I took our kids to a Bluffton University football game over the weekend in Bluffton, Ohio. Bluffton lost 41 to 7 against Michigan’s Adrian College. While there was a lot of reasons for the Bluffton loss (the first string quarterback got hurt, they fumbled twice, Adrian had a better passing attack…), I believe the main reason for the loss was Bluffton’s mascott: the beaver. In a collegiate mascott moniker world of, say, Nittany Lions, Texas Longhorns, Notre Dame Fighting Irish… a name like “the beavers” hardly strikes terror in anyone. “That is, unless you’re a tree,” a friend of mine back in Cleveland laughed… From Bluffton, we traveled west to Van Wert, Ohio, where a priest said during a Sunday Mass that he’d just read that 40% of people who graduate college now — will never read another whole book in their life. His point was that in this new world of quick TV sound bytes and internet surfing, that many have lost the ability to be contemplative… We moved on to Garrett, Indiana (pop. 5,000), where I talked with Mike Zumbaugh. He volunteers regularly at the city’s Recycling Center. He said he was initially ordered to work there as part of his Community Service. And he liked working there so much he’s continued on the past two years. He told me he was, indeed, concerned about the environment and this was his way of trying to help.