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Old 05-22-2002, 08:12 PM   #106
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Hahaha.. What a Joke.. This is like getting paid to wipe your ass.

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Philly Inquirer
Posted on Wed, May. 22, 2002

Reducing scout's stress is worthy of merit badge
By Nicole C. Wong
Knight Ridder News Service




The "Stress Less" badge is meant to help girls cope with pressure.


SAN JOSE, Calif. - After spending the last two months selling nearly 500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, 11-year-old Jennifer Brown is ready to unwind at a spa.

And these days, finding ways to ease stress can earn the Santa Clara, Calif., sixth grader a Junior Girl Scout merit badge.

Launched nationally in September, the "Stress Less" badge is designed to help girls cope with the pressure-cooker conditions confronting even young children today, and it's quickly becoming popular in fast-paced Silicon Valley.

Preteen girls from Santa Clara to Redwood City are indulging in foot massages and aromatherapy - and even swapping Britney Spears CDs for the soothing "Sounds of the Rain Forest."

The 90-year-old Girl Scouts of the United States of America - which once had badges for "Matron Housekeeper" and "Dairy Maid" - prides itself on keeping up with the changing times. While revamping its collection of 105 badges to include rock climbing and international diplomacy, the organization also realized that the stress-reduction badge already on the list for the older Girl Scouts needed to be offered to the 8- to 11-year-olds in Junior Girl Scouts.

The national organization doesn't keep track of how many Juniors are earning the badge. But parents and child psychologists who are seeing more overstressed children are applauding, saying it complements other attempts to help kids handle pressure at younger and younger ages. Some elementary schools already teach students conflict resolution, and more middle schools are weaving stress management skills into the curriculum.

Children today face big demands. Girls who haven't even reached puberty may already worry that their physical beauty does not rival that of the slim women in glossy magazines. In the schoolyard, there are catcalls and cliques. There might not be much help at home, either, as some parents spend more time nurturing their careers than their children - especially amid the threat of layoffs.

And for some children, it's the schedule.

Nine-year-old Claire Troussieux is a Redwood City, Calif., fourth grader now, but her planner was jam-packed by second grade: year-round swimming and fall soccer practice on Mondays; Junior Girl Scouts on Tuesdays; French lessons and more swim practice on Wednesdays; winter basketball practice on Thursdays; and swimming again on Fridays.

And that didn't even count homework.

At the beginning of this school year, Claire told her parents she needed a lighter load.

Her mother, Ann Troussieux, was a bit surprised at first. After all, Troussieux, who has two children, had completed her master's degree in business while working as a software company executive. Later, she juggled a job while cowriting a book and coproducing a video about helping girls achieve more in school and life by getting them involved in sports.

But when Claire wanted to drop swimming, she agreed.

"I was so glad she was able to make the call," Ann Troussieux said. "I realize I like a much busier schedule than she does."

Claire earned her stress-reduction merit badge by smoothing peach-scented lotion on her hands, keeping a journal of her happy and sad moments, meditating in a yoga position, burning an ocean-scented candle, dancing around the room to upbeat music, and analyzing her daily schedule. To help her mother relax, Claire gave her a creamy avocado facial and a back rub.

"Now I know what to do if I'm stressed out," Claire said.

In the Bay Area, the hectic lifestyles of the Troussieuxes are typical. "Learning to relax doesn't come easy," said Alicia McLucas, the Redwood City mother who made the Stress Less badge a priority for Troop 2182. "You can go crazy living in the Bay Area. A lot of parents could use this, too."

Child psychologist Sharon Post said parents need to ratchet back a bit.

"The baby boomers want to give their kids everything and have their kids be in everything: soccer, swimming, piano," said Post, a psychologist with the Associated Counselors of Silicon Valley. The overloaded children may feel there "just isn't a lot of joy in the accomplishment. There's more pressure."

Eleven-year-old Wendy Gregg, who along with Jennifer is in Santa Clara/Sunnyvale Troop 459, felt so overwhelmed earlier this year that she experienced regular panic attacks. Her mother pulled her out of school in February and has been home-schooling her since then.

Wendy is much more relaxed now, says her mother, Jenny Gregg, thanks in part to morning tai chi and an occasional spritz of lavender room spray - the aromatherapy scent that's touted for its calming power. The sixth grader also unwinds by watching I Love Lucy episodes on videotape.

"It was so wonderful to hear her laughing," said Jenny Gregg, who gave the comic videos as a gift to her daughter. "I hadn't heard her laugh in so long."

Gregg, a Junior Girl Scout leader, thought the other girls in Troop 459 needed to relax, too. She noticed that preteens now face pressures she and other mothers did not experience until at least high school.

To earn the badge, the troop spiced up the official list of activities, which suggests, among other things, reading a book and running up and down a staircase. The girls of Troop 459 earned their Stress Less badges by doing deep-breathing exercises, rubbing worry stones, talking to a psychologist, and making stress squeeze balls.

And they plan to spend their profits from Girl Scout cookie sales on a day at the spa.

"This is the best badge that we've been able to do the entire time I've been a Girl Scout leader," said Bev Gray, a former Girl Scout who has headed Troop 459 with Gregg for five years. "Many of the badges are fun. But this one truly met needs."

The Junior Girl Scouts were rewarded with a badge embroidered with a swinging hammock. But the girls had trouble affixing the badges to their clover-green uniforms because, well, they don't know how to sew. Some stuck their badges on with masking tape. Others handed the needle and thread to moms who earned the Sewing merit badge when they were scouts.

Still, the girls of Troop 459 are so enthusiastic about earning the badge they want to pass along the stress-relieving techniques to their younger counterparts, third-grade Brownies.

But, quite frankly, sharing the wisdom is a little stressful, too.

"I'm kind of scared of doing it," said Gwen Leong, 12, "because I'm not a leadership person."

Ah, time for a lavender-scented bubble bath.

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Old 05-24-2002, 12:37 AM   #107
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The Wisdom of the Living Force

Author: Paul F. McDonald
Published on: May 6, 2002
Related Subject(s): Not Indexed







There is an ancient saying from the East which states "he who thinks he knows, doesn't know - he who knows he doesn't know, knows."
Some might think one who goes around saying such things is simply being cute or coy. But there is something to be said for this. After all, this is the Information Age, and every age needs a counterpoint. With this in mind, we can turn to the refreshing idea of the Living Force, which has at its root not-knowing.

The concept of the Force is one of the richest in Star Wars. It is defined as a mystical energy field that is generated by the act of living itself, and its flow serves to penetrate the very fabric of the galaxy, binding everything together. Certain beings can even attune themselves with it, and their direction of its energies manifest in the twin potentialities of the light and dark sides.

In the first of the prequels, The Phantom Menace, the Force is opened up to even more interpretation. Two more aspects of the one energy are developed, one being the Unifying Force, and the other being the Living. According to creator George Lucas, the former has to do with destiny and purpose, while the latter involves intuition, spontaneity, and empathy with all living creatures. Though the Jedi Council emphasizes the Unifying Force, others such as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn champion the Living, and this article deals with why this is so.

To begin with, the Living Force is first and foremost about being in the present moment. This sounds like a simple thing, yet it is anything but. Just as Yoda criticizes Luke Skywalker for, we too spend most of our lives everywhere by where we actually are, anxiously peeking over time's shoulders, trying to get a glimpse of the future. Of course, just as a horizon will recede when one attempts to chase it down, so will the future get farther and farther away, which is no doubt why even the Jedi cannot accurately predict it.

At the beginning of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon instructs his Padawan learner, a certain Obi-Wan Kenobi, to "keep [his] concentration here and now, where it belongs." This is sound advice, and not just for Jedi apprentices. A person incapable of living in the present is not really living at all. Yet so much of our time is spent actively doing and planning, we are not very good at simply being. In contrast, the Jedi talk about learning to quiet the mind, because once one does this, the world looks incredibly interesting, with previously unseen levels of texture and resonance.

It is unfortunate that religion is often used in much the same way as a carrot perpetually dangling in front of a donkey in order to get him to pull a heavy cart. It is built on the promise of future reward. Yet another just as valid way of experiencing the spiritual life is to realize the true bliss that is right now. Along these lines, the Zen poet Wu-men Hui-K'ai proclaimed that "one instant is eternity; eternity is the now." And this is the essence of the Living Force.

From this point of view, the normally sharp division between the natural world and the supernatural one is blunted. Quite simply, just as the philosophy of Zen has been defined as your "everyday mind," the Jedi Masters who follow the Living Force live in the real world. This is very apparent with Qui-Gon, who looks quite at home in the quaint Skywalker hovel on Tatooine, and spends a lot of time with his hands on someone's shoulders, constantly reaching out to everyone around him. Such mystics are far from otherworldly or untouchable.

It is interesting that the midichlorians - the cellular life forms that act as conduits of the Force - caused such a controversy. Many fans argued that they reduced the spiritual side of the saga to mere biology. But what's wrong with biology? In the real world, matter and energy are two sides of the same thing. And after all, since the physical world creates the Force, it only makes sense it would be inseparable from it. It all really depends on perspective. For instance, medieval religious art in Europe usually features otherworldly scenes of heavens and angels, yet Asian religious art by Chinese painters simply features pictures of trees and mountains. In the latter, matter and spirit are not totally distinct.

The very phrase "Living Force" connotes an organic process, something that changes and grows alongside nature rather than in opposition to it. As such, it belongs to an order of intelligence, of instinctual wisdom, that is often overlooked. There are really two kinds of intelligence, and in India, they have different names in Sanskrit. One is "manomayakosha," and it is the rational, self-conscious intellect. This is the intellect that gets an education, builds buildings, runs companies, and plans for retirement. The other is "vijnanamayakosha," and it is the non-linear, intuitive intellect. Sometimes known as the "unborn mind," this grows grass, shapes rivers, and digests food. It is the ancient, unconscious wisdom that grows and individuates the entire universe but has no idea how it does so, much like the average person has no idea how they beat their heart or circulate their blood.

When the Jedi begin to "unlearn what [they] have learned" and realize all conceptual differences are "only different in [their] mind," that is the intelligence they are coming into contact with. The Living Force cannot be thought of as an entity or thing, but rather as a natural process. It can only manifest when it is allowed to flow freely, just as an oak tree can only grow out in the open. Each are profound patterns of energy and intellect.

When Walt Whitman wrote of nature, he spoke not of divine commandments, but rather of "living impulses." That's what the Living Force is. It's an experience rather than a belief. The emphasis the Jedi put on the energy field is that one must actually "feel" its flow. Yet the only way one can do this is by not actively trying to grasp it. Only when Luke "lets go" during the trench run does he succeed in blowing up the Death Star.

The philosophy of not letting go and trying to control everything is the philosophy of the Empire. Lucas has admitted that this is the very thing that turns Anakin into Darth Vader. Clinging to things doesn't work. As Princess Leia points out to her Imperial captor in A New Hope, "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." This is a genuine principle of life. Trying to bring the entire galaxy under conscious, Imperial control is like trying to breathe by strangling yourself. In contrast to this is the life of faith, a life that's very trademark is trust in unnamed instinctual forces.

In a great lecture on Zen, Alan Watts noted that the "universe is like water." The moment one lets go and has faith in life, the natural bouyancy instantly holds them up. In contrast, to struggle is to drown. The Living Force acts in precisely the same manner. So much like in Zen, it is essentially the art of getting out of one's own way.

"Let go your conscious self," Obi-Wan advises Luke during his first lightsaber lesson, "And act on instinct." This Jedi philosophy is about removing all words and concepts from one's mind, so that life can be experienced directly, in the middle of its flow. When one stops thinking, and stops "knowing," the world is renewed, and every moment becomes an act of creation.


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Old 05-24-2002, 12:47 AM   #108
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Do people e-mail this shit to you, or do you search for it?
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Old 05-24-2002, 12:20 PM   #109
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Old 05-24-2002, 12:21 PM   #110
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hey lemonhead, did you graduate yet?
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Old 05-24-2002, 01:42 PM   #111
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Ah, Yes, the glorious speech of Senator Emeritus Tim Russert was a grandly formal farewell as I left the monotonous tones of Monk Malloy, his famed quotes "It's an Honor to be a Part of This Very Special Day".. of which my brother does a tear jerking impersonation.. And a Nice Guinness on the roof of my friend's house on Bulla was a fitting au revoir to the more underground, or.. less Holy Cross Aura of ND.

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Old 05-24-2002, 01:45 PM   #112
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congrats. i read russert's speech online. it seemed pretty good.

so is it grad school now for you?
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Old 05-24-2002, 07:49 PM   #113
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Yes S.F. It is grad school for me, then maybe a narrowing program after that hopefully... Here is the Valedictory Speech, from quite possibly one of the biggest tools on campus, but undoubtedly one of the biggest ND lovers.

I give you Tim Dolezal

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May 19

Father Malloy, Mr. Russert, distinguished guests, faculty, family, friends, and fellow members of the Class of 2002:

One thousand three hundred sixty-seven days ago we unpacked our suitcases and celebrated our first official day as Notre Dame students. We gather on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to celebrate our last day and all the wonders in between. Much has happened to us since that steamy August morning in 1998, so it is fitting to take a moment to reflect on our Notre Dame experience. In doing so, my first inclination as a finance major is to offer a quantitative sketch of the past four years. According to my estimates and calculations, the Class of 2002 has aggregately taken more than 175,000 exams and written in excess of 700,000 pages of text. We have enjoyed 25 home football weekends, assembled more than 500 bookstore basketball teams, and fought more than 100 matches in the Bengal Bouts. In the past four years we have celebrated more than 3,600 Sunday dorm masses, participated in more than 80 retreats, and lit approximately 70,000 grotto candles — which we always pay for by the way. Our class has volunteered in hundreds of seminars through the Center for Social Concerns. We have hosted approximately 250 dorm dances and spent around $2.7 million in flex points.

These are obviously just a few statistics, but we all know that the vast majority of our Notre Dame experience cannot be quantified. While we can easily tally up the hours spent studying for an exam, we cannot measure the satisfaction that stems from working hard and acquiring knowledge. Rebounds and assists are easy to count, but they do not describe the feeling of exhilaration that comes from a women's basketball national championship. We can estimate the amount of physical damage from the September 11 tragedy, but we cannot enumerate the sympathy and grief shared by 7,000 people at a mass on the South Quad. We can compile of list of our best friends here, but we cannot place a value on their willingness to help us through our heartbreaks. We can count the number of days spent under the Golden Dome, but we cannot determine the exact point in time when Notre Dame evolved from simply being our school to being our home. Intangibles truly define the Notre Dame experience — memories that cannot be associated with a finite number. These memories include heated bedtime debates with roommates, dining hall meals with a table full of buddies, late-night cramming sessions with study partners, hard-fought interhall games, dancing at the Linebacker, prayer time at the grotto, walks around the lakes — and most of all —meaningful relationships.

Reflecting on these special memories, it is not difficult to realize how much we love Notre Dame and how blessed our four years have been. As a result, I can see how we might be tempted to march directly to the South Quad, sew our gowns together, pitch a tent, and attempt to live with our friends forever. Unfortunately, Du Lac states that we need to submit a waiver for that, and we missed the deadline.

So, our time has come. As much as we would love to live this forever, our time has come. And, this is a good thing. Our Notre Dame experience is a gift that is meant to be used for the benefit of the world not hoarded for us. This desire to cling to Notre Dame reminds me of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James, and John were on top of the mountain with Jesus, undergoing arguably the most profound experience of their lives to that point. Once Jesus was transfigured in the presence of Moses, Elijah, and God the Father, Peter had an idea that should sound familiar. He suggested pitching three tents on the mountaintop —one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. If you will allow an exegesis from an amateur theologian, I think that Peter in a sense wanted to capture the moment and preserve it forever. But God had a different plan for the three apostles. Instead, they were supposed to climb down the mountain ­ with Jesus at their side. Once they returned to the world, they seemed to direct the energy from their experience into spreading the Word and ministering to others.

Like the apostles, we must determine how to best channel our Notre Dame experience and share it with the world. I believe our first objective should be to build our sense of community wherever we go. Having spent four years on this campus, I think we are blessed with an understanding of community. Simply put, Notre Dame is a place where people truly care about you. If we want to re-create this environment, we must put forth the effort to truly know other people and allow them to truly know us. This is often more difficult than it seems. We need to give others our full attention, which is not always easy in our fast-paced society. We also need to let go of our own hidden imperfections, which is equally challenging.

On the other hand, there is not one arena that we will occupy next year — graduate school, the workplace, the military, or direct service ­ where building community is impossible. All we have to do is make the effort. Invite the quiet person in the back of your anatomy class out for a cup of coffee. Share a meal with the family whose house you are building. Get to know the newly enlisted and share with them some experiences of military training. Talk to the analysts in the nearby cubicles about your family and theirs. And, while you are developing these intimate relationships and a sense of community, there is one more thing to remember. I know this from experience. The more you know about a person, the easier it is to brainwash them about Notre Dame football.

I think we also have a moral obligation as Notre Dame graduates to serve those in need both domestically and around the world. Such has been a hallmark of Notre Dame's mission since day one. In 1842, the University's first year, Father Sorin sent Father Moreau a letter containing his vision for Notre Dame. Sorin wrote, "[Notre Dame] will become one of the most powerful means for good in this country." I think Father Sorin's notion of "good" included service to the poor and needy.

But I also think that each of us is called to serve in his or her own way. Some of us have a natural vocation for direct service to the poor —building houses, providing medical treatment, or teaching. Others possess administrative talents that should be used for organization and mobilization. Some are gifted speakers and writers and are meant to inform and motivate. Some are intended to provide the financial resources for all of these activities. But no matter where your aptitudes fall, we all have a duty to use our God-given talents and the skills we have learned at Notre Dame to help those that need us most. To paraphrase the renowned theologian Henri Nouwen during the dedication of the Center for Social Concerns: Catholic education is only real when the talents that are developed are not directed to the acquisition of more power, more success, or more influence, but are directed to serve those who have less power and less influence than we have.

I believe that at the end of our lives, we are going to come face to face with our Creator. On that day, I do not think that God is going to ask us for a bunch of quantitative statistics. We will not hear questions like "How high was your G.P.A.?" or "How many awards did you win at graduation?" God is not going to ask us how many articles we published, how many court cases we won or lost, or how large of a return we gained for our investors. God is not going to ask how much money we made or how many times we had our name in the paper. In my opinion God is going to ask two simple questions. First, "Do you love me?" And, second, "What did you do for my people?" If we devote all our energy to answering those two questions, we will be living our Notre Dame experience to its fullest potential.

May Notre Dame Our Mother be twice on our minds and always in our hearts. And may God always bless you and hold you close. Thank you.

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Old 05-24-2002, 07:52 PM   #114
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Here's Russert's Commencement Speech, In his last statement he pulled out a ND football jersey with the number 25 on it...

It was good, especially the part about the ravenous and ignorant ridden Media.

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T. Russert Graduation Speech May 19 2002

Father Malloy, distinguished honorees, distinguished guests and the Class of 2002. Before all else — congratualations! You finally made it.

Let me be honest with you about my experiences with commencement addresses. I've been through several of my own and I've sat through dozens of others. And I can't recall a single word or phrase from any of those informed, inspirational and seemingly interminable addresses.

In preparing for today, I had thought about presenting a scholarly treatise on campaign finance reform — but I thought better of it.

I guess I'm like that noted philosopher...Yogi Berra...I get it eventually...after Yogi had flunked his exam...his teacher came down the aisle, shook him and said "Don't you know anything." Yogi looked up and said, "I don't even suspect anything." Yes, this is the same Yogi Berra who when asked whether he wanted his pizza cut into six slices or eight replied "Six. I couldn't eat eight."

This is the second most humbling day of my life. The first was in 1985. I was granted an extraordinary opportunity — a private audience with the Holy Father.

I'll never forget it. The door open — and there was the Pope—dressed in white. He walked solemnly into the room at that time it seemed as large as the Joyce Center. I was there to convince His Holiness it was in his interest to appear on the Today show. But my thoughts soon turned away from Bryant Gumbel's career and NBC's rating toward the prospect of salvation. As the Vicar of Christ approached me, you heard this tough, no-nonsense hard-hitting Moderator of Meet the Press begin our conversation by saying, "Bless me Father!" He took my arm and whispered "you are the one called Timothy from NBC. They tell me you are a very important man."

Somewhat taken aback, I said, "Your Holiness, with all due respect, there are only two of us in this room, and I am certainly a distant second."

He put his hands on my shoulder...looked me in the eye...and said..."Right."

In that humble spirit may a respectful servant in the laity of the Church I love offer a serious observation. I believe it is imperative when our Bishops meet next month in Dallas they work tirelessly to bring about a healing and reconciliation with all those who have been harmed and they adopt specific and enforceable measures that ensure the illegal and immoral abuse of our young will never be tolerated by our Church again.

It's not often you have a chance to meet and talk with people who share the same background and values.

So let me skip the temptation of lecturing you.

Instead, let me take just a few minutes to have a conversation with you.

Like each of you, my life changed forever on September 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m.

The English language does not include the words we need to express our sorrow for what happened on that day. Only in our hearts can we give full and complete expression of our grief and the shocking sense of personal loss...and the agony of seeing our nation so violated.

My dad was a truck driver and a sanitation manŠHe worked two full-time jobs for 37 years...and he never complainedŠand that was after he helped win WWII. That is the story of his generation...He never graduated from high school...but he taught me more by his example...by his hard work...by his basic decency...his intense love of family and country...he indeed taught me the true lessons of life.

And these lessons have sustained me since September 11.

Simply put, there are those who want to destroy us...our people...men, women, our children...our institutions...our way of life...our very freedoms.

For the media, war on terrorism should not be analogous to reporting the Florida recount or a presidential impeachment or a missing intern. When covering military operations, the media should lower our voices and modulate our tone. We may be journalists, but we are also American citizens.

Indeed the press and the government will have serious disagreements over what is fair and timely and relevant news coverage, even how to define "national security." And good journalism should also report and respect the legitimacy of dissent to government policy. But we must never report anything, which puts our troops at risk, and we must always reject any attempt to suggest a moral equivalency between the United States of American and the terrorists.

As a young boy, I remember so vividly President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's stirring Inaugural Address:

"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans...Let every nation knowŠwhether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Those words are as timely today as they were 41 years ago. President Kennedy concluded his address this way. "With history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking this blessing and His help, but knowing here on earth God's work must truly be our own."

What is God's work here on earth?

Understanding that is I believe the key to a meaningful life — the essence of our earthly existence. Your Notre Dame Mission Statement describes it this way: "There is an intelligibility and a coherence to all reality, discoverable through spirit, mind and imagination. God's grace prompts human activity to assist the world in creating justice grounded in love."

I am the first person in my family to have the chance to go to college. I attended John Carroll University —a Jesuit school where I received a superb education.

And so, too, with you. You chose a school that was different and you made the choice deliberately.

The education you've received at Notre Dame isn't meant to be the same as you could have received at a score of colleges —public and private —across this country.

You've been given an education that says it's not enough to have a skill. Not enough to have read all the books or know all the facts. Values really do matter.

The University of Notre Dame...A Catholic university founded by the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

It's only justification for existing is because it has a special mission —training young men and women to help shape and influence the moral tone and fiber of our nation and our society. And that means you now have a special obligation and responsibility. You have been blessed with extraordinary opportunities—and, St. Luke tells us, "to whom much is given —much indeed is expected."

Graduating from Notre Dame has given you incredible advantageous over others in your generation.

Yes —I, too, have heard the sometimes smug remarks about non-eastern or Catholic colleges.

You think you've had it bad. You should try being a Buffalo Bills fan in Washington! I actually took Meet the Press to the Super Bowl a few years back. At the end of the program, I looked into the camera and said, "It's now in God's hands. And God is good. And God is just. Please God, one time. Go Bills!

My colleague, Tom Brokaw jumped up and said, "You Irish Catholics from South Buffalo are shameless! You can't pray on national television."

Well as I moped back from the stadium after the Cowboys slipped by the Bills 38-18. The first person I saw was Brokaw —He yelled across the room, "Hey Russert, I guess God is a Southern Baptist."

You have something others would give most anything for!

You believe in something—in your God, in your country, in your school, in your family, in yourself, in your values.

Remember the message our parents and grandparents and teachers repeated and repeated—and instilled in us.

A belief if you worked hard and played fair, things really would turn out all right.

And after working for Senators and Governors, meeting Popes and interviewing Presidents —I think they are right.

Will Rogers put it this way, "It sure seems funny—the older I get the smarter my mother and father seems to get."

The values you have been taught, the struggles you have survived, the diploma you are about to receive, have prepared you to compete with anybody, anywhere.

Reject the conventional wisdom that success is only for the very rich or very privilege or Ivy-League-educated.

Don't believe it. I didn't. Because people with real values have a way of helping and teaching and connecting with one another.

People with backgrounds like yours and mine can and will make a difference.

In Poland, it was a young electrician named Lech Walesa, the son of a carpenter, who transformed a nation from communism to democracy.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela...former President Nelson Mandela...a brave black man who worked his way through law school as a police officer, spent 28 years in jail to make one central point—we are all created equal.

And on September 11, at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it was our brother and sister police, and fire and rescue workers who properly redefined modern day heroism.

All these men and women have one thing in common with you —Like the past, the future leaders of this country and this world will not be born to the blood of kings, but to the blood of immigrants and pioneers.

It is now your turn. You will now have the opportunity to be doctors, nurses, lawyers, bankers, accountants, social workers, soldiers, journalists, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, teachers and more. And in those vital professions, your contributions can be enormous. You can help save lives, provide prosperity, record history, prevent disease, train young minds. You will make a difference if you only accept the simple fact that your family and education and values have prepared you for this challenge as well as anyone in this country.

It is our grandparents...and your parents...who defended this country...who built this country...who brought you into this world and a chance to live the American dream. Will your generation do as much for your children?

You know you must. Every generation will be tested...and given the opportunity to be the "greatest generation."

And so, too, with the University of Notre Dame graduates of 2002. You were born and education to be players in this extraordinary blessing called life.

Go climb that ladder of success and work and live in comfort. And enjoy yourself. You've earned it. And that is the American way.

But please do this world one small favor.

Remember the people struggling along side you and below you. The people who haven't had the same opportunity, the same blessings, the same Notre Dame education.

Twelve children a day are shot dead in the streets of America...more have died from bullets the past 15 years than we lost in the Vietnam war.

One simple and haunting statistic. If a young woman is 18 years old with a high school education...a job...and a spouse...the chances of her baby growing up in poverty are just 8 percent.

If she is 18...without a high school diploma...without a job...without a spouse...the chances of her baby growing up in poverty is 80 percent...eight zero...And the correlation between poverty...and drugs, gangs, guns and death...is overwhelming...staggering...numbing...

All of us...in government...corporate America...labor unions...academia...churches, synagogues...mosques...and, yes, the media...must teach...cajole...motivate our children to finish school...learn a skill...hold a job...get married...have a baby...in that order.

We all know extraordinary individuals who have succeeded against the odds—and we salute them—but it is so much better for any baby to have a loving mom and dad—both there at the creation and throughout the education and rearing of their precious child.

If we are serious about being the world's premiere military, economic and moral force in the world, we have no choice. We cannot leave any of our children behind. We will need all of our children contributing and prospering.

We can build more prisons...and we will...and put more police on the streets...and we should...but unless we instill in our young the most basic social skills and cultural and moral values...we will be a very different society. We must motivate-inspire-yes insist-our children respect one another...yes "love they neighbor as thyself."

We must do everything in our power to make sure schools are meaningful...skills are learnable...jobs are available. No matter what profession you choose, you must try, even in the smallest ways to improve the quality of life of the children in our country.

No one has shown that generous spirit of service more than the Alliance for Catholic Education and the Holy Cross Associations. No matter what your political philosophy, reach down from that ladder and see if there isn't some children we can't pull up a rung or two—some are sick, some are lonely, some are uneducated. Most have little control over their fate. Give them a hand. Given them a chance. Given them their dignity.

We must teach our children they are never, never, entitled, but they are always, always loved. There is indeed a very simple truth, "No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down to lift up another person."

That is your charge. That is your challenge. That is your opportunity.

That's what I believe it means to be a member of the Class of 2002 of the University of Notre Dame. For the good of us all, specifically my 16-year-old son Luke who is with me today. Please build a future we all can be proud of.

You can do it.

But please get busy...you only have 2,300 weeks before you'll be eligible for Social Security!

For me, my life is now complete. I have a Jesuit education and a Notre Dame diploma. Have a wonderful life.

Take care of one another,

Be careful tonight.

God Bless...This is my 25th honorary degree. Saving the best for last...Go Irish!


May 19, 2002

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Old 05-25-2002, 07:06 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonite:
Yes S.F. It is grad school for me, then maybe a narrowing program after that hopefully...
I was just wondering what you're planning to study in graduate school, Lemonite? And what school will you be going to? Good luck with whatever you're doing!
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Old 06-04-2002, 08:27 PM   #116
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Hahah.. If this isn't Douche Tastic

Good Ol' Flipper's a Dirty Old Man..

Dolphin luring swimmers off for sex


03 June, 2002 23:06 BST


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LONDON (Reuters) - Swimmers have been warned to stay away from a sexually frustrated dolphin off a seaside resort after it tried to lure unwary humans out to sea in a bid to mate with them.

The Times newspaper said on Tuesday that the bottlenose dolphin, nicknamed Georges, had arrived off Weymouth, Dorset, about two months ago after following a trawler across the Channel.

"This dolphin does get very sexually aggressive. He has already attempted to mate with some divers," U.S. marine mammal expert Ric O'Barry told the paper.

"When dolphins get sexually excited, they try to isolate a swimmer, normally female. They do this by circling around the individual and gradually move them away from the beach, boat or crowd of people."

O'Barry said the dolphin, which weighs an estimated 400 lbs (180 kg), would get very excited and rough and try to mate with the swimmer, possibly causing them to drown.

The dolphin also has a fascination for boat propellers and has been injured several times. But it has resisted attempts to move to less-populated waters, the paper said.

Since his arrival at Weymouth, Georges has become a major attraction at the seaside resort with thousands of people taking to the sea in boats to watch him play.
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Old 06-04-2002, 08:52 PM   #117
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SF and Fizzing Thanks, and Fizzing, let's just say If you ever happen to need Cephelax or the Opposite Gender Viagra just give me a call.. Hahha.. Crooked even before I begin.. but be careful, your first intuition is probably not exactly my path... very very close though.

And now to answer your question from months ago.. I think the situation surrounding this was a thread 'America Appreciation', and someone else stated, 'Well, now we need another thread to Celebrate all the other wonderful Nations in this world'... While a noble statement, and a completely rational thought process.. It's full of shit.

BEGIN STORY

Imagine this.. You've probably got many more intense shows like this over the ocean, but here in America we have MTV dismissed and it's this date show where two guys vie for the affection.. or at least temporary affection of a girl and at the end of the show, the girl chooses ONE guy, hence the other is dismissed. Now.. I absolutely hate this show, because by nature I pick one guy or one girl I'd like to win the 'game', and start getting agitated if they're 'faltering' in their quest to make out with their 'prey', but WHEN it's time for the decision to be made.. for the girl to choose which guy she wants to keep and which one she wants to dismiss.. The Girl ALWAYS starts out by stating

(BOY A).. I had a great great time with you, you made me feel some intense things that I didn't know were there.. I truly loved that close encountering dance we had together out on the Dance Floor.. (Then she turns to the Other Guy)..

(BOY B).. I also had a great great time with you, You know, you were the best gentleman a lady could ask for, you cooked for me, the fried Flounder was delectable and truly touched my tastebuds.. I felt as if you were feeding my heart with your kindness and skilled culinary...

Then she turns to the camera.. And is like 'But I have to make a decision, I have to pick one of you, and BOY A, while I loved dancing with you, you completely ignited my fire.. BOY B, You were the one that I felt most myself with.. I'm kinda a shy girl and lo key, and so I'm going to have to dismiss you BOY A.

END STORY

Ok.. now if you followed this, I'm sure you can imagine other situations like this.. Another that comes to mind is the 'Committee Decision' for something.. For example, I applied for a service commissioner in my dorm.. I didn't get it.. Never mind the fact that I slept through Christmas in April, and Went ot teh Bar to watch teh Celtics game instead of Habitat for Humanity, BUT.. I didnt' get the position, and when I went to teh Dorm President and asked him what was up, he was like 'Oh Kevin.. it was a committee decision, I didnt' have really any control'.. Basically telling me to not blame him, even though he was one of the votes against me.. but to blame the committee..

This last example is different but in the same vein, that our world is soo permeated by Political Correctness, so wrapped up in appreciating EVERYTHING, that no one gets their moment, everything has to be sensitive to everything else..

In MTV DISMISSED the girl can't just end the show by saying 'BOY B, you were the one I liked the best, BOY A you are dismissed'.. NOOO THIS CAN:T HAPPEN, the girl must first spoon feed BOY A a bowl of fececal matter by stating that WHILE she did have an excellent time with him, it was by a matter of chance, similar to drawing straws (Or so she makes it seem) that BOY B just edged out and won the 'Contest'.

In my application for Service Commissioner I couldn't have been told, 'John McK. was the best for the job, he had amazing credentials and you just weren't as good.' I had to have been told taht apparently this dorm president was on my side (Or so I would be led to believe), but the rest of the committee decided against me... just a side note, what makes taht more pathetic is there are like two positions for service commissioner in the dorm.. Ah.. pass me another cigar.. Anyways back to the point...

We can never state Preference without justifying it by playing up to everything else.

We can never State what's right or Wrong without First being accused as ARROGANT.. and secondly, without discussing things around the table.. "Well maybe this might work.. or if we tweak this out it might suffice".. Uh.. sorry.. There sometimes are situations where things are right and wrong.. Regardless of how much you want to talk about it or discuss it.. the answers are not going to change.

And so my gripe with that little post by someone 'We now need to have an appreciation thread for everyone else' is summed up above, but finished in the following.. Just give America it's moment in that thread.. If you want to start threads for every country.. GO AHEAD AND START THEM, BUT you don't have to put in the AMERICA THREAD.. which was really ONLY for posts about Appreciating America... a Post basically justifying the Appreciate America thread as a sort of 'Appreciation Thread of the Day'.. where America just happened to be the one selected.. No.. I'm sorry, It was made to celebrate America.. That's it.. People want to write in it "AMERICA IS TEH BEST ".. Then go right ahead.. You don't have to feel the need to say, "Oh Gee there are so many wonderful nations in this world and America is one of them"..

Yes I realize that I'm fighting a battle against all of society, all of the corporate world, and practically all institutions in the world, Maybe except for the military.. and the Irish Guard.. But it jsut gets to me when I see people who very well know the right answer to a solution, peddling around 'various solutions' or spend time justifying themselves because 'Society has deemed it necessary to Discuss, to PC everything, and to make sure no toes are stepped on in the process."

Deep breath.. Fizzing I appreciate your patience.

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Old 06-04-2002, 09:02 PM   #118
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silly lemonite. i posted the horny dolphin story in lemonade stand.
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Old 06-04-2002, 09:33 PM   #119
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Hahaha.. my bad.. I haven't gotten used to all the newfangled gadgets here yet and have not made a look over there yet..

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Old 06-07-2002, 12:29 PM   #120
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Harvard Hates America... Hardly a Surprise

Harvard was accused a while back for Hating America.. I forget the exact situation, and here, as their Valedictorian, they've Selected someone who has supported the Terrorist Group 'HAMAS', and gives a speech titled 'American Jihad'...


Harvard Student Gives Speech Citing 'Jihad'
Reaction Mixed to Muslim American's Commencement Talk

By Pamela Ferdinand
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, June 7, 2002; Page A03



CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 6 -- On a rain-drenched commencement day at Harvard Yard, a Muslim American student Thursday urged his fellow graduates to shape "a more just, peaceful and honorable global society" -- and referred repeatedly to "jihad" as he did so.

Thus, Zayed Yasin, 22, a biomedical engineering student, delivered the speech whose original title -- "American Jihad" -- ignited a controversy that included a campus-wide debate over free speech, a petition opposing his selection as one of three student speakers at Harvard's 351st commencement and an e-mailed death threat against him. Yasin changed his title to "Of Faith and Citizenship" and heightened some references to the Sept. 11 attacks, but his text remained largely intact.

"I am one of you. But I am also one of 'them,' " he said, opening his remarks by referring to his dual identities as a practicing Muslim and American citizen and their perceived contradictions. He said he chose the word "struggle" deliberately and went on to condemn misuse of the Arabic term.

" 'Jihad' is a word that has been corrupted and misinterpreted, both by those who do and do not claim to be Muslims. And we saw last fall, to our great national and personal loss, the results of this corruption," he said.

Invoking the significance of personal moral growth, Yasin defined the true meaning of "jihad" as "the determination to do right, to do justice even against your own interests" and as "an individual struggle for moral behavior."

Yasin's choice of the Arabic word, which also has been defined as "holy war" and used by Muslim fundamentalists to justify terrorism, had led some critics to denounce him as a terrorist sympathizer. But the former Harvard Islamic Society president received the continued backing of university President Lawrence H. Summers. Yasin also appeared on national television to defend remarks that few people outside the selection committee were allowed to read before the commencement.

As he finished his speech, Yasin, the son of a Bangladeshi father and Irish American mother, looked relieved to have the dispute and four years at Harvard behind him.

A number of audience members, including an entire section of students, rose to give him a standing ovation, while others whooped in support. Scores of other students wore red, white and blue ribbons to express their opposition to the speech, and some circulated leaflets comparing Yasin's statements to quotations about terrorism, such as one by President Bush: "You're either with us or against" us in the fight against terror.

Security was tight, with walk-through metal detectors at most entrances. Police officers near the dais flanked Yasin, who also wore a red, white and blue ribbon on the lapel of his black graduation gown.

"It was very thoughtful," said Ursula Zaluar, a Brazilian woman whose husband received a master's degree in public administration. "I liked it very much. It made me think."

But others sat silently, hands clasped in their laps afterward.

"I don't think it belonged here today," said a woman whose daughter graduated with Yasin and who declined to give her name. "We have a graduate whose father died in the World Trade Center. Why bring it up when today should be a day of joy?"



© 2002 The Washington Post Company
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