Friday, April 30, 2010

National "No Phone Zone" Day

My husband works for a company that provides him with a cell phone. Because of this, he is basically on-call 24/7/365 and is expected to answer that phone whenever it rings. Sometimes, these calls could be life-or-death situations so his cell phone is extremely important.

However, he's often driving when his phone rings. When he answers it, it's a scary thing. I've seen other drivers talking on cell phones, weaving all over the road. So far, my husband has not had a problem, but that doesn't mean something couldn't happen. There have been hundreds of deaths caused by the use of cell phones while driving.

That's why Oprah Winfrey has promoted today as National "No Phone Zone" Day. It is a national day of awareness to end distracted driving. On her website, you can sign a pledge, watch videos, tell your own story, and get information about the hazards of distracted driving.

I would encourage everyone to consider making a pledge to not use cell phones while driving. I would especially encourage parents and teachers to have their students and children watch the videos and sign the pledge.

I would also encourage companies who require their employees to use cell phones to consider setting up some guidelines for those employees. Some of these might include pulling to the side of the road to answer and if that's not possible, allow it to go to voicemail and then answer when it's safe.

If I knew in advance, on any particular day, that my cell phone use was going to cause an accident and that someone was going to die, I would not use my cell phone that day. Well, the simple fact of the matter is that day could be any day. We need to start realizing that everything we do has consequences and some of them can change lives forever...or take them away.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Math Video Lessons

I have, on several occasions, written about websites I've found that might be helpful to students and teachers. Another one that you might like is Teacher Zone - Free Library of Math Video Lessons.

Once you register, you have access to about a thousand math videos on a variety of subjects for grades 3 through 10. I believe there is a monthly fee for students, but it is free for teachers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Before Christmas I had mentioned to Santa Claus that I would like to have a guitar. I had one years ago and had learned to play a little. Well, as it turned out, Santa was good to me.

I decided I was going to try to teach myself, at least at first. The problem was that every time I sat down with the guitar on my lap, it was really uncomfortable. It was really difficult to hold the guitar there and try to play it at the same time.

Yesterday I bought a strap for it. As soon as the strap was on and I put it around me, everything changed. The guitar suddenly became very comfortable. I practiced for more than half an hour and even learned a few new chords. I believe that this one little change is going to make all the difference for me.

That's the way it is for students in school who need accommodations. Often it just takes one little change to make all the difference for that student.

Teachers often complain about all the accommodations they have to make, especially if they have a large number of students who need them. It does sometimes take a lot of extra work. And often accommodations are required for students who don't need them, which often angers already overworked staff.

But all teachers need to remember that when an accommodation is needed, it can make all the difference whether the student is successful or not.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You Can't Do This, Can You?

We'd like to think that all students can learn anything and everything. We expect them all to be proficient in all subjects. But the fact of the matter is that not every student is going to be good at everything and there will be some who aren't going to be good at anything academic.

When I was in junior high, we all had to pass the presidential physical fitness tests. I had passed them all except the standing broad jump. My teacher finally took me outside and spent almost the whole class period with me, practicing this jump. After quite a bit of time, she just looked at me and said "You can't do this, can you?" I could have told her that before we started. It just wasn't something my body was built for.

We need to realize that students are this way in academics as well. Some are just not built for succeeding academically. I do believe every student can be taught to read and do simple math, but some are just never going to do it well. However, if they're doing it to the best of their ability, I think we need to ease up. Yes, they need to keep practicing and keeping up the skills they have and improving what they can, but they shouldn't be expected to do what they can't.

If my entire school career had been based on the standing broad jump, I'd still be in 7th grade, practicing something that I was never going to do well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Learn All That You Can

I just read another article in which the author mentioned taking college courses in which the information taught did not need to be learned, nor would it ever be used.

This is precisely the kind of attitude that makes it so difficult for teachers who are teaching certain courses. I don't know how many times I had a student tell me he or she was never going to need the material I was teaching. In most cases it was an excuse for them to not have to learn, but that kind of thinking is pervasive. Even the parents, and unfortunately some of the teachers, will buy into it.

The simple fact of the matter is that all knowledge is valuable. And most students don't even know what they want to be when they grow up, so how do they know if the courses they're taking will be important to them?

Do welders need to take speech? They do if they ever have to teach a fellow welder a certain technique or skill. Speech helps everyone communicate better.

Do lawyers need to take biology? They do if they ever expect to properly prosecute or defend a person accused of a crime based on DNA evidence.

Do math teachers need to take a foreign language? They do if there's a chance they might have students in their classes who speak a foreign language?

I even had a student in PreCalculus refuse to sign up for Calculus during her senior year. She wanted to be an architect, but had been advised by an Industrial Arts teacher that she would never need Calculus. While it may be true that most of the heavy-duty math would be done by a team of engineers and most of her design work would be done on a computer, how could a course in Calculus hurt? She was extremely bright and had room in her schedule, but opted out. It's my personal opinion that every student should take the toughest courses they possibly can in high school. They are so much better prepared for anything that lies ahead.

Sure, there were courses I took that seemed irrelevant at the time, but it's amazing how much of that information I discovered I needed at a later date.

And unless you take a wide variety of challenging courses, you never see the interconnectedness of everything. I discovered this when I took a course called "The Brain." I needed all the biology I had learned because the brain controls every function in the human body. I needed all the chemistry I had learned because every process in the brain is chemically driven. I needed all the physics I had learned because the brain uses electrical impulses to work. Of course, I needed mathematics to do the science. But I also needed the social sciences such as psychology and sociology to further understand the workings of the brain. Environmental studies were also important because of the effects of that environment on the chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology of the brain.

Everything is connected. Every subject is important. Knowledge is never wasted. Learn all that you can because you never know what the future holds for you. And never tell anyone that something they've learned is irrelevant or that they will never use it. You really just never know.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha

Yesterday morning on MSNBC, anchor Alex Witt was reading a book titled "The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha and did an interview with him. The book sounds truly "awesome." It is basically a list of the little wonders in life that make it a little happier.

As it turns out, there is also a blog, 1000 Awesome Things, that lists these "awesome" things, as well as postings on Twitter (1000Awesome) and Facebook (1000 Awesome Things).

Some of the "awesome" things listed are snow days, bakery air, peeling an orange in one shot, the smell and sound of a campfire, the other side of the pillow, getting out of the car after a really long road trip, popping bubble wrap, and 993 other fun and "awesome" things to enjoy.

I've always believed it's the little things in life that are the most precious. I also believe that we need to teach our children to be grateful for these simple pleasures. So many children (and adults) think they have to have the best clothes, the latest iPod, the sportiest car, or the most expensive of anything and everything. But there's nothing that gives a student (or teacher) more pleasure than waking up and finding that they get to enjoy a snow day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


The other day I was reading the blog Free Technology for Teachers by Mr. Byrne. He was writing about a bookmarklet called "Printliminator." Of course, I had to try it out.

I went to the Printliminator website and installed it with a simple click and drag procedure. Then I tested it. What a neat and handy tool!

I went to a website that had an article I wanted to print. It had a lot of ads and miscellaneous items that I didn't want to print. This is where Printliminator shines. I clicked on the bookmarklet and then was able to click on all the items I didn't want to print. I eliminated a few pictures, ads, and text, and was then able to print straight from the website, printing only the items I wanted to. The finished product looked amazing. It also saved a lot of paper by not printing all the unnecessary items. I used to have to copy and paste text from websites into a word processor to get these kinds of results, but not any more. Printliminator makes the job easy.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Six Websites for Making Free Donations

As we finish Earth Week, we need to keep the effort going all year. The following is a list of websites where you can continue to give. They are all free to you. Simply click and the sponsors will make the donation. It's something you can do everyday of the year.

1. Care 2: Care 2 lets you click on tabs for a variety of causes including the rainforest, recycling, global warming, oceans, wolves, primates, seals, child hunger, breast cancer, and several others. If you register, you can earn "butterfly credits" for your clicks. These can be redeemed to help other causes.

2. The Hunger Site: The Hunger Site is similar to Care 2. There are 6 tabs to click: The Hunger Site, The Rainforest Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Literacy Site, The Child Health Site, and The Animal Rescue Site. Again, click on the tab, click to donate, and the sponsors will make the donation.

3. Free Rice: Free Rice donates grains of rice for your correct answers to vocabulary words. The questions are multiple choice and as you improve, the words get harder. You can build your vocabulary and support a worthy cause.

4. FreeKibble and FreeKibbleKat: FreeKibble and FreeKibbleKat ask you to answer a multiple choice question about dogs or cats. A donation of 10 pieces of kibble is given whether you answer correctly or not.

5. Sleedo: Sleedo is a search engine powered by Google Search. Ten grains of rice are donated to the poor for each search you make. They do ask that your searches be legitimate and that you use the search engine as you would any other.

6. The Non Profits: The Non Profits lists links to over 60 charities. Again, you click on the cause and the sponsors make the donation.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ten Last Minute Activities for Earth Day

Okay, so today is Earth Day and you've procrastinated about planning anything special for it. Here are ten last minute activities that will make you feel like a participant in the festivities.

1. Clean out your files. Today is also Clean Your Files Day. Just make sure you shred any papers with confidential information and that you recycle all paper.

2. If you're out shopping, buy some reusable shopping bags...and use them.

3. Make a quick trip to the library and check out a movie like "An Inconvenient Truth," or "Erin Brockovich," or "The Day After Tomorrow."

4. Wash your windows. I mix a little white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and I use old newspapers instead of paper towels.

5. Go for a walk...outside. Parks are nice this time of year.

6. Try eating vegetarian for the day. Doesn't a fresh green salad sound good?

7. Cut down on your use of energy. Turn off lights and appliances. It saves even more energy if you unplug them. Walk or bicycle instead of taking the car.

8. Instead of watching television, turn the evening into family game night. You'll save electricity and have some quality time with your loved ones.

9. Make a donation to a local charity or food bank. Take books you no longer want to the library. Green organizations always welcome cash donations.

10. There are lots of printables available on the Internet. A quick search of "Earth Day activities" will give coloring book pages, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, as well as a variety of other fun things to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Clean Your Files Day

Tomorrow is Earth Day, but did you know that it is also Clean Your Files Day? I, however, started today.

I looked around my computer this morning and this time actually looked. It's amazing at how much clutter and how many piles of paper I can just ignore. It collects and I don't even notice. I always think that I'll get around to sorting it all, and I do, but unfortunately, not before it gets out of hand.

Well, today I finally took action. It's a liberating experience. What a great feeling to know that part of it's done. Some was filed, some was shredded, and everything I could possibly recycle was recycled. I think I got everything cleaned around the computer. Tomorrow I'll tackle my desk.

Teachers and students always have tons of paperwork that can be sorted and cleaned. It's getting close to the end of the school year. Tomorrow would be a great time to clean out a couple of desk drawers or a file cabinet. Students could meet the challenge by cleaning their lockers or notebooks. Just remember to recycle it all when you're finished.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Remembering Columbine

It's had to believe it's been 11 years since Columbine. I remember that day and the horror we all felt. Yet we knew that it could happen in any school at any time, even ours.

That day changed school security in schools across the nation and I'm sure will continue to have an influence on schools for many years.

Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Columbine who had to suffer this tragedy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Make A Difference Day Awards

Make a Difference Day was October 24. I blogged about it twice, once on October 19 and again on October 20. The awards were announced in the USA Weekend supplement to our local newspaper and I thought you might be interested in the top ten groups who each received an award and a $10,000 donation for charity.

1. Larimer County, Colorado saw 4450 people helping 75 organizations and 40000 residents by completing 150 projects countywide.

2. Lucas Metropulos, 17, or Boca Raton, Florida taught a fishing class to needy kids so that they could help feed themselves and their families. For Make a Difference Day he raised money to take 20 students fishing on the Atlantic.

3. Olga El Sehamy of Commack, New York, along with her husband, son, and a few volunteers prepared 50 chicken dinners, drove to the city, and gave the dinners to those in need.

4. A food drive in Frankfort, Kentucky brought in 123 tons of food for the food pantry.

5. Rebuilding Together, a national non-profit, and Lowe's joined together to fix up 35 homes across the country.

6. Members of Delta Sigma Pi, a collegiate business fraternity, took on more than 100 projects nationwide.

7. Faculty members and 500 students of Fairfield Community High School in Fairfield, Illinois raised money for playground equipment for a city park in honor of a beloved math teacher, Dana Hungerford, who had died a month before Make a Difference Day.

8. Pattie Belongie, along with 19 volunteers and 40 people who had been sentenced to community service, passed out Christmas stockings at four stores in Iron Mountain, Michigan. They asked shoppers to fill them and collected enough donations to send 400 stockings to service members and to provide gifts to 147 kids.

9. The high school youth group of St. Andrew Church in Colchester, Connecticut decided to collect shoes and supplies for Haiti. Word of their efforts spread, other students joined in, and by day's end they had collected 2000 items and $1900.

10. Georgia Fowler, of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, along with many family members collected items and assembled them into gift bags to give to caregivers across three counties.

If you're interested in participating this year, the 20th annual Make a Difference Day will be Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Library Week

Today was the last day of National Library Week. In my opinion every week should be National Library Week.

When I was in grade school, the library, for me, was a place where you checked out books during the summer. There was always a summer reading program and you got stars for completing a certain number of books.

In high school, the library became a little more important as we learned to write research papers. In college, the library became indispensable and one of my favorite places.

Now the library is so much more than a place to check out books. Our local libraries feature storytimes, computer classes, anime days, game days, workshops, genealogy seminars, artist visits, and movie showings as well as access to books, CDs, DVDs, videos, audiobooks, computer software, and much more. It seems there is something special planned for almost every day of the year.

I remember several years ago we had a faculty meeting where we were discussing why so many students were performing below grade level. Of course, at the high school, we blamed the middle school teachers. We soon discovered that the middle school teachers blamed the elementary teachers. This is when the assistant superintendent told us about the huge number of children who start kindergarten and are already a year and a half behind. She told us that some of them start school not even knowing how to hold a book, not knowing which is the top and the bottom.

I think we were all shocked that there are homes without books and with parents who never take their children to the library. There is no reason why a child should be denied the wonderful world of books and the library. This is why I believe the library needs to be promoted every day of the year. National Library Week is a great idea. The week just needs to be expanded to 365 days.

Friday, April 16, 2010

When I was teaching, there always items I wanted for my classroom but couldn't afford.

However, if I were teaching today, I would go online to ClassWish is a "new nonprofit that provides teachers and schools with an easier, more rewarding and more efficient way to inspire and attract financial support from individuals and organizations in their communities."

At teachers and school leaders create wish lists of items they need. Once lists are posted, people and businesses in the community can see exactly what is needed and how they can help. These visitors can then contribute online by making a tax-deductible donation for which ClassWish provides a receipt. ClassWish then has the items shipped directly to the schools at no cost to the school or teacher.

With ClassWish any teacher from any school can post a wish list and donors can give to any and every classroom they care about. Anyone can collect donations including principals, administrative staff, and PTA/PTO. Teachers can add as many items to their wish lists as they like at any time and can change the items on their wish list whenever then need to. There are no fees for donations.

Check out here. I think you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Merit Pay Revisited

Once again, I've been reading about merit pay for teachers, this time in Florida.

For many years of my teaching career, I taught the General Math classes. I taught these students all day. Most of them were just a few points above qualifying for special education programs. They were not well-motivated, although I could get most of them to do most of their work most of the time. But their skills were low. They would not have been considered proficient on any standardized test.

I hate to think that my teaching career and my paycheck would have been dependent on the scores of these students. I'm afraid I would have been very, very poor and probably looking for another job.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Too Busy

Today was such a busy day. It seems like I was on the go from the time I got up. I even had two meetings scheduled at the same time. When I finally got home, I just collapsed in a chair for about an hour.

I've always hated to be over-scheduled. It doesn't happen much anymore, but there was a time when that's all I knew. It's not pleasant and it's not healthy.

I think about the kids I taught in high school who were involved in so many activities. They were in sports, band, had jobs, involved in church and community activities, and then were expected to keep their grades up. Some managed, but so many didn't.

Everyone, children and adults, need quiet, unscheduled time during their day. Parents and teachers need to remember that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What About Emailing Parents?

I was just reading an article about a teacher who was concerned about one of his students. The teacher was fearful that the student, who has some mental and emotional problems, might bring a gun to school. Because of his concerns, he sent an email to the child's parents.

In this article the father was upset that the teacher had sent an email. In my opinion, I really don't see a problem with this. If the email was between the teacher and the parent, no one else would know. The only reason everyone found out is because the father made the email public.

I used to send emails to parents when I had concerns about their child, although I never has a situation as severe as this. In my case, I wanted the parent to be aware of what was going on in class. Phone calls from my classroom were never private because there were always students in my room. Mailing letters to the child's home can work, but the parent may not receive them for three or four days. By that time, the situation with the student could have erupted into something disastrous. There's also a chance that the child will intercept the letter before the parents see it.

Telling the principal and counselors also works, but again, getting everyone together for a conference can take a couple of days.

If a teacher wants to let a parent know about a potential situation and wants to let them know quickly and privately, I think an email works perfectly. The other reason I liked email is that I always had a record on my computer of any correspondence. I kept an email folder of such messages so that I could always document actions I had taken to remedy situations.

In this situation I think that the parent, upon receiving the email, should have immediately called the school to set up a conference with counselors, administrators, teachers, and the student. Instead of complaining about the teacher's emails, the parents should be taking action to help their child succeed in school, in life, and help the child's teachers feel safe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Read More

I've been sitting at this computer off and on all day. A few minutes ago I looked down at a pile of books on the floor next to my chair. These are the books I've been meaning to read, but haven't picked even one of them up in weeks.

I have to change that. Everyone needs to change that. I truly believe I need to read more. I truly believe everyone needs to read more.

So I'm going to stop typing. I'm turning the computer off. I'm turning the television off. I'm picking up a book.

Reading is good!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Congratulations Are in Order

Congratulations to Erika DeBenedictics of Albuquerque, to David Liu of Saratoga, California, and to Akhil Mathew of Madison, New Jersey.

Why do they deserve congratulations? In this country where everyone complains about the lack of science and math skills of our young people, these three took top honors at the Intel Science Talent Search held March 16.

Erika DeBenedictis won first place for designing navigation software for spacecraft that could aid in traveling an "interplanetary superhighway." David Liu, second place winner, designed software that automatically searches for and organizes digital pictures. Akhil Mathew earned third place honors for his mathematical work in constructs called Deligne categories. They, along with 37 other finalists, collected over $630,000 in scholarships and other awards.

All I can say is "Wow! Congratulations!"

Source: Space navigation plan takes gold in 2010 Intel Science Talent Search; Science News; April 10, 2010; p.7 (Online: Intel Science Talent Search spotlights America's whiz kids)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Simple is Often Better

Tonight I attended a dinner for our local astronomy club. There were only about 20 members who showed, but we had the best time. We didn't have a fancy meal or a well-known keynote speaker, but it worked. It's amazing what talent we have right in our own club.

One of the club members is a minister, so the dinner was held at his church. The women of the church fixed a fantastic meal of roast chicken, rice, green beans, dinner role, and fluffy dessert pie.

As for entertainment, one of the families brought guitars, tambourine, and bongos. They had made PowerPoint presentations for about nine songs that they performed. The first song was "Moon Shadow" by Cat Stevens. The accompanying PowerPoint was about eclipses. "Red Rubber Ball" was sung to slides about the sun. "I Can See for Miles" dealt with telescopes.

The music was fun, the PowerPoints were educational, and all together was creative, interesting, and one of the best club dinners I've attended.

I firmly believe that the simpler an event is, the better. And using local talent is always an added bonus.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What Not To Wear

I've been watching some of the new episodes of "What Not to Wear" on TLC channel. It started me thinking about some of the outfits some of the kids wear to school.

School clothing is even more of an issue as winter moves into spring. Actually, it's usually not a problem with the boys except for an occasional fishnet shirt, inappropriate wording on a t-shirt, or wearing pants that are down around the knees. The big problem is what the girls choose to wear. I used to wonder how their parents could possible let them out of the house looking like they do. Then I realized that parents were often already at work by the time their daughters went to school or the girls changed clothes once they got to school.

Either way, the girls need to be taught about proper clothing. And yes, you can be stylish and appropriate for school at the same time. Clothing that is inappropriate for school includes any low-cut top, spaghetti straps, too-short shorts or skirts, low-riding pants that expose too much every time you bend over, and any exposed underwear. School is a place to get an education, not a place to advertise your clothing or lack of it.

I personally think that parents should monitor their child's clothing before that child goes to school each morning. But if that's not possible, then teach your daughters and sons what is appropriate so they can make good choices on their own.
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Are You Ready for the End of the School Year?

It's hard to believe that there are only about two months of school left. In this last quarter there are some things you should make sure you've done.

1. Check your credits. Make sure you're on track for graduation. If not, start making arrangements for night classes or summer school or online classes or correspondence courses.

2. Do a final check for any scholarships or awards for which you might qualify. Even honors without monetary awards look great on an application.

3. Check with your teachers about grades. If your scores aren't where you want them to be, ask your teachers what you need to do. Be sincere. Don't act like you just want to pass the class, but act like you really want to learn the material. After all, that is what you're in school for.

4. If you're a senior, double check everything....grades, credits, scholarships, graduation invitations. Most of the time your counselors are going to guide you through the process, but it doesn't hurt to check everything for yourself. Make sure you're paying attention to everything your counselors tell you.

5. Again, if you're a senior, and you're planning to attend college in the fall, make sure you have everything in order. It's easier to take care of everything now while schools are in session. You don't want to wait until the last minute.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Math Class Prank

I know we're a few days past April Fool's, but I love this video and want to share. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Real World

I was talking with my niece on Easter Sunday. She has six children. The oldest one just got his driver's license and the youngest will start school this next fall. I thought she was crazy wanting so many children, but she loves it and she's a great mom!

As we were talking, she said that once the youngest goes to school, she would probably have to get a job and join the real world. I just looked at her and said that I thought raising six children, and doing it well, was the real world. She did admit that it got pretty real at times.

I wish women would quit doing this. At one time, mothers who worked were looked down on as not taking care of their children. Then opinions seemed to change so that any woman who stayed home with her children was not deemed to be reaching her full potential.

Whatever choice a mother makes, whether to work or not to work, is her choice. She should not be looked down on for either decision. She should not feel she's not part of the real world if she's a stay-at-home mom. If the children are loved and well-cared for, then either decision is the right one.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rewriting History

I was reading an article in the newspaper today about the changes being contemplated in Texas' textbooks. Many aspects of our nation's history may be rewritten.

I truly have mixed feelings about this. If the current textbooks are inaccurate or if new information has been discovered, then by all means, the material should be corrected. But to change the information in a text in order to fit a liberal or, in this case, conservative political agenda is, I believe, wrong.

Perhaps in the future, history should only be taught from autobiographies of the people who lived during the time period being studied. Different historical figures will see the current events of their times in different ways. By studying the autobiographies of several people who lived during a certain time period, a variety of ideas and perspectives could be studied, allowing the reader or student to come to his or her own conclusions.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Today I spent the day with family. I didn't watch any news programs on television. I didn't read the newspaper. I didn't even ready any news on the computer. I simply enjoyed time with family and took a break from the world. I had an incredibly happy Easter. I hope that you had as great a day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Surprise

Tomorrow is Easter. How did this happen? I have completely lost track of time. I used to be so careful about keeping track not only of the day and date, but the time of day. After I retired, I first found that the time of day no longer meant anything to me. After a while, I discovered that I was forgetting the date. But the first time I couldn't remember what day it was, I knew I was truly retired.

And yet, a few days ago, when my sister-in-law called to invite us to Easter dinner, she caught me off guard. Sure, I knew Easter was on it's way, but to realize that it was only a couple of days away came as a surprise. Even though there have been Easter decorations and jelly beans in the store since February, I was still amazed that it had arrived so quickly.

So, am I worried that I have lost track of time? Not at all! I love that I don't have to worry about schedules or meetings anymore. And if I choose not to look at a calendar or clock, that's fine too. But thank goodness I have a sister-in-law who pays attention or I might have missed Easter completely and that would be terrible because I am so looking forward to dinner tomorrow.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sometimes Parents Just Miss the Point

I've been following the news about Tiger Woods. The women with whom he's had affairs have said he was cheap. He served them Subway sandwiches and made them fly coach. One of the women's mothers evidently told her daughter that he should have had her fly first class.

Is this what a mother should be telling her daughter? It seems to me that she should be advising her not to be having an affair with a married man.

I don't consider myself a prude or even old-fashioned, but some actions are just wrong. Being with a married man is one of them. If this mother was only concerned with whether her daughter was flying coach or first class, she needs to re-examine her values and moral fiber.

I saw so much of this when I was teaching...parents just missing the point. Please stop and think about what your children are doing and what you're teaching them. I can't imagine any mother wants their child to end up like these women. Of course, I've been wrong before.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Children Are Our Future

Two cases are in the news of children bullying other children to the point of suicide.

Another case in the news of a 15-year old girl prostituting her 7-year old sister.

Priests in the news molesting children.

Hundreds of cases in the news of molestations in the Boy Scouts organization.

This is all in addition to the everyday news of children committing crimes of murder, rape, assault, battery, robbery, and all the other crimes that once were considered adult crimes.

If the children are our future, we have great reason to be worried!