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Whupping the teenage boy literacy crisis with the vacation journal

If you’re lucky, your boys are eager readers. If you’re really lucky, your boys are eager writers. But in many households, of course, neither is the case, and folks are in the midst of summer book battles. [Read more →]


I have this image in my mind, a little movie, although I can’t remember where I saw it (perhaps it was one of my vivid dreams): A dad pulls into the driveway after a day of work. His tiny son is playing with a truck in the yard. When the boy sees dad the truck drops from his hand, as if it didn’t exist, and the boy scampers over. The dad sweeps him up.

I love that image. [

Baby teeth

At one point, my wife and I were young guns, a couple with small kids. We moved into our neighborhood 18 years ago, and it was full of children. Ours were among the youngest. When our “Lane gang” went to school those first few years, the group pic had 20+ kids. But each year, the number dwindled, until there were only three or four kids. The lane, for a few years, was quiet. [Read more →]

Punishment and… crime?

We are not strict parents. My boys are the only ones home now, and while I don’t think I should be their best bud, we have an easy, pleasant rapport. However, I sometimes think my reluctance to disrupt that rapport has prevented me from laying down the hammer.

[

The arc of life lessons

As a parent, you are lead to believe that part of your job is to impart wisdom. You quickly realize that curve of wisdom climbs upward snugly alongside the curve of your progeny’s ages. [Read more →]

A good story about a local football player’s path to the NFL draft

I had a specific reason for watching the NFL draft last weekend: I was waiting to see when Kelvin Harmon, a wide receiver from North Carolina State who played his high school football at my local high school, Palmyra, was going to be drafted. [Read more →]

Added to my e-bookshelf … Winter Gets Hot

When I received my review copy of “Winter Gets Hot” from LibraryThing, all I really knew about the book and its merits was that it was – according to the jacket, at least – “The eagerly anticipated sequel to ‘Winter In Chicago.’”

I wasn’t familiar with that book or its author, David M. Hamlin. But after reading this ‘eagerly anticipated sequel,’ I will probably be searching for that earlier work, adding it to my e-bookshelf, and learning more about Emily Winter’s introduction to the Windy City, and vice-versa.
[

A short “play” in honor of the great Eli Goldblatt

My dissertation advisor, Dr. Eli Goldblatt, is retiring after many years at Temple University. I wrote the following as part of a tribute to the great man that took place at Temple on April 1.

“A Real Advisor (We’ll Call Him ‘Eli’) and a Gloomy, Lethargic, Uncertain Grad Student (GLUGS)”

A short play. [

A precious moment … a joyful noise …

He is risen …
Christ is risen, indeed …

“We are the Easter people,” Pastor Jim Miles of First Prez-Fort Stockton reminds us ….. and that is what we affirm today, the day for which we have prepared all week, the day for which we live at all times. A promise was made on a joyful, star-lit night, in a stable in Bethlehem … but that promise was kept on a bloody, storm-darkened day, on a hill outside of Jerusalem.

A good crowd for early service this morning at First Prez-Midland, and I don’t think anyone went home disappointed. The church’s staff and ministry did themselves proud today, and the message of Christ’s resurrection – and our salvation – was loud, clear and pelling.

Today, there was a little something for everyone … including me. A small notice in the church bulletin said, “Those who have sung the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ and would like to join with the choir in this great anthem, please e to the chancel during the singing of ‘The Day of Resurrection.'”
[

… the day before THE DAY …

Big day, tomorrow … and not just for all Christians, but for all peoples … that’s what I believe.

“We are the Easter people,” Pastor Jim Miles of First Prez-Fort Stockton would remind us, and not just in the days leading up to Easter, but throughout the year. And that is what we affirm tomorrow, the day for which we have been preparing over the past six weeks, the day for which we live – or at least try to live – at all times.

A promise was made on a joyful, star-lit night, in a stable in Bethlehem … but that promise was kept on a bloody, storm-darkened day, on a hill outside of Jerusalem … and later in a place of tombs in the early morning.
[

My new novel has a publisher

I am happy to announce that I have signed a book contract with Tiny Fox Press. My novel THE GREAT AMERICAN DECEPTION will be published in 2020. A bit more information about the book is here. I’ll be announcing book-related stuff at When Falls the Coliseum when I remember, but the most frequent updates will be at Twitter and my author Facebook page.

Oh, Mrs. (and you too, Mr.) Maisel, do you know where your children are?

We blew through The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It was a good spousal bonding experience, if for no other reasons than that she liked it enough to a) watch it all and b) stay awake through (most) of it. I thought the first two seasons were great, big-theater-on-TV that it is. Mrs. Maisel herself is, well, talented and marvelous, and I loved the anatomy of stand-up edy. [Read more →]

Shiny objects and loud noises and Super Bowls

Sorry, haters, but I enjoyed Super Bowl 53. To me, it was anything but a snooze-fest, and I’d say I was surprised that so many people saw it that way except I kept getting jolted with a reminder by almost every Super Bowl ad about what people want: Explosions and crashes and cliched one-liners. Shiny objects and loud noises. [Read more →]

Girls wrestling–and it’s about time

There was a big moment in South Jersey wrestling last week: Kingsway High School and Rancocas Valley High School squared off in a match. Both teams were prised of girls.

It’s about time. [

No PARCC, no problem–if we get creative

At the very end of 2018, a New Jersey appeals court struck down the use of the PARCC test (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) as a graduation requirement for public high school students. That’s great news for the many people, including me, frustrated by the excesses of standardized testing. [Read more →]

Stupid for holiday music

I stumbled across something last year and tucked it away: Studies show Christmas songs can be bad for your stress and mental state. [Read more →]

Things we coulda, shoulda done

I was watching the Vikings-Patriots game Sunday, and the announcers were talking (I mean, they’re always talking) about Viking Sheldon Richardson. Unlike most announcer blather, this ended up being an interesting story about a player who had gone through some self-imposed rough times to be where he is today. In a Minneapolis Star Tribune piece, Richardson discussed what he would say to his younger self: [Read more →]

This blog has bee difficult to write

This blog has bee difficult to write! [

Really? Rain?

I have always thought that our votes for those who would lead our nation would e with expectations we, the people, have about how they would strive to respect the trust we place in them, through their words and their actions.

Perhaps we should expect less of them?

[

Can we, should we, introduce adversity, even pain?

Each day that I head over to my job at Drexel, I think about how I get to be around amazing, motivated students. That’s one of the main benefits of the career I chose. [Read more →]

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