6th grade right of passage

It is a 6th grade right of passage to attend 6th grade camp before the end of the school year. It’s a way to celebrate the end of elementary school, and a way to make new friends from other schools before being bunched together in the big, scary halls of Jr. High.

At 12 years old, I went with my class to our own 6th grade camp. I was excited to leave my parents and sisters behind and have the opportunity to hang out with all my friends for a whole week. And the best part? No school work! We spent the days playing games out in the field, going through “ice breaker” games that helped us to get to know our future classmates from other schools. We ate in the cafeteria, food that was just as good as cafeteria food can get, but decent enough to eat. And we’d stay up way later than the obligatory “lights out” call mandated. About 6 of us were crammed into a cabin with bunk beds. I got the top bunk, and shared the room with some of my closer friends from school. Our parent chaperone was very lenient, allowing us to hang out on each other’s bunks after the last call was given as long as we kept it down to a low roar. I think this was also to encourage us to stay in the cabin and not sneak out. And for the most part, it worked. (more...)

Stripping schools of their sports

Imagine, if you will. Colleges send their scouts out to all the different high schools looking for their next Tim Lincecum or Zack Greinke. They sit in the stands at numerous games, taking notes and writing down names for those ballplayers they wish to extend invitations to for the next season’s college teams. Several students will receive scholarships to guarantee their entrance to their college. And a select few of those star ballplayers will go even farther and be drafted to a major league baseball team.

These scouts will not be attending any Santa Rosa high school games. (more...)

10 things I learned as a parent

As parents, it is our job to guide our children and teach them important lessons in life. But sometimes it is our kids who are teaching us. Here are some very important lessons I have learned from my children.

1. Girls don’t always dress like girls. My daughter was the very first girl of the family. This resulted in piles of pink clothes with frilly lace being thrust at me from all directions. Me? I was never a girly girl. I preferred to dress my new little girl in neutral colors and overalls. And when she got older, she abhorred pink with a passion. But her grandparents always tried. She’d receive pink shirts and pretty dresses – all of which would end up in the back of her closet or in a pile of clothes to return that would just end up going into the Goodwill bag because I was too lazy to make it to the store. Did I wish she would dress more like a girl? Have I tried to sell the idea that pants can still be worn under dresses to make them somewhat less girly? (more...)

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