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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Our little 'community organizer'

Summer here follows a fairly predictable trajectory:

First, the kids finish school and spend a few days underfoot while their 'summer activities' wait to kick in.

Then each of the kids begins their respective summer activity:

Ariella is again working at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (this is her third year there), and on her off weeks she did her 'Survival Course' (more about that tomorrow) four day/night hike across the Galilee to Mount Hermon.

Gilad landed a summer dream job (through some connections of mine) at a local winery/vineyard doing a combination of field work (tending vines, clearing weeds, checking and repairing irrigation, landscaping, etc.), and indoor work (racking, bottling, labeling, etc.).    He is working with a couple of other boys from our community, and although they are working hard, they are getting paid extremely well, and are treated to a nice informal sit-down lunch at the winery.

Yonah, being only 7-and-a-half, wasn't able to find a summer job.  We tried… but it turns out that his primary skill-sets – running around, making loud noises and demanding to be fed every few minutes – were not particularly in demand.  Go figure.  Luckily, we are not unique in requiring a safe and enriching environment for our young child, so we had a nice selection of 'kaytanot' (day camps) from which to choose. 

However, as the saying goes, 'all good things must come to an end'… and even those patient souls who run kaytanot require a short summer vacation of their own,  so this week found us without an organized plan for Yonah.

Last night as Shabbat was ebbing away, Yonah and a few of his neighborhood friends stopped playing whatever outdoor screaming/running game they'd been involved in (hide-and-go-seek, cops & robbers, etc.) and sat down to hold a neighborhood council.  It seems that all of these little seven and eight year olds were aware that day camp was over and that there was every indication that they'd be planted in front of the TV for the remainder of the summer.

Enter our little community organizer.

Yonah decided to organize an ad-hoc day camp for the coming week(s)… a camp that would be held at our house.  Naturally all the other kids agreed, and the first we heard of it was when Yonah came home to present it as a fait accompli

The only problem with such a plan is that Zahava isn't a typical stay-at-home mom.  She is actually a 'work-from-home' mom who balances long hours in her design studio (often working 14 hour days) against the flexibility of being able to drop everything when necessary and be there for the kids when they need transportation, food or are transitioning between activities.  In short, while her schedule is flexible… it isn't flexible enough to accommodate a supervisory role in an all-day summer camp for Yonah and his friends.

I'll be interested to see how this plays out.

Posted by David Bogner on August 7, 2011 | Permalink

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Sneaky postscript: In addition to a real-life probelm we are experiencing, this is a not-so-subtly disguised dig at another community organizer who seems to excel at coming up with big ideas, and then leaving others to find the ways and means to make them happen.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Aug 7, 2011 1:22:05 PM

"Yonah, being only 7-and-a-half, wasn't able to find a summer job. We tried… but it turns out that his primary skill-sets – running around, making loud noises and demanding to be fed every few minutes – were not particularly in demand."
Really? none of the local Knesset members needed a stand-in or an intern?

Posted by: Max Power | Aug 7, 2011 3:38:15 PM

"his primary skill-sets – running around, making loud noises and demanding to be fed every few minutes – were not particularly in demand."

I'll piggy-back on Mr. Power, above, with the similar thought that occurred to me: have you considered enrolling him in college? he'd make a terrific protester.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Aug 7, 2011 7:17:53 PM

smart kid... knew better than to ask....

Posted by: rickismom | Aug 8, 2011 1:25:33 AM

What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: Baila | Aug 8, 2011 6:21:01 AM

When I was employed at a large, research university (a few years ago), I had an impromptu meeting with the Provost where I pitched an IT project to him. I told him that although I had physical access to the data I needed (through "other" channels), I did not have permission to use it in this manner and that I was having a difficult time cutting through the red tape and myriad of organizational structures in order to get permission I needed.

At the conclusion of the brief meeting, the Provost agreed my ideas had merits and he stood up to leave. I asked about getting the permissions I needed and the Provost paused, turned to me and said "I've found that it's easier to ask forgiveness than to get approval on these types of projects". He winked and walked out of the office...

My thinking is that Yonah has a future in higher education. ;-)

Posted by: ProphetJoe | Aug 8, 2011 8:43:02 PM

I'll be interested to see how this plays out.
So shall we!

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Aug 9, 2011 11:55:03 AM

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