Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
This video by Weird Al Yankovic quickly and energetically puts forth the most common word and grammar crimes committed by too many people who didn't learn the most basic rules in school. A good lesson.
The governor of Connecticut yesterday vetoed a measure which would have banned chocolate milk in that state's public schools. He wrote: "A ban would deny children some health benefits. What ultimately would have happened is children would have ended up drinking less milk, getting less calcium, and we might have had difficulty fulfilling the milk requirement."
In a letter to the Secretary of State, the governor said dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that children consume three servings of nonfat or low-fat dairy per day. He said research has shown that when chocolate milk is removed as an option, total milk consumption goes down and milk waste increases.
Not all kids like white milk, it's a fact, and this is one sensible governor in these days of banning things.
Each summer, right after the school year ends, the seminary offers a two week cross cultural/urban ministry class in New York City and surrounding burroughs led and taught by local NYC pastors. Students are able to see a very different way of life and ministry from the sedate midwest.
The guys who are out there right now have been posting pictures. Here are a couple photos of some of their experiences.
They've sent back so many pictures of street scenes, skyscrapers, 9-11 memorials and everyday life in the day and in the night.
A picture showed up on Facebook the other day, a picture of the safety patrol kids from Brenan School in 1949. I went to Brenan for most of my grade school years when we lived in the Roseland neighborhood on the southside of Chicago. Now this photo was taken before my time, but the cool thing is, the teacher next to the boys was the same PE teacher I had during my time. Miss Roach. She went on to become the principal but that was much later.
How cool to see a memory come back to life. I well remember her teaching us 4th graders volley-ball and us as 2nd graders climbing on those amazing yellow oak wooden ladders which attached to the walls of the gym but also slid loose for all kinds of activities.
Years ago the East St. Louis school district cut out physical education and the only exercise the kids get is at recess. But now, The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the East St. Louis School District and 66 other organizations nationwide grants totaling more than $33 million. The money is intended for initiating, expanding or enhancing physical education and nutrition education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grades through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program.
So there's hope that these kids will soon be able to have daily time for moving. This is especially important during the grade school years when children seem most eager to run, jump, throw, skip and tumble. Not only does engaging in these activities burn energy, raise metabolism and mental alertness, but they also develope coordination, strength and fitness.
I feel fortunate to have grown up at a time when schools had the money, facilities and the will to believe exercise was a necessary part of a child's day. Even my first grade school on the south side of Chicago had a gym with equipment I can still picture perfectly in my mind. I can bring up the smell, sound and sight memory of that gym to this day.
What's also a loss to today's school children everywhere is the type of playground equipment which was not only fun, but developed all kinds of muscle groups. Horizontal bars made of steel that had kids hanging as they moved across arm by arm, swings that forced the legs, arms and abdominal muscles to really work to get going and stay going, merry go rounds that required running hard while pushing the handles before jumping on. Now playgrounds are thought to be dangerous places loaded with hard plastic, but bright colored and useless pieces of play equipment.
Serious question, hopefully not inflammatory. Are some of the same people who nixed Ayaan Hirsi Ali as the graduation speaker at Brandeis University this year among those who are now speaking out on the 300 Nigerian girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram organization? Their plight has become a (warranted) worldwide effort to find and free them. There is even a Twitter hashtag used by Michelle Obama #bringbackourgirls.
The horror everyone sees in this abduction has long been reflected in the writing of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken voice for women and girls' basic rights globally, zeroing in specifically on the violence perpetrated on young girls.
The LA Times correctly asks regarding Ali, "Why shut her up?" The world needs more brave people like her.