Teaching Responsibility Through Chores

We didn’t have a lot of chores growing up. Every Saturday we had to help clean the bathrooms, but that was about it. We helped a little here and there, but in the end, we didn’t do a whole lot to help around the house when we were kids. My mother tried, but after battling grumpy children for a couple years she finally gave up. In very little time, she had six spoiled teenagers who didn’t know how to cook or clean for themselves. I was the only one who had a consistent job through high school, and the others … Continue reading

Teaching Your Sons to Be Better Men

In a world where playing video games is more appealing than providing for a family or going to college it is especially important to teach our sons the value of working hard and growing up. While I intend to keep my son little forever, eventually the universe is going to combine against me and make him grow up. For some men, this doesn’t mean much. They are grown up but living in a child’s world. Believe it or not the number of men playing video games between the ages of 18 and 34 surpasses those between the ages of 13 … Continue reading

A Little Company

About a month before my parents got divorced our family got a puppy. We adored him and he quickly became part of the family. We still recall many stories about him running into doors and forgetting which leg to put up when he was marking his territory. He had a sweet little personality and always knew when something was wrong. He was able to provide comfort during that particularly difficult time during the divorce and many times thereafter. We have many fond memories of him and miss him a lot. At first he went with us during visitation, but before … Continue reading

Blaming the Teacher

There is a disturbing trend that is growing. Perhaps it is the absence of proper formation in high schools. Perhaps it is the increased media saturation on television and mobile devices. Perhaps it is a byproduct of the soundbite culture and a loss of the ability to pay attention or pay respect. Any one of these things (and I suspect many others left unmentioned) could contribute to a disturbing trend among young people I’m tentatively calling “blame the teacher.” In many ways this is nothing new. Talk shows have long been riddled with children blaming their parents for their own … Continue reading

End of Semester Woes 2

Earlier this week I posted part 1 of “End of Semester Woes” and I continue that here. If you haven’t read the first part it might be helpful to read that here. At any rate, these are my feelings at the close of the semester as an instructor and an student. Today I’ll be focusing on screwing up as a student, seeking forgiveness (maybe too late), and what to hope for. It’s a peculiar fact of life (it doesn’t have to be a fact but it seems to be) that students, no matter how much they are warned, don’t do … Continue reading

End of Semester Woes

We are nearing the end of the semester and as a student I feel your pain, fellow students. I’m drowning in books, research papers loom overhead like dark clouds, and final exams threaten on the horizon. This is the time when all students decide to either do the difficult and large amount of remaining work or give up. (I’m going to do the work and I hope you will too). But despite the difficulties of this time for the students there is an equally (yet bizarre) mood for instructors. In the interest of honesty I’d like to explain the other … Continue reading

I Helped

Toddlers love to help. When my daughter was a toddler, she could spend a lot of time washing a single pot in her efforts to help in the kitchen, or perhaps she would slice one banana. These were relatively token gestures on my part, but since she took such pleasure in helping I wanted to give her some opportunities to get involved in whatever I was doing. Preschoolers often have slightly more advanced notions of helping. They’ve wised up a little to the unnecessary helping that you might occasionally give a toddler. They want to make a real contribution, yet … Continue reading

Why Make Decisions Together?

Over the last couple of blogs we’ve looked at predetermining choices for spouses and family. I’m adamant making decisions together is a far better way to go in marriage. Why? Let me give you some reasons. It’s better for your marriage. Each person feels more involved in the choices made. It strengthens your marriage and you learn to take responsibility and learn from your mistakes together. Another reason is the responsibility doesn’t rest on one person. This can be come very stressful for the person responsible for always making the decisions. Of course it also means that if the decision … Continue reading

Vanilla in Our Water

I came across this really interesting piece courtesy of Christine Dell’Amore and the National Geographic Green Guide Blog. Apparently, our earth’s water are actually flavored with the cooking spices and foods that come out of our kitchens. University of Washington associate professor Richard Keil is testing the waters so to speak and finding some interesting things. For example, in the time around the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, the Puget Sound (off of the coast of Washington State and British Columbia) tends to get flavored with the spices of time and sage. Summer days and the Independence Day … Continue reading

Responsible Firewood

Monday was the start back to school here in Pennsylvania, and the date seemed to bring with it the first signs of fall. Only the week before, the temperature and the humidity was high enough conditioning and shorts. Today I am dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans and had to close the windows because our heat-adapted bodies aren’t used to temperatures in the low 70s. The temperatures remind me that it won’t be long now before we will be firing up the wood burning fireplace. We’ll have to split and put up some wood for the winter to ensure that … Continue reading