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Doug French
Ann Arbor, MI
Single fathering from a vocational itinerant.
Recent Activity
After several minutes of careful introspection, I think we need to ban the word "lean." Lean has so many pejorative connotations, such as how harsh economic downturns are often referred to as "lean times." Lean directly correlates to body image,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Laid-Off Dad
Thanks, Christine! Your pictures are terrific.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Bracing for the big thaw at Laid-Off Dad
The URL will be retired eventually, after I migrate everything to whatever's next.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Bracing for the big thaw at Laid-Off Dad
I hope you know that I know that.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Bracing for the big thaw at Laid-Off Dad
That's the weird thing. A lot of me feels like I've been away all this time, and I'm just deciding to come back.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Bracing for the big thaw at Laid-Off Dad
This is my first post since Halloween, and a lot's happened since: my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary; our Movember team raised another $15K; the Christmas season came and went, and I barely noticed it (more about that later);... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at Laid-Off Dad
It's the end of October, but it's still not too late to help out two dear friends in an important cause. All month, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest, co-authors of Minimalist Parenting and each a definitively superlative human being, are... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
As I entered my barber shop this morning, I got to the door at the same time as the kid who parked next to me. When I noticed he was wearing a Brooklyn Cyclones cap, I asked him if he... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
Today, I'm 48 years old. 48 might not seem all that special on its surface, until you convert it to a nice, round 110,000 in binary. (For the record, I don't feel a day over 101,011.) Four dozens, three Sweet-16s,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
Throughout much of my writing life, readers have noticed that I like burying the lede. I can't help it. I like the idea of a build-up and reveal. Wow 'em in the end, and you'll have a hit. That's not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
A couple years ago, my older boy started watching "Days of Our Lives" with his mother. I can't say I'm totally happy with the arrangement, since some of the adult themes, watered down as they are for daytime network television,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
During the week after Father's Day, I took part in a roundtable discussion about marketing to parents that was organized by PR Week and featured a lot of PR people that I hope a lot of other PR people will... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
A lot has been going on since that last post. I'm glad it received the attention it did, and there's definitely a follow-up or two in the making. There's also the small matter of the 3,288 miles the Three French... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2013 at Laid-Off Dad
Thank you for taking the time to comment on something you don't care about.
Thanks for posting this, Laura. Given all the pieces like this, along with the work from Peg Tyre, Richard Whitmire, et al, it's hard to fathom how anyone could discount that boys are having a hard time, or think that empowering girls at the expense of boys bodes well for anyone.
As a former teacher, I can fully empathize with end-of-year burnout. And I'm sure dealing with relentless budget cutbacks is even more enervating. But giving teachers a pass because they phoned something in doesn't rank with me as a viable excuse.
That was an interesting sidebar to our conversation here yesterday. My son didn't care if he spoke or not, so he wrote what he wanted. It's hard to discount, then, that differing social pressures caused the girls to take the opportunity more seriously, while the boys were less motivated to do their best work. That's certainly something that a school would have to work extra hard to counteract, were it even possible.
I think you're conflating two separate issues. No one but the selection committee knows who the writer of the "7th-best" essay is. But every student, teacher, and parent saw that no boys were permitted to speak.
Deb: Well done, and enlightening, as always. I just read this to a table full of women (one of whom teaches at a boys' school and has birthed two more), and they haven't yet stopped nodding.
I was merely trying to debunk the idea that this is a white, middle-class problem. This school educates boys of many stripes--in terms of ethnicity, household income, parents' marital status, etc.--and none of them was deemed to have anything valid to say.
This. THIS. And more this.
I was with you until the very end, and from here we could head down a whole other rabbit hole: Like why 5/6 of all prisoners are men. As a former teacher, I agree with you wholeheartedly, with all four chambers. A greater value on teaching would change so many things for the better. But if we can have a black president, Constitutional gay rights, and the Pirates with the best record in baseball, I want to think similarly unheard-of things can be heard of.
What sorts of things are atop that list?
Hello back! Great to hear from you. And this is why I'd feel very fortunate were my son being educated by your faculty. The main disciplinary tool at my kids' school is the "think sheet," where kids write out the infraction and how to avoid it in the future. I'd be curious about those demographics as well. I keep coming back to Designer Daddy's comment. If these speeches are pure marketing, as I believe them to be, it would make sense to include as much diversity as possible--and that includes work from at least one boy, "scattered" or not.
Thanks for this, and for your perspective. The opportunity was announced and worked on in class, and my son and I did have the chance to look over what he submitted. I don't want to make this about him, though, because his essay is less about gender and more about politics. His quote summed it up: "They told me I had to write something positive, which is asinine."