The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Category: Education

Reasons Upon Reasons

One of the first questions my wife asked me was, “Do you think she did this on purpose?” I answered, “No.” At that point, my daughter had not been formally diagnosed with depression so when the dust settled we asked my daughter directly and bluntly about the incident. She was insistent. No way, she said. True, that […]


Every question has an answer. Or, so we are led to believe. But are we asking the right ones? My officemate and I were having a conversation the other day about a controversy on campus. Emails have been flying back and forth, forth and back. A fair number of learned and esteemed colleagues were trying […]


Philosophy is often characterized as being the study of knowledge, existence and reality as an academic discipline. The term is also regarded as being a theory or attitude by which guides the way a person or an organization acts. The origin of character. Bill Watterson, the creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, has said that […]

Of Mice or (Hu)Men?

The other night I walked in the door just after 6 PM. Before my bag even hit the floor, my daughter blurted out from the dining room, “I need help with my English homework.” I sighed, took off my shoes and headed to where my daughter had all manner of study materials fanned across the […]

An Epic Fail??

November 30 was the final day of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) and I have failed. For anyone who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo has been around since 1999 and the challenge involves completing a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days, an average of around 1700 words a day. I’m about 25k short of the […]

Trigger this!

Actually, no part of your classroom education should be intellectually “safe”. This is how I began my semester last week, by reminding a new crew of Freshman that if you’re practicing “safety” in the classroom, then you are not stretching your intellectual boundaries. Let me explain… Over the past several years or so colleges, universities and […]

Did you sign the waiver?

At the beach the other day, I saw something familiar play out . A mother was trying to coax her daughter into the rough surf at the Charlestown Breachway Beach. “Look,” the mom said, “your father and sister are out there, and I’m going because it’s too hot to sit here. So, let’s go!” The little girl, about […]

Beware the Millennial Apocalypse

Not so long ago I had to face the fact that I fathered a narcissist with a capital “N”. I am not alone. It would seem that many of us responsible for bringing children into the world over the past twenty years have raised, well, assholes. We didn’t do this on purpose. We had the […]

A Gooey, Gummy Residue

Society seems to crave labels, both for good or ill.  We love superlatives in their varied forms, from being labeled the most likely to succeed to being called the class clown. Validation comes in both positive and negative forms, as both those labels can illustrate. In high school scoring either of those superlatives in the […]

Be careful what you think…

I have a new screen saver with a tiny green Buddha. In the upper left corner there is the following quote: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” This often quoted passage is an alternate translation from the teachings of Guatama […]

The Consequences of Not Feeling

I discovered the work of visual artist Chris Jordan back in 2009. Jordan works with photographic installations and digital reproductions which offer a glimpse into our “collective behaviors” that often go unnoticed. For example, he maintains that one person buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks and disposing of a paper coffee cup isn’t a problem. […]

What a kick in the soccer balls…

My daughter’s soccer team made the State Cup Championships this past weekend. They play in a premier league and the local competition that they faced had been challenging but not formidable. The held a lead for most of the match but several highly questionable calls by the center referee set up two goals which cost them […]

Here comes the monkey; PARCC is back!

Well, an email came through the other day from my daughter’s middle school. PARCC is back. Next week begins round two of the standardized test that has been the object of derision by parents and classroom educators since last February. Across the nation, in reaction to this misguided implementation, parents, students and teachers have been […]

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