Tag Archives: ESPN

A Normal Education? Graduation Rates and Sports

Graduation Rate Czar Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has proposed a bill that would require universities who want to participate in the hallowed NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to produce graduation rates exceeding 40% for their student-athletes. This has outraged many in the sports world and has taken a lion’s share of radio time from actual basketball banter as we welcome another heart pounding tournament to our tubes later today.

There are some who regard the proposition as a foolish attempt by a politician, once a Harvard basketball player, who lacks an understanding for today’s student-athlete. Earlier this morning on ESPN’s flagship show “Mike & Mike in the Morning” guest host Doug Gottlieb (former collegiate athlete at Oklahoma State) spoke to the global issue of athletics and education. Gottlieb stated that the majority of current college basketball players are not accustomed to college life, expectations, and need for higher education. He further opined that many of these athletes come from homes where college was never discussed or experienced by previous generations. So…how can we expect these kids to understand the value of an education when all they have been told is that their athletic ability is the ticket “out?”

Of course Gottlieb didn’t say it…but I will—His statements are really about race and resources and culture…and the commodity that is the student athlete. Should graduation rates be up? Absolutely! The mere fact that 12 out of 65 teams in this years tournament would be home watching instead of playing (University of Tennessee, Kentucky and others…I’m talking to you!) should say something about priorities of BOTH the student AND the institution.

Who is kidding who? All children begin their educational careers as commodities. Sorry if that doesn’t sound p.c. enough for you, but it is true. Last week I wrote about the Kansas City school district that is closing nearly 50% of their schools to save $50 million dollars and slash 700 jobs. Just yesterday Detroit announced the closing of 45 schools by the end of the academic year. This continues a string of closings (100 since 2004) in a system that has over 50,000 open seats.

This country doesn’t know which end is up or who to ask for help. We are throwing spackle, I mean tax payer dollars, at a dam that is in disrepair. The current topic on the hot stove may be athletes and graduation rates, but that is all that it is. The ball will be tipped up in mere hours, fans will plop down, and the networks and marketers will be salivating. Nobody truly cares whether or not these kids graduate. They just want them to stay out of trouble in the future so that the university can leverage their legacies to garner other prospective athletes and alumni dollars.

Maybe what we should do is bring in Temple Grandin to herd our educational system in the right direction. Or, maybe…and I know this is a novel thought…maybe we should look at our neighbors across the pond. Maybe we should adopt similar approaches to education realizing that not all children want to go to a classic college setting…maybe some would be better off at a trade school. That is precisely how we should view the student-athlete. If we think that raising the academic bar will entice better performance we are truly in stuck the sand. The goal at that point would be grade driven. Knowledge would be left on the kitchen counter just like your cell phone as you race to get the kids ready and the day started.

Temple...We Need Your Help!

Cultural shifts are not easy nor entirely necessary if the intentions are not well thought out. Raise the standards of the educational providers, the environments we call educational, and move the needle away from stats…and you just might uncover a special talent in each child. If we fail to change our perspective, then all we have done is maintain the status quo so that terms like tenure, election, and tax base proliferate our communities. Get the system on track THEN communicate student expectations. Driving reverse at 80 mph only endangers the rest of us.

All the Best!

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

Bookmark and Share


Leave a comment

Filed under Boys, Family, Girls, Sports, Success Stories, Work

Has Your Marriage Been Condemned…by You?

You have done it. It has been said. What else can be said? Have you seen enough? If you have been following this week’s series on the Divorce Life-Cycle then you know that we have reached our 4th stage of Condemnation. You and I have looked at Irritation, Contemplation, and Irrigation all the while feeling the roller-coaster of emotions that accompany love in the E.R.

And…if you are going through this cycle or have in the past, you know the ebb and flow of emotions that sways in the wind like a springtime thunder storm rolling over the plains. You are desperate to get “it” through their “head.” You want reciprocity! You want to see them “prove” they love you and you want it now. Where do you turn?

Well if we take history or folklore into account…we might feel a bit like Paul Revere as he took his midnight ride through Boston in 1775 yelling, “The Redcoats are coming!! The Redcoats are coming!!” We are dying for anybody and everybody to take up our cause. We want their support of our campaign against our spouse and we do not want to hear of salvation or commitment or promises. We feel that we have exhausted all options and we have begun to lay the foundation for an exit plan even though many of us won’t readily admit it during this stage.

We want to feel Normal! We want to cease feelings of craziness and disillusionment. So what we do is we test the waters. We dip our toes in…share a little at a time…and see if any of our family, friends, or colleagues take the bait. We crave ears like a Texan craves brisket. We want it all and we want the unbiased and supportive ears of anyone in our path. o

And…if we don’t get the response that we want we begin to act like first-year lawyers staking out our claims and passion for “justice.” We get big picture. We talk about dreams and what we thought we wanted and we condemn the inaction of our spouse like a building unfit for human occupation. NOW we want others to see the cracks in our marriage.

We tried Irrigation tactics…in our hearts we tried to “work” at getting the marriage back, but if you are like me and the millions of other divorcee’s…you probably found yourself setting a trap for your spouse. It becomes so easy, when your trust is waning, to “provide” your spouse with opportunities to reform their usual and irritating ways. What happens, though, is that what you really are doing is setting a “trap” where both parties are going to lose out. You want dramatic and swift change and you wouldn’t mind if they threw in a little humility and honesty. And…when you get anything less than a miracle…you want to explode.

You run to your friends and anyone who will hear and you spill your guts just praying that someone will utter the most damning words to a marriage in trouble…

“You deserve better…You deserve someone who loves you for you.”

Once those words have been released into the atmosphere there comes the crossroads you never thought you would find yourself at. The intersection of life that takes you back to childhood wondering which path to take in this big, scary, and often lonely world. To feel these emotions…to feel this level of pain can be heartbreaking. You never wanted to get to this place and yet some part of you desperately did. You wanted the mental and emotional freedom to explore life the way it was “intended” to be…not shackled to the skeletons of your spouse and not restrained by your personal fear of abandonment.

To be a Normal Male and Female means experiencing all facets of a relationship…the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, whether we are Paul Revere galloping through our life in desperate need for outside support…we all want to know that what we are feeling, fearing, and hoping for is NORMAL.

Let me tell you this…it is Normal and not going through these emotional cycles would make you abnormal. Life is often a great mythical tragedy filled with love, passion, romance, defeat, and rebirth…the question is whether you can weather this stage of your marriage to make a decision that will truly point you in a direction of emotional prosperity…with or without your spouse.

I leave the answer to you because some will emerge with a new appreciation for the quirks and idiosyncrasies of their partner and others will determine that Reconciliation (Stage 5 coming Monday) means forgiveness for the difficult decision ahead and all of the challenges that await the dissolution of a marriage once thought indestructible.
Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

Bookmark and Share


Filed under Boys, Divorce, Dumb Men, Education, Family, Fathers, finances, Girls, Good Men, head of household, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Relationships, Sports, Success Stories, Work

Will Watering Your Marriage Bring it Back to Life?

I am sure you never thought we would or could get to Stage 3 in the Divorce Life-Cycle. You must have thought that after the Irritation and Contemplation stages we would never be able to think about resuscitating a relationship that has caused great distress in recent weeks, months, and years.

It takes a lot of work and if you can, honestly, say that you are at this stage then you have put some work in. You have had to deal with the mortality of your marriage, your role, your fears, and the unknown and often maddening wonderment about your spouses thoughts and feelings.

Not an easy voyage, but possibly the very thing you and your marriage needed. A Spring cleaning if you may. But….and this is a big one…if you are like most of us–and gauging from the fact you are reading this I will go out on a limb and say you are human–then you quite possibly side-stepped the first two stages in the name of Uncle Denial and are artificially entering the Irrigation stage thinking that if you ignore the problems they will just go away.

The result? You run the risk of playing house in a world thirsting for reality if growth is at all possible. As a colleague of mine says, “A band-aid is a band-aid is a band-aid…it ain’t gonna fix the deeper problem.”

And that can be a problem if you are any ole’ man or a Normal Male because we have been raised to fixers of problems. Men of all backgrounds have been taught that to have value we need to be able to fix things. Guys, the problem–fixing a marriage takes a lot more than a socket wrench to stop a leak.It is going to take hard work, open communication, sharing in safe environments, and personal ownership of your part.

So why is it so difficult to properly Irrigate your marriage? Why is it so hard to sit down and evaluate without judgment? Because we are all afraid that if we truly examine or autopsy our marriage we will find residue from our family of origin, past relationships, and a mirror that seems to be coming closer and closer to showing you…you.

Who on earth wants to open the proverbial Pandora’s Box? Who wants to think about why they treat their spouse poorly and its connections to other events and people? Who wants to think about how badly they have emotionally hurt the one the professed love to not so long ago? No one does! Nobody with a sensible approach to life wants to think about all of these horrible possibilities. What we want is to think about tomorrow in terms of yesterday. We want to act and react as if the endorphins are skyrocketing towards our spouse in a way that will cure all past ills and propel happiness into the cosmos for eternity. Irrigation can and should be tempered. It should be approached with a feedback loop that demonstrates to your spouse that you think of them when making decisions about the relationship. And, it should be understood by BOTH parties that nourishing your marriage is what you are attempting and planning to do. Too many, desperate, adults commence Irrigation plans without asking or gauging the interest of the other party.

Your marriage arrived at this place for a reason and traveling at the same speed to the same locales in life probably hasn’t been common place so why would fixing it be any different. Patience can be fleeting during lean times and marriage is no different. If you rush the “fixing” of your marriage without having your partner on board will only perpetuate your tangled communication patterns. Sit down. Breathe. Realize that if you are going to read a self-help book together you should both WANT to.

Bringing back your marriage will be the hardest thing you will ever do in this lifetime. You have to prepare yourself for the journey with the knowledge that if you’re a successful Sailor, you will cross the horizon to find a new land and relationship different and more palatable to the present you…not on the hopes and dreams of the past you.

Sometimes the odds are with us and sometimes they are against us, but what we do know is that if we make an honest effort to Irrigate our marriage we can rest our head at night in peace…whether we remain with our spouse or move on to new adventures. Check back tomorrow to continue on the Divorce Life-Cycle.

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

Bookmark and Share


Filed under Boys, Divorce, Dumb Men, Education, Family, Fathers, finances, Girls, Good Men, head of household, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Relationships, Sports, Success Stories, Work

The Divorce Life-Cycle Part 2

Well then. Here we are. And, if you have been with me from the first leg of this journey then you know that either you are in a “rough patch” or you are looking for direction with regards to your relationship.

You have entered Stage 2….Contemplation A scary place to be…yes! You are beginning to think about your life in rewind while trying to fast-forward at the same time.

This process is akin to putting your foot on the gas and the break at the same time….result?

You become exhausted with worry and discourse;
You wonder what will be;
You wonder if you can make it;
You worry no one will support you;
You worry your kids will hate you;
You worry about holidays and birthdays and all the little things that WILL be different if you leave;
You wonder who you are and what you have become……

Contemplation is the delicate assessment that one goes through…weighing the checks and balances of love in a very fiscally and condemning world. Both genders can worry and stake claim to the very same ideals and items all the while puffing ourselves up to state our case and “leave” with what is “ours.”

And…as we contemplate our life after divorce or after reconciliation we begin to experience feelings and imagery looking a lot like a set of flashbacks.

Flashbacks from our youth to the present day about previous relationships and the manner with which we handled that conversation can be an eerie trip down memory lane. I remember I broke up with my girlfriend, if you can call it that in Elementary school, because I didn’t like the Roo’s tennis shoes she wore…ridiculous I know. Am I proud of myself? No. Have I broken up in ways and for reasons that are foolish looking back or did I make decisions that helped to light my path to my mate?

We have a memory that suits us well in so many instances that we are able to prevent redundancy and befuddlement. This memory, though, brings to the surface every little nook and cranny that spurned us, excited us, and challenged us.

Exploring our memory for the good times in our marriage when it is going through a cold-snap can be difficult and unforgiving. We can feel like beating ourselves up…questioning our actions and intentions and those of our spouse.

We can find ourselves in a place reminiscent of a kindergarten playground where mine and don’t take on fiery tones for we are staking our claim, our land, our litter box of the world…and we autopsy our marriage. We grade each others contributions, estimate damages, and always come up with an equation that has our best interests finishing first.

Marriage isn’t easy. Contemplating the end of your union even harder. Being honest with yourself about your contributions, successes, and missteps will allow Normal Males and Normal Females to accurately evaluate the role they played to determine whether or not they want to continue with their original commitment. Then and only then can you sit down and think about the contributions, both negative and positive, your spouse has provided the relationship.

Being real with ourselves goes along way in communicating needs, fears, wants, and decisions in a humane and thoughtful manner. If your relationship even has a shot to get to the Irrigation stage, you have to tread with soft gloves as you sift through your memories, past actions and decisions, reasons for break-ups and hook-ups…because not doing so keeps you in an emotionally high gear with your feet firmly planted on the gas and the brake of your marriage.

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

Bookmark and Share


Filed under Boys, Divorce, Dumb Men, Education, Family, Fathers, finances, Girls, Good Men, head of household, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Relationships, Sports, Success Stories, Work

The Tuesday Tiptoe-When Divorce Seems Inevitable

The day after. How do you feel? Did you make it through the night? Hopefully you did and can look out on the other side. You might be asking what did I survive or outlast? Well….According to some in the universe, The 25th of January is the Saddest Day of 2010.

Now there could be a number of reasons not the least of which are associated with gray skies, a depressed economy and on and on….right?

Or could it be just a seasonal thing…something that occurs because the euphoria of the holidays is over and we are left with only tax season on the horizon…or could it be something entirely too close to home?

I am not sure what it is or why it is or why we would bring focus each year to something not exactly uplifting, but what I am sure of is that gray skies outside can translate into gloomy nights inside.

As this week steams ahead like a runaway train we are going to explore the Divorce Life-cycle. Gloomy to some…liberating to others. Divorce can be a very lonely and desolate place for the individual and the couple as a whole.

We are going to look at how one assesses where they are at…the decision before them…the internal and external pressures…and the outlook once a decision is made. In short, we are going to breakdown divorce into the following categories:

1. Irritation
2. Contemplation
3. Irrigation

4. Condemnation

5. Reconciliation
6. Emancipation

Why should I be tackling this series? What do I know about it? Well,in short order I am a divorcee and have worked with divorce from all angels and situations. I have seen the impact on the adults and the children and know of many individuals who struggle to answer this question:

“Am I just in a funk or is this state-of-mind permanent?”

And of course we hear of the “7-year-itch” aptly depicting the rash-like feeling we can feel when every move taken or word spoken by our spouse elicits anger, irritation, and debate. So let’s examine this first stage and try to get a grasp on this stage of a relationship entering the E.R.

Stage 1: Irritation

Whether it is the man or woman that becomes increasingly irritated with their spouse one thing becomes clear…as one partner’s irritation increases—the likelihood is that their spouses irritation goes up too! And as we begin to experience our once perfect spouse as not-so-perfect we begin to have conversations with ourselves. Often we do not share our thoughts with our friends, relatives, coworkers, or spouse. What we do is go down a list, in our head, that mimics a security checklist for a school field trip:
1. Where are we going?
2. Why?
3. Did anyone ask if I even wanted to go?
4. How long do I have to stay?
5. What will I need to take with me?
6. What’s for lunch?
7. Who is going?
8. Am I responsible for work I am missing?
9. Who do I HAVE to sit by on the bus?
10. Am I the only one who doesn’t want to go on this trip?

You might think that this list is either limited or exhaustive, but what you cannot do is deny the mental tussle one goes through on a moment-to-moment basis when contemplating the survival rate of their relationship.

Let’s Translate shall we…

1. Where are we going?= What happened to our original plan and why do I feel like this relationship is out of control?

2. Why?= Why have you changed and do you even care about me anymore?

3. Did anyone ask if I even wanted to go?= I feel like you never ask me what I want. I feel like I am trapped doing what everyone else expects a wife/husband to do.

4. How long do I have to stay?= I am not sure that I want to continue feeling this way and I don’t know how to tell you or if this thought is fleeting…either way I want some control over MY life.

5. What will I need to take with me?= I don’t even know what I need to do that will help me feel better if we are going to work this out…and if we decide to end it I really don’t know what I need to do!

6. What’s for lunch?= I don’t feel nourished by this relationship. My tank is empty and I hate feeling and knowing that one of us is going to have to “give back” with only fumes. I hate this vicious cycle of bartering for our needs.

7. Who is going?= Am I the only one that is scared my marriage is falling a part? Do my friends ever go through this?

8. Am I responsible for work I am missing?= Our routines are killing any opportunity to “get back” what we had. Why can’t life wait so that we can recapture our magic of yesteryear?

9. Who do I HAVE to sit by on the bus?= If I am to risk “losing hand” by bringing up my sadness…what conciliatory acts am I going to have to take on?

10. Am I the only one who doesn’t want to go on this trip?
= Does he/she not notice how bad things have gotten? Do they not care?

The result of this long and drawn out conversation is that many are left wondering…“Why should I care anymore?”

And, instead of sharing our fears (speaking to the men out there) we close up shop, build up walls, and act out for hope that she will notice. Normal Males will work hard to share their feelings and concerns sending a message that the relationship is that important to them.

Easier said than done. I know. I struggled mightily to fight routines and speak up when I so desperately wanted answers to my growing frustration and irritation. But, I am human as are you and sometimes men and women demonstrate their fears by acting out in hopes that their spouse will translate the community theater production being put before them on a daily basis.

It hark-ins back to a friend of mine who became so irritated with his job that he wanted to send a message to his superiors, of which he had many, by playing the movie Office Space on repeat in his section of the “cube-farm.” After the movie played 62 times…my friend glided into work one day to find his computer gone…vanished…no more secret “telegrams” to be sent.

Relationships go through bumps and bruises and so many in the media and in mental health want to lie to you and say that, “It’ll be ok…just hang in there.” I am here to tell you a truth…sometimes the Irritation reflects the different paths you each are on and that is Normal.

It does not imply that one person is at fault or malicious. It might simply mean that as you have evolved as individuals your values, goals, dreams, personalities and outlook might have taken a separate and individual path. This country prides itself on “finishing what we started”….”never giving up”….and that one gender has to “go down with the ship.”

These can be destructive messages to both men and women resulting in children and friends who no longer understand or enjoy being around you. As we walk through the Divorce Life-Cycle please be cognizant that you are NOT alone, you ARE Normal, and if too much damage hasn’t been done, you can work it out. Be aware of your thoughts and actions and look beyond the Irritation to understand the cause and source…it might very well be You…I know it was Me.

See you tomorrow when we will look at the progression of the Divorce Life-Cycle and Stage 2: Contemplation

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

Bookmark and Share


Filed under Boys, Dumb Men, Education, Family, Fathers, finances, Girls, Good Men, head of household, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Plastic Surgery, Relationships, Sports, Success Stories, Work

Why Marriage and Football Don’t Mix…or do they?

Well, we made it! Whew! Another gauntlet of a regular season in the NFL, 3 playoff rounds, and a meaningless Pro Bowl and the Grand-Daddy of them all…The Super Bowl…in two weeks that is :)! The question is can we hang on? Can we come up with enough collateral from the “Love Bucket” to stave off spousal elimination?

It won’t be easy. It will be draining…and before it is all said and done, Normal Males around the country will be making sure the walkway is clear of snow/mud/Christmas tree remnants, the trash and its’ receptacle are spotless, the pets cared for and the children happy. There will be many joint ventures to the grocery store and possibly the mall if some can handle it.

You see for most men and Normal Males the dawn of the Super Bowl can be the scariest time of year for themselves and their relationships. And, before I get back-channel emails with upset readers who say I am embodying the very same stereotypes I refute daily…back off…take another sip of your Earl Grey because even Normal Males can and do like sports…and well they should…more on this below)

Scary because so many males have been jockeying since late August to watch their favorite teams and so many of our lovely spouses are tired of our dog-and-pony-act. And, really who can blame them?

We turn into public defenders fresh from law school…passionately stating our case and our need to just be as we watch grown men hurled at each other like a Consumer Reports crash test on fender durability. Watching football is a release…a journey back to the days where we could bound around the playground for 3rd grade supremacy and the twinkle of endorsement from the cutest girl this side of Topeka.

So…I have stated the challenge before Normal Males…the reasons, subtly I might add, for our female partners to, potentially, cut us some slack and let us relish in the two week tease to the most watched sporting event in our country.

But, you wouldn’t be reading my blog if you didn’t expect to hear the other side…now would you? Guys, we play a pivotal role in the support of our wants and needs, and selfish and childish responses to the one we love only strengthens their association with football AND stupidity.

As Normal Males we cannot treat our motives as so many do when birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentines Day role around. We cannot role a year or a months worth of family responsibilities into one day prior to the big game. Women are extremely smart and they will notice if your efforts have been sub-par throughout the year. So, the next time you think that you have “gotten” her by helping out around the house or going to the grocery store or mall once in the last month…think again!

I would propose that if we were smarter we would increase our overall participation in our families ten-fold because we might find our spouses a heck of a lot more agreeable to our weekly need to take sides and grunt over a bowl of chips. But, too often we don’t and we “cry” and moan when asked to participate in activities our spouses enjoy which is why when we “spring” it to them that this Sunday’s game is the most important they give us a look that could kill.

Both sides would benefit greatly from increasing our participation in the activities and enjoyments of our loved ones because…just like sex and football “privileges” come with a more participatory husband and father who goes on more trips to the mall, spur of the moment grocery stops, and spontaneous back rubs when our wives and girlfriends want them the most…so do “team” trips to the mall, visits to your favorite Aunt and the like when the females in our lives increase their understanding for the needs and wants of our more participatory husbands and fathers.

We each hold the key and holding one activity hostage for another slashes gratitude and build up bitterness. Sometimes we have to understand that it isn’t ALL about us and if we understand dosage rates and extended-release euphoria for events born out of spontaneity…we might all get to enjoy those bits of life that make us uniquely human and desired spouses.

And, if we need inspiration we can look all around us. We all have a buddy whose spouse is so supportive of their activities that we often wonder, “what is his secret?” Ask!

Or…you could look under your very own roof. Every morning I “Open” our house. I walk downstairs…turn the alarm off, turn the radio on, get the coffee going, turn on necessary lights and open the blinds to the sunshine just waiting to pierce through the window pane.

The last on the list is the most enjoyable and telling of them all. You see, we have two kittens that are growing like “weeds” and the routines that the get into are both enjoyable and illustrative of sharing and giving back. Gracie is our little Dennis the Menace…always getting into something and always wanting to be a part of the action whereas Lilly is the strong silent type…will love you on her terms and will often be the follower to the kitty hi-jinks that ensue on a daily basis….

…that is until I go into the dining room to roll up the shades. This is when Lilly takes charge, assumes her position directly below the long chord and behind the curtain and waits…waits patiently for the chord to come within “hunting” range…and then she jumps and bounds about trying to bat the chord like a Kardashian in the boxing ring.

You want to know what…Gracie/Dennis the Menace sits, perched up beside Lilly and watches her in her daily ritual. Never interfering or stealing the one daily pleasure Lilly gets besides sleeping 18 of 24 hours.

We can all learn a lesson from the Lilly’s and Gracie’s of the world. Know when our partners want our attendance and participation and how we can support their “loves.” It always takes two to tango, as someone once said, and being able to sit and watch a football game without worrying about retribution or a building chores list as payment goes a long way in enjoying something that ought to be enjoyed.

Men and Women of the world…da dada da!!! Support each other not just on the days or times when YOU want something, but also on those days and during those times when least expected. We will all come out better in the end.

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Boys, Dumb Men, Education, Family, Fathers, finances, Girls, Good Men, head of household, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Relationships, Sports, Success Stories, Uncategorized, Work

“Pants on the Ground” Celebrating Young Men who Make us ALL Proud!

Over the past week we have seen the reemergence of William Hung….I mean General Larry Platt as he is now the owner of the new anthem for American Idol. “Pants on the Ground” has become a hit in the most basic sense of the word. The song has captured the soul of one generation observing another and it comes with an interesting development…

Last night, as I put a close on a long day, I did what I routinely do and I turned on the local news. Aside from all of the recycled stories that we all read on Twitter and the like, and the countless stories about John Edwards, I came across a bit of news that could have easily been the “Top Story.”

One of the local beat reporters did a brief story on a group of African-American high school students who have recently started a group that answers General Platt’s call… “The Gentleman’s Council” has over 50 members who dress professionally for school on a daily basis. The founders stated that they wanted to be taken seriously and have noticed a significant difference from the fellow peers and teachers.

What a wonderful way to end the day and reflect. As we all partake on this journey to redefine Normal Males it sure is nice to see opposing generations speak up and act “out” in positive and productive ways.

And, if you think that Caucasians can rest on a history of affluence, resource, and culture because this story pertains to young African-American students then you better sit down and take heed. …because the “Jello” man and our favorite T.V. dad has indicted us all in the war on boys being boys….

…and though Bill Cosby has spoken with great conviction, and controversy for some, on the state of the African-American male, he has provided ALL males with valuable leadership. The telling aspect of this video made years ago is that it depicts the dangers of letting our boys feel less than they are, the shadow to life, and the role both races play in the success of the other. For every publicized story about a young African-American male who doesn’t know how to dress, use the English language effectively, or actively and positively participate in society…I will give you the Caucasian boy from rural America who probably talks a bit off kilter, to say the least, focuses on hunting rather than studies, and thinks women belong in the kitchen.

Young boys and males of all races, ethnicity’s, and cultures struggle to feel a part of daily society and just because one race is portrayed as daily irritants…never forget the perpetrators of mass school violence and the race they would be identified with.

The issues young males face are deep and unrelenting and it sure is nice when we have young people that take a stand without Commissioner Stern of the NBA or General Platt having to state the obvious…you will be taken seriously when you take your personal significance seriously. Here is to the Gentleman’s Council at McGavock High School and to their commitment to themselves and the young boys staring up at them. Job well done!

The rehabilitation of what being a Normal Male is and represents to the rest of the world takes the courage of all males to stand up and challenge popular opinion for the betterment of the coming generations. We want to be proud of our gender…we want our families to be proud…and we want our children to be proud of the men they call daddy.

General Platt…Dr. Rod reporting for duty!

Dr. Rod The Normal Male
Rod Berger, PsyD

Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Boys, Dumb Men, Education, Family, Fathers, Girls, Good Men, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Relationships, Sports, Success Stories, Uncategorized