This morning, I picked my kids up from their grandparents’ home, where they’ve been for a couple of days.
When we got home, I talked about the election. My 9-year-old daughter began crying and asked how people could vote for Donald Trump, saying, “But he lies and says mean things about people.”
She’s right. He does.
I know that the convention is to say that we have to come together, unite, and give the newly-elected President a chance and all of that. But, this is different. His stated purposes included a lot of bigotry and division. That doesn’t go away.
He ran his campaign on deriding Mexicans, Muslims, the poor, and anyone else if it helped him make his case to white voters.
As a white man, I don’t now get to pretend that that doesn’t matter.
My daughter is right. We just elected a bully to the Oval Office. We tell our kids “Don’t be a bully; be a buddy.” We tell them not just to be bystanders and pretend it’s not happening, but to get involved and support the people being bullied. I don’t see why that changes when we’re taller than we used to be.
So, here we are. The term of office for the first black President is about to come to an end, and then we’re going to get an openly-bigoted one. I’m going to be a buddy.
Today, I was driving a student and she was flipping radio stations.
During one pause, before the Scan function took us away, I heard simply:
“Chuck Grassley for breakfast.”
I wish I knew the context, although I suspect it would be anticlimactic.
A friend of mine from high school is pursuing a dream of hers, and I think it would be great if people checked this out.
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. – Gail Devers
I am hoping that this blog allows me to turn my dream into a reality. I have set my sites on running across the United States in the spring of 2014. In order to make this happen I need to gather moral and logistical support and funding for a crew and vehicle.
I aspire to break the women’s trans-American run record. (The current record still stands from 1978 at 69 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes by Mavis Hutchinson) I will be running from San Francisco City Hall to NY City Hall averaging between 50 and 60 miles a day.
The first step toward my goal is starting this blog to gather volunteers who can help me organize this event. Please join this adventure and assist with any of the following tasks:
- Website design
- Fundraising (the event…
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Laura Knoy, host of NHPR’s “The Exchange”:
“It has been a difficult year for the facts.”
Very, very well said.
(Note: I did not receive anything for this review, and purchased my two copies of this book at regular price. I do, however, consider Tom Angleberger a blog-friend and have enjoyed all of his books.)
Yesterday, I read The Secret of the Fortune Wookie by Tom Angleberger. It’s the third book in Tom’s Origami Yoda series, and it does not disappoint. The characters are still fun in their guarded belief in origami puppets which use the Force to give sage advice to Middle School kids, and it’s still full of “Star Wars” jokes, puns, and quotes.
The series has its ongoing lesson about accepting kids who are a little bit different (even “weird”) but this book savages the trite euphemisms. From page 61: “After that I had trouble getting him to say anything other than how ‘great’ Dwight is. He couldn’t really say why wight was ‘great,’ but he wanted me to know that Dwight was ‘great’ and that he wasn’t ‘ragging on him’.” Boom!
This might be a kids’ book filled with hand-drawn illustrations, but as usual Tom isn’t afraid to make some serious points. Really accepting kids who are different isn’t about calling them “special” instead of “weird,” and it’s not about constantly repeating how “great” you think that they are. It’s about caring about and accepting people the way that they are. That’s what Dwight’s real friends do, and what the kids at his new school don’t. No matter how much they say he’s great.
This is a fun book. It’s a worthy addition to the series, and you’ve got to love the title “Fortune Wookie.” It’s a laugh in and of itself. The advice dispensed by the Fortune Wookie (and translated by the origami puppet Han Foldo) is classic.
The end of the book promises another story to come, in which we appear to be dealing with school funding. Since I think I’d rather face a Sith Lord than school-funding cutters, I’m not absolutely certain how this is going to work, but I can promise you that it will be worth checking out.
If you haven’t read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back, then you should definitely do so before reading The Secret of the Fortune Wookie. If you have, then you should probably read them again just because they’re a lot of fun. Seriously. I’m going with four of five stars, maybe four and a half.
Other books by Tom Angleberger which you should check out:
The Qwikpick Adventure Society (as Sam Riddleburger)
Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run (as Sam R., co-author with Tom Hemphill)
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Darth Paper Strikes Back
“The next forty-five minutes in that office was about as much fun as a day at Disney World — when it’s pouring rain. And all there is to eat are hot-dog buns. And you get electrocuted on the rides.”
Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson, p. 182.
Little, Brown, and Company, 2011.