Saturday, November 19, 2011

An Article on the Penn State Scandal that Really Caught My Attention

Ex-PSU grad assistant: Scandal isn't surprising - College football- NBC Sports

(Umm...  I don't know what happened with this post.  I wrote earlier in the week and published it, but for whatever reason it didn't publish.  I just noticed it as I logged onto to blogger to write a post for today.  So this post should have published on November 15th.)

After reading the article that is referenced in the web address above I felt that I had to comment on this story of the football sex scandal at Penn State.  When this story first broke several weeks ago I did not pay any attention to it whatsoever.  At that time it seemed to be just another run-of-the-mill college football scandal. But as the story started to get more traction in the news media felt I had to really understand what was going on.

As I read more about the background of the story I began to feel extremely disturbed by it. You really wonder how people could let this kind of situation knowingly go on.  Could none of these men in leadership positions at Penn State look at the situation from the viewpoint of a parent?  How would these men have felt if one of the abused children were their son?  Was there no compassion in their hearts for these children who were being abused?  Was it more important to win football games than to prevent a child's life from being destroyed?

I find the situation to be particularly galling in context of the article referenced above. When you think that a predator like this looks for children who are vulnerable and do not have a support system for themselves it makes you want to puke. I put this in context of my own life and where Zack and I have been in the last five years. I think of some monster trying to weasel their way into Zack's life because they know he is vulnerable and has lost his mother. It makes me so angry to think that people would do that kind of thing.

When I think of things like this it makes me want to protect Zack all the more. Zack is a trusting and loving individual and someone certainly could try and take advantage of him.  You just feel so bad for those children who were abused by a monster like this. In many cases  these children were coming from difficult family backgrounds. And then they were abused! Dear god how badly would this mess up their lives?

Abuse of children can never be tolerated or swept under the rug. As a result of what happened at Penn State I hope there are significant cultural changes in how college football is viewed. The same rules must be applied to everyone. College football coaches or players are not above the law and need to be held to the same level of conduct and standards that the general public is held. Hence I am glad many people have been fired at Penn State and hopefully everyone who had anything to do with this cover up is eventually fired and prosecuted.  I say all this having grown up in Pennsylvania and being a fan of Penn State.  But as you look at the situation you realize that Joe Paterno stayed in the job way too long and thought of himself as a god.  He really needed to go!  And with that I will step off of my soapbox and move on to a more prosaic subject.

Yesterday I was able to take my first steps since having my surgery four weeks ago.  I never imagined how difficult the recovery from the surgery would be. As a result of only using my right leg last month, my body has become very unbalanced. The muscles on the left side of my body have become so tense and rigid it has made it very difficult for me to start walking again. These muscles were so tense yesterday that my physical therapist decided I needed to undergo acupuncture to relieve some of that tension. That was one the most unusual experiences I have had in a long time. I did not feel the needles being stuck into my skin, however as the therapist worked the needles back and forth it caused my muscles to spasm and release much of the tension. It was very weird.  I am not totally sure I liked it but it did seem to do some good.

For now walking is very painful. I am hoping by the end of this week much of the pain will be gone. Once the pain associated with the muscular tension is gone I think things will get back to normal quickly. I will be sure to do a blog entry about the first hike we take once I can walk normally.

Nancy continues to settle in at Cranbrook.  The jury is still out on whether or not this is been a good move for her.  I expect it will take up to two months for Nancy to totally settle in and adapt to this new life. She is definitely having a lot more social interaction than she has had for a very long time. Additionally she is spending much more time up and about and getting a lot more exercise.  But there is one factor - which I don't really want to go into which tends to balance out the good things that are happening.  So for now it is just a wait and see kind of attitude.

I hope everyone is having a good week so far!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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