Caryn Sullivan: Friday Food for Thought

With images of rubble flashing across the TV screen, is it significant or inconsequential that traditions are also blowing away?

Friday Food for Thought
Caryn Sullivan

With traditional values under siege, it often feels like we’re living in an inside out, upside down world, where right is wrong, and left is right, and those who speak up are shut down.

Friday Food for Thought offers readers news to chew on over the weekend.

Talk about upside down. It was quite a nail-biter on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian made its way to southwest Florida, destroying property and traumatizing those who experienced it (as well as those who watched it unfold).

Ft. Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Sanibel, Boca Grande … it’s a familiar area for many Minnesotans. We vacation there. Many of us have family, friends, and homes there. We enjoy it so much many retire there.

When day broke on Thursday, millions had no power or air conditioning. They found themselves without things we take for granted — cell service; internet; four walls and a roof. There was both a shortage and an abundance of water. Some Floridians were lucky to still own a toothbrush.

As the storm moved to the east and north, first responders and volunteers risked their lives to rescue stranded barrier island residents by air and water. It’s that penchant for stepping forward to help strangers that makes America a great nation.

Speaking of disasters …

Intense images of wind and water feel like a metaphor for this moment in time.

As Minnesota high schools celebrate homecoming, long-standing traditions are being washed out because of gender issues. It’s no longer okay to have a king and queen because it’s not inclusive enough. Instead, students are choosing royalty courts.

We reported here that White Bear Lake High School would have a royalty court instead of a homecoming king and queen. Then we learned Farmington High School was following suit. With images of rubble flashing across the TV screen, is it significant or inconsequential that traditions are also blowing away? Food for thought.

Equity and oppression? How about reading and math?

Center of the American Experiment invited Hillsdale College Professor Wilfred McClay to review Minnesota’s proposed teacher licensure standards. He gave them a failing grade. It’s not hard to understand why. Here’s just one proposed standard:

“The teacher creates opportunities for students to learn about power, privilege, intersectionality, and systemic oppression in the context of various communities and empowers learners to be agents of social change to promote equity.”

Many of our kids can’t read at grade level. They can’t do math problems. Perhaps it’s because the teachers are overly focused on equity and oppression.

Friday night (gun)fights

Friday nights have been a bit wild in our suburbs recently. First Edina, then Richfield, high school football games were disrupted by teens wielding fists and guns.

Last Friday, two young people were shot during the Richfield High School game, causing officials to cancel the game in the fourth quarter. Crime Watch reported officials charged the alleged shooter from last Friday’s incident with attempted assault. Given he’s a juvenile, further details were not forthcoming.

Just 39 days until the midterm election. I’ll weigh in on leadership in my Saturday commentary. I hope you’ll check it out.


Caryn Sullivan
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A retired attorney and author of the award-winning memoir, "Bitter or Better: Grappling With Life on the Op-Ed Page," Caryn Sullivan has inspired readers with her thoughtful commentary for the past two decades. To learn more about Caryn’s work or to connect, visit