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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1994 Bennett School Graduation Exercises program

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I never thought I would ever see my 8th Grade Graduation program from Bennett School again! Guess what over the weekend I scanned both sides of this program and made some crops and put both sides together in one document.

Also I had been mistaken, the former honcho of our local ABC-TV affiliated wasn't the graduation speaker Bob Love - a former Chicago Bulls great had been our speaker. So sad that I really don't remember many of the details anymore and this was way before we had a way to easily record these milestones - at least via cellphone cameras which at this point didn't exist.

Hard to believe this all happened over 20 years ago as of June 24, 2014. 20 years and time has definitely flown!

All the same 8th grade graduation is certainly a beginning of one of many milestones we will accomplish in life. Only the start! I wonder where other members of the class of 1994 are today.

ALSO, the songs we as a class had to perform for me are still cringeworthy. UGH!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Life skills

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This reminds me we had to take a class on consumer education but the teacher who taught us this in my senior year of high school well I didn't get the gist of what we were supposed to know. All I knew was that I got credit for it.

Before I graduated from 8th Grade we had to take a basic skills proficiency which I also passed. It showed us a lot of things that we could use when we get out here in the real world.

Another thing learned before getting out of elementary school was that our math books had exercised with regards to balancing a checkbook. By the time I got to senior year of high school we had to do this on a PC. Although in that case we used an antiquated version of Microsoft Works which basically contained programs akin to word and excel but it wasn't on Windows 95 like the computer I had at home!

School contains the stuff we should learn academic during the course of our time in school. They're as important as the life skills contained in the image above - found on FB. Unfortunately schools don't teach that and most importantly this is not something you should get credit for anyway because you need to know these things.

BTW, it hits me that my 8th Grade teacher as an exercise had us fill out applications for McDonald's. Not sure what I got on that assignment but I knew what to do.

ALSO, we shouldn't just know how to vote as it's also important to know who you're voting for. Schools should always teach critical thinking schools to allow students to make the right decisions as far as votes, life, money, etc.

My experience was almost 20 years ago, perhaps CPS has changed or perhaps they have stayed the same. What do you think?

Friday, August 15, 2014

9th Ward Back to School parade, picnic, & health fair

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I apologize for this short notice. This event is expected to occur tomorrow afternoon and is worth noting here.

Further information is below:
  • Alderman Anthony A. Beale's 15th Annual Back-to-School Parade, Picnic and Health Fair
    Join Alderman Anthony Beale for his 15th Annual Back-to-School Event Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Parade Kick-off: 11:00 a.m.
    Roseland Little League
    12483 South Michigan Ave.
    Picnic Immediately Following in Palmer Park
    201 E. 111th Street

    Alderman/Committeeman Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628
Flyer is below

Monday, August 11, 2014

Attending live sporting events?

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When I was a student at Bennett/Shedd schools I only fantasized about going to a sports event since starting to watch sports in the 3rd grade. My first exposure to sports was watching what was believed to be exhibition NHL hockey with the Chicago Black Hawks. It was the most interesting sport I had ever seen.

Earlier than that though I had attended my first Major League Baseball games. At one point I went with my parents to both Wrigley Field and the late Comiskey Park. Unfortunately I don't remember either event or even as much as who the Cubs and White Sox had played and no idea what the respective scores had been.

Regardless during my time in elementary school I had attended a Bulls game which I do remember. The Bulls were playing the Houston Rockets however don't ask me about the score that escapes me. This game was played at the late Chicago Stadium and is also the place were the Barnum & Bailey Circus would perform!

That wasn't the only game I ever attended at Chicago Stadium. This score I do remember, the Chicago Black Hawks played the Soviet Union Red Army team in a losing effort 4-1. I saw a fight up close between a Hawks player and a Red Army player. They played physically and the fans showed their contempt for the Russians with their vulgar chants and vulgar T-Shirts on sale before the game. It was a different experience I had also attended with my parents.

Since then that was the last game I ever attended before two Chicago Bulls games when I was still in high school. It was one exhibition game and one regular season game that my mother had procured through her job and we sat in the club level at the then new United Center. Incidentially these games came during the season where the Bulls won their last NBA Title.

Finally my first live MLB game in many years I attended last Wednesday. The White Sox at US Cellular Field (I still call it by it's original name Comiskey Park) lost to the Texas Rangers 3-1. Both teams had good defense it seems, but offense counts and the Rangers were scoring the runs. It was also at the club level of the stadium where I had a nachos supreme and a bacon cheeseburger with pink lemonade. It was a great experience to watch live MLB baseball in spite of the fact that I kept getting distracted by my cell phone LOL!

As a matter of fact though, the pic above I snapped at the same White Sox game last Wednesday at the start of that afternoon game. I still hope to go to Wrigley Field in the future I talk about it but it needs to happen.

Are sports an important aspect of your life?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Science & Technology: It's fun you'll see!

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[VIDEO] Recently this song just came into my head. I don't remember when this aired on TV, but it had to have been when I was still in school. It had to have been a message to encourage young people to consider studying science and engineering. Is it catchy to you as well?

BTW, this was a public service message from the National Science Foundation.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

HuffPost - 'This Is Are Story': Chicago Public Schools Are Failing

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WOW, we see more public school bashing here.

"This Is Are Story" - this article states this is a theme for the senior class at Robeson High School. See something wrong with this short statement. Yeah one glaring one we should all know especially since a conjugated verb is substituted for a similar sounding determiner pronoun.

Either way this story is about the CPS and the statistics regarding our school system that doesn't make it look very good:
Four out of 10 CPS freshmen don't graduate.
91 percent of CPS graduates must take remedial courses in college because they do not know how to do basic math and other schoolwork.
• Only 26 percent of CPS high school students are college-ready, according to results from ACT subject-matter tests.
After you completely read this is public education more of a holding cell and should it be used more as a launching pad?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Reciept for Graduation 94

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Wow! I never thought I'd find this around the house. Apparently our then school librarian - Mr. Hackenbrock - was also our school's clerk and provided this reciept for graduation fees. $30 apparently paid for two luncheon tickets which had been held at the old Martinique banquet hall near 95th/Western. Unfortunately that place was demolished and ultimately replaced by a Walmart & Sam's Club that sits on the site today!

It's funny that this reciept was likely made by a facsimile device. Handwritten save for probably the lines where you would fill in the date and the name. Come to think of it this receipt had to have been produced in 1994 because the year was already written on the original sheet and copied.

Quite a throwback!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

WBEZ: CTA overcharges kids to get to summer school, job programs

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WBEZ/Linda Lutton
As often stated I don't have children yet. It would be unacceptable that CTA and CPS hadn't adequately einsured that students still get reduced fare to get back and forth between home and their schools. Especially during the summer session as indicated in this recent article.
In what appears to be another stumble in the city’s transition to the new Ventra fare-collection system, thousands of young Chicagoans are paying more in train and bus fares than they should be this summer.

Typically, students under age 20 going to summer school or jobs programs would pay reduced CTA fares—currently $0.75 per ride and $0.15 for a transfer.

But many have gotten a rude awakening this summer when they’ve used their student cards on buses or trains.

“I swiped it, and I had (added) a dollar. Usually a dollar is good for me to get over here, but it said ‘insufficient fares,’said student Cesar Fierro in the hallway of his high school, Noble Street College Prep. Fierro rides on a student Ventra card he purchased at school.

He’s been paying $4.50, every day, to get to and from summer school—if he has the money.

“Like yesterday I had to walk all the way home,” said Fierro. That’s a 4.5-mile hike, from Augusta and Milwaukee to Fullerton and Kostner.
 And while school officials attempt to solve this issue, they seem to get the runaround:
School staff at Noble Street say they’ve “easily” spent 10 hours on the phone over the last two weeks trying to get reduced fares for summer school students— “calling back and forth to Ventra, being sent to CTA, the CTA saying, ‘Go back to Ventra.’ It seems to be a very confusing time for the companies as well as the schools,” said Noble Street administrative assistant Nicole Baily.
CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis says that’s because reduced fares are for students enrolled in an educational program, not for all youth. “If you're enrolled in the regular fall term, once that term finishes, the entitlement on the Ventra card is turned off automatically,” said Lukidis.

For students to get reduced fares during summer, schools must submit each student's individual transit card ID number to the CTA (or to one of Ventra's subcontractors). Lukidis says the transit agency has been working since spring with schools to prepare for the summer session. She says 5,500 Chicago Public Schools students and 9,500 students from charters and private schools are already receiving the reduced fare.

“So we have mechanisms in place for this to work successfully, and it has,” says Lukidis. She blamed Noble Street's problems on a "miscommunication on how to activate and get all of those entitlements processed."
Well at least there's an explanation, not to keep this from happening again!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tribune: Starting this fall, free breakfasts, lunches available for all CPS students

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I can't believe according to this article, school lunches in elementary school could go for $2.45 on average. When I went to Bennett-Shedd it was .75 and went up to .85 cents. Perhaps the quality of food today is much better.

Regardless CPS has found some money to provide free meals to all students. That's certainly excellent news:
The high number of students living at the poverty level in the district qualified CPS to meet the required threshold for full reimbursement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to CPS officials.

In the past school year, lunch at a typical elementary school  for students who didn’t qualify for assistance cost an average of about $2.45. High schools charges slightly more.

The district expects to serve 72 million meals to students in the coming year, two million more than during the last school year.

“If a student eats that day, the district gets reimbursed,” said Leslie Fowler, executive director of CPS’ nutritional support services. “But if they don’t eat, then CPS doesn’t get reimbursed and there’s no cost associated with that meal. We can’t predict what they do or don’t do, but we hope we can encourage them to participate.”

In the past, the school district’s free and reduced lunch program for financially eligible students was fraught with fraud. Several CPS school officials, including principals and assistant principals, were accused by the district’s Inspector General of providing false income information on applications for the free lunch program.
Sooooo, I don't have children yet, however, as a parent I would have fought tooth & nail not to pay over $2/day to feed my child. They'd get sent to school with a lunch from home at the very least.

Still this development under which this program has been expanded one thing is for certain CPS is dominated by low-income students.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

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Independence Day is almost over, but that doesn't mean we can't use the Peanuts characters to mark this day. Also school's out for the summer anyway and even if either school is in session or there's a summer school session today would be a day off anyway.

However you marked this day in your personal life hopefully it was celebrated in a very safe way. Hopefully you were careful in firing your fireworks. And hopefully everyone was well fed by any BBQ foods.

Most importantly you celebrated the USA's birthday with friends & family!