Just when I thought we had the new South Middle School website on track, we have run into a minor obstacle. One of the students in my third hour multi-media class broke the laptop computer that was being used to build the news and sports pages during fourth hour. The computer will not shut now and it also has lost its shift key and shift lock key. Autumn Mauller was able to save the work and consolidate it fourth hour, which is a promising sign, but it may just set the debut of our best pages back a few days.
Interesting article in The Joplin Globe last week. The Webb City R-7 School Board has put a nepotism policy into place to prevent relatives of board members from being hired.
The article says "the board may not hire an applicant within the fourth degree of kinship of a board member unless the position was advertised, the superintendent writes a letter of recommendation for the applicant, and the names of other applicants are placed in a file."
I am sure that even if such a board policy were in effect in the Diamond R-4 School District (and it may be) that you would still have the same semi-incestuous situation. I count at least five board members who have relatives employed by the school district, including the board president, who has two or three. It is simply good policy for people not to hire their relatives. It gives the school district an amateur hour look. That is not to cast any aspersions on the abilities of the people who have been hired, but why would anyone want to be put in such a situation?
The argument has always been that it is all right because the board members do not vote on anything that directly affects their relatives, but that kind of thinking has two flaws:
1. Nearly everything the board members votes on affects their relatives in one way or another.
2. You are not going to get a board member to vote against the interests of another board member's family. That board member might turn around and vote against him and besides, they have to be on the board together until at least the next election and maybe longer than that.
It's bad business.
In Diamond, it was interesting that the two board members who were voted off last time both had family members working for the school district. Immediately after that, the wife of one of the defeated board members was let go from her position as an aide. Of course, the defeat was not an example of the voters sending a message to the board to get its act together. The two board members were replaced by two men whose wives were already employed by the school district.
After a four-month layoff, Natural Disaster made its triumphant comeback Saturday night, though I may be exaggerating just a bit.
After practicing Thursday and Friday nights at the home of our bass player Tim Brazelton in Neosho, we performed Saturday night at a benefit in Stark City for a woman who lost her house in a fire.
About 200 people were shoehorned into the Stark City Fire Department Building (which was probably a fire hazard). Of course, this was the new building for the fire department since the old one burned down.
Everything went pretty smoothly. I missed two or three cues, but we were able to sell them as opportunities for extended guitar solos.
I desecrated the memories of Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Terry Stafford, Wilbert Harrison,and Carl Perkins, by singing "Devil Woman," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Kansas City," "Suspicion," "Blue Suede Shoes," and "Peggy Sue."
I also did "Memphis," and provided background vocals on the songs that Richard Taylor sang lead on.
I took a break during Richard's version of the old Merle Haggard song, "Kern River." My mom came over and said, "Jackie's here and she wants to talk to you."
That certainly brought back memories. I was Jackie Williams's first boyfriend and she was my first girlfriend, from the time we were six years old until we reached the ripe old age of eight.
After the concert, we talked for quite a while. She was visiting her mother. She and her husband live in Colorado. Of course, we agreed to keep in touch with each other and hopefully, we will. That was probably the first time we had talked to each other in nearly 30 years. She, unlike me, still has all of her hair.
Of course, I could say I have all mine, too. I just keep it in a box under the bed.
I was just reading Alicia Bradley's blog a while ago and I am feeling a little guilty.
Alicia, who is a ninth grader at Diamond High School, and Kasey Hockman, an eighth grader, took second place in the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland in June. Their presentation was a video on the turmoil in Selma, Alabama, in the 1960s as blacks fought for voting rights.
Alicia read that some of her competitors at the local level had videos that placed in a competition run by Missouri Southern State College. Alicia was never told about that competition.
I received a letter from the college several weeks ago and, for a brief time, I considered having the students in the multi-media classes put together entries. I decided against it because of the time factor and because I did not realize just how much technology I have access to.
The college sent to these letters to every school in Southwest Missouri, so I am sure that a letter was sent to Diamond. It never occurred to me that either it may be set aside or no one would have the interest to make sure that Alicia and Kasey's video was entered. The school officials certainly can't blame it on the budget since the college did not charge an entry fee for the videos.
Why it didn't occur to me to contact Alicia about the contest, I don't know, but I feel bad about it.