Friday, May 28, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
As of this date I have attended the following Bibb County School Board Meetings:
May 20, 2010: I attended the Regular Meeting which was held at Westside High School. This was the meeting where Scholars in the Bibb System were recognized for their achievements during the past school year.
  • One 13 year perfect attendance award.
  • Honor Band/Chorus/Reading. 87 Scholars.
  • National Drill Team Champions. Rutland High School. 18 Scholars.
  • Academic Team. Miller Middle School. They will be competing in the National Championship Contest. May 28-31. 11 Scholars.
  • Middle Georgia Invitational Academic Bowl. Central High School. 1st Place. 5 Scholars.
  • Young Georgia Authors. 12 Scholars.
  • High School Literary Competition. 27 Scholars.
  • National History Day. 28 Scholars.
  • High Schools That Work - Award of Educational Achievement. 29 Scholars.
  • Career and Technical Instruction State Board. 1 Scholar from Hutchings Career Center.
  • DECA Award. Howard High School and Northeast High School.
  • FBLA Award. Hutchings Career Center.
  • FBLA State Competition. 6 Scholars.
  • FCCLA. 3 Scholars.
  • Georgia Career Student Association. 4 Scholars.
  • SKILLS USA. 2 Scholars
  • National Financial Capability Challenge. 6 Scholars.

I was impresssed with the number of Scholars who have represented the system in State and even National Competitions this past year. Unfortunately, we the citizens of Bibb County are not aware of our School System's achievements.

Twenty-Nine Employees of the Bibb System were recognized for their achievements on the occasion of their retirement.

Three citizens of Bibb County addressed the Board and presented a petition signed by over 2000 people requesting that the Bible be taught in our Schools.

May 20, 2010: I attended a Called Board Meeting which enacted the 2010-2011 School Calendar and revised the Work Days.

The Board also approved the closure of the Joseph N. Neel Academy.

The Board approved the Ombudsman Program.

The Board tabled consideration of a reduction in Transportation Services agenda item.

The Board announced the new principals for the four Grant High Schools.

May 26, 2010: I attended this Called meeting which announced the selection of a Firm that will conduct a Nationwide Search for a new superintendent.

Published by Alan Thiese

Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"We Can Do Better"
On April 20, 2010 I announced on this Blog that I would seek the Post Eight Seat on the Bibb County, Georgia School Board.
In order to communicate with potential voters I have decided to use this Blog as a Campaign Tool. Thus far I have posted the following entries on "The World This Week:"
April 20, 2010 Post 8 (Bibb County At Large) Bibb County School Board Candidate.
April 23, 2010 "We Can Do Better" which announced the theme for the Campaign
April 29, 2010 Alan Is A Candidate - A post with my picture after I had qualified for the Post 8 Seat.
May 17, 2010 Bibb County Education - The Future. This post summarized what I heard at an Education Forum held at the Douglass Theatre concerning Education.
Tomorrow I will post a list of my activities since May 17, 2010 as I seek the Post 8 Seat on the Bibb Board of Education.
Published by Alan Thiese
Candidate for Post 8, Bibb County Georgia School Board

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jobs!!!! Jobs!!!! Jobs!!!!

The other evening I was watching the evening television news here in Macon, Georgia. The newsperson was presenting the situation at the Bibb County Department of Family and Childrens Services (DFACS) which involved many, many people who had responded to an announcement that "Government Assistance" would be available for those who showed up.
The DFACS Staff did not anticipate the record number of citizens who assembled. In fact we were told that the event in Macon, Georgia attracted many more citizens than any previous "Government Assistance" event in the entire State of Georgia.
The Television News Reporter interviewed a citizen who could not gain admission to the event because of the large crowd. Her comments, which were broadcast to the entire Middle Georgia area simply stated:
I would like to get a job. If I could get a job I would not have to depend on the Government for assistance or words like these. I was impressed. She stated what everyone needs to hear. Our duly elected leaders at the highest levels of government need to hear here words. She certainly summed up the current situation very well.
You may be wondering why I chose the picture that I did for this Blog Post. We have the U. S. Flag as well as the Service Flags from each Branch of our Armed Forces plus the Prisoner of War Flag. We must always remember how our United States of America became a great Nation!! We did not achieve our standard of living because of Government Assistance. We achieved our status through the hard work of millions of Workers and our Way of Life has been protected by those who have Served our Great Nation, those who are currently Serving our Great Nation and hopefully, those who will Serve our Great Nation in the Future.
It is my prayer today as I compose this Entry that "May Our God Continue To Bless America!!!!" Additionally, may we all accept the fact that more than Government Assistance, we need Jobs.
I am glad that this lady stated the current situation in America so well. I share it with you today.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"A Man Named Pearl"

Pearl Fryar with his Bride. Pearl is over seventy years old but he still practices his Craft in his Three Acre Gardens in Bishopville, South Carolina.

Pearl is a real people focused person. He posed with many, many Garden Club Convention Attendees. Here he is with the Flower Child and His Bride.

This is an example of his topiary work. He usually starts with a smaller tree/shrub and produces impressive results over a period of several years.

Some time ago I viewed a segment of a Television Show that highlighted "A Man Named Pearl." Last year my Garden Club Bride was attending a planning meeting for the upcoming "National Garden Clubs 2010 Convention" which was to be held in Atlanta. She volunteered to work at this convention. Within a few days the Volunteer Coordinator offered her the task of being a "Page" for Pearl Fryar who is known world wide as the "Man Who Cuts Up Trees."

The Convention was held this past weekend in Atlanta and we had the opportunity to meet Pearl Fryar. He was the Saturday Evening Banquet Speaker. The opening of his talk with us stressed the importance of "Education." Certainly not what we had come to hear, but his talk went on to show his Topiary Gardens in Bishopville, South Carolina. Then he demonstrated his skill in topiary design.

To learn more about this Man and his remarkable talent please conduct an internet search using these keywords:

pearl fryar in bishopville south carolina
It was my pleasure to meet this "A Man Named Pearl" last Saturday Evening. His is a remarkable story.

Third Tuesday Organ Interludes
Today it was my pleasure to attend the Final Third Tuesday Organ Interlude in the company of my Bride for the 2009-2010 Concert Year.
The event was held at Saint Joseph Catholic Church at Noon. Patricia McCall performed on the Violin and Nelda Chapman, Organist and Director of Music at Saint Joseph's, performed on the Pipe Organ.
The selections were terrific. The most inspiring one for me was entitled "Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty" by Paul Manz (1919-2009). To learn more about Paul Manz please conduct an internet search using these key words:
paul manz
The Third Tuesday Organ Interludes have been a fixture in Macon for the last five years. This fall they will be known as the Third Thursday Interludes at St. Joseph. The first Interlude will be at Noon on October 21st.
I have enjoyed this yearly event and hope to continue to do so.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bibb County Education - The Future
Macon Speaks
On Tuesday, April 27th it was my good fortune to attend the Public Forum hosted by the Douglass Theatre at 7:00 P.M. This event was announced in "The Telegraph" and it was free.
I determined that the Young Scholar that I Mentor should attend this event. He and I attended and arrived early to obtain a good seat. The meeting started at 7:00 P.M. with the following in attendance:
4 - Panelist
2 - Moderators
2 Douglass Theatre Staff
15 Citizens
It should be noted that an additional 11 citizens joined during the course of the Forum for a total of 34 in attendance.
The Panel consisted of the President of the Bibb County Georgia Board of Education, the Acting Superintendent of Bibb County Schools, the Director of Campus Clubs and the President of Education First here in Macon, Georgia.
The Moderators were Charles E. Richardson of "The Telegraph" and Kenny Burgamy of "Mix in the Morning" also here in Macon.
During the course of the Forum I heard the following information:
  • We must have Community engagement
  • We must have Stake Holder engagement
  • We must ask the question: "Did the Student Learn?"
  • We face a most challenging and exciting future!
  • We must try to do things that liberate students
  • We also face challenging budget issues
  • As the search for a new Superintendent evolves we must:

Seek Community Input

Involve the Chamber of Commerce and such organizations at 100 Black Men

Focus on Student Achievement

  • Schools are only as strong as the community makes them
  • We must be bold
  • We must demand a well educated work force to acquire future job opportunities for all citizens of Bibb County/Middle Georgia
  • We must demand accountability

The statement was made that Bibb County is ripe for Charter Schools. Two individuals from the Charter School Association of Georgia addressed the Forum. The highlights of the comments included:

  • We must be open to innovations in education!
  • We must focus on what is best for the Students!
  • Community/Citizen involvement is required to produce a great charter school!
  • Parent engagement is essential. (Please note that Parent Involvement at the School is not what the word "engagement" means.) Engagement can be parents that are concerned about their Scholars and require them to study, perform their homework and do well in school.
  • School Staff can be expected to conduct "Home Visits."
  • Scholar Discipline is vital
  • Bibb County Schools have an image problem.

The Director of Campus Clubs summed up the forum with these statements:

  1. We must resolve the Behavior Problems
  2. We must address the Scholars who have Special Needs
  3. We must know the needs of Macon

The Young Scholar that I mentor summed up the event with this sentence: "A very productive evening."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Beauty Abounds in Middle Georgia

The Climbing Hydrangea blooms are the best ever this year. I, the Flower Child, just had to share these lovely looking blooms with everyone. Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Flower Child Visits Disney World

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Disney World in Orlando. The visit could not have been timed any better. The EPCOT Park featured Special Displays during the 17th Annual Flower and Garden 2010 Festival. When I saw this display I insisted that my picture be taken.

Upon my return home I visited the EPCOT Website to learn this about the Festival:

"First-Ever American Gothic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse - Topiary experts pulled out all the stops to create an American Gothic Mickey and Minnie scene based on the 1930 Grant Wood painting."

Most readers here know that The Flower Child was born and nurtured in Iowa which was also the home of Artist Grant Wood. Therefore I could not pass up the opportunity to have my photo made here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Contemporary Worship/Contemporary Music

As I travel about Central Georgia conducting my errands I often view Church Sign Boards that announce to the travelers that this Worship Facility offers Contemporary Worship at a certain time on Sunday Morning.
I have often wondered what Contemporary means. I know that for some it is alternative music performed on a guitar or other stringed instruments.
While I have nothing against Contemporary Music I often think about Psalm 150 verses 3 through 5 which I quote here:
3. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4. Praise him with the timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Therefore I would humbly suggest that "Contemporary Music" has been with us for well over 2000 years.
Now to consider the pictures that this post contains I would suggest that the Church I attend has a very Contemporary Organist.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mercer/Macon Symphony
Youth Orchestra
A Sound Investment in the Future
Last evening, Saturday, May 8, 2010 my Bride and I attended the Final Concert of this organization of the 2009-2010 School Year. As I prepared to compose this Post the following words came to my mine:
Terrific, Awesome, Magnificent, Elegant, Majestic, Splendid, Superb, Grandiose, Brilliant, Amazing, Impressive, Wonderful and finally Glorious
The Concert was performed in the Neva Langley Fickling Hall in the Music Building at Mercer University. For those who may have not ever attended an event in this venue please be aware that the main seating is on a slope to that all attendees can view the stage. Additionally there are side galleries on both sides as well as in the rear of the Hall.
The opening numbers entitled "Also Sprach Zarathustra Sehr breit" by Richard Strauss and "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa were conducted by Amy Wilson. The Main stage as well as the side and rear galleries had performers for these two numbers. We were fortunate to arrive early enough to acquire seating in the middle of the main floor seating. We did not know before hand that we would actually be afforded the opportunity to enjoy music with the dynamics of "Surround Sound." WOW!!!!! The opening numbers were but a foretaste of the grand performances yet to follow.
The Mercer/Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra is composed of Musicians from Middle Georgia Schools. Please note that the number after the School Name indicates the number of musicians from that school:
Central High School - 3
Howard High School - 4
The Westfield School - 1
Mount de Sales Academy - 5
Houston County High School - 14
Home School - 9
Mary Persons High School - 2
Covenant Academy - 1
Thompson Middle School - 2
Vineville Academy - 1
Taylor County High School - 2
Westside High School - 3
Woodward Academy - 1
Progressive Christian Academy - 1
Howard Middle School - 1
Warner Robins High School - 2
Rutland High School - 9
Jones County High School - 7
Trinity Christian School - 1
Bonaire Middle School - 1
Perry High School - 3
First Presbyterian Day School - 2
Mercer University - 1
West Laurens High School - 4
Baldwin High School - 1
Idaho Virtual Academy - 1
Georgia Virtual Academy - 1
A review of the above list indicates that Middle Georgia has great musical talent in both the Private and the Public Schools. Please note that the Bibb County Public Schools have a total of 21 musicians in this Orchestra.
In addition to performances by the entire Orchestra we were entertained by numerous ensembles as well as solos and duets. Again, I will use the word "magnificent" to comment on every performance. The program included two Intermissions, however everyone was captivated with two and one-hours of grand music.
The program included Music composed by:
Aaron Copland
John Williams
Miles Davis
J. S. Bach
G. F. Handel
Richard Strauss
John Philip Sousa
W. A. Mozart
Johann Pachelbel
Of note, one selection was composed by a Junior High School Student who attends Trinity Christian School in Dublin, Georgia. Not only had she composed this selection, she performed it on the Piano. It was entitled "I Will Write You a Song."
The program included the following selections:
Theme from "Schindler's List"
Canon in D
Ashokan Farewell
The Concert featured a total of forty selections. An additional highlight of this Concert was the fact that a total of four Musicians actually conducted the Orchestra. The following is a summary of these selections:
Hello Zepp (Theme from Saw) conducted by
a Central High School Junior
Pirates of the Caribbean conducted by
a Jones County High School Senior
Overture for a Comic Book Hero conducted by
a Rutland High School Junior
Jurassic Park conducted by
a Perry High School Sophmore
I also noted that several of these amazing musicians were skilled in more than one instrument. The program included an abundance of light hearted selections as well as several classical Orchestra Selections.
The musicans handled their selections very well. The "Concert of the Year," from my point of view. Well Done.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Last evening as I observed the evening news I learned that the citizens of Greece were not happy with their government. They were rioting in the streets.
I also learned that:
  • There are eleven million people in Greece
  • Four Million residents of Greece are employed
  • One Million of these four million work for the Government

Certainly interesting demographics. Most of you know that the Title of this Blog is: "The World This Week." However I have not addressed any "World Situations" in my recent post. Today I am compelled to address the situation in Greece and what we here in the United States of America may soon become.

At this time our own Government is seeking to manage most aspects of our lives. Who builds our Automobiles, who pays for our Health Care, etc. It appears that our Government is seeking to emulate the policies that are causing the problems in Greece.

Just the other day I learned that one of our esteemed U. S. Lawmkers recently stated that the goal is to have everyone who resides in the United States of America to have the same stuff in their homes as everyone else has. While this concept may appear "fair" I also recall that this is one of the basic tenents of the true communist society.

It certainly eradicates the incentive to work hard to obtain the individual goals that most of us now appreciate. This may be a nice concept but in the end, why should I labor any harder than any other citizen if my government is going to level the playing field, so to speak. Taken a step further, why should any student study harder to become a Doctor, a Lawyer, or even an Indian Chief if the Government's goal is to have everyone enjoy the same standard of living. Where is the incentive to work hard, or even study hard to achieve excellence?

These questions certainly need to be studied before we become another "Greek Society."

I appreciate what our Nation has achieved. I appreciate what our Nations's Heroes have achieved. We all know that many have given their very lives so that we can enjoy our mantra:

America, The Land Of The Free, The Home Of The Brave!!!

Or are we at that point where we desire to emulate the Countries that were great in the History of the World? I would hope not!!! I also hope that my past education was not in vein.

May 8th, 2010
Help "Stamp Out Hunger"
Letter Carriers everywhere in the United States of America will be conducting their annual Food Drive to "Stamp Out Hunger" on Saturday, May 8th, 2010. If you reside on a Mail Route you are encouraged to place non-perishable food items in a bag and place by your mail box to assist in this project.
Not only do I encourage others to perform this civic task, but I have already packed my bag and have it ready to place by the Mail Box on Saturday Morning, May 8th, 2010.
Who Went To Florida?
April 29, 2010 - May 3, 2010

This question is not rocket science. The answer should be easy to ascertain. The Flower Child and His Bride captured over 250 images. This one taken by the Flower Child is his best!!
Happy Mother's Day to the Mother of our Great Sons!!!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

2010 Spring Flower Show
Macon, Georgia

The Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc. are conducting the Spring Flower Show at the Museum of Arts and Sciences here in Macon. There were 220 entries which included the Design Division as well as the Horticulture Division.

This is a picture of the Pass Along Plant Sale which is also being conducted during the Spring Flower Show. These plants were grown locally by Garden Club Members so they should perform well in any Middle Georgia Garden.

This flower received the "Award of Horticultural Excellence." The Show is open during normal Museum hours through Sunday, May 9th.

This arrangement received the "Tricolor Award," which is the top award for fresh flower designs.

This is a picture of a design entry and is displayed here to show the diversity of Flower Show Design entries.

I, the Flower Child, appreciate the Mass Arrangements the most. I would encourage everyone in Middle Georgia to visit this Show.

2010 Spring Flower Show
Macon, Georgia
The 2010 Spring Flower Show sponsored by The Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc. is currently being held at the Museum of Arts and Sciences on Forsyth Road in Macon, Georgia.
This lovely arrangement is of special interest and is on display in the Museum Auditorium. Please scroll down and read the last image in this post to learn more about this Memorial Arrangement.

For those who may not know Jeanne Jones Holliday, please be aware that she was the Spring Flower Show Chairperson for the 2009 Show. Please note who designed the arrangement. Certainly a very appropriate memorial.