A Bittersweet First Day of School…

Yesterday was the first day of school for public schools in New York City.  Our kids are probably the last kids in the nation to start school. Annnnnd today and tomorrow they are back home on holiday break for Rosh Hashanah. That was quick. A heartfelt “Shana Tova”  to my Jewish friends by the way. 

But back to the first day of school…it was bittersweet on several levels. 

First, I loved being around los bebes ALL. SUMMER. LONG. A benefit of having a flexible schedule while working on several start-up projects. We got sick of each other at times but we bonded and grew closer. Plus we had some of those fleeting, small, magical moments that make being a Dad priceless. I hope those memories stay with them as long as they will for me…for the rest of my life. 

Second, this is a big year for Jr. and Baby Gurl. 

After a rough start and a bump or two along the way, Jr. had a very good third grade at school. I’d be lying if said the Mrs. and me are not on pins and needles about fourth grade. Even more home work and “serious” standardized testing looms. Like all parents we want him to flourish, grow, and be disciplined (I can’t believe I just typed disciplined). We just want to minimize last year’s dramas. 

By the way - here’s what I remember about fourth grade - I bet my teacher Mrs. Anderson at Harry S. Truman Elementary that Bobby Riggs would beat Billie Jean King in their “tennis match” at the Astrodome. I remember being pretty definitive about it with her. I don’t remember what I bet but man was I a dope. But that’s literally all I really remember. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that important but right now, it FEELS like it is. 

For Baby Gurl, she’s started first grade. This is her third year at our school after pre-K and kindergarten. She’s an old pro at school and her teachers to date have been beyond wonderful - I give them hugs and kisses each time I see them. But it still got me this morning when we dropped her off and I started thinking about how she would change this year. 

I’ve got major problems with the U.S. primary and secondary educational systems. They suck the creativity out of our kids.

I’ve been battling unsuccessfully for Jr’s creativity. I’ve seen it first hand how the boy’s interest in art and creativity have been systematically squashed. We’re fighting the good fight but…Jr. doesn’t draw as often as he used to (he was very advanced for his age in first and second grades according to his teachers). Third grade was the beast and I fear fourth will be worse. 

Now it’s Baby Gurl’s turn and it makes me sad. I love how she makes up her own stories, writes her books, and sings her songs. I fear that it’s going to be crushed out of her. 

So for both we’ll continue to support their creative interests and do the best we can. Man is it tough. 

The other thing about Baby Gurl is that she’s growing up…QUICK! Time is flying and that’s scaring me. 

In the end, it’s also what is SOOOO exciting about them and having kids in general - fostering what they become as parents and enjoying their growth…until they are teenagers and then all bets are off. Ha!

But both of them liked their new teachers and classes so that’s a start! Here’s to an awesome fourth grade for Jr. and first grade for Baby Gurl. 

09.09.10

Sir Ken Robinson on how our educational systems kill creativity.

09.09.10

Sir Ken Robinson on bringing on the learning revolution!

09.09.10
1 in 12 US families make their kids do homework before TV
What the ^%#* America? Homework always comes first. Then it’s playtime.
The long-term life implications for the US are massive. Adults expecting to play before work = diminished productivity, subpar performance at work, priorities out-of-wack in life. 
Methinks we are drifting towards Idiocracy.  I used to think Mike Judge was satirically goofing. Now I think he’s prophetic. 
Annnd Sarah Palin IS President Camacho. 
amyvernon:

Children in just  1  in 12 American families have to do their homework before watching TV. And we wonder what’s wrong with this country? via @BillShrink - Evolution of the American Couch Potato

1 in 12 US families make their kids do homework before TV

What the ^%#* America? Homework always comes first. Then it’s playtime.

The long-term life implications for the US are massive. Adults expecting to play before work = diminished productivity, subpar performance at work, priorities out-of-wack in life. 

Methinks we are drifting towards Idiocracy.  I used to think Mike Judge was satirically goofing. Now I think he’s prophetic

Annnd Sarah Palin IS President Camacho

amyvernon:

Children in just 1 in 12 American families have to do their homework before watching TV. And we wonder what’s wrong with this country? via @BillShrink - Evolution of the American Couch Potato

05.10.10
08.11.10
Information Arbitrage: Preparing for and adapting to tomorrow's world
19.02.11
Supporting my sister Monica the school teacher & all Texas teachers @ Save Texas Schools Protest Rally #SXSW #Education (Taken with Instagram at Texas State Capitol)

Supporting my sister Monica the school teacher & all Texas teachers @ Save Texas Schools Protest Rally #SXSW #Education (Taken with Instagram at Texas State Capitol)

12.03.11
#Texas #Education #SXSW - Why U No Legislate 2 Educate #AngryGuy (Taken with Instagram at Texas State Capitol)

#Texas #Education #SXSW - Why U No Legislate 2 Educate #AngryGuy (Taken with Instagram at Texas State Capitol)

12.03.11
Make Education A Priority #Texas #ATX #SXSW - Gov Perry #WTF You Are Making  #TX no #50 in #education - Your state is already ranked no 47 in the US in High School education - it’s not immigration nor the teachers’ fault. You want to run for president? Ha. I used to want move to Austin. No more. Fully fund education! (Taken with Instagram at Texas State Capitol)

Make Education A Priority #Texas #ATX #SXSW - Gov Perry #WTF You Are Making #TX no #50 in #education - Your state is already ranked no 47 in the US in High School education - it’s not immigration nor the teachers’ fault. You want to run for president? Ha. I used to want move to Austin. No more. Fully fund education! (Taken with Instagram at Texas State Capitol)

12.03.11
This will make da Mrs.’ head explode…
via smarterplanet:

Using Twitter Improves Students’ Grades, And Other Surprising Tech Usage Facts
OnlineEducation.net made an infographic based on results from a student/technology study.
Full Story: Business Insider
via emergentfutures:

This will make da Mrs.’ head explode…

via smarterplanet:

Using Twitter Improves Students’ Grades, And Other Surprising Tech Usage Facts

OnlineEducation.net made an infographic based on results from a student/technology study.

Full Story: Business Insider

via emergentfutures:

16.08.11

It’s Not Gender Warfare…It’s Math.

via annaholmes:

(A shorter version of this piece appears in today’s Washington Post. Photo of Google executive and engineer Marisa Mayer via. Headline via.)

Let’s say I was designing a new piece of software to make my life as a writer a little easier. First, I’d program it count how many characters I’d typed out and in what amount of time, in order to document my productivity on any given day. Then I’d ask it to compare words, phrases, sentences and entire paragraphs from one draft to the next, in order to calculate how much of what I’d written had changed…or stayed the same.

Read More

23.09.11

These types of programs need to be expanded to ALL Austin ISD high schools. 

via reportinglabs:

PBS NewsHour Reporter/Producer Saskia de Melker visits Austin High School, a Reporting Labs site, to discuss collaborating on a story about the Texas drought. Classroom mentors, Lynn Boswell with KLRU and Erika Aguilar with KUT, help students flesh out ideas for the project.

- Austin High School, Austin, Tex.

(via newshour)

27.02.12
For @crustypov, my lil’ sis @3mbastida the teacher & my familia ~ #education #teaching #life #love @frametastic (Taken with Instagram)

For @crustypov, my lil’ sis @3mbastida the teacher & my familia ~ #education #teaching #life #love @frametastic (Taken with Instagram)

09.07.12