Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

10/31/08

Good-bye Studs Terkel: Dead at 96

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, activist Studs Terkel dies at 96

Little can be said about one of the most American of American writers. His books are among my favorites, and his voice is one I often emulate in my own writing.

The library and its readers are a better place for Studs having written.

I met him once, and we spoke for around 15 minutes before the Studs Terkel Awards, an award given in Chicago. He forgot my name quickly, but he was 90 at the time. However, when he hit the stage to talk, he was fluid, sharp and engaging.

I have few autographs I treasure. His is among them.

I'm sad.

10/24/08

Political Diversity, Washington DC, and Good Meals

I'm in a hotel lobby in DC, on Connecticut Ave. Day's Inn, visiting my brother. Internet access is sketchy, and it blocks me from blogging. I'm post dating this, but going to actually post it back in Illinois.

Strange, wealthy areas: massively wealthy, like the former owner of the Redskins football team. Nothing like I've seen. Suprisingly laden with political signs in their yard. Only one candidate seems to be running in the big bucks area, but this is Washington DC, and only one candidate exists. All others, to them, are stupid.

This is Connecticut Ave, not a street famous for small events like cheering the hometown high school after a football victory. This is money. This is politics. All around are higher end restaurants, bumper sticker politics and caucasian people. As diverse as Washington is, intregration is clearly weak. One person admitted being a conservative Christian would be very socially difficult in Washington. I suppose the reverse might be true for other towns.


Ate at Dino's
Fusilli con Ragu d’Anatra "Bolognese"
Duck - house made corkscrew pasta in a ragu of ground duck, Duroc pork & veal, cooked with carrots, onions, celery, herbs, garlic, cream, white wine & nutmeg with grana cheese. We had a bottle of Deforville "Vigneto Loreto" {Nebbiolo} Barbaresco 2003.

Dessert was the best tiramisu I have had to date.

Enjoyed another meal of grilled filet mignon, green beans, coucous with onion, and to drink, Rioja (a delicious Spanish wine).

10/20/08

Barack Obama: Completely Prochoice (and it sickens me)

Not my words. His thoughts.

This is according to the leader in abortion promotion. This is not some right wing organization looking to slam him.

http://www.naral.org/elections/statements/obama.html

NARAL does not think Obama is prolife in any regard.
Sen. Obama received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America's Congressional Record on Choice.
2007: 100 percent
2006: 100 percent
2005: 100 percent

10/17/08

Decided: Who Gets My Vote: Count My Vote

John McCain, Sarah Palin

Why Not Obama?
  • Heavily prochoice Barack Obama is not merely following Sarah Palin's tune of recognizing current law allows abortion, but will do nothing to limit abortions.
  • Obama offers too little when it comes to a vision for Iraq. I believe Iraq's success, and related issues of Al-Qaeda and terrorism are directly corresponding to worldwide peace. Freedom matters to me -- both mine, and the freedom of others. We need to ensure the world moves closer to global freedom, beyond the selfish scape of our own backyard.
  • Like John McCain, Obama is pro-capital punishment, which I am not. He offers nothing special here.
  • I will not vote for a man for the sake of history. No affirmative action, or anything other than who is the man best suited for the job. Obama is suited, but not the best. That man is John McCain.

Why McCain?

  • I trust McCain and Obama's integrity, as much as I might trust any politician. Both love America, want the best for America, and are smart, articulate leaders. However, although I trust Obama to do what he says, I do not want him to do it. Simple as that. I like Obama, and wish he was morally conservative in how he votes.
  • I believe John McCain can lead the USA. He will be closer to who Bush should have been, bringing us closer to what America should be.
  • I considered third-party candidate options, but this is too important of an election to vote 'in theory.' My perfect candidate would be different, but this will always be true.

I am not Republican. I expected to vote for someone other than a Republican this year, but this is my best choice.

10/11/08

A View from the Bridge: What I See Between


Arthur Miller's more famous play has little to do with any of this. Instead, above, is the view I have daily, looking southwestward. As bridges go, that's my role at Wheaton Academy. In my case, it means relaying through various media life at the Academy with either the outside world (mostly those living in the surrounding towns), or, the inside world. The inside world includes staff and faculty, but also parents, students, and to a degree, prospective students.


My cubicle is modest. I sit with a few others, with the head of school's office behind me on my left, and Nikki, who I report to, has an office in front of me to my right. Barb and Charity have cubes between. Just outside is a hallway trafficked by hundreds of students daily.

Stop by, and you'll likely hear jazz played from the College of DuPage's public radio station, WDCB. Projects that hit my desk include a quick weekly e-mail to the Academy world that alerts parents and employees of news, events and opportunities to be involved. Also, I manage the website. My fingerprints aren't really on it yet as I ramp up and figure out how things were done. I'm the paparazzi on-the-spot. My photo skills are limited, but I can work a camera and fix things in Photoshop.

All press releases, most brochures and other printed documents come through me as well. I don't write them all, but am more of a coach and project manager. I design some here and there, but the good stuff will be completed through a professional designer.

As bridges go, I am more than the extension, but also the car that drives between. In two weeks, my completed projects are few, but I can see that there are plenty of avenues. Academic and sports departments, music, art and theater, front office with the rest of the staff, and so on.

I am hardly the only bridge.

Each teacher ultimately remains the most important bridge on a daily basis. They connect students with knowledge, with faith, with God, with truth, with inspiration, working hard to compromise none of it. Each staff member is an ambassador, with a few positions being particularly interactive, like the Head of School Gene Frost, the Director of Admissions Brenda Vishanoff, and the various coaches. Topping it all off are the students themselves. The success of the school is in their hands as they are evidence of how things are done.