Opinions

Wed
24
Jul

Mentoring puts focus on big picture

Aspiring administrators occasionally use the path around the Falls to find their way to this observer’s office to complete an assignment for a graduate class. Such was the case last week when an aspiring administrator scheduled an interview.

The individual said there would only be three simple questions, and these were provided prior to the interview: 1. What are the primary focuses of the superintendent during each month of the year? 2. What ongoing tasks are essential for the superintendent to be successful? 3. What is your leadership style and how is that style outwardly expressed to others? (How do staff, community, etc. know what your style is?)

Wed
17
Jul

Tragic event brings return to active parenting

Whether one chooses to gracefully grow old somewhere along the path around the Falls or picks up stakes and moves to some other location after retirement, there are some anxieties about those years.

One of the greatest fears is that a person will revert to a childlike state of mind. Giving up independence can be a definite hit on one’s pride.

That particular reversion is still off in the distance, at least we hope. This past week a much different reversion was experienced. Rather than reverting to a childhood state, very unexpected circumstances caused a reversion to a parenthood state.

Wed
17
Jul

‘Midwife’ series gives birth to thoughts on tuberculosis

Marilyn and I are fans of the PBS series “Call the Midwife,” a BBC period drama based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth and set in east London in the 1950s. And while the majority of the episodes involve some aspect of midwifery, there are also subordinate story lines that touch on a number of other health and societal issues of the ’50s: racism, poverty, romances, etc.

One such issue in the most recently completed season was about tuberculosis, a chronic bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system, but might also affect other areas of the body. It’s highly contagious and can be debilitating or fatal. In that particular episode of “Midwife,” one of the characters, a young nun, goes to a “sanitorium” to be treated, to rest and to recover.

Thu
11
Jul

Memories of altar boy reveal pride in the ministry

I sometimes serve as a Eucharistic minister at St. Katharine Drexel. That means I help distribute the Holy Eucharist at Mass.

What a change from when I was a kid at St. Anthony’s in Oconto Falls. I was an altar boy for about nine years, starting in third grade. I studied those Latin prayers until I could say them in my sleep and finally convinced Sister David John that I was ready.

Altar servers have been a part of church history since the earliest times, with those male parishioners who were deemed worthy assisting the priest at the altar while he said the Holy Mass. And it was only males, because women had no place near the altar.

All that has changed. After Vatican II when the language of the Mass was changed from Latin to English (or whatever language) and the altar was turned around so the priest faced the congregation, many more people—even women!—were allowed to participate in the Eucharist.

Thu
11
Jul

Grandpa shows support of mixed families

To the editor:

Thanks to Roger for another good column (“Grandkids shape reaction to Cheerios controversy,” published June 26). As a white male of 64 years and five grandkids, none of which are from “sterile” homes, I don’t get the uproar over a cute little girl loving her folks!

I’ve got three Cubans, one Thai, and I’ll raise you one Iranian! They are not “ethnic,” they are my grandkids, darn it! Mixed, yes, but not mixed up. If they can deal with it, why can’t we?

It’s like the Paula Deen uprising over words we were all brought up with. We’ve all said the N word, and we all know what Belgians call Germans, Lutherans call Catholics, and what Norwegians call Swedes. I even talk to Polish people. Can’t we get over it?

Not a white, male, Italian grandkid in the group, but we love each other anyway. Love is blind, and the rest of you aren’t paying attention.

Nick Cortese

Green Valley

Thu
11
Jul

Holiday celebrates commitment to democracy

For those who may be venturing out on the highways leading to or from the path around the Falls this week, word from the Wisconsin DOT is that travel will be a bit easier, since most construction projects are shut down for the week. Even so, the orange cones will remain. The shutdown was scheduled in anticipation of additional travelers with destinations to celebrate the Fourth of July.

When the Fourth lands mid-week, many families take advantage with extended time away from home. Perhaps some will do that traveling in rural areas to gauge the height of the corn crop. While the season got off to a late start, recent heat and moisture will push many stalks to the “knee high by the Fourth of July” benchmark.

Thu
11
Jul

‘Don’t have a cow,’ slanguage is my second language

Sock hops and snake dances, Elvis, rock ‘n’ roll, fender skirts, whitewall tires and spinner knobs on the steering wheel. Coonskin caps and ducktail haircuts, pomade and butch wax. Greasers and hula hoops. Crazy, Daddy-o! An explosion of slang. That was the ’50s, my “growing up” time.

Slang can describe a particular social culture and time. The ’50s was a very interesting time period, not just for America but for slang. Some polls have indicated that it was the best time, the “happiest” time in American history. “Happy Days” with Ron Howard and Henry Winkler (“The Fonz”) personified the era.

Television was entering practically every living room in our country, but segregation and racism were still parts of American life. Rules were strict for women. They were obligated to stay at home and make sure dinner was ready for the “breadwinner.”

Thu
11
Jul

What is the best indication of a good weekend?

There are many different measures that can be used to determine whether or not the past weekend enjoyed along the path around the Falls came close to being the highlight of the summer. Throughout the weekend touring around Kelly Lake, one could count a higher-than-average number of vehicles parked on lawns. It was obvious people came from some distance to gather and enjoy the relief the cool lake water provided.

One might have marveled at the frequency that the night time sky was used as a backdrop for the many displays of fireworks. The bigger the show, the better the long weekend would have been rated. As often is the case, even though many communities had their “official” fireworks display, there were many unofficial ones. All those fireworks shops must have lots of customers or they would not be operating.

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