Last week a press release came across my desk that killed a dream of mine. The news was innocent enough; it congratulated an Elk Grove college student on his upcoming appearance on the TV show "Jeopardy!" For me, however, this press release ended four months of waiting and hoping on a phone call from the "Jeopardy!"casting staff. You see, I was also in the running to compete in "Jeopardy! College Championship" this year, and I didn't know the 15 competitor spots were filled until I saw this press release.
I'm not usually one to rail against new technology. I'm a geek, a nerd, a certifiable tech-addict with more gadgets, gizmos, whozits and whatzits than "The Little Mermaid" could ever dream of.
Education, like politics, is local. You want it close to home, the better to monitor it. That's how it should be.
Back when our country was young, political candidates relied on their friends to spread the word about their accomplishments and suitability to hold office. In fact, historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that candidates "were supposed to play coy, obeying a call to service from their country, saving their energies for the task of government. Electioneering was done by newspapers, pamphlets, and occasional public meetings."
You hear stories of courage every day. A man survives cancer and goes on to climb Mount Everest. A woman born without legs opens her own business and becomes an inspirational speaker. A child becomes badly burned in a house fire and, despite the pain, is cheerful and full of hope.
It's Thursday morning at 4 a.m. and I can't sleep. It's a common occurrence when I'm carrying a big load at work-my brain just doesn't turn off even though my eyelids are closed. So, instead of counting sheep, I'm doing a mental roll call of my to-do list at the office. But, I have a rule. If I'm still awake after 30 minutes of lying in the dark, I get up. And so, I did.
I parked my ample butt on the granite steps and waiting in the shade of a campus building. As good as his word, Dan Hanson of Olympus Innov-X came to meet me to show me a real-life device that reminded me of Spock's tricorder in "Star Trek."
My very first job was working at a home for physically and developmentally disabled children. I started out in the laundry room, then worked my way to the kitchen and, finally, became a certified nurse's aide.
There was a moment that stood out during my 10-year high school reunion last weekend. It happened after people had some food and a few drinks, and the banquet hall was overwhelmed with loud chatter and pop-fueled '90s music. I was standing next to a friend and said the first thing that came to mind.
Ten years ago, I was nervously sitting in the back row of my high school graduating class. I had to, since my last name put me there. Why was I nervous? Was it because I was scared about the life I was going to lead in the coming years? No. I was nervous because I didn't want to trip and fall after I was handed my fake diploma in front of so many faces I'd gotten used to in the previous four years.
Of the only man ever elected four times to the White House, the historian James MacGregor Burns wrote: "If other leaders bent under the burdens of power, Roosevelt shouldered his with zest and gaiety. He loved being president. ... The variegated facets of the presidential job called for a multitude of different roles, and Roosevelt moved from part to part with ease and confidence." FDR's optimism was contagious. Americans, the most optimistic of people, have historically been attracted to optimistic leaders. Three years into Ronald Reagan's presidency - following major economic dislocations and international tensions - the Gallup Poll found that ...
The Gulf oil spill has shown us just one of the downsides of petroleum. That makes the mind of even a geologist like me turn to several questions about the future. Could we Americans grow more of our own fuel – enough to run a number of our cars, trucks and airplanes? And, quite importantly, could we do so without displacing food crops like corn?
Good news. The folks in charge of such things announced this week that the recession is over. Actually, it's been over for some time. It officially ended in June 2009, according to the Business-Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is responsible for making such determinations. As of then, our national output stopped declining and started increasing, along with a number of other key indicators.
A decade ago I retreated to a mountain cabin with a group of professional women. One thing led to another and soon we were having a bonding experience that I'll never forget - absent the "Kumbaya" song and campfire.
After three years, California State University, Stanislaus' 50th anniversary celebration is finally coming to an end.
Anthony Cannella came walking up to Blaker Kinser Junior High School in Ceres earlier this month with a jacket on and coffee in his hand.
Extreme weather is bad, right?
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