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Remembering My Mom

The dictionary has many definitions for the word, “mother.” It can be a noun or a verb, and the noun is really about just being related to the offspring: a woman in relation to her child or children. The verb is where the “motherly” words get added in: care, protection and affection. Caring, protecting and affection are definitely three words I can use to describe my late mother. She died in 1988 and not a day goes by that I do not think of her or as a mother think, “What would my mom do?” Care: my mom always made sure that we came first. She even stopped teaching to make sure she was home every...

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It’s Not That Hard

I am lucky enough that I travel a bit and fly multiple times every year. Every time I fly, I think I am on line with people who have never flown and have had to go through the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) scanning procedures. EVERY TIME. I think the agents that work there are similar to teachers in that they have to repeat themselves all day long. And sometimes I wonder why they even bother describing their procedures and rules about going through the scanners because people just do what they want. Now I know there are some things that may be confusing, but if you carefully...

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Oh, Social Media

Thank goodness for social media or I would have a difficult time coming up with topics to write about each week. I will be sitting at my laptop texting people for ideas and then someone will either post something outrageous or ridiculous and then the 500 words flow easily. My new interest, (I wrote a little bit about it last week), is how angry many people are when posting or replying to people’s comments. A civic minded Broad Channel resident kindly asked people to slow down when traveling through their small town and I could not believe the negative comments people posted in response to his...

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Still Shocking

So, news reports in the past few weeks reveal that more than fifty people have been arrested for their involvement in a cheating scandal.  Of course, it probably became more of a news story due to two celebrities, Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, being two of the people charged. As with most news stories these days, everyone had to go to social media and post their opinion. Even I did…for a few minutes. I deleted my post because I got insulted by commenters asking me: How could I be shocked at this scandal? Of course, as a high school teacher for over twenty years, I understand that the college...

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Bridge Woes

Construction. Construction. Construction. I was almost late to work one day last week and my secretary said, “Beth, you are never this late. Is everything okay?” I replied, “Everything is fine, just my ramp is closed to get onto the Cross Bay Bridge.” She replied, (and she does not live in the Rockaways), “Isn’t that the Marine Parkway Bridge that is always closed?” I told her that “yes that bridge is also an issue for my friends who must commute to Brooklyn from Rockaway, but now they are working on this bridge as well.” It actually has not been that bad. I simply take the road past Madelaine...

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Sad For Catholic Schools

It was announced last week that a beloved Catholic school in our area would be closing. The first closing in our area of Catholic schools was in the school year 2006 when St. Virgilius closed. Then a few years later, St. Mary Star of the Sea closed as well. When the other two schools closed, there was not as much social media presence. Now the media and social media are on fire due to the closing of St. Camillus. Many people want to know why they were not aware. Well, if you do not attend the school or are a parishioner there, why would you be made aware? I knew that their enrollment was down...

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Amazing, Inspiring

This past Saturday, I attended the event, “Take The Plunge for Annie McMahon.” I attended this event 19 years ago when it first started at the old Tap and Grill bar. The event grew larger each year, so they then moved over to St. Camillus’ Springman Hall, and now it is at the Colony Theater in Breezy Point. I do not know why I have not attended in many years, but I will be back every year. For those of you who do not know, Annie McMahon is a 22-year-old young woman who has battled Cystic Fibrosis since she was 18 months old. Nineteen years ago on a bet, a family friend, Jim Mullen, said he would...

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Slow Down

In January of 2017, I wrote a column about the outrage of the State Police patrolling Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel and parts of the Rockaways. People were furious that the State Police were here and ticketing people. I clearly stated that if you drive within the speed limit, you should not have a problem. I have been guilty of driving too fast when in a rush, but something changed for me in October of 2016. I was driving to school and when I was about to turn left off of Cross Bay Boulevard, I saw one of my students lying in the street. After being taken to Jamaica Hospital, she was...

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Grading  The Grading System

A few years ago, teachers started being graded on their students’ performance. It is a very interesting algorithm for the high school students that is not based on whether the student passes the exam, but how well they have advanced since the middle school English and Language Arts exams. So, for example, if a student has a four on the eighth-grade exam, they should be getting a score of at least 90 percent. No one takes into account that the student may have become indifferent or something may have happened in their life that school is not the main point in their life. Maybe they have a job...

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