On Religion, The Media and Life as a 20-something in Chicago

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm

ECC Alliance seen as ‘common core standards’ model (Sun-Times Media)


In Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm

School districts say proposed state aid hikes not enough (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 at 9:57 am

I love this piece of Sophia Cho’s creative journaling project from The Compass, posted on her Tumblr.

A new thing

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 at 9:00 am

Gorgeous by Emily Miller on Retro Camera

I went to a women’s thing at church Saturday. A women’s thing about creative journaling called The Compass.

If you’ve been around The Tumblr long enough to catch The Occasional Personal Commentary, you know “women’s thing” and “creative journaling” are two phrases you would not normally associate with Things I Like To Do.

But if there’s one word I keep coming back to for 2012, it’s “new.” And we’re far enough into the year that that’s not just in a “Happy New Year!” context. That’s one thing that was underscored by The Compass, both in the new, comfort zone-stretching experience that it was and in what came out during the creative journaling process. One of the guiding scriptures for that process was Isaiah 43:18-19:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

I do not yet fully perceive the new thing God is doing this year in my life. But I heard Him Saturday whispering, “Write for yourself.” Not for the newspaper. For myself. For Him.

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” — Revelation 21:5

I don’t know what that will look like yet. (I’m still looking and listening and perceiving. And I’m open to ideas.) But I know that God’s words are trustworthy and true. And I know that the next verse in Revelation begins, “‘It is done,’” and that it will be.

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

U46 issues alert about recalled eggs (Sun-Times Media)

ELGIN — Three years ago to the day, “it was hanging in the balance,” Elgin Community College President David Sam said. The ECC District 509 Board of Trustees was considering whether to go for a $178 million bond referendum at its Jan. 27, 2009, meeting. The economy had begun to sour, and the community college already had lost a referendum in 2006, Sam said. But its campus at 1700 Spartan Drive needed major infrastructure improvements — especially its library, which was in danger of losing its accreditation, he said. Ultimately, the board pushed for the referendum, and voters passed it by 35 votes. And on Friday — Jan. 27, 2012 — Elgin Community College celebrated the completion of its last major Facilities Master Plan projects on campus with the grand opening of the Renner Academic Library and Learning Resources. “I remember the day after the referendum, somebody asked me, ‘How does it feel to have won by only 35 votes?’ ” Sam said. “My response was very simple: ‘Come and see what we do on campus in three years and see if those votes weren’t worth it — see the treasure that is going to serve the community for many years to come.’ ” The Renner Academic Library and Learning Resources was one of the largest of the Facilities Master Plan projects, budgeted at $26 million for completion in summer 2012. It was completed not just ahead of schedule for the start of the spring semester two weeks ago but also under budget, for $21.5 million, according to college spokesman Jeff Julian. It also was one of the most-needed. The previous library, similarly named the Renner Learning Resources Center, was built in 1970 to accommodate about 2,500 students, Sam noted. (In the 1950s and 1960s, it had been housed in Renner Hall at Elgin High School.) By 2006, enrollment had grown to nearly 12,000; and the Higher Learning Commission, responsible for accreditation, had cited the library as “unsatisfactory,” he said. It was the smallest community college library in the Chicago area — smaller even than many of the middle and high school libraries in the area, he said. And it was the one concern Sam had when he took the position as president five years ago, he said. “That was not going to deter me from coming here, and I’m glad I came to ECC, because we have accomplished nothing short of a miracle,” he said. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News. Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

School celebrates new library as a success of 2009 referendum (Sun-Times Media)

HAMPSHIRE — There were no desks in the classroom. Just a teacher, about 30 students, a blue star flag and a question written on the chalkboard: “What have you done to earn to earn the right to sit at your desk?” When the students answered that question, their teacher told them, they could have their desks. It wasn’t their grades or their behavior. It wasn’t even their good looks, Colorado-based filmmaker Larry Cappetto added. At the end of the day, it was the veterans of the U.S. military who carried the students’ desks into the classroom. It was the very men and women who had paid the price for their freedoms, for those desks, who had fought for their “right to go to school and get a free education,” Cappetto said. That happened in 2005 in Martha Cothran’s social studies classroom at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Ark. The story checks out on snopes.com, and, the filmmaker said, he talked to Cothran himself. He asked the teacher if anyone ever had made a film based on her story, he said. And no one had — at least, not until Cappetto started filming “Where Are The Desks?” last week at Hampshire High School, casting students and teachers from the high school and Hampshire Middle School, as well as a number of area veterans. It was a story he’s wanted to film for some time, he said, like the stories of veterans he has told in his award-winning documentaries. That’s because, he said, “If we don’t remember, we forget.” For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News. Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

Hampshire students get role in film on veterans (Sun-Times Media)


In Uncategorized on January 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

You can find me online at mcemilywrites.com.

VIDEO: When Brides Meet – Part 3

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm


Here’s a sneak peek of Elgin native Shannon Wapole meeting the other brides featured on tonight’s Chicago-area episode of “Four Weddings” on TLC. Guess whose wedding dress looks “like a cupcake!”

VIDEO: Four Weddings – How They Met Part 3

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm


Wondering how Elgin-area bride Shannon Wapole and her husband Andy Stoker, featured tonight on TLC’s “Four Weddings,” met? Wonder no more!