Confessions of a stay-at-home dad

first_imgBecoming a parent, says author Bruce Clark, has changed him for the better. Clark was raised as a Scientologist, set loose into the world without an education, and carried anger within him for years. Writing the book, he says, has been something of a cathartic experience.(Images: Random House Struik)MEDIA CONTACTS • Fourie BothaRandom House Struik+27 11 484 3538Lucille DavieBruce Clark is one of those unusual things – a stay-at-home dad. In his uplifting memoir Love Sex Fleas God, aptly subtitled “Confessions of a stay-at-home dad”, he talks about his troubled childhood and his ultimately successful search for direction in life.The captivating title came out of a paragraph Clark wrote in response to publisher Umuzi‘s request to describe the book – “Love sex fleas God” appeared, and the publisher said to him: “That’s the title!”Clark recounts with charm and humour his story – his brief marriage ceremony, the pregnancies and deliveries, and his adjustment to being a father, something that comes naturally to him despite his own tough upbringing – in the first half of the book.Despite a childhood that included being abandoned by his mother, the author doesn’t let this debut book become consumed by his harsh life experiences – at the end of the second chapter he writes that “This book is not at all about self-pity or anger. It’s a book about love.”It’s also about being vulnerable and honest and at ease with one’s feelings, something he learnt to do from a young age as he was surrounded by women – his mother, his sister and his grandmother. Finding directionClark’s story of neglect and alienation mirrors that of countless young men in South Africa, who may never get to tackle the root causes of their trauma. A good deal are raised by their grandmothers, often a result of parents dying of Aids. Like Clark, many too are raised in homes with absent fathers.His desperately poor grandmother was not able to adequately see to his needs, and the problem was exacerbated because Clark moved schools frequently.Experts agree that neglectful parenting – which encompasses all kinds of physical and emotional ill-treatment – doesn’t only upset the child, but the effects spill out into the family and the community, contributing to problems like violence, school drop-outs and unemployment.This makes Clark’s turnaround more remarkable and is a testament not only to his own character, but to the resilience of the South African spirit.Turned out on the streets at 16, Clark finds himself without a matric and without a job. After two years in the army he takes an aptitude test and learns to be a computer programmer, but is eventually retrenched, and ends up feeling despondent, useless and directionless.Meeting “a good woman”, and having children saves him, and it’s as a husband and father that he’s able to find himself. He has worked through his anger towards the world, and his life is given meaning by his deep love for his family.His devotion to his children glitters. He answers his son’s question “How many days until the end of the world?” by phoning God, after which his son tells a friend, with great pride, that his father has God’s phone number. He playfully goes along with his five-year-old daughter’s request for a new dress, teasing her, until she turns to him and says: “You have a crack in your bum.” Traumatic upbringingThe mood shifts in the second half of the book, where he describes his upbringing in a Scientology home, where his mother subjects him to distress and neglect, dumping him and his sister with his grandmother, who becomes their surrogate but unsuitable mother.His anger is never far from the surface, but still he manages to spend time with his mother at the end of her life, work through his resentment for her, and in the end, love her.“When my mother died my relationship with her was the best it had ever been,” he says. “She got to see my life through my eyes and vice versa. I spent too many years regarding her as a failed mother instead of recognising the fact she was an outstanding human.”It was a healing experience. “I suppose the fact that in the end I went from willing her to live to willing her to die was a testament to me moving to the side of love. She suffered so very much and I wanted it to end.” Clark’s mother died of cancer. Two years to writeClark says it took him around two years to write the book, but that it “tickled my fancy for years and years”. A school drop-out, he says that the only thing he could really do at school was to write.His first serious piece of writing was a eulogy for Jack, the car guard at Dabulamanzi Canoe Club in Greenside, Johannesburg, where Clark went to train for the Dusi Canoe Marathon, a 120km canoe race held in KwaZulu-Natal each year. For years the two of them had had a fraught relationship, which “brought out everything I hated in myself”.All that changed when he brought his children to the dam, and noticed how naturally Jack engaged with them. He started liking Jack, even looking out for him – they developed a close relationship. Several years later Jack, who was raising his grandchildren on his own, died. Clark was distraught, and wrote the eulogy, which was posted on the kayaking email group. This was picked up by the editor of Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, and Clark was asked to write several articles for the newspaper.Random House then approached him, suggesting a book, and the ball started rolling.Clark says he found the book difficult to write, not knowing which way around to start. For instance, he wrote the last page first – “that came very easily”. After that, the challenge was getting the sequence right. Favourable feedbackThe reaction to the book has been “pretty good”, he says. “It feels quite cathartic, and satisfying. I appreciate it when people say it is well written, that means more to me than anything else.”He adds that he didn’t anticipate how many people saw themselves in the book, particularly in their struggles with religion and personal issues. They found it comforting to read about how he had coped with his upheavals.Has being a parent changed him? “I am a lot more tolerant, humble and patient, a better person,” he says.More importantly, he sees himself as a writer now, who wouldn’t go back into formal employment. He has started writing again, although he doesn’t know where it will lead him. It’s more important to be happily married and a devoted parent.last_img read more

Meerut gangrape: Victim claims being tortured for the past three years

2008 Canberra Carnivale

first_imgThe ACT Touch Association would like to invite you and your team to participate in the Canberra Carnivale being held on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of November 2008 at the Deakin Touch fields in Canberra.This event will be quite different to the usual Touch Football Knock-out. The emphasis will be on the social teams and having several activities over the weekend that will make this tournament different to other knockouts.They will have a dash for cash, 2 on 1 defence comps for cash, a referees’ dash for cash, jumping castle for the kids, kids novelty events and a big function on the Saturday night. Of course there’ll be prize money as well for the winners in each division!While there’ll be the usual elite competition open to all teams, the emphasis will be on the social teams and creating a carnival atmosphere, with everybody having fun.If you’d like to find out more about our Canberra Carnivale and any teams in your competitions would like to nominate, please visit our website at http://www.acttouch.com.au  and click on Canberra Carnivale 2008.Please come and join us for what is shaping to be a great Carnival. We look forward to having you and your team involved in the Canberra Carnivale. You won’t regret it!Related Filescanberra_carnivale_poster_2008-pdflast_img read more

Report Uber IPO could put company value at 120 billion

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Uber may put forth an initial public offering early next year that values the ride-hailing business at as much as $120 billion, according to a media report.The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that Uber Technologies Inc. received valuation proposals from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. There is no guarantee Uber will fetch that valuation, or go public soon.If it does, and at that price, the company would be worth more than Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles combined.There are hurdles for Uber, past and present. In addition to a series of scandals including workplace sexual harassment, theft of intellectual property and the ouster of its co-founder, the company is facing increasing competition.The Journal also reported Tuesday that Uber’s smaller, but chief rival, Lyft, had picked underwriters for a public offering expected in early 2019. JPMorgan Chase & Co. will lead the offering, along with Credit Suisse Group AG and Jefferies Group LLC, the Journal reported. Lyft was valued at $15.1 billion earlier this year.last_img read more

VW wants to storm car market with massmarket electric model

first_imgFRANKFURT — Automaker Volkswagen says it will invest 44 billion euros ($50 billion) in developing autonomous and electric cars and expand the appeal of battery-powered cars by selling its upcoming ID compact for about what a diesel-powered Golf costs.Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch told a news conference Friday that the company’s plans for the next five years aim to make Volkswagen “a worldwide supplier of sustainable mobility.”Poetsch says the company is in talks with Ford about possible co-operation in making light commercial vehicles.Volkswagen is converting three of its German plants from internal combustion to battery car production as it pivots away from diesel vehicles in the wake of its emissions scandal. It says it will increase the number of electric models from six now to more than 50 by 2025.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Dawson Creek RCMP looking for suspect after 7Eleven robbery

first_imgWhen the clerk didn’t give the cash, the man then displayed a can of bear spray and discharged it at the clerk.The man then took cash from the register and ran from the store. He possibly got into a pickup truck and was last seen travelling south on 8th St.The Dawson Creek RCMP are requesting any persons that may have any information on this incident to call their office at 250-784-3700. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Dawson Creek RCMP are looking for a suspect after bear spray was used during a robbery at the 7-Eleven on 8th street.On Thursday, April 19, the Dawson Creek RCMP responded to a report of a robbery at 7-Eleven in the community.The Dawson Creek RCMP were notified that an unknown male, wearing a grey hoodie and blue face mask, entered the 7-Eleven convenience store and demanded cash from the clerk.last_img read more

Kashmiri shawl seller attacked miscreants flee with Rs 2 lakh

first_imgKolkata: A Kashmiri shawl trader who has been doing business in Kolkata for more than eight years was slashed with a knife by some miscreants who decamped after snatching nearly Rs 2 lakh from him. The incident took place near Park Circus railway station on Friday evening. The trader, identified as Shafur Ahmed Shah has sustained several cut injuries with the miscreants inflicting several slashes with the knife. Shah has lodged a complaint with the Ballygunge GRP alleging that four miscreants were involved in the attack. According to his complaint, the miscreants escaped after snatching cash worth Rs 1.95 lakh that he was carrying with him. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersSources in the Ballygunge GRP informed that the trader was carrying the cash to hand it over to a businessman from whom he had taken a loan. “I had just crossed the rail tracks and was walking by its side under the bridge when I was surrounded by four persons. They asked me whether I am a Kashmiri and when I answered in the positive, they attacked me with a knife. I suffered several cut injuries and when I fell down, they snatched the money I was carrying and fled,” Shah said. He managed to call up one of his friends who lives nearby. The latter came to the spot and rushed Shah, who was badly bleeding, to the National Medical College and Hospital where he was treated and discharged. Police informed that Shah is a resident of Santoshpur in South Kolkata.last_img read more

JNU student commits suicide in campus depression suspected

first_imgNew Delhi: A JNU student allegedly committed suicide on Friday by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in a study room of the university.The investigating agency said that the deceased was undergoing some treatment as per preliminary enquiry. They are also probing weather the student was under depression. According to police, they were alerted about the incident on Friday at about 12 pm. A PCR call was received in Vasant Kunj (North) police station regarding the suicide note of a JNU student which was received by a professor. The investigating team reached at the spot which was School of Language. After contacting the caller who was the office in charge of Mahi Mandvi hostel. “He said that he received a message from warden regarding Rishi Joshua Thomas, student of MA 2nd year English language JNU, residing at JNU’s Mahi Mandvi Hostel. In the note, it was written that he is committing suicide,” an investigator said. Police further added that during investigation it was revealed that in the basement of library one room was locked from inside. “On knocking no one responded. From the window Rishi Joshua was seen hanging from the ceiling fan, the door was forcibly opened and the body was taken down by cutting the cable,” added city police press statement. The statement further reads that at the spot a doctor from JNU declared him dead. Later for collecting clues and to further probe the crime, team visited the spot. The body has been shifted to Safdarjung Hospital. “Relatives informed one cousin brother Mathew Varghese also reached JNU. One suicide note mailed to Prof of English language. As per preliminary enquiry, no foul play is suspected. Further investigation is in progress,” police said. The JNU in the press statement said that they express its deep condolences at the untimely demise of an MA student in one of the academic buildings of the university. Police were informed forthwith and the case is being investigated. His body has been sent to the Safdarjung Hospital and his parents have been informed about this unfortunate incident. Police are also probing if it was due to a relationship gone wrong or because of some other reason.last_img read more

With a Ring Comes Bell

The story of Vonn Bell’s recruitment ended with the five-star safety putting on a Scarlet and Gray hat and telling a nationally televised audience he will be attending The Ohio State University. Bell, a Rossville, Ga., native, held a press conference broadcast by ESPN in the Ridgeland High School gymnasium on National Signing Day, Feb. 6. With his family beside him and a sea of classmates in front of him, Bell announced he was picking the Buckeyes over the likes of Alabama and Tennessee, among other schools. Bell’s justification for choosing OSU was fairly straightforward. “I just felt more comfortable with coach (Urban) Meyer because I had spent more time with him and his staff,” Bell said. OSU’s journey to get the 6-foot, 190-pound safety to feel that way was arduous in its task, but simple in its nature. The Buckeyes’ lead recruiter on Bell – co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Everett Withers – just outworked his competition. “I’ve seen some really good efforts,” Meyer said. “Everett Withers from start to finish, his effort on Vonn Bell, as good as I’ve ever seen.” The tale of Bell’s courting begins a little more than a year ago. Coming off a junior season in which he recorded 180 tackles and five interceptions, Bell was a hot commodity on the recruiting trail. His first scholarship offer came from the University of Georgia in early January 2012. After that, the offers started pouring in: Alabama (the reigning national champion). Tennessee (the hometown favorite). Florida. Notre Dame. Think of an elite college football team, and Bell likely had a scholarship offer from them, OSU included. “Literally he would get four to five (offers) a day,” Ridgeland football coach Mark Mariakis said in an interview with The Lantern Monday. The Buckeyes, though, didn’t become a serious contender until the hard-hitting safety visited Columbus over his junior year spring break, Mariakis said. Bell spent a day with Meyer, touring the OSU football facilities and getting to know the Buckeyes’ program. The visit to Columbus was part of a double-digit school tour by Bell and his family. When the group returned home to Georgia after the trek, OSU’s appeal was clear. “When he came back, (Bell and his family) realized that Ohio State was going to be in the forefront of the hunt,” Mariakis said. From there, Withers took over. The 49-year-old was like an “octopus” in his pursuit of the top-50 prospect, Meyer said. “The recruiting process is about relationships. You are going to try to find out as much as you can – whether it be good or bad about a young man – you want to try to find it all out,” Withers said. If there was a relationship to be made, Withers was there. OSU’s co-defensive coordinator, naturally, started with Bell himself. The pair “hit it off right off the bat,” Mariakis said. “They’re so like-minded,” Mariakis said. From there, Withers moved on to Bell’s family and coach. Withers talked to Bell’s mother, a teacher at Ridgeland, about what OSU could offer in terms of education. Withers connected with Bell’s father, a director of a few Boys & Girls Clubs in Northwest Tennessee, by discussing how to work with kids. “I got to know the entire family, grandma, the whole deal,” Withers said. “Spending the time with them was really good.” Withers might have burned the majority of his recruiting hours with Mariakis, who chuckled when asked how often he interacted with the Buckeye coach. “Me and him talked numerous times every week,” Mariakis said. “That’s not a stretch, either. It was literally all the time. “He’d call ‘How’s Vonn? How’s he playing? How’d the game go Friday?’ He took a real interest in him. If he could be here, what all the rules allowed him to do, he was here.” Mariakis has been coaching for 28 years. He has had dozens of athletes go on to play high-level college football. He’s been through the recruiting process more times than he can count. In his nearly three-decade long career as a high school football coach, the way Withers went about recruiting Bell is as good as Mariakis can remember. “He took every opportunity he had to build a relationship with Vonn and his family, and with me. He never missed a phone call. If I called him, he’d either answer the phone or call me right back. In visit time, he came and visited,” Mariakis said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a recruiter do as good a job coach Withers did.” The respect goes both ways. “I would have to say in my 25 years of doing this, in this business, coach Mariakis and his staff at Ridgeland High School were probably by far the best group of people I’ve ever been around,” Withers said. The days spent with Bell and those closest to him paid off for Withers in more ways than one. Yes, OSU got the recruit, but also, Withers is now familiar with some of the best aspects of Chattanooga, Tenn., a place less than six miles from Rossville. “I have a new place in Chattanooga, Tenn., to get my haircut. I know where the best barbecue places are in Chattanooga, Tenn. I got around a lot of people,” Withers said. Withers made the strongest impression during the recruitment, but Meyer made his presence felt, too. When Ridgeland took on Sandy Creek High School in the Georgia Class AAAA State Championship Game Dec. 15, Meyer was in attendance. He sat next to Bell’s mother in the Georgia Dome stands during the game, and visited with Bell in the locker room after his team suffered a 45-10 loss. “That was really impressive to me, to stay there and just be in the mix of our community and Vonn’s family meant a lot,” Mariakis said. The story of Bell’s recruitment hits its climax the night and morning before Bell announced his decision. Withers said he thought he would be made aware of what school Bell was going to sign with at about 8 p.m. Feb. 5. That didn’t happen. Withers did receive an encouraging phone call from Bell’s father that evening, though. “(His) dad told me at the end of the night, he said, ‘Coach, live on your body of work because you’ve done all you can do. Sleep well,’” Withers said. Withers made a phone call of his own, too, with Mariakis on the receiving end. “I had talked to coach Mariakis … I said, ‘Coach, if it’s going to be a good phone call, make sure coach Meyer gets it.’ I said, ‘If it’s going to be a bad phone call, just call me,’” Withers said. The next morning, Meyer, Withers and the rest of the OSU staff were in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, anxiously waiting for what the equivalent of college football’s Christmas would entail for the Buckeyes’ program. At one point, shortly after the sun had risen, Meyer said he couldn’t contain his nerves, or be around his assistants, any longer. He separated himself from the rest of his staff and went into a private room to work out on a stationary bike. “I couldn’t take it anymore. Everett Withers was driving me nuts. I had to get away from him,” Meyer said. At about 9:50 a.m., 10 minutes before Bell was set to make his announcement on ESPN, Withers made his way toward Meyer. He heard a phone ring and Meyer answer. It was Bell. “You know I’m in, right?” Bell told Meyer on the phone. Meyer’s response was simple. “No, I didn’t know you were in. Congratulations,” Meyer said. Withers’ yearlong stretch full of time and effort had paid off. Bell, one of the crown jewels of OSU’s 2013 recruiting class that ranks in the top-three nationally, should help the Buckeyes’ defense right away. Bell’s decision to sign with OSU could also be a sign of more good stories to come for the Scarlet and Gray. Going into the land of sweet tea and tangy barbecue and prying a recruit away from the strong clasps of the Southeastern Conference – winners of the last seven national championships – is no easy task in college football. OSU did that with Bell in out-recruiting Alabama and Tennessee, Bell’s other favorites. The Buckeyes might be one of the few programs north of the Mason-Dixon line that can keep on doing it, too. “I think it goes back to the relationships that Ohio State staff is building,” Mariakis said. “When you get that combination of good football and the relationships with those kids, you’ve got something special.” read more

Mens lacrosse Ohio State defeats Loyola Maryland to advance to quarterfinals of

Ohio State players celebrate a goal in the first quarter against Loyola Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament on May 14, 2017 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 3 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is moving on to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament after taking down Loyola Maryland 7-4 in Ohio Stadium on Sunday.The Buckeyes (14-4) failed to score at least nine goals for the first time since April 2, but freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire’s three goals were enough to lift OSU past the Greyhounds (10-6). Redshirt senior goalie Tom Carey made 12 saves on 16 shots on goal.Down the stretch, Loyola put the pressure on a Buckeye defense that allowed double-digit goals in both Big Ten tournament games last weekend. However, Carey and the rest of the defense held their own in the final 15 minutes despite being outshot 9-2.“Just really proud we’ve proven that we can win in different ways,” said OSU coach Nick Myers. “I think today is an example where we say, ‘OK, today is not our day offensively.’ Kind of a message to those guys down the stretch was let us win this game defensively. Get down there, be strong with the ball.”It took nearly seven minutes for either team to get on the scoreboard. Unsurprisingly, Leclaire — the team’s leading scorer and Big Ten Freshman of the Year — was the first to strike with 8:09 remaining on the clock. It was his 42nd of the year.Sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski heads for the goal in the fourth quarter during the first round of the NCAA tournament against Loyola Maryland on May 14, 2017. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterLater, sophomore midfielder Logan Maccani made a move toward the goal from behind the net and found junior attackman Colin Chell in the middle of the defense for a one-timer to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead before the end of the first.In the second quarter, Loyola put immense pressure on the Buckeye attackman, leading to 11 turnovers from the Scarlet and Gray, and the Greyhounds cranked up the offense as well.They had eight shots on goal in the second quarter compared to three in the first, but only found the back of the net twice as Carey made six saves in the quarter.After trimming the deficit to 3-2, the Greyhounds had an opportunity to tie the game before the half, but Carey made a point-blank save to preserve the lead.“It definitely helps to get a few (big saves) early,” Carey said. “But the defense in front of me played really well and we gave up the shots we wanted to early.A slow-paced first half turned into an intense battle that showcased the teams best players in the third quarter as both sides showed a sense of urgency out of the break.Senior attackman Eric Fannell tallied his 29th goal of the year in the first three minutes of the quarter before Patriot League Player of the Year, and national player of the year finalist, Pat Spencer finally put one past Carey from 6 yards out for this 28th of the season.Leading by a mere goal on two difference occasions, Leclaire seized the opportunities he was given and gave OSU a two-goal cushion at 5-3 and 6-4, which was a margin that was more comfortable that it appeared on the jumbotron in the south end zone.“There were certainly some moments where we felt like we needed to just hunker down and get the next goal,” Myers said. “When we got that two goal lead, I thought that was big.”Senior attack Brendan Fannell takes a shot on the goal against Loyola Maryland during the first round of the NCAA tournament on May 14, 2017 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterOSU’s best player through the entire season proved his worth in his first NCAA tournament game with a hat trick following a nine-goal performance in two games last weekend in the conference tournament.“(Getting the hat trick) was a surreal moment,” Leclaire said. “It was a fun game to play in. A lot of credit to our defense for that, backing us up.”With 12 seconds left, sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski scored his first of the game and removed any doubt of who would advance to play Duke in the quarterfinals next Saturday.The Buckeyes’ offense has carried them to this point, but confidence is riding high with the squad after a convincing showing on defense. Spencer had six shots toward the net, but only one went past Carey. Junior defenseman Ben Randall, who primarily defended Spencer, was a key cog in the wall around the OSU net.“Defensively, I wanted to take away his vision and force him to go to the cage, which I think we did a good job of,” Randall said.After allowing 23 goals in two games last weekend in the conference tournament, the Buckeyes defense took the steps it needed for a deep run in the NCAA tournament.“I think the guys, coming out of the Big Ten tournament, they were a bit disappointed defensively,” Myers said. “This week it was back to basics on that end of the field and I just felt like we just had a really good week of practice. And felt like today was a result of that hard work we put in this week.” read more