Reader’s Forum – December 27, 2011

For your convenience, all Reader’s Forum submissions are separated by the ## symbol.

In response to Op Ed with Bob Branco – Separating Work and the Family, Allison wrote:

I totally agree with Bob Branco on separating work from family. I’m involved with a group that has a regular monthly meeting, and one of the members brings his young son. The child is bored, naturally, and is quite a distraction during the meeting. His noise makes it difficult to concentrate, and those who have hearing impairments have a particularly difficult time.
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In response to Op Ed with Bob Branco – Separating Work and the Family, David wrote:

It’s different with kids today. Parents seem to arrange their lives around kids. Kids seem to have every night scheduled with an activity and parents spend all of their after-work time running them to practices of some kind. They seem to live on chicken nuggets and oven fries while spending hours on the Xbox or other gaming console. No play outside seems doable. Teachers want to be their friends. Zero-tolerance for bullying is expected. Some of these changes are good, but some amaze me. Teachers being your friend, for instance. We had teachers who liked being hard-nosed and you’d better hop in line. One teacher in high school hit the door lecturing and you better have Braille paper and be ready to go.
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In response to Feature Writer Terri Winaught – Does Rudolph Promote Bullying? Keith wrote:

The story of Rudolph comes from a man who worked for a well known department store. He had lost his wife, and was struggling to support his young daughter. Down on his luck, having everything in their lives go wrong, he wrote a poem, with illustrations for his girl. It portrayed the bad stuff that life handed to them, and hope that somehow they might make it in the world.

When his employer caught wind of the poem, it soon became a storybook that they sold in their stores. The store bought the rights to the book, but later gave rights back to the family.

It was, of course Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The later fame, and income from the song, and the TV special goes to add that despite being handed a raw deal, bullies, losing a loved one, or being denied the career path of choice, you can’t lose hope. Success just might find its way into your life somehow. Life has no guarantees, and bad things happen, but they don’t have to be the final word.
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In response to Feature Writer Terri Winaught – Does Rudolph Promote Bullying? Mel wrote:

I’m getting sick and tired of everything getting labeled “bullying!” First of all, I was bullied in high school. I was spat upon by other kids. I was pushed down and called all sorts of nasty names. My parents never dreamed of getting the school involved! They taught me to stand up for myself. I think we are doing our children a lot of harm by calling everything bullying! If we don’t teach our children to stand up for themselves while they are in school, what will happen in the “real world” when there is no school to “protect” them? I’m not advocating violence here when I say stand up for yourself. I just think we need to teach our children that life isn’t all sunshine and roses. There will be bullies. There will be hurts. That’s just life.

And, yes, I am a mother of an 11 year old girl. She gets teased a lot at school because of my disability. Children can be awful. I don’t think anything will change that.
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In response to Shelley McMullen’s post in last week’s Reader’s Forum regarding Guide Dog training, Allison wrote:

I also agree with Shelley McMullen. I’ve had two guide dogs, one was obtained in 1965 and one in 1996. I noticed the differences she mentioned when I got my second dog, and frankly, I wasn’t pleased with the changes. I also think the dogs are softer than they used to be. That may be necessary, given the aging population, but I still see it as a problem.

One change I do like is the teaching of the follow command. That can be useful in a lot of situations.
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In response to Shelley McMullen’s post in last week’s Reader’s Forum regarding Guide Dog training, David wrote:

No way am I going to give my dogs treats in public. What if a friend holds out a treat too and you are about to cross a street? I thought clicker training was the big thing now. I had a guide dog, too; and I liked it but never had the mystical connection some have with their dogs. I liked having Nader, hope he was happy, tried making sure he had organic, high-quality food and supplements, and took him for walks and such, but just didn’t have any mystical mind-reading like feelings.
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In response to Feature Writer Karen Crowder – Five Non-traditional Ways to Give and Celebrate During the Holidays, Rick wrote:

Karen, your last idea about giving a book or CD was most meaningful. Last Christmas, after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, my friend Donna gave me as a Christmas present–a DVD she got from Major League Baseball highlighting their season, and that meant more to me than any other present I got. Little did I know at the time it would be the last present she gave me before she passed away.

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