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September 5, 2011

Things that make me cringe….but first…

Michael Kurtianyk

The first week of school has come and gone, and it seems that – overall – it has been a smooth opening for our children.


There’s a new superintendent in our county, Dr. Theresa Alban. Listeners to Saturday’s Frederick’s Forum on 930WFMD know that we interviewed her recently. By all accounts, Dr. Alban came across as thoughtful, erudite, and well-informed.


One of the things that impressed many is her ability to communicate the importance of everyone’s role in the education of our children – not just the teachers. The staff, the administrators, those in support services – all must do their best each day, because it is in the best interests of our students.


There is little doubt that so far, Dr. Alban has been a good hire. I, for one, look forward to seeing how she progresses in her new role.


This being the back-to-school time of year, thoughts inevitably go back to my days as a student in a parochial elementary school in upstate New York. We had a mix of Catholic and lay teachers, and all provided a solid education in their own, varying ways. I never looked forward to tests, of course, but others things made me cringe back then: marching around the classroom while reciting the times’ table; the shrill voice of Sister Stephanie in third grade; and wearing a tie every day to school.


Today, in this world of so many media outlets, we are bombarded by things that make all of us cringe. Sometimes, it’s a quote that makes you scratch your head, wondering why it was even uttered. Other times, it’s a celebrity, or maybe a sports team.


With that in mind, I have compiled some things that make me cringe. It may make you cringe. It may not….


…seeing children at a high school football game, and many have their heads down texting their friends, who are seated right next to them.


…Rick Perry saying: “I don’t think that the federal government has a role in your child’s education.”


…Michelle Bachman: ''Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.''


…President Barack Obama's uncle making a request to phone the White House while in custody on drunk driving charges.


…Rick Perry (on the BP Oil Spill): “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”


…Michelle Bachman: "I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane."


…watching the New York Giants play preseason football this year.


… Rick Perry (on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ): "If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what y'all will do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas." Hey, even Karl Rove cringed at this….


…Michelle Bachman: “But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”


…a book written by former Vice President Dick Cheney.


… another Glenn Beck television show.


…Michelle Bachman: ''Not all cultures are equal.''


…Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.


…seeing an injury at a sporting event.


…Michelle Bachman: ''I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence.''


I leave you with this quote from Will Rogers: “I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him ‘father’.”


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