Sunday, August 21, 2011

Psychology in Boot Camp (Fear, Duty and Love)

We spent a day in San Diego with Austin at the end of boot camp. I can’t help but notice the many many Skinnerian learning principles employed to motivate the recruits to be obedient to their drill instructors by instilling an overabundance of fear.

Screaming: The Receiving drill instructors can’t touch you but start screaming at you for moving slow, not holding still, looking around, having things you aren’t supposed to have. They got yelled at if they didn’t take a salad and 2 fruits for dinner. They had to put each item of clothing on “by the numbers” and all shave at the same time. Imagine each tiny thing you do each day is by an order.

Homogenize the appearance: They shave off your hair. They take away your civilian clothes, give you a glow strap, and then and camies (a camouflage shirt and pants). They give those who wear glasses a pair of dorky square glasses so those are all the same.

They instilled a desire to fit in and look like the other, seasoned marines which where there by giving the, newbies the glow strap, making you keep your camies buttoned up to your neck, shaving your head. (observational learning and social pressure) They wait for a week before they will give you your boots. The new recruits are excited to earn the right to unbutton their top button and get their hair cut high and tight to look like the marines that have been at boot camp longer.

Humility and breaking down: The instructors make you yell “yes sir, or aye, aye sir at least 3 times each sentence. You are not allowed to say “I think we should ….” To your Instructor. It’s “this recruit thinks we should…..”

Austin learned to get the most rewards by yelling back a quick loud answer and acting quickly. He was made a squad leader over 13 recruits and a prayer leader. Austin shined at this leadership he had to drag a delirious marine up the “reaper” hill on the crucible hike. So, using lots of consequences like yelling, push-ups, cleaning, the young men were conditioned to fear the drill instructors every second and they became extremely disciplined. Obedience is what a well-disciplined machine like the marine corps needs. Eventually obeying out of fear of the drill instructor turns to obeying out of duty to self, the platoon and country. Eventually the final motivation is love or you are doing it for the marin to the left and right of you.

Austin and Don enjoyed the competition and the physicality of this Boot camp challenge. ( 5 years ago) said the crucible was like scout camp on steroids. They both lost a lot of weight, gained muscle and were at the peak of physical fitness.

As prayer leader Austin had 9 people come to his prayer meeting. After he taught the first discussion there was only him, Dyer, Garcia and one other. Dyer is a guy from Gilbert AZ who didn’t believe in organized religion but had many LDS friends and had taken the discussions before. His mom told us that Austin really made an impression on him and the Elders taught him, he read the Book of Mormon, prayed and was baptized on the 19th after Marine Graduation. Austin did the baptism, the confirmation and conferring the Priesthood. These were things done out of love for the Lord and for the recruit.

New Baby Ethan

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Grand Canyon

‘There is no sight on earth which matches Grand Canyon. There are other canyons, other mountains and other rivers, but this Canyon excels all in scenic grandeur. Can any visitor, upon viewing Grand Canyon, grasp and appreciate the spectacle spread before him? The ornate sculpture work and the wealth of color are like no other landscape. They suggest an alien world. The scale is too outrageous. The sheer size and majesty engulf the intruder, surpassing his ability to take it in.’ JD Morris

Friday July 16th

We meet my Brother Eric and his family at Lees Ferry "The put in" and are told that Eric is "The Real River guide". His friend Mark Lineback who also ran rivers for many years is there as well. Dave McDonald gives us lectures on the layers of rock strata. It’s so great to have his explanations. I thought I understood and appreciated the rock layers the first trip, 15 years ago. But, this is a new appreciation. Once we donned out life jackets and were in our pontoon boat, we stopped in this huge amphitheater to play volleyball. KC (Keith) was the star running down the hill to rescue the ball from the river. His P90X has paid off. Vacey’s Paradise is a spot where a spring shoots out of the top of the cliff resulting in lots of green foliage and clean sweet drinking water. My newphews Andrew and Beau are interested in Mark Lineback's daughter Aimee.......for her umm...... river knowledge. This promises to be an interesting river trip on many levels, the geology, the spiritually, the rapids and the PSYCHOLOGY of four teenagers .

Saturday July 17th

Unkar ‘Delta. We saw remnants of Indian homes and McKenna found these “real” arrowheads. (which Eric bought and had her hide there) We camp on the sandbars at night and put together some pretty excellent meals from the supplies we bought from the ceiba adventure company. The rapids are noisy but the stars are really bright.

July 18th Sunday

We saw Elves Chasm. Stopped the boats at Phantom Ranch. The only sign of civilization for many miles. Got this cool t-shirt and got to use a real toilet instead of the big ammo can with a toilet seat we have to use in camp.

July 19 Monday

We went up a narrow slot canyon for lunch. McKenna was worried about flash flooding. While we explored we heard a loud booming sound and decided to exit quickly.

July 20th Tuesday

Lovely waterfall, the others continued up to Deer Creek, but the fath ws too narrow and sloping for me. Dave did fall and scrape up his leg, but they made it up safely.

July 21st Wednesday

Lake Havasu Day. 4 hour hike. Beautiful canyon and milky blue water, this is the gem of the Grand Canyon. It was hot and my wet pants chaffed my legs. We camped at a place called Fern Gully, a narrow slot canyon with enough water that ferns grow on the rocks.

July 22nd Thursday

Got up and did Lava- the most famous rapid. It has a ledge that makes it technical, so you park the boat above the rive and climb the hill above it to "scout" out the rapid. It gives you a little bit of a scare to think you are going to take your boat through a class 10 rapid on purpose! It was my duty to sit in the front like I did 15 years ago. Danica sat with me. It was such a wild ride, the strap broke where KC was holding onto the pontoon. Afterwards Mark talked me into going through 3 rapids in the inflatable canoe. It was exciting. Crystal rapid was the other exciting and very wet rapid that came close to Lava.

July 23rd Friday

Stopped at a beautiful waterfall. It was so hot and the water so flat, we kept shooting each other with the water canon. Kassidy and Mark Lineback were canoeing in the inflatable canoe and got too close to the front of the boat, stuck in an eddy and then run over by the boat. It was really tense. Kassidy was drug underneath the boat. We thought she would be a goner. We cut the motor and screamed her name helplessly. After what seemed like minutes she popped up with a look of terror on her face. It's just so hot, maybe 110 degrees F that it just doesn't feel that bad when someone named Danica drags you into a beautiful waterfall. Did awards on everyone in the camp. Andrew told me his dramatic and tragic love life and we looked at the stars with the star chart.

July 24

Saw a boiling rapid past the Pierce Ferry. Heard that a boat got stuck in the 90 degree angle and couldn’t get out. Stopped and bought a handmade necklace of Turquoise from a Navaho named Sally. It is so sad to leave the beautiful Grand Canyon.....but glorious to take a hot bath in the motel after 9 days of sleeping in the sand.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mount Elbert

We went camping with our friends Dot and Pat Bernhardt who live in Buena Vista. They have a heated trailer, Mark and I slept in the back of the new pick up. Sleeping under the starry sky was really amazing. Shivering all night was a little rough.

Dot is the social organizer and had planned a fun day with her friends whom she has convinced to buy ATV's and Kayak's for the lake.

Then we rode the ATV's on Mount Elbert, the tallest mountain in Colorado.Dot and Pat have a Colorado Wildflower book and they take pictures as they find them and match them up with the ones in the book. I thought that was a fantastic idea as there are wildflowers just about everywhere.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cousin Camp in Branson Mo.

Celeste, Brooklyn and Hunter flew down from Baltimore, Danica JJ Lily and Charleen flew over from Denver. Marcia Sam and Lucas flew into Branson from Salt Lake City. We all met for a really fun, loud, warm weather week at our vacation home on 141 Foggy Bay Lane, Branson Canyon MO.

Hunter said "Lets have a women party" We were a little confused. Finally we ascertained he was saying "swimming party"
Danica had farm morning and the kids made crafts.The kids painted crafts for their mothers day gifts.We tried eating at Olive garden with all the children. It was a little noisy. Later we got two babysitters from the Branson ward and had a girls night out shopping at Branson landing!
These pirate boats were fun to make, but did not last in the pool.
Two little pirates sitting on the step.
Arrugh matey. I found fruit snacks in the buried treasure.
We celebrated Brooklyn's and Jensen's birthday with a wild Pirate party and sword fights.
Lucas the swimmer boy.

Yay for tye dye and cousins. We had to bribe them with ice cream to get this shot.
Charley likes to be thrown up in the air and caught.
Silver Dollar city in our matching salmon t shirts for the women and tye dye for the kids.
We swam at the pool every day. The kids loved shooting me and each other with the water cannons.
The 3 legged race on "cousin olympics" Marcia was trying to get the children to do races. You can see Lily racing away in the background. This activity reminded me of herding cats.
There was a play set and a pool right by our Branson house.At any given time it seemed like at least one child was crying! But, what a blessing to all be together at once in the beautiful sunshine. It had been raining solid in MO and the lake was high, roads flooded and loads of leaves and flowers everywhere.
Silver Dollar city is a fun place to soar in the butterfly ride with your cousins!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Pirates

For Easter, we had grandchildren and 4 Missionaries at my house. These are the only missionaries in the past 2.5 years of having missionaries live with us to buy us a card, an egg pinata and an Easter basket. After a nice breakfast talking about the atonement, we dressed the missionaries who live in our basement up as pirates and had them sing a song to the grandchildren and had them find help find the Easter Eggs.
"I looked out the window and what did I see?
Pirates helping me to find my candy
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise
Pirates popping out before my eyes

Mark said we started a new tradition of "Easter Pirates", When the whole silly thing was over, the missionaries went back to work and my Grandson JJ said, "Where is my pirate?"