Category Archives: Sports

Olympics Closing Ceremony: Boom or Bust?

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – David Holt

As a follow up to my post at the beginning of the Olypmics, I thought I would do a post to see what you all thought about the closing cermonies.

Whenever the Olympics end, I feel like a hole has been left and something is missing. I was thinking about what I will miss now that the Olympics are over.

A few things I will miss:

The inspiring stories of the athletes and how they got to the Olympics

The photos of the athletes when they were kids

The Visa commercials after a US athlete wins an award

The Moms and other family members

The antics of Usain Bolt

Seeing Kate Middleton cut loose

The Phelps – Lockte rivalry

The beautiful photos of the London Bridge with the Olympic rings

Watching runners who look like they are on a fast forward video

The celebrations of all things British

Ryan Seacrest…well, maybe not that last one

What do you think? What did you think of the closing ceremonies? What were your favorite moments in the Olympics? What will you miss? What won’t you miss?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

 

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Filed under Culture, Love, Peace, Sports

Olympics Opening Ceremonies: Boom or Bust?

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Nnet

So, what did you think about the Olympics opening ceremony?

The New York Times had an interesting article examining the ceremonies, as I am sure did every paper, but I find the coffee-shop conversations to be more interesting. It seems that the overall perception of the ceremonies was that the event was quirky. And a bit chaotic.

And of course, from the American perspective, you couldn’t miss the lengthy celebration of national health care. In our house, we thought that segment was pretty hilarious.

Personally, I preferred this ceremony to the Beijing ceremonies. I found the Beijing ceremony to be a little creepy.

Copyright JC Politi Photography

I did have trouble following some of the events last night in London, like the text messages with a backdrop of 60’s music, but overall I thought it was fun and visually engaging, with just a sprinkle of humor.

I seem to prefer a little chaos over a robotic show of submission and control.

What do you think? What was your favorite part of the opening ceremony? What did you think of the event overall?  What do you think Danny Boyle could have done differently? And why do you think they had a cover band do a Beatles song when Paul McCartney was there? Finally, what are you most excited for in this year’s Summer Olympics?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Running of the Bulls: Would You Do It? (newsofthetimes.org)

Say It Ain’t So, Lance: For the Love of the Game (newsofthetimes.org)

Romance in Paris: Why Do French Bookstores Continue to Thrive (newsofthetimes.org)

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Filed under Culture, Fitness, Health, Health Reform, International, Peace, Role of Government, Sports

The Ritalan Generation: Why Do Some Children Fall Behind in School?

David Brooks has an interesting opinion piece in the New York Times about how today’s schools leave some children behind.

He points out statistics showing that boys are falling behind girls in school and he posits a theory that this is because our school culture has become too homogenous. He claims that contemporary schools only promote teamwork and collaboration, instead of also including competition and military values.

His theory is that a diversity of teaching styles could help prevent some of the more active children from falling through the cracks and acting out.

I like the idea of diversity of thinking and feel that always adds value. But the bigger issue for me has to do with the homogeneity of the courses and teaching methods in schools today. The focus on teaching to a test has required teachers to shy away from using less traditional teaching styles and methods.

If teachers were able to tailor their classes more, perhaps they would able to find alternative ways to engage students with different learning styles.

Another factor to consider when discussing hyperactive children in the classroom is the overuse of medication that has proliferated over the past twenty years. I wonder if this is a direct result of the inability of teachers to tailor their classes because of the pressures to teach to the test.

That direct correlation may be a bit of a stretch, but if we are going to talk about kids who are falling behind, we must talk about the impact of the overmedication of our youth.

Kids in my generation were not overmedicated and there was no pressure to teach to a test. We had plenty of hyperactive kids – in fact I was probably one of them – but without medication, we turned out fine.

That last statement makes me sound like an old lady, talking about walking three miles barefoot to school in the snow when I was younger, and maybe that is who I have become. But I think it is interesting to explore our cultural history in order to find a path forward.

I have a philosophy for the most part of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I am sure the education system had significant problems when I was younger, but it does seem to have even more challenges now.

I am not a teacher, but I know that several of my readers are and many parents also read this blog. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about this and suggestions for solutions to ensure that all kids can learn the skills necessary for future success.

What do you think? Do you feel like the culture in schools is homogenous to a fault? Do you think that this could be addressed, in part, by allowing teachers to have more flexibility in the classroom? How do you feel about the medications that so many kids are prescribed today? Do you think that hyperactive children are falling behind in school? And what suggestions do have to address this issue?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

How Micromanaging Educators Stifles Reform

Making Education Brain Science

Forget Them! What Do YOU Want to Be When You Grow Up?

 

 

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Filed under Career Planning, Culture, Education, equality, Ethics, Parenting, Relationships, social pressures, Sports, Stereotypes, Youth Leadership

Say it Ain’t So, Lance: For the Love of the Game

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was sad to read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Lance Armstrong facing doping charges by the US Anti-Doping Agency. As a cyclist – heck, as an American – Lance has been held up as a role model for so many reasons, his cycling being just one.

I have no idea if Armstrong is guilty of the charges, but the allegations presented in this article are severe. I can’t help but wonder what has happened to sports?

When I was little I went to Orioles baseball games all the time with my family. I could tell you the position and team of almost any baseball player and had a huge number of baseball cards, which I was sure would finance my retirement.

Our family friends who were even more baseball-obsessed than we were ended up trading all of my valuable baseball cards for  cards of players on whom I had girlhood crushes, but I didn’t mind. (Now that I have hit 40, I have started to second guess that decision, but that is a subject for another post).

When we went to baseball games when I was younger, we would never see a score of 13-8; it just didn’t happen. Today, these scores are typical. I can’t help but think that easy access to performance enhancing drugs is a contributing factor.

It seems like weekly we hear about another athlete who is being charged with doping or who is found guilty of the charge. It is disappointing.

What do you think? Why is drug use so prevalent in sports today? If these drugs had been available in Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio’s time, do you think they would have used these drugs? What does this say to our kids, who look up to these athletes? What do you think could be done to curb the use of these drugs? Do you think that the penalties are harsh enough for drug use? And why do you think these charges are coming against Armstrong now, when the criminal investigation has recently ended?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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Filed under Culture, Fitness, Health, International, social pressures, Sports