On Wednesday, the Huffington Post published this story about a “pro-women” advertising campaign from a Kentucky-based all-girls prep school. Mercy Academy’s “You Are Not a Princess” campaign, which AdWeek featured earlier this week, challenges the young ladies of the world to “be more than just the fairest of them all” and warns them: “don’t wait for a prince” and “life’s not a fairytale.” This is the latest blow struck in the princess wars, which I have been fighting in my own home. Read more »
Online bullies headquartered in Pennsylvania, take note: your days of web tyranny are drawing to an end. So, you know, get your last shots in while you still can.
State lawmakers are currently looking at a bill that would criminalize the dreaded act of cyberbullying, otherwise known as online communication that intimidates or disparages children anonymously through the web. For the past year or so, the media’s been focusing on the action as a hot topic, pushing it to the forefront of the American psyche.
The House voted to pass the measure unanimously out of a House committee last spring at the height of the cyberbully fervor. Now, as the House returns for their fall session, they’ll give the official word. Not everyone, though, can get behind the cyberbully crusade:
The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union opposes the legislation, saying it isn’t constitutional to censor free speech online just because it is mean-spirited and directed at a child.
Sponsor Rep. Ron Marisco, however, disagrees:
“The consequences can be … very devastating to a child. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized cyber bullying as an emergency public health problem,” said Marsico, R-Dauphin.
Well, then, shouldn’t we just invent a vaccine? [Newsworks]
In four years of college, I had, among others, the following roommates and suitemates:
• An Ohioan prima donna who pledged a sorority as soon as it was humanly possible and took to her bed for an entire week each time she got her period;
• An amazingly naive Catholic schoolgirl from Northern Jersey;
• An exotic, neurotic New Yorker;
• Miss North Carolina;
• A midget;
• A radical feminist; and
• A lesbian activist.
That doesn’t count the household of guys I lived with off-campus one summer, who included a botany major who married the neurotic New Yorker, a theater-loving gay man, and a depressive loner who would later commit suicide.
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Let it be known that there is good in Delaware County, no matter what anybody else says. Just ask Jillian Hughes, 15, a Radnor High School student who pulled up outside the Andrew Jackson School yesterday to hand out about 500 backpacks filled with new school supplies to students.
Hughes charity comes in the midst of the Philadelphia School District’s $304 million budget deficit, which left schools understaffed, overcrowded and lacking funding. So where’d she get the idea? Why, the Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice, of course:
“One of my favorite football players, Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, has a program for students in Maryland. I wanted to bring a program like that to Philadelphia. I reached out to to Mr. Rice and he put me in touch with (former Philadelphia Eagle) Brian Westbrook and he gave me a generous donation to the cause,” said Hughes.
She Googled area schools for awhile before settling on the Andrew Jackson School, using her Supplies for Success charity to obtain the number of bags she needed. Westbrook, in fact, donated 250 bags himself.
The school district, though, is still unfortunately trying to resolve its budget woes and facing even more trouble. Meanwhile, 495 kids got laced up with new school gear, and it took a teenager from the ‘burbs to show us what they mean when schools say they need their communities. [NBC]
This doesn’t make any sense. I thought millennials were stupid and lazy. Looks like we’ll need to tweak the national narrative—at least here in Philly—thanks to the class of 2017.
Temple’s largest class in five years, this year’s freshman class outscored all previous classes in standardized and academic testing in high school, according to statistics from the university.
That’s a 4,400-strong group, joined by an additional 2,700 transfer students this fall. Their average SAT score is 1129 on the 1600 point scale, which represents a 20-point increase over last year. The average GPA: 3.44. In short, these kids are smaaaaaart.
Don’t let that get you down, though, Boomers: They’re still facing crushing debt and ever-rising tuition costs. So, you’ve won this round. [Temple News]
Like most of the rest of America, I watched the Great Twerk of 2013 with my jaw hanging open, staring at my TV screen in disbelief. I didn’t know a lot about Miley Cyrus before her infamous performance at this year’s MTV awards (here’s a link, in case you were indisposed and somehow missed it)—just that she was the teenage daughter of the “Achy Breaky Heart” guy, that she’d been on a kiddie TV show, that she was engaged to somebody named Liam, and that my 20-year-old son once had a crush on her. She didn’t quite fit into that vast category of wild-child ex-kid actors gone bad, the one that includes Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes.
But she seemed to be heading that way, with scantily clad photos and bong hits and drunken escapades. Then came the startling stage show with the giant foam finger and Robin Thicke, who’s old enough to be her father. Miley-geddon, it seemed, was here.
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I picked some tomatoes and basil this morning to take to my daughter at her apartment in West Philly. After work, I’ll text her to let her know I’m headed to the garage to pick up my car. When I park on her block, I’ll text her to let her know I’m there. I’ll do this despite the fact that texting requires me to fish out my reading glasses and put them on, since the tiny little letters on the phone are too freaking small for me to see without them. I’m texting her on my phone, which I really ought to be able to use to call her, instead of using it to write her a message. But there’s no sense calling her, because she won’t answer her phone. She doesn’t want to talk to me. Read more »
I come to praise cursive writing, not to bury it.
My colleague Joel Mathis yesterday wrote that cursive “sucks” and he was glad to see it become extinct. With all due respect, such a thing would be a mistake of massive proportions, especially for a dumbed-down youth culture that can barely read.
I curse you, anti-cursives.
Kid Number Two heads off for football camp for college in another week, so I spent the weekend combing the house for his cleats and making sure he was packing toothpaste so he can find a girlfriend so I can die happy. In between, he and I — his name’s Jake — took a trip to the mall to find him a new pair of jeans. Our mission successfully concluded, we drove home to find a gaggle of 12-year-old girls on our front porch.
One of them pounced on us as soon as we got out of the car. “My name is Maya,” she announced, “and we’re here for the MCAA.” She had a clipboard in one hand and some sort of flier in the other.
“The MCAA?” I echoed, wading through the gaggle with my bags. That was a new one. We get kids coming by all the time to try to sell us candy bars and cookie dough and make-your-own-pizza kits, but usually not that many kids at once. “Never heard of it.” Read more »
It’s August, and if you’ve got kids in elementary school, chances are you’re combing the local paper each day for news of classroom assignments. It’s an annual ritual as fraught with anxiety as the visit to Santa: spreading the paper out on the kitchen table, scanning the columns of small type, finding your kid’s grade, searching in the alphabetized lists for your last name … and then, bam! Either nirvana (“Oh, thank God, you’ve got Ms. Conklin”) or despair (“Nooooooo! Not Mrs. Constantine! Anyone but Mrs. Constantine!”). And then, resigned to your — and your child’s — fate, you pour another cup of coffee and call your best friend to kvell or kvetch, depending on the circumstance.
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