I bet you didn’t know I, Joel Myhre, used to be a kicker in the Canadian Football League. I played for the Toronto Argonauts from 1989 to 1992. We actually won the CFL championship in 1991. I set the CFL record by making 32 consecutive field goals that year.
None of this is true, of course. But I am writing this because this column will be uploaded to the internet. So I thought I would experiment to see if my bold-faced lie will actually be turned into truth somewhere in cyberland.
I bring this up because the other day, while entering Walmart, while wearing a Mr. Rogers T-shirt, someone told me that Mr. Rogers, the long-time children’s show host, was covered in tattoos from his days serving as a U.S. Navy Seal in Vietnam, with more than 25 confirmed kills to his name.
Like my story about being a kicker in the CFL, the Mr. Rogers tattoo story is absolute hogwash. Rogers was born in 1928, which means he was 36 when the U.S. started sending troops to Vietnam in 1964. No, Rogers had no tattoos, and never served in Vietnam.
Yet, that guy believed it. Why? Because it was on the internet.
This is what I think bothers me the most about this election. It isn’t that a win by Donald Trump would mean Republican policies would continue to be enacted for the next four years.
What bothers me is that Trump has convinced his supporters that any stories that are critical of him are “fake news.”
Keep in mind that the “fake news” stories are coming from questionable places like the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Economist.
As a former journalist, this is just unacceptable to me. When I was going to college to be a reporter, such outlets were the pinnacle of journalism. If a story appears in the newspapers or magazines above, I knew that an exhaustive amount of research was done before it was published. I believed it to be the truth. That’s the point, right? Journalists seek out the truth.
But while such media outlets are still operating, they, at least by the right, have been minimized, and declared as fake news. Yet, the “real” news is from people who will run with rumors without bothering to research them, provided it benefits the political party they support.
I guess it’s a good thing that all of us now have the ability to get our opinions published globally. It’s not a good thing, however, that facts are simply not relevant anymore.
As I read on a bumper sticker the other day, “I miss the truth.”
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As a teacher, I have been asked many times how things are going. Well, it’s been stressful, to say the least.
One of the primary issues is, we are supposed to be everything to everyone. Last spring, when we went from traditional school to distance learning, we made a clean transition, and had more than a week to figure out how to make that transition. Distance learning was a statewide thing, so everyone had to do it.
Now, it is a convoluted mess.
At the school I’m at, we are back to school, with a lot of masks and hand sanitizers. However, there are students who have chosen to do distance learning. It means that teachers, we have to plan for in-person learning and distance learning, simultaneously.
That, my friends, is not an easy thing to do.
I’m definitely torn. If a student truly needs to do distance learning due to health concerns, I am all for it. On the other hand, I hope students are not doing distance learning because it’s “easier” or because they don’t want to go to school. It’s just hard for teachers to focus on the students in front of them every day, and the students who are distance learning.
My opinion is, let’s get this coronavirus stuff over with so we can all get back to normal.
Joel Myhre is a Fergus Falls resident.