ROSE NOLEN: Stay on course when the path to success gets crooked

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CST

I remember how hard it was for me to learn to write.

I mastered printing at an early age. At the time, I was determined to write a book. I was 7 years old, and I had never heard of anyone printing a book.

By this time I had my own office, so I practiced writing day and night.

I took my older sister’s writing with me and and used it as my example. My sister was an artist, and she made her writing fancy.

I begged her to make it plain so that I could copy it. It took me a long time to copy, but I was determined, and finally, I learned to write.

My stories were not hard to write. I made them up in my head before I started writing. I had a method. I had certain writers whom I copied.

I studied them over and over until I mastered their touch. I wrote my first book when I was 7, and I’ve been writing stories ever since.

When I was in junior high school I developed some serials. I got a group of friends to purchase them for nickel apiece. That was the way I earned lunch money. I sold enough serials to make lunch money for a year.

I wrote and sold stories quite a bit during high school. I didn’t have much money, so I had to keep thinking of ways to earn my keep. Fortunately I was a good salesman, so I managed to earn my way.

I kept writing and pretty soon I got married. My husband was pretty impressed with my work, and he encouraged me to enroll in a writing class. I learned a lot, and I’ve been writing every since.

Over the years I’ve met a lot of people who made up their minds when they were children about what they would do in life. Some have gone through endless difficulties trying to find ways to chart their course. A few finally succeeded and found their way to the pot of gold at the end of their rainbow.

I have a friend who started out as a child to become a musician and he actually made it. He struggled for a long time, but in the end he hit a lucky streak. He worked and worked, and there was an angel awaiting him in the wings. He made it big- time, and now I'm thrilled every time I hear his name.

That gives me another story to tell. Whenever I run into young people who are hoping and believing, who are working hard and looking forward to the day when they step into the limelight, I can always tell them about my friend who made it big on a dream.

The world is still open to dreamers. Sometimes you have to wait until it’s it your turn to shine. 

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at

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Michael Williams March 4, 2014 | 8:14 p.m.

Chris: I'm locked out of the original article, so this place will have to suffice to correct an error.

I erred in calculation of t.

In my original unequal sample sizes N=21 and 15, the t value is 1.85 with df = 34. This is NOT significant at the 0.05 level (P ~ 0.08). In my prior erroneous calcs, I said it was highly significant.

When all states are included with N = 21 and 20, the t value is 2.93 with df = 39. P < 0.01, significant.

This doesn't help your argument.

Excluding the highest percent states (which visually illustrate the trend), there is no significant difference in the mean percent enrolled between red and blue states.

However, there IS significance when all states are included. Unfortunately, your x-axis is still screwed up and you (and the article) have yet to offer a reason 85-95% of all eligible enrollees have not signed up. Even if I agree there was a significant difference due to regulation (I don't), what possible explanation do you have for the remaining 85-95% of those eligible?

"Regulation" as an excuse is already taken. You'll need another one.

One that is MUCH MUCH more important than the puny "regulation" data set.

Viewers of your link need to mentally expand the x-axis to include a range of zero to 100 to show the vast difference between the low enrollments you reported for all states versus the number of eligible enrollees who have not bothered with the ACA. For all states.

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