Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Thu, Feb 09 2006

Thank You. Well, You're Not Welcome!

I always thought a scholarship was a gift. I do understand that some scholarships come with certain restrictions and conditions, but those are usually laid out in detailed terms. When one gives a gift and receives correspondence thanking them for that gift, it seems a bit petty to criticize the one doing the thanking.

The information age has greatly changed the way in which we deliver correspondence, particularly with younger people who have grown up with readily available keyboards their whole lives. Why should those of us who grew up sending handwritten notes take offense at their very efficient typed correspondence? Those of us with questionable penmanship or even physical limitations that prevent us from having less-than-perfect handwriting would be wise to take advantage of keyboards. The most useful of manners are those that apply common sense to everyday matters. If we stray very far beyond that principle we're in danger of slipping into the pretentious zone. A sincere gesture is much more valuable than a cold, formal one.

If the comments by the student are accurately quoted, it might be true that he was harsh in his subsequent reply to the congressman. But I can understand his anger at being criticized for trying to do the right thing. He probably did compound the problem and now this whole thing has been publicized. It may have made the congressman's investment in him look a little ill-advised. Maybe this has embarrassed the congressman. I don't know. At this point it all seems a little ridiculous and has taken what were two well-meaning moves and has turned them into wasted kindness, when the whole situation could have been a high point in this young student's life. Maybe someday they'll both laugh about it. But it does say a lot about the way we often give things, not freely, but with a certain expectation of return.

Speaking of expectation of return, since Mr. Baird receives at least a portion of his income from the taxpayers of Washington, I hope he will at least concentrate most of his future efforts toward making certain he gives them their money's worth. That's the kind of gratitude that will be remembered for a long time.

posted at: 10:33 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Kiddie Coloring, Gang-Style

It would seem as though someone is using the Bratz brand of characters to do a little gang promotion. Kudos go to sharp-eyed grandma Irma Coty for noticing the "14" and other symbols that prompted her to enlist deputy probation officer Garry Herceg in a hunt to track down the source of the fuzzy posters. Companies license brands to so many manufacturers these days that finding every knock-off and every pirated version of merchandise is becoming a definite problem. But this is a lot more important than just a profit issue. It's sending a subtle message to children that the original logo owners may have never intended to send.

posted at: 08:05 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!