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Chuck Brooks' column: A few random thoughts from teacher on break

One of the best reasons I love summer is I don’t have a schedule. During the school year, my life is scheduled, to say the least. Consequently, for these 10 weeks, I’m happy to take a breath and live without responsibilities connected to my career. It affords me time to reconnect with myself and others. For that reason, I thought perhaps this would be a good time to share “Random Thoughts From The Teacher During Summer.”

I recently saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I was in high school when the original series began. I loved those initial movies in that series of five. The remake about 10 years ago with Mark Wahlberg was ok, but this latest attempt to breathe life into the series again has been far more successful. The first one, two years ago, with James Franco that laid the groundwork for why the apes learn to speak and what prom-pts them to revolt was good. This second one, still in the theaters, was even better. A good summer action flick if you can suspend reality for two-plus hours.

I normally don’t read non-fiction. I teach literature with meat on its bones. In the summer, I like to simply escape with fun literature. However, I’ve had a change of heart this summer. I’ve seen the preview for the Christmas premiere of Unbroken, a film by Angelina Jolie. The story is about Louis Zamperini. It covers the early years of his life and what happens to him during WWII. He died this summer at the age of 97. The preview for the film is powerful. I felt a need to read this book. It was written by the woman who wrote Seabiscuit. Her writing is smooth and poetic. It is out this week in soft cover, and I highly recommend it if you love to read anything. It’s a nice break, actually, from my mystery and suspense diet.

All winter and spring I was recording COSMOS, primarily because the previews looked incredible on my HD television. I had no idea I’d enjoy the show as much as the visual! This summer has provided the time to watch all 13 episodes. I remember when the original series premiered with Carl Sagan in the 80s. I was too young to care about it. It’s amazing what a few additional years of maturity will do for a person. I look forward to its return next season.

On the morning of the Leprechaun parade, I learned of a terrible tragedy that befell one of our Rosemount citizens who also volunteered to sell Twas The Night Before Christmas In Rosemount in her store. Michelle Scheuerlein, owner of Rosemount Floral, was helping her neighbor cut down a broken tree limb when the limb knocked Michelle out of the tree. She fell 20 feet to the ground and was knocked unconscious. Michelle suffered a broken shoulder, several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and two shattered vertebrae resulting in a severed spine. While she has full upper body function and movement, she has been told there is no chance of ever being able to walk again. To add to Michelle’s story, her husband has been unemployed for the last 18 months. If you would like to help Michelle and her family with the costs that this tragic event will bring to her family’s life, you can donate at or stop in at Rosemount Floral to donate. Michelle’s progress can also be followed at her CaringBridge site. I am sure any assistance will be appreciated by Michelle and her family. We’ll keep Michelle and her family in our prayers.

Three days after the parade, I learned of yet another sad event. Apparently I was in Wisconsin when this occurred, and I never heard about it until five weeks later. A friend to this column and its writer passed away. He was also a friend to this community. David Toombs, the president of Rosemount’s First State Bank, left us in June. I am still processing this while most of you, I’m certain, have known and dealt with the news for a while now. David always gave me a hard time when I walked in the bank. He would see me wearing my Wisconsin jacket and the good-humored battle would begin each and every time. I’d known David for about as long as I’ve been in Rosemount because I taught his youngest boy and some of his grandkids. I shall miss our banter when I visit the bank, and I know his family and employees will miss the figure sitting behind that glass window of his window. It’s truly a loss to our community.

With every season comes joy and sadness. This summer is no exception. Hopefully, the remaining days in this next month will bring smiles to all, and we’ll meet here next time to chat about how I’m feeling about heading back to my 40-year class reunion. Yikes!

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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