June 2015

3 articles in June 2015

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to sit on my deck and simply observe my surroundings. Smiling, I remember when my wife and I first moved into the neighborhood. It wasn’t much of a neighborhood back then because there were few trees or houses. In fact, it was the second house to be built on my street.

The area used to be a field used by farmers to grow hay for their farms. The area was full of clay so near the river was once a brickyard that to this day still has multiple broken bricks surrounding a dock that was probably used to transport the bricks from Portland to Boston. The brickyard is no longer but the dock still stands.

My neighborhood grew one house at a time with the inhabitants planting the tiniest of trees and bushes. I had little money back then so I pulled out some saplings from a friend’s land in New Hampshire with the knowledge the baby-trees had little hope of survival. Continue Reading →

There comes a time in every teacher’s life when they should stop teaching and start learning from their students. I’ve been teaching for over three decades and just complete a conversation with one of my students that made me do just that. It concerned how technical education was taking over pubic education in both substance and quality. He also questions the attitude and readiness of students entering college.

This student, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a Top Ten ranked senior who is not going to college. He decided that he wanted to help people learn about the Bible by going into the full time ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I don’t pretend to know how to do such a thing, but I do know how adamant this student is to accomplish this. This decision will prevent him from accumulating debt that could define a good portion of his life. How could I possibly argue with this reality that too many of our children will have to face before they are allowed to enter their future.

This student discussed how the Seacoast School of Technology (SST) was interested in changing their image. The image of technical schools is, presently, as follows: a means by which students who do not do well in a classroom setting could achieve their degrees by studying subjects such as Automotive, Computer Design, Biotechnology, Culinary, Early Childhood Education, Nursing, or Farming. Continue Reading →

Everyone is excited about Disney’s new movie coming out this Memorial Day Weekend. The original preview includes:

“Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland”

The description sounds like a normal school day and it also reminds parents of what it is like to bring up a child. True, the special effects are not condensed in life, but I remember the first time I saw my daughter. All I could see was what her future would be.

I also clearly understood I had better damn well make sure anything she wanted her future to be, would be. I was the first person my daughter saw and I immediately observed the light in her eyes asking me what she should expect of life? In my mind I told her, “everything”.

She grew from infant to child taking in all the wonders of her new life that happened to be in our small backyard. Everything was new to her. Everything was Tomorrowland because everything was defined by tomorrow. She learned to crawl, speak, walk, read, and most important of all she learned how to be. Continue Reading →