Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Interesting Internet

Some links for a foggy Tuesday:

Megan McArdle in The Atlantic writes about how to raise the quality of the pool of teachers, including by making it easier for people to move in and out of teaching, and for teachers to move between schools and districts without penalty. While our school is blessed with many excellent teachers (some of whom have been in the classroom for years), one of the favorites in the Grass Widow household is Mr. S., who practiced commercial litigation for more than 20 years before embarking on a second career. I’d love to see changes that make it easier for more people to switch careers and become teachers later in life, as he has.

Katie Granju has a heart-breaking series of posts on her son, Henry Granju, who died last year from a drug overdose and assault. As hard as it is, if you have kids of any age, you need to read Henry’s story. We all need to know what can happen if our children get involved with drugs; I can’t think of a better way to do that than by reading Katie’s very open writing about what happens when a good kid gets involved with some very bad people. In an earlier post she admonished parents not to take lightly a child’s first experiment with any drug, and someone very close to me who has battled addiction for more than half her life has vociferously seconded Katie’s advice. Yes, it’s true: not every kid who tries drugs ends up like Henry. But all kids who end up dying way too young from drugs and their collateral damage had a first experience with drugs that was “just an experiment.” As parents we need to make sure those experiments don’t happen, or if they do happen, that we come down like thunder and make sure they never happen again.

On a much lighter note: my children would eat this. Yes, it does say “chocolate covered pickle.” And yes, the fact that they would want one does make me cry, just a little bit.

Want to learn more about what your kids are eating at school (as opposed to when they’re begging you for a fried pickle at the Rodeo)? Check out Bettina Siegel’s “School Lunch FAQs” at her blog, The Lunch Tray. Let me give you an old fashioned SAT word analogy to tell you how much I like The Lunch Tray: Bettina’s blog is to good information as school lunch food is to ….. carbohydrates, of course.

I posted this on Facebook already, but good news from HISD Superintendant Terry Grier: there will be no changes to the HISD magnet program this year. The Board was set to vote on a series of recommendations that would change the program, but they and Grier have decided that the current budget conundrum is a much bigger fish for them to fry than tinkering with a magnet program that more or less works. Much rejoicing in the Grass Widow house as our Fine Arts program lives to sing (and paint and dance) another day.

Finally, want to read just a little on Orthodox Christianity but have no idea where to start? Try The Word, the monthly magazine of the Antiochian Archdiocese. I am still working my way though the February edition (it’s sitting on my nightstand right now) and already the March one is available online. Oy, I’m behind again. What else is new?

1 comment:

bettina said...

Tari - thanks so much for the Lunch Tray shout out! :-)