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Rob Jenkins

Stories by Rob

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Call me out-of-date, but I’d much rather do things in the time-honored way: a nice dinner, in a room with decent lighting, where I can take my time over my food, enjoy some good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.

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JENKINS: Individualism versus collectivism is at heart of policy debates

Whether political divisions are good or bad, they appear to be inevitable, stemming from the fundamentally different ways in which people see the world.

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JENKINS: What does it mean to be a man these days?

Columnist Rob Jenkins talks about the new definition of man

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JENKINS: How to be a guy: Taking care of the kids

A look at the domestic dealings of one dad

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JENKINS: Memo to young males: It's time to man up

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.

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JENKINS: (Yawn) Sexy, sensitive hero in leotard decimates urban population

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.

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JENKINS: Beware of too much 'computer college'

The problem is that online classes usually aren’t easier. Yes, you can “attend” on your own schedule, and you might not even have to leave your room. But online classes, by their very nature, require an unusual degree of self-discipline, not to mention considerable technological know-how. Even more problematic may be the fact that, although many institutions push online classes shamelessly, research shows that employers are considerably less enthusiastic about them.

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JENKINS: A child's guide to getting your way

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.

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JENKINS: Look beyond the hysteria to real root cause of violence

The more adults we have in every community who are willing to stand up and denounce this culture of violence, the sooner the casualty rates will begin to decline.

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JENKINS: Falling victim to the travel team fallacy

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.

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JENKINS: Summer assignments keep students under schools' thumb

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.

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JENKINS: Finding common ground on the Common Core

If both conservatives and liberals think the Common Core is a bad idea, who exactly is pushing it?

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JENKINS: How 'us old folks' killed off Facebook

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.

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JENKINS: The difference between justice and 'social justice'

Far from being insignificant, the distinction between justice and social justice defines today's warring political ideologies. Conservatives believe that the highest form of justice is for each individual to be treated fairly and equally under the law. The left has no problem treating individuals unfairly as long as "historically oppressed" groups get theirs.

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JENKINS: Some of my favorite things I've said about fathers

Looking back at some of the things I've written about fathers and being one.

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JENKINS: Key to a lasting marriage is keeping romance alive

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.

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JENKINS: The Bill of Rights, Revised 2013 Edition

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.

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JENKINS: Some practical advice for the class of 2013

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?

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JENKINS: Saying goodbye to another year of folding chairs and ballpark hot dogs

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.

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JENKINS: On Mother's Day, a tribute to my step-mom

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.

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JENKINS: Hey, teacher, my HOA is bullying me again

Give certain people a little bit of power, and they're apt to exercise it unjustly. Ironically, that tends to be especially true in situations where the stakes aren't particularly high -- like a neighborhood homeowners' association.

JENKINS: How to be a guy: Money management for married men

If you don't want credit card debt to ruin your marriage, however, you'll need to take steps to curb your spending. One recommendation is that you avoid using credit cards to pay for routine expenses, such as groceries, gasoline, and full body waxes.

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JENKINS: The AAU Effect is damaging college basketball

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.

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JENKINS: How did SACS wind up as the villain?

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."

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JENKINS: Another ill-conceived educational fad

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.

JENKINS: Bracketology for the poetically inclined -- or mathematically challenged

Finding rhyme, if not reason, in the annual March Madness brackets.

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JENKINS: What the federal government can learn from household budgeters

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.

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JENKINS: How to be a guy: The art and politics of passing gas

It's a topic not discussed much in mixed company, and for good reason.

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JENKINS: Confessions of a Girl Scout cookie addict

At my house, the day Girl Scout cookies arrive is kind of like a holiday, on par with J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday and Tax Freedom Day — theoretically, the day we stop working to pay the government, which usually comes in late April but in the near future may be pushed back to early May. Or mid-August. Or Dec. 31.

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JENKINS: How to be married to a pregnant woman

My wife and I are past our child-bearing days (fingers crossed), but that doesn't stop me with sharing my expertise with you.

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JENKINS: If Blank wants to take Falcons to LA, he should just go

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.

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JENKINS: Why salespeople (among others) hate me

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.

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JENKINS: State militias: a simple answer to the gun-control debate

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.

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JENKINS: Observations on the college football season past

The SEC was again its dominant self, led by Alabama winning another national title.

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JENKINS: That frog in the boiling pot? It's us

The problem with giving up freedoms, as we've learned since, is that you never get them back.

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JENKINS: Stupid things I have said, 2012 edition

I trust you're looking forward to all the stupid things I'm sure to say in 2013.

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JENKINS: Finding that old Christmas spirit

Here are four strategies guaranteed to restore the Christmas spirit.