The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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Girls, Scales and Calories

August 15, 2010   1 Comment

The Miseducation of Jack and Jill

It’s been a minute since we first learned of T-One’s fate regarding SOMA school district’s gifted and talented program. Since then, there hasn’t been much movement on getting her into the classes. We have gone through the proper channels but the administration has been, shall we say, slow to respond. Although we finally have a meeting with the Assistant Superintendent, our patience is already thin.

SOMA School District

SOMA School District

In the last few weeks we have sent a few letters, made a few phone calls, paid a couple of visits and talked to other parents. What we discovered is we are not the only parents upset about how our district identifies and addresses the needs of children. At least one lawsuit has been threatened. We also discovered a heavy layer of lip service in regards to closing the well publicized achievement gap in the district. It is the district’s alleged number one priority but all that has been done is putting together a 50+ member panel to “make recommendations”. Seriously? C’mon. [Read more →]

February 2, 2010   5 Comments

Gifted And Talented

T-One Hard At Work

T-One Hard At Work

Earlier this school year I received T-One’s NJ ASK scores which test elementary school age children in NJ in language arts and math. The scores are grouped into three categories: “partially proficient” (which is just a pc way to say that the child scored below standard), “proficient” and “advanced proficient”. T-One scored at the upper end of the “proficient”. I must admit when I saw the scores I was both a little surprised and a little disappointed. The girl does so many things so well and things seem to come so naturally to her that it comes as a small shock when she’s deemed “average” at anything.

Of course as parents we think our kids are extraordinary at everything, both good and bad. In my mind, no kid is a better athlete than T-One, no kid is more creative than C-Thunda and no kids are more beautiful than either of them. There’s also the flip side. No kids get into more mischief or are as sassy or are as hair-grayingly maddening as my children. They are extraordinary in every way. But average they ain’t. At least, in my mind.

So when I opened the envelope containing T-One’s NJ ASK scores, I was a little baffled. [Read more →]

November 11, 2009   5 Comments

Moving Toward An Open-Book Life

I value privacy. I value mine. I value yours. I feel like some things we have are simply our own and should not have to be shared with the world. Some things should not have to be shared with even your closest loved ones. Your thoughts, beliefs, ideas, and emotions are yours. It should be your choice if you want to share them or not. I, on a fundamental and deeply rooted level, have always felt this.

However, when I really think about it, my regard for privacy has not served me the way I expected or wanted. In some ways it has hurt me. To exercise privacy requires the active withholding of some information. The upside is you prevent people from judging your every nook and cranny. Get out of there! This is why diaries used to have locks. But there is a downside to being private. Inevitably, the private person allows room for others to implant or supplement a false reality about you, your feelings, your abilities and your intentions where there is a lack of information. While many times this may have no consequence on your life, in many ways I’ve found it to be detrimental in my life. Especially in my personal relationships.

I’ve been called mysterious, sneaky, someone with an agenda, up to something and the like just because I did not wish to disclose every aspect of my life. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I am not mysterious or sneaky or anything else. I’m just private. My thoughts are mine, my ideas are mine, my feelings are mine. Mine! Mine! Mine! I do not wish to share it all. What I do share I feel is enough of a representation of me that you can get to know the “who” of who I am. With the things that I don’t share, I am just simply more comfortable having an internal dialogue with myself about those things. I don’t want you to know. Mind your business!

But here’s the thing. I know I’m fighting a losing battle. Privacy in this world is becoming elusive if not yet non-existent. We are living in a world moving toward being an open-book society.  [Read more →]

March 21, 2009   18 Comments