Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.
Good morning.Today I would like to tell you about a gentleman that I met many years ago. I would like to share some of the stories that he told about how he grew up and raised a family on a farm in S.E Kansas. His first name was Fred. Fred was born April 26 1922 and was the oldest son and second oldest in a family 9 children. He was born ½ mile south of South Mound Kansas, assisted in birth by a doctor who came in a buggy powered by a horse. Total cost of the birth including everything was $20. He was born during the depression and any luxuries were often nonexistent. Life started off rough. At the age of 2 he caught the measles and had a measles spot on one of his eyes which left him blind in that eye. During his school years he had to take off many times to assist with keeping the farm going. He met his wife Marjorie at a box supper. This was a school event where the young single ladies would bring a box lunch and the young single men bid on this lunch. The winner of the bid would share the meal with that young lady. He later scraped enough money together to purchase a farm. On that farm he milked cows, raised hogs and farmed. He and his wife had three children at that time. Life was a challenge in those early years. Shortly after purchasing the farm he broke his leg in a fall. Without the help of the nearby neighbors he wasn’t sure how he would have survived. They later had two additional children. Most of the food that the family consumed was raised on that farm. Clothing was often made at home and handed down from one child to the other. Any outings Fred and Marjorie took, those five children would always be with them. Later he acquired several more farms and both are still living at that location. Through his years of farming he earned about every agriculture and soil conservation award that were. They will be celebrating their 70 wedding anniversary this year. By the way I forgot to mention that gentleman is my father. I’m Danny Giefer and that’s something to think about.
As I think about school starting back up, I am reminded about the importance of not only the book work component of education, but also the soft skills or life skills. We learn some of these skills as a child such as sharing with others, using our manners and following directions. As we get older we are expected to manage our time, communicate effectively with others, follow rules and show up for school or work every day.
Our faculty at Flint Hills Technical College work very closely with employers to help provide the training and skills needed to help our graduates secure employment. In addition to the technical skills, employers tell us that they simply want their employees to show up to work every day and work hard. Seems pretty simple right? What we have learned from working with students at Flint Hills Technical College and employers is that basic skills such as a strong work ethic, positive attitude, effective verbal and written communication, the ability to receive feedback and adapt are just as important as any technical skill.
My husband and I currently have one child in each level of education - elementary school, middle school, high school and college. As we meet with teachers at parent-teacher conferences, soft skills are always discussed. Elementary school students are evaluated on their soft skills in addition to their academic skills on their report card. General categories include the ability to follow directions, get along with others, listen attentively and pay attention in class. At the middle school and high school levels teachers often make comments on a student’s report card regarding their attitude and work ethic. In many ways, soft skills will be reflected in a college student’s grades. Although we as parents don’t get feedback from teachers at the college level, our son or daughters grades are a good indication of the mastery of many soft skills.
At Flint Hills Technical College our students are evaluated on the technical, hands-on skills, but are also evaluated on nine core abilities or soft skills. Those core abilities include responsibility, initiative, professionalism, communication, group skills, personal growth, problem solving, information literacy and sound judgement.
In our instant gratification world I think it is important to teach students, at all levels, about soft skills and their importance. I also think it is important for all of us to remember that hardwork, a positive attitude and treating others with respectwill help us in everything we do.
I’m Lisa Kirmer and that’s something to think about.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see the lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee to-night.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
Where children pure and happy
Pray to the blessed Child,
Where misery cries out to thee,
Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching
And faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.
O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!