Finally a Subject I’m Qualified to Tutor

There have been many different school projects and assignments I’ve been called upon to help teach over the years. I’ve helped make castles and collages. I’ve done more algebra than I ever thought I’d need to again. I’ve spent hours going over how to organize and prioritize. And each time I’ve done any of these things, I’ve done it willingly and cheerfully, often sitting down with the material a few minutes before I was called on to tutor the subject. If there’s one thing 13 years of grade school and 8 years of college have taught me, it’s how to

School Students Shouldn’t Be a Revenue Stream

I get it. There’s money to be made in high schools and grade schools. Between school pictures, sports pictures, yearbooks, and the like, I understand there are businesses that crop up surrounding our students, and I don’t (for the most part) begrudge them the chance to carry on their business, or at least make it available. But this year, something seems different to me. It started with the early request to buy athlete pictures for Tomas and DC. No big deal. Seemed like a fine request, so we ordered a package for each of them. Then came the reminder for

The Middle School Conundrum: The Land Before Time

We have another kid who just entered middle school, which means this is now my third time through it. (Once as a middle schooler myself, and now twice as a parent.) It never seems to get any easier, sadly, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. Here’s a theory I came up with last night, and an analogy I came up with just now. A lot of the difficult comes down to Three Horns and Long Necks. In The Land Before Time, the animated movie I watched far too much of as a child, a group of dinosaur children

Invisible Weights

I imagine a fair number of you have been skiing. If you have, then you can surely relate to the feeling of taking off a pair of ski boots after you’ve had them on for a whole day. They’re clunky and very restrictive, and when you take them off, it’s amazing how much lighter your feet and legs feel. Like they’ve suddenly been freed from something you didn’t realize was as bad as it was. Now imagine that you’ve had ski boots on for months. Years even. Imagine what it would feel like to take them off, even for a

The Accidental Sports Parent

It never crossed my mind that one day I might end up the parent of a high school athlete. I was about as far from an athlete in high school as I am today, and that’s saying something. Back in Council Rock, the school was enormous. My graduating class had 850 students in it. With a school that size, I suppose it’s fairly natural that there will be distinct cliques within it. Groups of students who identify primarily by their main interests. There were very fully developed, robust programs in everything from band to chorus to drama to a whole