An open letter to our public schools
Tuesday April 14 2009 @ 10:56 pm

To whom it may concern,

Look… I understand completely that ‘green’ is the new in thing. I also understand that schools like to be trendy and appear to keep up to date by riding whatever train is loading up and leaving the station. Seriously… I get it. This is why I simply grin and bear it every night at the dinner table listing to my kids tell me how I should adjust our lives…. with small, easy to obtain ‘green’ goals. Goals such as:

Dad, we should install solar panels on the roof.
Dad, we should install a windmill in the back yard.
Dad, you should mow the lawn with a hand mower. (this is probably my favorite)
Dad, you should buy electric cars. You mean Hybrid? No, electric. Hybrids use gas.

Yes…. I know… such small, easily obtainable and most of all, cheap ways to help in the environment and save the planet (never mind the fact it will be incinerated when the sun goes supernova).

Seriously though… have you heard the term ‘baby steps’? Just a suggestion, but how about a class where you teach kids that a light switch does in fact have TWO positions. On and OFF. Actually, you could go just a bit further in that class and cover the OFF switch capability of all electronics including (but not limited to) stereos, radios, televisions, printers and computers. Then again, I’ve walked through your schools during parent conference nights and judging by the number of lights blazing in empty classrooms and unused computers running screensavers with no users around or power saving features enabled, you might not actually be aware of the invention of OFF yourself.

Here’s another idea… a class for the girls (and my wife) where they are informed that showers do not have to last 45 minutes and use nothing but scalding hot water. (the boy seems to have this down already. He’s usually in and out in 5 seconds flat).

Ah hell… while we’re at it, why don’t we go with a CRAZY idea for a class. How about one where the kids are taught that outside doors can CLOSE as well as open. Yeah, I know… I’m reaching here but its worth a shot. Extra credit can be given if they can explain WHY this is particularly important in winter when the heat is on or summer when the A/C is on.

I’m just sayin’…..



Blur
Thursday September 18 2008 @ 12:40 am

Actual posting seems to have pretty much stopped here over the past few weeks.

I blame the kids.  They have kept the past few weeks such a constant state of motion that, like the title says, everything has pretty much been a blur.

So, a basic rundown of the past month or so:

  • The week before school started consisted of daily Field Hockey practice.
  • The school held a ‘meet the teams’ event where you could see all the fall sports teams/players plus get to see what $2 million dollars of taxpayer money buys in artificial turf.  More on this later (hint: the kids don’t like it).
  • A last weekend of summer trip to the Strasburg Railroad and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. (flickr pics)
  • School started (August 25th).
  • Start of the local rec council outdoor soccer league for the youngest two (which also marks the start of the mom/dad tag team drop off/pick up relay).
  • Several home & away field hockey games.
  • A trip with the wife for a weekend of NASCAR racing at Richmond International Speedway which was nearly ruined by Tropical Storm Emma. (flick pics)

This is a big year for my oldest daughter (especially the past month).  It’s the start of Junior High.  that in itself brings a lot of changes…  like getting on the bus at 7am instead of 8:20 like last year.  The start of the 45 minute, 9 period school day as opposed to the 1 class staying as a unit all day in Elementary School.  On top of all this, she decided she wanted to join the Junior High’s field hockey team.  This means (in addition to the week of practice before school started) that she has practice two hours a day every day after school and play home/away games against other schools.  Quite a change from her zero sports interest couch potatoe ways of just a few months ago.  And as if all that wasn’t enough, Moday she had a full set of braces installed (which, as I am making a point to inform everyone, cost me $3,610.  I’m doing this because…..   damn).

I’m really impressed with how well she’s adjusted to all these changes.  Her grades are actually up from last year.  I thought for sure they’d take a hit until she worked out all her new responsbilities (not that everything has been perfectly smooth).  She seems to be taking it all in stride.  Here’s hoping it stays that way.  (She’s already talking about Basketball in the Spring).