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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emailing principal about edtech concerns

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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],

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Kiddo is encountering face cards for the first time and is incensed that Kings rank higher than Queens. “Why can’t they be equal?!” Proud that she recognizes sexism at her age.

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There’s lots I love about our family, but the 1.5 bike-to-person ratio is near the top.

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Trouble is a dumb game, and I will never own a copy, but if it kills some time with kiddo at Grandma and Grandpa’s when I’m too tired to play anything more imaginative, I guess that’s fine.

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I will never grow tired of hearing kiddo say “sand hanitizer.”

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I have been making efforts to introduce kiddo to both Mario Kart and ABBA, so I am very proud that she now makes the Koopa Troopa / Super Trouper joke on her own.

(re)introducing kiddo to Wallace and Gromit

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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.

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Saturday morning dad biathlon: Solo walk and run for latest couch to 5k session then 7 mile roundtrip on bike (kiddo on ridealong) to play at local playground.

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One of the most prominent joys in recent parenting has been discovering that the same Jon Agee who was writing palindrome and wordplay books when I was a kid is still at it—and watching kiddo enjoy them even more.

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The biggest upside to my failed efforts to teach kiddo French is that I can still use it to communicate secretly with my spouse.

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Kiddo and I are getting back into the “Magical Kitties Save the Day” TTRPG, and she keeps asking me when we can play next. Feels like a win!

bike rides, TTRPGs, and other 2022 Father's Day weekend fun

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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.

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Yesterday, we picked up a ridealong bike someone was giving away, so a daddy-kiddo ride is absolutely on the agenda for Father’s Day 2022.

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Whenever my parents come to visit, we buy our local donuts because my dad likes donuts, and they bring down their local donuts because we like donuts, and we wind up with huge amounts of donuts.

camping and being present as a parent

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Tomorrow morning, I’m leaving for 3ish days of camping with kiddo. This is the first time that I’ve gone camping for well over a decade, and I’m a bit nervous, even though I’ve got lots of (rusty) Scouting experience to draw on and even though we’re also going to be staying in a cabin at a semi-structured church camp. Probably not too much to worry about in terms of camping.

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We’re building quite the little collection of junior versions of classic Eurogames, and they’re ranging from “almost as fun as the original” to “this is Candyland with higher production values.”

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Kiddo believes that Star Wars stormtroopers are robots, so she started singing beeps and boops to the tune of the Imperial March (which she learned from a yoga video??).

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Kiddo was worried about today’s medicine because box described them as “tablets,” and she thought that meant chewing up something shaped and sized roughly like an iPad.

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Kid just called me out on a No True Scotsman fallacy, which makes me feel a lot better about all those episodes of Smash Boom Best we let her listen to.

reflections on digital journaling of analog letters

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One of the most interesting parts of teaching information communication technology classes despite not being formally trained in that field is picking up terms and concepts that I never learned as part of my degrees. One of the most interesting concepts I’ve picked up along the way is the formal distinction between digital and analog phenomena. I often use clocks or thermometers as examples of this in class: Analog phenomena can take on any number of values within certain bounds, whereas digital phenomena are limited to discrete values within those bounds.

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Today’s dadding: hidden pictures during Zoom church, making homemade muesli while kiddo’s chicken fingers were in the oven, and introductions to Bananagrams and the 1951 Alice in Wonderland.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Kids 5 to 11 get FDA OK for COVID-19 booster doses | Ars Technica'

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Kid’s elementary school principal claims COVID is over, but pretty clear that’s not the case. Glad we can get her boosted now. link to ‘Kids 5 to 11 get FDA OK for COVID-19 booster doses | Ars Technica’

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After coming with us for primary voting this morning, kiddo has announced she’s setting up her own voting booth as this morning’s imagination play.

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Selling kid’s pedal-optional balance bike today because it’s just been hanging in garage since she outgrew it and graduated to a full-on pedal bike. Proud of her for skipping training wheels.

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Nice day out with the family yesterday; only regret was not getting home in time to watch Eurovision.

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Would like to give teaching the kiddo French another try this summer and would be happy to receive advice. Have an app and some videos in mind—may also add some light TTRPG elements to efforts.

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There are A LOT of perks to working in the same unit as a Library and Information Science program, but ‘we keep getting children’s books delivered, please take some home’ is high on the list.

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Behind on grading, but today’s victories include a thank you note from a high school English teacher for a book I sent b/c it reminded me of him and my kid’s insistence we read through a D&D sourcebook together (complete with beholder impression).

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Our school district is surveying parents about moving their spring break to align with my employer’s, and I am SO on board for this.

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One confirmed fever in the family the day before we’re supposed to drive to family holiday gathering, just in case anyone was wondering if COVID anxiety still sucks.

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We were already planning to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol today, but on such a hard day for the Commonwealth, we especially need some goofy puppets preaching social justice and spreading Christmas cheer.

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There are certainly overblown claims about games and learning, but I don’t know if I’ve seen my kid less failure-averse than when playing Mario Kart or more willing to read than when trying Stardew Valley.

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I feel a lot of anxiety about being a parent, but at the end of the day, I take comfort in knowing I’m trying my best—and that I’ve done my part in introducing the next generation to Queen’s Live Aid performance.

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Lexington opens key pedestrian bridge over Man O’ War | Lexington Herald Leader'

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This sounds like a great place for a family bike ride! link to ‘Lexington opens key pedestrian bridge over Man O’ War | Lexington Herald Leader’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Pfizer Says Vaccine Trials For Kids Show Its Shots Are Safe : Coronavirus Updates : NPR'

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Crossing fingers! link to ‘Pfizer Says Vaccine Trials For Kids Show Its Shots Are Safe : Coronavirus Updates : NPR’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'How Far Can You Go to Resist Being the Subject of a Viral Video? - The New York Times'

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Compelling case for asking about the tech environment adults are creating instead of hand-wringing about what kids are doing in it. link to ‘How Far Can You Go to Resist Being the Subject of a Viral Video? - The New York Times’