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Rob Jenkins

Stories by Rob

JENKINS: For dads: How not to raise a slacker

As fathers, we all want our sons to grow up to be loving husbands, involved fathers, and contributing members of society. That doesn’t happen by accident.

JENKINS: For college students: 4 keys to a good semester

After 27 years as a professor, not to mention eight years of undergraduate and graduate coursework, I’ve learned a little about what it takes to succeed in college. I’d like to share with today’s students some tips that I wish someone had shared with me 35 years ago.

JENKINS: Enjoy your football — while you still can

Columnist Rob Jenkins says to enjoy your football while you still can. For one thing, the game is between a rock and hard place — or perhaps between a helmet and helmet — when it comes to injuries. With players getting bigger and faster every year, the number of season-ending injuries to big-name stars seems to be increasing exponentially.

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JENKINS: Three good reasons to oppose Common Core

Don’t let anyone tell you Common Core is about improving education for our children. It’s not. It’s about creating more mindless drones for the corporate salt mines while making local schools even more beholden to Washington.

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JENKINS: How to ruin your marriage without even trying

Having a good marriage is a lot of hard work. But having a bad marriage is easy. You just need to do three simple things.

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JENKINS: Runoff elections highlight flaws in the system

If you want to know what’s wrong with our political system, look no further than last week’s runoff elections.

JENKINS: Why Americans still haven’t embraced soccer—and how they might

In the run-up to the World Cup, and during the first two weeks of the tournament itself, all we heard was how crazy Americans were about soccer — finally.

JENKINS: Three good reasons to make time for daddy-daughter dates

As the father of a young daughter, you have an awesome responsibility: Your little girl will form her initial judgments about men from watching you.

JENKINS: Appreciating the greatness that is LeBron James

Watching LeBron James play in the recent NBA playoffs reminded me of myself. OK, maybe I ought to clarify that last statement a little bit.

JENKINS: Kids need adventures, not just vacations

The things I’ve done wrong as a parent could probably fill up several columns, and maybe a police report or two. (Note to DFACS: Just kidding. No need to add to your 3,000-case backlog on my account.)

JENKINS: Our kids don’t need to train, they just need to play

I’m not quite as old as Don Sutton, but I did enjoy playing multiple sports when I was a kid. The idea of specializing in one and training for it year round would have seemed absurd. For the most part, we didn’t even have organized teams, except for little league baseball, until we were in junior high.

JENKINS: Top 10 reasons I’ve loved being a dad

I’ve been a father for just over half my life — definitely the better half. Before kids, I was pretty self-absorbed. After my first child was born, the word “absorb” took on a whole new meaning.

JENKINS: The four cornerstones of a happy marriage: forgiveness

Whoever said “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” was obviously never married. Because being married means having to say you’re sorry all the time, even when you’re not.

JENKINS: The four cornerstones of a happy marriage: service

Sometimes you just have to show your love by serving your spouse, whether your efforts are reciprocated or not. That’s kind of what love means.

JENKINS: The four cornerstones of a happy marriage: commitment

In other words, most people believe that commitment follows love. But one of the secrets to a long and happy marriage is understanding that, in reality, true love follows undying commitment.

JENKINS: The four cornerstones of a happy marriage: compatibility

Most of us are familiar with the old saying, “opposites attract,” as well as its corollary: “But likes stay together.”

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JENKINS: The four cornerstones of a happy marriage: Introduction

I have been married for 31 years. And if that’s due mostly to the grace of God and that fact that my wife is a saint, I’m sure many of you guys can relate.

JENKINS: Is Bundy ranch debacle an allegory for modern-day America?

Watching the Bundy situation unfold, I can’t help but conclude that it’s an allegory for modern-day America. In this morality tale, “federal land” represents the entire country — and we’re the cows, blissfully munching on government grass, until some bureaucrat decides we shouldn’t be allowed and sends in the assault teams and the backhoe.

JENKINS: The unyielding tyranny of the like button

I really do like Facebook. I just don’t like like it.

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JENKINS: Why complain about taxes when they’re put to such good use?

I’ve always believed that, if we ever want to reform Washington, we have to end automatic withholding. If every family in America had to write a check to the federal government every April, 90 percent of the nonsense going on in the nation’s capital would end overnight.

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JENKINS: Teacher evaluations and the law of unintended consequences

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.”

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JENKINS: Trying to put grandparenthood into words

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.

JENKINS: Debunking some common myths about Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment is one of those things that sounds almost too good to be true — except, of course, that it is true. And yet it might just be the best-kept secret in America.

JENKINS: Going to college is still worth it, if you play it smart

Going to university is still worth it, if you play it smart

JENKINS: A sneak peek at the new SAT

You might be pleased to know that, through a connection in the NSA — where I almost went to work several years ago, but that’s another story — I have managed to obtain an advanced, “beta” copy of the new SAT test.

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JENKINS: And the winner for most politically correct is...

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.

JENKINS: It’s time for a grass-roots movement on term limits

With mid-term elections still more than eight months off, this column might be premature. Then again, I’m already hearing political ads on the radio, so maybe my timing isn’t so bad — especially since I hope to start a grass-roots movement.

JENKINS: Semi-coherent ramblings of the perpetually snowed-bound

If this column seems a bit iffy, feel free to blame it on my lack of exercise.

JENKINS: Obama, Facebook and the culture of narcissism

We can observe this growing societal narcissism, too, on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. I have Facebook “friends” (some of them family members) who seemingly post a selfie a day.

JENKINS: Is Facebook really making our lives better?

Spending time on Facebook tends to make me angry —mostly because of all the political memes people post. Whether I disagree with the poster’s politics or agree and think our way of life faces imminent destruction, either way I’m angry, often for hours afterward.

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JENKINS: All 'income inequality' is not created equal

Among the startling revelations that President Obama shared in last week’s State of the Union address was this gem: Some people make more money than others.

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JENKINS: Welcome to the downside of personal technology

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.

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JENKINS: The party of the rich vs. the party of the even richer

By now it should be ridiculously obvious to anyone who has not been living in a cave, or getting all their news from CSNBC (which is kind of like living in a cave), that neither of the two major political parties in this country represents the interests of middle-class Americans.

JENKINS: Don't expect Falcons to win a Super Bowl anytime soon

I don’t have anything against Mike Smith or Matt Ryan. I like them both, and I appreciate the stability and credibility they’ve brought to a franchise that has been the butt of jokes for much of my lifetime.

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JENKINS: Stupid things I have said, 2013 edition

For the record, this is the 10th installment of “Stupid things,” meaning I’ve been spouting inanities now for more than a decade. Please know, I couldn’t have done it without you. My readers clearly rank among the most idiocy-tolerant people in the world, a distant second to Nancy Pelosi voters.

JENKINS: A brief glossary of modern teenage slang

Each era produces its own slang. Some terms demonstrate staying power and become part of the lexicon, while others are relegated to the dustbin of linguistic history.

JENKINS: Modern “advances” that don’t do much for me

Call me out-of-date, but I’d much rather do things in the time-honored way: a nice dinner, in a room with decent lighting, where I can take my time over my food, enjoy some good conversation, and perhaps not end up with special sauce on my sweater, followed by a long-anticipated movie to which I can devote my full attention.

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JENKINS: Embracing one of life’s happier changes

We are flying out to Boise for the holidays and taking our three sons, which means that for Christmas this year everyone’s getting a plane ticket and a small bag of Delta peanuts. Instead of letting Santa decide who’s been naughty and nice, we’ll have to leave that determination to the TSA.

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JENKINS: The Grinches who are trying to steal football

We all know the nanny-staters, with which this country is rife and who in fact now seem to be running things, have long been opposed to fun.

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JENKINS: Recruiting in high school sports hurts our students

All things being equal, most high schools will have a really tall kid every few years. Most will have the occasional college prospect, maybe two. But what should we make of those programs that feature a steady stream of 6-foot-9 athletes and boast multiple Division I signees every year? What are the odds that would occur randomly?

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JENKINS: How to be a family man: Eating out with small children

I don’t recommend the drive-through, however, for parents with small children. Using it will merely frustrate your real purpose: having half an hour to eat in peace while your kids will disappear inside the playground.

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JENKINS: My happy introduction to cross country culture

In cross country, parents pull for their kids, sure, but they also pull for all the other kids — even kids on other teams. One of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever seen in sports is a bunch of parents and athletes cheering on the very last runner as he or she approaches the finish line.

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JENKINS: What are we doing to our high school seniors?

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one in 25 American teenagers attempts suicide and one in eight has thought about it. After recently reading a stack of essays written by high school seniors, I think I might have some ideas why.

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JENKINS: State colleges provide second chances for university 'drop-outs' too

One of the best things about our American higher education system is that it routinely offers students second chances — and sometimes third and fourth.

JENKINS: Little tolerance for 'zero tolerance' absurdities

That’s the reason zero tolerance polices exist: So that self-styled “educators” don’t have to make judgment calls, something that would require using their common sense cortex, which for many of them atrophied long ago.

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JENKINS: Three keys to a lasting marriage relationship

Three kets to a lasting marriage

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JENKINS: You might not know it, Atlanta fans, but you're Charlie Brown

Each fall I read the Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy entices Charlie Brown to kick the football — just so she call pull it away at the last minute and watch him fall flat on his back. And every year I want to scream, “Don’t do it, Charlie Brown! It’s a trick!”

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JENKINS: Success secrets I learned from my dad

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.

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JENKINS: Common Core: One-size-fits-all education

In place of the Common Core, Tienken calls for a system that would “end standardization, return local control, and provide financial and technical assistance for school districts to design comprehensive programs with large curriculum offerings to meet the needs of all kids.”

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JENKINS: How to be a family man: Setting priorities

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.