June 3, 2011
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Recently, in a move welcomed by Republican legislators, the Republican-dominated State Board of Education instituted a new, “tougher” teacher evaluation linked to “student performance” (read: scores on standardized tests) that they imagine will “create better schools.”
I have to say, even based on my limited experience, being a grandparent is at least as good: all the joy and wonder of parenthood, without some of the hassles. And if that explanation doesn’t help you understand — well, it’s the best I can do with the words I have.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy those actors’ work or admire their talent. I do. I have no problem going to see their movies. I’ll just skip the annual, sanctimonious propaganda fest known as the Academy Awards.
At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy, which I am not — well, maybe a little — I’d like to address some of the drawbacks of personal technology.
Three kets to a lasting marriage
We’ve all heard the old saying, “Aim for the sun and land among the stars.” That analogy might not be astronomically accurate, but we get the gist: strive for excellence and, even if you don’t quite get there, you will still have succeeded.
All you have to do is decide what’s important to you, then discard that in favor of what’s important to your wife, your kids, and your boss, in that order. Your own wants, desires, and needs come near the bottom of the list, just after those of the cat but before the house plants.
Columnist Rob Jenkins talks about the new definition of man
A look at the domestic dealings of one dad
When I was growing up, the fastest way to get boys engaged in learning was to make it a competition between them and the girls. The girls usually won, but at least the boys competed.
These days, the big-screen chaos grows increasingly more spectacular with each new release, as directors strive to one-up each other. So your hero knocked down a building or two? Hah! Mine took out an entire city block. Oh, yeah? I’ll see your city block and raise you Manhattan.
Kids, you probably already know these things, but a few might not, so I’m going to clue you in. Certain strategies are virtually guaranteed to make your parents do whatever you want, whether it’s buying you something, taking you somewhere, or just leaving you alone.
We encouraged our kids to play rec league sports and, later (of course), school sports, and we supported them in those activities. But travel teams were always out of the question, and they understand that even if they didn’t always like it.
Heaven protect us from crusading, do-gooder education types who believe they know more than parents and are hell-bent on controlling every moment of our kids' lives.
If both conservatives and liberals think the Common Core is a bad idea, who exactly is pushing it?
Facebook's growth has leveled off, and will no doubt soon begin to plummet, because it has lost its appeal for young people. We old people, with our sugar cookie recipes and Farmville invitations and political memes and pictures of our grandkids have killed it off.
Looking back at some of the things I've written about fathers and being one.
Young guys ask me all the time, how do you make a marriage last? The simple answer is, don't get divorced. But a better answer is that you have to find ways to keep the romance alive -- and as a husband, that duty will fall mostly to you.
Evidence has been mounting lately that the so-called Bill of Rights -- the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States -- has become not only outdated and irrelevant but perhaps positively subversive.
Congratulations -- you've just graduated from high school. Now what're you going to do? Besides go to Disney World. Or Panama City. Or wherever. What about after that?
While you're hauling your kids around, spending interminable hours sitting on bleachers and folding chairs, and eating ballpark hot dogs, just look at it as a kind of retirement plan, albeit a risky one.
Normally a woman carries a child and nurtures it from birth, forming an unbreakable bond. The child will love her unconditionally until about age 13, at which point it will hate her for about six years before eventually coming to love her again. Meanwhile, she never stops loving the child, no matter what. That's known as motherhood.
Next time you're watching a college basketball game, and supposedly "big-time" players are clanking the ball off the rim over and over again, remember that we mainly have the AAU culture to thank.
Although I'm fortunate to live in a county that appears to have relatively functional schools, I can't help but look at DeKalb and think, "There but for the grace of God go we."
The idea that online classes are no different from traditional classrooms, or that we can herd all our students into online and the majority of them will be just fine is, to be blunt, a little bit nuts.
I know I can't draw too many parallels between my household budget and something as big and complicated as the federal budget. After all, there's at least one major difference: my household actually HAS a budget.
It's a topic not discussed much in mixed company, and for good reason.
In our family, Thin Mints are the choice when it comes to Girl Scout cookies. And each of us guards our stash with vigor.
Here's some pretty good relationship advice: when somebody threatens to walk, don't allow yourself to be manipulated. I think that applies to professional football teams as well as to significant others.
This may come as a surprise to my regular readers -- I know it shocks the heck out me -- but some people don't think I'm funny.
Not only would a standing militia provide all the justification citizens need to exercise their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, but it would also create a powerful force of armed patriots should the state ever need to defend itself -- against enemies foreign or domestic.
The SEC was again its dominant self, led by Alabama winning another national title.
The problem with giving up freedoms, as we've learned since, is that you never get them back.
Why did "Black Friday" need to turn into "Black Thursday."
I know this goes against the grain, since cleaning has traditionally been regarded as women's work. Then again, men have traditionally been responsible for supporting the family financially. Any questions?
With the 2012 election still too close to call, it's important for you to have a plan, should your candidate not get the nod, preferably involving some combination of finger-pointing, denial, dissembling, self-pity, and dire predictions about the future of our republic.
Parents these days seem to subjugate their own lives to those of their children, so that little remains of the parent as an individual. You look around the ballpark and wonder just when that cute little Pam Jones, whom you used to go out with in high school, turned into "Ryan's Mom."
I've got a new book coming out in a couple of months, and as anyone knows who has not spent the last decade living in a cave, or in Alabama, social media has become an incredibly potent marketing tool these days.
With the Fourth of July coming up, a look at some of the things that make me glad to be an American.
From all the angry rhetoric lately about illegal immigration, I gather a lot of Americans are afraid of losing our country to the invading hordes. Not me. I have unshakeable confidence in the power of American culture to corrupt practically anyone.
Want to go to college but don’t think you can afford it? Think again, suggest several local experts.
To all those “baseball purists” who insist that Dale Murphy did not accomplish enough in his career to deserve enshrinement in Cooperstown, I offer the following proposition: How about we give him Barry Bonds’ spot? Or Roger Clemens’? Or Manny Ramirez’s?