Stories from the front
Over ten years ago in the Spring, I went to the Indy training center for one of the early counseling training sessions. It was still open to both sexes and was in its early stages. When I arrived everything was gleaming, the red carpet was new, the training center was impressive to a willing participant. I was assigned a roommate and sent off to my room which happened to be a suite.
While exploring the "amenities," we discovered that the door connecting to the room next door was unlocked. My roommate, being a fun-loving girl herself, and I decided to play a prank for April Fool's Day. We sneaked into the room next door early in the morning and tic-tacked it. We put tic-tacs in their shoes, bags, beds, make-up bottles, you name it we did it. We were looking forward to getting to know these girls and having a good laugh later.
Well, we went down to the morning session and the first subject was April Fool's day complete with scripture and lectures about silliness and pranks. I never felt so guilty in my entire life, talk about humiliation, I never said one word to those girls and prayed they would never figure out who did it. My roommate and I agreed to never speak of it again.
Then came the chores, the lousy food (the wheat rolls were the only decent thing), the chores and the really "good girls." They had wavy hair, sweet voices, mentioned God or a principle in every sentence and made me feel like I would never measure up. I worked at a bank when I went to Indy and one of those girls asked how I justified working at a bank and getting people into debt.
Unfortunately I had the worst gift for a girl at Indy, exhorter with lots of points in the prophet category. If I answered the question, "what is your spiritual gift?" I would get a cautious, "oh my." If only I could have been a "mercy" or a "servant" or a "teacher." I got stuck with laundry duty and when the place flooded, I organized clean-up. One sweet faced sugary voiced girl said, "Are you an 'organizer'?" I replied, "No, I just have experience." I tried to remind myself that these were fifteen-year-olds who didn't know much about anything.
I never thought of myself as a feminist until I went to the Northwoods. I was a member of a select group of girls and guys who got to go to Michigan and help with the Character in Business thing when it first started. We were supposed to get to know the business leaders and market the program. Great, I was excited, it was my first opportunity to be involved, I wanted serve God through some sort of missions program and this looked like it might be it.
When we arrived, Mrs. Furman informed us that any slits in our skirts would need to be sewn shut, the curtain in our room had been sewn shut (did she honestly think we were going to stand in front of it naked?), and we would be eating our meals in the hall away from the cadets and business leaders and we were not to "defraud" the cadets by speaking with them, looking at them, or wearing any inappropriate navy and white garb.
What was the point of inviting us to be there? All of us were dedicated to the program, we were all 18 to 25, Christians, intelligent, and interested in careers in business and ministry, (not typical, I know) and we were being treated like harlots. Only the guys were allowed to associate with the businessmen outside of sessions, it was absolutely ridiculous. After our complaints, we were finally allowed in the dining room for the final banquet. (I don't think any of us planned on learning lessons from "God" about eating in the hall.)
I made no networking contacts, was miserable the entire time, and I had to pay to be there. Good old ATIA. I didn't even get to meet any Cadets who might have been interested in courting a good-looking, intelligent woman. I am convinced that Courtship is Mr. G's way of keeping us single and working for free.
P.S. This blog is one of my favorites, I found it by typing "IBLP sucks" in Google.