Category Archives: Opinions from the Woods

Reports of my demise…

… are greatly exaggerated (apologies to Mark Twain). [Just for the record, there isn’t definitive evidence that Mark Twain actually wrote those words.] MTE5NDg0MDU1MTUzNTA5OTAzAnyway…I walked into Sleepy’s mattress store to look at buying a new mattress. The bedding I purchased for this house was not the best but at the time it was used only for vacations so it wasn’t an issue. I realized it was time to bite the bullet, look at new mattress technology, and get something that (1) was not 3 feet off the ground and required climbing into; and (2) might eliminate waking up with a backache. Into Sleepy’s (with Rachel and Riley) we went, waking up Gary, the salesman who was obviously sound asleep at his desk. Gary is the quintessential salesman but funny and good at what he did, so we quickly decided on a mattress, was assured that the Fourth of July sale prices were already in effect, and then was told, “You know, we have 0% interest for a year if you want to spread out the payments.” This was very attractive to me since mattresses these days are ridiculously expensive, so I agreed. Gary took down all my information and called GE Credit which provides most of the appliance, furniture, mattress, etc., credit. I was turned down!logo

“Wait,” I said. “This is ridiculous.” Some time ago I was turned down for a credit card and didn’t think much of it. I chose to ignore it but this time clearly something was wrong. “Let me speak to the person from GE credit,” I whined. The woman I spoke with didn’t want to give me any information but Gary, in his most convincing salesman way, persuaded her to talk with me again and she said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you are listed as deceased!” Needless to say, I was upset and confused. “Clearly,” I said, “I am not.” She indicated there was nothing to be done except for me to call Experian, one of the three major credit reporting companies in the country, and straighten it out. While Rachel and Riley sat on one of the many beds, I tried to call Experian and quickly realized that this was an effort in futility. We left Sleepy’s without a mattress and headed home to try and deal with Experian. (It is a 40-mile round trip to Sleepy’s.)

When I got home, I tried calling again. It turns out that you cannot actually talk to a person unless you buy something! It took me about 2 hours to figure this part out. Not having a choice, I bought a “membership,” which allowed me not only to look at my credit report but provided online a phone number that eventually got me to a real, live human being. There was some comfort in being able to tell my story to a sympathetic person but I was furious that my credit had been held hostage by this company and that I had to pay for information that should be mine in the first place. Two things happened at this point. First, I was walked through the “disputes” procedure and did it over the phone rather than online. Second, after assuring the person that I was indeed alive, she told me where the problem was in the first place: Envision Credit Union in Tallahassee. They noted that, when I closed out my Envision accounts, I was deceased! The next day, because now it was almost 5:00 PM, having taken 3 hours to get this far, I called Envision. They couldn’t have been nicer and agreed that they had made a mistake in how the notation was made, but they deal with Equifax! About a week later, the Envision representative called back for the third time and told me she had fixed it all with Equifax and that would fix it with Experian. In the meantime, Experian misstated my birth date on my record so I filed a dispute for that as well. It was taken care of almost immediately while the issue of my existence hung in the balance for over a month. This morning, I finally received an email from Experian (with whom I still pay a monthly membership until this is resolved!) that my disputes had been processed. I checked and I am alive once more with good credit I guess.

This is a cautionary tale. Michael told me that the federal government requires that every person be able to get an annual free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies. If you are interested in checking out your credit, go to annualcreditreport.com and you can get a free report like I did. Equifax had no problem with me being alive and apparently now Experian is sorted out. It is disturbing and unfair in my opinion to be at the mercy of these agencies. It just doesn’t seem right and to add insult to injury, having to purchase one of their products in order to solve the problem made it even worse. I strongly encourage you to check your reports annually as I will from now on.

Holiday Memories

This holiday weekend conjurs up lots of memories. For some people, this is a well-deserved 3-day weekend that provides family time, barbecues, and time to breathe after long weeks of work. For others, it is a serious time to remember those who have served and are serving in support of our country. I do think of my father who served in the Aleutians in World War II, repairing airplane engines, and who knows what else? But…for me, this weekend is a reminder of this time 45 years ago when, on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend, I met my future husband and best friend. Playing host to two English girls, I took them to the now long gone Drake’s Drum on the upper east side of Manhattan. It was my first time there, but I had heard that it was a bar where a lot of English rugby players hung out and thought the sisters (whose names are long forgotten) would enjoy a bit of home. Of course, it was also a popular watering hole for newly arrived Aussies too. Adrian and I met there and, later in the weekend, we took the subway to his place that he shared with lots of other guys in Brooklyn. On a whim, we went to Coney Island and rode the Cyclone three times! I hate roller coasters, but tolerated this because I knew this was a special day. con-cyclone

And it was a special day. A year and a half later we were married and remained best friends. My son-in-law’s sister, Vanessa, gave me a beautiful print of the Cyclone one year for Christmas and it hangs next to the front door. Every morning I look at it and remember that day, but especially this weekend. Having just finished reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things, which is set in Coney Island, thoughts of The Cyclone were right up front in my memory library. There is another reason why this weekend is memorable for me.

Two years ago exactly, Rachel, my dog Sydney, and I left 1207 Walton Drive in Tallahassee with a loaded car headed to the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Having sold my home, retired, and deciding to move north, we set out after the movers finished packing at about 6:00 PM. In an effort to get to Lords Valley before the moving truck, we drove long and hard and arrived at my new home a day later. It is very clear in my mind, waking up the next day to find the movers at the top of the driveway sleeping in their truck. In no time at all, I had the things I chose to keep with me, Rachel and I started unpacking, Michael arrived that afternoon, and we all set to making this former vacation house a home. In retrospect, there were so many things I gave away or sold or took to Goodwill that I should have kept, but I thought that moving meant downsizing possessions. In fact, even after I arrived here, we called someone to come and get even more furniture, kitchen things, and odds and ends that were duplicates. What was I thinking?

We make decisions in an instant. Making sure I met Adrian after seeing him across the bar at Drake’s Drum was one of those. Leaving so much behind 2 years ago was another. But, the thing about reflecting on these decisions is to learn and not to regret. This is a special weekend for me and I find myself a bit more nostalgic than usual.

Don’t Do It!!

Happy New Year to all my Pocono Scribbler friends. I imagine most of us are reflecting on 2013 and imagining what wonderful things we will experience in 2014. Reflection is something I have a lot (perhaps too much) time for so I am going to share a few things about retiring, selling, moving, and adjusting. The impetus for this is a Skype call on New Year’s Eve with my friend, Beth. She was telling me about her good friend who is going through many the same things that I went through when making decisions about where I would live and how I would live (widowhood, retirement, fixed income, relocation). My response? “Tell her not to rush into anything!” so this blog post is for her.

Yesterday, my good friend Kim and I had a wonderful Skype conversation and we laughed long and hard over the fact that I was questioning how quickly I made decisions in the spring of 2012. We laughed because I said, “Why didn’t someone stop me from doing everything at once and so quickly?” Kim replied, “I tried, believe me, but you were stubborn and sure that you needed to do it all.” So true. If I had it to do over again, I probably would end up in the same place with the same issues, but I would have done everything more slowly, with more thought and I would have been better informed about what to expect.

I looked towards retirement that spring and felt like I had to make other changes as well. So, I sold my home of 37 years, threw out and gave away lots of stuff, packed up what was left and moved to the mountains of Pennsylvania. That’s three major decisions made quickly. Looking back, I wonder why it felt so necessary to do it all at the same time. The three events seemed to be related in some eway that I cannot articulate and I couldn’t envision doing one at a time. Don’t ask me why — or ask me why but I have no good answer! Now, don’t get me wrong — the result is fine, I am many hours closer to my children and have the option to visit Tallahassee whenever I want to. I wouldn’t trade the experience of the challenge of getting things done in the mountains, the strange address — one for mail and another for packages, all the blog-worthy diner visits, and being close to New York City. Would trade the winters of course, but that’s another story for another time. So my advice to my good friend’s friend is to take it slowly, maybe downsize before selling up and moving away, and adjust to not working before doing anything drastic. And any one of those decisions is drastic, believe me! It’s one thing to be alone but close to good friends and most definitely another to be alone and 1000 miles away. Take it from one who did it and knows (at least I think I do!!), take it slowly and weigh each decision carefully. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Goals are Overrated

One thing about driving into and out of Manhattan and Brooklyn often is that I have a lot of time to think about things. Maybe too much time. Yesterday, my friend Beth called and told me that Ion Sancho, Supervisor of Elections in Leon County, Florida, was not going to run for reelection and neither was Larry Campbell, Sheriff. This morning, she called and we gossiped a bit about a former resident of Tallahassee with whom I used to work and I mentioned to her that I really appreciated these tidbits of information. “After all,” I said, “I lived in Tallahassee for 37 years. Just because I moved doesn’t mean I’ve lost all interest in the people, the city, and the politics.” This lead me to consider something I’ve thought about on my drives. Not just how much life has changed, but how the rhythm of it has changed — not day-to-day necessarily but long-term as well.

All my life (and I suspect most of yours too) there has been structure and short and long-term goals. By way of full disclosure I must say that I think of goals and objectives in terms of education and grant writing so I do understand the difference. That said, I have always had something to work toward; in 2 weeks I’ll go on vacation; in 1 year I will retire. Or, selling my house and moving. In the case of moving, getting through my first northern winter and managing year one of being on my own in a new place. There has always been something that is the goal reached, end game, or however one chooses to frame it. Now I find myself living day-to-day with no long-term goal other than having a full and satisfying life. I have asked myself if this is enough and if it’s okay.

Okay with whom? It’s a whole new way of looking at things and taking full responsibility for my life. Not a small thing since responsibility has partly been in the hands of parents, teachers, employers, colleagues, children, husband, family, and others. Now, it rests clearly on my shoulders and it requires a bit of getting used to. I find myself resisting structure of any kind — I even gave up going to exercise class because I resented the requirement of being there on a certain day at a certain time. I am a very structured person as my friends and family know too well and spontaneity does not come as easily to me as to others that I know and love, but this is not the same. Not having the long-term goal is a totally different thing. It is part of the adventure and I embrace it whole-heartedly and with great enthusiasm. That’s not to say I’m not a little scared sometimes, but the anticipation of things to come is wonderful.

Mutant Fish Alert

It’s been a pretty slow week in the woods. It has finally stopped raining and that means I should be thinking about how to be productive. This is a throwback, I suppose, to working my whole life and feeling like something must be accomplished each day. I’ve given this a lot of thought lately since, after a year of settling in, getting to know the area (sort of), and just taking care of the house, I’m thinking maybe it’s time to get out and do something. The Pike County Dispatch is delivered to me on Thursdays and it is typically ignored and recycled. However, this week I decided to read through it and make an effort (albeit half-hearted) to find out what’s going on in the area and my immediate community. I also read The Hemlock News cover to cover. I very rarely read the letters to the editor but the title of one, “Mutant fish alert,” caught my attention for obvious reasons.

spawning salmon

After reading the letter that claims that “if only 60 genetically engineered salmon were released into the wild, the wild population of salmon would be extinct in only 40 generations!” I googled this and found that it is actually 40 years but the letter writer made his point. This led me to consider whether farm-raised salmon (for the record I only buy wild caught salmon) is genetically modified. Apparently they are not but they are fed genetically altered food. There’s a lot to think about here, like who is genetically altering fish and why?

Back to it being a slow kind of boring week for me. I called Blue Ridge Cable to see if my bill could be reduced (having taken advantage of some promotion a year ago, my bill jumped up $50 a month!). Please don’t give up on this yet — I will get back to the salmon. As it turns out, I could cut it by $5/month by taking advantage of yet another special (that by the way will increase my bill by yet another $70/month after one year). So, not going to reduce it but will get more for my money the phone representative explained. Consider what I’d have to give up — back to the slowest internet service, no more ESPNU, perhaps giving up other features that I really like. So, I decided to wait one more year and take advantage of the “special,” which provided even faster internet service, more HD channels that I don’t need and every pay channel known to humankind! I do, by the way, get the fish channel which, according to the Blue Ridge representative, is very popular up here!!

This morning I decided (it being a slow week and weekend) to see what was on the pay channels and there was “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” a film I wanted to see ages ago. I settled in with a mug of coffee to watch and actually found a connection to the mutant fish alert letter. The question in the film is whether farm raised salmon would freely swim upstream because it isn’t in their DNA or their parents’ DNA to swim freely. This is an interesting question. Of course, after many dramas, the fish do swim upstream presumably to eventually spawn. Other dramatic twists and turns later, it ends on a hopeful note that such a project is not out of the realm of possibility. I couldn’t help but think of the mutant fish letter while watching. There really is a bipartisan bill, H.R. 1667: To Prevent the Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States, and for other purposes. Apparently there are people who are trying to “overcome natural physiological reproductive barriers [using] techniques not used in traditional breeding and selection.” These “covered fish” are modified through DNA technologies (which may or may not be patentable according to this week’s Supreme Court ruling!) to carry out the above-mentioned reduction of reproductive barriers.

My slow week resulted in learning about some interesting things going on in Congress about fish, not to mention watching a very entertaining movie. This on top of the deer population control measures that are coming up for a community vote on July 13th and the sighting of one or two golden bear cubs in the community. Wow! I am learning more about wildlife than I ever thought I would!

Politics at the Diner

Several things have been going on at the diner lately. Last Friday, I went because I hadn’t been there in a while. Judy and I have gotten into the habit of having a conversation booth-to-booth and occasionally sit together for a bit. I was determined to find a Costco nearby so asked for directions to Route 15 which is just over the Delaware in New Jersey. By the time we finished discussing best ways to get to Costco, Judy and her 81-year-old mother, Sylvia, decided to come along. I was very happy for the company and for the navigator!! It turns out that it couldn’t be easier. Instead of making a right turn to the emergency vet in Newton, keep going straight until Costco magically appears some 45 minutes later. We went through a lovely little town with lots of antique shops and then past a beautiful lake and state park so I learned a lot about the area and where I might take visitors. Obviously I need to get out more.

Sylvia is amazing and doesn’t look or act a bit like 81 years old. If I knew her better I’d ask her secret and maybe at some other point I will. She and Judy are very close so it’s lovely to hear about their working together in Judy’s shop and their plans for projects. Yesterday I went to the diner again, determined to get out of the house. The usual group of counter men were there. One new to me started talking about Apple Valley which, according to my son, has the worst food in the universe. He complained bitterly about his steak, uncooked vegetables, and lack of potatoes. The story went on and on and I wondered why, if it was so awful, did it merit all this talk. I really thought the conversation this morning would be about same-sex marriage or gun control. As I finished my breakfast, Kenny came in and sat with Judy and I got up and stood by the little booth for a while. Kenny said that he thought I’d like to get into some of the political conversations but was reluctant to. “Sure,” I said, “but my views are significantly different from some of the people who come in here!” Kenny indicated that he and I shared some more liberal views and it looks like we can agree to disagree — perfect.

We had an interesting chat about gun control and how people up here feel about the government. I expressed my astonishment that people really thought the government was going to raid their homes or attack Americans. There’s a difference, we agreed, between big government and a tyrannical government that resulted in the second amendment to the Constitution. Guns are a big part of the culture in the Poconos. Hunting is an economic factor in many counties, but there are a lot of people here that firmly and fervently believe that they must protect themselves and their families from a government run amok. Kenny provided me with some insight into the way people think up here, lowered his voice when talking about some things, and I may be less hesitant to join the conversation after this. After months of complaining that there is no one here with whom I can have a meaningful political conversation (unless I Skype with friends from Tallahassee), I am encouraged that there may be like-minded people here after all.

Do I Really Have to Finish It?

The other day, my friend Barbara posted on Facebook that she was reading a book that she didn’t like, didn’t like the characters, and thought it had few redeeming qualities. And so, she decided not to finish it. I had a similar reaction when I started reading the same book, the highly acclaimed Gone Girl. However, as I mentioned in my response to Barbara, you really must finish this one to enter the discussion of its merits because of all the twists and turns of the story. Even more interesting than the first post were the reactions of others who commented. Since I am one who is extremely reluctant to put down a book once I’ve started it, I was surprised at how many people do not finish books but pass judgment on them based on whether they are “finishable.” It got me thinking about books, book clubs, and how we have been educated from elementary school on to finish books.

I am pretty much determined to finish a book once I’ve started it. My son-in-law years ago recommended Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon and I must admit I started it and put it down several times. Then it was a challenge so I picked it up and finally finished it. By the time I did, I was amazed both by the complexity of the story and by the author whose books I have continued reading. Another book I picked up and put down was The Elegance of a Hedgehog. I started it, didn’t care for it, put it down. Then my book club chose that as our book of the month, so I started it again, loved it and highly recommend it as a wonderful read and a terrific story. So what is it about books that some of us absolutely must finish them whether we like them or not? In the middle of March by Geraldine Brooks I am asking myself this question because I do not like the book, it is somewhat depressing, and I choose to think about Little Women without knowing any more about the father than Louisa May Alcott wrote almost 150 years ago! Several of my friends have read the book so I want to finish it to join the discussion. That’s one of the best things about reading a lot — talking about books with other people. So, I’m going to persevere. It’s kind of like being in school again — must finish the book to get the book report done. I learned that lesson in high school. The only time I didn’t read the book for an English class — it was The House of Seven Gables — I only read the back cover and a few pages and thought I could take part in a class discussion. The teacher quickly noted in front of everyone that I hadn’t read the book and I now credit this experience with my horror at not finishing a book once I’ve started.

200px-Huckleberry_Finn_bookBook clubs are a wonderful way to read books we might otherwise never look at — or look at again! I belonged to a wonderful book club in Tallahassee for years and thoroughly enjoyed reading each book we chose either because of the lively discussion or because the book was really engaging! But, I remember several times calling it homework. We certainly have been indoctrinated by our teachers! Now I’m part of a “virtual book club” where we meet and chat online. Next week we will be discussing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which I had never read and found a wonderful tale of adventure but found I didn’t like the characters as much as I thought I would. It is also disturbing on a number of levels as it provides a look at life in the antebellum south from Mark Twain’s perspective.

What is it about our education, ourselves, expectations of others that push us to finish a book that we don’t like? In spite of Barbara saying that she didn’t want to finish Gone Girl, I suspect that she will. Also, that she posted this on Facebook says to me that she is a bit like me — reluctant to give up on a book once started. I am setting aside one afternoon this weekend to finish March because I feel compelled to but it is not a pleasant task. That’s a little crazy, isn’t it? What book shall I start next? Something I now I’ll want to finish or one that will challenge me? OK — I’ll re-start Wolf Hall only because my good friends and fellow readers Kim and Beth have talked so much about it. Of course, I did start it once….

Communicating in a Small Town

I live in a small community within a small community. Hemlock Farms is a 4500 acre gated community that was first created in 1963. There are about 4000 homes and about 75 miles of paved road. There are a lot of amenities and activities although, not being much of a joiner, I’ve only taken advantage of a couple of cooking classes and the fitness center. It’s pretty self-contained with its own volunteer fire department, a public safety office complete with police, and all the support a resident could want. The roads are plowed as soon as it starts to snow and the community is well maintained with many lakes, pools, parks, and trails. It is in Lords Valley which really isn’t a town like we think of towns. It is more an exit off I84 with small privately owned businesses, a couple of fast food places (of course!), and one shopping area that has a small grocery store, wine and spirits shop, dollar store, and pizza place (what more could you ask for?). People made lots of jokes when I moved to Hemlock — the obvious Socrates reference. Then jokes about Lords Valley. So, I am here to set the record straight before I talk about my recent discoveries about how one communicates in a small town.

Levi Lord was the first resident of Lords Valley. He and 11 friends who, according to local sources, all came to this country together on the same ship in 1809, purchased the property that is now known as Lords Valley. He and his sons built a house that is still standing although it is in quite a state of disrepair next to 84 Lumber and across from the concrete plant. The house is listed on the National Historic Register although it is unlikely that anything will be done with it. It hasn’t been used since 1955 when it closed as the local post office. That’s all I have been able to find out about Levi Lord so far.

I have been thinking a lot about how people communicate in small towns since my recent experiences at the Milford Diner. They still refer to my blogposts as “letters” because many of the people who frequent the diner do not own computers. This made me think of the culture of the workplace. I emailed constantly to the others in my group even though we were in earshot of one another all the time. It drove me crazy that it was an effort to have a face to face conversation. Sometimes when I tried that, it was viewed as an imposition I’m sure. I am addicted to email, Facebook, Skype, and blogging as ways to stay connected with friends, family, and acquaintances. Since I live alone, that is a very important part of my life. I remain amazed at how many businesses up here do not use email to communicate, relying on phone calls. Homer’s Construction is an exception but all emails go to the owner’s (Tim) cell phone and it is up to him and him alone to respond. He does sometimes but most of the time email and then wonder if my requests have been heard. At least there’s the email option. Most information around here is shared through direct conversation. This morning I learned from the person at the deli counter who always waits on me that the cold snap (it still isn’t over 20 degrees!!) should be ending by next week and it will go up into the 30s. We agreed that this was awesome and I can’t wait for the ice to melt!! Never mind the snow. My hairdresser, Doreen, knows all about the area and the people in it and shares readily so I learned who’s good and who’s not for various services which is very helpful. Tim from Homer’s Construction and his guys keep me informed about weather, how to navigate winter, what products to buy to keep my car cleaned off, and other guy stuff. My friend, Nancy, keeps me informed about real estate in Hemlock, not to mention she knows how to get things done around here and quickly. The Carrachilo brothers who delivered the wood told me to call if I needed advice or anything and gave me lots of it about fires, winter in Lords Valley, the yard, and dogs. And, let’s not forget the folks at the diner who have already helped me buy a Christmas tree and are available for advice on just about anything you need to know in the area including snow tubing. The art of conversation is not lost to email or to texting and tweeting in this small town. It’s not been rediscovered — it was never lost.

The FHSAA and Sportsmanship

I am incensed! After a long Skype conversation with my friend Kim, I learned a lot about where our priorities are in this country. Kim, her husband Todd, and her son, Dawson, have been hosting Pablo, an international exchange student from Spain. By all accounts (and photos on Facebook), Pablo is a mature, delightful and charming guest who attends Chiles High School with Dawson. Both Dawson and Pablo are passionate about soccer (among other things) and Pablo has introduced a perspective to the sport to Dawson and others at Chiles. That, in fact, is one of the goals of Rotary International that provides structure for the program through which Pablo came to the United States. Rotary has long been an part of the Tallahassee community, providing service to others as well as opportunities for many students to come to Florida and enrich and enhance the lives of their host families as well as learning more about themselves as ambassadors for their cultures. Rotary not only finds appropriate homes for exchange students from all over the world, but they follow up with students and families hosting social gatherings and opportunities for networking.

Pablo is lucky to be with the Engstroms. They are an extraordinary family. Community service and activism are part of their fiber and I cannot imagine a better family with whom to spend the academic year. They are lucky to have Pablo as well. What wonderful insight into the life of teenagers in another country, not to mention the fabulous food that Kim has photographed and posted on Facebook!! So, here’s the problem. Dawson plays junior varsity soccer at Chiles. Pablo would like to play varsity soccer at Chiles. This should not be an issue at all. Taking part in extracurricular activities at a host school seems like a given, but apparently not in Florida.

The Florida High School Athletic Association is a private non-profit organization that governs high school sports and determines who is and is not eligible to play in any sport. Their behavior does not, however, match their statements on the FHSAA website. They recognize that a student’s education goes beyond the classroom and, according to the website, “Everyone agrees that the youth of Florida deserve the best possible education.” I would like to point out that generalizations that begin with the word “everyone” send up red flags with me, not to mention the misspellings and poor grammar on the website that represents a disregard for the English language and education in general. It is obvious from the website that, although the FHSAA makes a case for sportsmanship and cooperation among member schools, it easily excludes exchange students based on the FHSAA’s perception of recruitment.

Back to Pablo, Dawson, and the Engstroms. Once Kim and Todd found out that Pablo needed to be deemed eligible by the FHSAA to play varsity soccer at Chiles High School, they filled out and submitted form EL4 — Foreign Exchange Students and Other International Students — including transcripts in both Spanish and English and any and all supporting documentation. Michael Colby, CMAA, Director of Eligibility, decided that Pablo was not eligible to play because Dawson was already on a team (does this make any sense to anyone?) and that Pablo may have been recruited. Does this imply that Kim and Todd traveled to Spain to seek out a soccer player for Chiles, had him sponsored through Rotary and then hosted him for a year in their home? If this sounds ridiculous to you, it does to me as well and I am embarrassed for my former home state and for my country. Are we that inhospitable to a student from another country being sponsored by an international service organization? What is the FHSAA thinking? What purpose is served by not allowing Pablo to play?

The application can be appealed but by that time soccer season will be over and the lessons learned about how policy effects students. What must Pablo and his family think about Florida and the people who live there? I want someone to apologize to the Engstroms, to Pablo and to his family for making this so difficult. Kim says that Pablo is taking the disappointment with grace and is looking forward to playing tennis for Chiles this spring. I hope that anyone reading this who knows someone in Rotary will say something so that other exchange students do not have to see the “win at all costs” attitude that underpins how Florida governs interscholastic athletic programs.