03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Continuing Education Through The Newspaper

On Thanksgiving Day, I began pondering what makes me thankful, and I realized that my attitude usually improves whenever I focus on gratitude.

Column One, a regular feature of the Los Angeles Times regularly fills me with gratitude. Not only has it spared me from waffling over a new major for my continuing education, it has introduced me to subjects I never would have gone near in school . . . like football.

On December 4, 2009, Kurt Streeter made me hunger to sit in a stadium to root for the Dorsey High football team. Streeter made me want to park my butt on a concrete bleacher to see Dorsey High play football. He also reminded me that good teachers are a precious resource and we need more of the caliber of Paul Knox (a history teacher and Dorsey's football coach).

Reporter Dawn Chmielewski braved the Mambo for me, so I could experience Dancing with the Stars without having to don high heels or face Bruno Tonioli.

Robyn Dixon brought opera alive for me in the Botswana Bush.

John Glionna's article about the World's most dangerous golf course along the DMZ in South Korea transported me to a course where golfers must worry about land mines rather than sand traps. He made me content to remain a putt putt golfer.

Catharine Hamm's recent Travel mystery Column One showed that even a saavvy traveler can be fooled by a clever con artist. Her cautionary tale made me glad I usually pay by credit card. On December 6th, Hamm followed up her tale of hoodwinked travelers in her On the Spot column. Her useful tips may protect you from being scammed.

Most major cities have newspapers providing a similar public service. The New York Times recently had a series on brain power, the new psychosurgery by Benedict Carey.

So I remain thankful for newspapers. If newspapers were dinosaurs (as some claim), why would they be helping me with my continuing education? Frankly, I like getting a bit of news print on my fingers every morning.

Rather than swallowing Ginko Bilboa daily to nourish my noggin, I'd rather absorb a dose of Column One.