Work Together

Happy Friday, All!

And it’ll take just a minute to T.G.I.F.!

Have you ever played a team sport before? It is a bit different than individual competition like in the track and field races or events where one person seeks to complete their best individual performance. I have done both. Yet, there is something special about a team sport or activity much like in business where a team is assigned a project or in the military where many many people are required to execute individual assignments to meet a common goal.

Families are much the same, especially when both parents are present in the “home”. When I was growing up and still a kid, my father used to give us each a Saturday morning assignment or chore in cleaning the apartment that we lived in in The Projects. The assignment, like scrubbing the bathtub and doing the walls and mirrors as well as the toilet, had to be completed in the morning and BEFORE any fun was had. We, the children, could not go outside or talk on the phone or sometimes, could not even watch television until the chores were completed. Amongst the four kids chores, one was emptying the trash, which had to be done nearly every night before going to bed, and often included washing out the trash pail so there were no smells, spills or growths in there! If “Ike”, my Dad, was feeling ambitious, we occasionally had to wash the walls in the bedrooms and the hallway connecting the back of the apartment to the front door. He often reminded us that “Home Is Where The Heart Is”! We didn’t have much but it was always neat and clean, whatever we had!

In thinking back to my days in elementary school in White Plains, Rochambeau to be exact, it was a sad day when Pres. John F. Kennedy, Jr. was murdered. I was in an individual instruction class with Mr. LeBlanc, the band and orchestra director, learning my craft of playing the trombone. I was in fourth grade. Of course, at that time, I had viewed the president as someone in a position of power that perhaps only God and religious leaders were the only ones more important than “him”. So, why would someone “assassinate” the president, I thought? To me, it seemed like something as disrespectful as wanting to kill my own father! Peace be still …

So, in the aftermath of both political parties’ conventions, one of which I embrace much more than the other, I can only hope and pray … yes, and VOTE … that whoever wins, that “We the people …” learn to work together to better our families and homes, our neighborhoods and states, our economy and country, and … the world. It is a tall order but somebody’s got to do it. Perhaps we can get in the practice of working together in our homes and on our jobs, if we are fortunate enough to have one, and bring it right on up through to the two political parties and work together for human good.


John I. Cook, Director

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carolyn Tokson
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 13:11:20

    John, no wonder you turned out to be the man you are. It is indeed a blessing to have a father like that, like yours and mine. Your memories really ring the provebial bell. I didn’t come to White Plains until 1974 when I was hired to teach at North St, Church St. and George Washington as a learning facilitator. That was ten years after the death of Kennedy. I was a student at the U of Ga. then. What a sad time. Even worse to me was when we lost ML King a few years later. Then we lost Robert Kennedy the first year I was in Europe. What a lot this country has been through! Which makes your words so important. I also pray that all the factions can come together to work on the serious problems facing us. I have a hard time dealing with the anger and enmity some people show during this race. I’m used to NY where we disagree but remain friends. Here in FL, it seems that the anger is sharper and lines get drawn clearer. I have so many good friends on both sides. I hope people can see the need to join forces and work together in some sort of harmony and peace with the compromises that requires.

    I got into trouble when I went to the first parent meeting I had organized and drove straight to The Projects and went in on my own. I had no idea that the other teachers met at the school and drove en masse there. I had about six kids waiting to meet me and we went in together. The principal and other teachers were shocked. I didn’t have the concept of those kids or their parents as The Other. I recall Mr. LeBlanc from I think, Church St. A sweet man.

    Bless you in your work. The world needs your voice. Carolyn J. Tokson



  2. excelwitheducationalexcellence
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 13:32:12

    Carolyn, I agree with the sharp lines of division drawn here, and other places, too. However, we live in a state that was one of the last to abolish slavery …. Some of the attitudes amongst the adults remain stuck in the muck and mire of the sad past. Still, I have made many many young friends here who share similar ideals and values as ours … May we continue to keep the dream alive well and growing! Peace … and thank you!



  3. Dennis Hewlett
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 14:05:09




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