Saturday, November 20, 2010

What are you thankful for?

I had a few moments to write down some of my thoughts, so I thought I would share those with you.  The title asks a simple question, yet there seems to be little thought or attention given to this question when we really have so much to be thankful for.  It seems that we take for granted the little things in life that truly define our existence.  A roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food to eat are simple concepts that we never really think twice about unless you have experienced the hardship.  The simple fact that we are being protected by the greatest military on the planet.  They honor their country by giving their life to defend it.  Unless we have friends, family members, former students, or are simply informed about current issues (props to you), people don't necessarily think about the effects of war until they have experienced it in some way shape or form.  Terrorism is an ongoing battle that plagues the entire globe.  The United States has stepped up their security protocol in airports allowing full body scans and "extreme" pat-downs.  I don't know what the fuss is about.  I am thankful that our government is willing to do what is necessary to keep us safe on commercial airlines.  My wife will be traveling internationally next year, and I have a calming feeling that I know she will be safe.  We need to truly remember the words of the Declaration of rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We need to be thankful that we live in the greatest country in the world where although we might have a difference of opinion, we have the right to freedom of speech.  "I may not like what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" - Voltaire says it best.  Not too many countries in the world are open to disagreement and therefore silence the critics with violence.  Put it in perspective, we have so many things that we should be thankful for.

In no particular order, I would like to list the things that I am thankful for:
1) a week off of school
2) a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back, and a sense of stability.
3) my wife Carmen - she is my rock and best friend.
4) almost eight full years of bliss with my dog Queenie (miss you!)
5) my family - mom (Freddie - short for Elfriede - good German name), dad (John), brother (Chris), sister (Stephanie), in laws (Ed and Rose), my Oma (Lena), Aunts Susan, Nancy, and Joyce, Uncles David and Emil, Cousins Benjamin, Brent, Jeremiah, and Kevin
6) my job - I consider this my career because I was simply put on this planet to teach; it's my passion.  I work with some great teachers in my department (best department on campus: Social Science!!!)
7) my students - without you, I wouldn't want to come to school every day
8) my baseball team - I love teaching the game; it's who I am.
9) my country
10) my faith

Always cherish the time you have and be thankful every day that you have the ability to spend time with family and friends, to do the things you love, your freedoms and rights, responsibilities and interests, to take ownership of your education, to become involved and current on issues, to take action and promote change, and to care for your fellow brother and sister.  If we take care of one another, then this world will definitely become a better place. 

I am thankful that there are people that are making sacrifices and promoting change for the improvement of our world.  On Thanksgiving night (Thursday, November 25) CNN is having an All-Star Tribute to some of these people that are sacrificing themselves and truly being selfless to make the lives of others better.  The link for the program is in the title of this post.

I want you to watch the tribute on CNN (see website for time and details).  Of the stories that are presented, I want you to take notes on a minimum of three people.  You will include names of the people, and what they did to become one of CNN's Heroes.  After you have taken your notes, I want you to write a reaction of two paragraphs per person giving me a short summary of their background, and what about their story truly spoke to you?  In other words, why did you pick these people to write about?

Your comment is due on Sunday, November 28 by 11:59 pm (government students); World History students, your written work is due on Monday, November 29 at the beginning of class.  Quality work could receive up to fifty points of extra credit, if done really well.  Be sure to proofread your work, and remember there are space limitations to comments, so you may need to take your original, cut it in half, and post two (2) comments.  No late work will be accepted. 

Finally, enjoy your break.  Be safe and cherish the day, and be thankful that all of the human race is connected in at least one way: life.


raul-garcia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raul-garcia said...

The Three people I chose were:

1.Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow: His story is really inspirational too me. He chose to do something most of us don't. He decided to help. He does so much to help out the world and it also really shows that he wanted to do something about the crisis in Haiti. He owns a company known as Mary's Meals.

What Magnus did is the most selfless thing anyone can do. During the war in Bosnia in 1992,He drove a truck full of supplies from Scotland to Bosnia 23 times. Doing that led him to his lifes work. He started the company and feeds more than 430,000 children a year in 15 countries. He is Truly a hero.

2.Harmon Parker: What he does is also Selfless and saves lives. He does footbridges in Kenya and can be easily made and do so much as to why they are made. They help people cross rivers and get to areas safer. He made 45 Bridges so people won't die, won't die of starvation, and so they can go to school. A simple footbridge does all that.

He shows that just a simple thing can change the lives of many. The rivers in Kenya are extremely dangerous and can rise from 12 to 15 feet and is impossible for people to cross. So Harmon made an organization that creates footbridges that can protect people from flash floods and alligator and hippo attacks. The bridges that the people in Kenya make get washed away almost 7 times a year. His purpose is to provide technical assistance to people in Kenya that need bridges to prevent deaths and that is a true hero to me.

3.Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega: What she does is possibly the most heroic thing I have ever heard. She runs a hospital to help the poorest and most destitute women and their families. She runs the hospital in the city of Juarez, Mexico. She has provided help for more than 30 years. In a city ravished by death, she has helped deliver more than 104,000 babies.

Her hospital provides free medicare to anyone who needs it. She empowers women and allowing them to control their productive lives. She started the program in 1973 because of how bad the city was. Juarez is pretty much like the worst city in Mexico because of all the drug cartels involved. Even through all that she still runs the hospital and dedicates her life too it.

palo said...

Excellent work Raul. See you Monday.

grant_colleen said...

1. Evans Wadongo Lives in Kenya and grew up in very harsh conditions. The town does not have electricity so the people must use kerosene and firewood. Many people drop out of school and are poor for the rest of their lives. Evans created a solar lantern that can be used instead of kerosene. This helps the families save money for food.
This story was very inspiring to me. He helped many people with his invention and impacted any lives. All it takes is some creativity and modivation to make a difference in our world.

Linda Fohern Lives in Mississippi which is known to have a very high obesity rate. SHe challened the town to loose weight together,. She opened a gym and a nutrition program.
This inspired people to loose weight and make a difference.
This story was inspirational because it showed how one woman could make such a difference. She had the confidence and determination to help people that were struggling with their weight.

Narayanan Krishnan lives in India and worked as a chef in a 5 star hotel. He lives in a city with many homless and hungry peopl. He decided to make a diffence by feeding these people and helping thenm get back on track. Everyday he feed up to 400 people three meals a day.
This story touched me. This many saw how bad these people had it and took action by feeding them and giving them the care that no one else would.