April 13, 2009 Rotogram

INSIGHT INTO MISSISSIPPI POLITICS

Sid Salter, Jackson Clarion Ledger Perspective editor, is one of the state’s best known political columnists, The MSU alumnus shares with us his special insight into Mississippi politics today.

SAVING OUR SOIL

Glover Triplett, research professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, will explain how no-till planting improves crop sustainability and profitability.

LAST WEEK

Invocation and Pledge: Brent Fountain

Attendance: There were 110 members (27 exempt, 1 honorary) present, and 90 (28 exempt, 9 honorary) absent.

Guests and visitors: Vice President-designate Tommy Tomlinson introduced guests Jennifer Puhr of John Robert Arnold, Parker Wiseman of Chip Templeton, and Ruth Remy of Keith Remy. Guests of the Club were Alfi Anderson; Gary and Jane Windham, RYE host family; Anna, Melissa and Randy Follett, RYE outbound and parents; Laura, Diana and David Bridges, RYE outbound and parents; Paul Sims, Starkville Daily News; Taka Sato, RYE student; and Jarred Reneau, Ambassadorial Cultural Scholar.

Makeup: Scott Dodd in Columbus.

Rotary Minute: Amy Tuck challenged us to take out our cell phones, dial 90999 and text “Polio” to make a one-time $5.00 donation to the RI polio eradication effort.

CHANGING LIVES IN A CHANGING WORLD

Soon-to-be Pack 14 Cubmaster Alfi Anderson accepted the Club’s second $500 support check for the year. She noted that lots of grandparents, single parents and foster parents are raising today’s Cub Scouts, so our support is crucial.

Six boys crossed over into Boy Scouts with their Arrow of Light (highest Cub rank) last month. Nine pack leaders are in the Wood Badge adult training program.

INTERNATIONAL AVENUES OF SERVICE

Youth Exchange. Outbound RYE students Laura Bridges (Denmark) and Anna Follett (Italy) were presented their Rotary blazers by Debra Hicks, RYE committee chair, and by Keith Remy, district RYE coordinator. The jackets continue to be donated by former Rotarian Sammy Smith of Smith & Byars.

The Club will entertain two inbound students beginning in late summer. That means that six host families, preferably with teens, will be needed. Since arrangements are complex, the RYE committee would appreciate volunteers as soon as possible.

Group Study Exchange. The Club’s GSE Committee is arranging tours and visits in the Indian team members’ areas of interest. Rotary families are needed to host a member of the team for the two nights and provide breakfast Friday and Saturday morning. The team goes to Jackson Saturday for the remainder of their stay.  If you are willing to host one or two of our visitors from India, please contact President Chip Templeton or Keith Remy.

STARKVILLE ROTARY IS WORLDWIDE

ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE
佐藤 貴俊

With the charm and humor Starkville has come to appreciate, Takatoshi “Taka” Sato told us of his family and homeland, and his impressions of American life.

Our Rotary Youth Exchange student from Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, began his presentation with an important clarification — His nickname is pronounced “Tah-kah,” not Taco. Seems many Americans find the name a challenge.

Taka’s dream is to be a medical doctor.

Attending Starkville High School, the 16-year-old sang bass in the school choir Christmas program, other performances, and in regional and state contests. He had a singing/acting role in the SHS spring musical “Children of Eden.” His musical interests extend to playing the piano.

His experience as co-captain of his home school’s volleyball team translated to SHS where he helped with the girls’ team.

Noting differences between Japan and the US, he said that at home classes are harder; instead of the students, the teachers change class rooms; and the students wear uniforms. School breaks often are spent with extensive homework.

Taka juxtaposed stereotypes of each culture: A Japanese eats sushi every day. An American has a party at least once a week. Japanese only say “yes” in English conversation. Every American is open and crazy. Japanese don’t joke at all. America still discriminates against Black people. Japanese work too much.

Commenting on American race relations, Taka told the story of his first choir practice at SHS. The students were told to sit wherever they wanted to sit.

“On the left side, I saw all black people,” said Taka. “On the right side, white people. They just like to hang around there. I thought, oh my, I’m not white, not black, but, like, yellow people. So I sat in middle.”

On the first weekend after his arrival, his first host family, the Windhams took him rock climbing and tubing in northeast Mississippi. During his stay with them he went wilderness hiking and camping, and, caught a 5-pound bass. He experienced his first Halloween and carved an impressive Jack-O-Lantern.

With his second family, the Seals, he flew to Omaha for the NCAA Div. 1 women’s volleyball semi-final and championship matches. There he experienced zero temperatures and made a snowman.

Over the Christmas holidays he sang in the First Methodist youth choir Festival of Lights and was one of the three wise men in the FUMC living crèche.

With the Richardsons, his third host family, and the Windhams, he spent spring break at Disney World. And, he experienced his first real rodeo at the Third Annual Rotary Classic.

The Club complimented Taka with a standing ovation as he concluded his remarks.

INDIAN GROUP STUDY EXCHANGE

The Rotary Group Study Exchange team from District 3080 in northern India arrived in Jackson April 3 and is now touring District 6820. Our Club will host the team Thursday and Friday, April 23 and 24 near the end of their stay in Mississippi.

Man Mohan Singh is the team leader. Past president of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, Man Mohan is CEO of Aroma Hotels and a leader in promoting travel and tourism. His wife with a psychology doctorate is a lecturer.

Prabhdip Brar, 37, is single with a doctorate in art and fashion design. She heads of the Knitwear Design and Technology Department at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi.

Shalini Rawat, 39, is married and the mother of three daughters. A teacher in St. Joseph’s Academy in Dehradun, she wants to learn more about kindergarten and pre-school education and will be interested in our Club’s “Between the Lions” literacy program.

Surbhi Kalra, 34, is single and the head of sales training for the north zone of ICICI Prudential, India’s biggest private sector life insurance company. She hopes to learn more about the U.S. insurance industry on her Mississippi visit.

Harnek Singh, 29, is the only male team member. Married and father of one child, he has degrees in mathematics and computer application and has established two computer education academies in the city of Ladwa. He wants to learn more about education and teaching technologies in our country.

Previous post:

Next post: