Month: February 2012

Bob Morris, Indiana Lawmaker, Calls Girl Scouts A Radicalized Organization VIDEO

Bob Morris, Indiana Lawmaker, Calls Girl Scouts A Radicalized Organization VIDEO.

I apologize, but please, I have to speak out!

Please please please everyone just stop and THNIK

Take a deep breath.

Attacking the Girl Scouts!!!!!!

This is getting scarier by the moment!!!

I had wanted to try out the “Press This” feature for some time now, but I was hoping to do it on a much much much lighter subject!!

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“So Dennis, what did you learn in school today?”…Part 2

Putting the Starbucks thing to rest!  Finding the Good Vibe Spot

Ok, I think I have this thing settled about working away from my desk.  Despite my early skepticism I’ve come to like it!  Coming to you live now from the Student University Center at Clayton State University.  I just completed my second week of classes.  What I decided to do was spend the day on each school’s campus, avoiding  the hassle of traveling into drive time traffic to get to school, while also enjoying the secondary benefit of exploring.

Books-a-Million and Barnes and Nobles’ major drawback was the lack of power outlets.  Somehow for me, this Mac is giving just about  three hours of juice.  Of course I’m running iTunes at the same time but that shouldn’t have that much impact.  Maybe it’s all in my mind,  but last week I posted from B&N, and it seemed like I was using almost a third of the power per hour.  I ended up switching over to my iPad to complete the draft, synced it, and then go back to the Mac to post, with about 18% power showing as I start posting.

So two major goals for campus trip: a lot of power outlets and seats with good views.   My first out of office experience at Books found me  sitting damn near behind the coffee counter.  There was only one outlet that had a simple power strip plugged into the bottom socket and I had to stretch my cord to the max to use it.  B&N had a nice table I commandeered near a window, but no power.  With those two requirements in mind I was hoping for a good experience.

Student 2.0

First up was Clayton State, home of my voiceover course, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a much nicer campus than I expected.  Confession time: I had a negative pre-conceived notion based on the county it was in.  Whenever I’ve been proven wrong about a negative assumption or statement I’ve always responded with “Glad to be wrong!”  I  don’t have to aways be right, especially on a negative thing.  Why would I not want a good thing to happen?  In this case, I have to give the school it props!!!

As I was walking around the campus I kept looking for “the spot”, a seat with power and a good view.  Discovering all the good ones taken, I ended up in a cubicle in the library.  NEVER AGAIN.  I write in bursts, lots of words flowing fast and furious (and mis-spelled) for a few minutes.  Then I’ll sit back, think about what I wrote, take in what’s happening around me,  and  then dive in again.  No scenery in the cubicle, and what I could see in the library was boring!  This visit today finds me sitting upstairs in the student center,  a good spot that meets my requirements.

Yesterday was Emory’s turn, where I’m taking my writing classes.  I had a negative preconception  blown away at CSU, and my positive expectations for Emory didn’t even come close to matching what I encountered!  Everything I expected and more.  As I did at CSU, my first task was to cruise the campus.  One of the things that never crossed my mind till just now, I never gave a thought about my age, being n the midst of all of these students.  And as I think about it now, I decide it’s nothing to think further about.  It’s not striking me as something to dwell on. What’s foremost  in my mind is just absorbing the fact that here I am again learning!  Student 2.0  Not my old corporate training, but training for MY goals!  Here’s  tangible, physical proof that everything I planned to do in Dennis 2.0 is now in play… and yesterday was the day I really, truly felt so good about it.  I’ve got books, homework, and a student ID number. The Christian in me gave many Thanks to God for this and for the wife’s support.

So it was another Good Vibe Spot search in Emory’s Woodruff library,  where I found a seat on the third floor bridge level.  Before getting there  I ran into a scene that stuck into my mind.   On the first floor there is a whiteboard along an entire length of wall, with several tables and chairs arranged a log it.  There were students at a few of them, and I watched one table where a young lady began drawing  what I think were molecular diagrams, or something of that type. I decided I would find out what it was, and as I’m thinking the,  the feelings I described started to pop up.  A few tables away a group of students had just left, and based on what they boarded they must have been the med students.

X———-> A) No Disease

Y————–> B) Disease

I was really impressed with how serious they all seemed.  “This,” I thought, “is where cures are going to be found.”

After I  settled in I wanted to get some shots for this post.  Regrettably, I had left my camera  home, so it was the phone camera to the rescue.  Emory has an exhibition going on in the gallery on the floor I was on: “Shadows of the Sun:  The Cosby’s, the Black Sun Press & the Lost Generation”   It focuses on the writers, artists, jazz musicians, and others who left America for Paris in the 1920’s, including people such as Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson.  The exhibit featured postcards written by many of them, and I thought I’d get  a few pictures for this post.  Ah, bad move.  AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT… that’s the moment an administrator happened to juuuust be exiting the elevator near where I was.  I have to give her credit, she was very nice about it, but I had committed a sin: NO pictures allowed.  So this one shot was it.  There were lots more to see on all four sides of the gallery.  Based on the quality of this shot, I’m glad I didn’t take any more pics.  Lesson learned:  go ahead and keep the camera a lot closer than where it was in the car trunk yesterday… a lesson applied today.

Unfortunately, that has led to anther lesson learned.  I’m carrying a laptop case with my Mac and iPad, and I’m also carrying  a camera messenger bag … and that stuff gets heavy!!! I need to look at maybe getting a backpack that can house both the camera and laptop and iPad and the 10,000 pencils, pens, highlighters, sheets of paper, paper clips, folders, mini-stapler, etc. that I insist on carrying around.  Never know when you might have to turn in a term paper on the spot!

“Oh, I see now. You’re a Continuing Ed student wanting internet access, huh?”

The only negative in my campus fun is the fact that the Continuing Education buildings are NOT on the main campus but close by, less than about 5 minutes away if no traffic.  Why is that???  What consigns us to the East Campus or the Briarcliff campus?  Is it our gray hairs??  I need to ask questions!  Getting a few administrative things done on the main campus has sometimes been a little frustrating.

Well, I’ve doubled the recommended word count for  a readable blog, so the next time I come back to this topic (you’ve been warned) I’ll talk about the classes.  I’ve learned a LOT in these two weeks, and one of those things prompts me to issue an apology.  I’ve avoided using a lot of adjectives and adverbs.  I didn’t drop in any prose about  “how the walls echoed with the laughter, frustrations, and aspirations of those young souls who, like me at their age, never gave a thought to the obligations beyond the world of their laughter, frustrations, and aspirations…”

Huh?

I painted just a “dry” setting for “what I learned.”  I know now I should work a little harder to paint better word pictures, but I swear to you I won’t go “metaphysically deep!”  Remember, this a journal chronicling my growth repeat growth.  So please stick with me.  Not sure I can turn in a three page essay about a brick just yet.  If the brick talked to me, well then it’s on!

…and ANOTHER thing!!!!!

Unsolicited Thoughts and Opinions

...and ANOTHER thing !!!!!

This is my attempt at satire.  Regardless of what your politics are; you’d have to wonder what impact the current political environment has on our young people.  What lessons are they learning?

High School Politics:  A Civics Lesson 101 in the 21st  Century

Mount Rushless High School, in suburban Atlanta, provides an amazing insight into what our children may be learning from the current political atmosphere, and perhaps learning from their parents. It involves the school’s Student Government Association (SGA) and it’s a civics lesson for the 21st century… politics at Class AAAA level.

Mount Rushless could be considered a microcosm of America, its student body representing almost every ethnic and socio-economic group. As the new school year began three candidates ran for SGA President: Patrick “Phig” Newton, Abigail Donnareid, and LaJamarcustavious “LJ” Wilson – all juniors. After what was described as an ugly campaign, Wilson won.

A survey taken after the last election reveals the factions supporting each candidate. There are students who say the SGA’s responsibilities should be limited to homecoming and other social events, with no involvement in fundraising. Survey results placed nearly 100% of Newton’s supporters in that category.

Those that supported Donnareid want their student government to promote more after-school religious and family oriented activities. She talks fondly of her father’s efforts to “put God back into the classroom.”

“My dad jokes that what he tells me comes from the “Book of Buchanan” she said. “He also told me that this country was founded by Christians, and most of everything we do here, or at least used to do, was based on that, and we should never stray from it, even at my age. We need to take back our school.”

Wilson’s supporters, according to the survey, agreed with his campaign slogan: “Your Student Government Works for You!” His supporters are a mix of every demographic in the school. “I just want us all to be one school,” he said. “I saw nothing but one group fighting another, and it seemed every group thought they were the only ones who had the right answers, or thought they were the only true Mount Rushless students. Everybody kept talking about how their parents thought compromising was betraying what you believe.  Everybody thought the word “compromise” was a sign of weakness.”

Among the incidents that occurred since the election:

The parents of Ben “Butch” Thompson, starting quarterback for the school’s newly crowned Class AAAAA champion football team, allowed him to skip the trophy presentation given at the school’s PTA meeting. “Dad said he really admired the example set by the pro athletes who didn’t accompany their team to the White House to be honored by Obama” said Thompson. “Dad wants me to stand up for what I believe in, and since I don’t like what LJ’s all about and didn’t vote for him, Dad said I didn’t have to attend.”

Several students, whose parents kept them out of school that day, boycotted Wilson’s inaugural address during assembly. When asked after the event why they took such action, one of the students, Michael Walrump, a transfer student from South Carolina, said, “I never supported any of the ideas that guy was proposing.  If you don’t agree with someone, you don’t have to listen to them or do anything with them. I remember when my parents kept me home that time when Obama made that speech on TV. I didn’t vote for LJ, so I got nothing to hear from him.”

A few blocks from the school, several students, including Donnareid and Newton, gathered at the home of classmate Joseph Brown during Wilson’s speech to stage a “Tweeting for Truth” session. In explaining his actions, Newton told reporters “what you witnessed was a profound demonstration by true Rushless students who’re exercising their constitutional right to follow in their parent’s footsteps, and take bold action in showing those who would try to turn our school into a clone of Carl Marks High that we won’t tolerate it. Frankly, the election was a sham, as anyone can clearly see that it was those students who don’t believe in studying who voted for LJ. Those people, combined with the clear naiveté of most freshmen who believe in LJ’s rhetoric, propelled us into this pit of student misery, and frankly what we need to do is take a look at the qualifications for voting in the next election.”

Wilson’s homecoming assembly speech didn’t fare any better than his inaugural address. It was interrupted by a still-unidentified student who shouted,  “you’re a liar,” causing outbursts of laughter, arguments, and general confusion among the students. It took over fifteen minutes for school staff to restore order. Several students, when questioned about the appropriateness of the outburst, referenced their parents’ pleasure over the “you lie” outburst during the President’s State of the Union address.

In all, what we’re seeing here and perhaps in schools all over the country, are the lessons our children are learning about politics… a new civics lesson for the 21st century.

Sports Reporter: The “Perfect” Writing Job

Aw hell, you mean I have to cover the Superbowl again???

The Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Image via Wikipedia

Alright!!! It’s Super bowl time!!! As much as I like sports, and love football in general, being a sportswriter looks like a sweet job. I mean, look at the benefits:

You get PAID to go to games, and even the big events, like the Super Bowl

Need I say more? Covering the Super Bowl is your job. You’re there all week. You get to go almost anywhere. Now of course you have to produce something, and if it was me it would be nice and succinct:

Team A won.
Team B sucked.
Details in tomorrow’s edition.
Post-game party in ten, we’re out of here!”

You get opportunities to talk one on one with sports celebrities

How sweet can that be? You have complete freedom to ask them whatever question you want. Appropriate or not, you can ask it. You’re representing the fans, and you too want to know why the hell he swung at an inside pitch on a 3-0 count.

It seems impossible to run out of things to talk about
English: This is an image of St. Louis Rams ow...

The next game – check. The last game – check. Last game’s impact on next game – check. Last arrest – check. Getting an athlete to say something stupid – check. Asking other players to respond to stupid statement – check. Going back to the first athlete to get his response to what others said about the stupid statement check. Asking an athlete if getting asked about the statement 100 times in a row is a distraction – check. Asking an owner if he’s going to fire a coach – check. Declaring an owner’s denial as a sign he IS going to fire the coach – check.

If you’re an “insider” you can get some pretty cool cellphone numbers

You are the man! (or woman) You not only have athletes, managers, agents, and commissioner’s’ phone numbers in your contact list, you also have a more valuable group of names. Airport staff to let you know what coach just flew in, coincidently as the team is searching for a new coach. Also hotel staff, to let you know who checked in, or they saw the owner and the coach.  Also anybody on the team’s administrative staff; how else would you know a coach is scheduled to be interviewed while the team denies it.

You try to find out information before it’s announced so you can say “you heard it here first”

You, and your employer, are the smartest kids in the class. I mean, it’s not like the team was going to keep it a secret and sneak the new coach out at the very first home game for everyone to see.

You don’t have to say things about an athlete or call him a name to his face

Like any fan who can post a comment or call in to a sports show, you can call someone a bum, a thug, a cancer on the team, should be traded/cut, the weakest link on the team, etc. and not have to duck. And remember, unlike a fan… you get paid for it!

And most important of all, you’re almost never, ever, wrong!

Team goes 1-15, you predicted 15-1 season. Coach gets fired, and you now have more material than you need to write, and write, and write! To this date, as far as I know, no sports reporter has ever been fired for a team’s performance. Even better, couch your calls in a “beat the sports writer’s predictions” contest, so your bad calls becomes someone else’s season tickets.

In all seriousness, it surely seems like a fun job that does require serious work, but also seriously it’s one of the few jobs I can think of where among other responsibilities you’re paid to be a Monday morning quarterback.  Obviously, being able to write about something you enjoy is great!