David Blackwell - May/June 2020





Second Chances and Heroic Teachers

“Schools, and the professionals who work in them, are about much more than reading and math … they drive success on many different levels.” At USC Lancaster, some students are unsure if college is right for them. They wonder: Should I continue college, go to trade school, or go get a job? Other students go back and forth deciding on their career path. Some of my students are just like I was back in college: They struggle to adjust, have bad study habits, or don’t really know what their options are. When I come across those students, I share the tools I learned that helped me with my second chance — some are straightforward things like how to make an outline, how to maximize test-taking strategies, or just how to make it through school with a decent GPA. I figure if these things helped me, they might help my students, too. National Teacher Appreciation Week begins May 4. My wife taught for many years, then worked as a principal, and today she is a director of elementary education. As I am writing this, school teachers are working I attended Wofford College for one semester but did not get to go back because I messed up. I got a second chance, however, at the University of South Carolina Lancaster campus. After a couple of years, I reapplied to Wofford College so I could finish what I started and graduated with a degree in accounting. I am thankful for second chances and now teach one course at the University of SC Lancaster campus, offering young people the same second chance I was offered. After graduation, I first worked with a bank, then a computer software company, and finally a marketing firm. I went to law school because I was sued and had a horrible lawyer, but thankfully, the fellow on the other side was worse, so I decided I could do better than them. I got my law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. My second chance eventually worked out for me.

early this morning to prepare two weeks of lesson plans to be taught remotely. They’re working hard to figure out how to continue feeding their students who count on school breakfasts and lunches during the mandated closure. Schools, and the professionals who work in them, are about much more than reading and math. They’re a focal point for our whole community, and they drive success on many different levels. Even right down to the situation the nation finds itself in right now with this pandemic, schools have figured out how to keep going. The politicians are floundering. Parents might even be painfully relearning what teachers go through daily. But the teachers have it under control.

We, along with our nonprofit, Justice4Kids, truly value the contributions our teachers make to this community. Let us know how we can help!



How to Talk to Your Doctor After You’ve Been Injured

Punctuation’s Problem Child Why the Interrobang Fizzled Out

It’s a punctuation mark that’s over 50 years old, but you may not have heard of it before. It’s an odd-looking squiggle that denotes a common inflection, but many experts argue it has no place on paper. In an age when thoughts are limited to 280 characters, wouldn’t a single punctuation mark that does the job of two be valuable? Some say yes, others say no thank you. So what is this mystery punctuation mark? It’s the interrobang! In 1962, advertising agent Martin K. Speckter believed ads would look better if rhetorical questions were conveyed using a single mark. He merged the question mark, also called an interrogative point, with the exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers as a “bang,” and the interrobang was born. In the first few years of its existence, the interrobang made some mild headway, appearing in some dictionaries and even on some typewriters in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And while it was used in magazine and newspaper articles for several years, it wasn’t meant to last. There are a few explanations for why the interrobang never took off, but the most prominent one says that as writing styles changed, there was less use of rhetorical questions in writing, especially formal writing. Because the interrobang was originally intended to denote rhetorical questions, it faded from use. Today, using the two punctuation marks that make up the interrobang is still popular, especially in nonformal writing like social media copy. Any variation of “!?” denotes a sense of excitement, urgency, or disbelief in the form of a question, rhetorical or not. But the reason people don’t use the interrobang to serve the same purpose is simple: It’s not a key on keyboards. There are still certain fonts that are equipped to display the nonstandard mark, but if you want to use it, you have to go digging for it. It’s just much quicker to write two punctuation marks than search for a single one.

While the primary goal of medical care should be treatment to speed your healing, it’s important to remember that what you say to your doctor is recorded in your medical records. This especially matters if you’re filing an injury case — medical records are used as evidence. First, don’t delay getting medical attention. If you are in pain after an accident, seeking care immediately will get you the best medical care, and insurance companies and the jury will see your injury is serious. Failing to seek care immediately leaves your case open for the insurance company to claim your injury must not be severe enough to warrant compensation because you didn’t seek care immediately. So, if you experience pain after an accident, don’t make the mistake of visiting a lawyer before seeking medical care. The order in which you do things — seek medical attention, and then seek legal counsel — shows your priorities. You also need to keep all medical appointments. Failing to do so tells insurance companies you are not that serious about healing, and they will use it against you in court. Missing appointments can also exacerbate your care providers, and irritated doctors do not make good witnesses. Finally, don’t play “tough” with your doctor and minimize your pain. Be forthright and honest about your pain and suffering as a result of your injury. Your doctor isn’t going to judge you, and they will record your pain in your medical records. Often, doctors will schedule appointments 4–6 weeks out and ask you to come back in the meantime if your condition worsens. Make sure you play an active role in scheduling those follow-up appointments if your treatment plan isn’t working and communicate honestly with your doctor if your condition does not improve. What you do immediately after you are injured can have a large impact on the value of a personal injury case. To learn more about what to do following an injury, visit DavidBlackwellLaw.com.

But who knows what the future will bring? Language is in an ever- changing state, and the interrobang may rise again. Or will it!?




Andrea Acquaro Ribelin is a Lancaster native and graduate of Buford High School. After high school, Andrea got her undergraduate from the University of South Carolina and worked in business for three years. Andrea continued her education and received her master’s degree in elementary education from USC along with a double master’s degree in educational leadership from Winthrop University. Andrea has been an educator for 19 years and is the current principal at Buford Elementary School. Not only is Andrea a gifted educator but also an amazing leader and support to her fellow teachers at Buford Elementary. “I believe everyone has purpose and special, God-given gifts,” says Andrea. “My hope is to help those around me discover their strengths and encourage them to use them to make our world a better place.” Outside of school, Andrea loves spending time with her family! She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Glenn Ribelin Jr., for 22 years. They have two daughters: Sydney, a junior at Presbyterian College,

and Sophie, a senior at Buford High School, who plans to attend Presbyterian College in the fall. Andrea is also a member of Unity A.R.P. Church. She enjoys baking and sharing yummy treats with others. You could say food is her love language! When asked about her role in the community and her greatest accomplishments Andrea said, “Being involved in my community is important to me. As an avid sports fan, I enjoy spending time with our school families cheering on the Buford High School Yellow Jackets.” “I am fortunate to live my calling each and every day and serve the community that helped raise me. One of the greatest accomplishments I will ever have is to make a positive difference in the life of a child.”

Pagan’s Puzzle

In the Kitchen With Dana

Inspired by Primal Palate


Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for a main dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue.


• 1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast • 1 tsp Himalayan salt • 1/2 tsp black pepper


1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling.

2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F.



3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side.

4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve.



Donahoe Kearney A T T O R N E Y S A T L A W 1901 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 900 Washington, DC 20006 202.393.3320 DonahoeKearney.com



Second Chances and Heroic Teachers

Have You Heard of the Interrobang? Get Insurance Companies to Take Your Injuries Seriously


People Matter: Andrea Ribelin Grilled Prime Rib


Bird-Watching for Beginners

FRANK’S COLUMN Bird-Watching for Beginners

The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started. EDUCATE YOURSELF Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries. GEAR UP One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other

thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later. GO EXPLORING Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!

Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection.



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