Get There Early

The start of the school year is so exciting for students. For most it is not the new novel to read in English or the new formula to learn in math that brings them flying in the door the first day. The real draw is the other students. After a summer away everyone wants to […]

Surviving Summer–A Preview

As I work on a longer piece titled “Five Ways to Survive Summer with a Middle Schooler,” for the Project EMSE newsletter, I thought I would share one of the tips now as we head closer to summer. I have often said that it is important for students to have down time during the summer; […]

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 […]