Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Taking in some spring breaks

March 30, 2006

With everyone finally back from spring break, it jumps to mind that the break means different things to different people.

While the stereotypical spring break conjures thoughts of college students on sandy beaches acting crazy, having way too much fun and generally doing things they hope their parents never find out about, that isn't the way all spring breaks go. That's especially true for those of us in the majority -- noncollege students.

Of course, most of us don't get spring break. I actually did this year. It consisted of taking St. Patrick's day off with a visit to my alma mater. It was fun and we toured all the old haunts. It proved to be quite an adventure, but it was only 24 hours. But, hey, it was a break.

Oddly enough, that was also the day where the University of Kansas celebrated its second spring break in a row. The Jayhawks got bounced from the NCAA tournament in the first round ... again. Ouch. That wasn't much of a spring break, either.

And, oh, yes, there were plenty of those that took in the standards of the "holiday." I had one son do the Padre Island thing and the other went to Lake Havesau. The report from Padre was good with the sand and fun and all. The other group was 18 guys on a houseboat on the lake. While reports were good, there didn't seem to be enough female companionship for my taste. But, I'm sure there was plenty of fun. They both said so and I believe them. The spring break there is they made it back safe and sound. That's all the break I ask for.

As for all of Baldwin, I'd say the biggest spring break of all was missing out on the nasty weather that befell Lawrence and other areas on March 12. We heard the sirens around town that day, but other than a little wind, some rain and just a touch of hail, we ducked that bullet. I was shocked to drive into Lawrence the next day and see the damage. It looked like a war zone. No spring break for the Jayhawks on that one, either, I'm afraid.

Also on the local front, we had the changing of the education guard take place around the different spring breaks. First, Baker University named Patricia Long as its new president to replace the retiring Dan Lambert. That was timed so the Baker students would know before they headed for the sand or whatever.

On the other end of the spring break spectrum, the Baldwin School Board named Paul Dorathy as the district's new superintendent the Monday after spring break. He will replace James White, who is also retiring.

And of all the people who deserve a spring break, but probably didn't get much of one, it was the school board. Through the long, drawn out process of choosing Dorathy, there were eight candidates come to Baldwin. There were countless meetings, a lot of executive session time, visits to candidate districts and more meetings. As one board member told me, they've had plenty of bonding time. It was a huge spring break for them to get their search concluded.

Likewise, it wasn't sun, fun and sand for others. I had an e-mail from Rita Tutschulte the other day about how her son, Luke, and Caleb Stotts, both Baldwin High School graduates, had spent their spring break along with fellow KU students working in New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina relief. The group is called Waves of Relief. College students that do those sorts of things have my utmost respect. I'm sure there was some spring break fun along the way, but they provided a break for others. Hats off to them.

In a similar vein, the best spring break news I got was an e-mail from Tyler Trowbridge, my "third son," who is with the Army Reserves in Iraq. Several weeks ago, a member of his squad had been killed by a bomb. His mom had e-mailed me about it and I got Trow's e-mail address from her and fired one off to him. They had been in e-mail lock down after the event and then the system was broken for awhile. But, I finally heard from him.

Oddly enough, one of the most interesting comments from him was that he'd heard about the murder we had here recently and how saddened he was by it. Good grief, death all around him and he's worried about home.

He's doing well and is anxious to get back home in August. There are plenty of people just as anxious for that. It was a bit of a spring break for him that he was in the last humvee of the patrol that was bombed. But, he needs all the breaks -- and prayers -- he can get. There may be plenty of sand over there, but it doesn't sound like much fun.

No, breaks -- spring or otherwise -- are where you find them. Here's to more good breaks.

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