I'm writing this letter in response to the Dear Abby column on Feb. 7. The rules of the new dating game? While I agree that women should do their equal share in making a relationship work, I do not believe that they should be the sole aggressors. Some women find it just as flattering to be "chased" by someone they love as their male counterparts. We are also just as wary of failure. A relationship with one partner being open, and the other partner playing coy will never work. It takes the effort of two people, not just the woman or the man, to make a relationship satisfactory. Being in a relationship with a guy who has let on that he likes you, but never asks to share your time leaves a woman feeling unpretty and unappreciated. So please, if you like a certain "special someone," ask her for a date. Don't wait for her to make the first move. It will only make her feel ugly and cheap. Too many nice girls are devoured by "wolves," because the wolves are the only ones who make them feel wanted. This shouldn't be. Even if waiting for a shining knight on a white steed is a bit far-fetched, waiting for a special guy to ask you out shouldn't have to be.
March 12 referendum
The recent staging of school room numbers, pulling 12 students from the hall at Washington Middle School to stuff a room for a promotional video on the school referendum by Russell & Herder was one way to show everyone it does not matter what you pull to achieve your purpose as long as you get there. (Great teaching)
Now I'll tell you one better; Keep in mind all the front page articles, guest column rhetoric and Open Forum letters from and about the 26-person hand picked advisory School Board Task force, build a 2400 student Mega School on wetland in Baxter, they said: Neighborhood schools are all bad, this one's unsafe, this one's wiring and plumbing is bad, this one's air quality is bad. "Got the picture" Guess what? After speaking to task force members and school principals, no task force members went through any of the schools in District 181. Can you believe it? Everything they said was given to them on paper by the Widseth Smith Nolting and school board people. How dare they make decisional reports and suggestions for the district's 22,000 people without seeing things for themselves. I'm mad as hell. How about you? Our little group of 11 average citizens has taken the time to ask questions and go through all the districts schools from top to bottom. We will condense our reports for the truth about our schools for the newspaper before the March 12 referendum. We are not against repair or building needs of neighborhood schools, just this senseless $47 million mega monster. There will be a meeting Saturday Feb. 16-2pm at the Brainerd Public Library and Feb. 23-5:30pm. (People for postponement of the March 12 referendum.) See you there.
The academic and structural continuity that would be provided by a new middle school is very appealing to me. Puberty, a time of change, is one of the most difficult times in every child's life. Currently, Brainerd students enter new schools three times during puberty (sixth at Washington, eighth at Franklin, 10th at high school). They have to deal with changes of building, administration, and familiar faces, during times when they need stability. This in one of the major reasons that I support a school that would be a constant for children from fifth through eighth grade. A school where the potential of other siblings being in the same school is very high. A school where students and parents will have four years to become familiar with the environment and the people who run it.
In addition, educational opportunities for grades 5-8, would be consistent and equal in our district. In one school environment, all fifth through eighth graders would have similar math, science, foreign language and technology opportunities. Potential for enrichment in academics as well as special interest programing would be available for all students. The school would have one consistent administration that would foster trust and cooperation between students, parents and faculty. Finally, the students would be prepared to advance to a similar school environment for the next four years -- grades 9-12 at the high school. Please vote yes on March 12.
No to noisemakers
I attended the Brainerd high school boys' basketball game Friday, February 8 and was offended by the unsportsmanlike behavior displayed by a large group of young people sitting in the Brainerd student section. These people had noisemakers, which they blew almost continuously throughout the varsity game. The noisemakers practically drowned out the Brainerd school song. It was disappointing that many in this section didn't bother to stand for the school song. This happened to be the game that 4th and 5th grade boy's BYAA players attended. I noticed that many BYAA players had blue and white pompoms, some with noisemakers as handles. Is this the message of good sportsmanship we want to pass to our youngsters?
The Brainerd HS Winter Sports Program details the Conference Sportsmanship Creed: On page 8, under "The following rules will be adhered to: #6. No noisemakers allowed." Page 9 continues, "Acts of misconduct but not limited to this list may result in ejection for this or multiple events". This was the first basketball game I had attended this year and am wondering if this blatantly unsportsmanlike behavior is tolerated at all of the contests. I am disappointed that no school official, (security officer), referee, or person in authority, enforced the Conference Sportsmanship Code. As stated by Activities Director, Todd Selk, in the Winter Sports Program "It is our sincere hope that you have an enjoyable time at this contest. Remember, you are a "player" in this as well. Please do your part to insure a quality experience for all in attendance." Mr. Selk, put a stop to the use of noisemakers at all Brainerd HS sporting events.
Karen van der Hagen
Help our kids
On Feb. 12 I attended an informational meeting at Nisswa Elementary about the upcoming Bond Referendum. There was much information given from the ages of our current schools, most being 50 to 75 years old, their decreasing ability to support our newer ways of teaching (technology changes etc.) and just simply lack of proper space for classrooms. Our needs have changed through the years. There have been technology changes and special needs situation changes. Not to mention there are going to be "basic" health and safety issues that must be addressed on such old structures. The bottom line is if this bond referendum doesn't pass, we will be paying anyway and possibly more and continue to have only the old structures and no additional space.
There was also some discussion of concern from some fixed income residents. We are a young family and we have a budget to work with just as anyone else and every dollar counts but, how can we deny our children this necessary improvement? Our children's education is so very important. They are the ones who will be caring for us in not so many years.
Ask the kids
Although I find myself disagreeing with the governor on many issues, I find myself in complete agreement when it comes to schools, education and funding. Educators seem to have no concept of when enough is enough! As a parent of school age children I want them well educated and prepared to meet the future. But, is money the answer? I think not! If it were so, how did our grandparents manage generations ago with one-room school houses and such? This problem is endemic in academia, just look at the University of Minnesota requests.
So, what can we do and how do we know what's really necessary? We can first of all pay much closer attention to how schools spend money! Second, we need some form of unbiased opinion on what schools really need! Instead of just getting input from educators maybe it's time to ask your kids what they need!
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