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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Team Angels

Having once been a college athlete – and only tackling sports I could not only master but be the best at – I’ve discovered something about skiing. I suck. Actually, that’s not quite right. My ski instructor, Priscilla, said I had all the techniques down, but I sucked at the confidence go-for-it part. I’ve bungeed, rappelled down steep cliffs, and done the Dragon’s Wing at Six Flags – but put my feet on two skinny strips of wood, and all my daring goes flying off the lift. Your feet aren’t supposed to move when you don’t want them to, right? Well, I certainly think so, because when I felt out of control, I panicked! J And I had to look hysterical.

So for any of you who saw me out there sprawled in the snow, I really was there to practice my snow angels, and I have to say, I had those down pat! Do they have a team for that?

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's a Great Time To Be Alive...

It was an awesome weekend to be a sports fan in my house… my nephew, Luke, played for the 5A state basketball championship and kicked some roundball butt. I hated that it was at the expense of Rock Bridge High School, but Chaminade, where Luke goes is a sophomore starter, displayed resilience in their quest to win the state championship. With a shaky performance against Rock Bridge, Chaminade came back in full, true-force form against Grandview and won it all.

And hand-in-hand with the Red Devils of Chaminade, the Mizzou Tigers won their first ever Big XII title… Several times the Big Eight champs, Mizzou overpowered everyone to finish the season as #9 in the nation, a #3 seed in the NCAA tourney, and hopefully, a chance to surpass their finest Elite 8 finish in the Big Dance.

With Cardinal’s baseball right around the corner, March Madness in full swing, the NFL draft only a month away, I’ve gotta tell you, it is a great time to be alive.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shelby Knox…You go, girl!

I just watched an amazing documentary (in lieu of being able to attend the True/False Film Festival in Columbia this past weekend). The Education of Shelby Knox delves into a dilemma that both astounds and disgusts me. Shelby Knox, at the time a high school student, challenges her ultra conservative hometown of Lubbock, Texas, to teach sex ed. in the public school. The resistance rivals stone walls of historical proportion (the Wall of China comes to mind!)

Shelby, they discover, is an oxymoron. She is first and foremost a devout Christian. BUT (capital letters intended) she is also a liberal. It begs the question, when did the term liberal become a dirty word? My mother, a pretty conservative Republican, still sees liberal as akin to open-mindedness, while a staunch conservative friend sees the “L” word as radical and extreme.

My digressions aside, uber conservative Lubbock Public Schools teaches abstinence only in their district – period. If a teacher even attempts to offer any advice diverging from that philosophy is subject to termination, and there are situations that support this, and Shelby Knox wanted to change that. But the school board and the community slammed the door in her face, stating that to educate kids about sex would be to condone it and teach it to those na├»ve enough to know little about it. Yeah, right. The irony is, Lubbock has THE highest teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates in the nation. One in 14 girls get pregnant each year… gonorrhea rates are TWICE the national average. What does that say about a conservative view of sex education in our schools? I know as a teacher, I can’t understand the ostrich mentality. Why wouldn’t you want to educate kids? To know the consequences on all levels (physically, mentally, and especially financially), might open just one of those 1 in 14 girls’ eyes…

I just don’t get it…