The oldest student in Algebra 2

by admin
anita 2017

“My Algebra 2 class circa 1967 was at Southfield High, a few miles north of Detroit. To this day I have no idea what was going on in Algebra 2, a class I could always count to make me feel stupid. My only natural gift in there was really good eyesight and the luck of sitting diagonal from the class brain. At my 20 year class reunion, I thanked Grasshopper for getting me through Algebra 2. I simply copied most of what he did and I got a B.

Today I lived Algebra 2 again, still not having a clue what Mr. Horace Buddoo at West Broward High School was talking about..something about finding the inverses of functions and the composition of functions. A function within a function. There was an x and y and f and g and some numbers. Kids are praised for coming up the dry erase board and solving algebra problems. That alone would make me feel connected along with use of a snazzy new iPad that was all mine during this class.  Everyone has a partner to work on problems with so Algebra 2 is also a teamwork thing. Seats even get moved around so that there are no gaps. Everyone is included. Count me in.

Maybe Mr Buddoo  would have understood a kid like me who doesn’t easily grasp these concepts much less the reason to even learn them.
His class starts with a six minute mindfulness exercise to encourage calmness and relaxation. The lights dim. You close your eyes. You hear zen meditation music.You breathe in confidence, you breathe out doubt. Every challenge should start this way.
Mindfulness would have really helped my crazy-ass 11th grade self. I would have focused on learning Algebra 2 instead of thinking about my frizzy hair, or if the dress I was wearing made me look fat or about the cute guy sitting two rows in front of me. Would that guy have liked me even if he knew how lost I was in Algebra 2?
Had I known that learning Algebra 2 would teach me how to be logical, how to think better, I would have had a reason to learn it

Today  i am too embarrassed to ask Mr Buddoo to explain inversions. I have clearly fallen off the bus.
My mind wanders to the inspiration posters in here. “The journey is the prize.” Now you are in my arena, Mr. Buddoo, succinct words that simplify giant ideas.
‘Imagine yourself positive and happy,’ is part of the meditation. What a concept, even now.

I learned today that every x and y has a y and x partner. Huh? I am so sorry, Mr Buddoo, the bus has left me in a ditch.
Kids applaud when someone gets something right. Then they applaud when the class is over for doing a good job.
All these years later, I see the value of Algebra 2. It would have taught me to be a better thinker.
Algebra 2 is about real life. Algebra 2 is problem solving and organization and being logical.

I get it now. Finally.”

Horace Buddoo: The richest man in Pembroke Pines

by admin

“Seriously, Mr. Buddoo, said one of my Algebra 2 students, “when are we ever going to need to know the square root of negative one?”

“Aha! A teachable moment for me!
It is not just an Algebra 2 class, dear student, it is brain exercise and preparation for the big picture. So the simple answer to when will you ever need this:

Your entire life.

You will always need to make decisions and higher math teaches you perseverance and how make logical conclusions.

I am passionate about teaching thinking.
Algebra 2, calculus and statistics mirror real life. They are about more than correct answers.
Since 2009 I have been teaching at West Broward High School 500 NW 209 Avenue in Pembroke Pines.
My classes can be intimidating and some kids come to them already thinking they are not going to do well. If they keep thinking like that, they will not feel empowered and their failing thoughts will get reinforced.

Part of my job is to change that.
My students are people with different needs and backgrounds and many of their issues have nothing to do with me or school. They may never remember one thing about calculus but they will remember how they felt in my classroom. They will remember helping and being helped and feeling success.

We do a lot of success celebrating. Because they work as a team, they learn to accept each other. I see unlikely friendships form all the time.
Mistakes? Aha! Mistakes are more opportunities for teachable moments!
I believe in failure. In the process students learn what is it to be invested in each other, how to tolerate each other and find joy in the success of each other.

Yes, I am unconventional. We start the class with a moment of mindfulness meditation to set the calm tone for the 90 minute class. The calmness helps me with classroom management.
I have emulated teachers of my own by incorporating some of their teaching style into mine and getting the students to like being in my class. Even simple things like having dry erase desktops are fun for them because they can problem solve with colored markers. It gets them to want to learn.

A lot of what I do as a teacher is not part of my job description but in those extra hours i have learned the secret to teaching. At the beginning, I started by teaching a subject that i am passionate about, but soon the students start teaching me. I have learned not to take things for granted. I can pinpoint what a student may need. I have learned from them how to become a better teacher.

The wealth I have accumulated does not include a lot of cash but teaching has made me a very rich man.”

Lisa Forman: Best fashion accessory is attitude

by admin

I dressed funky and elegant at my sister Patty’s wedding.

Not so funky that I bordered on ghetto and not so elegant that I bordered on stuffy. My clothes were actually secondary because I wore my best fashion accessory:  Attitude.

I can pull off looks that other women can’t because I am confident. I am going to stand out in a crowd no matter what because I am a six feet tall. Since people are always going to look at me, they may as well see something good.

I love big hair and high heeled boots but I have to be careful not to look overwhelming. No one but me knows if I am wearing my natural hair or my wigs. I have eight of them!

You see how raggedy most people look? Do they interest you?

Not me.

I love to think about where I am going then I plan what to wear. Am I classy tonight with flat sandals, silk pants and a halter top? Am I edgy with a dress and short boots? Will I be walking around? Will I be outside in the heat?

Attitude and confidence have nothing to do with perfect bodies or expensive clothes.  It is all in the way you carry yourself.

I was comfortable for the June outdoor wedding at Deerfield Beach Country Club. Dressing up is fun.

Style is about creatively putting together pieces you already own and then having your nails done, a fresh pedicure, lipstick and powder.

Always carry powder.

Always carry attitude.

Pat Welsh: Traffic, telephone, television and twitter: Gone

by admin
pat welsh

Traffic, tourists, telephones, twitter, televison; I am caught up in all of it.

When I was a single guy, I would kayak the Everglades for an un bathed week at a time to really relax. I’d sleep on raised chickees to avoid the alligators and snakes and wake up to bright orange sunrises.

That changed after I got married and became a dad. Now I recapture the peace on day trips. Showers, by the way, have become crucial.

When I paddle the clear, flat water through the tunnels formed by mangroves, I feel stress dissipate. No cellphone towers are in the Everglades!

The Everglades are full of small isolated beaches.  It’s the place where you can be at one with alligators, dolphins, manatees and literally hundreds of species of fish.

This is my best place to figure out personal issues.  The blue herons, American egrets, bald eagles and ospreys are terrific listeners.

Traffic roar is traded for the trickle of the kayak paddle pushing the water. Sometimes the water is so still that I cannot tell where the sky ends and the water begins.

To get the most out of going, careful preparation is key.  I could start out with a nice tail wind which suddenly shifts and tosses me struggling in a headwind. Extra food, extra gear, extra water might all get used. Then there is the possibility of a deluge of bugs. I have to cover myself from the sun, the bugs and the possibility of getting wet. The prep work is always worth it because I come home like a brand new person.

I created an instructional video called “99” that takes viewers along on one of my trips. I explain what you need to know about kayaking and what it is like in the Everglades. I have done the eight-day, 99 mile Wilderness Waterway Trail that cuts from Flamingo to Chokoloskee in the 10,000 Islands area.

This kayak trail is for experienced kayakers only who know how to read a map, use a GPS and have the physical stamina to endure a gusty wind or two. It can be confusing and difficult to navigate through the mazes of mangrove-lined creeks and bays because they all begin to look the same.

My advice if you want to plan a day trip or longer is to consult nautical charts and the park’s Wilderness Trip Planner. A great day trip is the Turner River.

Bradford Cohen: I never left here after law school

by admin

“I am a Donald Trump supporter with a seven-by-20-foot campaign sign in front of my SE 3rd Avenue law office.

Lots of people say they don’t support Trump but they secretly do. His supporters are coming from somewhere. I think he is a terrific negotiator and will make a good president.

I know Donald Trump. I stayed in touch with him during the 12 years since I was on his television show, The Apprentice. We get together when he comes to Broward, he is more than an acquaintance.

I know his sons Donny and Eric, too. If he is our next president, then maybe there is an ambassador job for me.

My touch of temporary fame from being on ‘The Apprentice’ inspired me to run for Fort Lauderdale City Council in 2004 and I almost won. The experience also helped me be a legal expert for Nancy Grace, CNN, NBC, Court TV and Fox News.

If I am working for Trump I might have to temporarily move out of Broward.

I would rather not. I like it here.

Trump is an entertaining person to know and Broward is an entertaining place to live.

I am fascinated with this place.

I laugh when i think about some of the things that go on here. Take Scott Rothstein, for instance. Back in 2008, we essentially had a 40-year-old lawyer who was buying Bugatti’s, Rolexes and waterfront mansions like the rest of us buy groceries. People who have lived here since 441 was the edge of the Everglades were stunned. Who was this flashy guy with a cigar hanging out of his mouth? It was all a caricature. It had every nouveau-riche guy cliche, the neon-smiling tubby guy with the Barbie Doll wife, his “always-on-the-society-page” lifestyle, the picture of him with his arm around Governor Charlie Crist, then the ultimate takedown.

It was daily entertainment.

But not all of our entertainment is tawdry. I have always been a big fan of our NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. My favorite exhibit was the Discovery of King Tut. I was amazed that his tomb was still intact when they discovered it in 1922. C’mon! He was born in 1341!!!

Broward County still has a small town feel to me. I always see people who I know when I go out to dinner or walk around Las Olas Blvd. I like that Broward is not glitzy like Miami Beach. You don’t need to spend $50 here to get a great lunch. Go over to Smoke BBQ at 3351 NE 32nd Street and get the smoked pastrami. It is not to be believed. While I am on the subject of restaurants, another favorite is Kitchenetta at 2850 N. Federal Highway. I have never tasted fried chicken that good. They put some kind of spice in that coating that I just have not figured out. Then there is Kim’s Alley in the Gateway Plaza, a genuine, dimly lit dive bar that has been around for over 60 years. ‘Everyone’s Bar Everyday ‘is their tagline. Fabulous! Even retired NBA basketball player Dennis “the worm” Rodman has been seen there.

I came to Broward from Springfield, Massachusetts for law school at Nova Southeastern. That was 25 years ago. I made contacts and friends and l never left. It is really good living here. Some of the best things to do here do not cost money. Going for a bicycle ride, walking along the beach, fishing. My favorite beach is Deerfield Beach because the parking and accessibility is so convenient. People pay hundreds of dollars a day just to come visit here and do the things we can do every day.

My fantasy is that I’ll come back here after I am done working for President Trump..

Can you see it? Ambassador Bradford Cohen. That has a good ring to it.”

Blaise McMackin: I trusted my instincts

by admin

“Me? I am interested in trends.

After I study neighborhoods, traffic patterns, population and people, I think about which areas could be best for our kind of restaurants. I don’t have any special training in it, I learn as I go along.

We were right about the dreary strip of South Andrews Avenue between the Broward County Courthouse and Broward Health Medical Center. Tap42 has become a dining destination.

We are trying the same concept with Warsaw Coffee Company at 815 NE 13th Street. That location used to be a forgettable auto tag agency. Our plan is to make Warsaw play a part in reviving that community too.

I get ideas when I travel. It could be a barstool I like in Istanbul, a new way to serve corn from Austin Texas or an operation protocol that works from Kaluz on Commercial Blvd. I study what people eat, how long they linger, if the finishes on the wall are affordable, if the barstool they are sitting on is comfortable. I am fascinated by why places are successful and I have a strong sense of how I want places to look.

The Tap42 concept was born during the time my brother and I managed properties.
After work one day, we wanted to get a good beer, sit on a nice patio in a cool environment at a place with superior food and easy parking.
It did not exist here but we had seen it in other cities.
Two years later we opened Tap42.

We took a risk. We had no restaurant experience. We had never been in a commercial kitchen. We did, however, have a strong sense of how the place should be.
I work with my brother Sean and other partners. My parents lived long enough to know that we were working together. I wish they could have seen what we created.

Look, all of these businesses started from insight. I don’t have a business degree, I never went to college. My salient feature is sensitivity to design and a certainty about what people want. It’s risky. We were scared at first. We are still a little scared. After all, everyone put in their own money into Tap42 before we expanded and got investors.
Green Bar Kitchen, Bar Rita, Warsaw Coffee Company, Tap 42 all have huge parts of me in them. I wanted to create meeting places. We don’t have enough meeting places.

I boiled it down to a simple formula: If I want to be there then others will too.
Five years later, we’ve created a little fiefdom and few other projects are in planning stages.
I have never advertised
I have never done a groupon
The confidence I have in the projects we do comes from the groups we have formed to run them; experts in accounting, construction, restaurant management, chefs that came from Houstons, Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental.
But it is deeper than that and I realized it when someone opening a raw bar asked me for advice.
I told him this:
Get partners you admire, like and trust since you will not be able to do everything by yourself.
Be connected to those partners. Make sure they are people you want to be with all of the time.
Take calculated risks.
Make the place somewhere you want to be.
Hire the best people to work for you and empower them to do what they do best.
Make people who work for you be part of the business. Share.
Start in a location you can afford.
Be meticulously clean.
My story is really a team story. I am just the guy talking about it. Our places work because the right people are working them.Their skills are individual but the team concept is what has made it a success.
Next project? Gravity 21 on Dixie Highway north of Oakland Park Boulevard. It is going to be an affordable personal training gym with spinning, classes and spa services.”

Larry Lawton: The Reality Check Program is my legacy

by admin

“I am an ex-con with 11 years in the federal pen. At risk young people generally like and respect me. I am a big dude with a bald head, goatee, tattoos and a no-bullshit demeanor. I tell them honestly what is going to happen to them if they don’t turn their lives around.

I really don’t give a fuck about the bad things they did. I am not here to judge them. I tell them about how I made millions as a high-rolling interstate jewelry thief. I had stretch limousines, wads of $100 bills and threw elaborate parties for a 1,000 people. That eventually led me to become 52224-004 in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary where no one cared about me.

Prison has a way of bringing you down to your lowest level. I went from wearing Italian Barone suits and Bally of Switzerland shoes to carrying a concealed metal shank up my ass for protection. I had to hide the shank in a toothbrush holder and shove it far up to avoid metal detectors. Prison life make necessities like that seem normal.

American prisons are disgraceful. They are as bad as Abu Ghraib. Some political candidates have taken an interest in having jails that rehabilitate criminals. After all, the US has 2.3 million prisoners and all of them have people who care about them.

People say they don’t care about prisoners. What they forget is that 95% of all prisoners will be released. At some point  an ex-felon will move into your neighborhood. Think about this: Would you prefer a compassionate neighbor who learned from his mistakes or a maniac who was beaten every day?

When I was in prison, I wrote to various senators and congress members about prison conditions. A study showed that every prisoner is worth four votes. I am a convicted felon so I can’t vote. However, though my program, I reach millions of people. I hope our next president makes criminal justice reform a big issue.

I lost a lot in my life from being locked up for 11 years. I lost family, loved ones, dignity, money, everything that is important. I missed every one of my sons’ basketball games, my daughter’s dance recitals. I didn’t get to be with my dad before Alzheimer’s took over. I caused emotional harm on people and I regret that every day.

I am at peace now. Besides being in confined spaces, not much bothers me. I smoke a cigar and I don’t give a shit about traffic or bad weather or the other stuff that irritates people. The movies Shawshank Redemption and ConAir are somewhat realistic, but prison television shows are stupid and I don’t watch them. They make prison look like a place to bond, hang with new friends and get lots of chill time. They don’t show how filthy they are or how irrational people become. They don’t show how common it is to see people die in front you. They don’t show the true horrors of prison.

I had a lot of time to think about all my bad choices and how to help people avoid what I went through. When I was released from prison in 2007, I developed the Reality Check Program.

The Reality Check Program is used for some misdemeanor cases in Seminole and Brevard counties. My goal is to see it in every county in Florida and every state in the country.

When someone gets sentenced to the Reality Check Program, they download the four part video. Then they take a test and after they pass it and print out their certificate of completion, it is turned in to the clerk of courts. Most of the time after seeing my video and hearing my story, they never get in trouble again.

An independent quantitative analysis was done by a college and we have the highest success rate with helping people in the country. I’ve got the analytics to prove that.

Maybe you have seen me as the expert talking about the June 2015 New York prison break on CNN. Or on the Mike Huckabee show on FOX talking about my Reality Check Program, or doing a skit on Comedy Central The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or on MSNBC being sworn in as the first ever ex-con to become an honorary police officer, or CSPAN Floor of Congress being recognized by Congress. I like to talk. I have been on TV a lot.

I make a living now by working with law enforcement agencies to help them break down the “Us Against Them” mentality some people have with the police. We use the Reality Check Video Gift Card program and it is a great success. I specialize with youth crime prevention and community policing. They see me and say, “If he can change, so can I.”

I was a real bad guy and I’m not proud of that, but change is possible. I speak about my life. Sometimes I talk with at-risk youth. Sometimes I teach parents how to recognize their role in what happened to their son or daughter. The biggest mistake parents make is talking down to their kids and getting angry too fast. Sometimes I teach businesses how to avoid criminals like the one I used to be. Who would know better than than me how to make a jewelry store safe? I also speak to insurance companies and work with businesses to help their employees and customers. Google my name, go on YouTube, there’s a ton of stuff there too.

I look at my past life as survival graduate school. I didn’t waste my time. I studied the law, fought prison abuse and helped inmates with their cases. Doing 11 straight years wasn’t easy, but I survived, even after being abused by guards. I don’t blame anyone but myself; I made the bad choices that put me in prison. Some guards saved my life.

It took me two years to write my book Gangster Redemption with nine time NY Times bestselling author Peter Golenbock. Mine is not a happy story to relive, you know. It’s not about the cool guy who gets laid all the time. The book is a hit and I’m working with Leo Rossi from Analyze That, The Accused, etc., on a major motion picture about my life.

My story is my legacy.
I make an honest living doing something very important and seeing it work: It is very rewarding.
I don’t need to be a millionaire any more.
I’m pretty happy.”


Dead Haitian Woman: Almost to Broward

by admin

She was face down in the sand on a stretch of private beach at 1021 Hillsboro Mile.

No wallet. No identification. She died trying to become a Broward People.

She may have expected Florida to be paradise and if she lived to see that stretch of Hillsboro Beach, it must have looked that way to her.

After all, in America, everyone can be somebody. Hillsboro Beach is light years from what may have been her aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

This is where everyone lives like human beings, right?

The dead woman counted on walking the streets of opportunity. She probably gave a human smuggler her life savings to get to the Bahamas before transferring to another overloaded boat for an “easy” trip to Florida.

The U.S. Coast Guard says that since October 2013, 804 Haitians have been stopped at sea. That number is up from 508 the year before.

Homeland Security people say the survivors of the 600-mile crossing who came with her will be repatriated.

Diana Nyad: Find a way

by admin

City: Fort Lauderdale (Los Angeles)
Quote: “It’s not too late. You can still do it.”

“During that 110 mile swim from Havana to Key West, it was crucial that I kept my mind active. I had a music playlist in my head. Top billing went to the Beatles ‘Ticket to Ride.’ I ‘rewound’ that song over and over during the 52 hour 54 minute swim. Laura Nyro’s “Sweet Blindness” and Fine Young Cannibals “She Drives me Crazy” also got lots of mind play. Toss in some James Taylor and Joe Cocker and you have a peek into how I amused myself.

Five times I failed at swimming from Havana to Key West. In each one of those tries I was brimming with conviction just like I was on this try. There was no other ocean crossing that would move me to train like this or dream like this again.

The dream started when I was a little girl growing up in Fort Lauderdale. I was standing with my mom where Las Olas Boulevard meets the beach. She pointed out into the ocean and said, ‘Cuba is so close you could almost swim there.’ How I wish I could have told her that I did.

I had that lifelong passion to swim from Cuba to the United States. I also had great respect for people who had survived impossible situations. Those were two major things that kept me going.

During my swim I had jellyfish stings, seasickness and vomiting, my mouth’s interior tissues were raw, the extra drag from the protective jellyfish gear was slowing me down, the salt was making me swell up and the saltwater stung my skin as it washed over my nasty lacerations. I wanted to be the first person to do this swim without a shark cage and I never lost sight of that goal.

At 24 hours into the swim, my mind was losing it’s crispness. For a while I was sure that I saw the Taj Mahal in the Florida Straits. My crew of kayakers, divers, navigators, jellyfish experts, medical team, meteorologists and other support members helped me focus again. Sometimes I counted to 100 over and over in English then Spanish then French. The left arm would take a stroke and then the right; hundreds of thousands of times.

A moment I will never forget during the swim is when one of the crew members said, ‘Diana, look toward the horizon. Do you see?’ she said from the boat.
I saw what I was certain was the first hint of the sunrise and thought that soon I will be swimming in daylight and feel the warmth of the sun’s rays.
‘It’s better than the sun,’ she said, ‘Those are the lights of Key West.’
For 35 years I have thought about seeing those lights and refused to lose faith that one day I would really make it all the way across. That was September 3, 2013. I swam on my back and started to cry.

What was I going to say to the other dreamers when I came ashore at Smathers Beach in Key West? How did I want to influence others? I wanted everyone to know that I thought this:
When I walk up on that shore in Florida, I want millions of my AARP sisters and brothers to look at me and say, ‘I’m going to go write that novel I thought it was too late to do. I’m going to go work in Africa on that farm that those people need help at. I’m going to adopt a child. It’s not too late, I can still live my dreams.

I did my dream in the water. My challenge now is to live that way out of the water.”

Johnny Depp: Bad boy of Miramar

by admin
johnny depp

Johnny Depp has lived many places since he was born in 1970 to John and Betty Sue.

One of those places is 2809 E. Lexington Drive Miramar. He went to Sunshine Elementary School and Henry D. Perry Middle School.

As a Miramar kid, Depp was best known for stealing, breaking rules and skipping his classes. Bad boy Johnny Depp dropped out of Miramar High School in 10th grade to play music in a garage band.

After two weeks of careful consideration, he changed his mind and asked to come back.

The principal said no.

So Depp went to Los Angeles to pursue his music and there met young actor Nicholas Cage. He took Cage’s advice and pursued acting instead of music.

Zoom ahead to big money, exploding fame, beautiful women. In 2007, while Depp was in London filming Sweeney Todd, his daughter Lily Rose had a serious E. coli infection. Her kidneys began to shut down and this meant an extended hospital stay for her.

To thank Great Ormond Street Hospital for her recovery, Depp visited the hospital in November 2007, dressed in his Captain Jack Sparrow outfit from Pirates of the Carribbean and spent four hours reading stories to the children.

In 2008, he donated $2 million to that hospital.

A bad boy from Miramar did that.

*from Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow played by Johnny Depp.