Whatever happened to Shop Class?

The whirling jigsaw cut through the wood like a sharp knife slicing through butter, sending dust and wood chips through the air. The shop teacher watched me closely with a blank stare, but he left me in control of everything. My father had a similar saw at home, but he didn’t like us kids using …

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Shutting down Mom & Dad’s taxi service

I looked up from my phone to look out the car window. Nothing. I went back to scrolling through social media and chatting absentmindedly with my wife about her day. We sat in the dark in our car waiting for our son to finish up from his school’s marching band practice. A few minutes later, …

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Saying you’re sorry

I think one of the best lessons I ever gave my kids: telling them when I’m wrong. For example, a few years ago, I picked my son up from his high school cross country practice and was driving him home. The sun had started to set and a cold wind blew making it feel later …

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Back to school shopping

I put the composition book up to my nose, flipped through the pages, and took in the inky smell of the paper. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Target store worker round the corner and quickly pulled the notebook down and back on the shelf. Before moving onto the next aisle, …

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On the last day of school: The state of education & making the tough choices

My daughter, fourteen at the time, sat in a small chair in the corner of the classroom and held tightly to a blue folder that had a large smiley face sticker on it. Her face by contrast gave nothing away. You couldn’t tell if she was happy or sad, comfortable or scared, rested or tired. …

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Finally believing in me

On two different weekends recently, my 16-year-old and 11-year old sons both went to their school dances. I got a kick out of seeing them get ready for their big nights out. They put a lot of thought into what they were going to wear and dressed-up nicer than I had expected. They looked like …

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