Published in the 8/30/09 issue of the Suburban Journals/Collinsville Herald
After a long day managing city departments, implementing a strategic plan and fussing with budgets, it only takes a little food to relax Collinsville City Manager Robert Knabel.
Knabel, 58, is an amateur gourmet chef, a hobby few who interact with him at City Hall know about.
“I’ve always been interested in cooking. It’s therapeutic for me,” Knabel said recently. “It allows me to focus on something different.” Read more »
Although my title indicates a possible reference to a Nickelback song, this post is about much more than music. It’s about the power of photos.
Photos are keepsakes. My sister has more than 100 scrapbooks of photos in her house, chronicling her life, her children’s lives – and every person she has ever come into contact with. My photos, while valuable to me, sit in a big box in my basement, patiently waiting for my organized sister to take on the project.
Photos tell a story. Photos bring back memories. Photos encourage us to reflect and think critically about life. Read more »
My work as a freelance writer gives me the opportunity to meet interesting and insightful people. Whether I am having a conversation with the average “Joe,” interviewing an event organizer, or talking with experts in various fields, the people become more than just sources – they become very human during an interview.
Even though as a journalist my job is to stay objective, there is something personal about each interview I conduct. The information this person is sharing usually contains personal experiences, feelings, beliefs, and advice. Almost always after an interview, I reflect and compare my personal experiences and try and put myself in the subject’s shoes.
Today, the shoes fit, but at the same time, the shoes made me uncomfortable – comparable to the perfect looking shoe in a narrow fit when I need wide-toed shoes. Read more »
With the start of a new school year, the tasks I must complete on a daily basis have been overloading my brain. As much as I try, I’m not an organized person. I struggle to remember birthdays, deadlines, and even lunch money for my kiddos, and have forgotten all three just this week.
In an effort to calm the stress and guilt of forgetting what I need to do, I sat down and created a to-do list. This list was much too long and overwhelming, so I divided it into three lists – one for my tasks at work/school, one for my freelance work, and one for home.
Shortly after I finished the lists, I developed a strong hate for the memo pad of chores. Read more »
Never in a million years did I ever think I would find myself in the teaching field. In third grade, I swore I was going to be a court reporter. In eighth grade, I was going to be the next Joan Jett. In high school, I wanted to pursue a career in music. At the onset of college, it was accounting, then music marketing, then public relations, then business, and ultimately, journalism.
I had big dreams to get OUT of school, not to stay in it. Read more »
Is there such a thing as the perfect woman? This occurred to me during a bedtime talk with my 9-year old son. He mentioned that he couldn’t wait for college because “there is a time and place for everything,” he said, “and that’s college.”
Curious by what he thought happened in college, he informed me that he would meet his perfect woman there. What came next is what disturbed me the most.
He described his “perfect woman” as a “girl with long, dangly hair, a small nose, a tiny butt, big boobs, lots of lipstick,” and most of all, “a clear face without any pimples or freckles.” Oh, and yes, she must wear tennis shoes instead of high heels. Read more »
Published Online in the Suburban Journals/Collinsville Herald: 8/18/09
Published in the Print Edition: 8/23/09
Decorated with bright yellow borders and character cut-outs, Doris McFall’s classroom at Jefferson Elementary School in Collinsville has all the essentials of a typical kindergarten space, complete with crayons, markers and fairy tale books. But it’s also filled with something more difficult to pin down, McFall said.
“I tell my kids I love them and I mean it,” McFall said as she prepared her room for her new batch of 24 students before the start of school last week. “No matter how old they are, you treat the kids the way you want to be treated.”
We have a saying in our house when it comes to money – “Mom is ‘el broko.” It’s not necessarily true all the time, but it helps my children understand that mom is not made of money, nor do we have a money tree growing in the backyard. Like most, my kids are expensive. They are not greedy kids, nor do they beg me for something in every store, but they cost me a pretty penny. Read more »
I’ve fought weight gain since I can remember – my family has taken note of my “Oprah Syndrome,” too. One year I’m skinny, the next I’m not. My kids, too, have fluctuated as well as seasons come and go. I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one. But, I am an observer and I do notice trends, habits, and behaviors of people, including myself.
So, when I read of studies about how childhood obesity is completely genetic, I get angry. Obesity, beyond medical conditions, is primarily a result of behaviors and choices. If you eat French fries on a regular basis, you will gain weight. If you consume three doughnuts for breakfast each day, more than likely, you will gain weight. We make the choice whether or not to eat healthy and our kids follow suit. Read more »
I can’t stand confrontation or even controversy. So while listening to a talk radio show this morning, it was a natural move for me to switch the station when a caller began to argue with the DJ about the “race card.” Apparently, the caller was offended when the DJ changed his tone/accent when impersonating an Asian man and the DJ was put out (to say the least) that the caller insisted on “playing the race card.” Read more »