Glad I Saw It: Old School Summer Relief

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My son has rediscovered the original auto-tune: a metal fan. I remember spending many a hot summer day planted in front of a fan practicing saying my name or singing a song. I promised him I wouldn’t post the video I secretly captured; just know it’s amazing.

sprinkler kids

We are also big fans of the sprinkler. It usually lasts just ten to fifteen minutes, but it makes for a fantastic energizer on a hot, sweaty, air-thick-as-pea-soup day.

What are some of your old school summer cool-downs?

 

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Back-to-School Letter to Our School Bus Driver

boarding school busDear School Bus Driver,

This isn’t my first time at this, and I’m surprised at how nervous I am even this second time around. I don’t like to think of myself as an overly anxious parent, you know? So, please don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, and I certainly don’t appreciate when people try to tell me how to do mine. But I just want you to know, up front, that when you pull away from the end of my block today you’ll be taking my heart with you. Continue reading

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Glad I Saw It: Joy for Sale

Joy for Sale. $3 a ride.

Joy for Sale. $3 a ride.

We always spend one afternoon at the St. Sebastian Fair when it comes to town. The anticipation is half the fun — as long as it doesn’t turn into whining. My kids love the Dragon Coaster, and at three tickets a ride, it’s one of the more affordable offerings.

My favorite is the Tilt-A-Whirl. Four tickets, and worth each of the 400 cents. Happily, my son also loves the Tilt-A-Whirl — and he’s very vocal about it.

 

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Save Me: Comfort Music by Queen

One of my comfort songs.

One of my comfort songs.

Even though it’s nothing new, the last weeks of news really affected me. International, national, local news all felt bad — and the weekend’s news out of Missouri truly numbed me. I feel like I don’t have the right to make a grand statement, and frankly, I don’t want to. Or maybe I am unable to. Continue reading

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The Most Easily Preventable Form of Gun Violence

unnamedIn these first six days of August, in less than a week, ten American children were accidentally shot with firearms that should have been inaccessible to them. In 2013, the USA proudly hovered at about 100 children shot unintentionally with firearms that should have been inaccessible to them. And it seems like 2014 may outdo its predecessor. Continue reading

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Glad I Saw It: Dog

I don’t do nearly as much walking now as I did when we first moved to New Jersey. Walking helps you notice tiny details and wisps of fantasy, especially when you’re out walking with children. But sometimes driving can yield lovely images as well.

dog lawn chairsAt a red light, I looked over and saw this lovely dog. Doesn’t this scene look magazine-worthy? I mean, cell phone camera quality notwithstanding, can’t you picture yourself sitting on one of the chairs, book in one hand while the other leisurely scratches the dog behind the ear?

And just like that, a red light becomes a mini-vacation.

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Summer Fun for all Ages at the Liberty Science Center

GrooviksMy family and I had a great time exploring the new Beyond Rubik’s Cube exhibit and visiting Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog at the Liberty Science Center (LSC) this weekend.

Continue reading

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Without Tenure — Everything Is Awesome!

Another brick in the wall. via failuretalent

Another brick in the wall. via failuretalent

To hear people talk about teacher tenure, you’d think that in every third classroom teachers sit around staring down students as the clock struggles to the bell. Or maybe teachers are just eating Pringles and reading the paper while children who desperately want to learn waste away in their seats. Tenure is the root of all evil. Oh yes, even teachers know there are Pros and Cons to the tenure system.

In New York State a group of seven parents has filed a lawsuit to overturn teacher tenure laws. It is tenure, they claim, that keeps their children from learning. It is tenure that creates a situation where their children aren’t reaching academic excellence. It’s tenure that is in control. These parents assume that the 90% effectiveness rate in teacher evaluations should mean that 90% of their students are rated proficient or higher in state tests. Ahhh Statistics 101, you slippery course, you. Continue reading

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Glad I Saw It: Escaping with Books

Vacation-Reading-WPA-Poster

Image found at Book Riot. Click image to go there.

Did you know that we are living in the most peaceful time of human history? Doesn’t feel like it, does it? What with the television and radio and Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and emails and headlines about Syria and Gaza and Nigeria and The USA and Central America and Afghanistan and on and on and on it hardly seems peaceful. Continue reading

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Glad I Saw It: Dumbwaiter

dumbwaiter

Seeing this in a corner off the Montclair Art Museum‘s lobby reminded me of a stupid night I had with a friend while in college. It must have been my freshman year, and we went to our first “Around the World” party at one of the largest residence halls on campus. Twelve floors of various lounges and rooms that served spiked drinks into paid-for and marked plastic cups. He agreed to watch my drinks, and I agreed to be his female companion at a time before I knew what “A Beard” actually was. Continue reading

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