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March 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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March 2, 2011
 

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?. "She destro . , ed our 00amil - Prabhakari Oevi on her sisters sexual abuse allegations against Hindu sect leader Prakashanand Saraswati, who is on trial this week. Page 4A EDITORIAL Reconciling loss: An arbitrary lesson in life I was witness to an indefensible defeat last month and I can honestly say that there was nothing humbling about it. No silver lining. No philosophic lesson to be gleaned. The only poignant aspect was experiencing it through my daughter's eyes. And honestly, past the "mama-lion rising up in blind defense of her young," there was truly only one equitable chal- lenger in this competition. A dancer of Al- lison's caliber, he hit his mark and wowed the crowd - brought them to their feet. Just as she had done before him. Both of them brilliant and awe-inspiring. The competition could only be mea- sured by the tilt of the judges. Would they lean toward the theatrical camp and show-stopping antics of the boy-child as a cat? Or the raw energy and stark for- eign movement of the girl-child in lyrical angst. Worlds apart in every aspect of their performances but for their sheer talent. And, in the end, the judges ceded the sole prize to the other contender. And he deserved to win it. As much as she did. They just leaned toward his style of dance. Open and shut. No interpretation, it was their call alone. It was Allison's first loss in a long histo- ry of absolute triumph. And on the drive home we batted comments around dis- tractedly- each lost in our own thoughts. It wasn't as if we could even say that now we know how all the other dancers have felt competing against her all these years. Because it wasn't the same. She didn't miss the prize because she was out-danced or missed her mark or chose choreography below or beyond her skill level. It was an arbitrary choice by the judges. And life's like that sometimes. Even if you've done your homework and pushed yourself to the outer limits of what you thought were your boundaries. Even if, given a level playing field, it's still a crapshoot dependent upon the whim and bias of someone deeded the decision. Sometimes you still don't get the job or the house or the man. And again, this past weekend, she put herself on the line with no outward trepidation or hesitancy. It was as if this is what she was born to do. Same dance, dif- ferent city, different judges. Same stakes. And at its conclusion,with the prize teth- ered to the ones that came before it, she showed the same stoic distraction. Not seeking comfort or consolation or con- gratulation, it was as if she has somehow reconciled the ambiguity and random- ness of life's unwavering cadence. It doesn't make you a loser just because you didn't win the prize. Knowing that it could have gone either way and it just didn't go yours reiterates the reality that life's like that. And this won't be the last time she'll reckon with this dichotomy. Losing doesn't make you a better loser any more than winning makes you a bet- ter winner. Either way it just closes one door and puts it behind you. There will be another and then another and you just keep walking forward, head held high, knowing you can deal with whatever life hands you. It doesn't have to seem fair. It is what it is. Life. brenda@haysfreepress.com THERE'S A LOT OF WASTE I'm not surprised that there is a lot of finger pointing directed at Gov. Rick Perry related to the HCISD budget cuts. However, I do think there are things that could be cut that in the long run would help abate staffing cuts. Over the years, from time to time, I have become incensed by what I see as incredible waste on the part of HCISD. The main thing that comes to mind is the massive amount of printed mate- rial on heavy bond and Other expensive print papers that are produced by our district. Regular copy paper could work just as well. Now I'm not suggest- ing that the difference in savings by changing the way information is com- municated will cover the deficit but I am sure it would come to quite a bit and that's just one example. We waste tons of money on mailing progress reports/report cards and sending the same copies home with our children. That process adds man hours, paper, envelopes and postage. A complete waste particularly when the Portal is now available. "But what about the people who don't have computer ac- cess?" or "What if the students aren't forthcoming with their report cards?" IS00? LIBYA The family that Skypes together... lmOst 30 years ago I came to ppreciate an adage about iends that guides me still: Distance can't sever that which "want-to" holds intact. Back then, a childhood pal had followed his muse to Japan, making it his home. The end of our friendship? Hardly. Just as we had done when he was on a bomb-sweeper in the waters off Vietnam, we kept in contact by letter and other means. In the intervening years since he left for Japan, I can count our actual face-time opportunities on one hand. Yet, though on opposite hemispheres, we've remained close. Times have changed. So have ways we interface. Recently he e-mailed a video clip of him speaking at the United Nations 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. Since the days when written communication was carried in saddle bags, our society has galloped at quantum leaps. Remember when faxes were our means of immediacy? Such a long time ago. The other night, my family demonstrated how far one can travel without actually going anywhere. We played a board game with one of the players in a separate time zone. This summerour son Michael, a grad student at the University of Texas, introduced us to the game Settlers of Catan. Popular among Gen-Xers, it's like Monopoly in bare feet, and with no jail. My wife, son Rob and I kept playing it after Michael went back to Austin, missing him all the while. The other night we changed that. We rigged up the means to include him in our next game, via Internet. For her birthday I'd given Becky the means to Skype - video conferencing - on her laptop. Game on. Shades of images from the International Space Station: There was Michael Saturday night, in head phones in a favorite coffee house, staring at a game board on our kitchen table 968 miles away. The matter of distance overcome, other problems didn't seem so insurmountable, like my wife's urge to hand the dice to the laptop screen showing Michael's face. At one point Michael had to visit the restroom, leaving his laptop unattended with the ignition on, so to speak. We imagined some bearded interloper taking control and demanding a spin of the dice. Didn't happen. At one point, white-and-black feline Oreo interrupted the transmission to make love to the camera. At one point Michael complained about a loud drone affecting his hearing. Sorry. Microwaving popcorn. At one point he sneezed. We pondered the extent to which computers are susceptible to rhinoviruses. At one point in the game we had a dispute, and had to perform rock-paper-scissors arbitration. The slight lag as the interfacing images rocketed around the globe made that problematic. Overall, however, it was a flawless run. The only problem: Michael won. That means I lost. Again. But I had popcorn, and he didn't. Oh, if my mom could have seen this. Gone for a quarter century now, ! always think of her in modern terms, because she was always up for change. She'd be all over the Intemet today, forwarding e-marls, surfing for recipes, posting photos on Facebook. We'd be teleconferencing every Sunday. Mom, we missed you at the dinner table Saturday night. Sometime before signing off- we'll play again soon - Michael joked, "They invented the Internet because it had military value. Now, this is what it's come to." Yeah, facilitating a family board game. I don't know. As pertains to our collective needs, I can think of no function more vital. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. jyoungcolurnn@gmail.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Well, my opinion is that parent involve- ment in their children's education lies on a vast continuum. Meaning that if a parent's involvement is such that they ask for report cards/progress reports and they aren't presented from their children, they will find out the progress and areas, if any, needing attention on their own. My point is I think we have wasted and continue to waste our HCISD funds. I just received an auto- mated call from the district announc- ing Tuesday is 7th grade benchmark and FREE BREAKFAST is available that day. WHAT WHY?. Obviously, break- fast is important everyday but, since there is a remote possibility that a free breakfast on TAKS day MIGHT increase our scores....more waste. I'd much rather see a teacher stay in his or her classroom than have the tons of paper produced from the district and free breakfast on TAKS testing days. Marcia Montgomery Ky IT'S A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL It is interesting to note that State Sen. Jeff Wentworth labeled a sonogram as "more intrusion in women's private lives." A woman who sees her dentist is shown an X-ray of a cavity or cracked tooth and an explanation is provided as to treatment options. A woman with a broken bone or tumor is also shown an X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, or CAT scan with treatment options discussed. A sonogram is a diagnostic tool. It is not invasive or uncomfortable like den- tal X-rays nor does it expose the patient to radiation, A woman should have the legal right to see a sonogram of the un- born baby and hear the accompanying heartbeat so she can make an informed decision before she undergoes a surgi- cal procedure. Cindy Rector Mountain City IN PRAISE OF FELDT I am Coach Feldt's former pastor. I have read many of the comments about him on the Hays Free Press website. I want all of the people in Hays area to know what an outstand- ing Christian Blake Feldt is. He was not only a church member but my person- al friend, brother in Christ and coach to my son. He allowed me the privilege to be his team's chaplain for three years. Some of the best memories of my life are those times I spent praising Jesus withCoach Feldt about answered prayer, praising Jesus for win after win, praising Jesus for lessons learned after losses. Football, and all sports, are es- sential to teach young people disci- pline, perseverence and how to use failure to bring victory. Whatever your schools are paying Coach Feldt will be worth your tax dollars for the way he will lead your students. We will miss him greatly. Our loss is definitely your gain. There is much more to school than reading and writing. I know people that were never influenced by a Christian coach or teacher in school and those people have much difficulty coping with life and they have difficulty finding purpose or meaning in life. I appreciate all of the wise people who read your paper that have welcomed Coach Feldt and have appreciated the wise decision of your school district in hiring such a great Christian leader. If you take some time to get to know Coach Feldt you will also praise Jesus for this man. May Hays High be abun- dantly blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, through Coach Feldt, as we were. Dr. Philip M. Riegel, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Pilot Point Hays Free Press, March 2, 2011 COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSlTE "There is NO way that we should have a I to I ratio of administra- tors to teachers. Do we neecl administrators? The obvious answer is YES. However, if we ma it through the 70sara4 to I ratio (which is a lot of the people and their/dds) read- ing this, then why do we need soooo much more now. I'm going to go through the budget and I know that I could cut at /east $20 mi/lion from the budget without touching the tea. " - Brad Pickett on "Do Texas Schools spend too much on administration?" at haysfreepress.com "All of the arguments against administration are not on one side. Maintenance workers and school bus drivers are not administration. We want com- petent people in key positions. We could fire everybody in the payroll office, for example, and spread those duffes out, but on payday we would have a mess. Simply because some of these people are officed in the Central Office does not mean they are administrators .... we do need to be taking a hard look at the entire school district. But we do not need to be foolish about the matter or we will pay a larger price later. - Classroom teacher on =Do Texas Schools spend too much on administration?" at haysfrsepreas.com 00ress MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. 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