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Author Topic: I'm Not Here To Entertain Your Child!!!
Zekaille
I Saw Three Shipments


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Another long rant--just wanted to give warning...this is another "child" rant..forgive me...I love kids, otherwise I wouldn't have gone into my current line of work, but I am sooooo tired of being expected to teach other people's children social skills...I have enough trouble doing that with the kids I am physically related to...

I'm working the desk in the children's library tonight. Now, it's true, I clearly have time to be posting (at least once) on Snopes tonight. But I am also helping people find books and I am also helping to gear up for the summer reading program (which may be material for another rant soon...)...

Three of us are working on decorations for the summer reading theme and in comes this child who has been coming every evening. She's about seven or eight. She whines. She's bored. She doesn't want to read. She doesn't want to play on the computers. (Or, she wants to play on the computers RIGHT NOW and DOESN"T WANT TO WAIT for the kid whose turn it is to finish....) The only thing she seems to want to do is stand and stare at us and look pitiful. And say "I'm bored." "I'm hungry." (Indicating expensive decoration that is kept up on a shelf for the obvious reason) "I want that to play with..."

She never smiles. She never responds to questions with more than the shake of a head or a nod. Unless you have just explained the rules to her, then she will try to find a way to bend them to fit her particular situation. And if you try and ignore her, she stands directly in front of you and stares and stares and stares. "Is there something you want?" (Shakes head) "Then, sweetheart, you need to sit down because other people are trying to talk to me." (Slumps off stage left until patrons are gone then comes back and continues to stare.)Or, conversely, I try to find out what her interests are so that I can find her books that will tell her about those interests. She has no interests, she tells me.

Tonight her father was with her. He's a very nice man. I'm sure that daughter is a very sweet child, but Dad is encouraging her behavior by excusing it with "She gets bored easily." Well, I really AM sorry about that, we all are, honest, but I've been answering reference questions all evening when I wasn't climbing ladders to decorate and your little bored child has nearly tripped me up five times now. I will bend over backwards to find her appropriate books to read, answers to her reference questions, or movies to take home. But this is not Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus and I am not a clown. And if your child refuses to find something to be interested in may I humbly suggest that perhaps she is the reason she is bored.

What's making me want to scream is that Daddy is looking to me to drop everything and, apparently, do a song and dance act to entertain his bored little girl while his other two kids entertain themselves very nicely. I finally said to her "I'm very sorry that you are bored, Boringella, but I am currently working on two projects. There are puzzles over there, toys over here, and lots of books to read. If none of those appeal to you then next time, bring a toy you like to play with, bring drawing paper and crayons, bring a quiet game..."

And all the time I am giving this lecture, Dad is standing there smiling absently into space. And I am thinking to myself "Why aren't YOU entertaining her, Dad? What is it you think I should be doing here? Why aren't you addressing the question of her boredom? Why am I doing the parenting? Why, for that matter, if your daughter is so bored at the library, do you keep bringing her here and stand around staring at her being bored and staring at US? What is being accomplished here?"

ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!! I know that I don't know what Dad's issues are. He is reasonably intelligent, apparently well read and, as I said, his other two kids have no problem entertaining themselves. It seems to me that if your child keeps telling you she is bored and you don't want to a) read to her b) play a game with her c) read WITH her d) indicate to her that she can find books on her interests then maybe you should reevaluate your reasons for bringing her to the library.

He isn't the only parent to do this, of course. Just the mildest mannered. One woman was unbelievably angry with the head of children's services because she wouldn't sit beside the woman's son on the games computer for two hours and help him play a game that was waaaay too complicated for his age level. "But," said my boss "that is not my job. That is your job." "I don't how to operate this thing." "Then," said my boss "perhaps you should learn."

One of my co-workers just said "What are we supposed to do to entertain his kid? How is that our problem?"

I don't know...IS IT our problem?
How do you other librarians handle these "bored" kids?

Anyone?

ETA: this really is longer than I thought! I apologize--I tried to make it shorter. ANd I didn't really call her "Boringella"....

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"Oh, you're nothing but two ears and a hat!"--my (then) 4 year old niece, following an argument with her uncle

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Poor thing, she sounds attention starved. Not that giving her attention should be your job, just that I feel sorry for her that she's obviously not getting something that she needs.

Gibbie

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If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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acedia
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Just a thought, but next time Dad is staring vacantly into space, you might address him directly.

Some Dads just don't "get" that they need to be proactive with their kids -- and men (as a rule) aren't as receptive to hints as women tend to be. (Admittedly generalizations at work here.)

But it's better to address the situation now (there's a lo-o-o-o-ng summer ahead during which she will presumably be bored) rather than just bottle it in and snap on some "last straw" day.

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Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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The way I deal with kids who come into the yarn store with their mothers and wander around, bored out of their minds, while their mothers ignore them, is to continually send them back to said mothers at any and every opportunity. Toddler comes to give me a "present"? "Ooh! How nice! Why don't you go and show your mom?" Young child wants something and can't reach? "You'll have to ask your mom!" Little girl tries on one of our sample hats or scarves? "How pretty! Go show your mom!"

Eventually my pointed efforts to make the parents pay attention to their freaking children has one of two effects: Either the parent gets annoyed that their child keeps bugging them and leaves, or the parent gets a clue and gives the child enough attention that they're out of my hair. As long as I treat the child kindly, being enthusiastic about what they're enthusiastic about, no one can fault me if I want to involve mom in the process.

(I say 'mom' here, BTW, because very few men come into the store I work in, either with children, or without.)

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cubbie
Deck the Malls


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Zekaille, I guess its happening every where now. On tonights local news they talked about the very problem at the library.Here they say parents drop off kids there all day at the Lansing branch. And most of its due to Michigan's current economic troubles.

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i reject reality and submit my own

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I worked as a CIT at a Y day camp and not one damned kid wanted to be there so I feel your pain. Luckily the kids (probably betwee 12-15 years old) amused themselves. Still we were used as cheap day care. I had to make them get into swim wear once a day and take them to the pool area but other than that I was like F it. I'd dump the crafts on the table then I'd go and play by myself. If they weren't amused I didn't think it was my problem. In fact I even threw things like random handfuls of beads and plastic cords into bags before so their parents could see what they were doing at camp (which wasn't one damned thing). No parent ever cared.

I recently got a non-entertainable child. I feel really sorry for the kid but I was "Ringling Bros". It was a visiting kid in the neighbourhood and there was no pleasing her. I had a trampoline, swing set, bikes, roller blades, chalk, paper, crayons, wax paper, an iron, pogo sticks, ect. out in the yard. I tried juggling, magic (which she didn't believe in)/ illusion (which she also didn't believe in... I don't think she knew what illusion meant), science/math "fun stuff" (she didn't like). I'm serious this kid wouldn't be amused by anything (at least not anything I was capable of). I felt a bit sorry for the (stupid, fat... don't know if that had anything to do with it) child, I really did. I finally had enough and just kicked her and the other 8 or so kids that were over out. The headache just wasn't worth it. I felt like I gave it an honest effort but she had problems beyond what I could "fix". I think sometimes you just have to accept that you can't 'fix' the world.

For some reason I attract kids and I've been turning kids away left and right this week. My boy is in Florida with his grandparents and I also need a vacation, a vacation from the kids.

The thing that amazes me most is the length of time it takes most kids to find a parent. I don't let anyone over without parental consent (which is a different world of sad... some kids will stand outside the fence and watch us play. it breaks my heart but what can I do?). I'm sure some parents are probably iffy about some of the activities but some honestly seem absent. When located they are often like "its all good" (even if they see kids falling off the trampoline). The kids are mostly between the ages of 5 and 15. They also request snacks and drinks on a regular basis. I know the troubles are probably my fault but I feel sorry for the kids. I really don't think they have anywhere else to go. Perhaps they'd walk down to the local library if I kick them out.

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"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Chimera:
I worked as a CIT at a Y day camp and not one damned kid wanted to be there so I feel your pain. Luckily the kids (probably betwee 12-15 years old) amused themselves. Still we were used as cheap day care. .

We've discussed this before. Y day camps are marketed as child care. And yes, they are an affordable option, which is exactly what many parents need. Maybe the kids don't want to be there, but if Mommy needs to work to feed them, they're just going to have to tough it out. They're at day camp, not locked in a closet.

ETA: And whether the program was intended as day care or not, as a Counselor-in-Training you were, in fact, there to entertain those kids. That's what you were being paid to do. It's not at all the same situation as the OP.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Entertaining that specific child at that specific moment in time is not your job, but as you work in the children's department of a library, entertining kids probably is part of your job description (although probably not worded in quite that way [Wink] ). I felt sorry for the little girl based on the interactions you described. I completely agree that it's not up to you to entertain her, but it's certainly part of your job to make the library a warm and inviting place where that child should feel welcome. It sounds like you're all trying to do just that. It's dad who needs to be clued in that he needs to pay attention to his child. On the plus side at least he didn't just drop her off and leave the library. On the negative side it sounds like he has no idea how to relate to people - let alone his child. Not much you can do about that unfortunately.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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snapdragonfly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Zekaille, you need to read this.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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Avril
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Zekaille:
ETA: this really is longer than I thought! I apologize--I tried to make it shorter. ANd I didn't really call her "Boringella"....

But that was the best part!

Children rarely come into our library, and when they do they have no interest in our scholarly journals so they tend to stay out of my department. I have had countless people come up to me and expect me to do their research for them, though, and I wonder how they managed to get to grad school without knowing that you cannot ask the serials librarian for a stack of photocopied articles on your topic on a silver platter--and that, if that was something I was willing to do, that I wouldn't know right off the top of my head where to find said stack of articles without using an index.

"Oh, yes," I envision myself saying. "We had an article in one of our thousands of periodicals about that ten years ago...let's see...Communication Abstracts, yes. Let me go get it for you."

Then there are those who are not satisfied by, "Our public access periodicals are arranged alphabetically by journal title." (Funny how it is necessary to say journal title--many people have asked me, "Are the articles arranged alphabetically, or just the journals?" Is that even possible?) Or even, "That journal is on shelf #10, and it will be between Christian Century and Christian Home." No, no. Many have literally claimed to be unable to retrieve the journals themselves. "You will have to do it for me. I don't know how to do it." You don't know how to do what? Alphabetize? Read?

I actually do go pull things from the public access shelves for patrons, but I wonder about them...

Avril

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There is no failure unless one stops. --Ray Bradbury

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Avril, in college, I had a job helping patrons at the University library use the new (in 1982!) computerized catalog. I took one patron through the whole process of finding the exact book he needed, pointed at the screen, and said, "And there's the call number."

He said, "What's a call number?"

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Para
Deck the Malls


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I'm with Kitten. Keep sending her back to Dad, and if he doesn't get the hint, announce at the end of the day that you all will miss them and hand him a photocopied page of daycare services from the phone book or just plain ask him to take his bored child and leave. She's a distraction to the staff and the other patrons, after all.

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"But what of the golden spider-duck and the squat crimson pig?"

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Aud
We Three Blings


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Zekaille
I would just chalk it up to bad parenting but if the two siblings get it maybe there's another reason the girl doesn't. I wonder if that girl has a mental illness - maybe Autism spectrum. With my friend's son it only the big sensations that get through the song and dance if you will. The smaller gestures of life just don't register with him. Not that this changes anything from your end.

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Zekaille
I Saw Three Shipments


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Hi, all--

I'm back at my "regularly scheduled library" and have a few minutes between story hours...thanks for the ideas. Kitten's right--I did send her off with Dad a couple times, but she didn't want to be with him. I'm inclined to agree that she needs some kind of attention (she is the cutest little girl you could ever imagine, but SO sullen and always, it seems, on the verge of tears) but it's hard to provide at all times. I did let her help me stick the post cards to the desk, along with all the red, white and blue stars we cut out...told her what a good job she did (the "real" children's librarian will probably fix it today...) and so on, but pretty soon, she was bored with that. It's very sad that some kids, left to their own devices--or even when they have their own devices--can't entertain themselves.

Dad MAY have gotten the message finally. He did take her for a walk around the library. I don't want to read thru my whole rant, but I may have mentioned that her brother and sister were also in tow and they were happily working on the puzzles, using the computers or reading. They even tried getting her involved...I get the impression that this child is possibly the youngest and just wants everyone to entertain her or is used to being entertained by everyone and even they are getting tired of it...

Oops! Here come my scary 5 year olds! (Scary because they are a little out of control) Gotta book...they requested a dinosaur story time today...should be amusing.

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"Oh, you're nothing but two ears and a hat!"--my (then) 4 year old niece, following an argument with her uncle

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Bettie Page Turner
Happy Holly Days


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Hope it works out, Zekaille. It's hard when you try to like a kid but just can't, because of their behavior. I think sometimes we believe that all kids should be likeable, and they aren't. Some kids are just little unlikeable NFBSKs, just like some adults. Well, you tried.

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You fail to consider, for such is the tyranny of fashion, that the swan is not a slim animal... -Jincy Kornhauser, Melinda Falling

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:
The way I deal with kids who come into the yarn store with their mothers and wander around, bored out of their minds, while their mothers ignore them, is to continually send them back to said mothers at any and every opportunity. Toddler comes to give me a "present"? "Ooh! How nice! Why don't you go and show your mom?" Young child wants something and can't reach? "You'll have to ask your mom!" Little girl tries on one of our sample hats or scarves? "How pretty! Go show your mom!"

Eventually my pointed efforts to make the parents pay attention to their freaking children has one of two effects: Either the parent gets annoyed that their child keeps bugging them and leaves, or the parent gets a clue and gives the child enough attention that they're out of my hair. As long as I treat the child kindly, being enthusiastic about what they're enthusiastic about, no one can fault me if I want to involve mom in the process.

(I say 'mom' here, BTW, because very few men come into the store I work in, either with children, or without.)

Kittenintherain, I think that's a perfect approach. You're also helping the parents out in a way by teaching their kids a valuable lesson - firstly, that they should not expect to be entertained by an adult every single second of the day, and secondly, that a approaching a random unknown adult for entertainment is not the best idea.

Sometimes when I'm out with DD and I need her to stand quietly beside me for 30 seconds while I read a notice or use the cashpoint, it helps if people around me don't indulge her requests for entertainment. Life has its moments that require patience, and it's a tough one for kids to learn in this entertainment-oriented culture.

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Adelaide
Remembrances of Things Bass


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quote:
Originally posted by Zekaille:
I'm inclined to agree that she needs some kind of attention (she is the cutest little girl you could ever imagine, but SO sullen and always, it seems, on the verge of tears) but it's hard to provide at all times.

I wasn't going to post my original thoughts because I thought it was a stretch, but now with this information I'm wondering. The behavior you describe reminds me of a little girl I knew who had a pretty traumatic past. I don't know all the details of what her father did, but I think he was an alcoholic and that he abused her mom. Some time after the divorce, the dad died. So even though he was a sh**, he was still her dad and it was very hard on her.

She was always bored and had a stare that could give you the willies. She couldn't find joy in anything.

You've mentioned the dad; do you know anything about the mom? You're absolutely right that your job doesn't specifically deal with keeping this kid entertained for hours on end, but it could be that she's reaching out to someone, and that dad is unable to provide the emotional support she needs right now (maybe because he's a mess himself?). This could be an opportunity to have a profound effect on this little girl - maybe some carefully suggested books about grief and loneliness.

Then again I could be wrong and she could just be an obnoxious kid.

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Natural selection is a beguiling counterfeiter of deliberate purpose. - Richard Dawkins

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I would feel bad for her and probably get sucked into entertaining her. But that's why I am an auntie and not a librarian. [Wink]

All I could think of was "poor kid". I know it's not your job, but still "poor kid".

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Penny
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
Avril, in college, I had a job helping patrons at the University library use the new (in 1982!) computerized catalog. I took one patron through the whole process of finding the exact book he needed, pointed at the screen, and said, "And there's the call number."

He said, "What's a call number?"

I'd be confused by that too. Is that the same as a Dewey Decimal number?
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vanilla
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My own little way of getting children to leave me alone is to keep them busy. I reccommend you have a small stack of age-appropriate books for her nearby.

When she wanders over to you, and stares at you, ask her if you can help her or what she is doing. Bored? Give her the book on top of the stack, tell her to read it and return afterwards to give you a mini 'book-report'. When she is done and returns, sit down, give her your undivided attention and listen to her re-tell the story and give her another book.

Eventually, she will tire of this, but tell her that is all you have that she can do. Offer her the puzzles, computers, other books or toys available, but if she is still bored, here's another book she can read. Be forceful, but do not give in and entertain her!

This little exercise will keep her bothering you every now and then for 5 to 15 minutes, but it gives her something to do, increases her reading comprehension, and for a little bit of time, she gets some undivided attention from a grown-up. Give her really thick books to make sure that your work time is not interrupted too much!

Her parents should be doing this. In your work space, they are not. Some kids just want/need attention from an adult, and it does not always mean "entertain me!" A song and dance is not always required, just five minutes of an adult's undivided attention. Give her this, and you will learn about more of the books you stock, and give a kid some creative time - even better, if you prompt her properly, (and she isn't too shy to perform in front of other kids) you might get a little actor on your hands who may just act out the books for other kids if your library supplies the right playthings!

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I swear, it was funnier in my head.
Yeah, I used to be pink. vanilla_pink.

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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
O Come Let Us Adore Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Adelaide:
This could be an opportunity to have a profound effect on this little girl - maybe some carefully suggested books about grief and loneliness.

That's actually something that was discussed in my adolescent literature class. It's called bibliotherapy, but you have to be careful with it- if the child sees too much of themself in the protagonist, there could be problems.

If you're interested in the idea, though, I'd recommend this (which has a list of different books for different situations, if you'd like to try this method, Zekaille), and this as a general reference. Feel free to search more- it is an interesting topic.

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My mom, about my nervousness with Jeopardy!: "Don't worry about it. Just get drunk and you'll do fine."
Blog Just call me Mickey 2

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Ok, ok, I know (now) that most people see Y camps as cheap day care. However it isn't advertised that way and we did have weekend outings (like the white water rafting when all of one of the boy's clothes were thrown in the river, but that's another rant). I tried to entertain them, I really did but they hated being there and they hated me.

The OP is really heartbreaking but I don't know what you can do. The kid needs something but I don't know if you can provide it. Its definitely going to be outside your job description if you can.

It might be an abuse or neglect thing but I wouldn't be so sure of that. I know a family of five and the youngest girl behaves a lot like the kid in the OP even though all the other children in the family are very social and outgoing. She's only a year or two younger than my son but she doesn't play with the big kids. The fact she's almost always the youngest might be part of the problem. She's always being left out or going off on her own and seems to have a sad feeling surrounding her (even when she does colour or do some other activity). I try to put enough out to entertain a wide range of kids but she seems to need a lot of attention. Maybe its just because she's the youngest and perhaps the parents were overwhelmed by the time she came along, I don't know. But I don't think there is abuse involved. Hell, the family just took in another kid for the summer, I'm sure they are overwhelmed. I usually deal with them for a couple hours a day and it gives me a headache. That's why I'm on "vacation" right now. A heard of them just came by and I didn't go to the door. I feel bad but I also feel I need a break. I saw them (including the young one) heading down the street. I wonder where they are going but I try to remember they aren't my responsibility. Damn, I can't help but worry about those kids.

I'm not going to edit my prior post but I will try to defend it (sort of). One of the children staying with the family was very difficult. As I said there was absolutely nothing I could say or do to amuse her. I shouldn't have mentioned her weight but she was the only one in the group that was over weight. She was also the only one that wore hoochie clothes (not a pleasant sight). I think she had serious problems but she was just in town for about a week and she called me a bitch so I kicked her and the rest of them out (until she was gone).

I know she probably had problems but what could I do aside from hide from the kids for a few days. I didn't say why the kids had to leave but they ain't stupid. When they came back they said horrid things about the girl... I think I caused more harm than good but at least I didn't have to deal with it. She was honestly the most stupid, unpleasant, unlikeable person I've ever meet. Still I tried and tried to find something to interest her and when I ran out of ideas and she kept cursing at me I had enough.

If she was a resident around here I might have put more effort into it but I think I put up with more than what most people would've. Would it have honestly been better for me to say "ok, you're flunking out of school, you hate science, magic, arts, juggling, crafts, me, your friends, physical activity, and life itself... oh and by the way you are a fat dumbass that dresses like a slut"? I just had to get her away from me before my real feelings about her came out.

I've dealt with uneducated children, I've dealt with mentally disabled children, I've dealt with problem children but I've never dealt with anything that compared to her in the whole of my entire life. She had so much pride in being a dumb, lazy, slut. I know that there are probably other issues involved but like I said, she was only here for a week and that's not enough time to solve the world's problems (I never even met her family, I don't actually know that she has one). Besides I think her problems went way deeper than anything I could solve. Sometimes I think you just have to accept you can't save every soul (and I don't mean that in a religious way). Its something I'm having a hard time with but its seems to be true. The OP story just breaks my heart because I don't know how I would cope but I think you have to find a way for your own sanity/life/job security.

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Penny:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
Avril, in college, I had a job helping patrons at the University library use the new (in 1982!) computerized catalog. I took one patron through the whole process of finding the exact book he needed, pointed at the screen, and said, "And there's the call number."

He said, "What's a call number?"

I'd be confused by that too. Is that the same as a Dewey Decimal number?
In some cases, yes.

The "call number" is the number that's used to identify a specific book, and to order books on the shelves. If the library uses the Dewey Decimal number, the call number will be a Dewey Decimal number. Not all libraries use that system, though; most college and university libraries use the Library of Congress system, I believe.

But see, you know what a Dewey Decimal number is. So if I'd shown you that screen, you would have known that you were intended to use that number to find the book on the shelves. This guy didn't. He had no idea how to find a book in the library unless someone took him to the shelf and pointed it out to him.

Then there were the people who were shocked that the computer keyboards weren't in alphabetical order. Granted, computers were much less common 24 years ago, and many people (especially men) never learned to type, but some of the people I worked with had apparently never even seen a typewriter. That struck me as odd.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
Then there were the people who were shocked that the computer keyboards weren't in alphabetical order. Granted, computers were much less common 24 years ago, and many people (especially men) never learned to type, but some of the people I worked with had apparently never even seen a typewriter. That struck me as odd.

Since we're off in hijack land, anyway...

When I learned to use Lexis, the stand alone, dumb terminals were called UBIQs (I don't remember--if I ever knew--what that stood for). These machines were specifically designed not to look like word processors or typewriters because it was theorized that attorneys would not use them if it made them look like they were doing "secretary's work."

One result of this design was to make the keys (which were in standard qwerty order) tiny with lots of space around them.

UBIQs remained in use into the early 90s, and people complained about how hard the small keys were to use the entire time.

Gee, the good old days, when 2400 baud was fast and 4800 was just a dream. [Wink]

Seaboe

E because even though the grammar was correct it looked funny.

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
I'm not going to edit my prior post but I will try to defend it (sort of). One of the children staying with the family was very difficult. As I said there was absolutely nothing I could say or do to amuse her. I shouldn't have mentioned her weight but she was the only one in the group that was over weight. She was also the only one that wore hoochie clothes (not a pleasant sight). I think she had serious problems but she was just in town for about a week and she called me a bitch so I kicked her and the rest of them out (until she was gone).

I know she probably had problems but what could I do aside from hide from the kids for a few days. I didn't say why the kids had to leave but they ain't stupid. When they came back they said horrid things about the girl... I think I caused more harm than good but at least I didn't have to deal with it. She was honestly the most stupid, unpleasant, unlikeable person I've ever meet. Still I tried and tried to find something to interest her and when I ran out of ideas and she kept cursing at me I had enough.

If she was a resident around here I might have put more effort into it but I think I put up with more than what most people would've. Would it have honestly been better for me to say "ok, you're flunking out of school, you hate science, magic, arts, juggling, crafts, me, your friends, physical activity, and life itself... oh and by the way you are a fat dumbass that dresses like a slut"? I just had to get her away from me before my real feelings about her came out.

I've dealt with uneducated children, I've dealt with mentally disabled children, I've dealt with problem children but I've never dealt with anything that compared to her in the whole of my entire life. She had so much pride in being a dumb, lazy, slut. I know that there are probably other issues involved but like I said, she was only here for a week and that's not enough time to solve the world's problems (I never even met her family, I don't actually know that she has one). Besides I think her problems went way deeper than anything I could solve. Sometimes I think you just have to accept you can't save every soul (and I don't mean that in a religious way). Its something I'm having a hard time with but its seems to be true. The OP story just breaks my heart because I don't know how I would cope but I think you have to find a way for your own sanity/life/job security.

I would like to post a meaningful responce but I cannot write one.

I just hope you do not ever take a job with the remote possibility of working with at-risk youths again.

--------------------
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Chimera, how old was this "girl" whom you are referring to as a slut? [Confused]

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Meanjelly-

After reading this and many of her other posts, I think it would be best if she stayed away from all children. That probably includes her own.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Syllavus the kid was about 13-14 but she wore short, little "party girl", "hot stuff" and something bitch t-shirts (I'm going to ignore what was printed on the back of her shorts but it wasn't that innocent). Perhaps I'm making some judgements I shouldn't but I'm not getting paid or even officially volunteering to watch the kid. She was kind of dumped on me and I felt I had the right to dump her out.

I like most of "my kids". She wasn't one of "my kids". I'd go to great lengths to help most of "my kids". I might not always have the solutions but I'd give it my best efforts. However, I ain't going to have a temporary bad influence around my kid or any of "my other kids" than necessary, and I sure didn't feel like taking her crap.

I would love for anyone of you critizing me to spend one day with the devil child. I don't give up on any kid but I do realize my limitations. The disruption and posible risk to having her around for a week outweighed what I thought that I, may perhaps, be able to do that would be benificial in that week. The kid had troubles and was trouble and I didn't had the ability to deal with it without taking away energy I could devote to my own family or "kids".

If you had a half dozen kids in your yard and were sent over another (troubled child), what would you do? I tried a dozen activities and got cussed out. It wasn't my kid or even a neighbourhood kid. It was a neighbour's kid that was visiting for a week. If she thought I was a dumb ass she knew were the door was... but when she voiced it I showed it to her. (actually the third or forth time she called me a bitch I showed it to her but that wasn't the only thing said) Perhaps standing on my head trying to start a sing-a-long was a dumb ass thing but if you knew everything I tried to get her involved with first you might understand my desperation. Every other child there was happy playing with the toys and with each other (in a kind but innocent way) but she was poison. Its not that I didn't feel for the kid... I just didn't like her.

I've had trouble with the kids before and I was told on these boards that I'm not the 'boys and girls club'. I'm just starting to stand up for the right to not be the unofficial daycare for kids neither I nor my child cares for... or many of the other kids if rumours are to be believed. I heard a lot of crap went on between her and many of the other children as well. Don't know if its true but it wouldn't surprise me. She's the type of kid I'd probably attract myself to if she lived here, but if she's just passing through I'll pass on the headaches.

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Zekaille
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:

I wonder how they managed to get to grad school without knowing that you cannot ask the serials librarian for a stack of photocopied articles on your topic on a silver platter--and that, if that was something I was willing to do, that I wouldn't know right off the top of my head where to find said stack of articles without using an index.

"Oh, yes," I envision myself saying. "We had an article in one of our thousands of periodicals about that ten years ago...let's see...Communication Abstracts, yes. Let me go get it for you."

Then there are those who are not satisfied by, "Our public access periodicals are arranged alphabetically by journal title." (Funny how it is necessary to say journal title--many people have asked me, "Are the articles arranged alphabetically, or just the journals?" Is that even possible?) Or even, "That journal is on shelf #10, and it will be between Christian Century and Christian Home." No, no. Many have literally claimed to be unable to retrieve the journals themselves. "You will have to do it for me. I don't know how to do it." You don't know how to do what? Alphabetize? Read?
quote:

I just reread this and Lainie's post about the Dewey/Call numbers. Once a week I work at what is generally regarded to be the "ritzy" library branch (the rest of the week, I help maintain the "so not ritzy" inner-inner city branch) where the staring girl resides. Ritzy branch is chock full of parents of both genders, many colors, all kinds of ethnicities, religions and political persuasions...and if we listened to their suggestions, the children's library shelves would be arranged first by age level, then within age level by reading level and then alphabetized by title--non-fiction, too--because that would make it easier. That's when their kid's aren't suggesting that we should file fiction by the author's FIRST name.

I wasn't a particularly bright child. (I am not a particularly bright adult.) But I was able to figure out the alphabet. Dewey took a little longer to master, but once I did, there was very little I couldn't find on my own. I know our jobs kind of depend on people needing our help to find things, but when I have shown the same parent the dinosaur section fifteen times in as m any minutes and he returns to say "That was a good book on the stegosaurus. Now, where would my daughter look for a book on triceratops?" it really takes all my charm and patience and fortitude not to reach out next to him, grab the book and...stuff...it...up...his...nose. [fish]

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"Oh, you're nothing but two ears and a hat!"--my (then) 4 year old niece, following an argument with her uncle

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meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
I would love for anyone of you critizing me to spend one day with the devil child. I don't give up on any kid but I do realize my limitations. The disruption and posible risk to having her around for a week outweighed what I thought that I, may perhaps, be able to do that would be benificial in that week. The kid had troubles and was trouble and I didn't had the ability to deal with it without taking away energy I could devote to my own family or "kids".

I teach at an alternative school and deal with upwords of 100 of these "trouble" kids. It is difficult and hard. From this post and others you sound like you have great trouble with these kids. Thats nothing to be ashamed of just look for different places to work.

Places like the Y in summer will have all kinds of kids as it is advertised as low income child care.

What bothers me is the judgements and words you used to discribe this child. A person who works with child should never think and say the things you have.

--------------------
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

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vanilla
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Chimera:
Syllavus the kid was about 13-14 but she wore short, little "party girl", "hot stuff" and something bitch t-shirts (I'm going to ignore what was printed on the back of her shorts but it wasn't that innocent). Perhaps I'm making some judgements I shouldn't but I'm not getting paid or even officially volunteering to watch the kid. She was kind of dumped on me and I felt I had the right to dump her out.



Yes, you are making judgements on a kid you knew for a week. A week! I also call BS on the "not getting paid/or even officially volunteering to watch the kid." You were a CIT at a Y. They don't just let strangers walk into a Y, place them with children and expect them to entertain them - at least not at the Y's near me, they don't. Also, if she was there in the Y camp, someone paid to have her there - whether you (or she for that matter) wanted her there or not.

quote:
I like most of "my kids". She wasn't one of "my kids". I'd go to great lengths to help most of "my kids". I might not always have the solutions but I'd give it my best efforts.


Except for a kid you just met and have only known for a week.

quote:
However, I ain't going to have a temporary bad influence around my kid or any of "my other kids" than necessary, and I sure didn't feel like taking her crap.


Way to be the adult in the situation. Like it or not, some kids are just not going to like you or your "side-show." And some kids just like to act up to adults to look cool to their peers. As an adult, you need to realize that and respond accordingly. You needed to take control of the situation and let her know her actions and language was not allowed at the Y camp. Letting her parents/guardians know her behavior was unacceptable before you kicked her out would have been an adult action. At least letting one of the actual counselors know of her bad attitude would have been a step in the right direction - instead you decided you were the cooler kid and kicked out the kid that pissed you off.

quote:
I would love for anyone of you critizing me to spend one day with the devil child.


I would love to - but unfortunatly, I can't. Personally, I doubt she was as "devil" as you claim. Especially when so far, your only reasons for her being a "devil child" are that she didn't like your activities, she let you know (and used bad language in the process), you didn't approve of her clothing choices, and she was the only over-weight kid in the group.

quote:
I don't give up on any kid but I do realize my limitations.


Except this kid. You gave up on her after a week.

quote:
The disruption and posible risk to having her around for a week outweighed what I thought that I, may perhaps, be able to do that would be benificial in that week.


I'll give you this, but you should have informed an actual camp counselor of your problems with her before giving up on her.

quote:
The kid had troubles and was trouble and I didn't had the ability to deal with it without taking away energy I could devote to my own family or "kids".


Another reason to hand her off to someone trained to deal with kids like her - you know, an actual camp counselor.

quote:
If you had a half dozen kids in your yard and were sent over another (troubled child), what would you do? I tried a dozen activities and got cussed out. It wasn't my kid or even a neighbourhood kid. It was a neighbour's kid that was visiting for a week. If she thought I was a dumb ass she knew were the door was... but when she voiced it I showed it to her. (actually the third or forth time she called me a bitch I showed it to her but that wasn't the only thing said) Perhaps standing on my head trying to start a sing-a-long was a dumb ass thing but if you knew everything I tried to get her involved with first you might understand my desperation. Every other child there was happy playing with the toys and with each other (in a kind but innocent way) but she was poison. Its not that I didn't feel for the kid... I just didn't like her.


Wait - was she at the Y or at your personal sideshow in your yard?

Again, if she was at the Y, you should have handed her to a trained camp counselor regardless of your feelings toward her. Personally, I am glad you are no longer working/volunteering/not offically volunteering/...F-it, whatever the hell you were doing there at the Y camps anymore just due to this intense hatred you still have for a child you knew for a week. A week! Did I mention you knew her for only a week!

quote:
I've had trouble with the kids before and I was told on these boards that I'm not the 'boys and girls club'.


They are right, you are not. The Y camps, however, are. They also get paid to be. Kicking a kid out of something her parent/guardian paid for just because you didn't like the kid, is not going to earn you any brownie points.

But wait, are you saying this kid was disturbing you on your property, or the Y's? Again, where exactly was she pissing you off?

quote:
I'm just starting to stand up for the right to not be the unofficial daycare for kids neither I nor my child cares for... or many of the other kids if rumours are to be believed. I heard a lot of crap went on between her and many of the other children as well. Don't know if its true but it wouldn't surprise me. She's the type of kid I'd probably attract myself to if she lived here, but if she's just passing through I'll pass on the headaches.
If she was on your property, then kudos to you for standing up for yourself and ridding your property of someone you found to be a bad influence to your child and his friends. That is definitely something to be proud of.

But if we are still at the Y, handing her off to someone more qualified than you would have been the responsible, adult thing to do. Of course, you are no longer at the Y camps so any advise given here can just be ignored as we can't change the past, can we?

--------------------
I swear, it was funnier in my head.
Yeah, I used to be pink. vanilla_pink.

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I am not getting paid to watch these kids. I haven't officialy worked with kids for some years now. I'm not sure that I really like them. I love my own kid because he's my boy but other people's kids... I'm really not sure.

I don't even invite these kids over half of the time. They just kind of show up. Heck I don't even know some of them. I didn't know the visiting girl that was here for a week. I knew the family and they play over here. They are also really good with my kid... perhaps a little more rough housing than I'd like but my child enjoys it and they seem fairly careful.

Although these kids don't even have the sense to come out of the rain (my son included, only one kid excluded). Today we heard the icecream truck and I told the kids if they could stop it (it takes me a minute or two to get my son over the fence or unlock the gate) I'd buy them all an ice cream (a couple of them can clear the gate in one leap and I like to get them an occasional treat, they usually seem very appreciative... most of them are good kids... I'm not saying the troubled kids are bad, they just often need extra attention and suppervision and there is only so much of that to go around).

Well we kept hearing the ice cream truck but it suddenly started pouring down rain. The kids were running up and down the street in the rain and even trespassing at a local sand company searching for the thing (as soon as they hoped the fence they scattered like rats). It was absolutely insane. And now I have a kid that's only four getting dumped off here as well. Anyway I just took the four year old who was about to wander into the road (that I thought the older realitive was supposed to be watching but he was too busy trespassing) and my kid by the hand and waited while the rest of the kids went to search and capture the truck (aside from the only halfway inteligent one, a 9 years old, that stayed in out of the rain). Well, at least they were no longer in my yard at that point. After that I returned the four year old to the family that dropped him off* and shortly thereafter I chased the rest of the kids out. Many didn't even go home then but went back to roaming the neighbourhood. The two reasons I let the come over is that my son thinks its fun to have a bunch of people to play games and do things with and I don't really think many of the kids have anywhere else to go.

*The four year old seems to be staying with a neighbour's family. They "dropped him off" by a parent placing him over my back fence while we were playing. I don't know who lifted him over the front fence in search of ice cream. I was tending to my own child but I doubt he could've climbed it alone.

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Vanilla and Meanjelly-

Chimera is NOT a camp counselor- she thinks she is a clown and conducts (sometimes dangerous) circuses in her yard. Sadly that is not a joke.

Her child is not even there- supposedly he is at Disneyworld with his grandparents. Chimera just likes having kids at her house, preforming circus acts, and then bitching about them here on snopes.

It's like an episode of Fear Factor and Ripley's Believe it or Not all rolled into one.

Unfortunately there are children involved.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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ChickyBee
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Perhaps I'm making some judgements I shouldn't but I'm not getting paid or even officially volunteering to watch the kid. She was kind of dumped on me and I felt I had the right to dump her out .

I'm confused - if you weren't officially volunteering, then what made you feel you had the right to 'dump her out' ?

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So many people are hung up on achievements. What did you do today? What are you planning? Sometimes, just getting through the day is an achievement in itself.

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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ChickBee, read this thread to see what she's talking about.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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