I read recently that the Dalai Lama is donating $50,000 to Emory University. Really? The Dalai Lama has $50,000? Didn't he have to take a vow of poverty or something?
What are we going to be reading next, that His Excellency drives a Porsche? That he's dating Britney Spears?
Honestly, doesn't it seem like Emory University should be giving the Dalai Lama $50,000?
· I can't tell you how honored I am to learn that the new Jenkins Elementary School in Lawrenceville is being named after me. I know I've occasionally been critical of the public school system, but I've always had the best interests of the children at heart, and it makes me feel good to know ...
What's that? It's being named after former Lawrenceville mayor Bartow Jenkins?
· You know those running drills basketball players do, where they sprint back and forth from the baseline to the free-throw line, half-court, etc.? They're traditionally known as "suicides," for obvious reasons.
Well, I learned the other day that high school coaches are no longer supposed to refer to them as "suicides." Apparently, if - God forbid - a young person were to die during one of those drills, and the coach had used the word "suicide," then the plaintiff's attorney could argue that the coach had "intent to kill."
My high school coach never called them "suicides," even though I'm pretty sure he had intent to kill. He called them "chicken pluckers," because he required us to bend down and touch each line as we got to it. (And because this is Georgia, after all.)
Of course, I don't recommend coaches use that term, either. Not unless they want to get a nasty letter from PETA's lawyers.
· I suppose everyone has noticed the all-out effort in the media - prompted by President Obama - to promote volunteerism and community service.
Did I miss something, or didn't we used to live in a country where people volunteered and served each other on a regular basis without having to be goaded into it by the government?
Oh, yeah. That was back before everyone got the idea that all our problems should be solved by the government - an idea they got from ... the government.
· Turns out having wireless Internet service on an airliner might not be such a good idea, after all.
You've probably read by now that those Northwest pilots who overshot Minneapolis - and let's be honest, if you've been to Minneapolis, can you blame them? - were "working" on their laptops rather than concerning themselves with such mundane tasks as, say, navigation.
I think there's a lesson here for all of us: the next time you're on Facebook, and you get a status update from one of your "friends" that says something like "Bob is ... flying an airplane," you might want to give the FAA a call.
Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.