• The Sixers Could’ve Had Tom Brady

    This opinion piece I wrote appeared yesterday in The Burlington County Times: “Guest Opinion: The Sixers Could’ve Had Tom Brady.”

    Oh, and would you go play some darn video games

    Like everybody else (who’s smart), we’re at home, trying to work and learn and co-exist. Let’s face it: This lifestyle shatters long-term parenting philosophies. I suppose many people can toss the shards quietly into the trash, but I was foolish enough to have documented them publicly, often in this very space. [Read more →]

    Coronavirus wisdom from great philosophers

    The unexamined life is not worth living. We need more tests.
    –Socrates

    That which does not kill you makes you stronger, but you still shouldn’t touch your face.
    –Nietzsche

    He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god. Either way, you should maintain quarantine for at least 14 days.
    –Aristotle

    So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world. Stay home, you idiots.
    –Kant

    The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt. But even I wouldn’t call the Coronavirus a hoax.
    –Descartes

    I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves. You might want to cancel your house party.
    –Wittgenstein

    Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance. Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety. Let’s go clubbing.
    –Plato

    The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster. So let’s get the economy going and open up those businesses, especially the ones that sell oysters.
    –Hume

    Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. That’s it—that’s the quote. This isn’t a joke.
    –Confucius

    World hand, my hand

    I’m fortunate to have two hands, and for a long time I’ve had a simple, straightforward policy for them: World hand, my hand. [Read more →]


    Higher ed’s preparations for remote instruction

    Concerns about COVID-19 are widespread. I am not an epidemiologist, so I will not make any predictions, but different sectors/segments of our culture will be tested, if not by the thing itself than certainly by the “infodemic” surrounding it. [Read more →]


    (Not quite) the deepest cut

    I’ve been involved with wrestling since 1982, so you can imagine that I’m enjoying that my son is having a good sophomore high school season. It didn’t start out that way, though, and the journey through it reminded me that at times, you gotta get out of the way. [Read more →]


    Major switching, minor problem

    A few years ago, I wrote about how my daughter, Elizabeth, wanted to change her major. I said that considering some of the “news” she had dropped on us, this was nothing. In fact, I wrote, eloquent as ever, that it was “No big deal.” [Read more →]


    Turkey frying videos vs. opinion essays

    I don’t know what you did over the holidays, but I went out and became an international TikTok sensation. Kind of. [Read more →]


    Aw, ain’t that cute?: Kid blackmails Santa for luxury car

    Not many people love the holiday season more than me. Very few things are capable of bothering me this time of year.

    On that exception list is luxury car mercials. [Read more →]


    So you want to leave New Jersey…

    This opinion piece I wrote appeared today in The Burlington County Times: “Guest Opinion: If you leave New Jersey, it’s your loss.”


    Mental health and athletes, young and old

    Conversations about the mind and sports that I have participated in over the years have tended to consist of topics like mind over body, “training” the mind, etc. Now there’s a different, and growing, dialogue: Mental health and sports. [Read more →]


    An old wrestling head (not me!) laments the problems of youth sports

    Sometimes in an unexpected, tucked-away place I’ll e across a piece of writing that hits home. Brandon Day, a veteran youth wrestling coach, wrote a piece for the Times Herald in Port Huron, Michigan, and he opens bluntly: “After 17 years coaching at the high school level, I am not a big fan of the youth sports culture in America today”. [Read more →]


    Casino Night raises $18,000 for Palmyra High School arts programs

    PALMYRA, NJ – Arts programming at Palmyra High School (PHS) will receive a boost of $18,000 following a Casino Night munity fundraiser organized by the school’s education foundation. [Read more →]


    Book Review: An Encyclopedia of Tolkien

    Prolific author, poet and Tolkien scholar, David Day, is?well-known to serious readers of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. My own shelves already contained his Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia and A Tolkien Bestiary. They’re cool, and all, but I am kind of a peculiar sort of Tolkien reader who has never been one to “nerd-out” over the details of Middle Earth (Tolkien’s fantasy world). I really could not care less whether the Dwarves (that’s how he spelled it) of the Iron Hills have coarser?beards than those in Moria or whether the Balrog has real or metaphoric wings. As a consequence, Day’s other two books, outside of a fun hour or two after purchase, haven’t really gotten a lot of use. They are pretty; they are fun to look through and they are meticulously researched, but, over the years, they have gotten only the occasional thumbing-through when?I was confused about a name or a place during one of my numerous Tolkien rereads — which, to be fair, is what the books are really for: reference.

    Day’s new book, An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: the History and Mythology that Inspired Tolkien’s World is something familiar, yet quite different from the long list of Tolkien encyclopedias and dictionaries and guides already in print by all sorts of authors. This book is the kind of resource “literary” Tolkien readers?will appreciate?and it is also the one that is most likely to coax the younger fans who came over to the books from the Peter Jackson films into curiosity about the foundations and inspirations for Tolkien’s world. [Read more →]


    Bless you, fantasy football

    My boys have never watched football, and I have counted this as a parental failing. [Read more →]


    We were all ready for the next step: College. Yet…

    This past weekend, we moved child #2, our son Nate, into college. The next stop on his life and educational path: Drexel University. [Read more →]


    Zero your inbox–it can be done!

    We just took the boys, teenagers both, to the pediatrician. Now that they’re 15 and 18, that paper we get listing healthy behaviors is more plicated and involved than when they were five and eight. Eat fresh fruit, don’t do drugs, look both ways before crossing the street–but you really wanna help your kids have healthy, happy lives?: Teach them how to zero out their email inboxes. [Read more →]


    English majors get good jobs

    I am an English Professor, so I am invested in demonstrating that students who major in English are successful, as measured in various ways. Keep in mind, thought, that I would consider it unethical to persuade a student to major in English simply because it’s my field: Instead, it’s my field because I believe in its value. [Read more →]


    Whupping the teenage boy literacy crisis with the vacation journal

    If you’re lucky, your boys are eager readers. If you’re really lucky, your boys are eager writers. But in many households, of course, neither is the case, and folks are in the midst of summer book battles. [Read more →]


    Detaching

    I have this image in my mind, a little movie, although I can’t remember where I saw it (perhaps it was one of my vivid dreams): A dad pulls into the driveway after a day of work. His tiny son is playing with a truck in the yard. When the boy sees dad the truck drops from his hand, as if it didn’t exist, and the boy scampers over. The dad sweeps him up.

    I love that image. [Read more →]