Commentary

Wed
21
Jun

Mrs. Dykowski... in summer

As summer begins every year I try to trick myself into thinking it’s my favorite season. It’s not. 

You might think it’s the heat that makes me like summer less than other seasons, and you’re not completely wrong. 

On some level, I love the heat. It feels like home. 

When it’s humid, though, this desert girl can’t take it. 

Hundred-degree days don’t scare me, but humidity and lack of wind make those days just depressing. 

There is a happy side of heat, though, including afternoons sitting by Darci in her kiddie pool. 

Saturday mornings on the tennis court with Scott are another reason I look forward to summer.

My second-favorite holiday is coming up, July Fourth. I can’t wait for a day of fun, where people have to pretend to be interested in my revolutionary trivia knowledge because it’s unAmerican not to at least fake an interest in U.S. history on that day.  

Wed
21
Jun

One Reporter's Reviews: 'Since We Fell'

When I picked up Dennis Lehane’s “Since We Fell” from the Dublin Public Library, I was excited and worried about what I would find within its pages.

The front cover boasts that it is from the author of “Shutter Island” (which I love) and “Mystic River” (which I try to forget exists).

I wondered which of the books his newest would resemble and the answer is both.

“Since We Fell” starts with the search for self-discovery as Rachel Childs is seeking to find her father after losing her mother. 

The problem is that her mother was emotionally manipulative, hanging her father’s identity over Rachel’s head and  promising to tell her who he was eventually but delaying it until the mother dies in a car accident.

She has vague  recollections of a man she knew as her father but doesn’t know his name or where he lived. She only has hazy memories of him when she was very young.

Wed
14
Jun

Mrs. Dykowski... reflects on my father’s primary colored brain

Father’s Day is coming up so I thought I would write about my dear old dad. 

As I write this, I imagine my dad is driving a tractor planting cotton in the field. 

His mind carefully turning over some plan, working out complex math in his head, trying to anticipate every variable, while his eyes, arms and feet tell his tractor to make neat rows of seeds in the freshly turned red clay. 

I would estimate that this is close to his 40th year to put seeds in the ground, so you could say he’s had some practice. 

His first was under the watchful eye of his dad, I imagine the only plan he was mulling that year was how not to mess up. Planting season is serious business. 

Wed
07
Jun

The publisher's desk: Dublin Lion's Club a hardworking group

Even if you don’t like running, I encourage you to get out and see all the events going on this weekend in Dublin. 

One of the things I love about the second weekend in June is that this is a weekend that’s all about Dublin. 

This isn’t a shared holiday with the world — it’s a chance for our community to show its pride in itself, for who we are and who we want to be. 

And there are some hardworking people that help put it together. 

I know that Mary Yantis is working hard. 

I know that Tammy and the hard workers at First National Bank are working hard for the reunion. 

And I certainly know that the Dublin Lion’s Club is working hard. 

Wed
07
Jun

One Reporter's Ramblings: A reason for reunion

I will be at the Dublin Reunion for the first time ever this Saturday, but the shameful admission is that I am just going to cover it for the paper.

I know a lot of people that hated their high school experience. I’m not among them. I had friends across several cliques and tried to be a positive friend to anyone who seemed fun to be around. 

Don’t ask me how I did this while being a somewhat moody teenager who mainly listened to heavy metal bands like Korn, Rob Zombie and ... Insane Clown Posse. For those who have decided to stop ready my column forever after the ICP admission, I wish you a fond farewell and assure you I’m just as embarrassed.

Because my best friends were involved in a variety of activities, I would sit at different tables at lunch — sometimes with band members, sometimes with athletes, sometimes with academics and sometimes with kids who were just ready for high school to end.

Wed
07
Jun

Mrs. Dykowski... has #firstworldproblems

I finally replaced my phone last weekend, so brace yourselves for a millennial-ish column this week. 

I take a photo of Darci almost every day, and if I take one, I take 5, 10 or 500. 

I can’t help that she’s the most adorable human I’ve ever seen; it’s just the way it is. 

Also, there are screenshots of info and photos that I need for my job. 

Also, I like to occasionally take a video of Darci’s adorableness. 

Also, I text Scott almost constantly throughout the day. I also text my mom, work contacts and other family members. 

My family is a big fan of the group text conversation, and as the second favorite child, I’m included in pretty much all of them. (Since we first married Scott is my parents’ first favorite child. The rest of us are all competing for second.) 

Wed
31
May

The Publisher's Desk: DeVos is what we feared she'd be

Betsy Devos’ (the federal education secretary) and President Donald Trumps’ budget is out, and it’s pretty much what we feared it would be. 

Billions for public schools are cut out and more than $1 billion is added for private school vouchers. 

She keeps saying she’ll show proof that the voucher system works — we’re still waiting. One reporter asked her about a recent report that Washington D.C.’s voucher program has been shown to negatively impact student achievement — she refused to comment. 

The budget she proposes cuts the Education Department’s funding by nearly $10 billion (more than 13 percent), cutting $2.1 billion in “teacher professional development and support” — the equivalent of 35,000 teachers’ jobs — and $1.2 billion in after-school programs, which serve 1.6 million students. 

Wed
31
May

One Reporter's Reviews: Alien Covenant

“Prometheus” is probably one of the most misunderstood movies I’ve seen in recent years, mostly because the film is criticized as stupid simply because its characters make bad choices. (The most-cited scene features two characters running away from a rolling ship in a straight line when running to the right or left might save them.) 
Stories can have ignorant characters without being stupid themselves. Forrest Gump would counter “Stupid is as stupid does” in his own film, which critics and audiences found witty even with a character of below-average intelligence.
“Prometheus,” despite some bad choices by its characters, featured some deep themes about what it means to be human and mankind’s desire to understand our place in the universe.
The prequel to original “Alien” also featured very little in the way of the classic Alien xenomorphs, which became one of cinema’s most recognizable after Ridley Scott brought them to the screen in 1979.

Wed
31
May

Mrs. Dykowski... reads a barn cat’s tales of country adventures

When a local author asked me to review a children’s book, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. 

I’ve always wanted to write a book but find the process overwhelming, so I commend author Eve Culley for taking her idea and committing the time and real work that goes into getting a book published. It’s truly a massive undertaking. 

The author references her own children and grandchildren in the dedication and biographical pages, and I imagine they, knowing some of the characters in real life, love these stories. 
It was easy to picture a grandma sitting on the porch of her farmhouse telling her grandkids these stories. 

The word choices and sentence structure remind me of listening to my own grandma telling be about her experience growing up on a farm in Cranfills Gap. 
I love the concept of Culley’s book “Adventures in Barn Town.” 

Wed
24
May

The Publisher's Desk: Leaps and Bounds

You know those white spots you get on your nails (leukonychia) that are a sign of some past injury to the base of your nail? 
Darci has just started noticing those on my fingers. 

She’ll hold my thumb, pat it gently and say, with great concern in her voice, “Sobby, Daddy.” Sobby is how she says sorry — we’re still working on our rs. 

It melts my heart every time — almost as much as when she’ll say, “Wove you, daddy.” 

In the past couple of weeks, she’s hit another one of those explosions where she takes all of the words and actions she’s been absorbing lately and tries them all out. 

I’m not even going to try to count how many words she has tried to say. 

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