It never ceases to amaze me how children learn at a very early age how to manipulate their parents and/or grandparents.
My great-grandson Jaylen, has become a pro at manipulation — especially with me. Last Tuesday, I was called to Barbara Hawkins Elementary School in Miami Gardens, where Jaylen is in the second grade.
Jaylen had decided to do a back flip from the water fountain at his school and scratched his head on the concrete floor, causing his frantic teacher to get him to the school clinic fast. The school nurse did a good job of bandaging him and stopping the bleeding — which was a lot worse than the wound. The school nurse thought it would be good for me to take him home just in case he would need more medical care.
When I got to there, Jaylen was in the school clinic. He heard his name mentioned at the front desk and before I could say, “What happened?” he was out in the office ready to go home with me.
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At home, I inspected his wound, and decided that a half day of quietness would be good for him. Anyway, Jaylen enjoys a bit of babying every now and then. And who better to do the babying than Grandma Bea. Already, he was planning an “accident day” off from school the next day.
So, early on Wednesday morning, as Jaylen rubbed the sleep from his eyes, the first thing he said — even before saying “Good morning,” was: “Grandma, I think I have brain damage.”
Now, there is a real serious look on his face. So I ask, “Brain damage...? How can you tell?”
“Yeah, I have brain damage ... how much is 50 plus 50? Is it 99?”
I can hardly keep from laughing in his face, but I say, “I don’t think you have brain damage, now get up and wash up for breakfast.”
“But I do, Grandma,” he said, faking a frown that was suppose to be from the “brain damage.”
“I do have brain damage,” he said again, increasing the seriousness in his voice. “I don't know how much 50 plus 50 is ... is it 99?”
I didn’t answer, except to say, I don’t care how much brain damage you have. You are going to school today.”
And so, realizing his little scheme of manipulation had failed this time, off he went to get himself ready for school. As I prepared his breakfast I thought, “A good, stern answer seems to be a great healing potion for Jaylen’s “brain damage.’”
Maybe I’m on to something.
Cooking show for blind begins taping
The Cooking Without Looking TV show, the first television show created featuring blind and visually impaired people as the chefs, will begin taping a new season of 13 shows in Miami on Feb. 23-27.
Sponsors are needed for the show, which uses the funds to work with blind people to help them live the lives of their dreams, said Ren'ee Rentmeester, creator/executive producer of the show.
“We like to say we make dinner and a difference,” said Rentmeester, who is also the founder and president of Vision World Foundation. “It has been 10 years that we have been featuring the abilities of people who are blind/visually impaired, and increasing the understanding between the vision-challenged and sighted communities. With our new TV partner, FoodyTV, we will be able to spread our message around the world.”
At this year’s taping, Chef Don White will join original Cooking Without Looking hosts Allen Preston and Annette Watkins in this season. Watkins will host a special feature on the show called, “Food for Thought,” where she will speak to doctors, researchers and company representatives who are working to improve the lives of people who are blind/visually impaired.
In addition, along with the television show, Vision World Foundation has teamed with Florida International University to present the Cooking Without Looking Boot Camp, a 10-day professional culinary course for the blind/visually impaired and taught by White. Participating students who finish the course will be given a certificate.
For more information on how to be a sponsor of the Cooking Without Looking TV show, call Vision World Foundation at 305-200-9104.
Mourning honored with education award
A Friends and Neighbors salute goes out to Alonzo Mourning, who was recently was honored for his contribution to education at an award ceremony at Trump National Doral.
The inaugural Leadership in Education Award was presented to Mourning on Feb. 5 by The Council for Educational Change, for his “remarkable” contributions in support of education.
The Council of Education is the brainchild of Leonard Miller, founder of Lennar Corporation. According to a press release, the Council seeks to improve education by getting business leaders involved in public schools.
Mourning, the co-founder of the Mourning Family Foundation said in a press release statement, “Our children are the future of our country. They are our future leaders, doctors, accountants, entrepreneurs, and scientists. We owe it to ourselves to give our students, our schools and our school principals the right tools to make them the best of the best. Our community and our nation deserve no less. Let’s make it our legacy to the next generation.”
Just in case you didn’t know it — Mourning is a former Miami Heat basketball star.
Sistah to Sistah fundraiser is Feb. 28
Here’s more information on the Sistah to Sistah Connection picnic fundraiser:
The event will be at noon Feb. 28 at CB Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pavilion No. 11 in Pembroke Park. The cost is $12 each for teens and adults, $7 each for children ages 6-12, and $5 each for children 5 and under.
The event will feature games, food, and fellowship, a bounce house for children and games of volleyball and football, and card games. And remember, if you go you must RSVP by Sunday (Feb. 15) by emailing: sistahtosistahconnection.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring your ticket and your park pass with you. Also, bring your own chair/or blanket and games of your choice.
American Eugenics subject of lecture
Edwin Black, an award-winning, New York Times bestselling international investigative author will be the guest lecturer at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Miller Center Auditorium on the campus of the University of Miami. Black will speak on the topic, “American Eugenics — From Long Island to Auschwitz.”
Black’s discussion will revolve around his book, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.
According to a press release, Black’s investigative chronicle digs into how America Corporate philanthropies helped fund the Nazi eugenics experiments of Adolf Hitler and “The Angel of Death,” Dr. Josef Mengele, and argues how American corporate philanthropies created a campaign for ethnic cleansing across the United States and presents the consequences found in modern-day genetic practices.
Dr. Haim Shaked, professor of International Studies and director of the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies at the University of Miami said, “This is an important story that must be told and remembered in every generation so that it never happens again.”
Black and a team of 50 researchers worked their way through archives in four countries, accumulating nearly 50,000 documents to reference for the book, which won the World Affairs Council’s award for “Best book of 2003” for International Affairs. An expanded edition was released in 2012. The book has been published in 14 languages and in 65 countries. And Black has published many newspaper and magazine articles in the United States, Europe and Israel.
The lecture is sponsored by the UM Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, and UM’s Ethics Programs.
Holocaust education programs begin Feb. 23
The opening of Holocaust Education Week, which is Feb. 23-27, will feature a program entitled, “70 Years After Auschwitz — The Rise of Anti-Semitism” with Dr. Robert Jan Van Pelt exploring the connection between fading historical memory of the Holocaust and the recent rise of anti-semitism.
The opening program will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 23, at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, 20400 NE 30th Ave. in Aventura. Van Pelt is a renowned Holocaust scholar and professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada and is well known for his role as a star witness defending scholar Deborah Lipstadt in a prominent libel trial against Holocaust denier David Irving.
At 11:15 a.m. Feb. 24, Leah Cik Roth, who survived four concentration camps, selection by the “Angel of Death” for experimentation, a gas chamber and a death march, will speak of her personal experiences as a teen in Czechoslovakia, as told in her up coming memoir, My Eyes Looking Back at Me: Insight Into a Survivor’s Soul. This event will be at the Miami Dade College Homestead Campus, Building F, 500 College Terrace, Homestead.
At 7 p.m. Feb. 24, the docudrama The Sousa Mendes Story, which tells the story of the Portuguese General Consul in Bordeaux, France, will be screened. He issued 30,000 visas to refugees (including 10,000 Jews) fleeing the Germans in defiance of strict orders from his government. The screening will be at Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, 20350 NE 26th Ave. in North Miami Beach. The film is in French with English subtitles.
Robert Jacobvitz, who championed the cause of Aristides de Sousa Mendes since the 1980s, and is the Florida representative of the Sousa Mendes Foundation, will moderate a post-film discussion.
For more information about Holocaust Education Week, visit: www.holocaustmemorialmiamibeach.org or call 305-538-1663. Reservations may be made at JewishMiami.org/2015HolocaustEducationWeek.
Church hosts program, fashion show Sunday
You are invited to the 14th annual Black History Month program and fashion show presented by June Miller, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 15) at Salem Baptist Church, 2935 NW 62nd St. in Liberty City.
The program will feature educator Bobbie Barnswell as the mistress of ceremony. Featured female and male models are Sylvia Coachman and Tommy Terrell respectively.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email email@example.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.