Some deserve great presents this year, others deserve lumps of coal

Phil Schurrer and Phil Schurrer

Dear Santa,

It’s me again, coming at you with my list of holiday wants and wishes. Hope you’ll be able to do a good job this year.

First off, please send your elves – you’ll need 535 or so – to Capitol Hill. Assign each of them to a Representative or Senator and let them know this health care silliness they’re cooking up is going to be just another nail in the U.S. Treasury’s coffin. Tell them to take a deep breath and go home for a while. If that doesn’t work, put a lump of coal in each of their stockings.

Next, give a special gift to President Obama to let him know his speech at West Point was one of his best. I think he’s finally coming around to realizing the world is – and always was and always will be – full of dangerous people, and we need to keep our guard up at all times.

Don’t forget our military in harm’s way all over the world and their families. The rest of us live, work and enjoy the benefits our country has under the shield they provide. Give them a special gift.

Have your elves talk to Sarah Palin, Rush, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Howard Dean and the others and tell them to join the Senators and Representatives in taking a long, deep breath. Not much good comes from extremism on either side of the political spectrum.

Also, put an extra gift under President Carol Cartwright’s tree. She’s doing a good job with the lousy hand she’s been dealt. She needs encouragement.

Santa, there’s been a lot of talk on the faculty e-mail portal lately about the BGSU Faculty Association. Evidently, they’re trying to unionize the faculty. As an instructor, I don’t know if I’m included in their plans, but I hope not.

With the financial problems the University has been having this year, and with payroll consuming the lion’s share of the educational budget, the last thing we need is an organization whose mantra is more pay, more benefits, more security, more, more, more. In all the e-mails I’ve received, I’ve noticed precious little space devoted to pursuing educational excellence and doing a better job in the classroom. Tell ’em to cool it.

Put an extra gift under the tree for Data Entry on the third floor of Hayes Hall. These people run the Scantron sheets for tests and quizzes (among other things) and do an absolutely superb job.

This is finals week, and every instructor and student is under pressure. Remind us the whole purpose of this enterprise is to intellectually prepare students.

Santa, I’ve had several students who’ve lost a parent or other close family member this past semester. Put a little something extra under their tree – things like patience and strength. Give the rest of us empathy and understanding. Some people walk a very tough road in life.

Tiger Woods? Well, Santa, I guess the best gift we can receive in that department is the gift of awareness that no sin is private. Everything we do affects other people, both for good and for ill. Put an extra gift under their family’s tree this year, if you would. And give one to us, in the form of not being judgmental about others.

Speaking of public scandals, please put several lumps of coal in the stockings of all the media and other bottom feeders who live off the faults and failings of their fellow humans. Everyone is entitled to some degree of privacy.

Lastly, put an extra gift under the tree of all those at The BG News. It’s not easy working with me, and they deserve something extra.

Well Santa, that’s about it. I’m off to join Elmer and Stubby at the Faculty Lounge. We intend to solve the world’s problems and be back in time to administer final exams.

All the best to you.

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