Schuelke Law - October 2022

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October 2022


You can learn a lot from reading regardless of genre. With nonfiction, you can learn about important people, places, and historical events — but you can also learn lessons on leadership, teamwork, self-improvement, and just about anything else. With fiction, we learn about different themes, and it can help develop our critical-thinking skills while also providing us with a break from reality and our day-to-day stressors. October is National Book Month, the perfect opportunity to pick up and read a new book or reread some of our favorites. Personally, I’m an avid reader and read books from all sorts of genres. You can often find me reading nonfiction books about leadership, management, and even the occasional biography. I also enjoy reading my fair share of fiction as it allows me to give my brain a break. I’ll read anything by John Grisham, Brad Meltzer, or Harlan Coben. Basically, if the cover of the book has the scales of justice or a judge’s gavel on it, I’ll give it a shot. One book I like is Cal Newport’s “So Good They Can’t Ignore You.” Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University, has several books, and I’ve liked them all. In “So Good,” Newport examines what it means to have a fulfilling career. Newport rejects the idea that you have to make your passion your work. Instead, he encourages people to sit down and picture a fulfilling career — the type of work they want, the amount of control and autonomy they have over their work, etc., and then to work to get those attributes. I’ve used many of his lessons to help craft my career. And spoiler alert, he finds that becoming really good at a skill — in almost any field — can help someone get the autonomy and flexibility most people find important to job satisfaction. Reading also allows us to enrich some of our life experiences. You probably know both of my kids go to school in Hawaii, and we are lucky enough to go see them once in a while. When they decided to attend college in Hawaii, I finally sat down and read all 1,000-plus pages of James Michener’s “Hawaii.” I also read several books about Hawaii’s history and culture. This has enriched the experience of Hawaii for me so when I visit, it’s more than just sitting on the beach and getting in the water (which is awesome, by the way). But I’m able to appreciate more of what Hawaii has to offer on a grander scale.

Over the past 15 years, my wife and I have made an effort to share the joys of reading with as many kids as we possibly can. We helped create and lead a book distribution program at a low- income school in East Austin, where twice a year, we take new or gently used books and “sell” them to the kids for a quarter. The principal wanted us to sell the books instead of giving them away to give the kids ownership interest in their books. In the 15 or so years we’ve helped lead the program, we have distributed well over 50,000 books to these great kids. One thing that has saddened me over the last few years is the efforts people make from all sides to censor or ban books. Books are important to help kids learn and grow — offering something different than what they experience in their everyday lives. Besides, kids now have access to the internet, and it’s pretty futile to try to limit what our kids read. For National Book Month, take some time to read some books about topics that interest you. There’s infinite knowledge available in books. We just have to actually read them to obtain it.

-C. Brooks Schuelke | 1

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Teenager Saves a Woman’s Life After Taking One First-Aid Training Class

It was a typical day at work for 15-year-old McDonald’s worker Sydney Raley — she was taking orders, engaging with customers, and delivering food. Everything went as planned for Raley until the unexpected happened. After handing a woman part of her order, Raley left the drive-thru window to retrieve the rest of her food. But when she returned, something strange happened. “She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging … I immediately knew, ‘Oh, no, she’s choking,’” Raley told CNN. The woman’s daughter freaked out because she felt so scared for her mother. Even some of the McDonald’s employees seemed shocked and momentarily unable to take action. Luckily, Raley knew what to do. She immediately told her colleague to dial 911 as she dove through the drive-thru window to help the choking woman. Besides working at the fast-food chain, Raley was also a babysitter and had taken

a first-aid class through the Red Cross. In this class, she learned the Heimlich maneuver, which Raley used to dislodge the chicken nugget the woman had eaten. Although the woman was in shock after what she endured, she felt grateful for the teen and her act of heroism. Her bravery didn’t go unnoticed by Paul Ostergaard either, the owner-operator of the McDonald’s where Raley worked. He told CNN, “Sydney truly personifies what it is to be a hero.” In addition to this recognition, Raley also received $100 from a fund first-responders use to reward people who do brave work within the community. Thank you, Sydney, for showing us that not all heroes wear capes — they are in our community everywhere we go. We encourage everyone to take a first-aid training course, so all of us can become the heroes of tomorrow. Plus, you never know when that knowledge will come in handy.

Never a Dull Moment Why We Should Live for Today

We can’t change the past, nor can we predict or guarantee the future. In the end, all we have is the present, yet most of us live our lives ignoring its many possibilities. It’s easy to tune out the life around you, especially if you do many of the same things every day. Taking care of the kids, commuting, working, and running errands can blur together. Just as bad, when life isn’t going the way we want, it’s easy to fantasize about how things “should” be or how they once were. When we live busy or stressful lives, worrying or planning can also make us feel more in control. The problem with these strategies is that they don’t change anything. They help us discount the only thing we can control: what we do now. Life can pass you by that way if you’re not careful. The solution is to exist in the present moment as much as possible and enjoy the good things around us while we have them. Studies show that living this way makes people happier, healthier, and more likely to form strong relationships. But how do you even get started? The process requires a different way of thinking called mindfulness. Mindfulness is about focusing on what is happening in the present moment — not that work deadline, the movie you just watched, what’s for dinner, or the kids’ extracurricular schedule. It takes practice, and many people use meditation or breathing to help.

When mindful, we concentrate on what others say and become more fully present. We also start to notice the small things we usually overlook: the cool breeze on our skin, the sound of the birds, the feel of a sweater, or the sight of our loved ones smiling. Our lives become fuller. And our stress decreases because we’re not clinging to things beyond our command. No one ever stops worrying entirely, and some planning is necessary to live a successful life. But too much can leave us with no energy or time to enjoy it. John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Start living in the present so you don’t blink and miss yours.

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IT’S WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY! 3 Ways to Show Gratitude

Teachers have impacted you and your children’s lives in more ways than one. Maybe they inspired you to take a certain career path, always understood you, or were there for you or your child when it was needed. Teachers have a demanding job, so in honor of World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5, let’s take some time to appreciate them. Here are three ways to show your gratitude this month. Donate school supplies. Some teachers spend personal funds to purchase school supplies for their classrooms. This expense can become costly, especially if they provide for multiple students. Donate unused notebooks, pencils, pens, or other school supplies to a teacher. Some teachers even have wish lists available if you want to purchase new items for their classrooms. They will appreciate your kindness, and the children who need these supplies will also be grateful. Write thank-you letters. If you had a teacher who impacted your life, or if your child has a favorite teacher, write them a thank-you note. Handwritten notes are more meaningful than ones you buy at the store. It shows you put in time and effort to create something specifically for them. You can write about a favorite memory you had with them or the ways they’ve inspired you. If you’re feeling extra generous, add a gift card to the note! A small message can go a long way in turning someone’s day around. Volunteer when you can. In addition to teaching in the classroom, teachers need to chaperone students during field trips, recess, lunch, and standardized tests. Contact your child’s school and see when they need volunteers to help with these activities. Teachers will greatly appreciate it because they will have a chance to take a break or organize their materials for the next class. Even if it’s just for the day or a few hours, teachers will appreciate the extra assistance. Teachers play a vital role in preparing our children for the real world. They teach them vital social skills and problem-solving strategies that will assist them as they age. So, let’s take some time to show appreciation for their dedication to our children.



• 5 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth • 2 cups Arborio rice • 2 cups of pumpkin, diced • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée • 1/2 yellow onion, minced

• Salt, to taste • Pepper, to taste • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese • 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese • 2 tbsp olive oil


1. Heat the oven to 400 F and arrange a rack in the middle. 2. In a 3-quart baking dish, combine broth, rice, diced and puréed pumpkin, and onion. 3. Season with salt and pepper, then stir until evenly combined. 4. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until water has been absorbed and rice granules are puffed. 5. Remove from the oven and stir in basil, grated Parmesan cheese, mascarpone cheese, and olive oil.

Inspired by | 3

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The Joys and Benefits of Reading Books

Fast-Food Hero Taking Each Moment as It Comes


Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto It’s World Teachers’ Day!

Age Is Just a Number


Wanted to Legally Change His Age The Man Who Felt 20 Years Younger

He alleged that he experienced age discrimination because, being 69, he is limited in what he can do. If he were 49, he could buy a house and car and work more hours, and his chances on the dating app Tinder would improve if he were younger. What was the court’s decision? Ratelband’s argument did not convince the district court in the Dutch city of Arnhem. The court said there was no evidence that Ratelband had experienced age discrimination. It stated that, unlike legally changing your name or gender, changing your age causes many problems such as the many rights and duties related to age, such as voting, attending school, military obligations, and pension. Although Ratelband has the freedom to feel 20 years younger, mentally and physically, he cannot legally change his age because of the legal and societal implications that would follow, the court added.

We’ve all heard about people legally changing their name or gender, but have you ever heard about someone trying to change their legal age? In 2018, a 69-year-old Dutch man named Emile Ratelband petitioned a court for permission to change his age. He wanted to alter the year he was born on his birth certificate by 20 years so he could be 49 years old. So, how did this case end? Let’s find out. What was his reasoning? Ratelband wanted to change his age because he argued that he felt 20 years younger. He said his doctors told him that he had the body of a younger man, and his health was far better than most men his age.

The district court rejected Ratelband’s request, but he plans to appeal.

In the Netherlands, the public doesn’t take Ratelband’s claims seriously. They even make fun of his international exposure and willingness to provide interviews worldwide to justify his wishes. So what do you think of this legal case? Is age just a number? Let us know your thoughts!

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