Showing posts with label Rite of Passage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rite of Passage. Show all posts

September 10, 2020

@The Amish Experience


It was a fun time at The Amish Experience today in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania. 


One and a half hour bus tour of Amish country. 


45 Minute movie about Jacob, an Amish teen, trying to decide whether he wants to be in the outside world or in the Amish one.


And another hour of so tour of an Amish school house and home. 


Felt like I learned a lot about their culture (including no TV, internet, electricity [just batteries and solar], and education only through 8th grade). 


Honestly, it doesn't seem like they really have much a choice in whether to choose the church and become Amish or leave, because if they choose to leave they are shunned (i.e. excommunicated)!


So you either choose you family, church, community, and a wife (and there is no divorce) or you run off to G-d knows where completely alone and "divorced" from everything you know. 


The video is when we stopped at an Amish farm and I went in to the big barn with all the cows.  


After so much time on the bus, I needed to ham it up a little and have fun with:


"How now brown cow. It is so nice to eat you! You are beautiful animals.  And thank you Hashem for making you!" ;-)


(Credit Video: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)


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November 15, 2013

Don't Send Parenting To The Cloud

So my youngest daughter is taking her SAT's.

Where did the years go?

As a parent, what's my role in helping her prepare?

With all the new technology out there, you'd think I was just a parental annoyance...yeah, in some ways I am. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, "parents are too tired, too busy--or too mystified to help" with homework. 

And now "digital tutors" are taking their place for about $24 to $45 per hour (and even prorated per minute).

For example, on Tutor.com you can get on-demand tutoring to text chat and do calculations on a shared screen with your kid. 

Tutor.com has about 1,200 tutors, 95% from Bangalore, India staffed by "moonlighting or retired teachers, college professors, or [other] professionals."

Other online resources include Khan Academy with educational videos, Chegg.com with answers to homework problems from 2,500+ textbooks, and StudyBlue.com for sharing "study guides, notes, and flashcards."

While these online tutoring resources can be a huge help for students, I think that parents can still play an important role. 

Recently, my daughter and I have carved out some time every night to sit down at the dining room table with books, scrap papers, and our own flash cards to study, together. 

What I am finding is that this is a really special time for us to bond and sort of be in this SAT rite of passage together, where I can provide emotional support and some structure for the studying.

We also have signed her up for a more formal review class as well as some online resources, but I am glad to be a parent to my children and not rely only on canned cloud solutions.

While I don't know most of the answers and she does--I take that as a good thing. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2011

Never Lose Faith; Never Give Up

I really liked this story on CNN (source WRAL) on Holocaust survivor, Morris Glass, who is having his bar mitzvah at 83--Mazel tov!

Mr. Glass was denied his rite of passage as a teenager to become a bar-mitzvah, because his family, like so many at the time, where being murdered by the Nazi's in the Holocaust.

As he is one of the dwindling few Holocaust survivors left to tell his story--I value and appreciate these lessons that Mr. Glass shares in the interview:

- Be grateful for your loved ones.

- Never forget that terrible things happened to people (slavery, murder...) and could happen again, if not prevented.

- Everything you do, you should do right, even the little things.

- You are free to serve G-d, not free from responsibility.

- You are the future.

- Never lose faith; never give up.

To me, these are lessons in life and in leadership that are universal whether we are at bar mizvah age (13) or at 83 and whether you are you celebrating Passover, Easter, or whatever.

Happy holidays.

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