November 27

The Merry Christmas Kool-Aid

It’s that time of year again.

Time for viral Facebook statuses repeating the Fox News talking point that the liberals have declared “war on Christmas.” Time for angry letters to the editor claiming that the writer’s right to freedom of religion or freedom of speech has been infringed upon, and they have somehow been stopped from wishing everyone they encounter a “Merry Christmas.” Oy vay.

I’m only going to say this once: There is no war on Christmas.

To claim such a war exists is to betray such an ethnocentric blindness as a sane person would be ashamed to admit. If you could convert to Judaism, Islam or Buddhism for the month, you’d see just how ridiculous this claim actually is. For example, off the top of your head, do you know when Hannukah is this year? I bet your Jewish friends know when Christmas is.

So the “victims” of this “war” seem to suffer from an inability to keep government, business, and religion separate.  Not a surprise, since they usually want to combine the three when it’s convenient to them. But government really has little to do with their complaints. Sure, every year a few local governments run into opposition to a Nativity on the town square. Overall, though, governments have traditionally said and done little to address, let alone limit, expressions of Christmas spirit.  The federal government, to its credit, has kept its nose out of the debates as best it can. I’ve yet to see a law anywhere to prohibit anyone from saying “Merry Christmas.”

The Fox News crowd’s real anger should be directed at corporations.  Every year, the issues that honk off the Religious Right arise in big companies, those darlings of American conservatives. I always get a kick out of the righteous anger Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target can drum up when they ask their employees to say “Happy Holidays” (or when they publish ads in Spanish!) from the very same folks who claim to want nothing but free rein for these job-creators!  But big companies know their customers. They know not all their customers are Christian, and no good capitalist venture wants to offend any of the people who spend American dollars in their stores! “Happy holidays” is not meant to limit employees’ right to free expression or religion; it’s just smart business (much like these companies’ decisions to open at midnight on Thanksgiving, despite the inconvenience to their employees). Hey, folks, if you want your big companies to make lots of money and be unregulated, they’re going to do whatever it takes to keep their customers content.

One of the things that really disturbs me about these “war-on-christmas” claims is the ignorance it reveals about Christians’ own religious history. Christmas is, and always has been, the greatest outreach program ever devised by the Catholic Church. True Christian conservatives, however, did not like the idea originally. When Christmas was initially established by church leaders under Emperor Constantine in 336 AD, conservative church leaders such as Origen, cried foul. To celebrate the birth of a deity smacked of Egyptian polytheism, conservatives claimed. Christmas was derided by conservative leaders as a contrived holiday, a cheap means of pandering to pagans so they would convert more docilely. More liberal Christian heads prevailed, arguing that, by celebrating Christ’s birth around the same time as the pagans already celebrated the solstice, the Church could make Christianity more appealing. It worked beautifully, and it will continue to work if we don’t try to shove it down everyone’s throat.

So my fellow Christians, here’s a radical idea: Think before you speak.

Say what’s appropriate for your situation and audience. If you’re talking to me on Christmas Day, say “Merry Christmas!” Please do. I’ll return the sentiment whole-heartedly. But if you’re a Wal-Mart greeter working on December 21st, saying “Happy Hannukah” to everyone isn’t going to go over well. Neither should “Merry Christmas” simply because you don’t know what every person walking through that door celebrates on that day. I’ll be saying, “Happy Holidays” to my students when they leave campus on December 12. Not just because I know some of them are Jewish and Muslim, but also because I’d like to include Christmas Eve and New Year’s in the equation. And if I see you and know you share my faith on December 24th or 25th, I will greet you with a very hearty “Merry Christmas.”

[Need more info? See Christianity Today,The Catholic Encyclopedia, The God Article, The Fat Pastor, or my previous entry on the topic.]

August 14

A Day in the Life

Today is August 14th, and it’s raining in Central Indiana. That in itself is a rather momentous occasion. We’ve had more rain in the past 24 hours than we’ve had in the past 8 weeks. So we’re grateful, but along with the rain, we received incredible winds last night which resulted in a tragic day for the state of Indiana.

Last night, at a concert at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the winds blew down the stage rigging and sent the whole structure into the audience which was waiting for a performance by Sugarland. Evidently, the public address announcer had just warned of an approaching storm, given directions for potential evacuation and explained that the concert might be postponed. The storm was still about fifteen minutes away, and it was not yet raining. Unfortunately the winds preceded the storm.

Out west in Hendricks County, the winds interrupted a dinner party I was hosting, temporarily knocking out the power and sending everyone scrambling for their cell phones to check on kids who were at various babysitters’ homes. That’s how we learned of the State Fair tragedy. People checking Facebook and Twitter got the news first.

I had several friends at the concert, including my sister’s best friend, who was there with her children and husband, an off-duty Indianapolis police officer. When the stage collapsed, he rushed to the stage along with hundreds of other concert-goers, to try to help. I saw him in a picture that was posted on CNN’s website this morning.

My dinner guests and I kept tabs on the news over the rest of the evening. It didn’t get any better. Four deaths, according to the official news, but my police officer friend made it clear that he expected more. He’d been up on the collapsed rigging and seen more than he would detail. By this morning, it was five dead, but it will likely increase. Indiana doesn’t receive much national news attention; today we’re all over the media for all the wrong reasons.

It’s against this backdrop that we are starting our week. I was driving my son to a friend’s house this afternoon, thinking about things and trying to make sense of it all, when it struck me what a quintessentially American week this is going to be. Much of what is going on in my life, my community and my state reflects what is happening in our country right now, what it is like to be an American right now, struggling and re-building and waiting every day for the other shoe to drop, but simultaneously enjoying some amazing 21st-century developments

For example, today is my father’s 71st birthday. That blows my mind. It’s ridiculous to think of such a number pertaining to him, rather as if I were to catch him wearing clothes that were four or five sizes too big. He does not look 71. He does not act 71. He is active and engaged and busy and healthy. My kids and I called him this morning on his cell phone to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. He’s in Yellowstone National Park, hiking around Yellowstone Falls. Everything about that phone conversation is miraculous if you think about it. It would not have happened fifty years ago. Not many 71-year-old Hoosiers would have been hiking around a canyon, and none of them would have had a cell phone so their grandchildren could sing to them from 2000 miles away.

Those grandchildren start school this week. My daughter will be in first grade, her first year of full-day school. Right now, she’s out riding bikes with one of her neighborhood friends. The friend is black, by the way. That also would have been a rare occurrence fifty years ago, when segregation was still the rule. I think my daughter knows her three good friends are black, but she wouldn’t phrase it that way. One day at the store, she saw a Princess Tiana doll. (That’s the heroine from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.) My daughter said, “She looks like Ashlee!” And I asked her how. She replied, “She has the brown skin.” I know that racism is still alive and thriving in some parts of our country, but coming from a little girl whose great-great-grandfather was a murderous racist, this her-skin’s-just-a-different-hue thinking encourages me.

My son, on the other hand, is starting fifth grade. He’ll be at a new school, and they anticipate class sizes between thirty and forty. See, our public school district, like so many others across the country, is bearing the brunt of the limping economy and a Republican governor who slashed its budget by $13 million while giving charter and private schools lovely windfalls. We had to lay off more than 30 teachers. I am desperately trying to hide my anxiety from my son, who is already nervous about moving up to the Intermediate School.

My anxiety is compounded by the fact that I’m starting a new full-time position. After ten years of being underemployed as a part-time instructor at IUPUI, I was finally offered a temporary, full-time instructor contract. Ten months. I’m thrilled, of course, despite the temporary nature of it. And I’m honored to have received not just one job offer this summer, but three. When you consider how scarce jobs have been for the last five years, to get three offers in one month is fantastic. I’m even happier to say I’m not the only one. Several friends who have been unemployed or underemployed for months or even years have recently reported getting jobs all of a sudden. It seems things are looking up.

Not that the stock market would notice. The traders are too busy being drama queens, randomly sending the Down Jones spiraling or skyrocketing every other day.  The media seems to expect average Americans to panic or rejoice, but I was on vacation when the Dow took its biggest nosedive in three years. And on the crowded streets of Gatlinburg, a Midwest tourist mecca, no one was talking about Wall Street. People were shopping. People were eating at restaurants. The Aquarium was packed. Ripley’s Believe It or Not was doing brisk business. Average Americans didn’t seem to notice. Whether that’s because we are ignorant or because we’ve all given up on Wall Street, I cannot say. Maybe we’ve all just become inoculated to its ridiculous antics. It’s a crap shoot, dominated by the high rollers.

Overall, my community seems to be recovering from the Great Recession, despite Wall Street and Governor Mitch Daniels. There are currently only a couple of foreclosures in my subdivision, down from dozens three years ago. And houses are selling. Not at the $150,000 mark we bought them for, but at $125,000. It’s not great, but let’s face it; the $150,000 was likely inflated in 2000.

Long-vacant strip malls all along the highway are starting to fill up. And the north-south corridor project that was halted, incomplete, about three years ago re-started construction and is nearing completion, thanks to federal stimulus money.

Are we outta the woods? Is the U.S.A. headed for another great boom? Probably not. Right now, my husband is working in our bedroom. He does not get paid any extra for working on Sunday. He’s salaried, and he’s making well less than he did two years ago when United Health Group outsourced his job to his current company, that not only expects him to work more for less money, but also expects him to do that work on his own computer that he paid for with his smaller paycheck. His employer, like so many others, is taking advantage of him because they can. So, no. The economy is not healthy. But it’s limping along in the right direction.

And here we are: my average-sized family, living the American Dream in the suburban Midwest with a 3-bedroom house in a diverse neighborhood. We’ve got the minivan and the Xbox. We’ve got a cat, two frogs and three goldfish. The school year will start in about 72 hours, and the football season will start shortly thereafter. Summer’s getting old, and we’ll be putting on sweaters, picking apples and prepping for Halloween before you know it.

And Americans like us will be bravely and stubbornly re-building. From tragedy and disaster like the State Fair and the Missouri tornadoes and the Southern floods. From Wall Street-induced financial recessions. From nasty political fights like the debt crisis in Washington.

Normal Americans are decent people. We are out here, doing “the working and paying and living and dying in this [country].” Maybe someday the media, Wall Street and Washington will notice not just the tragedies, the wild market swings and big elections. Maybe they’ll notice what’s happening right now in places like this to Americans like us.

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July 1

The Stay-Cation

My husband was informed last month that he had to use his week of vacation time by September 1 or he would lose it.

Thus, we embarked on our family’s first-ever “stay-cation.”

Yep, first ever. We’re spoiled, I guess. My family had always traveled a lot, and when Sean and I met, I infected him with the travel bug. He had traveled far less than I had, so he felt compelled to catch up to me. Since we met, he’s been to over 20 new states and Mexico. He may love traveling even more than I do at this point. So a stay-cation was anathema to him.

It didn’t start right away. I think. It’s hard to tell when a stay-cation starts. I suppose it began the moment my husband arrived home from work on Friday. In which case, I need to apologize to him. We had a house-full of children (our own+neighbor kids), and I was knee-deep in cake batter. It was a frantic beginning to his week away from work.

My parents’ 40th wedding anniversary was Sunday, and I was making the cakes: 3 big sheet cakes. Only one of them was decorated, but I was still a nervous wreck. I had spent all week making sure I had everything ready for the big bake-off. The result was that my house looked like a bomb went off, and the kids were running amok, enjoying the unusual lack of mommy oversight.

Okay, so that was the weekend. And Sunday was great. My parents’ 40th was a big party at a winery here in Indiana. We saw so many beloved friends and family, and though we didn’t get to spend as much time as we’d have liked with any of them, it was a wonderful party just the same. And my crazy parents, after playing host all day to 120 guests, insisted on taking the grandkids for the evening. My hubby and I had a relaxing dinner and movie, kid-free.

Monday, hubby had an optometrist appointment, and the kids had swimming lessons. Very exciting.

Tuesday, we all had dental cleanings, then we went to the zoo. If you’ve never been, the Indianapolis Zoo is lovely. It’s got an amazing Oceans pavilion where you can “pet” sharks, a cool snakes pavilion, bats, cheetahs, lions, tigers and bears. Very nice. It’s so nice, in fact, that our family has had an annual pass for a couple years now. The kids, therefore, were not all that fussed. Familiarity breeds contempt, and all that. The hubby was pretty excited to see the new exhibits, but the kids and I have been so many times, it wasn’t a big deal. So it was fine, but not great.

Wednesday, after the kids’ swimming lessons, we did something new. We headed to the north side of Indy to a hotel/indoor water park. Caribbean Cove was once owned by Holiday Inn, but it’s in the process of being purchased. Still, it’s very nice. They had a good deal: two nights for the price of one, plus unlimited admission to the waterpark and free breakfast bar. The kids loved it. I don’t think my fingers will ever un-wrinkle. But Thursday afternoon, I saw a change come over the hubs.

He was depressed.


I kept asking him what was wrong, and he kept saying “nothing.”

But we’ve been married almost 13 years now. I knew he was lying. What’s more, I knew what was wrong. When he finally spilled the beans today, I was not at all surprised.

His vacation had been wasted.

He doesn’t make enough money.

He spent a bunch of money to go nowhere.

He was disappointed, and I understood. I wasn’t as upset about our “stay-cation” as he is, though. I knew this year was coming. We’d been successfully avoiding the recession for several years. When my husband’s company was purchased by United Health Group (hereafter known as “the Evil Empire”), he was saved from unemployment by being hired by the company that took over the IT department. With a pay cut, of course. But we cashed in his retirement plan, paid off ALL our debt (except the house), and kept the remainder in savings to defer the cut in income. Eventually, though, the recession caught up with us. I’ve been under-employed for five years; he makes less than he did five years ago. The retirement savings is all dried up.

The stay-cation was inevitable.

This weekend is Independence Day weekend, and we have plans with family and friends to keep our minds off the fact that we’re stuck in boring, hot, humid, flat-as-a-pancake Indiana. And we do get to go to Tennessee next month, courtesy of hubby’s mom, who has a time-share in the Smoky Mountains. It’s not all bad. I even read an article today that stay-cations or scaling back on vacations is good for the American economy. We’re planning to return to Disney World next year by saving and scraping and maybe getting a new job or two.

In the meantime, I’ll have to work on getting the hubby to perk up a bit. Fireworks might help. And whiskey.

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March 30

Uprisings, Earthquakes, Homophobes, Weddings and DAWGS!

Seems like so much has been going on lately, I could do several blog entries a day. From natural disasters in Japan and Myanmar to rebellions in the Middle East to royal weddings in Britain and political antics here at home, the news is chock full of violence, grief, disaster and nonsense.

It’s all too much to try to tackle every topic individually; to be honest, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the volume of news, I haven’t been able to think through any one topic completely. For instance, I’m still not sure how I feel about U.S. military action in Libya. For now, I think I’ll toss everything out there at once. Maybe I’ll come back to one or two of them individually later, but I don’t know. The world seems even messier than usual.

·         ***We can start in Libya since I already mentioned it, and since it seems the messiest of all the topics at hand. Personally, I keep bouncing back and forth in my thinking on it. Having lived through Reagan’s first attack on Libya back in the 1980’s, I hate Gadhafi out of habit. For many years, though, I had happily relegated him to my long-term memory. In the present, he was little more than a figure of ridicule, sporting laughable costumes and a seemingly melting face. When he reacted to his people’s peaceful protests with gunfire, though, he instantly resumed his position as the villain of my childhood. And when his people started asking for military help from the West, I thought, well, yeah! We should totally do that. But then, if we go into Libya, will be go into Syria? Yemen? Bahrain? There are protests all over the Middle East and North Africa right now being met with government violence. Where will we draw the line? And what’s more, how can we possibly afford it? We keep hearing that we have no money; our military is already overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can’t see any logical arguments; even the ever-logical Obama couldn’t quite answer some of these questions in his speech the other night. Nothing would make me happier than to see Gadhafi go down in flames, but I just can’t fully support the U.S. going in there to ensure it.

***Egypt confuses me too. I was so excited for the Egyptian people at first. Then I started hearing from some of my Egyptian students that this whole revolution could actually make things worse, depending on who takes power next. If the military imposes martial law or if a radical Muslim party takes control, the country could turn into dangerous enemy for the U.S., and certain sectors of Egyptian society could be horrifically victimized (women, Coptic Christians, secular non-Muslims).

·         ***Japan. What a nightmare. I have three friends currently in Japan; one is Japanese, the other two are Americans. I am so grateful they are all safe, but the stories coming out of there still make me anxious for them. And some of the comments I’m hearing from my fellow Americans make me sick: “It’s their problem; we don’t have money to help them. We should take care of our own first.” The best use of money is to help people in need – ANY people in need. I can absolutely support using whatever funds we can spare to help the Japanese. Japan offered aid to the U.S. after both Katrina and 9/11. (The U.S. always turns down such offers, though.) They deserve our help. As human beings, we should sympathize and help all we can. I am flabbergasted by some of my fellow “Christians” claiming we shouldn’t bother. It looks to me like racism disguised as pennypinching. Both make me nauseous.

***If you don’t live in Indiana, you may not have heard that an anti-gay marriage/anti-civil union amendment to our state constitution just passed in our Senate. This move depresses me to my very core. Indiana is homophobic and backwards enough without writing it into our constitution. It’s embarrassing. One of my friends, a lawyer for the state, consoled me with the fact that the Senate’s passage is just step 2 of 5. “There’s still plenty of time to kill it,” he assured me. And one of my amazing gay friends had this remarkably optimistic perspective: “It’s a sign of how much progress we’ve made that the haters feel the need to legislate to protect their homophobia.”  I’m clinging to that upbeat viewpoint.

·        *** The prospective Republican presidential candidates are quite entertaining at the moment. From Newt Gingrich’s blaming his infidelity on his patriotism to Sarah Palin’s characterization of the Libyan action as a “squirmish,” I’m really enjoying the G.O.P.’s offerings so far. Donald Trump 2012? Bring it on! He’s a laugh riot!

·         ***If you live under a rock, you may not have heard that England is having a royal wedding soon. Personally, I’m kind of nostalgically excited about it. I have vague, but unique, childhood memories of waking up ridiculously early with my mother to watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding. The monarchies are full of pomp and circumstances and centuries-old traditions that Americans just do not have. They have a continuity that is fascinating to me. Plus, I have a rather maternal feeling toward William. I remember the announcements of Diana’s pregnancy and his birth. Along with the rest of the world, I watched him grow up, watched him walking slowly behind his mother’s hearse at her funeral. I want him to be happy. He seems like a nice kid; he deserves that.

·        *** To end on an even lighter note, I’d like to address the NCAA Tournament. I got my Master’s Degree from Butler University. To say that I am proud of their basketball success would be an understatement. As a Hoosier and a rabid basketball fan, though, I love the VCU-Cinderella story too. The game on Saturday will be an emotional roller coaster, and if Butler loses, I will then have to root for VCU. For now, though, GO DAWGS!

As usual, the world presents us with all kinds of news – terrifying, tragic, bewildering, infuriating, amusing and fun. I’m actually going to take a few days off from the awful stuff to concentrate on the excitement of my Butler Bulldogs going to the Final Four. There will be plenty of time to wallow in sorrow later.

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March 18

Night Owls of the World – UNITE!

So we’re five days into “Daylight Savings” Time, and I’m still tired. Still fighting the urge to go back to bed as soon as I get home from taking the kids to school.

Five days! My sister says it’s psychological, but I don’t buy that. The fact is, I’m being forced to wake up at 6:30 instead of 7:30 in the morning. You can change the clocks, but you can’t change my circadian clock. That alarm clock might say 7:30, but my body knows better.

I am one of those unfortunate folks who is not only a night owl, but I also seem to need more sleep than many adults. I need eight hours MINIMUM. Ten would be better. If I get below seven, bad things happen. I am not a nice person, not a nice friend, mother or wife. It’s ugly. All that said, I’ve always seemed to have a tougher time than most with time changes, jet lag, and the like.

Needless to say, I hate “Daylight Savings” Time.

You may notice I keep putting the words in quotation marks. Yeah, that’s because the name is stupid. Like you can save daylight. Sure. Stick it in a bottle. Or I can think of some other places you can stick it.

Indiana rejected DST for a long time. We had it for a few years when I was a kid. I don’t remember it well except that my dad said it was the reason our favorite drive-in movie theater closed. Then our Hoosier lawmakers got rid of it. We flipped back and forth between Eastern time and Central time. The only time I ever really paid any attention to the Indiana time anomaly was when I worked for an insurance company that had agents on both coasts. In the summer, the California agents would complain bitterly that we closed too early. In the winter, the Maryland agents would complain bitterly that we didn’t open early enough. Or maybe it was vice versa. I don’t remember; I just remember we couldn’t make anyone else happy. But Hoosiers were fine with being unusual, and it made our lives easier.

Transplants hated our standard time, though. My New Englander husband would grouse about Monday Night Football suddenly being on at a different time when the rest of the country “fell back.” I also worked with a guy from Kansas who was an avid golfer. He complained that he didn’t have time to get in a full 18 holes after work during Indiana summers.

So a few years back, our governor, in his infinite wisdom, not only proposed DST for Indiana, but also decided we should be on EASTERN DST. Eastern! We’re on the same time as Boston (800 miles from Indianapolis) instead of Chicago (180 miles). Last night the sunset around 8:00. We’re not even to the spring equinox! By the time summer solstice rolls around, the sun will set around 11pm. Seriously!

So earlier this week, I was complaining about DST on my Facebook page, and I noticed some trends in the comments. Pro-DST folks tend to fall into three categories: Golf People, No-Kid People and Morning People.

The Time Tyranny Trifecta.

Golf people. What can I say? I don’t play golf. I love sports, but golf isn’t one of them. I don’t think it should even qualify as a sport. Any game where you can be obese and drunk and still do really well should not be considered a sport. Plus, the whole golf culture rankles me a bit. Pay a couple hundred dollars to walk around a field full of holes, sand pits and water hazards? Wear loud, mismatched clothes on purpose? Drink beer while pretending to be engaging in a sport? The whole thing smack of exclusivism and contradiction to me. It certainly doesn’t seem like a compelling reason to make everyone in the state change their clocks twice a year.

Then, there are the no-kid people. If you have no kids, maybe the time change is nice for you. I can see that. An extra hour after work to play in the yard or hang out on a patio drinking wine. It sounds lovely, although you can do still do some of that stuff after the sun goes down when it’s cooler outside.

For those of us with children, though, that extra hour of sunlight is another hour of dealing with kids. Not just our kids, but ALL the kids. For me, that’s a particularly big deal. We live in a large neighborhood with hundreds of kids, many of whom end up at my house. When the bus arrives at the corner, the countdown begins: “I have to deal with this insanity for 4 hours.” Oops. Now it’s 5 hours because we changed the danged clocks.

Some of my parent friends put their kids to bed at 8 or 9, so they’re complaining about DST too because the sun’s still up. Their kids are fighting them about going to bed when it’s still light out.

Yes, indeed, DST is not a parent’s friend. I don’t generally have that problem because my kids are night owls like I am. Thank Heaven! We go to bed at 10. I arranged my life (and theirs) to maximize our sleep schedule in this morning-person-dictated world. I take them to school so we can sleep an extra 45 minutes. I left my full-time job, in part, because the very idea of getting myself and my kids up every morning at 6am so I could haul them to daycare before rushing to my 8-5 job sounded like a complete nightmare. The flexibility of my college teaching schedule is one of the many things that appealed to me when I started at the university.

I have learned to manage in a morning-person’s world, but morning people still drive me nuts. My grandmother was a morning person. My mom tells stories of getting up to go to the bathroom at 4 or 5 in the morning, and her mother would’ve made her bed when got back to her room. Inexplicably, I married a morning person. It’s one of the biggest strains on our marriage. He’s so sweet and happy in the mornings, and I do not want to speak to anyone. And at night, when I’m bouncing around, full of energy, he wants me dead. It’s hard.

But morning people rule the world, which is, I believe, a terrible injustice. These crazy people think it’s perfectly acceptable to call me or knock on my door at 9am. And because the larks rule the roost, they feel justified. I’d like to see their reaction if I called or rang their doorbell at 11:30 at night. Hey, lazy people! Wake up! I’m still awake! What’s wrong with you losers?
Not only is it unfair for the morning folks to have the power, it’s unwise. Studies have shown that night owls are more productive AND more creative! I think it’s time for all the night owls to rise up (preferably around noon) and take control.

—Make schools start later. MUCH later! I never learned anything in a first-period class that started at 7:30 or 8 in the morning. I slept through most of them. If schools started later, the poor kids would get much more out of their classes. Teachers would be fresher too. States want to cut education budgets? Fine. Cut the school day by an hour in the morning. Let everyone get an extra hour of sleep.

—Ban morning meetings. Everyone hates them anyway.

—Move the standard “opening” time of most businesses to 10 or 11. Who really needs to go to the bank at 9am anyway?

—And while we’re at it, get rid of DST. It’s a nuisance. It’s a hardship for most parents. And contrary to popular belief, it does NOT save money any better than it “saves” time.

    Morning people can use their extra morning time any way they want. If they still want to get up at the butt-crack of dawn, let them. But if they wake me up, they’d better be prepared to get slapped.

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