While the police cadets at my community college are in formation, they view a bell near the building. Today it was ice encrusted. It’s mounted on a four-by-four post with an inscription on each of the four sides.
Here lies a start of a new beginning.
Give us 17 weeks and we’ll give you 30 years.
Pain is temporary, pride lasts a lifetime.
If you can’t handle this, ring the bell.
Most of us complain about little inconveniences like stepping in a mud puddle or getting caught in a rain shower. At times, all of us complain about being tired. There are some of us who resent being told what to do. Shamefully, I am describing myself to some degree.
At 7:15 a.m. it was still very dark. There would be no sunshine today as ice, rain, and snow began falling early in the morning hours. I parked my car on the lot where our police cadets do formations. They were there, lying on the parking lot, on their backs, facing the sleet, rain and snow, holding leg raises, then doing push-ups. The commandant and sergeant shouted humiliating comments to these twenty-two cadets, two of which are women, telling them how stupid they were, and branded them with suitable nicknames, i.e. “Puddles”, “Chicken”, “Cripple”, “Knucklehead”. My heart would not let me take a picture of their tortured selves this morning. This is the second week of their training and already, three have bailed out. Only those who possess inner strength and determination can handle the pressure. By the second day, I would probably have a melt down and hide inside a closet.
A little while later, I heard their marching voices from behind the wooded area and they emerged, learning to march, holding the left count, while raising their voices in song at the same time. There were a few who were surprisingly so uncoordinated that it looked nearly impossible for them to hold the left.
I work across the hall from Sgt. Moore, a 7 foot 2 inch tall black man, who I think is rather shy and soft spoken around the office. However, in his drill mode, he is a man made of steel. His loud voice always surprises me and today I realized that he has a very wonderful singing voice that echoes across campus! I listened for a while and was so appreciative of his talent. The commandant is wearing the shorts to prove anything is possible in below freezing weather. Whatever. The lady in the light gray sweats is our associate dean. She enjoys helping out while getting her own workout.
Despite the nasty weather, I pulled my hood up and broke out of the office for a while. I was in pursuit of this mystery bird for the entire time in the woods. (Click to enlarge) It was hard to photograph this bird in low light. It spent the whole time digging and nearly burying itself in the pine straw. I can't identify this bird, even after looking at my field guide. It was very black with a red underside, conicle beak. I threw some seed around and headed back inside to see my bangs nearly dripping! I'm not complaining, though.
I love this photo of the juncoes scrambling for a bite at the feeder in my yard. The icicles were getting longer by the minute. I was standing on my ice covered deck and trembling. Can't afford another fall!