Oh My God A Girl!

Written by Debbie Jacobs

Word Count: 810

Oh My God A Girl!

“OH MY GOD A GIRL!!” This wasrepparttar cry I was met with when I arrived to meet our group for a 5 day canoe trip down New Zealand’s Wanganui River. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?!” a wary fellow in his 50’s exclaimed. I assured him that since I knew a heck of a lot more than he did it was in his best interest to stick with me. The rest ofrepparttar 131134 group, a collection of 10 men and women from New Zealand, looked on with some amusement and guarded concern. This fellow had voiced what many of them had inwardly felt when they discovered that their guides were ‘girls’. Some had assumed that Sue, a nursing student in her mid twenties, and I, a ‘Yank’ only a bit older, wererepparttar 131135 greeting committee. I suspect many hoped at best we wererepparttar 131136 cooks and at worst that we were drivingrepparttar 131137 bus. Discovering that they were heading out for an adventure underrepparttar 131138 guidance and protection of two young women was not what they had imagined when signing on forrepparttar 131139 80 kilometer paddle through one of New Zealand’s newest river parks.

This immediate shock upon discovering that they are trusting their lives and limbs to a ‘girl’ is something I have become used to when meeting groups of clients forrepparttar 131140 first time. Working as a white water raft guide inrepparttar 131141 United States I have seenrepparttar 131142 covert glances asrepparttar 131143 names of guides are called out for each group of paddlers: “The Taylor party, your guide will be Rich.” “The McKenna party your guide will be Kevin.” “The Kelly party, your guide will be Debbie.” You can almost hearrepparttar 131144 collective gulp.

The men inrepparttar 131145 United States are rarely so blunt as to come right out and ask me if I know what I’m doing, but they are not alone in their concern. The women often share their uncertainty as to whether they can put their faith in a female guide. It doesn’t take long before I’m asked, “So... how long have you been doing this?” To which my standard response is to look at my watch and reply “Oh, since about 8 this morning,” hoping a bit of levity will calm people’s nerves.

Sometimes knowing that I’ve been guiding for 10 years helps allay fears, in other cases it’s not until we have made it downrepparttar 131146 last rapid, loadedrepparttar 131147 boats and are safely ensconced back onrepparttar 131148 bus (which I may also drive, prompting someone to worry aloud about ‘women drivers’) that my crew sighs withrepparttar 131149 relief of having survived not onlyrepparttar 131150 river, but me.

Leadership styles vary from person to person. It is difficult and perhaps dangerous to generalizerepparttar 131151 variations according to gender, butrepparttar 131152 fact remains that men continue to be central figures of authority in most of our lives. While many of us have strong female role models,repparttar 131153 heroes of young Americans are typically male sports figures and action film stars. There are fewer ‘scripts’ for women assuming leadership positions commonly held by men.

Faces of Mom

Written by Vic Peters

I grew up living with my mother, and sometimes my father when he wasn’t underneathrepparttar ocean in a submarine. I wasn’trepparttar 131131 only child at home, but it often felt that way, and not just when I would lock my sister inrepparttar 131132 basement, either—my mom was good at making me feel likerepparttar 131133 best pumpkin inrepparttar 131134 patch.

My mom was a working mom. She scrubbedrepparttar 131135 floors and washed our clothes and sometimes even finished my science projects for me. I don’t remember her ever just sitting around. If she wasn’t inrepparttar 131136 house, she was atrepparttar 131137 blood drive orrepparttar 131138 elementary school or outside crying because she had just put another dent inrepparttar 131139 car. Our car had lots of dents.

She was a woman who wore lots of different faces. I called them “looks,” and I knew all of them. Beingrepparttar 131140 kind of kid that I was, this was a handy thing to know—especially if her look involved my rear end and her left hand.

Whenrepparttar 131141 kids were gone and Mom’s house was empty, she got herself a “real” job in town. Although it was a respectable place of employment, I never had any desire to visit her there while she was on duty. One day, though, I had to. It wasn’t what she did that bothered me; rather, it was that look on her face—the one that I knew I would have to see when they brought me in. My mother ranrepparttar 131142 ER desk ofrepparttar 131143 local hospital.

She saw lots of things every day—the kind of things that would land onrepparttar 131144 counter and make a mess. Things like blood and throw-up and tears. She was good at her job because she was a strong woman. Even I knew that. She had beat up Billy Whitehead for me inrepparttar 131145 fourth grade; he was a bully. My mom was tough and could take a lot, except when it came to children. Then she acted like every little one carried through those mechanical doors was hers. I had even seen her tell great big blubbering men to sit their butts back down and grow up, if they complained about having to wait. Mom was no one to mess with—I remember what she used to do with those thermometers.

I tried to put on a smile for her that day, as I slid downrepparttar 131146 wall ofrepparttar 131147 emergency room, desperately fightingrepparttar 131148 effects of shock. My pale white appearance couldn’t lie to her, though—the concern in her eyes told me that. Thoughrepparttar 131149 injuries to my hand were not that severe, I still wondered asrepparttar 131150 world around me began to darken.

My mom isn’t that much different from anybody else’s mother, although I’d like to say that she is. I’d like to say that she isrepparttar 131151 best mother inrepparttar 131152 world, but then where would that put my wife? Married guys hate this dilemma, because even broachingrepparttar 131153 subject means only one of two things—sleeping onrepparttar 131154 couch or going into one of those little “card shops.” Ugh.

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