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Posts Tagged ‘FSU’

My June was spent in a small summer program called the Youth Exploratory Initiative.  We created this project because kids today seem to spend too much time on video games rather than playing outside like we did.  Let me tell you, those video games have given them an understanding of basketball, football and the military that is vastly superior to our old school childhoods.  They read defensives and select plays in football like N.F.L. coaches.  But, all the videos games in the world still can’t replace their excitement with hitting in the baseball batting cage, facing an opponent in chess, hitting a golf ball 100 yards or conquering the water by swimming or boating.  They went from Wii to “We.”

These young men, who all do well in school, get in their early years what some folks don’t get until high school or college: you gain knowledge to use it in life.  For example, grammar isn’t store in your mind to be use only in actual class or at work.  One should speak well 24/7.

 On this Fourth of July, no fireworks or backyard barbeque spark a young person’s appreciation for the blessing of being an American like the History Channel’s documentary “America: the Story of Us.”  Oh, whoever made this film came from the action movies genre because George Washington looked like Brad Pitt.  Commentary about grit and perseverance was offered by everyone from Rudy Giuliani to Colin Powell to P. Diddy—I got cool points with the Y.E.I. guys because I have a picture with Newt on my blog and the speaker was featured in the documentary.  Yes, moderate Democrats know some conservatives.

Of course, some might say that a summer program with good kids is like preaching to the choir but sometimes it seems like we spend too much time, energy and resources on “other” kids and that is not fair to those doing what they are supposed to do.  Remember in the original “Longest Yard” movie when Burt Reynolds’ character was looking for football players for his prison team and someone said that a guy played at Florida State—to which Reynolds replied, “Florida State University?”  “No, Florida State Penitentiary.”  The late Biggie Smalls rapped that he was more familiar with the state penn than Penn State.

Well, the boys in the Y.E.I. program are more interested in Duke for academic reasons than being gladiators of the gridiron.  Oh, don’t get it twisted; they would love balling in the NCAA, NBA or NFL.  But, their parents have them focused on books and character.  We visited FSU and FAMU and they walked into Doak Campbell Stadium.  I ask them where they wanted to be in this arena in the future: a benchwarmer for national power FSU; a football starter and honor student at visiting Duke; or eventually the guy eating pasta salad in his corporation’s skybox.  Of course, they said a former FSU national champion who was an honor grad and is now in the skybox because he went to grad school at Duke.  

We were lucky that it was orientation week at FSU and FAMU so the guys could imagine their parents walking the campuses with them in a few summers. 

To be honest, the Y.E.I. program was basically a reward for their hard work during the school year and we should do more of that.  You would be surprise by what these kids already know.  Coach A.J. and I played a You Tube video of the greatest music composers of all times and the guys knew most of the music from action movies and cartoons.  But hey, we to introducing them to the classics: jazz and Motown.  To our surprise, the know Motown and old school R&B because the rappers have sampled them to death— keep the legal and your money right.

They also know that rap is a medium of art and that art should imitates life rather than life imitating art.  In other words, thug rap is a corruption of real hip hop, which was mostly positive.  The hardest rappers of the past now have their kids in prep schools because no community should glorify a hard life.  Since parents work hard to give you a comfortable life, those parents are more heroes than some guy with “a condo on his wrist” who is proud of his police interrogation   (FYI “Cashin Out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GbolQtl17o&feature=related ).  Y.E.I. kids’ families are local law enforcement and military veterans and that is real “Call of Duty.”

The web-based information we cover is on a tab at the top of the Project Logic Ga page and pictures are can be found on the Project Logic Ga facebook group page.   Thanks to the sponsor of the project—who actually came up with the idea.  President Obama and Governor Romney would agree that real health care improvement starts with diet and exercise.  Some folks talk a good talk but the team at S.P.A.M. truly is about getting our youth of the path to better health.  (Come on now, The Y.E.I. guys ate four pizzas a day… but washed it down with bottle water rather than soda.)      

The billions of dollars that will be spent on political campaigns this year could be better utilized thanking good kids and the long-term benefits would be amazing.   As professor Aaron Johnson taught them during a brief visit to his econ class at Darton College, it’s all about cost benefit analysis and risk/reward.

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The Florida Gators won the national college football championship—again.  Go Gainesville Gators, Go.  That Tim Tebow is one outstanding young man; his parents did a fine job raising him but some of that is genetics – which they provided also. Congrats to Myron Rolle from the FSU Football Team on his Rhodes Scholarship; putting Cecil’s ill-gotten gains to good use.  Rhodes wanted a secret society to promote British rule around the world; Rolle is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.  Tebow and Rolle might be the next Obama-types. 
 

Also, don’t sleep on Georgian Maya Moore who plays basketeball with Uconn and graduated from Atlanta’s Collins Hills High School with a 4.0 GPA. 
 

Tebow, a service-minded Christian athlete, was homeschooled by smart people; which leads to the fact that not everybody who homeschools will product a brainy Heisman Trophy winner.  So, if you are not smart enough to homeschool your kids past a certain grade level, you might not be smart enough to know it.  Some kids need to be at school and/or church for socialization purposes.  Yes, many school systems have uncontrollable little monsters who are exposed to heaven-knows-what at home and the teachers can’t stop them from “sharing” in the halls and cafeterias.
 
I think Georgia now has an innovative program for children to learn via the internet.  Can you image a cul-de-sac with six or seven homes where all the parents are bright and they create their own little school in a pool house or garage.  Parents who telecommute can swing by for a few classes and the banker can come home to teach economics during her lunch hour.  And mom can bake ginger bread cookies and vacuum in heels while wearing pearls.  
 
I am sure what the answers are with education options but some dramatic changes are needed because Little Johnny who does not learn might eventually be Jo-Dog, master of the cellblock for 15 to 20 years.  Georgia spends 1.2 Billion dollars on the state’s prison system—which does not include caring for the families of some inmates.  The education system is like that old oil filter ad, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.”
 
It all comes down to parenting and home training and President Obama will likely say what many reasonable people are thinking, “Some folks need children like a fish needs a bicycle.”

 
When Soon-to-be Speaker Newt Gingrich considering provisions for his agenda, he publicly discussed giving 21 year olds $5000 if he graduated from high school, had no out of wedlock kids and no criminal activity.  Those who say you can’t legislate morality never met Newt.  Hey, that plan is cheaper than lock’em up.

UPDATE: The list grows; Stephen Curry with Davidson College is another good kid. Like Grant Hill was back in the day.

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