Dear Teacher: End of the year letters to high school teachers

Dear Teacher: End of the year letters to high school teachers 

Dear Mr. M,

My son will be starting college in the fall as an Environmental Science Major with a Minor in Art. Over the past 2 years you’ve shown him the connection between the world of science and that of art. Not just that, you’ve also shown him that through science and humanity all things are possible, all things inspire, all things are important – as long as it is based on truth and knowledge and understanding. You showed your students that being curious is a good thing. You opened up worlds full of possibilities mixed in with those cold hard facts and formulas that they must learn (or else.) You’ve made a difference, not just for my son but for hundreds of teens. They will change the world – and that is a good thing. Thank you.


Dear Ms K,

All year long I had to hear my daughter complain about you and about your class. Every evening she would describe the Bedlam type conditions in a room full of insane psychopaths and deviants and sex fiends. And there you were trying to be warden for these kids. Yes, there were a handful who wanted to be there and wanted to learn. Their grades might not reflect the fact that they did learn. At the same time my daughter was complaining about you and your curriculum she was also bringing up topics for discussion such as the comparison of presidential speeches. She talked about the books she claimed to hate reading (you have very different tastes.) The more she talked about you the more I told her that you were an amazing woman for teaching that class full of horrible monsters every single day. And you got through to kids. They don’t know that yet.One of my most popular blog posts was written about you. It was called Thank You For Pissing Off My Teenage Daughter. I could have emailed it to you but I thought it was better not to. You might have taken it the wrong way. But that said, thank you for staying in the battle and for educating your students – even the monsters.

Click on the link for the rest of the letters via Dear Teacher: End of the year letters to high school teachers.


What I learned from going to a metal concert with my teen

Spring and summer brings out the concert tours. I’ve been taking teens to concerts for a few years. It has always been fun. It has always been exciting. It has always been well worth it.

Last year we saw Black Veil Brides when they played in Sacramento, California.

Click here for: What I learned from going to a metal concert with my teen.

Since then we’ve seen Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco and Twenty One Pilots and will soon see All Time Low and Twenty One Pilots again. Then it is on to Warped Tour.

I like the old music but I’m really enjoying the new music the teens in my life have introduced me to.


Playing the Game – Can’t leave anything to Chance

Click here for: Playing the Game – Can’t leave anything to Chance.


My teen doesn’t read – but I’m not too concerned

A post from MT:

My child doesn’t read but I don’t care. I used to but I see beyond my vanities of being a mom with the child who always has it’s nose in a book.

Let me explain more before you get the wrong idea. My child doesn’t like to read for pleasure. She doesn’t read books. Specifically, she hardly ever cracks into a novel just for fun. She doesn’t love to read novels.

And I’m writing this because people look at me funny when I tell them that. Well, you can stop it now. There is nothing wrong with a kid who isn’t always with a book. There is nothing sad about it. It is ok.

When she was born I was the mom who was always reading. I read to my daughter as soon as she could hold her head up. We live in a house full of thousands of books. We read to her before she went to bed, when she got up in the morning, during potty training, in the car, at the grandparent’s house, in between all other activities. But while she liked the pictures she wouldn’t read. She knew the alphabet and numbers but she wouldn’t read.

Once when she was about four we were in the grocery store and I asked her what a label said (I didn’t have my reading glasses). She said “Mommy you know I can’t read.” She had a point. I couldn’t read when I was four. Her father learned to read when he was three, but that was her dad, not her.

Eventually she did learn to read. It was great. But my sweet child, my only child didn’t like to read.

I on the other hand am never without a book. I am lost without a book. When I buy a coat it has to have pockets that will hold a paperback. My purses are all large enough to hold my books and a nook. I never travel without at least two or three books with me.

My daughter loves the idea of books. She loves bookstores. She loves stories.

But don’t get me wrong again. She isn’t stupid or slow. She is brilliant. She is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, this only child of mine.

At a young age she “got the big picture”. That is that while most children saw their universe as where mommy and daddy lived and maybe a few friends or preschool, my daughter knew there was a great big world and an entire universe out there. She saw the world. She saw how people interacted and how they related. She made friends everywhere she went. She made up her own mind and had her own opinions on everything. She asked hard questions. She TALKED. She talked and talked and talked and talked.

By the way, her third word was BOOK. The first two were “baby” and “kitty.”

This child of mine was also active – very active. That was a good thing. She was always exploring and discovering and wondering. She looked to the ground and up to the sky.

The talking started at 10 months and now at age 14 the talking continues. And so does the music. Music is everything.

Being active is everything to her as well.

She went to the National Championships in her sport this summer – something she did because she wanted to – not because her parents pressured her to be the best. She did it because she loved it. But she doesn’t love reading.

But she does read. She reads a lot. Just not novels in a corner with her nose in a book. She looks up things that she needs to know about. She reads music trade magazines. She does research as well or better than any graduate student.

Yes, there are so many books I’d love to share with her. That makes me sad, but I can’t tell you how everything else this child does makes up for it. Not to mention, yes, I’m a mom so I can brag, she makes straight A’s and has more friends than any child I know.

I also know her friends will eventually pass on books that she’ll read, and they’ll discuss them. It is what kids do… sometimes. We’ll see. Maybe.

She has happy and healthy relationships too. And she is fashionable. Nothing wrong with that. The kid is so well rounded that I describe her as “the kid I always wanted to be.”

And she is curious. You might as well start digging your hole if you stop being curious (my dad told me that.)

So the points of this are (and please any snarky comments will not be posted):

  • Your child is not YOU, even if you’re an avid reader like I am.
  • It is ok if your child is not exactly like you.
  • Kids who don’t read books read a lot of other things. They read articles and stuff on the internet and during school they DO read books.
  • My daughter has read a lot of books. Of course she read the Hunger Games and likes several other series, but it has to be just right. She won’t read just any book unless it is a school assignment. It is OK for your kid to be picky about what they read.

So my only child isn’t alone. She isn’t with a book. And her best friends are real people. Not in a book. Not on the Internet (and she is there a lot).

The funny thing is, or the most interesting thing, is that she is a brilliant writer. She writes like an adult, both fiction and poetry. Communication is her passion, not hiding out in a corner alone with a book.

As we get ready for High School to start in a few days I know she’ll have a lot of reading assigned, and she’ll do great. She’ll kick ass.

My kid doesn’t read, not the way I read, but then again, she isn’t me. And I’m proud of this amazing person, brilliant person who will one day grow up to change the world.

By the time she was ten she was researching colleges. She was looking up everything. She loves history and science and knowledge. So it’s ok if she isn’t reading novels right now. It is ok if she has interests that go beyond whatever series about talking badgers or whatever it is the kids were reading in 6th grade – she was looking up colleges. See what I’m saying?

Be proud of your child too. There is a lot more going on with kids these days than we can ever imagine. So if they aren’t buried in books or doing Algebra in 3rd grade that is OK. Let them be kids. Let them be smart in their own way. As long as they are curious and active and smiling and smart then let them be who they are. They might not like Harry Potter but they might like looking up news stories, or discussing history, or figuring out mysteries of the solar system and sun spots, or painting,  or playing a sport or writing songs or following a different passion – a passion that makes them smart and happy and successful as a well rounded human.

I’m happy to be alone with a book and I’m lost without one. But sometimes it is nice to look up and live in the real world. That is something I’ve relearned from my child. Thanks honey. I love you.

~ MT

An easy win is never a true victory – ethical questions for parents

Believe it or not Artistic Roller Skating is a real sport, alive and well. The members of the USA National Team do things to rival the Ice Skaters you see in the Olympics. It is a great sport…but like all sports there are some issues…

My 13-year-old daughter just qualified for the US National Championships in Artistic Roller Sports while at the SW Pacific Roller Sports Championships in Fresno, CA (for Arizona, California and Nevada).

In Artistic Roller Skating there are A, B and C skating events according to the abilities and experience of the skaters. Sounds good on paper, but there is a dark side of this sport.

We’re all happy today about skating BUT there are young skaters who should be going to the National Championships who are not. That is because overqualified A skaters who PLACE and WIN in A events are skating B events and winning. That is bad sportsmanship and ethically WRONG. What sort of satisfaction do the coaches and parents get out of that. It is totally jacked up. I’ve seen these kids work so hard all year. I’ve seen the B skaters improve and become great skaters – and then they have their spots stolen from them.

That is one reason good skaters are dropping out of the sport. I often wonder about the parents of the A skaters who skate B and win in both. How can they look at themselves in the mirror and not see a bad person? What sort of wrong messages are they sending to their kids. The easy A is no A. The one who dies the most metals/toys/prizes does not win if it is a hollow undeserving win. The life lesson isn’t there.

This is KILLING the sport. IT IS KILLING IT. This might be the last group of skaters because the rules are so jacked up. Every year there are fewer skaters at the skate meets. Every wonder why? Letting A skaters who place and even win turn around and skate B events is WHY. Yes, you selfish coaches and parents YOUR egos are killing the very sport you claim to love.

And to all of those B skaters out there who worked so hard this year – keep skating – when you’re grown you’re the ones who will be on top and you’re the ones who will be the true winners!

One more word…and this is not for all of the really great adult skaters from age 21-over 79 that I meet at the competitions and in the rink. You’re the ones who encourage the young skaters and inspire them. You’re the ones we look at and say WOW.

But there are those “others”. We all know who they are.

A big problem with the sport of Artistic Roller Sports is all the OLD TIMERS who go online or in the rinks and do NOTHING BUT COMPLAIN and talk about the good old days. Those who live in the past will get older faster. It is sad that a bunch of old haters are doing everything they can to ruin it for young skaters who are desperately trying to keep this sport alive. They complain about everything from the quality of the skaters to the dress styles. Well HEY you OLD FARTS – the kids skating now are doing an AWESOME JOB. They are skating better than you ever did. Their dresses are better than yours ever were. They are doing this almost dead sport out of LOVE. Love that you’ll never know in your black nasty old spiteful heart. So just SHUT THE F UP. You and your old fashioned outdated ways are why this sport can’t get corporate sponsors.

So to end on a higher note and a positive note: For all of the skaters who are out there…THIS IS YOUR SPORT. Take charge of it. If you don’t like what your coach is doing TELL HER. If you don’t like the rules WRITE THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE. Write a blog post. Put it on Facebook. Call USARS. Let them know what YOU WANT.