Archive for August, 2017

President Trump


Well, time is coming to the end of summer, which means school has just started or is about to start. The usual curricula are in place, teachers are scurrying around to get their classrooms ready and administrators are worrying about whether anything will show up that they have not planned for.

Well, yes there is. It is doubtful if Donald Trump has been planned for. For the first time in my life, we have a national president who inserts himself in in almost every communications media to the extent that it is difficult for children to miss.

The most recent is the mess in Charlottesville, Virginia. Of all things, statues of Confederate generals and statesmen have become headline news. In Charlottesville, first the group opposed to such memorials showed up and were met by latter day confederates (or was it the other way around?). In any case, events became rough with one pro-Confed driving his car into a crowd killing a woman anti.

When the President finally commented on this assault, he said that both sides needed to watch their behavior. Then, the next day he changed that to the pro confeds needed to be careful about abusing people. Then, he apparently rethought this position and on the third day was back to both sides watching their behavior.

We have two problems with this: as President he needs to take a position on the nation’s behalf, and then, he needs to stick to it. Unfortunately, he seems to understand so little about being President that these aspects of the position don’t occur to him.

This President makes his way into the news every day. Today, he announced he has pardoned his buddy Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa county, Arizona who had come to pay no attention to the courts.  He was voted out of office and convicted in court.   Assuming high school students (some at least) see these events in the news, how do they, particularly in government classes, deal with this part of real life that affects us all?


Life, Living and Lived


This is a collection of experiences for me so far this week. On Sunday, I was told by one of our priests as I entered that one of my best friends at church had died the previous day. I had known him for at least thirty years as a friend and (for the early years) a co-usher at church. With a group of friends, we had lunch together during our working years. His loss has hit me pretty hard.

Then, this morning, with my wife and a daughter, we went to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens off of 295 on the east side of the Anacostia river. These lily gardens were started by a Civil War veteran in the 1870’s and were acquired by the Park Service in the 1920’s. We were told the lilies were not at there peak, but the variety and colors were beyond anything I have ever seen.

On the way over, my driving daughter taught her mother how to use the direction finder on my cell phone. On the way home, she set it up (simple so even I could use it) for me. All I could think of was the years I had spent in unfamiliar territory trying to read a map to get to my destination. This addition to living life would have made mine so much easier when I was younger with a car full of children, or trying to find a school with a student teacher.