Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An excerpt from Top of the World by Peter May -- ubuntu


There are 33 members of the Board of Trustees at Marquette University, a Jesuit institution in Milwaukee. Included in that group is one Glenn "Doc" Rivers, Class of 1985, who earned a degree in political science.

Board of Trustee meetings can be lengthy and boring and can cover a number of topics. In the fall of 2007, the meeting was in its second day when members took a break after a long discussion about public safety at the school. Rivers remained seated and pulled out some of his coaching notes for training camp which would be sta
rting in a few weeks.

Stephanie Russell, the school's executive director for mission and identity, who was attending the meeting, tapping him on the shoulder. Previously, she had heard Rivers talk about Marquette's student work-study program in Africa and his desire to go there with his family.

She had a question for him: had he ever heard of the word ubuntu? Rivers shook his head. Russell explained that Bishop Desmond Tutu had used the word in a speech at the Marquette campus a few years earlier and it had made a big impression on her. She went on to explain that ubuntu roughly means "I am because we are" or "I am because of you." An African variation of "all for one and one for all."

"It can be a lot deeper than that, she added. "It can be a way of life."

"Oh my God!" Rivers said. "That's my team. I've got to get my team to see that."

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