Phil is a Douche

I’m sitting in the waiting area of the car wash in Toluca Lake right now. Mr G is en route to LAX. His flight was delayed but not canceled so I’m giving his car a wash to make his homecoming a bit easier. Breezier if you will. I was up at 5am and it’s currently 5pm so it’s possible that my candor comes from exhaustion as it’s been ten days without a partner in crime or perhaps from hunger. I forgot to eat lunch. The line to pay the cashier …

Do You Help Your Daughter or Your Son?

Last night at dinner Jane regaled us with a story where a male classmate told her to get out of the computer lab, “It’s for boys.” And she went on to other things at warp speeds (as 15 year old girls often do) when I had to give her a, “Whoa, whoa, back up! What did you say to this kid?” “Nothing. I just finished my program first and asked him if needed any help.” And then she rolled her eyes and went back to talking about whatever it was …

Discipline and Punishment in the Second Grade

I thought I knew what discipline meant. The Latin root is disciplina which encompasses education, training and order. Tufts says that disciplina is instruction, tuition, teaching, training, and education and I’d always known discipline to be a benign word, positive even as it relates to children and education. Unfortunately I was wrong. You see, when I look it up at Webster’s the first definition is that discipline and punishment are synonymous and that “instruction” as a synonym to discipline is now obsolete. Academia needs to either reclaim the obsolete use of …

Winning the Lottery Fantasies

I went to elementary school in Manhattan Beach. California had the best schools in the country and Manhattan Beach had some of the best schools in the state. Every morning my mother would leave the house about 15 minutes before us and head East to Watts in order to teach her students. My classrooms were bright and airy, my teachers were local to the community and beloved. Manhattan Beach wasn’t affluent at the time (though it would become so in later years) but all the kids came to class well …

Jane is About to be Grounded for the Rest of Her LIFE

Earlier this week I got an email. Here is the exact text: Hi! Just letting you know that Jane volunteered for the 6:45-7:30 shift at the pancake breakfast.  If this is a problem, please let know! I’ll leave the front gate popped open so people can get into the school. See you then! What am I supposed to say? Perhaps, “Listen if you want Jane on your doorstep before 7am may I suggest a sleepover at school?” Or maybe, “Sorry, that’s when we milk the cows.”? After setting three alarm …