On school technology, sunshine, local baseball, fearing photographers, and fixing our schools and pool...

Details on the schools, pool
On Thursday, the school board will conduct a working session that will include visits to the local school buildings and swimming pool, accompanied by Johnson Controls representatives, to discuss what the performance contractor found in their assessment of the schools and pool, and what the most urgent needs are as far as roofs, mechanical systems, etc. at the buildings. Clearly, there are some fairly urgent and expensive needs, like the pool roof and portions of the roof at CHS, and dollars are severely limited. Hopefully, Thursday’s discussion will start things down a path where some specific solutions are identified. It seems as though some bold thinking might be needed, and Superintendent Chris Bates has hinted at ways a comprehensive solution could be sought. But will it affect school district taxpayers? More than likely, so stay tuned.

Additional insight on on bring-your-own-device model
Kevin Weber, the technology coordinator for Crookston’s public schools, is going to report to the school board Monday evening on what he learned while on a recent trip to the Little Falls schools, where they have launched an iPad initiative that presumably involved a fleet of iPads being secured for students to use as learning tools in school. Because of the initiative in Little Falls, the schools there have just won a fairly prestigious award. It will be interesting to hear what Weber has to say, since the “bring your own device” policy that drives the wireless-device-as-learning-tool in Crookston High School has led to some concerns about some students having devices, and other students lacking. The referendum money exists to be bold when it comes to technology, so let’s see where things go from here.

Here comes the sun?
Everyone waited so long for spring to come after what was the longest, coldest winter many can remember. Spring finally sprung, but what a spring it has been. Rain, rain and more rain has certainly taken care of some of the drought issues left from last year's hot, dry summer, but isn't it time for a little sunshine on our shoulders? Here's to hoping warm summer days arrive soon and spring doesn't quietly slip straight into fall.

A little Americana: Support your local baseball team
Few things are more "American" than going to a small town baseball game in the evening with the sun setting, the smell of hot dogs cooking and sunflower seeds cracking along with the bats. Crookston is lucky to have an amateur baseball team and one of the most beautiful baseball fields around. Despite being winless in four games this season, the Reds are fun to watch with some familiar faces in the lineup this year like former Pirates: Justin Johnson, Kody Kawlewski, Nick Wheelhouse, Ben Wilson, Taylor Morlan, Brandon Kresl, Seth Hanson and Dillon Nelson. The Reds travel to Ada Tuesday but come back home to face Fertile Friday at 7 p.m. This weekend the team will compete in a tournament at Wolf Lake, Minn. Come out and support your home town ball club.

Smile for the camera, it doesn’t hurt
Why is it that so many of us are horrified when someone asks to take our picture? Are we fearful of a bit of spinach in our teeth, an imaginary extra chin that might pick that exact moment to appear, or, heaven forbid, blinking as the flash goes off? Does it all boil down to being afraid people will judge us, no matter how perfect or imperfect we feel we may look? Through the "magic" of photoshop, society has been trained to think anything less than spectacular is not okay. Even people considered to be the most handsome or beautiful human beings on the face of the earth have flaws carefully corrected with few clicks of a computer mouse. These photos are not reality. Let people take your picture. Smile showing your slightly crooked grin or wind-blown hair. Capturing a precious moment in time will be worth so much in the coming years. Stop judging yourself and try to let go of what you think others may see when looking at your photo. You are, by far, your worst critic.