Town Square

Post a New Topic

Anti-stress group holds annual conference this weekend

Original post made on Oct 14, 2010

High schools around the country that have shifted their first-semester exams to before the December break "will not go back," according to Denise Clark Pope, a Stanford University senior lecturer widely known for her advocacy of stress-reduction efforts in schools.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 14, 2010, 5:02 PM

Comments (35)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by What good does this do?
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:02 pm

What does this solve for children?

If they really wanted to lower stress, you know what they would do?

Perhaps make classes a little bit less of a gigantic workload.

Funny story, I was talking to my friends today about SAT scores. Someone said "yeah... I only got 1770 on my first try, it's pretty sad" and someone else said "well, I've heard of people at other schools who have 4.2 GPAs and they get 1800s on their SAT".

The reply: "Oh yeah well it's difference because it's gunn. a 4.2 is actually impressive here!"

If you're not smart enough to understand - getting a GPA equivalent to that of most other schools in the bay area - and even more so in america in general - is trivial compared to gunn.

I am a good student and attended summer classes at multiple different high school programs just to see what the difficulty was (NOTE: This was for credit, so it was real classes). I easily got 98s, 99s, and other A's in classes ranging from chemistry (which I took honors for in 10th grade and got a B in, twice), math (which I scraped an A in honors at gunn), english (which I got a B+ because of a teacher problem), and history (once again, a bunch more work at gunn than these classes).

Gunn basically has a huge workload, much more difficult testing, and much higher expectations for students... and parents are wondering why we're stressed out all the time?

I'm sick of going to school, only talking about schoolwork and tests and teachers, and going home and doing 4 hours of homework (and I'm only taking 1 AP!! my friends are taking 2, 3, even 4!!), then going to bed after attempting to do all the other things I like (practicing my instruments, playing video games, talking to my friends for once...)

Get with the program please gunn, the teachers are making things way too hard for us students, so only the super geniuses get good grades.

And by good I mean like a 4.0 in hard classes... because I want to go to Berkeley hopefully... maybe I should have just gone to Carlmont and been a Rank 1 student instead of going to Gunn and being just an 'above average but not excellent' student.

I get teased (playfully, but teased nonetheless) for only taking one AP this year because I'm a junior! A lot of people say I won't be able to get into any colleges like Stanford and berkeley and UCLA, and I'm starting to believe them, even though I have a weighted 4.0 myself!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by teacher in PAUSD
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Thank you for telling us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What good does this do?
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I'm sorry it sounded whiny and emotional and angsty - I was just writing down what was going through my head.

But most of it is true I think.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 8:04 am

"What good does this do?" wrote an excellent first-hand account of what it is like to go to Gunn. Thank you!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of University South
on Oct 15, 2010 at 8:34 am

my takeaway from this article is that this huge disruptive calendar change being proposed is based on "no formal research". And there is anecdotal evidence to support either point of view. So maybe our community should stop and think a bit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

Paly Parent" writes:

"my takeaway from this article is that this huge disruptive calendar change being proposed is based on "no formal research". And there is anecdotal evidence to support either point of view. So maybe our community should stop and think a bit."

I agree that we should think this through -- and, perhaps, when we do it, do a study to attempt to measure its effectiveness.

That fact is that most educational decisions are based on anecdotal evidence. Is there any reason to think that the current schedule is optimal? No. Is there any reason to think that High Schools where everyone tries to take a massive number AP exams is "better"? No. Somebody in a magazine somewhere decided to "rate" high schools on this arbitrary basis, without a formal study, and we live with the consequences all over the country decades later.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:25 am



"Perhaps make classes a little bit less of a gigantic workload."

how did school become so out of control with workloads?

is there any measure of efficiency for these workloads?

Are there any teachers that manage to inspire kids, and teach them well without gigantic workloads?

we're killing the best part of our kids' lives with gigantic workloads, administrators should be held responsible for monitoring these loads because teachers will not change, they will each do their own thing.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:26 am

For our family, "disruptive" is the fact that finals are after the break. For a good student, those tests hang over the entire family vacation. The teenager is stressed trying to study and the whole family is stressed by living with a cranky teenager who never got a real break.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:31 am



in other words, fiddling around with the timing of the workloads is a nice try, but some of the garbage inflicted on kids in terms of workload is what really needs to change.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

To all the teachers, ideas to reduce stress for your students:

Be nice
Enjoy your students
Assign homework only when it assists in learning, no busy work (aka as no posters, no coloring, etc. in high school)
Be nice
Return work promptly, if you can't return it promptly, don't assign it.
Plan ahead, don't assign things at the last minute
Be nice
Enjoy your students


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

From reading what Gunn Student wrote above and what we hear on an almost daily basis from the media, the stress often comes from peer pressure or what we could call bullying. Because the kids are trying to outdo each other and play the "who's more stressed out", or "who's got the toughest workload" game, the kids are psychologically bullying each other to guilt themselves and their classmates.

Our kids are taking on gigantic workloads for many reasons. The college apps process, pushy parents, teachers who are afraid of pushy parents who complain about not enough homework or poor grades, and on top of that the peer pressure.

We need to get our kids focused on being kids first, being students second. We need to put some fun in their lives without it being competitive or "looks good on college apps". We need kids to be able to wind down at the weekend or during breaks without subtle pressures to do something of value. We need to let kids work out some of their own issues. We need to have younger adults in their lives who are not parents, or teachers, or coaches, but mentors and adult friends, who accept them for who they are as individuals.

Thank you Gunn Student for explaining it so well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

It seems that parents and students think that the homework is overwhelming and the expectations too high... just not for them or their kids.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

It's a multi-pronged issue. As a parent of college students, and a grad of one of the HS here, I believe that how to reduce student stress is NOT all that much about the teachers. It's one aspect, but not the major one. Most teachers here are high quality, as is most of the curriculum to my knowledge. Yes, there are a handful of teachers who shouldn't be employed here. Blame ridiculous teacher tenure schemes for that - another issue.
Student stress IS about college competition, which isn't restricted to Palo Alto, of course, however this competition is artificially elevated by certain unfortunate conditions right here(some in our control, some not). The naive person will get run over like a truck.
Getting one's education (hopefully, "learning," but I am not always sure that is the aim for some students and parents here) within an educated, motivated peer group is "good," of course. I am concerned with some it has become a game and a highly competitive one at that.
For one thing, college offers matter a great deal to many parents here. There can be what I think of as falseness in some people's dealings with "education" here.
With geographic distributions (colleges will only offer to a limited # of students, no matter how many are qualified or interested, from a certain school or city; UC rankings which were changed to disadvantage Palo Alto students compared to a high achiever from Santa Clara, say. PA kids are penalized to some degree in UC apps, as I understand it (my kids do not attend UCs)
This competition has ramped up to the point that there are some parent practices I find borderline unethical - extreme parental planning and artificial boosting of certain students that gives them a superior paper record and often phony trumped up credentials (owing to years of advanced costly tutoring and handholding); woe betide the unguided student who exists in a natural state, moving ahead like a "normal" HS student.
Some here arrange extreme travel advantages for show, extreme extra-curricular/community service schemes set up by certain parents(local newspapers in recent yrs had several outstanding examples).
Then there was the awful plagiarism incident at PALY (grad speaker, student body pres exposed as a plagiarist), which I found shameful and disheartening. This student was rewarded with a spot at a top local university (hint, hint, while worthy applicants were denied (many local students apply there).
Once again, I call for top private universities and colleges to use interviews to carefully assess the knowledge, character, intentions, motivations of their applicants. I have found some sort of oral discussion to be extremely useful in determining genuine students interested in biomedical eng vs. those who are told they will go into that field, for example.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

I have an extremely high opinion of Denise Clark Pope, however there are some who do not want to hear her messages.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by gunn mom
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

As long as we are on the subject of schedule changes to reduce stress - several years ago there was a lecture at Gunn about the sleep habits and need for sleep of teens. The message was that their internal clocks don't allow them to fall asleep before 10 pm for the most part (even if they go into bed at 8) and that they need at least 9 hours of sleep. This creates a situation where they will be chronically sleep deprived. There IS scientific evidence of this. If we want to change something in the schedule to get healthier kids, how about considering a later school start?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gunn parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I have a child at Gunn and I think she would agree with "what good does this do". Given that science and often math finals at Gunn are before winter break she rarely studies over break and is often less stressed finals week than other weeks. Her comment was we can move finals, feel good about ourselves and solve 5% of the problem. Some of her suggestions - look at homework, set limits, make sure homework is consistent between teachers who are teaching same class, have test days so students don't have 5 tests on one day, really look at expectations for the students. Kids get B's at Gunn in their AP classes and the get a 5 on the test. It doesn't make sense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another Palo Alto parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

If we really want to reduce stress as everyone says, lets not have the first semester exams lets just have end of the year finals. Also I have heard in some districts if you are receiving an A going into the exams you don't have to take the test.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

it's ironic because, most high advanced AP classes that are only for seniors have the lowest workloads, with little to no homework.

why is it that AP Economics doesn't need daily 1 hour of homework (it's a no homework class, YES there is an AP test at the end of the year, YES it is still a challenging class), yet Chemistry Honors needs 1-3 hours a night? That's a college class VS a 10th grade class, yet many will argue economics was easier than chemistry for them, at gunn.

These workloads are hard to diagnose why they exist, and I don't want to be harsh but although homework is warranted in things like math, science, history, anything more than 30 minutes - 1 hour is usually the result of the teacher not covering all the material and the students struggling to find information for their homework, or huge projects that are way over the students' heads.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

sorry, 30minutes - 1 hour per subject, I meant.

I mean, if I am a junior, taking 6-7 classes, and have an:
English reading and reading questions due (1 hour at least)
Biology AP homework (1 hour at least)
Math homework (30 minutes at least),
Language homework/studying (30 minutes at least, more for harder languages)
History notes (30 minutes at least)

That already adds up to 2.5 hours of daily homework, and that's just standard homework, not taking into account countless English Essays, Biology tests and labs, math tests and projects, language tests, history projects, etc etc all your other commitments, it really starts to add up.

Not to mention that the above numbers are usually just if you want to do everything quickly and not actually learn or do a great job. Imagine that times 1.5 or 2 if you want to really put effort into the mindless work we do.

My daily workload is about 4 hours...

I'm not saying homework should be banned but it really should be regulated a little more... I don't see why we can learn so much in class for an hour and still need to do another hour or two of that subject again that night...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mountain View Mom
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

The students at Mountain View High proposed this change 5 or 6 years ago. The students asked for the change because they said that, instead of having a real break and enjoying the holidays, or traveling with their families, or just hanging out with friends, they were spending a large portion of their December break studying for high-stakes semester finals. The district tried it one year at Mountain View. Los Altos adopted it the next year. I think some teachers were skeptical at first; but the students & parent have been very happy with it. I think it's been a huge success, the kids can just relax and have fun over December break.

It makes the first semester a bit short, and the second a bit long. They did adjust the school start date to begin earlier (by a week, maybe?), but since MVLA has to deal with the feeder districts' schedules, it's not so easy to shift it too much. They need to get the elementary districts to shift theirs too. They did shift some, and begin a little earlier than they used to. PAUSD could easily shift the whole district's calendar so they started and ended earlier.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by educator
a resident of Portola Valley
on Oct 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Couple things are clear on this issue:
--There are structural things schools can do (like moving finals before break) that are clearly helpful to many students
--Because so many students/families in this area (and others like it) strive to be admitted to a handful of prestigious colleges, an achievement arms-race is at play
--The move to standards-based education and high-stakes testing, where teachers are under the gun to "cover" so much material, has unfortunately created an educational climate where the focus is more on "filling the pail" than "lighting the fire." As a result, students are becoming knowers and performers rather than learners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I think the homework load in PAUSD vs. other places (and I have lots of high school and college age family all over the country) is partly due to parents who have pressured the teachers into giving more homework because more must be better.

A lot of homework is just busy work which does not prepare you for your class (or for college). Reading the text in order to be prepared for the next day, practicing math problems, writing up a lab, studying for a quiz - all valuable homework. Coloring a poster, cooking for a language class, making a video for the same language class, the "learning" definitely does not add up to the amount of time spent on the work.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm


Gunn student,

"These workloads are hard to diagnose why they exist, and I don't want to be harsh but although homework is warranted in things like math, science, history, anything more than 30 minutes - 1 hour is usually the result of the teacher not covering all the material and the students struggling to find information for their homework, or huge projects that are way over the students' heads."

you are not being harsh at all, it's an understatement that it's difficult to diagnose work overload problems and the teachers or subjects that cause it.

Educator hits the nail on the head -

"The move to standards-based education and high-stakes testing, where teachers are under the gun to "cover" so much material, has unfortunately created an educational climate where the focus is more on "filling the pail" than "lighting the fire." As a result, students are becoming knowers and performers rather than learners.."

the teachers should be the frontline to deal with work overload

you bring up

"I'm not saying homework should be banned but it really should be regulated a little more.."

that would be a solution to some of these problems, a little more regulation of work overload


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm



I actually find it odd that we've come to the point to have books with the title such as "the blessings of a B Minus"

the blessing of a B- is only because of the work overload and stress it takes to get an A in this messed up system






 +   Like this comment
Posted by Big Picture
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

The district should survey the students...it is only fair to gain their feedback with such a significant change. What I keep hearing is that the schedule is not the primary stress driver. We need to listen more to the students. And stop making changes unilaterally.

How will the district address the 2011 summer if this new schedule is approved? A few years ago, there was a 9 week summer and it was terrible for the students. The community was outraged and it was reversed to a 10 week summer. I also am very concerned with the constant changes that the district makes. I appreciate the good intention, but at what point is the change itself more disruptive than not.

Re: Finals...WHY...WHY, WHY... in the past decade have finals in HS become so popular. STOP the entire "FINALS" policy. Don't students get ENOUGH exams...this is crazy. When HS students get to college they will be at an age to handle finals...let's let them be in HS for the sake of HS!! The poor kids barely step into HS and everyone wants to PREPARE them for college...we need to STOP this and it must be done by setting administrative policies that put the brakes on unnecessary workload and distracts from learning for "TODAY," not five years away for college.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mom of a college student
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Hi Gunn Student
I sympathize with your comments and totally understand your predicament. Since a solution is being discussed but will not impact your time at Gunn, let me share what some other families have done as a personal way to manage the issue of too much stress. First they don't encourage their kids to take all the hardest classes, rather to pace themselves to take what they believe is enough for that child. After graduating from Paly or Gunn, their children go to Foothill, either in the honors department or the regular classes. You can sign a transfer agreement (TAG) to the UC's and a special agreement for UCLA (TAP) which guarrantees admission to these schools after two years if you meet academic requirements. What I have heard from these parents is that standards you would need to meet to qualify for a TAG for TAP are very doable for kids who have done well at Paly or Gunn but not "well enough" to get into, as you want, say Berkeley or another UC. I am sharing this because I want you to know you have options. Life is big and long and there are many ways to achieve your goals. Consider going online and reading about this option. And by the way, I know some of these kids who have done this and they are some of the most well adjusted, happy kids I know, and I bet they are going to have a happy, successful life, achieved at their pace and on their terms, not someone else's. Good luck and remember, you have wonderful options!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wondering Why
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2010 at 7:42 am

Wonderful comment by Gunn Student. This student is a good student, able to take AP classes. Consider the student who, while extremely bright, is dyslexic, or has other learning issues. These students usually aren't able to take the AP classes because the pace is so fast. Many of these students give up a sport or other activity because their homework takes them twice as long to do and if they continue another activity they might find fun, they are up to 1am trying to get homework done. The workload is certainly overbearing. My guess is if students were polled, we'd find a lot more unhappy, overstressed HS students in PAUSD. Why are we taking the joy out of what should be some of their most memorable years? Why don't we listen to them? Give them a voice in their education? What is so important about using a final exam for a measurement tool when there are other creative, interesting ways to measure progress?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2010 at 10:28 am



mom of college student,

the options you bring up are nice, recommending to avoid the hard classes and even go to the nearby college, commute to a different campus - to avoid the stress of the hard a## classes.

instead of moving kids our of what should be regular High School, the work overload problem needs to be dealt with

what are these hard a## classes that someone can take the same subject at a nearby college, even in an honors class there?

English, Chemistry, History? what on earth has changed so much that these classes at our High Schools have to be slave drivers?

everyone is going around in circles and not addressing the real problem, and that is what student brought up - work loads that get out of hand, and student puts it best, these workloads are

"difficult to diagnose"

that's only because diagnosing unnecessary workloads would step on teachers toes, and because it requires creativity on the part of admins to solve this problem,

their solutions is for parents to "deal" with it, and we proceed to take our kids to outside programs??

if all the energy and stress that goes with talking about stress could go to some creative and smart ways to deal with the real problem

over the top work overloads for certain subjects and teachers, High School on STEROIDS

any schedule would work






 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2010 at 10:30 am


instead of moving kids OUT of what should be regular High School, the work overload problem needs to be dealt with


 +   Like this comment
Posted by studentdks
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 16, 2010 at 11:45 am

I don't think students are competing with one another. It's just that the AP classes is a lot of busy work (like pointless APUSH notes) and difficult homework (teachers teaching the material the day after the homework for the new material is assigned)

Also, there needs to be more places at Gunn to relax. The Academic center is one place because of Mr. Lira, but the admin pretty much made him want to quit--so he did. Now what are we going to do?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm


studentdks,

you're so right, it's not that students are competing, or that parents are pushing their kids - in every other situation that would be a plus, motivated students that place a high value on education

I'm tired of the blame the parents, the gene pool, the students, or the suggestions to put up with this or leave, or to be happy with a B Minus!!

the weak link here are teachers or subjects that take themselves too seriously and that need to be known for the onslaught of work

the bravado of kids not getting any sleep and having three hours of HW for an AP class should be considered pure and simple unadulterated nonsense

the smartest teachers should be considered the ones that do more with less work

it's a sign of organization, planning and respect to do more with less










 +   Like this comment
Posted by Take action please
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2010 at 10:04 am

So many interesting posts of support and ideas for problem-solving... but are any of the concerns and ideas in these posts reaching the ears and minds of those in a position to bring about Change (District Office, individual schools, most teachers, most parents)?

Rumor has it they stay away from PA Online because "the posts are so mean-spirited" and "negative". We know what they are referring to, but it's an over-generalization that keeps them away from a valuable community dialogue. I read nearly universal concern (for the Gunn student who led us off and for our HS students in general), thoughtful comments and some suggested solutions.

It may be that Criticism and the Push for Change is what makes school leaders uncomfortable (and paralyzed) - so even the reasoned comments in this thread (and others related to it) may be mischaracterized or ignored (if read).

PLEASE express your same thoughts and concerns IN PERSON (or at least in direct emails) to your school leaders - at a School Board meeting, or face-to-face with the Superintendent and his staff, principals, site councils.

Please show up and be heard. At the very least students will hear, see, feel that a good number of adults DO care.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2010 at 7:40 am

I hear so many parents saying they care more about their childrens' well being more than about their achievement levels and that it is everybody else who is over the top in pushing their children. But these same parents are mercilessly driving their children in order to keep up with everybody else. What they really mean is, why can't everyone else let up on their kids so it will be easier for mine to beat the competition. This is denial. It takes a lot of effort to stay out of this rat race to nowhere. It takes a lot of effort to actually make your child's well being the focus rather than your own drive to use your child as a proxy in the contest.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by unfortunately
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

@Another parent.You've hit the nail on the head. We had the chance with the last election to have a board member who shares and acts on the values you mention but unfortunately the district staff and hangers-on such as Mandy Munger and that gang worked very hard to make sure that viewpoint was not represented. Instead the more pressure crowd won narrowly after using dirty tricks, whispering, and negative campaigning. Now it is up to parents to hold the board that was elected accountable for holding the line against higher pressure, reverting to the "elite admissions" calendar which puts thousands of children under stress for the benefit of a privileged few who apply to elite colleges but who enhance the district reputation, to implement a stress-reducing advisory program at Gunn, and so forth. These goals will be harder to achieve with the board that was elected but if parents organize and unite it is possible to hold the line against a return to maximum high pressure policies. Good luck.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Whatever
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jan 11, 2013 at 11:36 am

@unfortunately: Her name is Mandy Lowell - she uses her maiden name. Her husband has a new dorm named after him on Campus Drive at Stanford. Her daughter is a Junior. . . wonder where she will attend college or if she even has to lift a finger in school. I think it was more of an issue of that one candidate being extremely difficult to work with.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 3,423 views

Ode to Brussels Sprout
By Laura Stec | 20 comments | 2,616 views

Go Giants! Next Stop: World Series!
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,940 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 9 comments | 1,365 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 387 views