Some people are great teachers. I’m not one of them.

I recently got flagged for a job that I’m sure paid a good salary with good benefits, for an institution I’m guessing has plenty of resources to help someone succeed.

I probably would have applied for it if I had any interest in or qualifications for being an elementary school principal.

Continue reading “Some people are great teachers. I’m not one of them.”

Starting them young

Originally posted July 5, 2017. A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about her son’s concern that he won’t get into a good college if he doesn’t take four AP courses as a high school junior. (He’s taking two as a sophomore.)

I’m so old — how old are you? — that when I went to school, classes started after Labor Day and graduation was at the end of June.

If I wanted to play a sport, I signed up. If I wanted to be in an activity, I signed up.

And when school let out for the summer, that was the end of it until my parents said it was time to start school shopping.

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Philosophy in a country song

“I’d rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain’t,” Kacey Musgraves, “Pageant Material”

First of all, Kacey Musgraves is going alongside Sara Bareilles in the “How Did I Not Know They Were So Good?” club. My wife got me a couple of her CDs for Valentine’s Day because we have tickets to see her in concert, and she knows I don’t like going to concerts when I’m not that familiar with the performer’s music.

If there’s still someone out there who doesn’t know … take it from me, she’s really good.

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Waiting … hoping school would close

To all the young folk out there, your old pal Bill has an admission to make.

When people my age talk about walking to school uphill both ways in the snow, we’re lying.

Walking was only a last resort when the chains on the tires of the school bus wouldn’t suffice and there weren’t enough wooly mammoths to go around.

Because we never canceled school for snow.

Ever.

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Advice to my 10-year-old self

If memory serves me right, being 10 was pretty cool.

My birthday was at the end of fourth grade, so I was mostly 10 in fifth grade. School was still more fun than not, and it was a couple years before the great sorting of adolescence, where kids drifted into the Cool and Not Cool tribes that persisted through most of high school. (I was definitely in the latter group.)

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When I don’t want to read it … I don’t

I saw a word today that filled me with dread at the sight of it …

… “Caldecott.”

For the uninitiated, the Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children,” but why would that, of all things, send a tiny chill up my spine?

Continue reading “When I don’t want to read it … I don’t”

Strangely, my thoughts on studying aren’t in demand

Had the editors at The Wall Street Journal been so inclined, they could have had me write an article more than 25 years ago on why studying in shorter bursts is better than poring over books or notes for hours on end. Continue reading “Strangely, my thoughts on studying aren’t in demand”