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Passionate propensity for 'P' words pours out
By Stephanie Penick | Daily Herald Columnist

Waubonsie Valley High School grads Jessica Tatar and Thomas Jencks, who are both studying education in college, are hoping teaching jobs will be available when they graduate.


Courtesy of Stephanie Penick

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Published: 4/8/2010 12:00 AM

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As I rejoiced among the cheerful voices on Easter Sunday, I recalled several conversations from the previous week.

Friends said they're ready to replace the plethora of "re" words that have sprung up repeatedly in daily usage, some regarding subjects that beg action to pay attention. Restructure. Restore. Renew. Reshape. Reform. I've used them, too.

While I intend no disrespect, my passions have a propensity to be expressed in "p" words.

Parades, public policy, parks, performance, print, publish, Mayor Pradel- The list is positively plentiful. Even Naperville requires a "p" near the front.

So here's a potpourri of ponderings to promote some people, places and upcoming possibilities.

Pause: The arrival of spring provides more opportunities to balance meals peppered with nutrient-rich choices and fresh produce, seafood and meats; prepared for the pleasure of good eating. Planting garden plots and shopping at farmers markets prompt us to care where our food comes from, who grows it, who prepares it and what's being added to it.

Looking back, the education that's come from wine-paired dinners and cooking classes has been a priority with benefits for my health and wellness. Of course, daily walks with or without our Papillon pup help, too.

Produce: A few weeks ago this newspaper featured a wonderful profile of Herb Nadelhoffer - cook, veteran, farmer, teacher, poet, NCTV17 volunteer producer and more - and his video production titled "Farmers, Corn, Cows and Hazy Memories." After the premiere on stage at North Central College's Meiley-Swallow Hall, I remembered the bumper sticker that promotes "No farmers. No food!"

Perform: Prolific jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea joins vibraphonist Gary Burton to present a concert of duets at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.

Purchase tickets ($75 and $70) by phoning the North Central College Box Office at (630) 637-7469.

Participate: Last week I received a Facebook invitation regarding "Caravan to the Capitol - Restore Illinois Education Funding."

According to the post, organizers are "concerned individuals in Illinois working toward reprioritization of spending to restore funding to public education." (It's tough to write without those "re" words.)

Curious, I stopped by the group's rally Friday afternoon at Nancy Young Elementary School in Indian Prairie Unit District 204 where I met organizers Lori Price and Sherry Tatar, both taking photos of 29 participants of all ages with signs. They intend to use the photos in a video to express their opinions to lawmakers regarding funding for education. They're planning to fill a motor coach and take their message to Springfield on Wednesday, April 14.

For more information about the Springfield trip, call Price at (630) 450-6041.

Prepare: Weather permitting, the annual Riverwalk Spring Spruce Up is slated from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 17. Volunteers can simply show up near the Dandelion Fountain at Webster Street and Jackson Avenue to help prepare our natural treasure for the upcoming seasons.

Parade: Alert! The 2010 Memorial Day Parade Monday, May 31, will proceed on a new route as it advances east along West Jackson from Ewing to find its way to Central Park. At Washington Street, the patriotic parade will head north to Benton where it will turn east toward Court Street. Veterans from the Judd Kendall VFW Post 6873 and the American Legion Post 43 will direct participants to the Ss. Peter and Paul parking lot or other appropriate places.

Please help spread the word now to parade-watchers.

Ponder: In 1787 when the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution was written in Philadelphia to uphold the promises of the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers proclaimed action with "p" words:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Read: When I wrote my first Daily Herald column in May 1999, I pontificated about the newspaper I penned in my youth called the Rolling Oaks News, a carbon-copied page that I peddled door-to-door for a penny. I was probably 10 when my dad taught me my First Amendment rights, including freedom of the press.

Perhaps you'll agree that one word that begins with "re" provides the way to gain knowledge repeatedly. Thanks for reading.