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David Freeze: Bits and pieces

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
With this column, I’ll catch up on a few things. Each only takes a short time to tell, but seems noteworthy, nevertheless.
Last Friday, I was asked by Principal Jenny White at China Grove Elementary to cover their Sue Dodd Manners Luncheon. Having done some projects and other writing at their school before, I was glad to do it.
Not an Emily Post myself, I am still very serious and have good intentions with my own manners. Just the day before, I had the opportunity to view some students at one of our county schools and was surprised at some of their language and actions. Manners were not the most important thing with this group. So, just a morning later, I got to see something that renewed my faith in the kids.
Sue Dodd is a retired teacher at China Grove, and she told me about her connection to students long ago graduated. They still call her with questions about how to act properly in public situations. I am not surprised, because for 20 years, Dodd had expressed the importance of good manners with her students.
The 2011 group of fifth-graders at the school, though not directly taught by Dodd, were working hard to impress her. I saw fifth- graders get up and pull back a chair, and then help another student or female teacher sit down.
My own conversation with Irving Flores was special. He was a Hispanic child, dressed impeccably, and extremely polite when I asked him questions. He had an easy smile, but was mannerly and respectful throughout the meal. Around him, I saw much more of the same.
I wonder if instead of some of the end of year testing that receives such focus, why not include regular manners classes for other schools, especially the older kids? Just an opinion, but I am betting that Irving Flores will go far in life, and his manners will play a big part in his success.
Next, as many of you know, I’m always on the lookout for new exercise options. Part of my work includes wellness coaching, and about three months ago, I asked the staff at Partners in Learning to individually tell me how they were exercising. One of them quickly told me she is taking a pole dancing class. At the time, I didn’t know much about pole dancing, but asked her why she liked it. She said “It is great exercise, a good workout, and I get stronger each time.”
Just a few days ago, I heard that a spin-off called “street poling” is sweeping the nation. There are two variations: One is based on a group of pole dancers just showing up to a certain area and taking over scaffolding, sign posts and lamp poles for a short acrobatic workout. The other is done individually, often more for practice.
Street poling is more popular in the big cities because, as one dancer says, “You can’t go more than 10 feet without finding a pole of some kind.” I did find that most poles are rough and sometimes require long pants. That’s not good. Still, I hope it catches on in Salisbury.
Having spent most of my life on a farm, I have seen fireflies or lightning bugs all my life.
When we were kids, they seemed so abundant, and one of our favorite games was to catch them and put a few in a glass jar. We’d walk around and watch them light up, and it seemed like the glass would glow.
For quite a few years, the volume of fireflies was way down. Everybody was talking about the honey bees being endangered, but I never heard anything about the fireflies. But for the late spring of 2011, they have returned in a big way. They probably won’t have to worry about me chasing them down to fill a glass jar, but I do love that late evening show.
The windmill top is going back up this week after some extensive repairs due to wind damage. It is repainted and almost ready to go. Come by late one evening and we’ll sit and watch the lightning bugs twinkle and the windmill blades turning. You’re welcome any time!

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