Archives for May, 2010

General

Our Pets Can Be Our Emotional Anchors

A dear childhood friend of mine, who struggled through some very dark periods in his life, used to say that it was his beloved dog, Moe, who kept him moving from one day into the next and not succumbing completely to his addictions.
I couldn't ever get too drunk because I had to remember to feed Moe. I couldn't get completely stoned because I had to walk her.
On Mondays (Luna's Day) we share thoughts and...
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General

This Mother's Feelings After Graduation

Hannah graduated from college a week ago, and I'm just now catching up with life-as-usual. (Among other things, I'm trying to get back into the swing of writing a blog post every day).

What a whirlwind of activities and emotions!

I'm the sort of person who processes thoughts and experiences slowly, so that I actually appreciate events more fully after they are over. During a Big Happening, I try and take lots of photos and...
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General

Listening to People With Whom We Disagree

This past Sunday, Former President Bill Clinton spoke at Yale University's Class Day. (I was one of the beaming-with-pride parents in the audience).

One of President Clinton's  observations was that it's important to listen to people with different points of view than our own.

"One problem we have in the modern world is, we've got access to more information than ever before, but we don't all listen to the same ...
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The Wonderful Names We Give Our Pets

On Mondays (Luna's Day) we share thoughts about the value and meaning of animals in our lives.

As I read the wonderful tales you've shared about your pets, I have especially enjoyed all the marvelous names!

I can feel the warmth and love radiating out from these sweet, clever, tender monikers you've bestowed on your beloved animals.

Reading them always makes me smile, so I collected up a list of your pet-names to make you smile, too!

And...
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General

A Good Poem at Graduation Time

Of course this is a hugely important time of year for me, as all my students finish up the school year and many graduate.

This year is extra special, since my own daughter, Hannah, is about to graduate from college.

Yesterday, I called Geico to take Hannah off my automobile insurance, and it was this odd moment (The years of carrying kids on my policy are OVER!) that made the transition real for me. I sure...
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A Good Poem About Whether A Parent Deserves Blame


We've been talking about parents and how they affect the mental health of their children.
I really like this thoughtful this poem by Tony Hoagland, in which:


a man enters therapy, and
he comes to view his father as the source of his psychological problems.
He calls his father and rails at him for all the supposed damage
the older man's inadequate parenting did.
The son then realizes that he was too harsh.
After...
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General

Kids Really Don't Listen; The Limits of Parental Power

Here's the biggest piece of non-news you're likely to hear today: Kids don't listen to their parents.

Part of my living depends on this fact. As a tutor, one of the features that makes me effective (besides my knowledge, training and experience) is, simply, I am not the parent.

Kids listen to me, behave for me, accept my advice, work hard for me, whereas they often won't do any of these things when their parents sit down...
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Animals

Therapy Animals Provide Comfort and Connection (Part Two)

[On Mondays (Luna's Day) we've been sharing insights about animals and their value and meaning in our lives.

Several people have written in to share appreciation for the very special role their companion animals have played in their lives.

Ray described how much his service dog, Sarah, means to him:
...I am trying to do all that I can to prepare for the loss of my service dog and companion of, now, 14...
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Animals

Therapy Animals Provide Comfort and Connection

[On Mondays (Luna's Day) we've been sharing insights about animals and their value and meaning in our lives.

I recall the last weeks of my father's life, especially the day that my brother brought Moose, his enormous, gentle Rhodesian Ridgeback, to the hospice.

Every resident wanted to touch and pat Moose, who patiently made his rounds and gave everyone a generous turn.

The synergy between each dying human being and this warm, friendly dog was...
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Do Timed Tests Really Measure Math Ability?

Why do they have these timed tests, like 25 problems in 3 minutes?

This is an excellent question.

I currently work and have worked with quite a few students who receive extra time on standardized tests, and I know for a fact that colleges do not factor this into their decision.

Meaning, if we have two absolutely identical students A and B, and A scores a 2100 out of 2400 with regular constraints while...
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