Friday, October 12, 2018

What is Juuling?

What a Juul e-cigarette looks like
From “Juuling: An Alarming Trend Reversing Decades of Health Gains” by Donna Orem, NAIS President . . . 

“Cigarette smoking has been on a steady decline among teens for the past decade. That’s good news … but, a new craze called “Juuling” is threatening to reverse that. A Juul is a brand of e-cigarette that has become popular among middle and high schoolers, at least in part because of youth-friendly flavors and a discrete, concealable design. If Juuling is not yet on your radar, it should be, as it is quickly moving from a trend among a small percentage of teens to a major health crisis, with many implications still unknown.”

Wikipedia on JUUL “JUUL Labs (/ˈdʒuːl/ JOOL, like "jewel"[7]) is an electronic cigarette company which spun off from PAX Labs in 2017.[1] The JUUL e-cigarette was introduced by PAX Labs in 2015.[8] It is a type of e-cigarette that uses nicotine salts that exist in leaf-based tobacco for its key ingredient.[8] The JUUL is the most popular e-cigarette in the United States by market share,[9] and its widespread use by youth has triggered multiple investigations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Special Treat for Vegan Musicians

When you have five minutes before your class is over or before it is time to say good night to your child, you might share this TEDxSydney video. It plays very well with those who love music and enjoy carrots.

Friday, September 14, 2018

If You Love Books . . .

. . . click here to see a fascinating picture portfolio of how to cover books. I think you will find this fascinating. Be sure to share with your students/children to get their take on the beautiful, creative designs and what you can do with book covers.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Understanding Transgender

I just read the most beautiful book about one family's experience with raising a transgender child. In Becoming Nicole you see all aspects of the transition—anatomically and psychologically—from the viewpoint of Nicole, parents, siblings, school community, friends, and greater community. Author Amy Ellis Nutt does a terrific job to help the reader understand the challenges and love that are part of the transition.

TED Talks has seven talks on the gender spectrum that "break down what it means to live outside society's traditional (and outdated) understanding of gender."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

iGen Generation - Born 1995-2012

If you, or your child, or your student was born anytime between 1995 and 2012 you/she/he is of the iGen generation— you know, the generation after the Millennials. You will want to read Dr. Jean M. Twenge's book iGen.

Filled with charts, statistics, and facts, her book, will amaze you at how iGens have moved beyond the technology and social media we think the Millennials own.

Here is a link to the many Appendices that supplement the book, and along with the book, here is where you will get a quick sample of what the author has compiled to help readers understand the iGen generation. Ironically, when you view this link, the first graph you will see is Figure 1.A. "8th and 10th graders' print media use." Hang on to your seat when you view this graph.

Coincidentally, NYTimes columnist Frank Bruni quoted Twenge in his Sunday Review column last Sunday, [She said] "Having to sit for more than a half hour or an hour doing one thing — that's gone by the wayside, and that concerns me as an educator and as a parent."

Here is one more link to her TEDx Talk. In her closing comment she states, "Let your phone be a tool you use, not a tool that uses you."

Friday, August 3, 2018

Grand Parenting

Now, in my world of grand parenting, I am sensitive to generational differences, especially when I am reading to children and working with millennials and generation Xers. Here are a few resources that might help those of you who work with baby boomer grand parents.

"The Particular Joy of Becoming a Grandparent" by Jim Sollisch in this week's NYTimes is touchingly beautiful.

You also may want to read Becoming Grandma by Leslie Stahl. It, too, paints a beautiful picture of becoming a grandma/dad.

"Still the Most Important People" is an article I wrote as a grand parent back in the spring of 2014 for Independent School magazine.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Number 20 for Dr. Ned Hallowell

This is Dr. Ned Hallowell's twentieth book and it is a page-turner.

When I first interviewed Dr. Hallowell for the Independent School magazine article, "Leadership for the Right Reasons: An Interview with Dr. Edward Hallowell," I knew then that he was an impressive factor in child development and leadership. Without a doubt, Dr. Hallowell is one of the foremost child psychiatrists in the country.

Of course, his book Driven to Distraction was a prominent bestseller.

Visit Dr. Hallowell's website for a wealth of resources.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The 5 Levels of Leadership

While John Maxwell's book has been out for some time, on the recommendation of a Captain in the Marine Corps, I read the book. Well, there is so much to learn about leadership from this amazing book. Here are a few salient, important points:

• "Leadership is an opportunity to serve." (pg. 87)

• "Rabbi Harold Kushner asserted, 'The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and share.' " (pg. 194)

• "The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability." (pg. 244)

• "True leaders put ego aside and strive to create successors who go beyond them." (pg. 250)

If you do not have the time to read the book, take 27 minutes to watch this video to hear what the author has to say about the 5 levels of leadership.

Friday, June 22, 2018

What Adults Can Learn From Kids

Is it possible that adults can learn from kids? [wink, wink]

Here is how TED describes what a twelve-year old so eloquently had say on the topic. "Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach." 

See and hear for yourself by clicking on to her thoughtfully beautiful 8-minute Talk.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Culture Code

I was introduced to Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code listening to favorite author Daniel Pink's 1 - 3 - 20 podcast where he chooses 1 book - asks 3 questions - in under 20 minutes.

The video below is an excellent introduction by the author to his book that answers the question "What is the secret to getting really, really good at something."

Friday, May 25, 2018


This is the first post I have written that promotes a network television series, but the series is so good. What I like the most is its anti-bias messages, helping students, parents, and educators appreciate differences among individuals.

"Rise" finished its first season and follows high school students, teachers, and families in their lives. The trailer tells it all:

Friday, May 11, 2018


When I first wrote "Is Good Best?" for Independent School magazine in the fall of 2003, I was intrigued with success. I still am fascinated with it, especially as it applies to leadership.

"Success" is one of the best TED Radio Hour podcast episodes featuring Tony Robbins, Angela Duckworth, Ron Gutman, Mike Rowe, and Alain de Botton. Click on the podcast link to listen to their voices on success.

In a nutshell . . .
  • Robins equates success to your drive; 
  • Duckworth sees success in life as resilience (grit); 
  • Gutman talks about the smile as a success indicator; 
  • Rowe says success is about dirty jobs; 
  • Botton sees success as creating a lot of anxiety. 
You can also listen to each of their TED Talks for yourself to get a better, deeper picture of success. Go to TED Talks to hear each of their talks.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Force for Good

In my quest to find out more about emotional intelligence, I discovered emotional quotient expert, Daniel Goleman's book A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World. Goleman brings out the Dalai Lama's determination to raise the care of humanity and having a purpose in life of reaching out and helping others.

Here are two quotes that reflect a snapshot of the book's connection to emotional intelligence:

“Compassion reduces our fear, boosts our confidence, and opens us to inner strengths,” the Dalai Lama adds. “By reducing distrust, it opens us to others and brings us a sense of connection with them and a sense of purpose and meaning in life.” [pages 55-56]

“And when high- and low-ranking people in the same organization interact, the person of higher status not only shows less attention as indicated by gazing less at the other person but also interrupts more and monopolizes the conversation.” [p. 93]

Thursday, April 5, 2018


“The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students,” by Valerie Strauss reporter for The Washington Post (December 20, 2017) is and excellent article that talks about what Google learned about emotional intelligence (EI).

“In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math] expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

The article goes on to say . . .

“Project Aristotle shows that the best teams at Google exhibit a range of soft skills: equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of your teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence. And topping the list: emotional safety.”

“STEM skills are vital to the world we live in today, but technology alone, as Steve Jobs famously insisted, is not enough. We desperately need the expertise of those who are educated to the human, cultural, and social as well as the computational.”

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ah! Where Are We Going With Mobile Phones?

From NYTimes Sunday Review, March 4, 2018, pg. 7

"Media habits are shifting fast: The amount of time children 8 years old and younger spend on phones or tablets has increased tenfold in just five years, according to a 2017 study by Common Sense. The organization also found that 42 percent of children under 8 already have their own mobile device. That number was less than 1 percent in 2011."

Quote from "Your Kid's Phone Is Not Like a Cigarette," by Anya Kamenetz in last Sunday's NYTimes

* * * * *

For you and your kids, here is an excellent YouTube on how to manage your phone as opposed to it managing you.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Leadership Through Coaching

From TED:

“How do we improve in the face of complexity? Atul Gawande has studied this question with a surgeon's precision. He shares what he's found to be the key: having a good coach to provide a more accurate picture of our reality, to instill positive habits of thinking, and to break our actions down and then help us build them back up again. 'It's not how good you are now; it's how good you're going to be that really matters,' Gawande says.”