SfP Interns See Victory in Volunteering http://ow.ly/kz0qB
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The Benefit Bank April newsletter – Salute to Volunteershttp://ow.ly/kz0al
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If you’re lucky enough to get tech support in person, you know the feeling of relief when this person arrives, with their seemingly infinite wisdom, and begins to resuscitate or tame the animal that you rely on known as your computer. If you’ve been fortunate enough to get a tech-support house call you know what being rescued feels like. The difference a tech-support take-over makes is like the difference between someone telling you by telephone how to drive your car and moving over to let someone more experienced drive your car when you find yourself having to drive in an ice storm or up the narrow edge of a mountainside. On your own, steering white-knuckled you’re not sure if you’ll make it.
When your tech support hero first sees your slightly embarrassed smile and your nervous, anxious expressions, he knows he has work to do. And when there is no smile at all, he knows he has a lot of work to do because your frustration has to be managed along with the software and the hardware - the stink in a spill or the smoke in the fire he’s been called to snuff out. He has to quarantine and eliminate the virus as well as your aggravation and fear.
He sets right to work. And it’s precisely at that moment when you start to breathe again and you’re not cussing and you’ve picked yourself up off the floor from being devastated from the work that was lost, or the time that was lost, or the money that was lost, and perhaps loss of both face and faith… that he leaves. And sometimes you wish he’d stay a little longer because even once you’ve gotten comfortable with your computer, the fact that you were kicked off the network or that your project was deleted, has left you with trust issues and you feel both betrayed and a little intimidated. In this shaken state, you want tech support to stay with you for a while, while you’re getting back on that horse and taking the next steps. He’s like a drug taken with a tall glass of water to help you forget the pain.
Such was the case when my tech support representative came to help me after a WordPress theme upgrade wiped out my website. The swift sword of improvements annihilated look, feel and function. In this crisis, I preferred working with a partner; sort of holding my hand through each step of near surgical restoration, but tech support is always needed somewhere else. My computer doctor could not stay to watch the color return to my face which I imagined was nothing short of the palest shade of headstone gray after being shocked by the specter of death that was my website after the upgrade. Some things were no longer there, logo – gone, carefully chosen colors – gone, my borders, fancy graphics – gone, things I had built, trained, pushed into place, rendered, called into being, breathed life into – gone. And the hideous things that appeared seemingly from nowhere; I dare not mention. A new set of instructions had been implemented through the upgrade and the fix was certain to be tedious and painful. I took one look at the website and didn’t want to take another.
My recommendation for web designers facing website devastation is to forge ahead, but with support; tech support. Having someone with you takes some of the sting out of the injury. Tech support came and sat with me and together we uncovered the mystery of the WordPress Child Theme and how to summon its restorative and protective powers.
The WordPress Child Theme is a solution to the necessary yet evil upgrade; an upgrade that promises improvement but will absolutely and without hesitation wipe out your house and home, family and long held treasures. It strikes when you aren’t watching like a phantom snatching away your children, and your jewelry, and your car while you aren’t looking.
The upgrade will annihilate your town, your country and all that you believe in - otherwise known as your website. Sure all the bones will still exist. These files will sit in backup folders, with the impression of the former website’s look and feel that was held tightly with code you relied on, until the next upgrade comes along and takes these remains into the great abyss where roof tops and tractors go in Midwestern tornados and factories and ships remain after a typhoon; scattered bits in ruins. The files held temporarily like memories of your childhood sunny days, jumping rope on the sidewalk, skipping rocks across the lake, sitting in a supermarket shopping basket while your older sister pushed the cart into the back of mother’s heels, memories of what fresh baked bread and fresh cut grass and summer campsite fires smell like; memoires of a place, a presence, your website, your home, are your life or parts of it as all web designers would agree.
The upgrade like a wild hyena on the Serengeti stalking baby elephants and pregnant zebras, the sick, the frail and the unaware will mangle and obliterate your website without the protection of the only animal that scares off the hyena, the lion, otherwise known as WordPress Child Theme. Install the Child Theme and rebuild your style.css file which you safely tuck inside a folder named by yourself. Yes! King of the castle once again. My folder. My naming convention. My authored by. Whew! And a like warm healing balm that caresses and soothes a cracked and brittle temper, gently, the memories infuse the rebuilt website.
Like watching your children come back home from across some wide open plain of tall grass and unanswered questions now answered, the colors, the positions, the font faces, the font sizes, the spacial relationships, the nifty scripts tucked safely behind the new folder reawaken and function. Like watching a baby colt stand and run, your website breathes anew yet as it was before, warts, broken links, graphics, text, and all.
Setting up the WordPress Child Theme is so simple to do and so necessary for web designers who are working in a WordPress theme environment, that it’s worth far more than the time it takes to implement. The Child Theme contains the changes you want to make to the original theme selected for your website. WordPress will acknowledge your Child Theme once it is activated and the instructions in your .css and .php files stored in your Child Theme folder will be followed.
How to install and run the WordPress Child Theme
/* Theme Name: (place the name of your new directory here)
Description: Child theme for (place name of original theme here)
Author: (place web designers name here)
Template: (place name of original theme here)
Version: (place version #here)
@import url (“place the relative path to the original theme style.css here”);
/*example:@import url (“../origin/style.css”);*/
/* your customized .css code goes below this line*/
North Carolina, home of the 2012 Democratic Convention where the first African American president, Barack Obama, will accept a nomination to seek a second term as President of the United States was also where an 11-year-old boy, asleep in his bed, perished due to a fire set by the Klu Klux Klan.
James Henry Morgan died, but his sister, father, and mother escaped. The Morgan family home and business, the cornerstone of the black community, a barbershop and general store were consumed by the fire. This was the rural south of the 1930’s, a time when lynching and acts of violence against African Americans were frequent and tolerated by the authorities. James’ mother Ruth, who was also the midwife who brought my mother, her brother’s daughter into the world, had been warned to “stay in her place and stop getting so uppity”.
My aunt Ruth was determined to vote for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She paid the poll tax, but the clerk at the voter registration desk insisted that she recite the Preamble to the United States Constitution as a prerequisite. She knew this was an illegal tactic used to block her from registering to vote, but she agreed and when she met that challenge the clerk demanded that she write the Preamble down.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
She wrote it down perfectly and went on to become the first African-American since Reconstruction to become a registered voter in Wake County, North Carolina. She became a popular civic leader and began a campaign to register community members in her small town, but she was labeled a trouble -maker and devastation followed. Ruth triumphed in spite of that terrible act and lived to be more than 100 years old. I share her story with you today during Voter Registration month to remind you that the difficulties we face today are no greater than those we faced yesterday. We will overcome in the name of Ruth Morgan and James Henry and all the trouble makers in your family histories.
Here’s to all you beautiful trouble makers. It’s because of you, helping to register others to vote that we have Barack Obama and will have Barack Obama as president of the United States for a second term.
While I was vacationing in Cancun, I met with an extraordinary group of women. They were all Obama supporters. They were enjoying a Cancun vacation and joined me in the middle of the day for a campaign meeting. There may have been 17 women gathered, but they were all so dynamic it felt like twice as many. All of them were from the United Sates and eager to talk about what they could do to move our president forward.
They wanted to know what I had to say. I had this new book and I had been a delegate in 2008. I read to them from Crowning The King, my memoir about my experience attending the 2009 Inauguration.
I read two chapters, Roman’s and Sunday Morning Church and it went well, but I realized later that they could have easily read those chapters to themselves and that perhaps when people gather for a book reading they could get something more than the reading from the author. I went to a Santana concert a few weekends before traveling to Cancun and while Santana gave us his music, he gave us a little something extra. He talked to us between musical numbers. In fact he talked to us about Barack and how he was going to vote for him in November.
From now on I’m going to follow Santana’s example because his concert was certainly among the best I ever attended. I’ll read from the chapter Roman’s, but I will take a moment to talk about Roman and the importance of Roman’s eternal internal sunshine.
I don’t know Roman as well as many others do, but I do know something. I know that Roman lights up a room. The first time I met Roman he told me that he could take me to a place where the sun always shines. Now if we were in some kind of pick up spot I might have thought that this was a pick up line. We were among friends and Roman was enjoying himself as much as anyone was enjoying him. He knew a place where the sun always shines and if you were willing to go with him, you could be in that place with him. Now I’m not saying that Roman never has a bad day, but he knew that sun shine was a state of mind and that to walk in the light was a matter of choice.
The traffic may be bad, the weather may not have arrived as you expected, money is short and the news is always grim and once again someone is saying something doubtful about the chances of the best candidate in the history of American politics to win his deserved second term in office and that’s when I’m asking you to turn on your Roman sunshine. Make a choice to feel good, feel determined, feel convinced that our president will have a second term. And when you’re feeling good like this, tell someone about it. Tell someone what Barack has done for you and what you can do for him. And if you don’t know what you can do for him, I’m here to tell you.
It begins as all things begin, with your thoughts. Listen or read my Inauguration story and remember your own Obama stories. See the next Inauguration as fact. See it happening. See what you did to help make it happen. You voted on November 6th. You made some phone calls before that or you knocked on a few doors, you volunteered or supported volunteers that made the calls and knocked on doors to move the President forward.
In My Secret Barack: Crowning The King I write about how happy we all were to have Barack Obama as our President. Feel that way now, right now and make a determination to make one more donation, talk to one more person, buy Crowning The King and give it to someone who needs to remember how it felt to join the crowd and stand for long hours at an Obama rally or how it felt to get that Obama poster or catch a glimpse of him in his official motorcade. Feel good now and move Barack forward with that Yes we Can feeling; the Roman’s-sun-is-always-shining feeling.