In Honor of Father’s Day: Things My Dad Actually Said!

Some are sweet, some are just HILARIOUS- but that’s how fathers are, right?  I wonder if anyone else can relate to these sayings.  Happy Fathers Day, Abba!!!

My dad on guys/relationships:

“What is relationship?  People need to get married!”

“Find a boy who has a strong mother and sisters, and respects them.”

“I know some boys, but they are got right for you- not good enough.  Honestly, they are bhonda [dull].”

“You know, there are a LOT of faltu [fake] guys out there these days…”

My dad on education/career:

“You could do a PhD- you are a LOT smarter than (insert name of his friend’s/distant relative’s daughter).”

“In these past few years, you could have DONE a PhD already!”  (w/ exasperation)

“You could definitely work for the federal government.  Some of these people do NOTHING all day.”

My dad on food:

“I don’t like white food.” (Awkward pause and weird look from waiter)  “No, no, I mean food with white SAUCE!”

“We can cook better than the restaurants any day.”

“I found a REALLY good supermarket in my area!” (in VERY excited tone)

My dad on family:

“There is NO life without your family!”

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Things I Learned from Broadway Musicals

This is just for fun.  Can you figure out which shows/characters I’m writing about?

 

  1. Corn can grow “high as an elephant’s eye.”
  2. “Everything’s up –to-date in Kansas City.  They’ve gone about as far as they can go.”
  3. Farmers and cowboys should be friends.
  4. Some girls “cain’t say no” [at least when it comes to kissing!]
  5. An old, disfigured composer can be VERY intriguing to a teenage girl.
  6. The lyrics “Help me make the music of the night” are NOT quite as wholesome as you first thought.  [LOL…]
  7. Love can’t always be “evergreen” or “unchanging as the sea.”
  8. Sanity can be “a melancholy burden.”
  9. If you treat a woman like a lady, she will see herself as a lady.
  10. “To love pure and chaste from afar” sounds sweet, BUT hardly fun.
  11. “Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger across a crowded room” [but these days you MUST be careful!]
  12. “Fools give you reasons; wise men never try” to explain why/how love happens.
  13. “You’ve got to be carefully taught” to hate people who are different than you.
  14. “Twelve in a room in America” isn’t rare to find.
  15. You can fall in love at a local fair.
  16. When you’re afraid, try to “whistle a happy tune.”
  17. Thailand (formerly known as Siam) is smaller than its neighbor Burma, BUT England is the smallest of the three nations.
  18. When you were very young, “world was better spot.”  [Amen to that!]
  19. You can try not to have love for someone, but STILL fall in love (even if the guy’s escorting you to your husband!)
  20. You will be sympathetic to young lovers IF you’ve had a love of your own.
  21. “East or West, home is best!”
  22. There are more important things to fight for besides “a night at the opera.”
  23. A former criminal can be a BETTER man than a police inspector.
  24. Life can be tough for a single mom (especially in the 1700s).

 

 

Movie Review: “The Great Debaters”

 

 Denzel Washington obviously enjoyed making this film, although he admitted on Oprah last November that “I didn’t want to be in the film.”  He wanted to direct The Great Debaters only, but the studio would not give him the funds without him in the starring role.  What Oprah, Denzel, and their cast and crew have made is a nicely-paced, engaging, and overall well-executed film.  Viewers of all ages will find something to connect to here.  The editing, music, cinematography, costumes, and (most importantly) acting are top-notch!

 

 

 

As Denzel said many times, the real stars are the three (very talented) young African-American actors who portray the college debaters: Nate Parker, Jurnee Smolett, and Denzel Whitaker (yes, that’s his REAL name).  Nate Parker (Henry Lowe) is a gifted, but troubled, young man who drifts in and out of school.  He loves to read, and his natural talent is nurtured by Denzel’s character (Dr. Melvin Tolson).  Jurnee Smolett (Samantha Booke) is a strong, beautiful young woman who transfers to Wiley College (a small Methodist university in Marshall, Texas) JUST to try out for the debate team.  (As a child actor, Jurnee had a recurring role on TV series Full House and played Eve in the critically-acclaimed film Eve’s Bayou.)  The 1930s period costumes look especially gorgeous on her tall, lean frame.  The youngest member of the team is Denzel Whitaker (James Farmer Jr.) who is 14, curious, eager to please, and very easy to relate to. There is a cute fantasy dance sequence with James and Samantha reminiscent of Spike Lee.  (Denzel and Spike worked together on several movies.)      

 

Forest Whitaker also has the role of serious, quiet, theology professor (Dr. James Farmer).  He’s a well-respected man who speaks 7 languages, but has a difficult time connecting to his teen son, James Jr.  He pulls off this role with understatement because that is what was needed for such a character- someone who is forced to keep emotions in check so he doesn’t “rock the boat” in his segregated community.  On the opposite side of Dr. Farmer is Dr. Tolson (who was also a published poet); he was accused of being a Communist on occasion.  Dr. Tolson seeks not only to educate the kids at Wiley, he secretly works to organize the sharecroppers in the area (black AND white).  This puts him at odds with the local sheriff (John Heard) who fears unionizing.

  

        

 

What I liked best about this film was the enthusiasm and energy of Denzel and the young debators (even the small characters).  It seems like everyone really got into their roles; most of the main characters are based on real people.  The people in the story are ONLY ONE generation removed from slavery.  While the students seek to educate their minds on the college campus, they are NOT removed from the social injustices their community faces off-campus. Denzel interviewed former students of Wiley (see Special Features on the DVD).  The Great Debaters also introduces young audience members to great writers of the past: Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Bennett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry David Thoreau, and Gandhi (in the last debate, the team takes on the issue of civil disobedience).  Check out The Great Debaters!