Sunday, December 28, 2008

Elders (that means us:), support young people in their endeavors

This is the first day of a new semester for me and year 21 of my teaching career. Our society and its pressures are harder on this generation (born in 1990!) than ever before. Whenever you meet a young person, encourage them with a smile or a comment of support for their role as a college student or in the workforce. 18 year olds get a bad rap. Most of the ones I know work, go to school, have relationships, pay for a car, and in some cases, help support their parents, take care of their elderly grandparents or great-grandparents. If you get to know some young people, sign up on Facebook and send them supportive messages or send care packaes to their dorms. Not everyone has grandparents still living or parents who are supportive.
Blessings all,


ps. Oh, yes, and say a prayer for their teachers.

Queenie and Howard: Our Dogs are Always With Us

A couple days ago I was walking with my handsome young cocker boy Darby in our lovely St. John's Woods. An elderly gentleman met us on the path and immediately cried out, to my dog "Oh, you remind me of my cocker, Queenie, except she was buff." We stopped and talked to Howard and once Darby got over his rescue dog skittishness, he allowed Howard to pet him. Howard told me about his beloved cocker spaniel, Queenie, whom he used to take hunting. Howard claimed she was the best pheasant dog ever and once pointed a small bush where they were hunting. Howard said, ""Queenie,. you must be wrong this time." And then she flushed out a big pheasant from that little bush. She was right." " Howard introduced himself to me and I to Darby and me, said we ere pleased to meet each other and went our way, smiling. Later in the walk, which is big, but circular, we met Howard again. He stopped to pet Darby again and said, "At the end of Queenie's life, I took her hunting with me one last time and she got so tired I carried her. When I saw a pheasant, I put her close to the bush and she let me know the pheasant was there. She was so proud." I wished him well as we walked our ways and thought again, since I had lost an lives even when they're passed on." Howard is a beautiful man, and Queenie was an amazing dog.

Elegy for a student

On Monday I attended the funeral of Keri Shryock, a beautiful, smart, caring young woman who died in a tragic accident. She was a playing a role in a Christmas program at a megachurch in Cincinnati and fell from a cable 25 feet in the air, to her death last week. Keri was my student in her freshman year and because we both were members of the Chapman Community at Kohl Hall, Bowling Green State University, we worked together on projects for the next four years. She founded a coed club gymnastics program and asked me to be the faculty sponsor. She was a smart woman who always had a ready smile, though I know she battled depression. I am heart broken by her death. And I am angry at the church where she died, for putting her in this position, for feeling the need to put on Christmas "shows," as the megachurch preacher kept saying at her funeral. It seems like hubris to me and a great waste of a beautiful life that was just getting started.