On The Horizon

Happy Monday, All!

Weekends are designed for having fun, enriching ones social and cultural lives, doing what one didn’t have time to do during the week, and relaxing if one can find time! While my weekend was pretty busy, I sought a balance. When looking at the “state of affairs” worldwide, it is clear to see that even God has His hands full alongside of Mother Nature, if you will!

People were worried that President Obama was taking a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard while the economy is still struggling and many many Americans are out of work. I wonder what you or I would do if we were president and if we may need a break from the White House and spend some time with our families . . . for that is what he is doing! A friend on Facebook did an extensive research comparing the number of “days off” taken by past presidents, and, in comparison to Reagan, Clinton and Bush, Obama has taken less days in the same amount of time that each spent in office during similar or worse economic conditions! He even made time during his vacation to comment on Kaddafi’s forced departure and the rebels arrival in Tripoli, Libya! So, maybe we can “shut the front door” on that criticism of Mr. Obama! lol!

Saturday was an incredible day for H.E.R.O. and Educational Excellence, too! My friend and co-worker and super community organizer, Marie Achille (we worked together with ACORN some years ago), organized a “Back to School Book Bag Give Away and Supper” for nearly 100 parents and children from the Oakland Park, FL area and some points beyond. As usual, her family and friends and community members put together a festive spread of snacks, mac and cheese, juices, hot dogs, cakes and several boxes of book bags donated by the Baptist Church Diagnostic Center, which were filled with supplies like notebook paper, Elmer’s school glue, numerous pencils and pens, markers, highlighters and other supplies. I was the emcee for the program and opened with events planned by H.E.R.O. followed by a presentation of the journey I had taken from elementary school in White Plains through to my years teaching at City College in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I also emphasized the need to stay clear of trouble during these formative years (and always if possible!), especially fights in school and to focus on the purpose of school – to further ones education. It is the teacher’s job to stop a child from hitting another, and I encouraged them not to take on that task themselves.

I also utilized the poster board that accompanies my presentation of “From The Projects to Princeton” with photos of “little Johnny”, my Mom and Dad, my daughter, my sister and nephews, students from City College and even one ex-wife! The youth enjoyed the “journey” I took them on and I reminded them that I was not bragging but just trying to show them that they can do it, too! They had questions and some even provided answers to their peer’s questions, which is the way I prefer to do my workshops anyway! A good time was had by all, especially when the girls received their pink book bags and the boys their green book bags when Marie passed them out personally to each child at the close of the progam!

The weather reports nationwide, including New York City, have been fierce and as the kids in South Florida and other points return to school today, there are warnings of Hurricane Irene on the horizon.


John I. Cook, Director

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