Friday, July 13, 2012

Girls State of Mind

    Hi guys! Remember me? Is it just me or is this summer going way too fast? It's just been a whirlwind since the first week of June here in little Small Town, MN!
    The second week in June, I had this wonderful opportunity to go to Girls State. Girls State is essentially a week-long political camp where you form a mock government and are taught as much as possible about how this country's political system works up to the state level. All 400 girls are split up into cities. My city was called "Peta" (I texted Maddie as soon as I found out). * Side story* At first we pronounced it "Pee-tah" Hunger Games style, but were soon told it was pronounced "Peh-tah" as in pedicure or paedophile. What a let down. *End of side story* Some girls run for office and those who don't are able to become House and Senate reps. I ran for city councilperson and won one of the five seats. Don't get too excited for me- only five people ran. * Side story* When I first learned that we could run for office, I decided to bring Harriet for a sort attention-getter/icebreaker. People were going to remember my name. However, when I arrived at the dorms, I became cognizant of the fact that some girls that were out for blood and had probably dreamt of being there since their first convention, so I generously decided to "let" them have it. *End of side story* At the end of the week we visited the state capitol and those in the House and Senate were actually able to sit in the chambers and pass bills.  and I met so many nice people! You know that feeling you get when you like something a lot more than everybody else and you meet someone who has the same obsession? I had that feeling the whole week, intensified by 400! It was a fascinating week that solidified in my mind that I want to go into journalism and write about my convictions. That is a really big step for me. Remember "What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?" Since then I've realized that I am really passionate about our system here in America and I really want to see Good win over Evil. When you have those convictions, you don't just ignore them or take them for granted! This country needs someone who is willing to follow God's path and do something about it, not just sit back and complain. Like one of the Girls State directors said, if good people aren't willing to step up, the bad ones will fill the void.
    In order to go to Girls State, you needed to write an essay about patriotism. Now, if I lived in a bigger town with a bigger school, the best one would have been chosen to represent the city (it wouldn't have been mine). But I live in a wee hamlet, and as I was the only one to write an essay, they couldn't very well turn me down. So, without further ado, "What America Means to Me".

What America Means to Me

By Breanna Ask

    Pretend you are an investigative journalist. You have just found shocking evidence that just might change everyone’s view on the facts. You spend days gathering every bit of credible information you can find and then you write a gripping article about it. This is definitely front page material. Excitedly, you send the story to the editor. An hour later, you receive an e-mail from him strongly suggesting that you meet him in his office. Now.
    “We can’t print this.”
    What? “But… why, Sir? This could really-“
    “It’s too risky. The public already has an opinion about this. We don’t want to change their minds now.”
    “But, Sir, it’s the truth.”
    “Do you want your job? We’re not printing it, now get out of my office.”
    Isn’t it infuriating? How could this guy refuse to print the truth? The people need to know. It should be their right!
    Thankfully, it is our right. Our Founding Fathers wanted to get that out in the open right away in the First Amendment. The freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition was something new back then. No king, queen, or any other authority figure could infringe upon those rights. Our Founding Fathers also wanted to make clear that all citizens were entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. It may seem like a simple thing, but aren’t you glad we have at least the right to live? Tell that to the people of medieval Europe, where living was a privilege. Belonging to the wrong church or even speaking against the king could put your head in a guillotine! Think about it. Many of us would be dead if we weren’t allowed to speak a negative word against the president.
    The United States of America has become a role model for other countries. Many brave men and women have been willing to fight for our country to protect our freedoms. Places like North Korea, where citizens are under oppressive government control or Iraq where the former dictator massacred thousands of his own people do not have this benefit. I always feel safer knowing that we have soldiers out there fighting the “bad guys”.
    Another right I am thrilled to be exercising this year is the right to vote. Never does one realize what an amazing thing this is until they have had to wait eighteen years to vote. In the upcoming election, we will have a choice between protecting our rights and privileges as American citizens, or taking them for granted. The decision each person makes will be a reflection of how much we value our freedom as a country. So, ladies and gentlemen, let me ask you this question: What does America mean to you?


Peta in their pretty dresses on inauguration night
Ms. Betty Wall Strohfus came to speak to us.
"We, the WWII veterans, we are the past, but you- you girls are our future."
So inspiring!
Our  representatives in the House chamber
While at the capitol some of us got to participate in mock trials!

One night we had a Variety Show where every city
was assigned a time period. Peta was placed
in the 80s and 90s group and danced to "Thriller"

Full makeup for Thriller- freaky, right?
This girl's name is Anna Schmiel and she will be representing
us at the next level: Girls Nation

Girls State governor, Tunmise Fawole, being sworn in.
 Aaaand... of course we had some fun, too!
Playing pranks on the other dorms

... we left a nice little note under their door.

Someone in our city brought henna. =)
Sometimes the assemblies got boring...


To end this long-overdue post, I will add a lovely little photo of Maddie and me the last time we saw each other.

 Here it is again, slightly larger and edited. Enjoy! ;-}

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