Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston, you're doing it right.

Yesterday, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, about three hours after the winners crossed the line and approximately forty minutes after the Red Sox beat the Rays at nearby Fenway Park, two bombs went off within seconds of each other. According to USA Today, as of 1:42 AM EDT on 16 April 2013, at least three people were killed by the blasts and more than 141 people were injured.

From USA Today
The bombs went off around 2:45 in the afternoon. I heard about it from a coworker around 3:00. Because I was not in the area, I do not have firsthand information about the explosions. I do not have information that is not readily available to anyone with an Internet connection.

However, I was able to see live images of the immediate aftermath. For the most part, I would rather not have seen what people who, live on the scene, were able to post to social media sites. When I started searching for information, I knew this would be the case: I was researching a terrorist attack.

(Please note: when I say terrorist, I do not have any particular nationality in mind. A person who makes an attack of this sort, regardless of where he was born or raised, of his religious or political affiliations, is a terrorist.)

However, amid the blood and chaos, I saw something that gave me hope and made me proud: the people of Boston banded together, in their fear and pain, to help one another through the crisis.

While live camera feeds and still photos showed viewers the horrors of the day in intensely graphic detail, it also showed an almost unbelievably calm and orderly scene. Everyone was in shock, but I believe that the calm came from a deep routed resilience and sense of community. Those who were able helped those who needed assistance. The Red Cross announced that, at the time, they had enough blood and that immediate donations were not required. An announcement of this sort must have been prefaced by a surge of people wishing to help.


Counseling Centers in Boston

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm sorry. You want me to sleep where?

When I was a kid my parents decided to join a camping club. On the weekends during the summer and early fall, we would pack up and head to a campground. They were big woodsy places, usually on Cape Cod or in Connecticut, with a clubhouse with a pool at the top of the Hill and a few random bathhouses strategically placed around the grounds. Invariably, there was a lake and a small, sad playground.

During the day, we kids would play in the woods or down at the lake. In the evenings there were often games at the clubhouses or late night swims at the pool. Late night went until about 9:00 PM. At the campsite, we would build a fire. By we, I mean my parents and whichever of the other campers were our weekend friends.

For some reason, even after my parents purchased a camper, the kids (myself, my sister, and two brothers) had to sleep in tents. Mom said something about not wanting to track dirt into the camper. There were rules about the camper. (They usually involved not being allowed to go into it and pretending that there wasn't a toilet in it.)

From Glamping Hub
I hated camping. There were bugs, spiders, wildlife, spiders, possible serial killers, and spiders in those woods. When it was time for bed, I wished I could sleep, but nature was too close. I was eleven when we started camping - practically and adult! - I knew that canvas wasn't keeping bears out! We never actually camped in bear country, but it wouldn't keep anything else out that wanted in. My point stands.

I still dislike the idea of camping and avoid actually doing it whenever possible. Even though it seems more appealing, I do not understand glamping. However, I have to admit, I learned some valuable survival skills during those summers of boredom and bugs.