Making it Work…For You

“Your family is headed to a cousin’s Bat-Mitzvah in LA for the weekend. Wanting some uninterrupted family time, you ask your 7th grade daughter to leave her cell phone at home. She complains bitterly saying she will miss out on “everything” after the school dance on Friday night. Do you: A) Empathize with how hard [...]

All Joy and No Fun

Reviewing an early draft of my still work in progress book on middle school children, a friend commented that parenting middle schoolers sounds like no fun. I write about “getting fired” by your middle schooler, pushing against boundaries, and slammed doors. I am not the only one who recognizes that parenting is no fun. In [...]

The Sport to Talk About

The sport to talk about right now seems to be football. With the Super Bowl this weekend, middle schoolers at Crystal and around the country are weighing in on the game. Actually, they are weighing in on deflate-gate, video recordings from the sidelines, crotch grabbing and a player who refuses to speak at a press [...]

Etymological Wishes

As we await our second baby, here is a post from a few years back. We can all name the teachers that had profound influences on our lives. At the top of my list is Alex Banay, my Latin teacher and advisor at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. Alex taught me the difference between synchysis [...]

The Wonder of the Season

For a person who has lived in a Buddhist monastery and meditates daily, I have a problem with wanting things for myself. Most recently I have wanted a new camera, the Fuji X100T. I have read all the reviews of this camera. I spent an hour looking for Black Friday deals that I could use [...]

Toddler Time

I like to GSD. Get Stuff (or a more appropriate S word) Done. Over Thanksgiving break the nesting urge kicked in and merged with my GSD focus. Between Wednesday and Sunday I: At one point I wanted to drag Harrison out of the house to Lowes to buy picture hooks when Robin told me that [...]

Serial is Middle School

I have never looked forward to my Thursday morning commute like I do now. Why? Serial. Serial is a podcast from the producers of This American Life that tells the real life story of a high school murder in Baltimore and the man who has been in prison ever since. It has close to a [...]

Middle School is So Trans

Transgender. I have talked a lot about this word over the past few weeks with my colleagues here at Crystal. In talking about transgender, I have learned a tremendous amount gender identity, gender expression and gender roles. I have learned that gender and sexual orientation are separate parts of our identity. I have even learned [...]