EppsNet Archive: High School

Would Jesus Tow My Car?

The lot that I usually park in at the high school was full this morning so I parked across the street at what looked like a large church. I checked in at the school office to make sure that was okay . . . “I couldn’t find a space in the lot out front so I parked across the street,” I said to the woman at the desk. “Is that okay?” “Did you park on the street or at the church?” she asked. “I parked at the church . . . I asked myself, ‘What would Jesus do? Would he tow my car just because it doesn’t belong there?’ No, because he’s all about forgiveness and love.” “Jesus doesn’t love you when you park in that lot. You need to move your car.” Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Remembering Names

I’m teaching AP Computer Science . . . today was the first real day of instruction. Yesterday was just introductions and housekeeping. The first kid I called on to answer a question was named Sean. The second kid? Also named Sean. “Is everyone in the class named Sean?” I asked. Unfortunately they weren’t. It would have made it a lot easier to remember everyone’s name. Read more →

Teaching Computer Science

Tomorrow is my first day as an AP Computer Science teacher at Corona del Mar High School. It’s a volunteer gig through the TEALS organization. Only about 10 percent of U.S. high schools offer computer science classes and at most of those schools, it counts as an elective, like Home Ec or Wood Shop, not as a class that can be applied toward graduation like math or science. The most popular AP exam in 2013 was US History — 439,552 students took the AP US History exam. Only 31,117 students took the AP Computer Science exam. That’s about the same number as the AP Art History exam. I don’t want to denigrate the study of art history, but given the ubiquity of computers and software and programming in daily life, the study of computer science seems more likely to enable a person to be self-supporting and to contribute to the… Read more →

Why Do (Some) Smart Kids Fail?

A woman is telling me about her two sons . . . they’ve grown up to be fine young men, she says. It’s disappointing, of course, that neither of them managed to finish high school but it was really unavoidable because the older boy was much smarter than his peers and so he was always bored and academically unengaged and finally dropped out completely, and the younger boy just imitated whatever the older boy did. I’ve heard this type of woulda-coulda-shoulda before and I have to admit I’ve never been totally receptive to it: this happened . . . then that happened . . . the kid did such-and-such . . . It sounds very passive. Parents aren’t supposed to be passive observers. There are intervention points every day. If things aren’t going in the right direction, you do something to take them in a different direction. Look in any… Read more →

The Hardest Available Challenge

One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade. Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement depends on how a kid scores on the math placement test. My co-worker’s concern is if her kid gets a top score on the placement test and he’s eligible to take Algebra I in 7th grade, does she want him to do that, or to wait till 8th grade? If he takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that would mean he’d be taking the hardest math classes all through high school. Would it be better from a college admission standpoint to take easier classes and get all A’s, or take… Read more →

Dee-FENSE

107-2 — Bloomington South girls basketball team beats Arlington — ESPN They gave up two points?! Who’s coaching the defense, Mike D’Antoni? Read more →

Berkeley Voters Leave Something to be Desired as Parents

According to a new survey, just over 10 percent of Berkeley High ninth and 11th graders reported carrying a weapon onto school property, while about 35 percent of 11th graders reported attending class drunk or high. If I had a kid at Berkeley High, I’d be moving out of town yesterday, but I’m reading in the Daily Californian that this news has been “met with surprise and joy from administrators,” the reason being that a similar survey two years ago reported about 17 percent of ninth graders and 16 percent of 11th graders carrying weapons onto campus, and 48 percent of 11th graders attending class drunk or high. Progress! “We’re very pleased with the survey results all around,” said Director of Student Services Susan Craig, “and at the same time we’re not at all complacent.” If by “pleased” she means “horrified,” I couldn’t agree more. In other news, Barack Obama… Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Modesto police are investigating if there’s a criminal case against a former high school teacher who resigned his job to move into an apartment with an 18-year-old girl he met while teaching. James Hooker, 41, was placed on administrative leave Feb. 3 by Modesto City Schools and resigned less than three weeks later, according to a report at the Modesto Bee. The newspaper reports that the man, who had taught business and computer classes, left his wife and children, to move in with Jordan Powers, an Enochs High School senior whom he met when she was a freshman at the school. One of Hooker’s children also attends the same high school. “In making our choice, we’ve hurt a lot of people,” Hooker told the Bee. “We keep asking ourselves, ‘Do we make everyone else happy or… Read more →

Gary Carter, 1954-2012

Gary Carter obituary: Baseball Hall of Fame catcher dies at 57 — latimes.com Gary Carter and I went to the same high school — Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, CA. My freshman yearbook has a picture of a Carter as a senior. Or another way to look at it is that Gary Carter’s senior yearbook has a picture of me as a freshman. That’s all I have on this. RIP Gary Carter. Read more →

I’m Addressing the Shortage of Women in Technology

I keep hearing that there aren’t enough women in technology, like this is a problem. The most obvious explanation is that women don’t want to work in technology. If they want to work in other fields, fine. If they want to raise their kids, even better. I did some tutoring for a girl taking AP Computer Science. She’s a junior in high school and wants to be a veterinarian. Afterwards, she told her dad, “If I decide not to be a veterinarian, maybe I’ll be a programmer.” Don’t let it be said that I’m not doing my part to address the shortage of women in technology, even though I think it’s baloney . . . Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →

Amy Chua > Dr. Spock

Here’s a photo of some of the students who scored 800 on sections or subject tests of the SAT at Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights. What do they have in common? Does anything jump out at you? Either Asian kids are just genetically superior with regard to intelligence, or Amy Chua should replace Dr. Spock on the parenting bookshelf . . . Read more →

A Sound Sleeper

A girl who’s going to be a senior at Northwood came over to the house this morning to borrow my son’s AP U.S. History study guide. He took the class last year. Last night, he told his mom to wake him up at 8:30. At 9 this morning, there was a knock on the front door. The boy pulled on a baseball cap, took out his retainer, pasted a big smile on his face and answered it. He gave the book to the girl and she gave him a doughnut. When she left, he went back to bed. “Wake me up at 11:30,” he said to his mom. “What are you going to do in college when I’m not there to wake you up?” she asked. “I’ll be fine.” His mom and I have been waking him up for 18 years. The past few days, he’s started setting an alarm… Read more →

Northwood Basketball 2010-11

Don’t be fooled by the title into thinking that you’re going to see pictures of the whole team. No, it’s just my kid . . . Read more →

Northwood 2011 College Decisions

Unlike highly recruited athletes, kids who are highly recruited academically don’t get to go on TV and turn over hats so everyone knows what college they’re going to. Northwood doesn’t have highly recruited athletes, so there’s a Facebook site where they can check in and state their college choice. Also unlike athletes, who are evaluated on a 5-star scale, Northwood students are evaluated on a 3-star scale, according to the commencement program that I have right here in front of me: *** = Highest honors (4.3 GPA or above)  ** = High honors (4.0 or above, but below 4.3)   * = Honors (Not sure; close to a 4.0 but not quite there) It looks like Cal got the best recruiting class this year with three 3-star prospects and no one lower than 2 stars. USC and Stanford each got one 3-star recruit, as did Harvard and Yale. To the kids… Read more →

Graduation Still Life

Time passes. Listen. Time passes. . . . — Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood Unlike Paul Cézanne, I didn’t spend hours setting this up. I captured it just the way it looked when I came downstairs this morning. As one chapter ends, another begins. For the kids — most of them — the next chapter is college; for the parents, old age and death. Happy Thursday, everybody! Read more →

Lasts

Last day of high school. Can’t believe it’s all over. No more “what’s due tomorrow?” The boy has a clock radio but he never sets it because he likes to sleep with the radio on. Yes, we probably should have made him get an alarm clock to encourage responsibility and self-reliance, but we didn’t. His mom and I have been waking him up for school for 13 years and this morning was the last time we’ll do that. Read more →

Education Dollars at Work

My son, a high school senior, says, “Guess what I’m doing in school tomorrow?” I venture a guess: “Learning things.” “No. It’s actually a trick question. I’ve got a free period, then another free period, then a movie.” “I hope I’m getting a tax refund for this nonsense.” Read more →

Prom Night

The Irvine high schools — Northwood and University — have prom tonight. Our boy goes to Northwood but he’s attending the Uni prom with a girl from that fine institution. I met her. She seems nice. She’s going to Stanford in the fall. Our boy is going to Cal. Opposites attract. Today is also the girl’s birthday, so the boy is paying for dinner. “Did you see a birth certificate or a drivers license verifying that today is really her birthday?” I ask him. “Not to suggest that women are looking to take advantage of a man if he lets his guard down, but did you see the birth certificate or drivers license?” Woodbridge and Irvine High — the weak links in the Irvine chain of education — may have prom tonight too, I don’t know. Nobody cares about those schools. Read more →

Lasts

My kid played his last high school concert last night. The last piece was a mambo number that showcased the percussion section. People got a chance to see their musicianship, that they’re not just kids who hit things because they can’t play a real instrument. There were four Northwood groups performing, followed by an orchestra from Mt. SAC. It was a long program and we decided to leave after the last high school group. In the parking lot, a bus driver standing next to his vehicle asked us in an Eastern European accent, “Is the concert over?” “No,” I said. “There’s one more group.” “The college!” he said. “Right.” “I brought them!” he said proudly. “You not going to listen to them? They good!” He was almost beside himself with disbelief. “Yeah, no,” I said, “but thanks for making us feel bad about ourselves.” Read more →

Lasts

My kid plays his last high school hockey game(s) tonight — semis at 7, finals (maybe) around 9. Read more →

« Previous PageNext Page »