Things I hope vanish in 2016

The new year brings a sense of hope, a chance for a new start. It is also an opportunity to clear up and perhaps even forget the errors of the past 12 months. Here are a few things I would like to see disappear in 2016.

My wish list begins with what has become a tradition at college football games: Gatorade or ice water baths for winning coaches. I don?t have any idea who started this trend, but I have to believe it has run its course. Some of these coaches are getting on in years, and they don?t always see it coming.

It?s one thing for young men to pour iced liquids on each other during interviews following major league baseball wins. But I am afraid an on-field heart attack will someday be induced.

As I watch this game after game, I have wondered whether an elder statesman such as Bill Snyder would get this treatment from his players.

On a similar topic, I would like to see newlyweds stop smearing cake in each other?s faces at wedding receptions. I suppose it was funny at some point in time. No more.

I have said it before, but since this is an election year (in case you haven?t heard), I would again call for the elimination of the electoral college. Surely, we have come to a point where a one-person, one-vote system could be managed. I would also like to be able to vote by computer. Hey, if ?American Idol? can make it work, why can?t our government?

As a language arts instructor, I have a couple of grammar wishes. I would like to see the cessation of the use of ?at? at the end of questions of location. Example: ?Where are you at?? Is this any clearer than, ?Where are you?? I think not. It is grammatically incorrect because ?at? is a preposition, and all prepositions require objects. In cases such as the one just demonstrated, there is no object.

My second language request?and I know this one is just as hopeless?is to stop incorrectly using the word ?hopefully,? as in, ?Hopefully, it won?t snow this week.? Let?s break this down. ?Hopefully? is clearly an adverb. So, the previous sentence means, ?It will not snow in a hopeful way.? That?s like saying, ?Usefully, this example will fix the problem.?

I realize nobody cares; but I can dream, can?t I?

The first earthquake I felt a year or two ago was novel enough to be interesting and even a bit thrilling. But, these recent 4.8-magnitude tremors are starting to get on my nerves.

I can?t imagine how Oklahoma residents must feel about them, as most are centered in the northern part of that state. There were more than 800 shakers of various intensities last year alone in the Bible Belt.

More and more experts are coming to believe there is a correlation between the temblors and wastewater injected into the earth during the oil drilling method known as fracking. Because quakes of this magnitude were virtually nonexistent before this process of extraction started, chances are the drilling is the culprit.

How do you define the term ?evangelical?? During an election year, Republicans especially are often citing and nearly always courting the evangelical vote. But I would love to see an end to this term being tossed around like a political football.

This is not just some small focus group from Iowa. As defined on the website of the National Association of Evangelicals itself, ?Evan?gel?icals are a vibrant and diverse group, including believers found in many churches, denominations and nations. Our community brings together Reformed, Holiness, Anabaptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic and other traditions.?

That list includes almost every Protestant group in existence. Yet, as a Menno?nite (Anabaptist), I have never been courted by any politicians; nor have I been probed by a political poll.

Also on my 2016 vanishing wish list is a number of people I would like to see fall off the radar this year: Donald Trump; the Kar?dash?ians and everyone connected with them, including Katelin Jenner; Bill Cosby and Jared Fogle (two people I used to admire); Gov. Sam Brown?back and his education ?expert? Dave Trabert; and Dick Vitale.

Here?s hoping for better things to come our way in the new year.

Bob Woelk teaches English and journalism at Hillsboro Middle/High School. He can be reached at woelk@embarqmail.com.