Just a Thought “Making a Real Difference”

Many readers might remember that for the two previous years before “Just a Thought” I also wrote a weekly column called, “Ask the Judge.” I informed readers on everything you wanted or needed to know about finding yourself in a Justice of the Peace Court. For me I got to be Judge Judy two days a week among other things! Those are positive memories. In that August, 2013 column, I grappled with the question, “Am I making a difference?” I wrote, “For us old timers who grew up with the movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ with actor Jimmy Stewart, (aka George Bailey) the question is about whether or not we make a difference in people’s lives. Hopefully the answer is yes.” Sometimes I reflect on how my life as a former Judge has made a positive impact or difference on people’s lives that entered my courtroom.

I do believe many people from all walks of life have entertained similar types of thoughts more than once in their lives as well. Having taught in the public school system for 26 years, mostly Hispanic students would share with me that they dreamed of wanting to be a doctor, nurse, policeman, or firefighter to be able to literally save lives and “make a difference.” How many La Prensa San Antonio and now La Prensa Texas readers have at one time had those thoughts and never expressed them to anybody? In my case I wondered in that column if I did a good enough job to affect my students in a positive way. I would like to think so. Even now I still go on Facebook and am able to connect with a number of my former students who are now parents and even grandparents. You don’t know how old that makes me feel!! Back then there was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. It is great however keeping up with them and their lives as they share with me about their families, where they have been, the type of work they now do and on and on. I remind many of them how I vividly recall them back then sharing with me their goals and aspirations to do exactly what they are doing now and “making a difference.” Fortunately my memory is still intact!

It makes me feel that I somehow contributed to their success and not their failure. One of my former students at McCollum High School, Joseph Medina is a Northside ISD school board member. Another classmate of Joseph’s, Adam Ortiz does video production. I see him at a lot of events I attend. One of my students from La Memorial is a political activist. He goes by Jaime Martinez although we called him “Eddie” back in the day. I run into him a lot as well. Then there is County Judge Waldon Sheldon who I taught when he was 12 and in the 7th grade. He is now 57 years old! When I was a Justice of the Peace he received two appeals of my cases and happily for me he upheld me both times. Maybe I made a positive difference in his life or I made the right decision that he concurred with on those verdicts. Either way it works for me. I do remind them all “I taught you everything you know!!! No longer a teacher or Judge, I guess I will move on to the next phase of my life and continue trying to “make a real difference.” Hopefully for me I am now writing a weekly column for La Prensa Texas with my third Publisher named Duran. Tino brought me in and daughter Nina kept me and now son Steve is keeping me. Hopefully together we can continue to make a big difference too. Only you the reader can decide that one. Si Se Puede. And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”

UTSA Professor Discusses the Resilience of San Antonio’s Cultural Heritage

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 By R Eguia . Last month, scholars, community members and students gathered at the Southwest School of Art Coates Chapel to hear a conversation by the San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor at UTSA, William Dupont, called A Resilient Heritage: Designing San Antonio’s Future to Preserve Our Past. The talk introduced Cultural Sustainability as the continuity of cultural systems of human existence. People have heritage identities and values that bind them to places and communities are essential for full sustainability. “Design with respect for Heritage,” was a key theme as Dupont...

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Computer and Internet Addiction is a Real Thing

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 Are you dependent on technology to bring you satisfaction in life? Dependency can be playing video games to escape reality, posting to social media to get attention or validation, compulsive online spending when anxious or bored, or visiting dating sites with the hopes of meeting the love of your life. Are there noticeable negative patterns surrounding your computer or internet activities? Are they causing problems in your relationships or affecting your work performance? Most of the time, these addictions are just distractions to real issues that people are not yet ready to face. They may feel anxious, impulsive or unfulfilled in life. These activities produce a “high”, filling a void and bringing pleasure that lasts momentarily. Overtime, these addictions have negative consequences that outweigh the positive feelings experienced. They can also have long-term negative effects on many areas of our lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research has shown that certain people are more susceptible to computer or internet addiction. These individuals include; those who have had prior addictions to other behaviors or substances; a history of depression or anxiety; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; or Low self-esteem. Recovering computer addicts reported feelings of euphoria when using the computer and feelings of depression, unfulfillment and irritability when not using it. They also described feeling withdrawn or neglected by family and...

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S.A Performance Art Collective HoK

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 On March 9, the local performance art collective, HoK (House of Kenzo) presented Permutations, a 20 minute production exploring systems, fluidity, work and cycles, at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston. The trio, Ledef (sound production), Brexxitt (choreography) and Grapefruit (concept design) embodied possibilities through splash choreography and projection mapping. Local carpenter company, Precision Woodworking Texas, assisted the group with an installation that included an indoor water trough, a 10 part pulley system and a network of clear bags filled with water tied onto natural rope. The performance was inspired by...

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Mariachi Girl Stars Lucero Garcia at the Magik Theatre

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 1 Many women have made their mark in the performance arts. In San Antonio, girls go to places like the Magik theatre to begin their journey. Like 14-year-old San Antonio actress, Lucero Garcia. She began acting at the age of 7 during The Magik Theatre’s summer camps and classes. She plays the role of Carmencita in the new show called Mariachi girl at the Magik Theatre. “I fell in love with musical theatre. All I could think about was being on stage singing and dancing and performing for people and making them...

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Guadalupe Cultural Arts

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 By Melinda Gonzalez There is a renewed energy in the air and the culmination of efforts to re-establish the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) as the beacon of Chicano Art is paying off. Founded in 1980 and located in the heart of San Antonio’s historic Westside, the nonprofit organization serves over 100,000 people each year on a local, national and international scale through artistic, educational, and community programming. Jorge Piña who is a native San Antonian is back and fulfills a key leadership position for the GCAC after resigning from the...

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About The Author

Steve Walker

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.

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