Tuesday, July 22, 2014
     

Education & Family

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The temperature today hit 90 degrees. The sun was brightly shining, flowers are blooming, and the pool water is warm. Summer in Florida is here.

But, in our development, there is winter. So many of our residents are in the winter of life. Ours is a 55-and-older community, and many people understand that they are most likely living in their last home.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A doldrum is really a region of an ocean that is noted for dead calm and sparse winds. Sailors speak of those areas with much trepidation, since doldrums can cause low spirits, sluggishness and dangerous lethargy.

Children can get doldrums during the summer. Let's call it a disease - the "doldrum fever." Although it's never fatal, this disease can slow a child's mental processes and prevent him from reaching his full potential.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Was born and raised in the Northeast. Almost all of my life experiences came from that area of the USA.

When we moved to South Carolina in 1998, we were faced with lots of new learning. Plants were different. Accents were strange. Critters abounded. Storms seemed more severe, since there were no mountains to break them up. Rituals and customs had to be carefully understood.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My mother was well-trained in the art of saying "No." She came from an immigrant Italian family with a strong matriarch at its helm.

My grandmother died when I was 5 years old, but the memories I have of her are vivid. She was the boss. Everyone knew it. When she said something, our family understood that they had received the final word on that subject.

My mother inherited that power. As my two sisters and I grew up, the biggest fear we had was displeasing our Mom. She made a face of disapproval when we did something she disliked. That face haunted us.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dear Dr. Smith,

I have read your column for years and enjoy them. I appreciate the advice you give to people. That's why I am writing to you. I'm having a mess in my family and need someone to help me.

My daughter has the boyfriend from hell. She has always been a good girl and a great daughter. She graduated from high school with honors and got a job instead of going to college. She said that she was tired of studying and wanted to earn some money. She doesn't have a very good job and can't support herself yet so she is still living at home.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Our society is great at locking the barn door after the horse escaped. We find ourselves responding to events in a way that seems absurd to a common sense person.

After those two radical jihadists blew up two bombs made from pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon, we heard some TV personalities calling for the banning of sales of pressure cookers. How dumb is that?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

We don't watch "The Jerry Springer Show" in our house. Too much drama and yelling and stupidity. But, once in a while, the Dr. Phil show will appear on our TV screen. Dr. Phil seems more normal and intelligent. Actually, a Dr. Phil show formed the basis for this column.

A young, newlywed couple appeared to be headed for divorce before their first anniversary. Dr. Phil tried to get to the root of the problem and help them.

The wife "needed" expensive clothes, a stylish car, a spacious, well-decorated home, and a big diamond ring.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A few nights ago, Jim and I had the privilege of attending a one-woman cabaret show at the Winter Park Theater here in Florida.

We were excited to see Cami Miller perform. She was one of our Opera House kids when we had the Children's Theater Group at the 1881 Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Cami came into our lives 30 years ago. She auditioned for a part in "The Wizard of Oz," and got the second casting of Glinda, the Good Witch. At the time, Cami was around 8 or 9 years old, but she was tall for her age and had a voice that was awe-inspiring.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A friend on Facebook ended her message with "TY" and it took me a while to figure out what it meant. I usually write out the words "Thank You" instead of just using "TY." After I thought about the "TY" for a minute, I got annoyed.

How much longer does it take to write out the whole word than to use an abbreviation? Seconds. And, there's no confusion about what you mean. Plus, the English language perseveres.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Dad had a saying - "That's not my bailiwick." In his explanation of the meaning of that phrase, he told me that it meant "That's not my area of expertise" or "That's not a subject I care about," or "I'm not in charge of that."

Of course, when I became an English teacher, I was interested in the origin of the word. It comes from the term "bailiff." Everyone knows that a bailiff is an officer of the law. When someone said "It's not my bailiwick," in past history, it meant "I have no jurisdiction in that area."