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Two Shoes Tuesday

Because there is never a bad day to feature shoes!

And, because who can resist a great pair of Converse Chuck Taylors for back to school? My son’s school suggests that sneakers/tennis shoes are the best choice, as they need to be able to jump around on the playground at recess. So, why not have them be comfortable and stylish at the same time?

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Goes with pretty much everything, from jeans to skirts! At a price of $33.00, not too harsh on the wallet, either.

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Here is the boy version, not as “cute,” because boys after a certain age just refuse to do cute, but still cool. These come in slightly pricier at $38.00.

Packin’ it In

This year, the Munchkin requires a backpack for school.  So of course, I go to Target to check out the selection. I have a shameful addiction to Target that I don’t like to talk about, but I will admit going there to look at backpacks.  And uh, maybe ten or fifteen other things.  It’s a disease, I’m telling you. 

Anyhoo, I was singularly unimpressed.  I didn’t like the quality of any of them, and the garish graphics of The Hulk and Spiderman and whatnot didn’t win me over either.  I have this really big problem with buying something like a backpack, which will be used the entire year (and possibly beyond) and then having a character on it that is suddenly “uncool” or that he doesn’t like anymore. 

I decided to go online, just to see what there was, out there in backpack land.  And then I found this:

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The Solid Classmate Backpack from Land’s End. For about nine bucks more than what they charge at Target, this is as its name suggests, solid. The construction is fabulous, the shoulder pads cushy. There are lots of fun compartments, even a secret velcro one. It comes in a lot of colors, and also happens to come in sizes for kids ages 4-7, which was very important to me. Nothing worse than a backpack almost as big as the kid carrying it. Oh, and Real Simple Magazine (which I also lurve) rated it “Best Backpack” for ages 4-7.

I highly recommend this backpack, and if you hurry, you can use code INSIDER and PIN 534534534 to get free shipping. 

Once Upon a School

Voice of GenX (sorry, Douglas Coupland) McSweeney’s genius and 826Valencia founder Dave Eggers talks (for nearly half an hour) about engaging with the public school system. Lengthy, but worthwhile.

Somehow, it just seemed topical. For some reason.

Some Lessons Stick

The Editorial Eye

Ah, teachers. Who’d be one? Like nursing, it’s a career path of critical importance to society, yet vastly undervalued both in public prestige and in the critical area of renumeration. That’s how you spell it, right? “Renumeration.”

What can I say? I was homeschooled as a toddler. Then public schools. Then hippie boarding school where they told my mother “Raincoaster doesn’t come to class. She sits in the hall and reads books. But they are very good books, so we’re giving her an A.” So there’s lots of blame to go around.

In any case, I’d like to share with you the case of United States District Judge Samuel B. Kent, a man who obviously paid attention in school. It should warm the very cockles of any underappreciated teacher’s neglected heart to know that out there, somewhere, perhaps in the back of class, perhaps hidden behind that big Samoan kid in the third row, there may be a Samuel B. Kent of her own, a student who not only listened in class, but who learned, and that profoundly.

Watch the master at work (via Metroblog):

Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact — complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words — to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions.

With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor’s edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins…

And concludes:

At this juncture, Plaintiff retains, albeit seemingly to his befuddlement and/or consternation, a maritime law cause of action versus his alleged Jones Act employer, Defendant Unity Marine Corporation, Inc. However, it is well known around these parts that Unity Marine’s lawyer is equally likable and has been writing crisply in ink since the second grade. Some old-timers even spin yarns of an ability to type. The Court cannot speak to the veracity of such loose talk, but out of caution, the Court suggests that Plaintiff’s lovable counsel had best upgrade to a nice shiny No. 2 pencil or at least sharpen what’s left of the stubs of his crayons for what remains of this heart-stopping, spine-tingling action.

In either case, the Court cautions Plaintiff’s counsel not to run with a sharpened writing utensil in hand — he could put his eye out.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Selah.

Monday Teeny Poll

Student in Need of Some Improvement

Last week’s poll showed almost half of respondents wishing the media would leave the children of celebrities alone, already.  Another 22% felt badly about the overexposure, but couldn’t help being interested. 

Let’s face it, for whatever reason, our culture right now is one of celebrity. Even though these children are put in the public eye through no fault of their own, as long as we place so much value on what “stars” are doing, they will continue to be watched. 

But, let’s take an entirely different direction with today’s poll, shall we?

Excuses, Excuses!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

but MOOOOOM!

LolCats meet LolKids: a memetic union for the ages!

But mo-om,  all da kids wear der pantz like dis.

Also, this is probably the best place to note that it was just the repressed Englishmen that insisted on the short pants for their boys. The Scots, presumably, realized they’d all have expired of hypothermia if they’d been jammed into hot pants in that climate.

Save Glinda!

Total Faker!

School started for my son on Sept. 4, and as of today, I think he has spent almost as much time at home as he has in class.  He keeps getting sick, and since he complains that he doesn’t like school, I keep having to play an annoying guessing game as to whether he is truly ill or just feels like playing with his pirate ship for the day instead of participating in circle time.

That has got to be one of the trickier things I’ve yet to stumble across as a parent, trying to figure out if your child is really sick or if they simply don’t feel like going to school.

My mother had a very strict policy about staying home from school. Unless you had a very high fever (over 100) or were actively (emphasis on actively) throwing up, your butt was going to be hauled off to school.  And sometimes even then, your odds were fifty-fifty. I was a student who normally loved school, so you would have thought she could have cut me a little slack when said I wasn’t feeling well. Being a nurse, my mother showed no mercy whatsoever, seeing as how she saw truly sick people every darn day young lady, and a kid with the sniffles didn’t qualify as sick in her book.

I was never sly enough to pull any tricks a la Ferris Bueller, so my attendance record was practically flawless.  But the valuable advice I got from that movie will stay with me forever as a parent. Trust me, I am always going to walk into the room instead of hovering at the doorway.  Mark my words.

As my son is still in pre-K, I tend to be a lot more lenient than my mother ever was.  All right, so he will miss out on some painting and reading and social interaction, but there is no letter grade to earn or points to be missed, so for me it is not a big deal. I figure if he was going to fake being sick, as a five year old, it wouldn’t be comprised of such a detailed plan.  It takes a lot of forethought to wake yourself up in the wee hours of the morning to scream that you need a Kleenex. And a cough drop.  And some water…

I have a sneaking suspicion that he is having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule, but then you walk that fine line where they get sicker if you push them. And really, I’d rather have a few hours to myself than listening to him sing “A Pirate’s Life for Me” one more time. I’m selfish that way, I know.  I did that on Friday, and have since been rewarded for my self-centeredness by having a hacking, snotty child less than ten feet away from me at any given moment.

I am very aware that attendance in school is an important part of success. 

But I still have this feeling that my son is going to stay home a lot more than I ever did.

And maybe, just maybe, there will be a few days when we wake up and I suggest, “Why don’t we go somewhere fun today?”

Does that make me a bad mom? Or just a mom who will never have to worry about her son being chased through backyards by a deranged principal?  See, I’ll be doing him a favor.

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