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Commute 006


Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Monday, October 8, 2001

Chautauqua is a place in western New York state that I visited this summer. If you were to look up Chautauqua in the dictionary, you would also find that it has evolved into a common noun, as in "Lets have a chautauqua!"

To throw a chautauqua, one would create a type of summer camp where people of all ages could enjoy intellectual, artistic, and spiritual pursuits. Im pretty sure a big tent is required as well.

My dear friend Marion and I began taking writing classes together about five years ago. When I left Michigan to return to Minnesota, we made a pact to meet for a week each summer at a writing workshop, preferably in an exotic locale. Last year we chose Duluth. This past summer we chose the original "Chautauqua" in Chautauqua, New York. The description of artistic and intellectual pursuits in a gated community on the shores of beautiful Lake Chautauqua sounded like summer camp for nerds. We knew wed fit right in.

Heres the interesting thing about our week in Chautauqua: we repeatedly experienced the feeling of having broken some unwritten rule of behavior. You have to understand that neither Marion nor I are exactly rebels. Marion confesses, with a considerable amount of regret, to having always been a child who "colored within the lines." My hand was usually too jumpy to color within the lines, but I tried, and in general, was not a rule breaker.

We finally understood where the "unwritten" rules came from on our last day when we came across a document which had apparently been memorized by the other thousands of Chautauquans who visit this place during its nine-week summer season. The document is called "The Audience Oathto be silently taken by all who attend a concert, opera, theater performance, movie or lecture." Summarized, it reads "I shall respect the audience members, artists, and lecturers by quietly focusing my attention on the entire program."

The trouble started our first night when we were reprimanded for talking too loudly, or at all, in our room after 11:00 p.m. Like any two close friends, we had lots to talk about, topics ranging from pets and commuting, to the difficulty of being considered "nice" teachers by our students until they receive back their first graded assignment, and then having to deal with their "sticker shock." It made sense to begin talking about things that first night, but there was suddenly a quiet tap at our door. "Remember the Quiet Ru .....
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October the Sports Solstice

Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Monday, October 29, 2001

October is the month when the four major sports converge, meeting like some kind of Autumn solstice. Hockey players are on the ice, their sticks held high; basketball is just taking shape with the exhibition season und ..... 
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It's a Disaster!

Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Monday, October 29, 2001

We see the birds flying in V's overhead with their long white necks stretched to their full lengths. We are close to our destination--Rieck's Lake, three miles north of Alma, Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. We r ..... 
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On the Move

Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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By John LevellMonday, October 22, 2001

The chill in the night air leaves little doubt that summer is actually gone. Area trees are trading their vibrant warm weather greens for more multi-hued autumn clothes. Our woodland ..... 
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Searching for Canadian Explorer

Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, October 29, 2001

Last week I visited my mother who lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. One of our favorite things to do is shop in Canada. We have discovered a wonderful garden center full of hardy plants grown to ..... 
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Fall is Apple Time

Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Monday, Octovber 22, 2001

Its Sunday afternoon. Time to watch theVikings if they are winning. This usually leaves time to do something else. This particular October Sunday is cold and wet, too nasty to do much outside. I happened to stop at J ..... 
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Contemporary Bunkshooters

Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Monday, October 1, 2001

The Rev. Jerry Falwell is what poet Carl Sandburg would call a bunkshooter. Pat Robertson is one too.

Full-flushing, bonafide bunkshooters. Conjurers, magicians, illusionists, pulling the wool over many people ..... 
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Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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Fri, Oct 26th, 2001
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To the Editor,

I am writing to share with each of you the perspective of a Fillmore Central graduate.

You, as taxpayers, have the opportunity and the responsibility to help provide the upcoming citizens of the community a greater cha ..... 
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