02 November 2009

Things aren't as bad as they may seem

Friday I spent 14 hours at the school I where I teach. On purpose. There was the regular school day and then the crisis counselor at school organized a Girl’s Night Out. This is the second year we have had the event.

Last year we went from 5 until midnight with about 60 girls on a Friday and – I am not going to lie – I basically wanted to either kill myself or find a bed to go to sleep in by about 10:45 that time around.

The whole purpose of the event is to help the ladies understand that they can get along with other females and that they all should treat each other with respect. We focused on the term ‘sisterhood’ and what that meant to them and their small groups they were divided into.

The first year, my small group, met together for about the last hour of the night. People were starting to get tired, people were irritated and people were going off on how the others in the group don’t respect them during school hours and how they don’t feel comfortable letting stuff go – they would rather come to physical blows over the issues. All this while I am tired, irritable, and really did not want to be around catty teenage girls any more.

Hopefully that information helps you to understand why I was not super looking forward to this year’s night with about 100 girls.

But, surprisingly, the night went well.

The girls were almost all there on time. We started with an activity where the students shouted out thoughts that might run through their minds as they walk down the halls and see other females. (Everything was negative.) Then for each word called out, one of the adults tore a small piece off of what had been a beautiful drawing of a female silhouette containing all sorts of positive affirmations about women. The girls got the picture of how words really do hurt and even with tape, after they are said, it is not possible to fully put a girl back together.

We then broke into small groups (mine rocked this time around) and answered some questions about being female. One of the girls had a question about what she would say to her mother to help her become a stronger woman and she said that she would tell her that she is not dependent on men and that if a man is not appreciating the mother, the mother should leave. Awesome. She said she has repeatedly had this sort of conversation with her mother to no avail. At least she knows it and she says that she judges guys she dates on how Unlike her mother’s boyfriends they are.

Then the girls rotated to different stations and did an activity and debriefed how the activity ties to their lives and things they go through. My activity was the card game Spoons. The girls loved it and really understood its connection to gossip.

There was a reenergizing half hour of dancing to all my least favorite songs (ChaCha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, and the Electric Slide). The girls loved it all, though and everyone got on the dance floor and danced.

We ended the night with each girl getting a candle and writing something about themselves that they would like to shine on in the future.

Then we stood in the darkened cafeteria and each lit the candle as the girl said her name and “I want my ____ to shine.”

Pretty cool.

This morning it was pretty cool meeting before school to take a group picture with the girls. And throughout each passing time it is great to see all the girls in their Girls Night Out shirts.

I also like the quote chosen for the back of the shirt:
Sisterhood: Drama’s worst enemy.

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