DSCN2951People ask, “Is sailing inspirational?” Sailing can be downright inspirational. Donna Schmoyer’s son is a Pennsylvania state trooper who happened on a stalled van one frigid snowy night, stranded on the shoulder of Interstate 81. While assisting, he noticed a Mustang sliding directly their way on the ice and shouted for everyone to run.

As they scattered, a teenage boy jumped in a ditch for safety but the Mustang promptly flipped and landed on him upside down, crushing the boy. A crowd assembled and could hear his moans. They circled the car and with a collective adrenalin rush lifted it up just enough for Donna’s son the trooper to pull him out.

At the hospital, the boy was so severely injured that doctors wanted to amputate his crushed leg but his father refused. The boy recovered, went through rehab and eventually won a basketball scholarship to Penn State. The accident happened on Christmas Eve. “It was a miracle,” his mother recalled, “a Christmas miracle.”

ThomasSailing into History

Keith, Louisa and MacKensie Thomas of Salem, Ohio, enjoyed a brisk afternoon brushing up on the Battle of Yorktown from the perspective of the York River. Louisa teaches American history during 1650-1850 at a private college, where some of her best students are in their 40s. They are matriculating for job purposes or to revive their pursuit toward a degree.

On the other hand, she is distressed after 20 years of teaching that young people are intellectually lazy. Then they go sailing through college, as it were. They have little appreciation for education. And they have become increasingly unaware of their world surroundings. Keith and I agreed with her solution. “Once they graduate from high school, teenagers should spend two years serving in the military. That way they can learn about public service and the nation as a whole,” she said. When was the last time you heard that from a liberal arts professor?


Sailing Around the Globe

Sailing brings out the best in people’s thinking. Whenever people lament the decline of American education, geography offers an easy example. I suspect we’re deficient because we no longer examine the globe. Yet many of us liked to do while growing up.

How else would you know that Hawaii is further south than Florida? This summer, I was telling Bob and Shelagh Fleck (right) of Toronto about American ignorance. They have no idea that Canada has nine provinces, much less name them. “Ten actually,” Bob corrected me, “plus three territories.”

Let’s Go Adrenalin Rush Sailing

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