6th grader writes editorial in support of garment workers in Bangladesh


We all need to be a bit more like 6th grader Kayne McConnell of Shelbyville, Illinois. Kayne wrote an editorial to the Shelbyville Daily Union titled, “Upset over Bangladesh working conditions.”

He writes:

Hi, my name is Kayne. I am telling you about the garment workers in Bangladesh. They make some of the most popular clothing in America, but people are dying there.

I am only a 6th grader, but I care about these people. Like in Bangladesh, the Rana Plaza factory collapsed and killed thousands of innocent people!

Also in another factory in Bangladesh, a fire happened and destroyed the building, only two months after!

Please consider spreading awareness. These people need better work conditions.

People get killed by…

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This photo shatters a common myth about autism

There’s this myth that people with autism aren’t affectionate.

Allow me to shatter that into 1,000 pieces with this pic:


This morning my wife took this photo of our 5-year-old son Griffin, who is on the spectrum, snuggling with his sister, Harper. Griffin gives great hugs and high-fives. He giggles so hard he toots and then giggles even harder because toots are funny. And he has a smile that will make your day.

Not all people with autism can express their affection through actions or words. We’re fortunate that Griffin can. But I’m pretty positive that every single person on planet Earth, including those who are on the spectrum, feel love and affection just like you…

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What happened to the great American Summer Job?

Teen employment

I got up at 5:42 AM to sweep floors, lug lumber, and do whatever I was told by my boss. By 11:30 AM, a time that many of my friends were rolling out of bed, I was done working my summer job for the day. I started my summer job between my 7th & 8th grade years. There were boards that weighed more than me. Once I hit high school, I started working full days, and continued to do so throughout my college summer breaks too.

I worked for my parents who owned a wood truss manufacturing business. The job left its mark, sometimes literally (I have scars), but more than that it taught me the value of a dollar and…

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Complaining about short summers is a #MiddleClassProblem


How lucky are these kids? 

My daughter starts 2nd grade tomorrow, August 3rd. Where did summer go?

I want to say that summer was too short. I want to complain that our lives will once again be subjected to the school calendar and the threat of too many absences. (We got a letter last year.)

School should start at the end of August like when I was in school. My kids should have the idyllic summer breaks that I had. I want to say each of these things, but every time I start to or hear someone else say them, I think about the this article in my local paper when school let out in the spring:

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That time I filed a harassment complaint against my favorite ice cream shop

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day–a day, which for religious purposes, we participate in whole-heartedly.

It was getting late in the day, our Sunday naps had given away to a flurry of activity–swinging, bike riding, Ninja-warrioring on the local playground, anything to try to wear out the kids so they would fall asleep before 2AM. (Oh yeah, we also enjoy playing with the kids, but, honestly that was secondary.)

I checked my phone in a panic between underdogs to see what time The Barking Cow, our favorite, local ice cream shop closed. The Barking Cow’s Facebook page said they closed in 50 minutes.

Oh look and there on their Facebook page was a picture of someone we know. The husband of Mrs. Stanley, Griff’s preschool teacher, was holding his little boy who…

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“Are you prejudiced?”

Race Muncie

“Are you prejudiced?” The man on the street asked.

I had just finished the Memorial Day Murph at my local CrossFit gym and was getting a dry shirt out of my car.

“…” I wasn’t sure how to respond.

I suppose I am prejudiced against complete strangers approaching me randomly on the street and asking if I’m prejudiced. Maybe prejudiced isn’t the right word. Cautious is more fitting.

But the man didn’t mean was I prejudiced against strangers on the street. He meant was I prejudiced against people with a different skin color than my own. People like him. Black people.

“No,” I said, “but I’m sorry you feel like you have to ask that.”

Hal introduced himself. We shook hands. And then he told me…

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6 reasons the NBA Playoffs are better than March Madness

Cavs vs warriors

I know that it’s cool to say that you like NCAA Basketball over the NBA. You are entitled to your opinion, but if this is your opinion, you are wrong. Sorry.

You might be able to convince me that the NCAA regular season is better than the NBA regular season, but when it come to the NBA Playoffs vs. March Madness there is no contest. None.

The NBA Playoffs are better than March Madness.

Here’s why:

The NBA is more authentic. The purity of NCAA basketball has been tainted with embarrassing recruiting violations and stripped championships. We can no longer pretend that passion and love of the game drives NCAA basketball. Money drives it.

Money drives the NBA, too. Why…

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All Because a Girl Loved to Read

IMG_0392 The Rubini family

Ten-year-old Claire Rubini loved to read. After she suddenly died from a previously unknown heart condition at summer camp in 2000, her parents, Brad and Julie, wanted to spread her love of reading. And boy have they.

Last week I had the chance to see how Claire’s love of reading has led to thousands of kids in the Toledo-area receiving free books and reading awards.

Brad and Julie started a children’s book festival they called Claire’s Day with the purpose “to honor [Claire] in a special tribute to her love of reading, storytelling, music, encouraging others to read and simply having fun with friends.”

The Claire’s Day staff, a team of volunteers…

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