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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 7, 2008 / 1 Adar I 5768

Chaperone duty is not an easy process

By Marybeth Hicks



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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The thing about caller ID is that it tells you only where a call originates, not what it's about. So when the phone rings and the name of my children's school appears on the handset, I have no choice but to answer it.

Suppose someone is sick? Or hurt? Or in trouble with the assistant principal?

Maybe it isn't a call concerning one of my children, but the child of a family for whom I'm the emergency contact.

I'm compelled to answer the call, but in retrospect, I wish I had let the answering machine take a message the other day. That way I could have avoided this stint as chaperone at the middle school Activity Night.

Instead, conscientious mom that I am, I say, "Hello?"

The voice on the other end is businesslike and efficient. "Mrs. Hicks, this is Tory. Would you please chaperone our Activity Night tomorrow? If we don't get one more parent, we'll have to cancel."

Tory is a classmate of my son, Jimmy. She's only in the eighth grade, but her telephone skills are Trump-worthy. I feel like I'm talking to Ivanka and she's summoning me to meet with the Donald.

Given the urgency with which Tory makes her case, coupled with my bad habit of saying "yes" to volunteer work when I want to say "no," I say "yes."

Then I say, "By the way, Tory, what does Jimmy think about me chaperoning this Activity Night?"

"He's right here. I'll ask him." Tory comes back on the line with the answer I pretty much expect: "Jimmy says don't do it."

"In that case, sign me up."


Thus, I am roped into spending this evening roaming the school gym, my arms folded across my chest in the universal "parent/authority figure" posture, saying things like, "Don't run" and "Slow down" and "You can't have soda in this area."

In addition to enforcing the rules about eating and walking, there's a new rule — one that hasn't been needed before: Students must refrain from using their cell phones. "They can only use their phones to call their parents for a ride home," says the teacher in charge. "No calling or texting during the evening."

Seems like a good rule to me, but then my son is one of the only boys in his grade who doesn't have a cell phone.

Sure enough, there is a girl near my perch who is using her phone. I walk over, tap her on the shoulder and say, "Honey, I'm sorry, but you'll have to put the cell phone away until the end of the night. The teacher says no phones allowed unless you're calling home for a ride."

What happens next makes me feel as if I am transported from adulthood — a place where I am quite confident and self-possessed — to junior high, a place where I felt inadequate, inarticulate and ill-equipped.

This is because the eighth-grade girl to whom I spoke looks directly at me, curls her overglossed upper lip and says, "Right."

Not, "right" as in "No problem, Mrs. Hicks. I'm happy to cooperate." But "right" as in "rrrrriiiiiiight." Sarcastic, condescending and bold.

So I say, "Right." As in, "Right. Put the phone away."

And she says "Rrrrrrriiiiiiiight." As in "Right ... but you don't seriously think I am going to listen to you, do you?"

I say, "Is there something about this rule you don't understand?"

And she says, "I'm just processing this, that's all." Then she slowly puts her cell phone in her back pocket.

She's processing?

I start processing, too. "Process this," I'm thinking. "I'm an adult and you're a disrespectful kid. I asked you to put your cell phone away in accordance with the rule, and when I speak to you I expect a courteous and cooperative response."

I don't say this, of course. After all, while I may be able to make a fine case for showing respect to adults, my son has to go to school with this girl come Monday morning. Instead, I resume my chaperone post.

I'm incredulous none the less. For the next hour, I monitor my area and clean up popcorn spills, wondering how a 13-year-old girl has the nerve to speak to an adult as if I am her peer — and not just a peer, but one she finds annoying.

Then again, I'm guessing this is a lesson she has learned at home from parents who probably don't care one way or the other how she speaks to them.

Come to think of it, why am I a chaperone for middle school Activity Night and not her parents?

That's it. The next time I'm asked to chaperone, I'm going to say "no" — but I know just who I'll suggest be called to take the job.

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MAYBETH'S FIRST BOOK!
"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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