Take whatever you want to work day (5×8 – 4/25/13)

What about the old parents, it’s evict-your-father-from-his-home day, what happens in Williston, prom season nonsense, and the people who don’t know there was a bombing in Boston.


1) HELLO, LITTLE KIDS. GET OUT OF MY CUBICLE!

The generation that grew up as the sons and daughters on “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” have finally grown up, gotten jobs, and now are taking their daughters and sons to work on today’s 20th anniversary.

John Ketchum at Marketplace was one of those kids and writes today about its meaning.


Getting the chance to see the hard work he put into making sure that my brother and I lived a comfortable, advantaged life; that was what I really got out of spending all those hours in the library at Delta College, sitting next to my dad while he graded papers and prepared lectures. I knew he worked hard, but following him around his job all day made his hard work resonate with me.

“Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” isn’t about showing your kids how you make money.

It’s about having an excuse to spend extra time with your children. Take it from me: that extra day means a lot to them, even if it does look like all they care about is owning the next level of Halo. (Although that’s very important, too.)

Meanwhile, writing on Huffington Post, Michele Weldon wonders, “if we can take children to work, why not have a stay at home and care for elders day?”


As a working mother myself who dealt with childcare, a demanding job and daily visits to a convalescing mother for years, I believe the lag in acceptance of this duality of family care is a much larger cultural and economic denial of familial importance. Employees, from hourly to salaried, simply are not forgiven for a complicated life.

Adults with or without children, adults with aging parents; none of us can easily maneuver the demands of our lives beyond the strict boundaries of our resumes. For freelancers or contract workers, a day not working is a day without pay. Regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status, chances are, most of us are faced with the realities of work demands and the concerns of family, however that may be defined

“My sincere wish is for a culture where the expectation in the workplace is that we acknowledge our children more than once a year, and also our parents at least once,” she writes.

2) IT’S EVICT-YOUR-FATHER-FROM-HIS-HOME-DAY IN OHIO

A 91-year-old decorated World War II combat veteran is about to be evicted from a home he and his wife built and lived in for the last 54 years. The daughter got power of attorney, signed his home over to herself and is evicting him over a visitation dispute. The courts ruled in the daughter’s favor.

3) WHAT HAPPENS IN WILLISTON

Williston’s two strip clubs lost their liquor licenses this week; that’s a big deal in the Oil Patch where strip clubs are the new “community center” for the oil workers who have taken over the western end of North Dakota.

Forum News Service reports a hearing this week resulted in the suspension after police testified on the big uptick in assaults and crimes at the clubs.


Peterson said he’s seen video surveillance of a Heartbreakers bouncer pulling a pistol out of his waistband and striking a patron in the head. The bouncer then went outside and fired off a round from that firearm, Peterson said. It was later learned that the firearm was stolen and the man was a convicted felon, Peterson said.

For the outsider, it’s hard to find news that makes the area attractive, unless you need a job and know something about oil.

This week, Maya Rao, a Star Tribune reporter, provided an article in The Awl on life as a woman in the predominantly male territory.


Later in the night we headed to the only two strip clubs in town. They sit right next to each other on Main Street, near the train tracks, and infamously fly in women in from all over the country to work a week or so before rotating them out for new ones.

At Heartbreakers, we ran into Crystal, a twenty-something girl that Harp knew. Five guys were pursuing her, she said. She rolled her eyes. Some offered to take her on shopping sprees to the outlet malls, two hours away in Minot. But why bother?

“It’s a fat girl’s paradise,” said Crystal, who was thin.

In Williston, the women sometimes sounded like stereotypical men–casual about committing, feeling no pressure to lock a guy down–while the men sat around like aging, anxious single women fretting that the opposite sex had too many choices.

“There’s women out there that their personality may be fine, but their looks are not, and yet they still got three guys looking for them,” complained one oil worker named Glenn. “There’s some of them that play games–this guy is my boyfriend this week, and that guy is my boyfriend next week.”

Williston Strong.

4) PROM SEASON

It’s prom season so, naturally, the news is filled with stories about how expensive the prom is, almost as if people don’t have any control over the expenses.

On average, families expect to spend $1,139 on prom this year — up roughly 40% from 2011’s $807 average, according to CNN Money. Families in the Midwest are the most “frugal” — an odd word to use — at $722.


With traditions like debutante balls falling out of fashion and young people getting married later in life, prom has grown in importance and people are willing to spend more on the big night, said Kit Yarrow, a consumer research psychologist.

“Prom is the new wedding,” Yarrow said. “I think that every society has to have a rite of passage into adulthood for young people, and prom has become that.”

Well, there’s your problem right there. People are willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money. The strangest statistic is people with a household income below $50,000 spend more on the prom than households with incomes above $50,000.

It’s not a rite of passage into adulthood. It’s a dance. A high school dance. Unless you live in the South where proms were moved off “campus” to avoid integration.

In southeast Oklahoma, incidentally, a young man drove a tractor to the prom, because the girl he was going with changed her mind two days before prom.


On the night of the prom, as the sun set in the distance, Kaleb boarded his John Deere tractor and headed down the road.

“Everyone was surprised when they saw me drive up,” HE said.

“Except the school superintendent. He said he knew it was me.”

At the prom Kaleb said he danced and had a great night with his friends. Afterwards, he drove his tractor back to his grandmother’s house where he met up with his friends for another gathering.

“I had a bonfire with my buddies,” he said.

5) THE STORIES FROM BOSTON

At least one of the people injured in the bombing in Boston last week doesn’t know why she’s in the hospital.

“We’re not bringing that in at this point,” said BrittanyLoring’s father tells NBC “We’re trying to build up her stamina – you know she had three surgeries in six days and … the heavy medication. So trying to get her to eat, think positive thoughts.”

She’s supposed to be taking finals for her degree at Boston College. But the school has waved the exams and told her she’ll get her degree.

Her friends have started a campaign to raise money for the costs of her recovery.

The cost to the people injured in the bombings is estimated to top $9 million.

Bonus I: The voice of Alexander Graham Bell has been heard for the first time in 128 years. (BBC)

Bonus II: The Illusion of the Gifted Child. Why our policies for good students really aren’t that smart. (Time.com)

TODAY’S QUESTION

“Despite hopes that the internet could change the fundamental nature of political participation, it is still the case that the well-educated and relatively well-off are more likely to take part in civic life both online and offline,” a new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life project has found. Today’s Question: How do your conversations about politics online differ from those that happen offline?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle.

Second hour: Sex trafficking in Minnesota.

Third hour: What can be done to be sure that the Internet works as an equalizer, allowing everyone to participate in civic discussions?

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Vice President Walter Mondale and New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane on counter-terrorism, drones, values and our democracy. They spoke this week at the University of Minnesota.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The reach of Twitter. We’ve come to expect the government to track our overseas travel. We know police can subpoena phone records. And many of our fingerprints are on file. But now our tweets are part of our identity, and a significant factor in some criminal investigations.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Chinese Central Television is owned by the Chinese government and its journalism appears on cable systems throughout the United States. The reporting is surprisingly two-sided But what you won’t hear is any real political news about China itself. NPR profiles CCTV.