High School Rag … Nitty Gritty

Did we really do that?  Incredible, I can clearly relate to that “One Guy” in the video.  Yes, boys and girls, the truth it seems, is indeed, stranger than fiction.  In my case, “it is downright incriminating” when presented in a court of law.

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Up On My Soapbox Again …


Life beyond the TV tray … Supper time, the talking heads are on NBC telling me how good I have it, ABC is reporting “most everyone is dead,” and CBS says “these people are dead right now, they just don’t know it.”  FOX has a hard hitting expose on which Movie Star got out of the limo last night at the awards show sans her underwear. CNN?  Uh huh, don’t even get me started. Continue reading

Email Of The Week.

We watched high school principal Dennis Prager of Colorado , along with Sara Palin and Tom Brokaw on TV a couple of weeks ago….what a dynamic, down to earth speaker. Even though Palin and Brokaw were also guest speakers they did little but nod and agree with him.. This is the guy that should be running for President in 2012!A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give.  This was written by Dennis Prager.

Higher Learning

To the students and faculty of our high school.  I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.  I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity — your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American.

This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans. If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity, race and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America , one of its three central values — e pluribus Unum, “from many, one.” And this school will be guided by America ‘s values. This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism — an unhealthy preoccupation with the self — while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America ‘s citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country.And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here — it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English –but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning’s elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school’s property — whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can’t speak without using the f-word, you can’t speak.By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as “Nigger,” even when used by one black student to address another black, or “bitch,” even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way — the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago — by earning it.One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue… There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian.

We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky — to be alive and to be an American.  Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

As MasterCard is fond of saying ….. That is priceless.  What we have now, all this PC crap surely isn’t working, perhaps this is what we need? 

Getting back to basic’s.


Didn’t Happen File

As I am a firm believer that people come to this page to be uplifted, informed, amused and even to some respects, entertained.  I feel it would be doing those faithful readers of this page, a disservice to keep ranting about “my issues with the oil companies” and I am going to put up something positive.  The world did not end as predicted and I am therefore obligated to write something this morning.

I feel kind of confused about the entire thing (ambivalent?), there are days I want to end it all, I surely do, and then there are days, I really want some more of it.  Part of the human condition I suppose.  We all search out the good deal in life, the thing that rows our boat, that keeps us afloat during hard times and good times alike.  Something like Sam Kuver had.

Sam lived right across the street from the highschool, nice little house and spacious yard.  The school wanted Sam’s place, they wanted it bad.  The school board approached him with an offer, they said, “Sam, we want to buy your place and we want it for a school bus garage.  Will you sell it to us?”  Sam then replied, “Where is it that I will live, if you take my place for a garage for your buses?”

They did not have an answer.

Then one of them said, “Okay, sell it to us now, and you can live here rent free until you die, and we will pay your utilities and your taxes all the time you are living here.  We don’t want to miss out on this property.”  So Sam considered the idea and then said, “You have a deal.”  He was 66 years old at the time.  A friend of mine called this weekend and told me that Sam had passed on and informed me of when the funeral would be.  By the way, “he was 92 years old when he died.”  I suppose in the near future there will be a new bus barn going up just across the street from the high school.

Not a cheap one by any means for the school board, but it sure was a good bargain for old Sam.

Eight years ago, the 1,500 residents of the Kenyan village of Lwala sold chicken and cattle to raise $900 in airfare so that one their boys, Milton Ochieng, could enter Dartmouth College.  Today Milton is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Medical School and, along with his brother Fred, who followed him to both alma maters, he has repaid the favor by building a clinic in his home village.

People helping people, something you don’t seem to hear about much these days.

The brothers raised $150,000 for the clinic, which in its first year has seen 20,000 patients, most of them for free.  “It makes you feel great to be a doctor,” said Milton.  An amazing feat when you stop to consider that this all occurred in a third world country, not some Mega Super Power.

Fifty four years ago, Jan Zacharda lost her Ludington, Michigan, high school ring in the depths of Lake Micigan.  Last month she got a call from Robert Savage, who had found it with a metal detector.  Savage had actually discovered the ring some 12 years ago, but couldn’t locate its owner; though Zacharda’s class year, 1955, was clearly stamped on the ring.

Along with the initials “J.P.” for Jan Pedersen her maiden name.

But Savage recently got hold of the Ludington yearbook for the class of ’55 and found only one name with the right initials.  He then began calling all the are Pedersen’s until he found one who knew Jan.  Kind of nice to know that there are still some honest people out there.

Not so smart file:  A sense of privilege, after a first-class passenger on a Delta Airline flight from New York became so angry that economy passengers were let off the plane ahead of him, that he opened an emergency hatch and slid down the chute!  The indignant passenger was promptly arrested.

The absolute best one that has come to my attention this week is the California woman who whipped out her .44 caliber Magnum and began firing at mice scurrying across the floor of her trailer.  A .44 Magnum, man, talk about “overkill” that is kind of unreal right there.

But wait … It gets better.

She drops the gun (more than likely reaching for another beer) and it fires a bullet that pieces her knee, bounces off a friends keychain, and grazes his groin before coming to rest in his coin pocket.  And people wonder what type of person lives in a Mobile home?

But wait, it gets even worse.  A diabetic Illinois woman is recovering after he dog chewed off her big toe!  (I am not making this up).  The 56 year old woman who suffers with numbness in her lower extremities says she dozed off in the afternoon (not an uncommon occurrence with diabetics) and her 1 year old miniature dachshund, Roscoe, (again I am not making this up), snuggled at her feet, starts gnawing on her foot.

When she awoke from the nap, and looked down, and saw Roscoe dining at the big toe buffet, she screamed!  At that time, her daughter ran into the room and discovered the dog munching away.  I believe her exact quote was:  “I didn’t think when I went in there I was going to see that..  It is hard to take in when you walk into a room and there’s a dog eating your Mom.”

Duh  — You think so?

It has been a somewhat interesting week, in some cases I am sure a few people “wished the world would have ended as scheduled” and I suppose on the other hand, a few were not surprised at all, that it did not.  Me?  I am okay with it all, I have misplaced my work boots and do not have a clue as to where they might be located, but that is Monday for you.

It is always kind of hectic on Monday around here, so I kind of expect it.  That is what makes the world go round.


Day Dreamer

There is a school of thought that says that “day dreaming is not good for you.”  That it raises false expectations about life and then kicks the door open for depression to move in.  I don’t necessarily subscribe to this theory and often find myself doing just that, day dreaming.

A long time ago, an ocean of time would be closer to the truth; I would sit in Mrs. McGee’s English Class and look out the window, and wonder what was out there?

English sucked and I didn’t want any part of it when I was sixteen years old. I felt that there were more important things in life than a good working knowledge of the language, a command of the written word.

When you are sixteen, expressing the wisdom you posses thru words, is kind of impossible, because when you are sixteen, you are woefully short on wisdom. I had no real knowledge to acquire through words, I had no patience or desire. After all, “I was a teenager, and I knew it all.”

Been there. Done that. Got the diploma. Time to move on.

Youth and that unchaste salute, time for deep inner reflection and strong will. I did not feel the need to collect and arrange words in the form of proverbs, epigrams, pithy sayings. I did not feel any compulsion to communicate truth thru words.  I knew no truth. I had no passion.  So here we now, Mrs. McGee, all these years later, and I find myself sitting in front of a screen, almost daily, doggedly and exhaustively pursing all the worldly ways I know, in the pursuit to make sense of life.  As an educator, you would be so proud.

One by one, almost as if mile markers on the railroad right away, I knock them down. Hedonism. Materialism. Philosophy. Intellectualism. Religion. Most of the time, only to come up on empty. Every now and then I get lucky, one item resonates with the spirit and I get a “good job” …” I like that” … or something along those lines.

Been there. Done that. Now what?

Suit up for the game, get in there and get a hit, it doesn’t matter if it is a Home Run or not. Just that you are ready to play the game.  This is gonna be a good day, I can just feel it in my bones.  Sit back, relax and let your mind rest … You deserve a break today. Silver State Ghost Towns  … Crank it up!

Take a trip off the beaten path.