Someone I know not but who is a reader of this column wrote to ask a question the other day. She had just finished reading my last book and was curious to know, "When these people or situations cross your life, do you take notes of what you're learning from them?"
Mary Ann Tinkersley was the prettiest girl in all of Lennox Valley during my teenage years, and truth be told, she was the primary reason for the drop in my algebra scores between the winter and spring semesters of 1998. My mother made me spend at least 60 minutes each night studying algebra. What she didn't understand was that Mary Ann sat one row to my left and one seat ahead of me in class, and no amount of studying was going to make up for the confusion she stirred in my brain cells each day from 1:15 ...
February is typically the month of love. With that in mind, what if this year, you fall in love with yourself?
I had the privilege to speak to several hundred educators in Atlanta last week. I was there to talk about my experiences as a member of the Education Reform Commission but, as is my wont, I soon deviated off the purpose for which I had been invited to speak and into unchartered waters. Which raises a question: Why do I spend so much time preparing speeches if I am not going to use them? I must ask myself that sometime. I would be interested in the answer.
In every election cycle, political pundits spend a lot of time talking about why endorsements are so important.
It has taken a while, but I have come to know that writers are shaped dramatically by the places from which we come. Those places - the ones we call home - are the underlining, unsung melody to our words. That melody enlivens the compositions we create.
Editor's note: The following is taken from the written remarks of testimony given to the Georgia Senate Insurance and Labor Committee in support of a higher state minimum wage given Feb. 11 by Wesley Tharpe of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute:
With all the craziness surrounding Raymond Cooper's candidacy for mayor and the appointment of Sarah Hyden-Smith at the Methodist Church, it would be easy to get the idea that life was never normal in my hometown. Let me make something clear: I'm sure there were normal days during my teen years. It's just that I don't remember any of them.
An alert to Georgia public school teachers: Keep a close watch on these two legislators. First, House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, evidently isn't buying a report from State School Superintendent Richard Wood and the Georgia Department of Education that shows 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years and that 2 of 3 teachers surveyed said they were unlikely or very unlikely to recommend teaching as a profession. Jones said teachers leaving the classroom is simply a "natural post-recession workforce adjustment." This is the same Jan Jones who opined a few years back that ...
The evening news confronts us with the plight of Georgia's most vulnerable people almost nightly, the fragile children, older adults and people living in poverty. The crafting of the state budget is one of few opportunities during the year for lawmakers to spell out concrete steps to protect and assist these Georgians.
It had been almost three months since the members of Lennox Valley Methodist Church learned their pastor, the Rev. Glynn Vickers, was being moved in June of 1998. And it had been four weeks since that fateful moment on May 4 when Diane Curtis, chair of the Methodist Church Pastor/Parish Committee, received the call from the Springfield district superintendent to inform her that Sarah Hyden-Smith was being appointed as the new minister in Lennox Valley.
A speaking engagement in the Chattanooga area landed us within a few minutes of Chickamauga, the site of one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles, so I insisted that we take a side trip to the historic battlefield. Since we lost the war, I have to celebrate our victorious battles.
It was with remarkable bravery that Daddy plunked down $1,000 of hard earned, long saved money in 1956 to buy a few acres of ...