Archive for the ‘counseling’ Category

Yet another first day of school is in the books. Both kids started back on September 4: One in 7th grade (first year of junior high), and one now a junior in high school. They scrambled to tell me how their first days went and I listened, congratulated them and patted them on the backs for taking on another school year with such enthusiasm. In the back of my mind I kept telling myself, “They want something. Here it comes. It’s coming. They’re going to ask…”


They never asked.

It was just me and my two kids talking. Well, they talked and I listened. And today they’re back in class. So as a parent, I must be doing something right. Right?

I vividly remember both my start in junior high and my junior year of high school.

Junior high is such a huge transition year. You quickly become a big kid. It’s awkward for boys because we’re sweating and smelling and growing hair in places previously untouched by hair. We start noticing girls in a serious way and have to deal with our mature immaturity. One minute we’re all grown up, the next minute we’re sucking the air out of an empty Mountain Dew bottle and vacuuming it to our cheek, unknowingly leaving a large red hicky on the side of our faces. Just try to explain that to an older kid who’s pointing, laughing and calling you hicky face.

High school juniors, on the other hand are all grown up. They’re practically the top dog and they’re faced with their most challenging year of education they’ve ever had. Eleventh grade teachers are brutal. They pile on the homework in an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. They want you to know by the end of your junior year if you’re going to a university, a junior-college or straight into the workforce. Of course there’s always the threat of joining one of the armed service branches for those who refuse to turn in assignments on time.

My junior year was filled with dating, music and drinking…and a few nights of studying when I had to. And even with a lowly ACT score, I still got accepted at a major university, proving that if I can handle it, any average kid can. But what is average? It’s the best of the worst, right? So why not strive for excellence? That’s a tough lesson to teach any 17-year-old.  

You lead by example, set expectations and hope they’ll see the rays of light you shine on their path. Then you remain realistic, knowing they’ll stumble along the way and that you’ll be there to pick them up and dust them off.

In the end you can pat yourself on the back if, during the year, you’ve congratulated them more than admonished them and, when spring time rolls around in six months, they’re still just as enthused as they were on that first day back to school.



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Five hours into the aftermath of the Minnesota 35W bridge collapse near downtown Minneapolis and tragically, but also miraculously, seven people have been confirmed dead of the hundreds who were treated for injuries.

How did this happen and why? These are questions the Minnesota Department of Transportation and National Transportation and Safety Board will be asked to answer.  Meanwhile, Minneapolis faces two years of reconstruction of one of its primary arteries. The disruption is minor considering the lives lost, the injuries, the emotional trauma of sons and daughters, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas.

The heroic efforts of Minneapolis residents and those traveling on that 2,000-foot span of concrete and steel will become the story – has already become a large part of the recovery. It’s how we, as society, recover from tragedy. Who stepped up? Who came to help the 60 kids stranded on a school bus? Why did a team of a half dozen cyclists turn their bikes around when they heard the rumble and saw the dust rising? Whose lives did they touch?  The nameless, unforgettable heroes who, with their own hands, risked their own lives and saved the lives of perfect strangers.

That’s where we find our wherewithal when we have to wake up in the morning following a tragic afternoon on a hot summer day and move forward with our lives. We look in the faces of our cubicle neighbors at work, the store owner downtown, and our next door neighbors at home and we see hope in humanity. Hope that just maybe that face will lend a hand and help another if and when that time arrives.

And that, my friends, is what makes America the land of the free and the home of the brave.


(c) ceg 2007

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Allow me to borrow a phrase from the talented and popular Mr. T: “I pity the fool…” Mr. T, known foremost for his acting prowess in a network television show, “The A Team,” has pitied many fools who made bad mistakes, caused suffering among others or otherwise just did not live up to his personally lofty expectations.

Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan just HAS to be on the “pity the fool” list that Mr. T maintains. Imagine Mr. T’s thoughts when he woke up Wednesday morning this past week to learn that Lohan, again, had been arrested for driving while intoxicated. Plus, she got the extra charge of cocaine possession.

Mr. T had to be out of his mind. Here’s a young starlette, so cute and popular in her twin acting remake of “The Parent Trap,” who seemed to be the new belle of Hollywood. Scripts were pouring in, friends were glomming on and the seduction of power and fame obviously grew too large in this young girl’s brain to be manageable.

So Lindsay is the new poster child for the self destruction of a starlette. So long Britney. So long Paris and Nicole. You got nuttin’ on Lindsay when it comes to screwing your career goodbye (not to mention you have a stream of income Lindsay doesn’t in the form of rich parents and grainy porn video royalties).

Pity the fool.


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I often will post on a word that intrigues me, however, today I’m choosing to make up my own word for possible submission to Webster’s.

Here’s the word: windtistical; a combination of windbag and egotistical. It’s the perfectBozo description of any blogger who writes enough drivel to clog an entire server. These blog authors are so infatuated with themselves that they also frequently scrawl longer responses to the comments posted by the blog’s readers than the readers write themselves.  Since we’re such an icon based society on the Interweb, I’ve inserted “windtistical’s” icon here. Note how the head is disproportionately larger than the body.

Windtisticals can, from time to time, appear interested and engaged; but they are more often self-centered, judgmental and filled with the most tepid of angry gases that culminate in nothing useful to society.

I’m calling Webster’s now.

If you could make a word and add to the blogger’s dictionary, what would it be? What would it mean?


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