What's Ahead

February 10, 2012

A dozen years ago I sat in on a presentation by a futurist who was speaking with a special committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations, called the “New Paradigm Task Force.”  During the presentation the speaker provided a list of the 10 magazines a person should read regularly to keep alert to what’s ahead in our world.  Here’s the list:

• Christian Science Monitor
• Science News
• Business Week
• Popular Science
• Utne Reader
• Atlantic Monthly
• Mother Earth News
• Technology Review
• The Economist
• In Context

Since that time I’ve carried the list with me in my pocket planner, and I’ve often purchased and read one or more of the magazines when I’m traveling through airports.  Over the years I’ve subscribed to four of these publications.

Some of you will chuckle that this futurist was recommending print publications and not the World Wide Web.  Others may note that several of these recommended publications failed to survive modern technology and no longer exist.  So it goes with predictions, even for professionals.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.