Throwback Thursdays: Gurdon High School Alma Mater

Photo Taken From:  Gurdon High School Page
Photo Taken From: Gurdon High School Page

Coach Edna Cooper said, “The girls performed very well at both tournaments. They instituted team work by causing turnovers, blocking shots, and limited outside shooting. In the first tournament, Crossett defeated us but, in the second tournament the girls were very determined to take the victory home. They set a goal and achieved the goal by playing hard both offensively and defensively, on both sides of the court.The girls continue to practice hard because they know what they are capable of doing, right now. As a coach I am proud of the girls and I am proud to represent Gurdon.”

Every so often I find myself singing my high school alma mater (song).  It’s been nearly 36 years since I’ve graduated high school and I still have Gurdon pride.  What does that tell you?

It tells me that the staff and students set the standards in how I would push forwards to pursue my dreams; and how their comradery and friendship would continue to impact my life as an adult.  

Upon reflection:  Graduation was a sad day for me.  It meant I would be leaving the school I love.  I would no longer keep contact with the teachers that cared.  And I would lose many friends with memories I shared.  I didn’t want to graduate!  But I did!  And here I am learning a craft I never wanted to learn, writing.

I’m sure it’s many of the principles I learned at Gurdon that keeps me in the game of wanting to become a publish author.  It is those same principles that make me want to change at least one life.  For in changing one life I will have made a difference.

Photographer:  Sherry Kelley
Photographer: Sherry Kelley

Attending Gurdon High for three years became defining moments for me.  And, again, those years set the standards I wanted and want to meet.  And when I read Coach Edna Cooper’s comment about the determination of the Lady Go-Devils’ win, I was quickly taken back to times that changed the course of my life.

It’s wonderful to see that Gurdon is continuing teaching youth to press forwards despite obstacles.  Also it is great to see the message is taking roots in their lives.

I’m overjoyed that Edna is doing what she loves!  Coaching!  Also it’s wonderful to see an underclassman inspiring youth to meet their life goals!

Gurdon High School Alma Mater:

For ol” Gurdon’s Honor
We will fight on
We will keep fighting
Till the day, is done
And when the dawn comes
We will still be fighting onward
For the Purple and Gold
We’ll keep on fighting
For Gurdon High

Fight team fight!  Do your best!  Remember you’re fighting for GHS!

Inspirational Fridays: Irena Sendler Life in a Jar Story

Irena-SendlerToday, I wondered about an inspirational story for my post.  And as I was clearing my email account, yes, I found another noteworthy message, this time it was about Irena Sendler.  She was an incredible woman that save many Jewish children’s lives during WWII.

The Los Angeles Times wrote, “Fate may have led Irena Sendler to the moment almost 70 years ago when she began to risk her life for the children of strangers. But for this humble Polish Catholic social worker, who was barely 30 when one of history’s most nightmarish chapters unfolded before her, the pivotal influence was something her parents had drummed into her.”

“I was taught that if you see a person drowning,” she said, “you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not.”

When the Nazis occupying Poland began rounding up Jews in 1940 and sending them to the Warsaw ghetto, Sendler plunged in.

With daring and ingenuity, she saved the lives of more than 2,500 Jews, most of them children, a feat that went largely unrecognized until the last years of her life.

Sendler, 98, who died of pneumonia Monday in Warsaw, has been called the female Oskar Schindler, but she saved twice as many lives as the German industrialist, who sheltered 1,200 of his Jewish workers. Unlike Schindler, whose story received international attention in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List,” Sendler and her heroic actions were almost lost to history until four Kansas schoolgirls wrote a play about her nine years ago.

The lesson Sendler taught them was that “one person can make a difference,” Megan Felt, one of the authors of the play, said Monday.

“Irena wasn’t even 5 feet tall, but she walked into the Warsaw ghetto daily and faced certain death if she was caught. Her strength and courage showed us we can stand up for what we believe in, as well,” said Felt, who is now 23 and helps raise funds for aging Holocaust rescuers.

Sendler was born Feb. 15, 1910, in Otwock, a small town southeast of Warsaw. She was an only child of parents who devoted much of their energies to helping workers.

She was especially influenced by her father, a doctor who defied anti-Semites by treating sick Jews during outbreaks of typhoid fever. He died of the disease when Sendler was 9.

She studied at Warsaw University and was a social worker in Warsaw when the German occupation of Poland began in 1939. In 1940, after the Nazis herded Jews into the ghetto and built a wall separating it from the rest of the city, disease, especially typhoid, ran rampant. Social workers were not allowed inside the ghetto, but Sendler, imagining “the horror of life behind the walls,” obtained fake identification and passed herself off as a nurse, allowed to bring in food, clothes and medicine.

By 1942, when the deadly intentions of the Nazis had become clear, Sendler joined a Polish underground organization, Zegota. She recruited 10 close friends — a group that would eventually grow to 25, all but one of them women — and began rescuing Jewish children.

She and her friends smuggled the children out in boxes, suitcases, sacks and coffins, sedating babies to quiet their cries. Some were spirited away through a network of basements and secret passages. Operations were timed to the second. One of Sendler’s children told of waiting by a gate in darkness as a German soldier patrolled nearby. When the soldier passed, the boy counted to 30, then made a mad dash to the middle of the street, where a manhole cover opened and he was taken down into the sewers and eventually to safety.

Decades later, Sendler was still haunted by the parents’ pleas, particularly of those who ultimately could not bear to be apart from their children.

“The one question every parent asked me was ‘Can you guarantee they will live?’ We had to admit honestly that we could not, as we did not even know if we would succeed in leaving the ghetto that day. The only guarantee,” she said, “was that the children would most likely die if they stayed.”

Most of the children who left with Sendler’s group were taken into Roman Catholic convents, orphanages and homes and given non-Jewish aliases. Sendler recorded their true names on thin rolls of paper in the hope that she could reunite them with their families later. She preserved the precious scraps in jars and buried them in a friend’s garden.

In 1943, she was captured by the Nazis and tortured but refused to tell her captors who her co-conspirators were or where the bottles were buried. She also resisted in other ways. According to Felt, when Sendler worked in the prison laundry, she and her co-workers made holes in the German soldiers’ underwear. When the officers discovered what they had done, they lined up all the women and shot every other one. It was just one of many close calls for Sendler.

During one particularly brutal torture session, her captors broke her feet and legs, and she passed out. When she awoke, a Gestapo officer told her he had accepted a bribe from her comrades in the resistance to help her escape. The officer added her name to a list of executed prisoners. Sendler went into hiding but continued her rescue efforts.

 

Inspirational Fridays: Lack of Kindness Can Come With A Cost . . .

Okay!  I am a day late posting my message for Inspirational Friday’s but here it is!  I found this story and it was untitled so I gave it a title today.  I felt it was like a beautiful baby wanting to be affirmed by words of acceptance.  It packs a powerful message about being blessed regardless of bad attitudes.

A classic ice cream sundae, complete with a ch...
A classic ice cream sundae, complete with a cherry on top (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is from an old story, back in the ’30s, in the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less. A 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” the little boy asked.

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins he had. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now, more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing very impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

coins
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry. As she wiped down the table, there placed neatly beside the empty dish were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae because he had to have enough money to leave her a tip.

Read more: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories.html#ixzz2cEq4f8WL

The Prayers of Black Women: Balancing Pain with Pleasure

Photo Taken From: https://twitter.com/AuthorESkoglund
Photo Taken From: https://twitter.com/AuthorESkoglund

A few years after my mother died, I remembered more vividly the times in childhood when she had made gloomy days seem cheerful.  When something special to do inside, such as new paper dolls or a coloring book.  Later, when I was in school, I always knew that on a rainy day I would come home to the smell of cookies baking in the oven . . .

I remembered, too, that in my childhood my mother had always balanced grief with comfort, pain with joy . . . To compensate for my childhood illnesses, for example, she used to read me stories which made the afternoon fly, or she would show me how to knit doll clothes out of the scraps of yarn which she had saved in a worn, brocade knitting bag . . .

Whatever the specific method used, my mother had learned, long before I knew her, how to balance pain with pleasure.

Elizabeth Skoglund

Today’s Prayer:

Lord somewhere in the world there are people in mental anguish over life’s trials and tribulations.  Often such pain is psychologically unbearable.  During these moments sometimes people don’t have the ability to hold their heads high with the assurance of knowing God’s powers to set things right.  Because of their inability to see your spiritual support most times every breath taken produce questions of their existence.  Lord to be honest it is during these times when emotional pain makes a person feel every so often they do not have much use for others.  And everything accomplished is tarnished with the shadow of sorrow; as it seems to their misfortune they were not given loved ones to uplift them during moments of afflictions.  Hum . . . Lord, it is within our moments of tribulations that we see the hand prints of God on our lives.  Therefore, I’m asking for your Holy presence among those who have yet to learn how to balance pain with pleasure.  Lord I’m asking that you teach them that sorrow only last for a moment.  Lord, I’m also praying they learn how to allow thoughts of joy to diminish their temporary gloomy day(s).  So, again, Lord, I’m asking that you turn on your spiritual lights for these people that they might see how to truly balance pain with pleasure; and in turn they will enjoy living once again.  Amen.

Your Loving Daughter,

Annette