Favorite thing I read this week: “I bought the only physical encyclopedia still in print, and I regret nothing.”
I still have very clear memories of consulting our World Book volumes, stored in a glass bookcase in the hallway off the kitchen, for just about every school project from African elephants in elementary school to atomic theory in high school. I knew the World Book had a magic page in there somewhere to help me.
It’s only a matter of time before paper makes a full (even if ironic) comeback. The age of flash cards is not over yet!
Maybe sooner than I think. I did get an eye-rolling smile from Cece when she recounted her high school orientation day where departing seniors imparted lessons on the incoming freshman. A key lesson? Save your flash cards throughout the semester. The use of flash cards was a given. The tip was about flash card management!
Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that plays a crucial role in the process of fermentation, which is a key step in making bread and other baked goods rise. Baker’s yeast is the most commonly used type of yeast, available in two forms: active dry yeast and instant yeast.
As any home baker knows, few things are more frustrating than a loaf of bread that comes out heavy and dense. Fortunately, with a little knowledge and attention to detail, it’s possible to avoid this common problem of heavy and dense bread that taste and resemble flour bricks.
I finished writing a book this week. I wanted to stop and chuck it many times over the past year. But I didn’t. I thought about Octavia Butler instead:
Forget talent. If you have it, fine. Use it. If you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter. As habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent.
Persistence, she said, was her most important talent. Sticking with it.
So I just kept going and eventually found my way to the end.
You know what I’m going to do next week? Start writing another book.
Persistence tied to a positive obsession can take you to some interesting places.
Yesterday, I finished my first year as a dance Dad. I have one week off before I trade my dance Dad chauffeur hat for my camp counselor t-shirt. I will relish this calm logistical calendar week.
But summer will also bring the nagging parental worries of how much to nudge them to read or practice and how much to just let them take a break. How much of that school year momentum should we keep? There will be no flash cards. I’m not a complete zealot. But should there be some time set aside to read? Or work on math or Spanish?
Summer or not, there is always so much to do and the kids remain so bad at most of it. Where does a parent draw the line? How do you know where to help, when to help, what to handle for them, what to tell them doesn’t matter and they don’t have to worry about?
I guess I have a whole summer to try to figure it out.
It’s the end of vacation week here. Vacation for the kids, at least. Michelle and I still had to work. And while the girls spent time in New Jersey and Rhode Island, there were also days at the end of the week where they were at home. By themselves. With nothing planned.
Like some days of summer vacation Dad camp, they were able to practice an important skill: the ability to be alone. To entertain themselves. Or at least get comfortable with boredom.
It’s a critical part of life. Those who lack the ability to sit with their own thoughts are often miserable and prone to addiction and overstimulation.
If I’m honest, sometimes this is harder on me than it is on them. If they are home and the house gets too quiet, what do I do? I go check on them. Encourage them to do something. Tell them to go outside.
They need to be comfortable being bored and I need to be comfortable with bored kids.
I often complain about the kids in this blog, in a humorous way, but still usually some chiding complaint. I thought I should at least offer a positive story once in awhile. Just not too often. Don’t want them to get inflated egos.
Cecilia didn’t do well on a test (sorry, can’t call them tests anymore – check-in) earlier this year. To be fair, given the email we received from the teacher, many kids did not do well (which might make me think about the teaching methods…). I digress.
Cecilia latched onto this group failure as her life preserver. Sorry, not going to work, in school or life. You will make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and we all make our fair share of mistakes. Even Dad bloggers. Maybe one or two a year.
However, if you do not take responsibility for the mistake and do your best to correct it, then you are committing a second mistake. You can probably picture me telling her this. Or you probably have given your own kids similar advice. Take responsibility. Do the right thing, even though you may feel embarrassed by your previous actions. Don’t compound the error.
You also probably walked away wondering if any of that sank into their teenage brain.
Well, last Wednesday, I received an unexpected text that Cecilia was staying after school for extra help to prepare for a te-, eh, check-in the next day. She listened! She didn’t compound the error! She still rolled her eyes when I picked her up, but I’m sure she was smiling on the inside.