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A Day for Fathers 2008

Five years ago, Father’s Day fell on June 15th as it does this year. What better time to write a few more words about my father? Also, some of my thoughts on our President’s writing regarding this day.

Great Advice
Both of my parents have given me great advice and continue to do so. Some of the best advice I have gotten in my life has come from my parents – I suppose that is the way things are meant to be in an ideal world. I know only too well what happens when there is an absent parent as I spent hundreds of hours tutoring children who all had either one or both parents missing, in jail, or dead. They were strongly affected, and never in a good way.

A child without any sort of role model in the home will seek out role models elsewhere; whether those role models are found on the screen of the television, the movie theater, or the music device of their choosing, the role model is consistently there for them and they learn from them, for better or worse.

My father once gave me a shortly worded yet strong reprimand for something that happened when I was working in a retail environment. A customer was less than pleased with the help I had given them and told me as much. My father simply stated that even being complimented one thousand times by your customer did not make up for the one time you mess up and make them unhappy; it is unfortunate but true that people will more likely fill out a customer comment card when they are unhappy with the service than when they are quite happy with the service.

It turned out to be quite true because I was later asked about the incident by people who were higher up at the store. While the particular incident didn’t really get me in trouble because it was down to the person mishearing what I had said and deciding that I was clearly an evildoer who was out to make their lives miserable, it could have been much worse had the higher ups been even a little less understanding.
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Respecting Adjunct Faculty

We have lived lives of being unappreciated part-time faculty members and we support the American Association of University Professors and their want to bring adjunct faculty up to a higher level of respect and standing in universities:

Today,
48 percent of American faculty serve in part-time appointments, and
non-tenure-track positions of all types account for 68 percent of
faculty appointments. Year after year, the problem gets worse as more
and more faculty jobs are part time or non-tenure track. Faculty
holding these appointments are often poorly compensated–receiving low
wages and few, if any, fringe benefits. Without job security and
academic freedom protections, they are subject to administrative whim.
Students suffer when the majority of faculty are inadequately supported
by their institutions.

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Elegant or Not?

We recently discussed the old, awful chestnut — “With All Due Respect…” — and how that phrase is an indicator of an insult or a criticism to come. What is the best way to approach someone with criticism? Do you need to set them up first with a padded phrase? Is it best to just start a critical sentence without an introductory warning? 

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It’s All About The Respect, Baby

by Glenn Arnold

Record books are useless. All I can find in them are numbers.

If you want to find the greatest achievements in sports, the record books will do just fine. Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played. The 1972 Miami Dolphins’ perfect 17-0 season. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in a game. But if you’re looking for greatness in sports, the record books are simply guides. The records that the highest-level athletes have accomplished are certainly noteworthy, but that’s not what sports are about.

As any Soccer Mom or Soccer Dad will tell you, the most important part of sports lies in sportsmanship. It’s not whether you win or lose, son… Yet, somewhere along the path from child to high-schooler to amateur to professional, sportsmanship often fades into the background. But if you look carefully at the superior individuals, at the amazing records, at the unforgettable events, you’ll see that all of them have a beautiful streak of honor and respect between competitors; the best of sports can be found when players tip their caps to each other. Figuratively and literally. These are the moments that give sports its true power.

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Cinders

by Noemi Szadeczky-Kardoss

It was Sunday evening again, and on every Sunday evening, I wanted to die.

“Cindy! Where are you?” I heard my mother’s voice calling me.

I was in the living room watching an episode of my favorite TV show that I had recorded on the Friday before. I knew my mother wanted to say that it was already eleven, and that I had school the following day, but that was something I didn’t want to hear. On Sunday evenings, I just wanted to bury myself somewhere and not come out until Friday, or drink some kind of magical medicine like Juliet, so that I could sleep deeply for days and wouldn’t have to do anything.

“So here you are hiding!”

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