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Showing posts from 2010

Looking back, looking ahead for... a Bridgewater Soccer Mom

Yesterday's entry was bleak. I write today's blog while listening to NPR and drinking my coffee. NPR just went through the decade. A decade ago I lived in a different world - or, well, in a different country. I had a job I loved, but was in the middle of a year-long maternity leave. A decade ago I probably was thinking that it might be the year I would lose my Mom - and I did in July 2001. A decade ago I thought I had the best neighbors in the world - as the decade ends I have even more proof that if you are a good friend to others you'll never be lonely.

January 2010 will always be the month of doctors appointments. Looking back now I counted 20 in my planner. It started with an ER visit and my son's "stapled head". Two weeks later my husband ran over his foot with a truck. Yes, it is possible! That was also the day my son could claim he jumped out of a moving truck. At least he has something interesting to write on his college applications! "When I was…

Looking back, looking ahead for BRRSD

As you may have figured out - we have been away. It was strange to be away on Christmas - in a warm place (Aruba) - and actually both kids agreed they would rather have a traditional family celebration than even be swimming in the sea.

When I came back, reality was in my in-box. One of my friends had sent me this link about the BOE and next year's budget. As I was writing this blog, the Messenger showed up in my driveway with this article. I had originally planned to make the board meeting on that Tuesday night, knowing there would be important information, but, if you read my blog, you knew I was visiting a friend instead. My priorities are in check - sick friends trump BOE meetings any Tuesday night! (Most Tuesday nights I'm driving my daughter home from Tae Kwan Do which conflicts with BOE meetings too).

Still, that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on the 0% raise as planned in the budget.. if you're interested here it is:

I feel the Superintendent has unde…

Merry Belated Christmas

It's the holidays and time for a break. Christmas Eve the fridge/freezer died. This meant that Christmas morning I woke to lots of food going bad, and a change in plans. It's a  bit too much to expect a new fridge to materialize on Christmas Day (turns out the day after isn't an option either). Like Ralphie's family from A Christmas Story our Christmas Day dinner this year was from a Chinese restaurant - we got take out. Singapore noodles for me... It will definitely be a Christmas Dinner we remember.

Other things I wish I could change: I never got around to sending Christmas cards to everyone on the list. If you didn't get one, please believe the proverbial "it's not you, it's me" because it is true. Finally, my dear brother and his family will have to wait til 2011 to open their gifts, because they still aren't in the mail. I could have sent them something from Amazon to insure on-time delivery, but then they lose something else: the special…

"I see"

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Spent a few hours with my dear, sick friend, E. I'm completely heartsick. Promised I will love and watch over her lovely daughter. Forever. But how could I, or an army of surrogate Moms, fill the void in L's heart once her Mom is gone?

Here is a musical interpretation of how I feel.

I see that you are tired,
but I can't walk the steps for you
You must walk them yourself
But I will walk with you
I will walk with you


I see that you are in pain
But I can't cry the tears for you
You must cry them yourself
But I will cry with you
I will cry with you


I see you want to give up
But I can't live life for you
You must live life yourself
But I will live with you
I will live with you


I see that you are scared
but I can't die for you
You must taste it yourself
But I will turn death into life for you
I'll make death a life for you 
(Bjorn Eidsvaag song, Soccer Mom translation)




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This parenting thing sucks!

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Whenever I am feeling like I want my life to be different I try to remember a friend of mine (whom I've mentioned lots of times before) who doesn't have kids but really really really wants them so that I return to my regular state of gratefulness.... Part of me wants to call her now and warn her that being a parent is very difficult and sometimes painful.

This is one of those nights!

It was blackbelt testing at the Tae Kwan Do school. C was the belle of the ball. She messed up big time right in the beginning.... she almost lost her cool, but her panic forced her to channel her energy and then everything else went very well.

N started strong but he didn't stay strong. He mixed up many of his forms. In sparing he did fine but not great (in my humble opinion, but apparently the judges thought otherwise). Ultimately he didn't break his boards. Not his first, not his second, not his third try - which is 20% of the grade, but worse, horrible on the psyche.

In the end he faile…

Wed-nes-day

They're here...

my MIL and FIL arrived today for a near-3-week stay. Beds were changed, kitchen wiped and rooms with clutter have been made to look like human beings live here. I even discovered the floor below my linen closet which has been covered in mis-matched socks for the better part of 3 years.

My son was home today with a fever, but other than being pale had no other symptoms. He'll probably stay home tomorrow too. C looks like she should stay home, but I doubt she will, she really needs the rest as she is a candle burning at both ends.

Despite this whirlwind of activity (for me it's mostly cleaning today) I have been distracted all day. I got bad news about someone yesterday, then a confirmation of it today and even though she isn't part of my family nor someone I have known for very long (+/- 2 years) I can't stop thinking about how sad I am. I keep inside but it bubbles to the surface not through tears, but through my irritation about completely unrelate…

Treading water

I'm just working toward the goal of getting my to do list done so I can finally relax and enjoy my favorite time of year. I just finished a little item: clean out refridge and wash shelves. But I added a new one "bathe Diego" so it is a zero-sum gain. (Washing Diego also adds to the list: extra laundry, clean floor, etc.). Most of the list is semi-done. For example the Christmas cards, are mostly written - 1/2 addressed, 1/4 stamped  Since I've only received a couple, I'm guessing I'm still OK for time. Gifts are on the final push - still no clever ideas for my husband - got two gifties with low levels of pizazz. Any chance I'll finish the sweater by the 25th so I can give that? I cleaned out the garage after my October garage sale.

Blogging is not on the list of must-dos, so I'll step away from the computer. If I don't return it's not because I wouldn't rather be writing. Hope your to dos are not spoiling the spirit of the season (whatev…

Where did the time go?

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Since Monday I have started 3 blogs. But I have been so buys I didn't finish any of them. Now they seem dull. Rereading this blog, you may agree since they were all variations on this theme.

It's the time of year when reflection competes with to-do lists. Reflection of yearly events (the anniversary of my brother's death, my late-mother's birthday and the annual presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize, not to mention the actual religious meaning if that is your tradition.  Yet the to-do list and overpacked schedule seem to dominate.

Christmas gifts for my nephews: check. Get and decorate tree: check. Christmas lights? Check, uncheck, check, half-check (we are a strand short for outside, so back to Target I go. Before Target (bought, returned and repurchased online when the same ones went on sale on Cyber Monday) we looked at lights at Costco, Home Depot, Walmart, Wegmans (bought and returned 8 strands) and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Sound familiar???

And I've been knitting…

It's that day of the year...

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Every year on this day I reflect, but today I reflect even more. 25 years ago today my brother Dino died. I have blogged about his death numerous times. Like here and here.  There really isn't much more to say.

Losing Dino has given me lifelong survivor's guilt. When he died I often thought that my Mom's favorite died and her definitive least favorite lived and wished it would have been reversed. But now I see it all so differently, because I know a Mom loves all her kids and any of their losses would be tragic. His death pushed me to try new things, and my life took a direction I could never have imagined before he got sick in 1984. Dino was like the family's own Fonzi... and maybe, just maybe, a little of his charisma lives on in me?

Everyone has some hurdle in their life. Some people face these challenges as young people, others never know loss until they get very old. If nothing else, I know how to deal with something devastating, and that life definitely goes on.

Friday on Sunday

C made a difficult decision on Friday - miss school or miss a day in the city seeing the Christmas Show (which we do every year). I wasn't even intending on making it a choice. On Thursday night I informed her that the next day was Radio City Day and she freaked out. I can't miss school - I can't miss Latin! I pressured her to go to NYC and she refused.

Often I use this blog to criticize my own parenting or the parenting I see around me.  Even more often I criticize the schools.

This week I really can't criticize the teachers, at least not two of them! C Language Arts teacher called me in to see what she can do to keep her challenged in her class. "If I could tell you "just come to my third period e-class" I would, but I can't." So she gave her some books and tips on how to do her best at everything even when it's dull, told her how special she thinks she is and much she hopes she will strive for the higher, more challenging classes next ye…

Art in the home?

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I am in a frenzy trying to get everything done, made and wrapped. It's only December 1st, I know, but goal one - the advent calendar (see left) for my kids - is almost done. I just have a few things to figure out - some of the packages aren't gifts but things we do - and it will be 100% complete. Luckily there are more than enough packages for the kids not to miss the few stragglers. I finished the basket and its contents last night at 2am, so I'm running on fumes today.

Against my better judgment, I told C I would hem her dress to make it quite a bit shorter. But I didn't realize the last bit is flared. How do I fix this? If only my Nonny were alive. I'd give it to her - or have her show me how. Even my Mom, who was better with upholstery than clothing, could probably have given me a tip. My Dad, unfortunately, isn't much help, and I really don't want to pay to have it done. I should be able to fix this myself, don't you think??


I took an hour break fro…

Back to basics in 5th grade and pink elephants in the Middle School Auditorium

My son has to experience 5 hours without electricity. Luckily I don't have to follow the same rules for here I sit, laptop open and typing away while he reads by candlelight. I forgot how tired I feel after just a few hours without electric lights. I'm not sure he learned much from this journey into the past, except how much he LOVES all things electric. What did he miss the most? Light! What did he learn? "That I like electricity and it's no fun without it." No fun??? He and his friend played games all evening, we ate by candlelight and I thought it was kind of an adventure. I thought he would have learned the opposite - that you can still have fun in the dark. Backfired!

My daughter had an assembly (again, missing 2 periods of classes) on Columbine. While she is a fairly intelligent girl, she seemed to have missed the main point. What did she take from it? That one of the girls who died had written in her diary that same week that she thought she would die that…

Anxious Advent

Dear Santa - for Christmas I need those Guatemalan Trouble Dolls.  You know, those dolls you tell your worries to before you go to bed, you put them under your pillow and the dolls worry while you sleep. At least in theory.

It's the first Sunday in Advent - and although it's still November, I feel behind before I've even started. It makes me wonder: why all the pressure? No one is forcing it on me - I'm putting it on myself!

So, maybe some of it is understandable: my husband is leaving for his home country in 2 days and I haven't finished the gift I knit my sister-in-law (although I bought, wrapped and delivered nearly all of our other Christmas gifts for my in-laws in July). I am making gifts for various other family and nothing is even close to done. I want the sweater I started Tore to be finished (at least the knitting) so my mother-in-law can help me put it together. And I'm knitting a gift from my father-in-law, which I started in July, and that's onl…

More pie please... what the hell was I thinking???

Thanksgiving was - as it has been in the past - like something out of a dream. The food was phenomenal - even my contribution was nearly up to par with the hostess' world-class faire - and the conversation nearly sinfully delightful. My cousins know how to get to the heart of the matter. We shared internet tips with one another and my kids are actually (sigh) old enough to play with their son. Who knew "COD" would be something they bond over? Their daughter is a college freshman and spent more time with us old folks than with the kids. I remember Thanksgiving after going off to college a pivotal moment in my own feeling of being an adult. (It was also terribly sad, since my Grandma died that year just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and her loss was palpable.) Hearing about K's classes, I was mesmerized. It was nothing like the 100-level survey courses of my days.

The ride home, however, was long for my bulging tummy. I paid for my gluttony. The food was THAT good. S…

Thanksgiving

I know we are supposed to say we are grateful for the people in our lives on this Thanksgiving day, and of course I am, but I am would like to give an honorable mention to a house.

I'm grateful that my Dad still lives in our house on Pinewoods Circle. That he is 85 and well enough to live here on his own is a blessing, but I am also thrilled to have this museum to my life with this family. Books cover the surfaces in almost every room, and where there aren't books, you enjoy pictures of family, paintings my great-grandfather and other talented people painted and small trinkets collected through the years. Everything has a memory, yet like a person, sometimes things change. I'm writing this on my Dad's new laptop (that my husband helped him buy) on a modern leather chair that I'm not sure my mother would have liked. Somehow the two black chairs and white sofa somehow work perfectly in this room filled with well-worn hardcovers and a very tired Persian rug.

I love my…

Vicarious cheering?

Many people who don't have children living with them look at today's stay-at-homers, or even those who work outside the home and think that all this over-parenting is a way to vicariously live through their children's accomplishments.

I may have been guilty of such things (as evidenced by years of over the top birthday celebrations), but I assure you this weekend is proof positive that I do not live through my daughter!

We were at a cheer competition in Wildwood, NJ and I hated pretty much every minute of it. Here is a Reader's Digest style rundown of the weekends low points.

Hotel: so gross that my husband LITERALLY refused to sleep there! He surfed the net all night long.Hotel: was paid for through the competition organization and was a complete rip off! I will NEVER book through them again!!! The hotel was $50 cheaper online, but because the coaches were decorating the girl's doors, I felt like we had to room there. Next year the three signs on our door are an ho…

Rough draft rewritten....

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I don't normally delete my posted blogs, but I did today. We should all have a chance to do a rewrite.  I bet there is a certain BRRSD teacher who wishes he could have that opportunity right about now - and I'm sure there is a 15 year old girl here in 08807 who is rethinking her actions as well...

I'm very conflicted about the latest news about a teacher sexting a picture of his junk to a student... I think it is awful. But I find myself wondering about the 15 year old girl too. Doesn't she know it's stupid to send pictures of herself to a teacher? Maybe I'm blaming the victim, much as a jury may hear the biased testimony about what a girl was wearing in a rape case... but maybe I'm blaming her parent for not instilling a sense that it is wrong to send pictures of yourself to a teacher.

In my original blog I compared a teacher whom I've known for many years, Mr. C with the BRRSD teacher.  Mr. C was fired about 15 years ago for writing poetry to a studen…

13 years as a Mom

Thirteen years ago I took C home from the hospital. My dear, darling Mom took care of us for the first week. I think it was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me - she stayed up all night with C did all the laundry and did most of the cooking so I could half-sleep. Since that first day when I left the hospital utterly terrified, literally crying, "how am I going to take care of this baby?" I have learned a lot of things and my confidence as a parent has grown exponentially with each passing year. In fact, it is the area of myself where I am most confident. I didn't totally ruin my kids - yet.

So here I will share with you 13 things I have learned about motherhood and child rearing. One for each year.

1) Breast is best. For you, for the baby. She literally sucks the fat right out of you. It's easy and nothing makes you feel quite as intimate with another human being. And, even for a long-term breast feeder, it's a short term commitment.

2) How do you pick…

Today's word

Is simple -if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

I have had a very busy week and haven't blogged much. Sometimes it's better to hold your tongue than to blog (or speak!). After incidents on Saturday and Tuesday, I think it is just as well that I took a week's hiatus because I might say something that isn't very nice, even if it's true.

Hope you are all well, dear readers. I'll be back in a day or two with another blog.

Fresh air...

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I went for a walk through the Sourland Mountain Preserve with Diego and MR. It was a perfect day for it. Not chilly, not warm and we almost had the entire place to ourselves. It was a clear day - so clear we could (just barely) see the Empire State Building! I broke the golden rule and let Diego run off-leash for most of the day as there really were neither people nor furry animals anywhere. In fact, MR and I both noticed, that it seems we have more wildlife scurrying through our back yards!

I was speaking to MR about a situation with some former colleagues (I'd heard from a third colleague who told me the latest office squabble) and I admitted that while I often say I miss that job and wish I could live closer so I could have kept my old position, I had forgotten how this "issue" had been difficult to maneuver when I worked there.

Having stayed home all these years has really made me wonder where I would be now. Seeing that these colleagues are still "fighting&qu…

Head in the sand

I know that the Democrats are going to get spanked tomorrow.

And I am actually voting for a Republican! (Did you see lightening? Is that the devil in a parka?) Christine Rose, the replacement for our councilman who was elected to a higher office last year, voted AGAINST cutting the BRRSD budget this spring. Since she supported the only issue important enough to get me to a Town Council Meeting last year, I am happy to give her my vote.

Otherwise I have a feeling not a single candidate of mine will win. Skeptical? Yes! But I've been in the reddest area of the bluest part of the Northeast to know that while the Dems need every vote, there simply aren't enough of us like-minded lefties to incite change.

I'm boycotting the news tomorrow. It just won't be pretty for pinko-liberals like me. Should something BIG, non-election related, happen tomorrow, please drop me a line!

Competition video

Wanted to share this with you -- but now I have to go and try to figure out what time it really is. One of my clocks changed time zones automatically.....so I need to google "time change 2010" and figure out if it is 9am or 8am. Happy Halloween. Time to sweep the leaves off the front stairs.


Thank you BRMS

I just picked up C from the Middle School Environmental Trip.

It is an overnight in Northern New Jersey where the children hike 3 miles of the Appalachian Train and do a variety of other outdoor and indoor activities. C did "Colonial Cooking" where she learned how to make apple cobbler - which she said looked good, but tasted bad (she's not big on fruit). She also learned the "Three Threes" (You can live 3 days without water, you can live 3 weeks without food and it takes 3 hours to make a proper shelter) in "Survival Training", and she claims to have hit a bulls-eye in Archery. They also sang songs and got to know other members of their team. C's cabin organized their own spa-night.

C loved it.

Thank you Teachers. C got a lot of fresh air, made new friends and learned something. She didn't mind yesterday's rain. In fact, she loved the trip, rain and all.

Elitism alive and well in BFL Cheer...

Someday when we live somewhere far from here, and I am missing Bridgewater, please remind me how elitist this town's stupid parents can be, for no good reason!

This is one of those times.


Julliard admission counselors can be elitist, school districts and cheer coaches should not be!


As long-time readers know, I have never been big on cheer and have actively tried to curtail my own bias as a sport for snotty girls, but the coaches seem to be actively sabotaging these efforts! The squad has two components: game-day cheerleaders who only cheer at football games, and the competition squad which cheers at games and at competitions or exhibitions. Seems like that would be the "elite group", separated based on ability, but the reality is far more silly. All of the girls except two are on the competition (elite) group. Two girls have really been left out. Despite this, the girls have kept very good attitudes even taking on all the optional activities, like extra tumbling…

Cool-aid overdose

Spent way too many hours at cheer lately and felt like I was stuck in a suburban housewife vortex. Although some of the Moms are very "normal" a few are really getting on my nerves.

Last weekend when I knit the pink headband at a cheer event in Montclair, I told one of the moms that I was hoping to wear it that night at the football game. Her comment wasn't "good for you" or "it's very nice" but "why did you make it pink, you should have made it in red, black or white". These, of course, are the team colors. Instead of a well-deserved rebuke, I explained that I had pink yarn in my stash and a somewhat snide, "and, I didn't have those colors".

Turns out when cleaning the basement this weekend, I found all three, so last night I started to knit a tri-colored headband.

But as I produced inch after inch, I started feeling bitter and wondered, why should I knit something to prove to them that I support C's cheer team? How di…

Short-sighted cut

You've heard me complain that the board needs to prioritize the library in Bridgewater schools. Now I'm upset that parents are petitioning the Superintendent to close the libarary* at the high school!

REALLY?! Are parents that short sighted?

Bridgewater-Raritan high school only has one librarian for its approximately 3,000 students. I haven't spent much time in the Library and know literally nothing about how it operates or what it offers, but someone knowledgeable explained that the library is closed during lunch because kids were playing video games on the computers instead of doing legitimate work, and the librarian doesn't have the capacity to police this. As often happens a few bad apples ruin it for the high school basket. Students can still visit and utilize the library as needed during either an appropriate class or a study hall - they need a pass - and it is open for an hour after school.

So here, while you might find me stating the obvious:

EVERY SCHOO…

Thinking warmer thoughts

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How come a fruitful day is followed by one where I can't seem to even get myself motivated enough to make coffee? Yesterday after cleaning and sorting things for a garage sale, I finished my "not-Martha's" headband. The design is available free online.  Mine is in a thick, organic cotton and fits like it was made for me (it was, of course). It is soft, warm and not itchy.

I  think I'm in love.

It couldn't be more simple in design or execution. So why can't I get the gumption up to produce several to sell? Maybe I like it better because I made it for me? Maybe if I made one for a friend she would like it only because it was made for her, but not because it was just right?

One of the blogs I follow discusses this exact thing. Although she has made a career as a reporter and now as a knitting blogger for our local paper, she still dreams about selling her designs, just as I dream of a little yarn shop in Somerville where I can knit in between sales. Of cour…

Martha and Me

Like most of America I side on the hate side of the love-hate relationship with Martha S. She makes millions of women around the country feel bad about themselves because she has set a bar far too high for normal folks. One year I actually blew out the yokes to paint eggs after watching Martha's show (she didn't teach me the technique - both my Mom and husband prefer that method). My friend MR thought I was crazy. She was right as it is much too much work for coloring eggs with kids.

It is important to remember that Ms. Martha's accomplishments don't happen in a vacuum. She has a sizable fortune (no comment necessary) and a large staff to help her do the leg work that you and I have to do ourselves. If Behind Every Successful Man -- there is a woman, then behind every episode or issue of Martha there is a staff of hundreds plus millions of dollars in advertising. Producers, technical folks, make-up crews, stylists, designers and chefs, painters, planners and who knows…

MoMA, ML and Me

In the never ending magnetic field - work or stay-at-home - I've been trying to embrace my present and stop worrying about my lack of employment.

To that end I called my friend ML on Thursday morning between getting my kids off and told her to drop everything. She did, and we headed into New York. Neither or us have oodles of disposable cash, and both of us had to be home to drive the kids' to their activities starting around 4pm, so we kept it simple: trained to NYC, walked to MoMA, window shopped on 5th Avenue, and headed home.

We talked, gawked at endless diamonds on 47th Street, we drank sparkling wine with our teeny tiny minimalistic MoMA lunch and we looked a designer clothes that we didn't even bother to try on.

At the MoMA there was a wish tree.  Did I wish for a job? No... my wish was more basic than that.

Today I write this knowing that I have done what I can to enjoy the days I have. Currently my life is here, amongst the people I love, and my warm dog (who is …

When you have friends like these....

I lost my cool with a 10 year old boy this morning. In front of my husband and me he had the balls to say to my son, "You know, N, you are half good. I like half the things about you." 

It was everything I could do in my power not to throw the kid out of my house (I was helping his mom out by letting him come here before school, so I couldn't really). Instead, I told the child in a stern tone that he is not to speak to my son, or to anyone else like that in my house. I explained he was basically saying that N is half bad. The child may think it is funny, but he is really being quite mean to his host. "I will not tolerate bullying in my kitchen, or anywhere else at my house!"

What makes kids say things like this? Back-handed compliments that serve no purpose? Are my kids saying things like this without realizing it? Has he been saying things like this to N all these years?

N has pretty low self-esteem. I don't need him playing with children who make him fee…

The Big C-cret... and the answer to a 25 year old question

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With last week being "family week" I was forced to face a few conundrums of my childhood. One of the biggest themes is keeping family secrets. My philosophy as a parent is that I don't tolerate lies or secrets. I don't care what my kids are doing, I want to know. For better or for worse. We all have little secrets. I'm talking about bigger things.

My mother was a wonderful woman, whom I've praised on this blog many times, but both she and her other family members were great at keeping secrets.

Last year, for example, I found out that my cousin had 2 sons. These are half brothers of DC, whom I met last week. Another "a-ha moment" was hearing that stories I'd learned about my uncle simply weren't true. I also heard "the other side" of a few stories that I didn't know before. Mostly they weren't my business: divorce, money, he-said-she-saids from the Reagan era. Baggage we all carry to varying degrees.

But the biggest secret w…

Family week continues

Even though my husband's family all live abroad (or, well, we live abroad in their eyes, since all 4 generations live in a 2-mile radius) we see them more than we see my family, except my Dad - who is pictured to the right. My family, on the other hand, is spread out throughout the US with central New York as home base.

None the less, I love to see my family so this is a very special week for me. Last Sunday my brother came for a visit, today my Aunt will be here with her new husband. On Thursday I met my cousin's son for the first time, even though he is almost 30.

I saw a lot of similarities to everyone else in my family. DC is clearly intelligent. His Dad, and his grandfather both have larger-than-life scientific brains, and DC seems to have got a cut of those genes. Like most of the family (I'm the exception that proves the rule) he is tall, though not in the top 5, but his greenish eyes must come from his mother. He also has been spared Poppy's (my Mom's Dad) …

Fantasy letter... to recipient with deaf ears

NJASK scores came yesterday, C did exceptionally well and it just is another indicator that she is in the wrong math program. She is in pre-algebra (In BRRSD 7th graders are placed in one of three groups: topics is easiest, then pre-algebra, then algebra).  I wrote the following e-mail that I haven't sent. It is a reply to the formal e-mail from the district saying that C didn't make algebra due to the fact that she was making Bs in e-math last year and that some of her test scores were slightly below the minimum requirement.

If you found this posting because you have a child in e-math or are considering e-math for your 6th grader, be warned - if you child doesn't make an A in e-math they will be ineligible for advanced math in 7th grade.  Placement for your 7th grader is vital as it will preclude your child from taking the highest level math in high school. Unless you send your child to summer school - or perhaps take 2 math classes in a year in high school (if they allow …