Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Great School Lunch Debate

There have been some noticeable changes with school lunch this year, not only at North Fayette, but throughout the State of Iowa and the country.  New regulations developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been implemented with the goal of providing healthy, nutritional meals for the nation's youth.  Because of this, very strict rules of what must be put on a plate are in place that are leaving students with different choices, and in many instances, new food items on their plate.  Most obvious is the presence of a lot more fruit and vegetables.  At NFHS, there has been a lot of fresh produce items available for the students.  At the same time, there are noticeably smaller portions of meat/protein and grains, primarily bread.  My intent is to provide more information in the coming weeks to try and explain the new regulations, as well as to explain why this has happened to our students and community.  For the time being, I encourage you to read the linked article from the September 11, 2012 Des Moines Register.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ten Things I Want To Tell Teenage Girls

The following come from Kate Elizabeth Conner and was published in her Lily Pads blog March 25, 2012.  When I first read this I wanted to pull all of the young ladies at the high school together and read it to them, and then race down to the middle school and do the same with the 7th and 8th graders.  Then I thought, “Am I comfortable standing up in front of a group of teenage girls and having this conversation?  Am I crossing any kind of a line?  Should I just share the article with my own daughter and call it good?”  Then I shared it with a couple of other dads that have daughters and they encouraged me to share it with other parents.  So, that is what I am doing.  I would guess that if you share this with your daughter, you will have some interesting conversation, as I did.  If you are a female student reading this, these are things I really do want to tell you because far too often I see young ladies marginalize themselves without knowing it.  Far too often high school girls get caught up in all kinds of image issues that are destructive and detrimental.  I hope that this makes sense!
1. Don’t go to the tanning bed.  You’ll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you’ve been airbrushed and then photoshopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven’t died from skin cancer.
2.  If you choose to wear shirts that show off your breasts, you will attract boys.  To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts.  If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up.  If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling.  All attention is not equal.  You think you want attention, but you don’t.  You want respect.  All attention is not equal.
3.  When you talk about your friends “anonymously” on Facebook, we know exactly who you’re talking about.  People are smarter than you think they are.  Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.
4. Newsflash: the number of times you say “I hate drama” is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama.  Non-dramatic people don’t feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn’t start and aren’t involved in.
5.  “Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever. 
6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being.  Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of.  Emotion makes us better – so long as it remains in it’s proper place: subject to truth and reason.
7.  Smoking is not cool.
8.  Stop saying things like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.”  First of all, that’s not true.  And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift.  Your reputation matters – greatly.  You should care what people think of you.
9. Don’t play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention.  Don’t pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you.  Don’t play dumb to stroke someone’s ego.  Don’t bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever.  You can’t have it both ways.  Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don’t.  There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households.  The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you’ve got.
10.  You are beautiful.  You are enough.  The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough.  You are not thin enough.  You are not tan enough.  You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough.  Your teeth are not white enough.  Your legs are not long enough.  Your clothes are not stylish enough.  You are not educated enough.  You don’t have enough experience.  You are not creative enough.  There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.  You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it!  You were created for a purpose, exactly so.  You have innate value.  You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored.  There has never been, and there will never be another you.  Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world.  They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.
You are beautiful.  You are valuable.  You are enough.