good news – students volunteering

After 2 weeks in Florida’s Spring Break central, I got interested in a new program initiated by The United Way and televised on MTV. It’s called The Amazing Break.

Instead of a drunken beach blow-out, college kids are offered alternatives.

One group is on the Equality Ride — a bus visiting conservative universities and military schools which they feel discriminate against gay and lesbian students. The first stop was Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

In a scene out of Gandhi, the students lined up to be arrested for trespass all the while reading a statement of their cause.

Non-violent resistance is powerful. I was moved.

MTV.com – think – Students Volunteering For A Spring Break They Won’t Forget

I met hundreds of volunteers in Central America too. It is excellent life experience, likely better than attending classes.

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travelogue – Miami Heat basketball

The Heat are the hottest team in basketball right now. And you can get a ticket for $10.

The Heat loss, the only NBA game I have ever seen, was a bit dull. Far less entertaining than the NHL Flames hockey, by comparison.

Shaq was not particularly impressive though I can see how he dominates under the rim. He is huge, even in a big man’s game.

More impressive was coach Pat Riley. A big man too, very much in charge. Pacing, he looks the movie version of an egocentric coach.

Riley recently called Dwayne Wade, the Heat’s top scorer, the most gifted player he had ever coached. High praise.

Heat players

Shaquille O’Neal and Dwayne Wade

Next travelogue on this trip >> baseball – Florida everglades

travelogue – baseball – Blue Jays in Dunedin

I bought a scalped ticket ($15) for the Jays vs the Red Sox. Canada’s Team put on starters and still lost (4-8) to mostly minor leaguers from the much stronger Boston franchise.

Not a Pro baseball fan, I still very much enjoyed the mild vibe of a Spring Training game in small town Dunedin, Florida.

We sat in the second row above the Sox dugout. My scalper actually chatted with some of the Boston players.

Did you hear about the “Miracle on Grass“? Canada beating the USA in the World Baseball Classic?

In Dunedin I saw Canadian hero Adam Stern back with his Boston Red Socks. Stern had a home run, a triple and a single in Canada’s upset 8-6 victory over the biggest American names in professional baseball.

Baseball stadium

Next travelogue on this trip >> baseball – Miami Heat basketball

baseball – Japan wins the “World Series”

logoI believe that’s what they called the recent World Baseball Classic.

Though the USA hosted, had the easier pool, and were allowed an extra man on the team (cheating umpire Bob Davidson) they still managed to make an early exit from the playoffs. Mexico slammed the door.

I believe the US Superstars even lost a pre-tournament pick-up game with Vatican City.

ESPN.com – MLB/WORLDCLASSIC2006 – Stark: Japan deserves to be called the world’s best

travelogue – La Nouba, Cirque du Soleil

La Nouba is an independent production built right into downtown Walt Disney World, Orlando.

It has been a big hit. In fact, Disney is considering building more specially-made Cirque venues at their other giant amusement parks around the world.

I loved the show. Their trampoline act is the best I have ever seen.

The current poster girl for La Nouba is one of the most popular Cirque performers, Natasha Hallet, member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic Team.

Natasha

Next travelogue on this trip >> baseball – Blue Jays in Dunedin