Today is just another day. Juice is at the 24 hour withdrawal ranch for observation. He was caught, almost immediately. I am working on Book 3 and learning how to clear words. This is absurd. I know how to look up words in a dictionary, however, in order to move quickly through this, I oblige with the drill requirements.
I encounter my first Clay Demo. It is not a difficult one; however, later, clay demos will be the thorn in my side. I fucking hate them. The purpose of clay demos is to use clay figures to demonstrate concepts and principles. According to Book 3 the purpose of clay table training is:
- To make the materials being studied real to the student by making him demonstrate them in clay.
- To give proper balance of mass and significance.
- To teach the student to apply. Page 137.
The clay is rock hard and not easy to mold. I am not artistic. My artistic expression is better utilized with music and words. I can move a person to tears with my writing ability, but clay? No. This is difficult for me.
We are given a word, phrase and sometimes, even an entire freaking paragraph and told to demonstrate it in clay. We are not allowed to spell things out with the clay. There are labels, we are mandated to use for labeling the each part of the demo. Then we are to write the entire demo on a label representing the whole demonstration and place it face down in front of the demo. Once completed, a course supervisor has to observe the demo. If they can accurately decipher your depiction, they sign it off on the checklist.
Next, I am made to sketch. Sketching is meant to work things out in two dimensions. I don’t get it, and I am not a sketcher. I can’t draw. They might as well have thrown some algebra in here, to completely fuck my day. Nevertheless I push through it.
“Alright guys let’s smoke,” Stormy suggests. Thank God.
“How do you like those clay demos?” Donny D asks.
“Ugh. I am not a fan. It seems childish. As if I am playing with Playdoh, only rock hard Playdoh,” I joke.
“Have you heard anything about your sauna approval?” He asks.
I don’t want to tell him why I haven’t been approved. I like him, but don’t know him super well and don’t want the entire center buzzing with gossip about me.
“No, probably tomorrow,” I reply, meekly.
Swift is on the benches. She can tell that I am in my head and upset.
“What’s wrong girl?” She asks, in a whisper. I sit next to her on the bench.
“Oh nothing. I just am frustrated about not being in sauna and worried a little about it,” I respond.
“I know,” she says.
Wait what? She knows? Did Jude open his mouth? Jude and Swift are buddies. Everyone is involved in their own conversations and paying no mind to the two of us on the bench.
“Want to run a special objective?” She asks. “They are good for a laugh.”
I begin to laugh, but pause briefly, “What’s a special objective?”
“Look around here and tell me who you want to punch in the throat?” She asks.
I burst into laughter. There is no contest. Vinny too Skinny, hands down. I nod my head in his direction and she concurs.
“Look around here and tell me who has a translucent scrotum?” She asks.
I’m dead. I can’t stop laughing uncontrollably. Almost all the students around us are guys, including two older gentlemen. I would estimate they are seniors, although I haven’t spent any time getting to know them. My eyes wander to their direction and Swift slaps my knee and laughs with me.
“Oh my gawd girl,” I manage to choke out. “Thanks I feel much better.”
“No problem chica. Anytime you need to run a special objective, come find me,” she instructs.
I love Swift. It’s unfortunate that she is almost done with her program and I won’t get to spend much more time getting to know her.
Once back in the course room, I begin reading about the different methods of word clearing. Method 3 word clearing is described as the most common method. The idea behind word clearing is to avoid the barrier of the misunderstood word.
Method 3 Word Clearing (Basic gist/not verbatim):
- Student is not “bright.” Student is yawning, doodling or engaging in some other activity that shows disinterest in the subject.
- Student must go back to earlier text, searching for the misunderstood word.
- Once the word is located, the student asks what the word means.
- The student then looks the word up in a dictionary, using all the steps for clearing a misunderstood word (using in 10 sentences, clearing origins, clearing all meanings of the word etc.). He then uses it in several verbal sentences until he understands the word’s composition.
- The student then reads the text with the misunderstood word. He should be feeling bright again and able to move on with the text, without distraction, doodling, yawning etc.
- Once student is “bright,” he reads up to where he was and past that point, continues studying, brighter and happier and clearer.
Next comes Method 7 Word Clearing. I have already been exposed to this method, without realizing it. When I was made to read Book 1 out loud and had a student questioning me and taking notes on a paper concerning my ability to define words and such.
Method 7 Word Clearing (In a nutshell/not verbatim):
- Have student read aloud.
- Note any frown, omission, hesitation or word change.
- Correct it by looking it up for him and explaining it to him.
- Have him continue reading, noting the next omission, word change, frown or hesitation.
- Repeat steps 2-4.
Next, I learn about coaching and checkouts, but it’s just more mumbo jumbo at this point. Finally, I have completed Book 3, in less than two days. Stormy instructs me to study and after lunch, he will issue me the test. I comply. I am informed that all of the patters I had to memorize and recite yesterday, concerning the three barriers to study, will be on the test. I will need to be able to write them down verbatim. Oh joy.
It is cheeseburger day for lunch. Translation? It is the best lunch of the week and I am excited by it. Sauna students are allowed out of sauna for about 20-30 minutes for lunch, but they are not allowed to talk to other students. This is to ensure that the students don’t hear bad news or have anything distract them, that might later manifest as a, “Turn on,” in sauna.
A “Turn on,” can range from an emotional outbreak, an LSD flashback, a meth tweaker episode, a heroin nod and everything in between. I am hoping for many heroin, “Turn ons,” once I am approved for sauna.
“Stop enturbulating our session,” Madison shouts out, as Bolt’s attempts to talk to Keisha and Noah.
“What the fuck does enturbulate mean?” I think to myself.
“Madison is a sauna I.C.?” I ask Bolt’s.
“Yeah, why?” He replies.
“I thought it was just Kentucky running sauna. Madison doesn’t like me. I can tell. She always has a frumpy face and looks annoyed by everything and everyone, including me,” I suggest.
“Duh. She is just like that. Don’t take it personal Liz. She is Gavrill’s girlfriend,” he continues.
I laugh, “How does she put up with his nonstop chatter and overactive brain?” I joke.
I like Gavrill but he is so much energy and Madison appears more mellow and chill. I suppose if she was equally nonstop energy, they would be fighting to talk over each other and wouldn’t be a good match.
After lunch, we make our way to the smoking benches.
“So, what happened with Juice?” I ask. “Ernie shined his light in my eyes, like every hour last night.”
“Juice is a fucking idiot!” Bolts exclaims. “Where did he think he was going?”
“I am getting sick of that kid,” Little Brian admits. “I mean, yeah, this place sucks. It’s rehab.”
We all laugh. Of course it sucks. Rehab is not meant to be fun. However, I have to admit, I haven’t laughed so much in my entire life. It’s not all bad.
“Is he going to have start sauna all over again?” I ask.
“I don’t think so. They want him done and out of here. He will be back tonight. You have to miss 2-3 days before they make you start over again,” Little Brian elaborates.
“Yeah, but won’t he be on an ethics cycle when he gets back?” I inquire. “I thought ethics cycles meant you are pulled from course room study.”
“Not during sauna. I mean, he will be on an ethics cycle, but they will have him do ethics when he is out of sauna. Sauna is only five hours out of the day. He will have half day ethics,” Brian confirms.
“Huh. So ideally, it would be best to get an ethics cycle during sauna,” I suggest. “So, if you were going to risk, say, fucking around with someone, sauna would be the best time to get it in.”
Everyone bursts into laughter. It is logical. I was only halfway kidding.
“Damn girl, you little hornball. Slow down,” Brian teases, as he squeezes my leg.
I really like Brian. He is super cute, sweet and very protective of me. We have spent hours talking and I know he has a little crush on me too. He has a family back home, however. He claims he isn’t sure if his ex will take him back, but they have a kid and he wants to maybe pursue that possibility. As a single mom, I understand how rare and important this is. I don’t want to be a homewrecker, so I won’t legitimately proposition him, but we flirt all the time. We’ve even discussed that flirting is as far as we can ever go.
After lunch, I take my Book 3 test and attest the book. The next book in the program is Book 4a. There is no point in me starting it because that leads to Book 4b, which is Objectives. This will likely take at least a month to complete. I want to wait until I see if I am approved for sauna before committing to pushing it out another month. Once you start a book, you are made to finish it. So if I started it and then found out I was approved for sauna tomorrow, they wouldn’t let me do sauna until after Objectives. Tess Moff is okay with this reasoning for procrastinating it’s start.
Once Keisha is out of sauna, I meet her in the room.
“Dude, you are never going to believe what happened,” I inform her.
“What?” She asks, while towel drying her hair from her after sauna shower.
“Rick gave me a note, inviting me to sneak out and over to the Blue House,” I laugh.
“What? Oh my gawd. Are you going to go?” She asks.
“No. Dude, after Juice ran last night, Ernie hit me with the flashlight every hour,” I laugh.
“People find ways around it,” Keisha laughs. “Coco and Chanel snuck out and went over there before you showed up. That’s why there are screws in the bathroom window now,” she laughs.
“Really? Were they going to see Rick?” I ask.
“No. I am not sure about the details, but I know that Swift has snuck out to see Caleb several times. It happens,” she laughs. “So, are you going to go?”
Rick is pretty cute. He is not my type at all. Very Ambercrombie and Fitch. Besides he was insensitive and joked about Hep. C. Why would he ask me to sneak over?
“He told me to destroy the note,” I elaborate. “I tore it up and flushed it down the course room’s toilet.”
Keisha laughs. “That is too funny.”
“Would you do it?” I inquire.
“Not with Rick,” she teases. “But maybe for Noah.” She blushes a little.
“Duh, not with Rick. How are things with Noah?” I ask.
Keisha giggles a little but she doesn’t elaborate much concerning the issue. She is a little more conservative about boys than I am and she doesn’t go as boy crazy, that’s for sure.
“I mean, I don’t know. He is cute, but we aren’t doing anything. We are just friends,” she says.
I pry a little but she is a closed book for more juicy details, so I let it be. I know she will tell me when she’s ready.
“I am not going to risk it with Rick. Besides, there are no condoms around here. I don’t want to risk infecting anyone. I don’t give a fuck what the doctor says,” I suggest.
“I understand that. That’s actually pretty stand up of you Liz,” she confirms.
“Did you see Bryce this morning?” I inquire.
“Yes,” Keisha laughs.
Bryce is an early bird. He is always up writing in his journal and doing chores that are not mandated of him, at the crack of dawn. Today, however, he took a hike up the mountain. Ethics didn’t know until he was spotted hiking back down.
“He planted a, “Bryce Flag,” on the top of the mountain (large hill),” I laugh. Keisha giggles.
“He is an oddball,” she elaborates.
“Did you see Vinny too Skinny this morning?” Keisha asks.
“No. What did he do?” I inquire.
“He has a fucking remote control car,” she laughs. “I got up and he was laughing and talking to his car, as he raced it all over the parking lot.”
“What an idiot. I really don’t like that guy. He creeps me out and he is so annoying with his incessant chatter and self reassurance and cocky reminders of how fucking awesome he is,” I say.
“I think he gets under Rome’s skin a little too,” Keisha suggests.
Tomas Rome, is a very athletic, attractive, reserved guy. I haven’t spent a lot of time talking to him, but he is around my age (mid 30’s). He can usually be found watching football on Sundays, but the rest of the week, I don’t notice him as often. He is much farther along in his program and I think he hangs out a lot in his room. He isn’t rude, he is simply, quiet. His dress code is a mixture of Usher and reformed gangster. He is from Virginia and has a slight accent and deep voice.
“What makes you say that?” I ask.
“Well, you know how chill Rome is. Vinny would not stop talking at him and bragging about his money and cars and Rome’s face pretty much suggested he would like nothing more than to knock him out,” Keisha laughs.
“I think the majority of the center feels that way,” I laugh back.
Keisha and I decide to go get a cup of cereal. The center doesn’t have any bowls, so we fill Styrofoam cups (that we typically use for coffee and juice) up with cereal and milk for our mid-afternoon snack. Keisha digs the Cinnamon Toast Crunch knock off and I am partial to the Cocoa Puffs.
As we make our way to the lodge, we observe Shantell (my suntanning buddy), outside crying. Madison is beside her and other sauna students have come out of the box.
“Get back into the box,” Madison commands.
Shantell is weeping. I feel bad. Just seeing another person in that kind of pain, causes my eyes to tear. I want to console her, but we are not allowed to go over to her. That would be, “enturbulating.”
“She must be having a turn on,” Keisha suggests. “Madison will make her go back into sauna.”
“Why?” I ask.
“In sauna there is a saying, “What turns it on, turns it off,” and they will make her get back in,” Keisha explains. “Basically, sauna caused this emotional turn on, so sauna will turn it off.”
“Weird. Let’s go get our cereal,” I suggest.
The lodge is noisy and the television is dominated by the boys. Thankfully, Keisha has that portable DVD player and we opt to go to our room and chill. We come out for mail, dinner and calling my daughter for my nightly hugs and kisses phone call, of course. However, we spend most of the rest of the evening in our room.
“I hope I find out that I am approved for sauna tomorrow,” I confess. “I don’t want to do Objectives first.”
“I don’t blame you, but you also, don’t want to sit around bored for the next few weeks wither,” she encourages.
Keisha is correct. If I am not approved, I should move along. I need to get home to my daughter. I miss her. Every phone call is difficult. Her precious little voice, always asking if I am better yet. She misses me terribly and doesn’t agree with all of grandpa’s rules. Her biggest complaint is that she misses sleeping next to me. My dad confirms, that bed time is the most difficult part of their day.
Today, however, she elaborated that she was displeased with the fact that grandpa won’t let her watch Spongebob. I know that Spongebob has a youth rating of 7 and she is only 5. I can’t argue or do anything about it here and the show is not educational, so I agree with my dad’s decision to opt for Veggietales in Spongebob’s place.
Tonight is a rough night. Keisha has already passed out and I am in my head, missing Natalia. I finally drift off to sleep, reminiscing about all the times Natalia and I sang the Veggietale’s Theme Song together. Her favorite Silly Song, is called, “The Cheeseburger Song.” I giggle, as today was cheesburger day for lunch. We sang that song so much. She would make me play it over and over again, both on the DVD and the sing along CD in my car….