I want to publicly thank my mother for taking Marina to the zoo the past week and a half. Today was the first and only day I had to take her at an early time, so of course I didn't sleep well last night. I was so worried about oversleeping I kept waking up every 2 hours (Ahh! No it's only 1:30. Zzzz....Ahh! No it's only 3:30. Zzzz...). Thankfully, tomorrow--her last day--will start later and it will end earlier. She is designing and creating a model of a zoo Asia exhibit with a group of kids. She is handling the tiger exhibit. They'll present it to the parents tomorrow.
The list of interesting facts she's learned goes on. One of her instructors used to raise tarantulas for movie sets. She explained the process of "training" a tarantula to do stunts. If a tarantula doesn't trust you it will drop hairs on you that make you itchy, similar to fiberglass threads. Did you know camel hair is soft and silky? She's been grooming camels this week and said their necks are particularly soft. She also learned to hoof pick a miniature horse, so I guess I can send her to Vicki's place if she wants to practice this valuable skill. The camel barn has been easier on her than the children's zoo. She hasn't been aching as much and she claims her clothes don't get as dirty. The worst of it is when the miniature horse nibbles on her shirt and leaves a dark slime. I'll be sure to remember that when throwing her clothes in the washer.
In working on her presentation, she's learned some valuable lessons about working with a group. She's one of those people who would prefer to do it all herself than rely on a group, so I think it's good that I shake her out of her comfort zone every once in a while. She was very frustrated that the other girls had these grand ideas that Marina didn't think realistic for the week they had to work on the project, and she couldn't get them to listen to her. I know this is a hard lesson, but I'm glad she's learning that it's hard to get a group to listen. I'm hoping it will help her figure out new ways to communicate, because I've found the majority of people don't listen. I also know that Marina is like me and gets nervous if she looks at the whole picture. Telling her she has a presentation at the end of the week and what she will be doing during the course of the week makes her think, "Wow. I have a lot to do. How am I going to get it all done in time?" She's done big projects for me, but I tend to give it to her step by step, only telling her as much as she needs to know for each step. I guess I should point that out to her. Being action oriented, she relaxed once she started doing the project. She focused on her strength, which is model building, and left the powerpoint presentation of their idea to a girl who was familiar with powerpoint. That is what working in a group is about. Everyone contributes their strengths.