We've all seen the video. Ten stomach-turning minutes of four middle-school-aged boys relentlessly taunting an elderly bus monitor. The language was brutal and vile; the glee that greeted her increasing distress was horrifying.
I've always loved libraries. One of my earliest memories is of the afternoon my father sat me down for a little talk prior to my first foray as a bibliophile. I remember how he told me to always whisper; people were reading and they shouldn't be disturbed. Then we practiced whispering.
We've never gone looking for a cat; they've always found us. Tovah, along with her four siblings, was delivered to our door by a starving mama cat. Louie was taken in when no one else would step up to adopt him. Jack and Sparky simply appeared at my shop, hungry and flea-infested.
Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.
We parents have to start early, teaching our children all sorts of things. Potty training, "please" and "thank you," sharing, no hitting. As they grow older, the lessons grow more complex. Time management. Delayed gratification. Community involvement. Dealing with disappointment.
Before I get started on today's column I want to let everyone know about a wonderful new development involving Hall County Schools. Earlier this spring, writer Tack Cornelius and I each submitted columns bemoaning the lack of speech and debate programs in local high schools. I'm thrilled to report that next year Johnson High School will offer just such a class, led by veteran teacher Charity Wang. Kudos, Knights!
It's that time of year. Time for me to start writing a high school commencement address, just in case I'm tapped. Not that I ever have been, mind you, but one never knows.
The human brain is wired to seek patterns. That's why we see the man in the moon and Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. Our subconscious mind takes the unfamiliar and tries to make it familiar.
My husband and I have a mixed marriage. The disparity isn't race, religion, politics or college football loyalties. It's not even that I'm a lark, up before the sun, and he's an owl, wide awake until there's nothing on TV but infomercials.
It just hit me the other day as I drove down Green Street. I spotted the hill covered in daffodils on the corner at Ridgewood and realized winter is over.
Back in January of 2009, I wrote a column about attending a debate tournament with a busload of kids from North Hall High School. At the time, my daughter, Rachel, was a freshman, just cutting her allegorical teeth on individual event competitions such as humorous and dramatic interpretation.
The little boy tagged along with his father to a meeting held at an all-you-care-to-eat buffet restaurant. I guess I could describe him as stout or portly or chunky but, truth be told, the child was obese. He was probably 60 or 70 pounds overweight. His Spiderman T-shirt strained across his belly and his neck had disappeared into his chins. He had breasts.
The Internet has changed and enhanced my life in so many ways. For one thing, I met my husband there way back in 1992, when America Online was still running version 1.1.
I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me when I say I'm an unrepentant eavesdropper. I like to think it's because I'm a passionate observer of the human condition. My daughter says it's because I'm nosy.
It's the eve of Christmas Eve, the fourth night of Hanukkah. It's nice when the two holidays fall close together on the calendar and everybody is feeling festive at the same time.
It was around 1989 when some permutation of the Ku Klux Klan and a motley group of affiliated miscreants applied for and was - as is their right - given permission to demonstrate in Gainesville. At the time my business was located in the Jackson Building on downtown's Washington Street.
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