I love to cook! It’s a skill I learned early in life, thanks to Mom. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t her sous chef, unless one of my aunts was in the kitchen, too.
When I was about 10, old enough to stay home by myself during the summer, Mom would have me defrost the meat, usually chicken, when she left for work in the morning. Throughout the day, she’d call with instructions to season the meat, preheat the oven, start the rice or pasta and begin steaming the vegetables.
By the time she arrived home in the evening, dinner was served.
I didn’t know it then, but Mom’s daily instructions got me hooked on cooking, a passion I want to pass on to my own two boys.
“Children often pursue their parents’ jobs because of the breakfast-table effect: Family conversations influence them. They fuel interests or teach children what less commonly understood careers entail (probably one reason textile spinning and shoemaking are high on the list of jobs disproportionately passed on to children). In interviews, people who followed their parents’ career paths described it as speaking the same language.”
I live in the Edgewood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. across the street from a school. When my wife and I bought our house, it was a public school serving a low to moderate-income population that was 95 percent African American, reflecting the neighborhood demographics.
Each morning when I headed to work I’d find a trail of discarded Little Hug juice bottles, honey bun wrappers and empty potato chip bags leading to the school. Weeds sprouted through the cracks in the asphalt on the school grounds and the play structure was tattered and rusty. The schoolyard looked more like a laboratory for tetanus rather than a playground for children. Inside, portable walls, not classrooms, separated the kids who were group two grades at a time (1st & 2nd, 3rd & 4th). When I visited the school to inquire about volunteering one morning, I heard several teachers instructing their students at the same time, and a disruption in one classroom affected the others.
The school closed a few years after we moved in and briefly became a hangout for older teens and young adults who smoked weed, drank and played dice.
Eventually, gentrification took over, the school was reopened as a charter school and the building was overhauled. The playground was upgraded. Sunflowers and a community garden replaced the weeds. Woodchips covered the fissured asphalt. A section of the sidewalk was replaced and white children soon made up about 40 percent of the new student body—although the neighborhood demographics barely changed. Former First Lady and President Obama even came to christen the new facility. Even the litter got an upgrade, with Honest Juice boxes and string-cheese wrappers in the gutter instead of the cheap, corner-store junk-food trash.
Parking is a little harder to find, hey, that’s life in the big city.
Get ready to laugh and be inspired in this rollicking conversation with The Bowtie Comedian Mike Goodwin as we explore fatherhood and marriage, developing the confidence to believe in yourself, learning from failure, money management and more.
Our conversation with Mike is a must listen if, you are like so many in the Thinking Good community who want to get the most out of your professional pursuits while also giving the most to your personal passions.
“The Magic Realism Bot offers its followers the opportunity to follow in these great writers’ footsteps by tweeting out three to six story ideas a day that encourage you to take a break and stretch your imagination. With its strange and thought-provoking prompts, it provides the ultimate daydream fodder for bookworms, fantasists, and writers alike — one tweet at a time.”
The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns.
The platforms of social media are built around weak ties. Twitter is a way of following (or being followed by) people you may never have met. Facebook is a tool for efficiently managing your acquaintances, for keeping up with the people you would not otherwise be able to stay in touch with. That’s why you can have a thousand “friends” on Facebook, as you never could in real life.
In this episode of the Suite Talk podcast, we sit down with Liz Yee, Director of Admissions for Lowell School in Washington, DC. The 51-year-old independent school is committed to creating a community of lifelong learners who value and respect each other.
Our chat with Liz is designed to help you and your family navigate the school admissions and selections process, whether you are considering independent, parochial, public and charter schools, or all the above.
Full-disclosure, my oldest son has attended Lowell for three years, and my youngest will start in the Fall. And no, I’m not getting a discount on tuition for featuring Liz and Lowell on the Suite Talk podcast.
Our goal is offer you and your family expert insights and practical guidance you can use to make the best possible choice for your child’s education. No matter if your child, grandchild, niece or nephew is in preschool, primary, middle, high or entering college, this episode will help inform your decision-making process.
Some of the topics we explore are:
The importance of understanding your family values as they relate to your child’s educational environment.
How the story of Stone Soup applies to financial aid (and many other facets of life).
Why you should always keep you options open and it never hurts to ask.
Be on the lookout for future conversations with Liz, exploring other aspects of the school admissions process. But for now, lean-in, lean back and enjoy!
Share what you’re thinking, leave a comment. Stay connected with the Thinking Good community.
“A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others. Consequently, the person who is most likely to get new ideas is a person of good background in the field of interest and one who is unconventional in his habits. (To be a crackpot is not, however, enough in itself.)”