Four years ago I wrote a blog post about returning from researching some boarding schools in Canada for our son who had expressed an interest in taking a different path in his education journey. This summer he graduated from Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario. Three weeks ago he started his college career, studying economics at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, with his first semester actually being spent in Berlin, Germany. Yeah, I’m proud of him.
Our daughter got a mild concussion yesterday at school. Over four years that our kids have been at Trinity College School I think my wife and I always expected that the email from the school that they had our child in the medical centre being assessed for concussion would relate to our son. But no.A pre-breakfast moment of limbo hijinks resulted in Taylor falling and hitting her head on the ground and activating a most impressive protection process by the school medical staff.
When I was a kid an impact to the head and any resulting dizziness or headaches were just a part of life and not given much attention unless seriously debilitating. Times have changed for the better. In large part this is due to the awareness of the cumulative effect of head injuries in sports such as American / Canadian football and rugby. For an excellent insight into the long-term nature of repetitive head injury, I can recommend the film Concussion, starring Will Smith. The protocols that have been established over the years for injuries on-field have been extended to the wider campus, and it is impressive.
Within minutes of this accident, Taylor had been taken to the school medical centre where she completed a Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT3) test, the result of which indicated she was experiencing 19 of the possible 22 symptoms. With this result, the school immediately instituted their head injury protocol which includes close monitoring in the health centre on day one, and a daily repeat of the SCAT3 test until she is symptom-free. She was also immediately banned from all screens including phone screens, which for a teen meant immediately assigning a friend to keep her Snapchat streaks going. Priorities! When the test results are normal (hopefully soon), the school then institutes its Return to Learn programme with respect to classes and school work missed while on screen restriction. This involves the active participation of the Academic Support Office at the school in a holistic approach to bringing the student back up to academic ‘speed’ after pulling them back 100% to allow the brain to recover from the injury.
My house is on lockdown. My daughter just became a teenager. Only the latter of these comments is true, but thinking of the years ahead perhaps a lockdown may not be the worst of ideas. Then again, I think things are probably going to be OK.
I have been secretly dreading this day, and I think deep down most dads feel the same way. Turning 13 really is a number that signifies change in a way that no other age does.
Change from the little girl who wanted to dance on your feet at parties into a young lady with a mischievous streak that now takes great joy in tickling my tummy.
It’s that time of the year, summer time. The kids have gained freedom from the interminable routine of school and oppressive tests. Parents are left suddenly adrift without their routine. The year has its comforting cycle for those of us with kids in the middle to high school years. The shorter public holiday breaks are mere pauses of the cycle. The slightly longer breaks at Easter and Christmas fall into time slots that generally have a rhythm and traditional routine of their own. But summer is different. It’s a really long break. How can you use the changed routine of these ‘lazy hazy crazy days of summer’ to your advantage. Read on.
It was the great Nat King Cole who in 1963 scored a hit with the song that gives its name to this blog post title. I love it for the mood that it captures. Even reading the main chorus and first stanza you can’t help but have a smile on your face as you think of your summer antics.
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, those days of soda and pretzels and beer. Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer.
Just fill your basket full of sandwiches and weenies, then lock the house up, now you’re set. And on the beach you’ll see the girls in their bikinis, as cute as ever but they never get em wet.
My kids are always a source of inspiration for me in my life and, more specific to this blog, my writing. I have pages in my journal with blog post ideas. However, the best posts always seem to come out of the answers to my question, “Hey kids, what should I write about this week?” This week, as always, the question they suggested surprised me. However, what really got me thinking were their answers. Read on.
“Write about our tests, dad,” was their immediate answer. On my end I’m thinking, really? What could be so interesting about a test? I hated them frankly. I was what you would call, a poor test taker. In hindsight I think that was a guidance counsellor euphemism for ‘David is a lazy procrastinator who waited too late to cram for his exams’. But, enough about me. I had been thrown an idea by the kids. To expand on it I did what I have learned to do when presented with a thought that at first seems unworthy. I asked a few questions.
“So,” I asked. “What is it about tests that you want me to know about?” I got two wonderful gems in reply.