The Decorah Nespapers
June 24, 2016
  • Complaints, complaints, complaints
      I  had my first experience of Skyping a while back, at my sister’s house, with my niece in Seattle. Here’s the weird thing: When I look at my niece on the screen, if she is looking at me on her screen, she seems to be looking away from me, somewhere down in the lower left-hand corner of my screen. 
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  • Philippe Petit: Glory of God or just nuts?
        We are a bellows filigreed by a red river, connected to an electrical system, connected to a chemistry system, connected to a sewage system that is located, as George Carlin said, right next to an entertainment center; and all of it is able to wander about willy-nilly on two sticks made largely of milk.
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  • Kindness: It’s free

    “We are proud of you.” 

    Just five little words, that can mean a lot to someone who hears them. 

    I started contemplating their meaning Sunday afternoon, as I drove past a hand-made sign that displayed this sentiment, somewhere on the side of the road between Calmar and Jackson Junction. 

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  • Student from Japan shares his culture, soaks up ours

        I learned this spring of a student at Luther who exemplifies the partnership between Luther College and Decorah as we both seek to educate our students well and help them engage with the broader world. 

    Masaki Nakamura, a young man from a town near Tokyo, attended Luther as an exchange student this past year because he wanted to learn about teaching methods in the United States, which are quite different from those in Japan. After researching U.S. colleges, he chose Luther for the quality of our education curriculum and faculty.

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  • The flip-side of perfectionism
       The thing that I love about writing grammar rants is that it is akin to waving a red cape at what is normally a meek and mild bull. The grammar geeks come out of the woodwork to take me down a peg or two by pointing out my own errors in the very articles wherein I ranted about bad grammar. 
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  • Adaptive P.E. class builds bonds

       Since coming to Luther College and Decorah, I’ve been delighted to see the many ways the college and town work together — students interning with Decorah organizations, arts collaborations, volunteer efforts and more.  

    I was especially interested and pleased to learn about Luther’s Adaptive Physical Education program, which serves pre-school and special needs students ages 3 to 21 from school districts throughout Northeast Iowa. Students from 13 districts that collaborate for special education with Decorah schools, along with children from Waukon and MFL MarMac schools, each come to Luther’s campus once a week during the school year.

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  • The price of silence

        Disclaimer:  I have never knowingly met anyone who has been abused by a Catholic priest, nor any priests who have abused anyone. Therefore, I am ill-equipped to speak about this issue. This will not stop me. End of disclaimer.

    There are two things which we, as a society, keep extremely private: our sex lives and our spiritual lives.

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  • Boots made for walkin’

    You keep sayin’ you’ve got somethin’ for me. 

    Somethin’ you call love, but confess …

        These lyrics from the1966 Nancy Sinatra song have been rolling around in my brain ever since I ran into a friend at the grocery store and complimented her on the dashing wing tips she was wearing. 

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  • Season for progress, improvements on campus

        Happy early spring. I’m so pleased to relay news from Luther College to match the energy and promise of these recent warm days. 

    In the past few weeks we have granted tenure to several well-deserving faculty members, we have solidified plans to renovate and enhance the college’s baseball and softball stadiums this summer, and we have planned an entertaining and creative way for friends of the college to show their support for Luther’s mission and students, a project called #luthergives16, which is happening today.

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  • A few random thoughts for your consideration

       Wood is technically a dead thing; and yet the floors, the siding, and the soffits of old wood houses all swell and shrink, shift and creak, and attic rafters, in a moment of mischief, are perfectly capable of scaring the bedoobies out of me in the dead of night by cracking like a cannon-shot whenever the temperature drops to 30 degrees below zero. 

    I imagine them snort-laughing quietly after I go grumbling back to bed (having first dashed up to the attic to make sure that the roof did not collapse).

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  • Silent night -- the other side of Christmas
           When I was a little kid, I wondered why old people cried during tunes like “Silent Night,” especially when sung by little kids. I wondered if maybe we sounded really bad, but the old folks would usually be smiling and crying at the same time, like sun and rain together, so I figured it must just be some old-person thing, and that somehow they’d gotten their wires crossed.
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  • Seduced by the ‘Dark Side’

    By Sharon DelVento

        In my article about the Islamic State, I asked a series of questions regarding what we, as a country, could do about the IS; the implied answers were, in order, as follows: Not much, nothing, there is none, we can’t, nothing, we don’t have anything, we can’t, and we can’t.

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  • Examining world issues to understand and better serve

    By Paula Carlson

    Luther College President


       Today Luther College begins its annual Christmas at Luther celebrations, with the theme Savior of the Nations, Come, the title of a hymn written by the college’s namesake, Martin Luther. Our theme this year reflects the college’s role as a place of learning and contemplation about the world.

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  • What would Lincoln do with Islamic State?
       I know that we, in the U.S., are supposed to stand for democracy, human rights, goodness, and light; I know that it is the path of honor, not to stoop to the level of our enemies, and to rise above the evil hunger for revenge. I admire President Obama for talking about “bringing to justice” the bastards behind the recent massacre in Paris, rather than about the possibility of stringing them up by their naughty bits and flaying them alive.
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  • Trees I have known -- and loved

    By Sharon DelVento   


        I love trees in winter. My favorite is the pin oak. As a youngster, I spent many a spare moment under the branches of our pin oak in the back yard, listening; because it retains its leaves all winter long, whenever the wind blows, the susurration is gentle and soothing, and when it snows, the pitter-pat sound of the snowflakes hitting the dried leaves tickles your ear.

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