I finally did it. I learned to make fire by rubbing two sticks together. And although that particular skill is not marketable in a conventional sense and likely not necessary unless you are lost in the wilderness, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
Very often, the way you respond to a problem depends on where you sit and how you view it. As a child, my parents taught me the value of a "bird's eye view." As an activist working in the trenches of the 1960s civil rights movement, I learned about building a movement from the ground up. Today as an elected official, I try to approach issues with a big-picture view to make the best decisions for my neighbors and the state.
This is the miracle of the modern world: In advanced economies, real income per capita is at least 16 times what it was about 200 years ago.
"People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it."
As a young girl growing up in England in the 1970s and 1980s, you are brought up to believe that everything is bigger in America. The movies, we call them films, books and American tourists at the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace all proved this.
I believe in Christmas.
The first thing to know about Georgia's water worries is that just as Washington doesn't have a revenue problem but a spending problem, Georgia doesn't have a water supply problem but a water storage problem. And with a busy session and a cash-strapped state facing Georgia's legislators, members of a joint committee on water supply got a head start last week on the challenges ahead. There were some outside-the-box proposals, but there's still more that could be done.
Working to improve educational opportunities for all Georgia students is a never-ending task. Over the last eight years, we have focused on creating a "lifetime of learning" culture in Georgia, starting from early childhood to late in life. We have placed as a priority improving SAT scores and student achievement, lowering the dropout rate and sending more of our students to college.
Why do I get my flu shot? It's probably not the answer you think. Two words: "herd immunity." They are strange words, but let me explain.
Two things keep me awake at night: The threat of terrorism and wondering what, if anything, our federal government is doing about it.
No more federal earmarks!
If electing a black president with the middle name Hussein was supposed to assuage anti-Americanism around the world, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange didn't get the message.
I've noticed along my journey that sometimes a single, brief comment from someone can greatly impact one's day.
It's only taken the better part of an entire year, but the 2010 election season has finally come to a close. And while all but one seat on two local boards that were up for grabs was uncontested, elections here in Bryan County were definitely interesting, if not exciting, with a three-way race for District 4 commissioner that ended Tuesday with the runoff.
The Obama administration wants us to believe that one out of 285 ain't bad.
While most voters are familiar with the candidates on the Nov. 4 general-election ballot, many are unaware of the ballot's three referendum questions.
Editor, Our country is in a precarious position. Our government is intruding in our personal lives, and our religions are under attack. The government is ignoring the invasion from south of the border, as well as the dangers imposed by ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
Editor, Those of you familiar with the Long County School System are aware of the student growth and financial struggles faced by our system for many years. We are a low-wealth system, ranked 171st out of 180 school systems. Our students and teachers presently occupy many classrooms built in 1951 or earlier. The hardships we have faced have been many, but with the dedication of previous and present boards, superintendents, administrators, teachers and staff, we have survived.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
Go get a flu shot. Also, make sure you're children get flu shots. It's a plain and simple set of instructions, but following them could save a life. Please, go do it.
Editor, Watch out, Bryan County, in case the Sunday-voting issue rears its head in your neck of the woods, just as it has in Liberty County. This is something I think everyone in our region needs to be aware of, because it involves something greater than just run-of-the-mill politics.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public-school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week, the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, "boots on the ground." It sounds macho.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to let things roll right off her back.
Letting a child watch too much TV may be as bad for parents as it is for little ones. In fact, depending on which shows a child is allowed to watch, it may be worse for parents.
Last week, the Georgia Ports Authority approved allocating up to $3 million for maintenance of the shipping channel to the Port of Brunswick, marking the second-straight year the GPA has had to supplement federal funds for this project.
I talk to a wide variety of people throughout the week. The topics of our discussions vary greatly, but it is safe to say that many of my conversations deal with aging parents and aging issues in general.
Over the next three years, as many as 60,000 military members are expected to return to Georgia. Already, 770,000 veterans call Georgia home. In fact, the Peach State is home to the fourth-largest population of veterans nationwide. In addition to those returning to Georgia, more than 10,000 service members will be transitioning from the state's Army installations - 4,000 from Fort Stewart alone.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.