One of My Son’s College Essays

ONE of 7 college essays my son wrote:

6. Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you.
When I was younger, I never understood why history was important. I thought studying history was a waste of time, as it did not relate to my life, the one that I was living in the present.

Then my grandfather died. I was in 6th grade, a freshman in middle school, when I stood at the podium in the temple and spoke of the few times we shared, to the handful of attendees at his funeral. Hours later, at my grandfather’s home of fifty years, I learned of his amazing history.

My grandfather was a holocaust survivor. A resident of Poland during the 1939 German invasion, my grandfather was 13 years old when his family was taken from their home and imprisoned in the Lodz ghetto for six months. He then was taken from his father, mother, and two sisters, and put on a train to Auschwitz, where he spent the next five years, forcibly working for the Nazi’s. He never saw his family again. My grandfather spent his formative teen years in hell, until he was liberated by the Russians in 1945, at 18 years old.

His story was so shocking, it profoundly frightened me. It was then that I became fascinated with WW2. Suddenly, I craved history, the knowledge to understand what led people to turn a blind eye to their neighbors’ being murdered and imprisoned for their beliefs, and sometimes for no reason at all. I study history with passionate interest because I now understand the stories before mine matter to my life. Had my grandfather succumbed to his situation and thrown himself against the electric fences, as he’d seen others do daily, I wouldn’t be here, writing this essay to you today. Even more important than me being here, is that we continue to study history, take the lessons from the past and apply them forward to make sure holocausts, anywhere, never happen again.

auschwitz4

My TEEN is ADDICTED to VIDEO GAMES. HELP!!

I so rarely get personal online, but I’m at a loss and would love some advice from my friends here, cuz someone among you all must have some direction for me, hopefully…
My teen is addicted to video games. And while parents are nodding here, and kids are shaking their heads in disgust of my dramatic prose, I don’t mean he likes playing them. I mean he’s playing them whenever he can, on whatever device he can, for as long as he can without getting caught, even though finals start in 5 days, he has 3 Cs, and he should be studying.
Take away his devices, parents say. OK. We did. Many months ago, when his grades started slipping, for the first time, since until mid-October last year he was a straight A student since grade school.
We took away his phone priviledges–he has to have it on the kitchen counter from when he gets home from school until he leaves for school in the morning. Same for his Kindle, and his laptop. Saturday from 6:00-10:00pm is his only time for electronics, in any form, gaming, movies…whatever. He’s allowed FB time during the week, but only at night, after finishing studying, and only for half hour a day. Collectively.
The only device left to him is his PC. And we can’t take that away, because the public school he goes to works almost exclusively through the computer. Homework, worksheets, research–the school ask for specific links to be read to complete assignments and study for tests. All grades go through School Loop. The school feeds his addiction with every grade they post, that minute thrill of anticipation as the kids obsessively check if the teacher has posted grades yet. So, no computer at all is out. Clearly.
He has to keep his door open all the time now, but we can’t stand in the threshold watching him all day and night! And we go over his history, but he’s already figured out how to open too many tabs for the stupid interface to record all online interactions.
I wanta help my kid make better choices and to stop gaming. And yes, we’ve seen pros, with a lot of theory, but really without a clue.
What to do?…Practical solutions are welcome!!

j cafesin

Fractured Fairy Tales of the Twilight Zone is here…

Fractured Fairy tales meets The Twilight Zone in this short story collection of four uniquely captivating, dark, fantastical tales, each with a powerful message that lingers long after the reads…
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LNTOHOM

FFTTZ

Summer Viewing 4 Kids

Put together an #educational #video viewing list 4 my kids, 4 summer. Feel free to add to it in comments: J. Cafesin: SummerViewing4Kids http://jcafesin.blogspot.com/2014/06/summer-viewing-4-kids.htmleducational

The Systemic Problem with Public Education Today

I didn’t get in, mom, my daughter called me hysterically crying from school on Monday.

pinkWhat? She couldn’t be talking about her talent show. She insisted she’d get in, no problem, as last year a boy got on stage, threw a top hat at the judges, and he got in, she’d told us.
They didn’t want me, mom, she managed through quick gasps. I wasn’t good enough. And then she crumbled, lost to herself, and her value.
My heart in my throat, I told her I’d call the school and talk to whoever was in charge and find out why they didn’t want her in the show. I insisted multiple times she WAS good enough, regardless of what her elementary school said. I had listened to her practicing for a week, and the last several days she was on tone, her voice strong, clear, resonant. It was mind-boggling why she didn’t get in, I told her, and promised again to find out what was going on before we disconnected.
I contacted the school directly. Made the front office aware my daughter was very upset. I left messages for the principal, as well as the teachers involved with the talent show. Apparently, helping me deal with the child’s heart they broke was less important than lunch, as no one got back to me, and I was unable to give my daughter any information when she got home. No one at school bothered to speak with her either…