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Orwell 2019

When I was in high school in the late 1980s, I was assigned the George Orwell novel, 1984. I barely got through it and kept saying to myself, “This guy is crazy, he thinks the world would have been filled with cameras and the government watching us at our every move in the year 1984?” I disliked the book for many years. Skip to today and I teach the novel and my students and I love it because in 2019 many of the things Orwell had predicted have come true. Some of my best research projects were privacy based on the novel and comparing it to today’s surveillance world. One of the reasons Orwell...

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Summer Ode To Mom

This past Tuesday, August 6, was my mother’s 31st anniversary in heaven. For some reason, this does not make me as unhappy as it used to or as unhappy as Mother’s Day sometimes makes me feel. I feel a certain nostalgia, maybe because the summer holds such special memories for me regarding my mother. Many things in our society have changed, but the one constant is that Rockaway kids have the life. When we were kids, my mother barely used the car. We rode our bikes EVERYWHERE. While today’s kids have SFDS Summer Classics, we had the St. Camillus blacktop softball league, which was run by Bob Summerfield...

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Babysitting Still A Thing?

Babysitter: a person who looks after a child or children while the parents are out. What has happened to the babysitter? Do kids still babysit? Do parents still hire babysitters? It seems recently that kids are everywhere I go. Now, my children are 21 and 26, so I like the no children atmosphere. I know the babysitter is expensive but children do not belong in certain places at certain times. Here is my children etiquette column. Children should not be in the following places: I recently went on a cruise and there was a night club where everyone went every night, and each night it was a different...

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Summer  Bucket List

While writing this column, I started to research the term, “bucket list.” I had remembered a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, which was made in 2007, and the research online says that is generally when the term was born. The two men break out of a cancer ward and attempt to do things they have wanted to do before they die. It comes from the phrase, “kick the bucket,” which we all know means to die. Another show I enjoyed was a reality show on MTV called, “The Buried Life,” which was about four young guys who traveled around North America, crossing off things on their bucket...

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The Trophy Culture

The end of this school year has me scratching my head. If you read my column weekly, you know that I do not think everyone should get a trophy and that we need to be a bit tougher on our children. As a high school educator, I believe the quality many kids are missing today is grit. Many kids today cannot overcome obstacles as we have leveled all of the obstacles for them. One reason I believe we are inflating the self-worth of our children is the constant praising of our children. When I say this I do not mean, “Good job Joe. Keep up the good work.” I mean the excessive amount of pride we are...

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Dear Dads

This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. Of course, the dads get the better weather. It seems dads always get the better day. My friends are often running around on Mother’s Day and say, “There will probably be no sports scheduled for Father’s Day.” However, with all of the sports these kids are playing today, I am sure both parents will be running around this weekend, trekking these kids to lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball or whatever sport kids are now playing. I want to give a shout out to the dads in my life. Most of you know my father and how he is my weatherman. He studies all of the...

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Beach Etiquette  Part 2

Thank you so much for all of your emails this past week. Everyone seems to be on the same page with people needing beach etiquette. I just want to note these rules are for everyone, not just our visitors. My favorite text was from Beth O’Neill who said, “Love the column!!! I vote you make copies and I’ll help laminate and we will post all over the boardwalk and beach walls.” Here’s Part 2: Rule 4: PDAs. Our beach is a public beach, not a private beach on a romantic getaway. You may hold hands but do not make out in the water or on your blanket. I have seen women straddling their partner on their...

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Beach Etiquette

The forecast for this weekend currently looks absolutely spectacular and I know we all hope to get to the beach. However, I am a week late with my column as Monday’s high temperatures had many beachgoers who did not know the beach etiquette. Here is my annual beach etiquette guide and it is for all of our new residents and our visitors (which I am sure there will be a lot of due to the ferry and the shuttle and the anticipated high temperatures).  Rule 1: When you get to the beach and there is a lot of space, please do not sit directly on top of people already at the beach. I never understand...

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On Kearney Closing

To give some people a background about myself, I attended twelve years of Catholic school. I graduated from St. Francis de Sales, and then attended and graduated from St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows. The only time I attended public school was many moons ago when I went to kindergarten at the old P.S. 225 because Catholic elementary schools did not have kindergarten at the time. Some people say I was raised privileged but my parents made many sacrifices for the three of us to attend Catholic school. I am so saddened again to her of another Catholic school closing, but I understand. This past...

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