nn_12ktu_artschool_130501.vmodv4_

Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school

The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was rank [sic] in the bottom five of all public schools in the state of Massachusetts. That was when Andrew Bott — the sixth principal in seven years — showed up, and everything started to change. “We got rid of the security guards,” said Bott, who reinvested all the money used for security infrastructure into the…

lead_960

How to Deal With 2016 Despair

Don’t let a TV screen make you live a life of fear. Be thoughtful participants, not passive consumers, in your culture. Create something. Improve something. Maybe yourself. Maybe the Wikipedia page for your hometown. Share your creation. Encourage and appreciate and critique and applaud what those in your community have created. Increase the sum total of good things in the universe by participating in the life around you. Heavy TV…

Screen-Shot-2016-11-12-at-2.57.40-PM-1

This is How Literary Fiction Teaches Us to Be Human

Practicing empathy through drama and poetry and art and games and face-to-face conversations and human acts of all kinds matters. This article covers the specific social benefits that come from reading literary fiction. Film critic Roger Ebert called movies the most powerful empathy machines, but someone with the right knowledge base can say pretty much the same thing about other genres. What we can say about the virtues of movies…

Konnikova-Why-Human-Babies-are-Dumber-1200-630

Why Are Babies So Dumb If Humans Are So Smart?

Fascinating theory. The hard work of raising helpless babies is part of the natural selection process that made us as a species so intelligent. Natural selection favors humans with large brains, because those humans tend to be smarter. This may create evolutionary incentives for babies that are born at an even earlier developmental stage, which require more intelligence to raise. This creates the dynamic: over time, helpless babies make parents…

Push Reel Mower

Connecting with the Boy

Today my son asked me to take him shopping for his favorite foods. He’s tired of fast-food take-out. I told him I was busy today running the spotlight for and videotaping yet another one of Carolyn’s performances (this time her voice teacher’s summer revue).
The poor boy has been left at home a lot while the rest of us did so much theater over the summer. He competed in a chess tournament last week. I fell asleep in the next room. He came in second place. (I have no pictures. I’m a bad father.)