Bag of Randomness for Thursday, April 16, 2020

@ArlingtonNatl – At a safe distance, a @USArmy soldier lowers his mask to provide condolences to the family of Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert M. Belch, who was interred yesterday. He sets the folded flag on a table in front of him. We adapt and keep to our mission. #COVID19

This has happened to me way more than I’d like to admit. I’ll receive an invitation to a meet or event from my work email and I’ll forward it to my personal email so I can put it on my personal calendar. I’ll soon notice that I just received a new email and check it only to forget I was the one who sent it.


While Small Operations Struggle, Chains Land PPP LoansThe Relief Funds Have Flowed To Operations Such As Ruth’s Chris And Potbelly.

While mom-and-pops struggle to get a loan through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), a number of sizable restaurant chains are cashing multimillion-dollar checks from the relief initiative, a cornerstone of federal efforts to help small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

The parent of the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse chain collected $20 million by applying through each of two subsidiaries. Taco Cabana qualified for a $10 million loan, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop landed a $10 million loan, the largest advance permitted per applicant under the PPP.

The approach taken by Ruth’s Chris’ parent—having subsidiaries each seek a loan—is likely to be followed by other big restaurant companies, according to Stifel, a brokerage and investment banker. It aired the possibility in a communication to clients that Chili’s Grill & Bar parent Brinker International might take that route to secure $100 million in PPP loans.


I love this idea, one big national commencement address, but I’d extend it to include all current and former presidents. If I were advising the current president, I’d have him out in front of this and issue a press release that understanding this unprecedented even, the president would like to speak to all upcoming high school and college graduates.

I also appreciated his response to this one reply.



March 2020 was the first March without a school shooting in the U.S. since 2002

For most of those students, this is one of the longest stretches in their lifetimes without a school shooting. As first reported on Twitter by Washington Post reporter Robert Klemko, there hasn’t been a March without a school shooting since 2002 — the year most current high school seniors were born.


Dallas-area Food Banks Are Seeing Unprecedented Demand

That article is about a week old, but it made me feel better about having that check I received from the Trump support go straight to the North Texas Food Bank.


Wait for it.

Explosion at the Verso Mill in Jay, Maine on Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Spring Breakers Viciously Defend Themselves Online After COVID-19 OutbreakAfter 44 spring breakers from the University of Texas tested positive, angry students (and at least one parent) ignited a backlash involving legal threats and a lecture from Matthew McConaughey.


Time to vent about some disappointment.

As many of you know, I have the privilege of serving as one of six trustees of a $2,500 memorial scholarship set up by the mother of my friend who was to be the best man at my wedding. He died a week prior to our wedding. When I say “our wedding”, I’m referring to the ceremony of matrimony between me and WifeGeeding, not me and five dudes I went to college with. Each spring, we get together to select a recipient from a graduating senior of the high school he graduated from and the school district he was employed by at the time of his death.

For the past 15-years, we’ve awarded a scholarship. However, we won’t be this year. Not because of COVID-19, but because not one single graduating senior took the time to apply. I could give them the benefit of the doubt that things are chaotic, but there was ample time to apply before this COVID-19 crisis started.

In an attempt to make some lemonade out of these lemons, we’re considering making a donation to a local cause or something benefiting the senior class. While looking up contact information for the school counselors I saw they maintain their own blog. One it, they have a list of scholarships, two actually. One is a junior achievement scholarship and the other is a memorial scholarship. Count me as disappointed that our scholarship isn’t listed, we’ve only awarded 15 straight scholarships to a graduating senior of their high school in honor of a former employee and graduate. I haven’t and don’t on mentioning my disappointment to them, I’d rather be passive-aggressive about it and vent on my blog.

A counselor and the vice-principal did respond to my email about a local organization we could donate to. I researched the organization and saw that it awards scholarships to graduating seniors and was set up about five years ago. To my surprise, when I looked at their criteria and application process, it’s almost identical to what we used for the first 13 years of our scholarship, even the wording is eerily similar. I’m not upset by this, I just thought it was a little peculiar and found humor in it all. We revamped our application process and modified the criteria two years ago so that the applicant can submit via the website. One reason we changed it is because we bickered each year over the wording of what we were asking from the applicants, so I’m left to wonder if this organization is experiencing any of the frustration we had.


 

 

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7 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Thursday, April 16, 2020

  1. Anonymous says:

    Regarding graduation and the current president speaking to all graduates: TERRIBLE idea. Drump is a the WORST person to put forth any advice and I am certain that he would do a horrible job giving perspective of the future in a meaningful and thoughtful way. His lack of command of the English language, if not his 7th grade speaking skills, would also turn off many people. Now, any of the former presidents, no issue and no concern about their political party. The current president is unworthy of the distinction of speaking at commencement for any graduating. He isn’t the best representation of hope and possibility for our future. I am certain my kids would not want the memory of their graduation involving Drump. He’s done enough to screw up our country, we don’t need his stain on a very memorable occasion.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I work at a school and understand your disappointment about your scholarship. Keep in mind that your friend passed away before any of the students currently enrolled had even started Kindergarten. We have had similar experiences at school where I work, including my current school. It may be helpful in the future to offer the scholarship to all schools in the county. Sometimes the bigger school districts like Abilene ISD have a larger team of people to keep up with opportunities like this that are available to students. You might also use Hardin-Simmons or ACU or McMurray as the source of the scholarship instead of the High School. I think it’s a great thing you guys do and would love to continue to read about it.

    • Geeding says:

      Thanks for your thoughts. My friend died 17 years ago so I understand there not being a connection with current students and staff, but I don’t think that matters. It’s an annual scholarship. Each year, the school has a special scholarship ceremony where the winner is announced. So, it’s not like this scholarship is a secret. I fault the counselors. As I understand it, one of their responsibilities is to make aware of scholarships available to seniors. They can’t force seniors to apply, but at least they should do is make them aware of what scholarships are out this. Our scholarship has been awarded for the past 15 years. I don’t understand why counselors wouldn’t keep a list of annual scholarships that are available every year, and I think our scholarship awards the highest amount. As for broadening it, that’s something I could discuss with my peers. But, I’d rather keep it exclusive to that local community. I’m a product of a small-town education, so selfishly, I’d like to make something special available to seniors of a small town as it feels like the big city students always get everything.

  3. AndreaJN says:

    “I’ll soon notice that I just received a new email and check it only to forget I was the one who sent it.” – I totally do that all the time! BING – oh I wonder what email I just got – DOH! 🙂

    That donation was very generous and kind of you!

  4. Bryan B. says:

    Sorry to hear about the disappointment with your scholarship. I’ve been following your writing for longer than I can remember and I know how you feel about the scholarship. You always hear that it is not unusual for scholarship money to go unclaimed, but I’m sure it hurts when you have such a personal connection.

    Your photo today hits home. A friend that I was very close to in high school lost his dad last week and he was very disappointed about how current events were impacting his internment at the national cemetery in Dallas. They have a very large family (he had somewhere around 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren) and were going to be pretty limited in how they were going to be able to attend the service.

    As much as it pains me to say it, President Obama should (and probably will) defer to the current president on a national commencement address. I don’t always agree with his politics, but President Obama is phenomenal speaker and will probably deliver a message that would comfort and inspire.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the scholarship fiasco: Mistakes happen everyday. Counselors change, Principals change, Tech support changes the website for greater use ability, and information is dropped. To honor your friend and his memory, I would urge you to contact the school and re-establish your scholarship contact and application information. I also urge you to reconsider not awarding the scholarship this year. It’s the largest monetary award and there must be a deserving student who would benefit greatly. I would hope that the students would not be penalized for the school’s actions. These are extraordinary times and perspective is always a good thing in retrospect. Education is important in your family and it was to your late friend. A very moving picture of the military honors. Best wishes

  6. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    Brother Geeding, so sorry for the snafu on the scholarship process this year. I agree with everything said above. May I add that this would be an excellent time to plan for the future continuance of the program. Does your Group of Six have the power to appoint replacement trustees as the original trustee group ages out and passes away? Is the money drawn from an untouched trust corpus always generating interest or is it funded each year by the Mother? If donated by her annually, what happens when she passes? Should it have certain parameters (minimum grades, certain majors, tied to certain colleges/tech schools, personal interviews with candidates, etc). Revisiting the structure of the award in memory of your friend will put it on a firmer footing for continued viability (if keeping with the original family’s wishes). The truth is that scholarship programs have up years and down years. I have had the honor to sit where you currently do for several private award programs over the decades. Some have withered and gone away for lack of promotion, care, updating, etc, in spite of my efforts. Some continue to chug along (one is over 60 years old & still sponsoring young graduates). Don’t give up the ship. Your deceased friend continues to make a difference in society, even though he has passed from the physical realm. It is hard work and frustrating at times, but certainly worth the effort to keep his legacy alive and honor his memory. You and the other five trustees are good friends to carry on with this worthy program. A suggestion: to keep the award in the public eye and create buzz, buy a large plaque with all the yearly awardees placed on individual small engraved plates added to the large plaque each year & kept in the school’s trophy case. Also create a smaller individual plaque to be presented to the recipient at school commencement/award ceremonies. Sorry for the wordiness, but you hit a soft spot for me. I wish more did what you are doing, Keith. Good job, friend!

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