A declaration of independence

Each year on July 4th, United States citizens celebrate independence. In 1776 in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress drafted and adopted a statement that we call the Declaration of Independence. The thirteen colonies announced liberation from British rule, forming what became the United States of America. But of course, you know that… The holiday inspired me…

Unplug to recharge

We pay more attention to the charge level on our portable electronic devices than we do to our own energy levels. Businesses now accommodate our fondness for phone or laptop usage: Airports have charging stations. Some aircraft have electrical outlets. Coffee shops help us stay plugged in and wired. But, how do we recharge ourselves?…

The facts of life

Children naturally learn some things. A baby figures out crawling, eating, and talking while older children can learn to build block towers, complete puzzles, or ride bikes. Humans have an amazing drive and capacity to learn.  Oscar Wilde astutely opined: “Education is an admirable thing,”  although I disagree with his conclusion: “but it is well to remember ……

What’s your superpower?

From the time they can talk, children ask a multitude of questions about the world and the people around them: Why is the sky blue? How can a tree grow from a seed? Are God and Santa Claus the same person? Around age 5, many parents hand off their children to schools for 12 years…

Learning or dying…

In the three years of my grandson’s life, he’s learned to walk, talk, feed himself, get undressed, and use the toilet. He can use a pencil, build Lego structures, ride a balance bike and a three-wheeled scooter, and throw a ball. What have you learned in your last three years? “In this world you’re either…

The evolution of education

My parents, immigrants to the United States in the 1950s, finished their formal education in Ireland around 6th grade. It was a different time, place, and circumstance. By sixth grade, students were considered literate: most having learned to read, write, and do math. My brothers and I, just one generation removed from our parents’ school…