Jul 26, 2019

In Chloe's Words

7/26/2019 — cori

When our friends were in town we spent one evening doing our own version of a TED Talk. We all decided on the topic: Gun violence in schools. We were each given 20 minutes to do research and then present our talk to the rest of the group.

It was fascinating! I thoroughly enjoyed each and every insight presented. I learned something new with each talk as well. What I appreciated the most is how well the "talks" represented each person's personality so perfectly. We have some amazing orators.

But the ONE talk that stood out from the rest was from the person most nervous to give her speech: Chloe. As soon as she finished, the room was perfectly quiet and we all sat there in awe until Priya broke the revere and said, "Chloe, you MUST send that to a local paper. That is THE BEST explanation about gun violence in schools I have ever heard!" This, coming from a teacher.

Here is the essay that astounded us all:

Ever since I have attended school, lockdown drills have been a quarterly occurrence in classes. Growing up, I’d hear little things about students “threatening” to shoot up the school. I’d heard about different shootings going on in high schools.

I never gave it much thought, I was in elementary school, or I was in middle school. Nobody shot up middle schools. It was one of those things that have been normal and I don’t give much thought, even though I should have.

When we moved to Colorado, I was a little uneasy because the first shooting anybody had heard of was Columbine, in Colorado.

But I still never gave it too much thought, except another drill we’d have to practice in school. At the end of eighth grade, the Parkland shooting headlined in the news for a long time, enough to make me scared about the possibility of it happening to me, especially since I would be going to high school that next year.

All of my freshman year, we’d have kids in my own school threatening to shoot up the school, shoot our school officer or our principal. These “threats” would be written in the bathroom stalls, lists of people they’d shoot. I was pulled out of school one day because there were rumors of which day the school shooting would happen.

In May, right before the end of the year, Highlands Ranch, a school just south of Denver got shot up. Just before he graduated, a senior was killed trying to save his peers. This shouldn’t be a thing kids go through their entire school career and think of as normal, or inevitable.

We need to prevent things like this from happening before it becomes too normal to pay attention to. There are several ways to prevent school shootings. One of the main reasons a student shoots their school up is because of their mental state.

Feeling neglect from parents, depression, anxiety from grades, or anger. Teachers can start recognizing these traits, make a personal connection with that student, recommend help, and follow through with it.

People often argue ‘guns don’t kill people — people kill people’. This is true, but what is the main way people kill people? Through guns. Controlling guns, maintaining areas where they're allowed to be used, at a shooting range, for hunting, and that’s all.

It’s simple in theory, but there are too many people who will think it’s either all guns or no guns at all. It’s like during class, one student sticks gum under his desk, so no one gets to chew gum.

It doesn’t have to be like that, people just need to realize it’s not right to stick gum under your desk.

Well said, Chloe! I hope people care and listen to the words of a 15 year old.

Jul 17, 2019

Summer Job

7/17/2019 — cori

This summer Bennett found the exact perfect job for himself.

He is a coach for kids' summer sport camps!

It has been so fun listening to his stories everyday when he comes home. He always connects with a few kids at each camp. He definitely has a way with kids, they all love him. He's great at coming up with games/activities on the spot. He genuinely enjoys playing and being with the kids. He loves it when they look up to him and if one were to start talking about basketball...well, he's in heaven!  It's such a joy watching your kids find their niche. 

Some stories he's related are:

At a golf camp, one 5 year old little girl, Asher, spent most of the days pouring gobs of sunscreen all over herself. On the last day she said she was hot and asked if Bennett would go sit under the shade with her. Then she takes out her unicorn book and asks Bennett if he knows how to read. He answers in the affirmative. She then sits on his lap, leans her head on his shoulder and asks him to read her book. He gladly obliges. She constantly wanted to hold his hand and walk around with him the whole camp.

At a basketball camp, he had two proteges, Duke and Carter. According to Bennett, they both had skills and a love for the game as big as his. He would make sure they were always in his group. He would even cut their break time short so he and the boys could sneak back in the gym without the other kids knowing and do some one-on-one basketball. They spoke his language and brought joy to his heart. 

At a football camp, he met a little kid named Yusef who had zero desire or ability to play a sport but was hilarious and kept Bennett in stitches the whole time. The kid just couldn't catch a ball, but boy was he quick-witted, a skill Bennett values.

At a flag-football camp a kid found out he was a Cowboys fan and brought him a Romo football card the next day.

Jul 9, 2019

Fun With Friends

7/09/2019 — cori

These guys have been friends since elementary school. 

Gavin and Pranav were in 5th grade

Vik and Bennett were in 2nd.

It's been a joy to watch their friendships continue to grow and blossom even though we've moved twice. We've done vacations together, college visits, numerous trips back and forth to each other's houses. They are the kind of friends that even though you might not see each other or talk very often, you pick right up where you left off without missing a beat. It's the best gift. So you can imagine how excited we were to find out that they would be coming to hang out with us for a week in Colorado.

We did all the things! We started our exciting week off with visiting a local dairy farm. Not that we take all our visitors to dairy farms, but they just happened to be interested and it was low key.

The adults spent a day visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. (Pranav and Gavin hadn't yet arrived in town and Vik and Bennett would rather go fishing. There was no way Chloe wanted to spend the day with all the adults, so she hung out with her friend instead.)

We were treated to all kinds of wildlife. If you look really close, you can see a large herd of Elk grazing on the alpine hillside. We were at almost 12,000 feet here.

These adorable little creatures come out of hibernation for only 6 weeks a year and we were treated to seeing a whole colony of them. They were active, noisy, scampering, and fighting. 

You never know what you're going to come across.

This bird was one of my favorites. It was as if he were posing. He kept standing on the branch patiently waiting for all of us passersby to snap his lovely profile.

Every night it seemed we were playing spikeball. And boy, did these guys get into it! It was some great competition.

We spent a huge swath of time sitting around visiting about all the subjects there are to talk about. And it was wonderful.

Lucky for us, our favorite hammocking spot is still a secret and we took them there. I'm shocked more people haven't found this little gem. We call it Hammock Valley. I think 5 of the 8 of us fell asleep. It was that peaceful.

We went to an escape room, but didn't escape. It was an incredible challenge though.

On this fine day we went white water rafting. This is the pre-rafting picture. 

This is the, "Oh my goodness, I hope none of us fall out of the raft!" picture.


Of course we ate til our hearts and tummies were content. Priya makes THE BEST Indian food. I got to literally sit at her feet for one whole day learning All The Things. She lives to cook for people. It's her love language. What she is currently cooking in this picture is one of my all time favorite foods: Rice Balls or White Balls of Goodness, as I like to call them. Good food makes for a good vacation!

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