A beautiful tribute to great teachers. And a couple of pre-teens doing grown-up things

And a Happy Good News Friday to you. Three items today that put a smile on my face; hopefully they’ll do the same to yours.

First up, I saw this a couple of days ago and have watched it several times since. It’s a collection of celebrities like Jon Hamm, Minnie Driver and James McAvoy talking about the important teachers they’ve had in their lives, and how much they’ve affected them.

A beautiful tribute, and one that fat-cat politicians who constantly rip America’s teachers would be wise to remember.

I still love this short poem I saw years ago on a bumper sticker, by an old teacher named Forest Witcraft:

“One Hundred Years from now It will not matter what kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, how much money was in my bank account nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.”

Amen.

**Next up, two very different stories about kids who are showing that you don’t have to be a grown-up to do a grown-up job.

First, the delightful Haley Smilow, a 12-year-old who through pluck and really good questions, has become a sportswriter with work published on MLB.com and other places.
She talks to Major League Baseball players and asks them questions way more interesting than why they bunted in the eighth inning. She asks them about their hobbies, their favorite foods, or their superstitions.

“I don’t ask them statistic-y questions because that’s grown-up stuff and I’m only a kid,” she said. “They’re sick of hearing, ‘Why did you go 0 for 3?’ when they have no idea why they went 0 for 3. I might ask ‘What’s on your iPod?’ or ‘What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?’ ”

“Usually when she asks that,” her father said, “you see them just start to melt.”

beer

**And then we have 11-year-old Michal Bodzianowski, a Colorado student who recently won a national competition in which his beer-making experiment will be flown to the International Space Station.

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education sponsored the competition where 11 proposals, out of 744 submitted by 3,900 students, were selected for the flight that will launch in December.

Bodzianowski said the idea of bringing beer to space stemmed from a book he read about the Middle Ages. (or, you know, from every commercial you see on TV).

Bodzianowski’s experiment will be flown to the International Space Station out of Cape Canaveral in December. Once in space, an astronaut will follow Bodzianowski’s instructions and combine the ingredients of hops, malted barley, yeast and water in a 6-inch silicon tube.

Somewhere in a bar in Boston, Norm Peterson is smiling very broadly.

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