Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Education & Family

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."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Before I begin writing, I must state a disclaimer - I am old. I will turn 73 in May. For the record, I believe that I am still a decent driver. I know my limitations and won't take the wheel in the dark. Also, I stay at the speed limit and follow the rules of the road.

Living in Florida has been a revelation. There are so many senior citizens here that we are bound to have contact with them every day. For the most part, we enjoy that. However, dealing with senior drivers has been a challenge.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A good friend of mine asked me, "How do you know if it's true love?"

Considering the fact that she was trying to decide if she should marry someone, I took her question seriously.

My first answer to that question is usually - "Do you like the person?" If you don't, then it can't be love.

The second answer is a little more involved - "Does he make you feel special, happy, and safe?" If you don't feel special, happy, and safe, then he's not the one for you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Perhaps it is because St. Patrick's Day is imminent. Perhaps it is because Spring is almost upon us and the little green shoots are starting to push through. Perhaps it is because tax season is here and we're thinking about money.

Whatever the reason, I'm feeling green. The part of my background that is Scotch-Irish has come to the forefront this week.

I recall a student in my high school when I was the principal. She came to school the week of St. Patrick's Day with bright green hair. Before she even sat down in homeroom, her teacher said, "Go to the office."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

In my youth, I was lucky to have a small-town movie theater right down the street from our home. The Saturday matinees were great - especially when there was a western showing.

I loved Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. When they rode their horses and sang "Happy Trails," everything seemed right with the world. Old Gabby Hayes used to say "Howdy, Pardner" to Roy. Even though his character was intended to be the comic relief, the viewer knew that old Gabby would protect Roy's back.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

No, I do not have a son. One of my readers does. She wrote to me and asked if I had any advice for her. I will paraphrase her letter and omit certain names and places to protect her identity.

Dear Dr. Smith:

I don't know if you can help me, but I don't know who else to ask. Please don't reveal anything that might identify me. Life is hard enough for me without that.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

When I was young, I bit my nails. My mother tried everything to get me to stop. She even bought a terrible-tasting liquid that she put on my nails each morning. Even that didn't stop me from chomping on my fingers.

As I aged, my bad habit continued. I must have been the only English teacher in Pennsylvania who chewed on my nails while I corrected essays. Even after I retired, I'm sure I was one of a very few 60-year olds who still had nails that looked like a lawnmower had cut them.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recently, I received an email from a new bride. She asked me, "Why is marriage so hard? My husband and I love each other, but ever since the wedding, things have gone downhill. Is there anything we can do?" Not knowing the particulars of the "downhill" slide, I thought I'd answer this way……

A wise man once said, "Happy marriages are rare - like blackberries in the snow."

I've never tried to grow blackberries, but I imagine that they don't flourish in the cold weather - just like marriages don't do well when the atmosphere is chilly.