. (BTW, if there are a lot of spelling errors in this section, it is b/c I'm slouched way down, eyes closed typing this). The dance party afterwards was fun!. There were actually more girls there then guys. That as cool. I was wearing the pumpkin long sleeve shirt thing. There was a girl there that had a blouse the exavt same color. It freaked everyone out when we danced together. It took me a while, she was kinda shy, and I had to ask her several times. She first gave me an excuse that the song was too slow (Rumba). I came back for a quickstep (she was eating). I finally caught her on a cha. She had fun. Then I caught her again on the rumba. The Open comp was AMAZING!!!! Esp the couple that competed Latin. HOLY COW! The quickstep couple was really good too! then we had a salsa comp. That was neat to watch. We also played musical merengue chairs. I didn't ven get close to winning, but it is very fun to watch people merengue cheat. Like when it was down to one chair and 3 couples. One couple came over the back of the chair,straddling the seat and merengueing. It was very funny to watch. The best part of the night though was whne they played a little bit of country. I two stepped with PAm. That was AWESOME b/c I hadn't done it in so long. But I definately have to learn something new, b/c I was bored with it again like the second time I double turned Pam.

After the partyt was over, the ballroom was stripped down SO FAST. It took like 5 hours to set it up and 1/2 hour to take down. Then, Tamara, one of the REALLY good ballroom dancer grad students was having a party. So I tagged along with Pat and Pam and Carol to go to the party. That 3was really neat. I never been to a grad student party. I met lots of grads and danced more. There was also LOTS of liquor. Pam of course got watsed. She is so funny when she is drunk. She and Danny (another Dancer) did body shots of tequila. Like put the salt on your neck and the lemon (or lime or whatever that fruit thing is) in your mouth. Then we danced and I talked a lot to Mech E grads. Val, our dance teacher, was there and drunk. You know how I said that she was kinda stand offish and not really helpful as a teacher.... well she is more more talkative drunk. She asked me if what I have is alepicia. So I said yes, and then she asked me since when. and I told her since 5. But since she was drunk she asked me the same querstion about every 4 minutes b/c she didn't remember. It was funny. I left there around 3:45 and went to bed around 4:30.

I woke up sun at 8:30 for the 9:30 workshops. The workshops were really cool. Tamara was threre, but she was kinda hungover (big surprise there) she said that Pam & PAt were alseep on her floor. The first workshop we worked on was the jive. I don't think I've been shown the proper way to juve before, I was just alwats told that it was a fast swing. Kinda but not quite. It has a lot more up and down then side to side. Then the next workshop of on smooth. Alot about backwards steps, like in the waltz turns and stuff. I was instructed on a way to totally improve my waltz. It seems that I was leading with my feet instead of my body. So I'll have to start working on that. The next workshop was Disco & West Coast. That was cool. =Disco is a lot of fun. We didn't get through that much West Coast though.
Just the basic. But we did lots of fun stuff for fisco. Then I learned Salsa and merengue. Boy my hips are going to be sore!!!! The last workshop was C&W and line dancing. That was okay. I learned to continous turns for two step.... but I don't really think that it was a function of the workshop... but from the fact that I'm a better dancer. I couldn't do the line dances b/c it hurt my ankle too much. I can't remember if I told you in this letter that I hurt my ankle. I'm not sure when, but at some time in the competition, I did something really funky to my ankle. It is the lower inner half of my left leg that really hurts. Especially for any side kidna streches. The things that hurt most are grapevines (line dance), latin crosses (cha & rhumba) and occasionally going up on my toes in Waltz. I don't notice it a whole lot when I'm dancing, usless I really catch it wrong. I notice most while walking. But especially when I stand up after sitting for a while. I'm going to Health Services tomorrow.

Then I took about 1.5 hour nap, and spent most of the rest of the day walking REALLY slowly between my dorm and the eating place. Then tonight we went to metropol, a normal dance club. It was fun to people watch, but It verified the fact that I don't like club dancing. The music really sucked and it was PAINFULLY load. The only really neat part was that for some reason a lot of CMU people were there .... I knew like 1/2 the dance floor. I don't see how anybody could meet anybody there . Even if you were a good "non-music" dancer and you were sexy. Noone cold tell. You cant hear a word a person shouting in your ear is saying. And most of the lights are off, except for the occasional stobe light. One of the cool things was that Tanya showed up there. I thought the was pretty weird... neat but weird.

Oh... Another funny thing. When Pam is cold and she runs....she looks just like Ozone running. The way she shakes her hear when she runns looks exactly like Oz.I found it amuzing.

Well I think that this letter is long enough. Let me know if I left anything out.

New York University Competition - Mar 1994


Hiya!

Comparing this weekend to all of the other comps, I would probably put it last in terms of fun.... But looking at it alone, it was ALOT of fun!

General infomation: The Group Dynamics of the trip really sucked

Main cast (ie stayed together through the end)
Danny "Mapman" Carlson, aka "Pappa Smurf"
Susan
Karen
John
Pam
Liz
Sam
Pete
Me

Extras (ie came and went throughout the trip)
Fei
Ajay
Johanna
Dave
Lena

Okay... Fri. We were planning on leaving at 5. We were ready by 5:30, but then Karen forgot something at her apartment and had to run back. Stupidly Dave, who was traveling in an independent car, drove her back to her apartment. This was stupid, b/c the people traveling in dave's car had planned on leaving at 3, they could have taken off at 5:00 if Dave didn't leave. Of course Fri, was freezing cold, so I ended up bringing my thick jacket... The rest of the weekend would have been served real well with my thin one. In my car was Danny, Susan, John, and Karen. We had two other cars with us, Liz, Pam, Sam, Pete and Fei & two of her friends who were traveling with us. We fell asleep for the first 1.5, while Liz's car was singing and goofing off. Then we stopped to eat at Big Boy's or something like that. After that we played cards until dark, then we told each other secrets/ stories. That night we stayed in Allentown at Fei's house.

This was lots of fun.. it seems that almost every night we segregated into grad and undergrad. The undergrad consisted of me,Pam,Liz,Sam,Pete, & Fei (but she slept in her own bed). We were all on the floor in the living room, while the grads were in another room. We were being really giggly and having fun... We played a drunk game (we were all sober) but it was funny. One person whould say... "Wanna buy a duck?" The next person would say "A What?". The first would say "A Duck."
 "A What?"
 "A Duck."
"Does it quack?"
"Of course it quacks"
Then the second person would ask the next person "Wanna buy a duck". The third says "A What?", the second says "A what?", the first says "A duck" ... etc
It was funny... Then Pam steamrolled us. Fei had left to drop off her friends, who lived in AllenTown. When she came back, her dad said something to her in Chinese, which we interpretted that it was time for us to go to bed. Later, just found out it was just "how was the drive" kinda stuff... But we went to bed anyways... It was really hard sleeping that night... I had the raft blown up to much and it was REALLY noisy. In the morning we had a group back massage b/c everyone was sore. We took showers and went to the grocery store to pick up muffins for breakfast. Pam & Fei & Sam went to Kmart to get socks for Sam (he forgot to pack them) and contact stuff for Karen (Who either forgot or ran out). Then when we got back, we waited until Karen was finished repacking till we left (Beginning of a theme). We left about 2 hours laters then we had initially planned.

We drove to the hotel in New Jersey, checked in and segregated again. Two rooms, 6/4 split. The 6th undergrad was Fei who was staying with us and going back home after the comp.

After spending 1.5 hours in traffic entering NY,  we spent the night at the comp watching the championship and open stuff. We also saw a demo from Tony & Melanie somebody... I think that they are National Latin Champions. They were of course awesome!! Their last dance was something that they made up..... My was it sexy... Total foreplay dance. When I get a girlfriend, I definately think that that is a dance to try to learn. VERY SEXY.... After the dance, Liz turns to me and says and awe-inspired "DAMN".

Then we went back to the hotel... Almost everone took showers that night b/c we were waking up by six the next morning. Fei & I were on the floor, while the others were in the two beds (that's the undergrad room that I'm talking about). We were about a 1/2 hour late leaving b/c Karen kept saying just 5 more minutes of sleep. Continuation of the theme. Luckily, there was no traffic (who in their right mind would be awake at 7:30 sun!) and we got to the comp in time to register and warm up... Actually we were the first ones there. and had to help set up a little. :)

The competition was huge... 200 competitors and the floor was always extremely crowed. Also there were normally 2 or 3 dances per heat. And most of the time I didn't know at least one of them. So I spent most of the morning learning the dances I didn't know. ie American Tango & rumba. Lena, my partner was about 1/2 hour late, and we ended up missing the first two heats which I think were Am Waltz, foxtrot,tango, and int waltz & quickstep. We placed 5th in Int Foxtrot and Tango. Which I found extremely funny. Int Foxtrot is very hard and I've never formally learned tango, just tips from people here and there. I think that there were about 10 couples, but I'm not sure. Then we sat for a while and danced again in the novice catagory. My smooths were off, I wasn't hitting any of them, I was however hitting alot of the smooth dancers. VERY CROWDED floor. They didn't have a lunch break, so during some of the gold stuff I took off to have pizza downstairs... Then we watched the kid competition. They had ages 3-teen competing. There is one factory...er I mean school in Brooklynn called the Kaiser Dance Academy that just mass produced ballroom dancers. They were all incredibly good! But the cutest couple was this 3 year old couple cha-ing. After that we danced the latin stuff. During the american Rumba... I kept switching. Everytime I would come out of a fan, I'd switch back to international and it would take  a measure or two for me to switch back. Very amusing. All the latins felt good, except we only placed in samba and jive. Which I totally don't understand. I suck at samba ( at least I thought so) and my jive is not all that wonderful. But we got 5th there too, I think that there were 14 couples. Then for the latin novice, we were so tired that we totally didn't care anymore and did everything that we learned... It didn't matter if we knew it well or that it was a gold step (we were only dancing bronze). It was fun. The day as a whole was very tireing. They hardly had any general dances b/c they were trying to get through so many heats (50 or so). So I slept a little there.

After the competetion Pam took off with Andrew and Min (team members, will get to them later) to go meet up with her boyfriend in Princeton. Speaking of boyfriends... Karen and John i think hooked up right before the trip. They were so nausiating.... Just hanging all over each other the whole time.

We went back to the hotel to shower and change and then head out for the night. I thought that that was really lame. If we are going out to dance, why bother showering. Then we ate at a pretty crappy steak house and went dancing at the continental club. This club plays live swing music. It was really neat. Just going out and trying all the jitterbug stuff that I learned...er forgot at SSQQ. It was pretty cool. Then after that we drove through times square and headed back to the motel.

Mon we took the subway from Jersey to NY. The sub dropped us off at 33rd and 5th Avenue. We walked up 5th toward central park, b/c several of us wanted to go there. Oh did I mention that it was raining a little. We stopped to look at Grand Central station and dropped off John & Karen who went to China town. We stopped in a couple of stores and looked around and stuff. We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, then continued on to central park. We walked all the way across central park, then went to the guggenheim museum. I persoanlly thought the museum was excessively boring, but the architecture was really cool. BTW the Guggenhiem is located at 90th and 5th. We caught the subway back and waited 20 minutes for john and karen (no surprise at this point). I was never able to get in touch with Tejas, primarily b/c the hotel was in another area code and it would have cost $3 to call him.  I called him from the Hard Rock and left a message sayign I was sorry, I never got to see him.

Then we headed to Princeton, where Andrew and Min were. Min lives there, Andrew is her boyfriend.... So we stayed there. We watched the tape of the competition since andrew taped it, and waited for dinner. Andrew didn't realize that the dinner he was preparing took like 3 hours to make. We didn't eat until 11 which really screwed up doing anything that night. After dinner, I ran to princeton (abou;20 minutes) away to try to see Bethany, but she was already asleeep an wasn't planning on answering hte door. So we came back and went ot sleep. The next morning the van was planning to leave at 7, but liz was planning on leaving whenever they woke up. So I had the van drop me off at Princeton at abnout 7:30 b/c it was just about 5 minutes out of there way. I saw Bethany for about an hour before her 9 o'clock class. We went to breakfast together and talked and stuff. It was really cool that it worked out that I got to see her. I walked her to her class, and then as I was leaving I was looking at the people passing me... You'll never guess who I saw. Stormy Chamberlain. Does the name sound familiar? She was in YSP! It was so cool!!!!! So we talked for a couple of minutes as we walked to her 9 o'clock class. Then on the way back from that I ran into Manoj, who was from the SMART program, except that he lived in Houston, and we hardly ever saw him. So I walked him to his class. It was so cool. It felt just like CMU I could hardly walk two feet without running into somebody that I knew!!! It was SO cool.

After that I stood around waiting until Liz came to pick me up. She said that they were possibly going to try to be there at 9:30, but that depends on when they wake up... at 10:30 I called them and they said that they were just finishing up there showers... They finally picked me up at 11:30 and we took off from there. I didn't mind waiting though... I knew that It was going to happen. I was just happy I got to see Bethany and it was a totaly bonus to see Stormy and Manoj. I did find out that my thick winter jacket is not wonderful when it gets soaking wet. Down does not dry fast. The car ride back seemed excessively long. Probablly b/c I hadn't gotten anymore then 4 hours sleep each night, and sleeping on the floor doesn't help.

I fell asleep last night at 9... fully clothed. I woke up at 2:30 this morning brushed my teeth and went to the bathroom and went back to sleep until 9 this morning.

I think that about covers it for the weekend. Although I'm sure that I left out some stuff.

Indiana University- Sept 1994


This comp was so much fun.  But first the key players:

Me and Liz
Pat and Pam
Ajay and Johanna
Fei and Andrew
Danny and new Fei

We (Liz,pat,pam) left here at about 7:15 or so on Sat... and drove to Indiana. At one of the gas stations that we stoped at... it was bery funny - they had an intercom set up to teh pumps and the guy with the worst hick accent would tell everybody that they'd have to prepay... The way he said "alright" was VERY funny. Doesn't really do it justice to type but i'd spell it like "ahite"...
    And you know how I was telling you about the bed situation. Well it appears that since we we undergrads - and kinda have this reputation of being a little hyper and staying up all night on comps (who me? :) that everyone decided to give us our own room. That plus the fact that we didn't hit Indiana till about 1 am.. So liz and I DID end up sleeping together as well as Pat & Pam (of course). That was interesting. We barely slept at all... I think I've figured it out. There are two things that limit me when I've been in bed with someone else (the ever so many times that I've slept w/ people). One is that I have to be on my back.. I just can't sleep in any other position. And two - I am very sensistive to touch... sights and sound I can sleep though.. .but not touch. And the bed that we were in was of course a single. It was fun even though I slept oh maybe 1.5-2 hours total. but hey that is okay. The best part was the teamwork/partnership/ lead - follow taht evolved from this. Sinec the bed was so small - anytime the other person moved you had to readjust your position accordingly.
    Then Sun morning. We ate a skimpy breakfast (as usual) and went to the comp. This Place was GORGEROUS!!! it was at the top of the embassy suites hotel. The floor was huge and perfect... no pot holes, very soft wood, just the right speed. The only thing was that it was circular.... not ellipsoidal - circular... that made it a little hard to do things that you do to get out of corners and things that you do an the long and short end of the floor.
    We danced everything - American/ International. This was such a trip = we know almost no american so we were making it up as we went. So of course we got 3rd in American Waltz/Foxtrot (I guess we faked it pretty well). We also got 3rd in International Rumba/Cha-cha. There were about 7 couples in each of these (just so you know it is not thrid out of third.) Another cool thing is that we got the double reverse spin in waltz while we were competing. we had never actually tried it in waltz, but we had never gotten it in quickstep. But we were bored - so we tried it during one of the heats and got it... that was a cool feeling.
    Lets see... on the way back... liz got tired of driving so we moved to the backseat to become mutal pillows (I was/am extremely tired by this time). So the coolest thing about this trip is that Liz and I have become much closer friends. That's cool. Some good bonding going on there.
Sorry, that this letter is not longer or more in depth. But it is really late, I've had a really long day, and I still have other stuff to do (which is not going to happend tonight)