New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 15, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4AB Wednesday. March 15. 1996
■ To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, ca# 625-9144, ext. 21
t u nOpinion
I have not gottea mk 4au kit of credit from the law-jtii liberal press. I am damn sick and tired of it."
— Bdl Clinton U S pres dent. 1994With practice, we can control emotions
E D I
No pass, no play
The intent of the law is admirable, but experience shows it is too rigid
When Texas adopted the no pass, no play in the mid-80s the goal was to improve the education of our children by giving them a bigger incentive to perform well in class. The law states that a student who fails even one class is not allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities during the next six weeks. The reasoning was that students would work extra hard to pass their classes because they would not want to risk losing the opportunity to participate in football, soccer, band, or whatever other extracurricular activity they enjoy.
But experience has shown the law needs to be reformed.
Law enforcement officials have testified at state hearings that they believe the law has contributed significantly to the number of teen-agers involved in gangs.
"When you deny them the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, they go somewhere else after school. Once they start going somewhere else after school, by the end of the ... period, they’re not coming back," said Rep. Ron Wilson, D-Houston, who is sponsoring a bill to reform no pass, no play. x
Some students stay in school because of the opportunity to play basketball or football. Take that away from them and you can end up with another drop-out gang member.
Giving students an incentive to pass their classes is still a good idea, and no pass, no play should not be abandoned. But any student can have trouble with one class.
The law should be reformed to allow students to stay involved in extra-curricular activities as long as they maintain an average of 70, even if they fail one course. The law should also be changed to make the first suspension from extracurricular activities three weeks instead of six weeks.
These changes would maintain the incentive to perform well in the classroom, and just might keep some marginal students off the streets and out of gangs.
(Today s editorial was written by City Editor Ro^er Croteau.)
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Editor and Publisher ........................................................ David Sullens
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Nancy Logan PHD.
Last week I presented a few ideas about some typical ways depressed people talk to themselves. In short, these self-statements tend to be generalized to all situations instead of the specific problem, and generalized to be a character flaw rather than something which may need to be improved. Furthermore, depressive self-talk tends to exaggerate the problem in such a way that it becomes essentially insolvable.
Let’s look at how this works in a specific situation. The same process can be applied to most other situations, too. but this is given just as an example. Suppose you yell at your spouse and say things which you really didn’t mean and which were verbally hurtful. It is certainly true that when we treat others harshly or without respect (yelling is almost always disrespectful), we wound the relationship. Enough criticism or hurtful statements can cause significant harm to or end relationships. We all know that.
Given the example where a depressed person yelled at his or her spouse and said hurtful things, the self-talk is likely to be something like this: ‘Tm a jerk. I always overreact. I sav mean and hateful things and am
a mean and hateful person. I don’t know why he (or she) is still with me. I can’t do anything about it because that’s who I am. I’ve tried before and failed so it will never get any better. I’m no good. I hate myself. I’m even too much a chicken to kill myself but he (or she) may be better off without me. There is no hope because I am a bad and a mean person,” etc.
Given the same situation as above, more healthy, adaptive and productive thinking is something like this: “I said some things in anger which were not true and hurt my spouse’s feelings, and I yelled. I don’t like treating anyone that disrespectfully, much less someone I love. Sometimes when I am upset I manage myself okay, but sometimes I get mean with my words and yell, too. I want to and will do something about that so I don’t react to being upset with yelling or with mean and hurtful words in the future. I will apologize. I will come up with a plan to keep myself behaving okay. I know I will be angry from time to time, and that’s okay, but the way I deal with it sometimes is not okay. What do I know about myself to help myself remain in better control when I’m upset? What is different during the times I manage being upset without saying mean and hurtful things? I can and will learn to manage being upset and still be respectful of myself and others. I may not do it perfectly at first, but I will make steady improvement and will let my spouse know my plan so he (or she) can help me and can know that I’m really trying.”
In the first instance, the person is stuck, more depressed, and feels there is nothing that can be done about the way they deal with angry feelings. In the second instance, the person realizes they have control of their behavior, and therefore can develop a plan to manage their anger in a respectful manner in the future. The second instance gives hope and empowers the person to make desired changes.
Depressed people often address themselves in ways similar to the first instance and do so in a variety of areas, and in a variety of ways. Learn to listen to yourself as you “speak” with yourself, and then learn to speak in a truthful yet encouraging manner.
Note: Even non-depressed people frequently address themselves in “stuck” ways. For example, they may comment, “It’s just the way I am,” instead of “It’s just the way I choose to be at this time.” This is a cop-out, in my opinion. There are few situations in which we have no choice in the way we behave.
I encourage you to work on talking to yourself in ways which you hold yourself accountable for your behavior while at the same time seek solutions and hope. I encourage you to take a few moments right now to think about how you evaluate yourself. Think of the ways you speak to yourself and then areas where you become more self-critical.
Remember that healthy thinking is not “everything I do is okay” thinking. Evaluate yourself in context (e.g., “Sometimes I say hateful things, but most of the time I encourage my family”), with clear identification of the problem (e.g., I’m more likely to say hateful things when I am rushed”), and with an eye toward how to improve the situation (e.g., “Next time I am rushed. I will stop for one minute, breathe deeply and slowly, and quiet myself physically and emotionally. If I still have the urge to say hateful things, I will remove myself from the situation until I can handle it more calmly").
We have more control of our thinking, emotions and behavior than we give ourselves credit for. When we learn to monitor our own thinking and adjust it when it is discouraging or abusive, we can continue to strive, to improve and to have hope.
(Nancy Logan is a psychologist in practice in New Braunfels.)alcaid MIR! ite until serow.
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GOP draws fire as it targets benefit programs for cuts
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate Republican package of options for trimming Medicare, Medicaid and inlier benefit programs is already drawing lire from advocates for the elderly and is sure to attract even more criticism.
Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H , who headed a Senate COP task force looking for the savings, released the proposals Monday. They include a new way to compute (he inflation rate (hat would reduce the growth of certain benefits and raise taxes fix many Americans In addition, the Republicans envision increasing costs fix many elderly people on Medicare and cutting die growth of Medicaid and welfare "We think we can provide better programs with fewer dollars," Gregg said
But that's not what advocates for the targeted programs say. Martin Cir ry, chief lobbyist for the American Associaliixi of Retired Persons, noted that seniors already pay an average of (Xie-fifth of their incomes fix health care, fix ire than other people Gregg’s suggestions, now under study by Senate Majority leader Bob
Today in history
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, March 15, the 74th day of 1995 There are 291 days left in the year. 'Hus is ‘‘Buzzard Day” in Hinckley, Ohio.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 15, 44 B.C., Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.
On this date:
In 1493, Christopher Columbus
Dole, R-Kan , provided the first clues as lo what specific steps Senate Republicans would take to attack the deficit.
Gregg estimated his proposals wtxikl produce $475 billion to $495 billion in savings over five years. His task force was asked to produce $385 billion in reductions. Republicans conceded that because of the political sensitivity of cutting benefit programs, any savings adopted arc likely to he close to $385 billion
“Each of us have some problems with some parts of it,” said Sen John Chal ce, KR I
One of the most contentious of Gregg's proposals would change the way the government computes the annual rate of inflation. Reducing (lie inllatnxi measurement would save (lie government money because annual increases in payments fix many bene fit programs, based <xi inflation, would he lower Since income tax brackets are adjusted annually for inflation, loo, this idea would force mtxe people to pay higher lax rates The government
relumed to Spain, concluding his first voyage lo the Western Hemisphere In IM20, Maine became the 23rd stale.
In 1875, tile Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, was named die first American cardinal, by Pope Pius IX In 1913, President Wilson held the first open presidential news conference
In 1944, during World War ll,
would save $64 billion over five years from the proposal, mostly from smaller boosts in Social Security benefits.
“Having said they wouldn't tamper with Social Security, here they go again,’’ said Corry Another GOP suggestion would require elderly Medicare recipients to pay one-fifth of their costs for home health coverage. They currently pay mxhing extra for the coverage, in an effort to encourage them to live at htxne and rn* in costly nursing homes The proposal would cost the average beneficiary $ 1,200 annually by 2000, and die most heavily hit would be low-income women over age 75, Corry said
Other proposals include:
—Medicare: The current system would he preserved, but those choosing to use it would face higher costs High er-income people, fix example, would pay bigger monthly premiums In addition, a new “Choice Care” system would offer managed care Under it, scnnxs would receive federal payments fur care, varying by region, and could keep 75 percent of anything they don’t
Allied bombers again raided German-held Monte Cassino.
In 1964, actress Elizabeth Taylor married acltx Richard Buruxi in Montreal, it was her fifth marriage, his second
In 1965, addressing ajoint session of Congress, President Johnstxi called fix new legislation to guarantee every American's right lo vote.
In 1975, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis died near Paris at
spend. Five-year estimated savings $100 billion to $120 billion.
—Medicaid: Provide block grant to the stales and limit the program': growth, now 10.5 percent, to 4 per cent annually. States would be givei flexibility to design their own pro grams. Five-year estimated savings $115 billion.
—Welfare: Block grants to thi stales, slow its growth by al least $A billion over five years. Change Sui plemental Security Income progran providing aid to elderly, blind, dr abled poor by tightening eligibilit; denying benefits to drug addicts, aln holies, others. Five-year estimated sa' ings: $89 billion.
—Federal retirement: No annu cost-of-living increases for civilian < military retirees exceeding yearl Social Security increases, boost col trihutions by federal workers. Fiv< year estimated savings: $17 billion.
—Other programs: Reduce pa' mcnts to fanners, no unemploymei checks until a person is jobless tw weeks, tidier reductions. Five-year est mated savings: $50 billion.
Ten years ago: The United Stales Catholic Conference, representing 285 Rtxnan Catholic bishops, sent letters lo all members of Congress, urging them to oppose funding fix the MX missile.
Five years ago: The Israeli government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir hist a vole of confidence in the Knesset after Shamir refused to accept a U S plan for Israeli-PalesUnian peace talks.