Anxious but trying spouse and dad. Trying (and sometimes even succeeding!) to introduce my kid to bikes, games, books, French, and more.
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About a month ago, I blogged about the approach we take to playing video games around here, which is to check out old games from a local library and play them on the Nintendo Wii we liberated from my parents’ basement a couple of years ago. Earlier this week, that approach bore some fruit: After repeated cycles of keeping the game out as long as we could, returning it for a couple of weeks, and then checking it back out, kiddo and I beat Super Mario Galaxy 2—a game several years older than she is for a console that’s been around for nearly as long as her parents have known each other.
There’s a great xkcd strip (see below) about someone who always plays video games on a five-year lag because you get to enjoy all the good games with less of a hassle: I love this strip for a few different reasons. First of all, I’ve never been a hardcore videogamer, so if I do ever play a big title, it usually is about five years after the fact. Second, I think there’s something about it that gets funnier (or else makes me feel older) over time: It’s funny to think of someone only discovering Portal in early 2013, but now that “five years late” is almost “ten years ago,” there’s something kind of absurd about the strip.
Early in the school year, I signed up to be a parent representative on one of the Site-Based Decision Making (SBDM) committees for kiddo’s school. I had already started being a rabble-rouser about ClassDojo and some of my other edtech concerns, and I wanted to show that I could put in work where my whining was: That is, that I wasn’t just going to complain about things, but that I was going to show support for the school by helping out where I could.
In addition to all the irritating ClassDojo stuff going on at kiddo’s school, I’ve also spent some time banging my head against the wall made up of two forms: One to opt out of FERPA directory information sharing, and the other to opt out of kiddo’s information being shared with media outlets. I’m too tired tonight to get into all the details of what’s been going on, but the short version is that there’s no (clear, easy) way for spouse and I to request that kiddo’s name and image not be shared on school social media without also insisting that kiddo’s name and image not appear in innocuous things like… a school yearbook.
I’ve been blogging about ClassDojo enough over the past few weeks that I think it’s time for a quick recap before sharing some of the latest developments. I heard about ClassDojo being used schoolwide back in late July and started wondering what approach I should take as both a student’s parent and an edtech researcher. On Monday of this week, I talked to kiddo’s teacher about it and wrote up some thoughts the next day about teachers’ diminished agency in the realm of edtech.
I really will get back to blogging on other subjects sometime soon, but here’s an email I just sent to kiddo’s principal raising some concerns I have going into the school year. I’m not sure what will come of this—and I’m not at all sure this was the right email to write—but in the off-chance it’s helpful for someone, I thought I’d post about it here. Dear Principal [so-and-so],
When I was growing up, our family had a three-VHS set of the original Wallace and Gromit shorts, and while “Wallace and Gromit fan” was never at the forefront of my identity, I have always loved The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. Naturally, things that I loved as a kid are near the top of my list of things to introduce to kiddo. I showed them to her a couple of years ago—probably near the beginning of the pandemic—but she had no memory of them, so this weekend, I had the pleasure of reintroducing her to the series.
The title of this post is a bit misleading. My wife and I aren’t really big on “Parent’s Day” celebrations: Years of Latter-day Saint “all women are mothers” (read: motherhood is the most important part of womanhood) Sunday services grated on us during our years of infertility, and even now that we are parents (and aren’t practicing Latter-day Saints—though my current denomination certainly isn’t immune from a cringeworthy celebration of parents either), it’s just not a thing we do.