Matthew Dunaway AUG 2017 · 205-705-3590

August 2017

TEACHERS AND MENTORS Those Who Guide Us Through Life

My kids are preparing to go back to school, and that got me thinking about teachers. I’ve had many extraordinary instructors, but there are a few who really stand out. My kindergarten teacher, Ms. Sherry, is one awesome educator. She also happened to be my Sunday school teacher for many years, and I believe I owe a lot of my academic integrity to her. She pushed us intellectually and was a wonderful influence as I began my education. In third and fourth grade, I had another wonderful teacher, Ms. Varner. I remember she was super nice, but she also had an air of authority about her. You didn’t misbehave in her class. Ms. Varner helped kick-start my love of reading by introducing me to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” You could tell she really cared about each of her students, and I have fond memories of her. In college, I met a number of excellent teachers, but my favorite would be Professor DiOrio, my Latin teacher. She had a Ph.D. in classics, spoke Greek and Latin, and was an expert in her field. I went to Auburn University, which isn’t necessarily known for its classics department. I took three years of Latin, and by my second year, there were only five people in the class. Professor DiOrio knew none of us were going to pursue a Ph.D. in the classics, but she still cared about what we studied and was an effective teacher. She held us accountable and

year). Instead, Coach Webster was always concerned about his players’ grades. For the guys who were having a tough time, he did what he could to ensure they finished high school. And as for the guys he knew would be going on to college, he never let us mess around like 18-year-old boys tend to do. I know Coach Webster did a lot to help us, as much as any academic teacher in my life. I believe it’s important to find good mentors and teachers, and it’s equally important to be good mentors and teachers. I don’t mean we should all coach high school football or teach Latin. But we do have opportunities to mentor and support others at church, in our careers, and even in the ballpark. We owe it to the mentors and teachers who had a positive impact on our lives to be the same for another person, if possible.

I believe it’s important to find good mentors and teachers, and it’s equally important to be good mentors and teachers.

encouraged us to work hard. In return, she worked just as hard as our teacher.

It’s not just my academic teachers I’m grateful for. In high school, my football coach was as gruff and old-school as a coach could be. Coach Webster was a little rough around the edges, but he cared a great deal about his players. To him, his job wasn’t to turn us into the next great NFL stars (though we did win the state championships my junior

– Matt Dunaway

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THE EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE NEWS They Say Ignorance Is Bliss … But Is It Healthy?

Why Is the News So Negative?

It’s nearly impossible to log on to social media or turn on the TV without seeing something distressing. Instead of dwelling on what’s troubling, let’s focus on how to protect our mental health.

good news — or no news at all. Advances in medicine and technology happen all the time! Seek out those stories, or take a break from news altogether. That’s when no news can become good news.

As news media revenue goes down and people become desensitized, news organizations feel the pressure to show emotionally relevant

material such as crime and accidents. At a basic level, for something to be “newsworthy” — negative or not — it

The Psychology of Bad News

A study by Psychology Today found that people who watch negative news feel worse about pre-existing worries than people who watch happy or neutral events. That means people watching the news don’t just feel anxious about the world — they feel more anxious about their own lives. British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the effects of media violence, says negative news can affect how you interact with the world around you. As you consume threatening news, you’re more likely to spot threats in your day-to-day activities that aren’t there, which leads to anxiety.

needs to be the exception to the rule, not the norm. That means watching the news might give you an inaccurate view of what daily life is like in the world.

How to Fight the Negativity

It’s important to understand important issues of the day. But

when the news becomes too much, psychologists encourage you to take a break with some



“I am so thankful for the wonderful experience that I received with Matt Dunaway. He was very patient, pleasant, dependable, and, most of all, very knowledgeable. Because of the tremendous job that he did, I now have a new chance and outlook on life. I just want to thank Matt Dunaway and his staff for the great job they have provided.” – Nkrumah R.


A (Very Brief) History of Bankruptcy Law BANKRUPTCY THROUGH THE AGES

Most early bankruptcy practices were not kind to debtors. In Ancient Greece, if a man could not pay his debts, he, his family, and his servants were forced into “debt slavery” until the creditor regained their lost investment through physical labor. Meanwhile, in East Asia, the laws of Genghis Khan decreed that anyone who went bankrupt three times would face the death penalty. This harsh treatment of debtors continued throughout history. In England, the first bankruptcy laws passed under King Henry VIII in 1542 viewed bankrupt individuals as criminals. Common punishments ranged from debtor’s prison to the harsh sentence of death. Even bankruptcy laws in the United States prioritized recovering the investments of a creditor and were harsh to bankrupt individuals. The federal government passed a number of bankruptcy laws in response to economic hardships in 1800, 1841, and 1867, all of which were repealed just a few years later.

Bankruptcy in America wouldn’t begin to focus on rehabilitating troubled debtors until 1934, when the U.S. Supreme Court determined bankruptcy laws were meant to give debtors a “fresh start.” The decision of Local Loan v. Hunt stated, “[I]t gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor … a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of pre-existing debt.” Since this decision, bankruptcy laws often limit the punishment of debtors. The Chandler Act of 1938, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, and the Bankruptcy Tax Act of 1980 all aimed to streamline the bankruptcy process and protect debtors, whether the debtor is an individual or a company. Bankruptcy law changed a lot over the centuries and continues to change today. There are bills being discussed right now which could transform various aspects of bankruptcy, including the Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act of 2015, which would

add protections for borrowers in the private student loan market, and Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2017, which would change the way large institutions transfer debtor’s assets. Whether these acts will pass is still uncertain, but no matter what changes are made to bankruptcy law, you can count on your bankruptcy lawyer to stay well-informed. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call 205-705-3590 today.

Hebrews 12:4-12 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined — and everyone undergoes discipline — then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”


Make the most of these remaining summer weeks and take dinner outside to the grill! You don’t need to visit the fair for this delicious, classic street food.

Ingredients • ¼ cup mayonnaise • ¼ cup sour cream • ½ cup finely crumbled feta cheese • ½ teaspoon chili powder Instructions 1. Set burners of gas grill to high heat and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. 2. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in large bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside. 3. Place corn on hot grill, rotating occasionally. Grill until cooked

• 1 medium clove garlic, minced • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves • 4 ears corn, shucked • 1 lime, cut into wedges through and charred in spots on all sides, for about 8 minutes. 4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use large spoon to evenly coat each ear on all sides. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

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Recipe inspired by


PO Box 531168 Birmingham, Alabama 35253

NSIDE A Salute to Great Teachers........................... page 1 Ignorance Is Bliss … Is It Healthy? 2 Testimonial ................................................... page 2 A (Very Brief) History of Bankruptcy.......... page 3 Grilled Mexican Street Corn ........................ page 3 Smarten Up Your Home ............................... page 4

Smarten Up Your Home


We’ve all had those days when you leave the house, a cold chill runs down your spine, and your mind is flooded with doubt. Did I leave the stove on? Is the door unlocked? Luckily, like many common problems, the tech world is trying to make these worries a thing of the past. There are now a variety of apps that allow you to control nearly every aspect of your home from your phone, no matter where you are. At the simpler end of the spectrum are Belkin’s WeMo products. WeMo makes smart plugs that allow you to remotely operate any device that plugs into the wall. They’re great for products like hair straighteners that can pose a fire hazard if left on unattended. Another company at the forefront of household tech is Nest, best known for their thermostats. Nest thermostats are not only fully customizable based on time and weather conditions, but they can also program themselves through the

Nest Learning System. Using the product is also energy efficient, saving you money on the electric bill. If you want to your house to be fully teched out, then SmartThings is the best option. The SmartThings hub allows you to connect an infinite number of devices to your phone. These devices can even “talk” to each other once they are part of your SmartThings system. If you want your coffee pot to turn on the moment you start running the shower, you can do it. You can also connect SmartThings to voice assistants like the Amazon Echo, which will allow you to turn on appliances with the sound of your voice. Interconnecting your home appliances will only grow easier in the coming years. Whether you want to dip your toe in the water or dive in fully, there’s a product out there for you.


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