Schools Close after Minnesota Native Admits, “It is REALLY DANG COLD”

CHASKA, MN — The majority of school districts in the Twin Cities closed this Thursday, citing wind chills of more than 30 below zero. But there may have been another reason that tipped superintendents over the edge.

This morning, Daniel Schulz-Jackson, Chaska resident and Minnesota native, was quoted as saying, “It is REALLY DANG COLD.” In a text message to his wife, he noted that his five-minute walking commute was so cold that “my eyes hurt, even though they were tightly flanked by balaclava.” He then went on to advise her to don one or even two balaclavas herself before leaving the house for her own commute.

Daniel really cold
The text message in question, sent the morning of Thursday, Jan. 23rd.

Mr. Schulz-Jackson’s family was in shock. “I can’t believe he said that,” said his wife, shaking her head. “I mean, most days when we walk to work and I mention the cold, Daniel just says he likes being able to feel the world on his face. Last night he even gleefully kicked snow all the way home. This must be some wind chill!”

Interviews with friends and family indicate that this is, indeed, a momentous occasion. A relative (who would prefer to remain anonymous) said she has frequently heard Daniel reciting his weather motto: “There is no bad weather; only bad clothing.”

One local school official mentioned that as soon as she heard about Mr. Schulz-Jackson’s proclamation, she knew that no school child could withstand the cold. “That was that,” she said.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that Mr. Schulz-Jackson had admitted it was cold during the Halloween blizzard of 1991. This is not correct. In his notice of correction, Mr. Schulz-Jackson commented, “It probably wasn’t even cold then — just snowy!” We regret the error.

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Books of the Year: 2013 in Review

As some of you *may* know, I am a *bit* of a bookworm. Just a smidge. =)

One of the ways I challenge myself to keep reading (even though now I’m a busy bookworm) is to participate in the yearly book challenge on Goodreads.com. In 2013, my goal was to read 52 books, or about one a week. I exceeded my goal (56 total, woo!) and today I just set my new goal for 2014. But before I get too far into my new book adventures, I wanted to take a look back at some of the books I read in 2013. So without further ado, here are some of my book highlights from 2013.

The Mighty & The Almighty5. The Mighty and the Almighty by Madeleine Albright

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a while (bought it while I was teaching and just never had time to start it), but this year I finally took the time to dive in, and I was pleasantly surprised at  how much I loved the experience. Not only is Madeleine Albright a seasoned and sensible veteran of politics and world affairs, but she also has a thoughtful and nuanced way of looking at the ways that religion enters into the mix. I found this to be an extremely thought-provoking (and quotable!) read, and I’d highly recommend it to everyone, but especially folks who are interested in the intersection between politics and religion.

Ender's Shadow4. Ender’s Shadow (and its sequels) by Orson Scott Card

Although I’d read both Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow before, I had never read the rest of the Shadow series. Not only did they sink their delightful, action-packed hooks into my brain and propel me straight through, but I found myself contemplating geopolitics in a whole new way afterwards. (Without giving too much away, the sequels show what happens on Earth after the Battle School students return home, and it is messy, let me tell you!) HIGHLY recommended for anyone who loves a good sci-fi.

3. One Church Many Tribes: Following Jesus the Way God Made You by Richard Twiss

Richard Twiss passed away this year suddenly. This is a devastating loss  not only for his family and friends, but also for the Church family around the world, as we have lost a man of strong faith, a faithful advocate for First Nations peoples, and a lover and devotee of biblical reconciliation. This most recent work of his sets forth the case for why Native Christianity is a vital and missing piece of the Body of Christ. If you have ever wondered whether Native beliefs can be compatible with Christianity, or whether Natives can be Christians without being “whitewashed”, then read this book.

2. America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins

The reason I loved this book is that it uses loads of primary source documents (like journals from real women during each era) to vividly depict what life was like for women throughout American history. Gail Collins does a good job of looking at women from as many different arenas — social, racial, and otherwise — as possible. For anyone who loves reading about everyday life in other times and places, or for anyone wondering how women have lived and survived in America, this one’s for you!

1. Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary

Okay, this book exploded my brain. The subtitle sums up the premise of the book — the history of the world through Islamic eyes — but it’s so much more than just the “Islamic side of the story.” I felt like I literally got a glimpse of how the Eastern/Islamic historical-cultural mindset has evolved and grown from its geographical roots (aka the Ummah/”Islam-dom” as opposed to “Christendom”) and how the development of Islam in various regions has influenced world history and vice versa. If you have a pulse, go read this book right now. It will change how you view the world and history. Seriously.

Well, that’s my top five reads from 2013. I have quite a list for 2014 — some of which are already sitting on my bookshelf! — but I’m always looking for suggestions. Anything that strikes you as a Rebekah-read? Or do you want to share a great book you read this year? Let me know in the comments!