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The Times They Are A Changing…

OCTOBER MORNING…

Time with the fish on Lake Monona.

SUPER SOMEBODY IN MONONA…

An e-mail reportedly went out from the school superintendent stating that the teachers are required to write letters of recommendation. That seems somehow right for the students. They should not be caught in the middle of a dispute.

In the midst of all this I did ponder what a letter of recommendation is. Back in the day,a million years ago when I went to school,a letter like that was earned. It was not expected. A letter like that might have been given by a teacher who had taken an interest in a student, or because a student had done something to rise above and beyond somehow. There are always students who rise above and beyond–students who deserve letters. But the question has become for me this: is it right to expect that a letter of recommendation be written? Should we be able to demand it be written? Is anyone entitled to a letter of recommendation just because it is always done, because colleges ask for them?

Having just gone through the college application ordeal last year with our oldest son, about to get on the horse again with our first school visit later this month for our oldest daughter, I have a bit of advice for students as they ask for letters of recommendation. Colleges don’t want a half-a-dozen letters. Pick one or two people to write a letter. Don’t expect a letter to be written for you. Be surprised when a teacher is willing to, glad to in many cases, write one–because it is deserved.

Best of luck to all students applying to college. Thanks to the teachers helping them along the way. A BIG thanks to the superintendent for stepping up to the plate–Monona’s Superman.

FALL SOCCER TEAM…

At a time when the country is ‘waiting for superman’ a much needed dose of encouragement was given to athletes at La Follette High School on Tuesday. President Obama, in Madison to promote mid-term elections, surprised students with a visit. He gave Monona’s neighbors a pep talk, encouraging the volleyball and football teams to work hard both on the field and in class.

The nice surprise could not have arrived at a better time. The documentary WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is raising questions over the quality of education in our country. In Monona teachers and the district seem destined for arbitration over their disputes.

For a moment questions and disputes were forgotten during the once in a lifetime, historic, visit. It was a visit that found President Obama providing a much needed dose of encouragement for students–for all of us.

FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL: Something For Everyone…

In the September Issue of MARTHA STEWART LIVING Sunday, September 26th is marked as GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY. The Monona Family Festival next Sunday, being held at the Winnequah Park Shelter next to the Dream Park, will be the perfect way to celebrate families, friends and neighbors. When we attended last year our intention was only to check it out, but we stayed for the entire event. Adults relaxed and visited while the teens enjoyed the music. The younger members of our family created crafts, had their faces painted, participated in races and left with balloon sculptures. The festival will be held between 2-5p.m. next weekend. Enjoy!

A Festival for Children and Their Families…

The Monona Family Festival being held Sunday, September 26th, from 2-5 p.m. will be a nice way for families and friends to welcome the new season. Last year a roaring fire warmed participants as they enjoyed everything from painting faces to music and food.

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