I am not sure who thought up the rules or why. But for those of us women who played high school girls basketball prior to Title IX in 1972, the game was one big joke.
For starters, you could dribble the ball only three times before you had to pass to a teammate. Not that you were covering any distance with three dribbles, but just in case you were, you had to stop at the center court line and pass to a teammate waiting passively on the other side trying to stifle a yawn. You can only imagine the speed and excitement of the game.
Because there were no competitive sports for girls at that time, gym class had to do. By the time you changed into your gym uniform, took your turn on the court, showered (Why? I have no idea), you basically had enough time for a jump ball.
Did the rule-makers think we girls might: Break into a sweat? Cry if we lost the ball? Trip if we ran? All of the above?
Which is why I am so loving women’s college basketball, especially now in tournament time. With the fast tempo, brilliant plays, great coaching and amazing 3-pointers winged through the air with the finesse of angels, now is the perfect time to watch women’s college basketball if you have never followed it before.
The agility, speed and power of these young women is so inspiring that all these decades later, I’m tempted to pick up a ball. Although I am grandmother, I bet I can do more than three dribbles.
And if there was a center court line, you’d better believe I’d cross it.
— Marnie O. Mamminga, Batavia
As we approach World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, I’m deeply encouraged by the cultural shift occurring around us. As a society, we are more intentional about celebrating our differences, embracing inclusivity and recognizing the contributions of individuals of all means. This cultural shift, together with remarkable advances in technology, allows everyone to have an equal opportunity to thrive. Unfortunately, many of the tools and resources that underpin these opportunities are under threat.
Despite his diagnosis of Down syndrome, my son Nate had big dreams and became the CEO of his own company at age 18. Thanks to innovations in technology, Nate’s big dreams reached far beyond our Beverly neighborhood. He fostered relationships with creators on social media who helped him reach millions of supporters. With the encouragement of his virtual community, Nate conceived 21 Pineapple Shirt Co., an online clothing store selling Hawaiian-themed gear and inspiration.
He launched his business at the height of the pandemic. Online advertising powered connections with potential buyers around the world in an affordable way, while social media allowed us to build an online community for families seeking support and resources for their loved ones with Down syndrome.
Nate’s story is proof that today’s American Dream is powered by American innovation. Technology platforms and the services they provide have leveled the playing field, making business ownership a possibility for everyone regardless of location, ability or income. Now, Congress is considering policies to regulate American technology companies with proposals that would make it harder for businesses like 21 Pineapples to sell products online, to reach customers via social media and to leverage the free tools that power today’s small businesses.
On behalf of the state’s 1.2 million small business owners, I ask our Illinois policymakers to ensure that any tech industry legislation protects the interests of our small business community while promoting future innovation that will be the foundation for countless big dreams to come.
— Holly Simon, Chicago
I have worked in and volunteered for nursing homes for several decades, and, in my experience, one of the simplest and most helpful tasks that can be done for elderly residents is cleaning their eyeglasses.
Nursing assistants have their hands full getting their residents ready for the day. Bathing a resident, getting clothes on him or her, putting in dentures, applying hearing aides and completing a multitude of other tasks consume their workday. Cleaning eyeglasses is not high on the list.
However, anyone can do this small but crucial task. I encourage family members and friends to take a look at their loved ones’ eyeglasses. How often do residents sit with vision impaired by smudges, large and small, on their lenses? And not for just one day, but sometimes for weeks at a time. It takes a minute to run the glasses under the water in the bathroom, dry off with tissue and replace on the nose of the elderly person who inevitably says, “Wow, thanks, I can see so much better now!”
The thing about dirty eyeglasses is, the longer the smudges are there, the more the resident no longer notices and simply adapts to his or her inability to see clearly. No more. Let there be sight.
— Kathleen Melia, Niles
I am writing because my dad and I both read the newspaper. I personally love reading the comic section of the newspaper. It is really funny. My dad likes reading the part where you have actual news, like about COVID-19 or what happened in Chicago or the world. I just really like reading the news because it is interesting.
I like reading about things that have happened in our world, nation and city, and so does my dad. I especially like doing this with my dad. Thank you!
— Marcelo Jones, St. John Berchmans School, Chicago
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