In school, Facebook is off limits for teachers (5×8 – 1/18/11)

Your teacher is not your friend, welcome to Fargo, back to Vietnam, the art of fun in January, and docs and suicide.

Monday Morning Rouser, Tuesday edition. Extra points — and a certain amount of pity — if you can name the movie:


Some school districts in the Sioux Falls area are setting limits on social networking for teachers. The policy comes after a teacher was charged with cultivating sexual relationships with two girls via Facebook. The new policy would prohibit teachers from “friending” any students on Facebook or having any e-mail contact, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader says.

The teacher charged in Sioux Falls was also a soccer coach. Brookings is making an exception for athletic coaches.

“It’s a good way to communicate with them,” one teacher said. “They ask me questions about their essays that they wouldn’t ask face-to-face.”

Over in the Manitowoc area, schools are setting the same limits after another coach was accused of inappropriate contact with students. .

“A teacher can say something to a kid and it can go to 1,500 people. A student can say something back to at teacher and it could go to the whole class,” a high school principal said. “It has to be stopped before it’s created. I tell the staff all the time — if they get ready to send a communication and they don’t know whether it’s right, send it to me and we’ll revamp it before you hit send. That click-and-send mentality is really, really scary.”

Perhaps next on the agenda will be being more careful about whom schools hire as coaches.


The average age of residents at Riverview Place in Fargo is 80. They know a little something, like how to welcome refugees to their city.

They have “lots of knowledge, lots of experience, a wealth of information that they could share,” Bonnie Peters, the marketing director, says. “And so I always had this dream of coming up with something that would connect them with a population that they could mentor or serve or help.”

So she did.3) BACK TO VIETNAM

Three times during his service in Vietnam, a North Dakota man refused R&R in Hawaii because he knew he wouldn’t want to go back. Now he’s going back to Vietnam after winning a lottery for former soldiers to return to the former war zone.


The next 35 or so days — spring training starts in lat February — are critical for surviving the winter. This year, it’s going to be close whether we can hang on.

How are things in your cubicle? The Nerdery, the local company that appears to thrive on being a cool place to work, is having its annual competition. “For five days over the noon hour and then at 4:30 Friday, The Pentathenerd transcends the wide world of sports and becomes all that really matters. It represents all that is good, honorable, decent and Nerdery. The entire recorded history of Pentathanerd should be reviewed at”

Pentathanerd Winter 2011 from The Nerdery on Vimeo.

What does your company do to have fun?


A study, reported by the AP, suggests medical errors, job burnout and depression lead surgeons to contemplate suicide at higher rates than the general public, and they’re much less likely to seek help.

A follower on Facebook asks:

“Surgeons work long, irregular hours in an environment that honors self-denial, prizes resilience, “and tends to interpret imperfection as failure.”” ….so how exactly is this different from other professions?”

Bonus: Construction starts today on St. Paul’s venerable Union Depot. It’ll become a train and bus hub. If there’s a more beautiful building in St. Paul, what is it?


“So we’re spending money we don’t have to build a depot for transportation that nobody uses to get to a place nobody goes,” blogger Mitch Berg opines.

Also on the icon front, the Northwest Airlines logo is now gone. The last of the airline’s DC-9s has been retired.


Republicans in Congress have made clear that if they can’t repeal health care reform, they’ll at least try to defund it. What do you think should happen next with health care?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: With the effort to repeal the health care reform bill beginning in Washington, doctors, health insurance executives, and politicians came together in the UBS Forum for a lively discussion about what it’s really going to take to change our health care system.

Second hour: What is wisdom and how does it influence the way we live our lives? A new book argues that we need a combination of what we learn in school and what we learn from interpersonal relationships in order to be truly wise.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: St. John’s University economist Louis Johnston on the condition of the U.S. economy.

Second hour: A debate from the Intelligence Squared Series: Should we repeal the health care law?

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The curious tale of an elite Israeli assassination squad in Dubai.

Second hour: The guest is Ed Harris. Harris has five Oscar nominations under his belt, and countless characters — from the scarred gangster in History of Violence, to his latest: Mr. Smith, a mysterious American ex-pat toiling in one of Josef Stalin’s Siberian gulags.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Colleges report an increase in students seeking mental health services. The U of M says it’s putting students seeking counseling on wait lists. Other Minnesota colleges report increases in the need for counseling as well. MPR’s Tim Post looks at some of the reasons behind the increase and if students are getting the care they need.

Chris Roberts surveys the live music venue landscape in the wake of the closing of the 501 Club and temporary closing of the Turf Club. He finds more competition and a continued bad economy are making times tough for local nightclubs.