For those of you who read my column regularly, you know I often get ideas from social media. My sister has two children: a daughter, age 10, and a son who is four. Of course, my niece, Riley, wants a cell phone. And her argument is “Mom, everyone has one except for me.” I truly admire my sister for standing up for her decision to not purchase a cell phone for her daughter and I hope she sticks to her guns. She has joined an online group called “Wait Until 8th.” This group of parents have agreed to wait until eighth grade to purchase phones for their children.

The data about children and cell phones is staggering. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are spending an average of seven hours a day in front of some

I recently went on a cruise, and for those of you non-cruisers, each day you receive a detailed itinerary with all of the activities. There is not one reason why one should be bored on a cruise no matter the age. There is so much to do. There are different trivia games happening during the day, dodgeball tournaments, karaoke and now silent dance parties. The silent dance party piqued my interest this year on Day 4’s itinerary. At 7 p.m. on the main promenade, there was going to be a silent

As I wrote in last week’s column, I love Thanksgiving. I love the food and the low pressure of no presents and just getting the house ready (which should be done by now but I am a bit behind). Here are a few things I am thankful for:

My friends: Again, when I speak of my friends at work, not many have friends they can trace back to elementary school. I am very lucky to have a group of both old and new friends who live all around me. From book clubs, to Christmas in July, we always have such a

So I have been teaching high school English, and tutoring writing and reading for over twenty years and one of the things I have noticed in the classroom and in sessions with students while tutoring, is kids are lacking in background information. In my opinion, while taking a standardized exam, I tell the students the two most important things while taking a standardized exam are: vocabulary and background knowledge. If they do not know the words in an answer section, they cannot accurately

When I was a child, my mother made us write thank you notes for pretty much everything: graduations, communions, birthdays, etc. She would buy a packet of thank you notes and we would be required to thank people for their generosity. Not only did we write the cards ourselves, we addressed the envelopes. So at an early age, we knew how to address an envelope. (That will be another column: stuff kids don’t know. Not school’s fault, parent’s fault!) When I became a mother, I also required my

Next week is Thanksgiving. Why is Thanksgiving so shunned in society? I remember in elementary school, coloring wonderful pictures of cornucopias, and close dinner gatherings between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving. Is it because now the story is out and the origin is that we technically pillaged the Native Americans and caused their destruction that Thanksgiving is on its way out?

Why doesn’t Thanksgiving get any recognition in the world of media and retail

 I understand politicians have to, in this day and age, use social media. It is an excellent tool for them to spotlight the work that they are doing and the people they assist on the daily basis. However, I do not think politicians should post selfies, unless it is of them with a constituent or has a political purpose. Recently, one of our local elected officials posted a selfie on Instagram. This local politician then posted a quote and multiple hashtags. One of the hashtags was  #bored. In

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