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Summer 2014

I hardly know where to begin. It's been a whirlwind of activity for me and for Purplearn. For me, the summer of 2014 will be remembered as days cool enough for me not to melt into my usual uniform of suit and purple tie.
I wore this uniform at the class I taught at Brookdale. I grew up across the reservoir from the college campus and it is still beautiful. In room 101 of the ATEC building my twelve students and I explored game theory and proper cooperative learning techniques. I am already looking forward to my next classes there in the spring.

Why?

My grandfather, Hy Schiffman, died in a VA Hospital in Florida. In his later years Hy was your typical jolly fat man and I can't picture him without a smile beneath his thin pencil mustache. As a young man, Hy was very handsome and the lovingly restored black and white wedding photo of him and Nana Tillie made them both look like movie stars. Hy was not an educated man, first laboring at 13 years old to help his family and then drafted into the war, Hy never had formal schooling past the 8th grade but he was always sharp as a tack.

Family Brain Happy Hour

I started teaching in the middle of the war zone that was south central Los Angeles in the late 80's. I was also the assistant director of a Beverly Hills tutoring agency. One thing was the same in both groups of kids. It doesn't matter if the parents are in Europe or in jail, if the parents aren't actively participating in the children's lives then the children have problems. 

This is as true today as it was then. I offer no solutions to the persistent problems of overwork and violence but what about the parents who want to spend time with their children.