We Know More About Robin Williams’ Death than Michael Brown’s.

Robin Williams died on August 11, 2014.  He was a beloved actor and comedian.  The news was even more tragic because he apparently committed suicide and had a history of mental illness.  Depression is a terrible, terrible disease.  What people show on the outside is not always how they present themselves, and depression kills. Michael Brown died on August 9, 2014.  He was an 18-year-old black man in Ferguson Missouri who was shot by a police officer.  He was unarmed. And according to several witnesses to the event he was holding his hands above his head in a gesture of surrender when he … [Continue reading...]

Why Losing It And Being Weird Is Part The New Normal

losing it in midlife

The summer’s gone, another school year begins. As an educator and counselor, my life revolves around summer vacations and the school calendar. And this summer was the weirdest ever. I’ll be honest. I’ve been extra irritable. I even “lost it”a few times. “Losing it”means verbal vomiting on whoever triggered the upsurge of emotions. Usually it’s a child or spouse. Or both. I haven’t done … [Continue reading...]

Setting Priorities for Back-to-School

14 y.o. DD's backpack choice for high school

How to Have a Great School Year It’s back-to-school time and that likely means your kids, regardless of their age, are getting antsy and restless; you are likely going nuts and x-ing off the days on the calendar. Am I right? Warning: This is not a “typical” back-to-school checklist. Although you just might find there are some useful tips here. If you want the top priority for this crazy season … [Continue reading...]

Teens and Social Media – What Parents Need to Know


Parents receive daily warnings on how their teens’ social media activities will hurt their chances of getting into college or finding a job. Rather than dwelling on the well publicized negatives of teen social media use, parents should be working with their teens to unleash the positive storytelling powers of social media. Parents can help their teens tell their story by using videos, photos … [Continue reading...]

What to Say to a Child With Stage Fright

donna schwartz

Helping Your Kids Overcome Stage Fright “I’m so nervous. How do I not get nervous when I’m playing my solo?” How many times have we heard these words uttered to us as music teachers and music parents? One of my Jazz Band students (Elementary) just uttered these exact words right before our part of the Spring Concert this week. Aside from the fact that it breaks your heart to hear this … [Continue reading...]

When Did My Nerdy Teen Become an Athlete?

From Nerd to Athlete I was not an athlete when I was in high school.  I did run track my freshman and sophomore year, but that was it for athletics for me.  I was the nerdy kid.  I was in the marching band.  And the concert band.  I played the clarinet my entire high school career. My older brother was on the football team, and he was pretty good as I remember.  Not the star, he played defense, … [Continue reading...]