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Thankful Thursday: Bite Your Tongue

Today I'm thankful that I recorded this video. It's summer in a city with a mayoral campaign going. The city has been in decline for decades and everyone is angry. I'll have plenty of opportunities to practice what I preach.

Give thanks for every biting comment you keep to yourself. We live in the era of clap backs, shade, and general outrage. It takes courage to turn back from tearing others down. Especially when you really want to give as good as you get.
But we know how wretched it feels to be on the receiving end of the kind of vitriol we're capable of dishing to each other. When you hold yourself back from that, from hurting someone else with your words the same way you may have been hurt, that's an opportunity to rejoice. You have mastered yourself and you have shown compassion to someone else. That's spectacular. 

Hope in the City: Students push back against stereotypes

This is how a failing city fights back. After a recent stabbing at a local high school released a torrent of vitriol directed at the 20,000 students in the Syracuse City School District students pushed back (so did I after reading this). Students at Corcoran High School made this video responding to their critics.

These students hit the mark with their response to the gross stereotypes and immature hyperbole thrown their way. Syracuse has a hard time thinking or believing anything good about itself and the comments made about SCSD students shows that. Living in a city that’s been in decline for decades some of us have gotten comfortable being at the bottom of the heap. Being first in things no one wants to be first in and last for the things everyone wants.
Our surrounding suburbs have gotten used to us being at the bottom as well. Every bit of bad news they hear about Syracuse serves to confirm the negative perception. Anything good that happens is surely doomed to fail according to co…

Thankful Thursday: Sunshine

The sun shines even when you can't see it.

No you're not a meth head if you take Adderall

Some random dude on Facebook posted this dreck. "For those of you who take adderall & swear you aren't a meth head." Alongside a photo of models of the molecular structure of crystal meth and the active ingredient in Adderall. A concerned Facebook friend wanted to know if it was true. #nerdspawn to the rescue.
"The two drugs do have similar chemical structures. However, therapeutic doses of Adderall taken under supervision of a medical professional are no comparison to drug addicts abusing crystal meth. Whoever did this needed to spend more time on their organic chemistry and molecular neuropharmacology. People shouldn't try to equate taking Adderall as prescribed with abusing crystal meth. We need less of this kind of foolishness stigmatizing people and preventing them from getting the help they need." Any questions?

Thankful Thursday: Perspective

I'm thankful for the clarity provided by considering other perspectives. What are you thankful for?

Government Estate Planning

Repost from Autism Attitude: ABLE 2.0

In 2014 Congress passed the ABLE Act enabling families of disabled children to save for long term care expenses for their children without penalty. ABLE qualifying accounts are tax exempt and do not count against individuals when applying to government programs. As expected the ABLE Act 2014 comes with some strings attached. There are saving and spending limits for qualifying accounts as well as penalties for funds used for unapproved expenses.
Now a bipartisan update to the original 2014 version of the ABLE Act, called ABLE 2.0 is in the works. The idea of ABLE 2.0 is to transform the current ABLE Act 2014 into what would essentially be government run estate planning. The ABLE 2.0 package includes three bills. The ABLE to Work Act allows individuals and families to save more money — up to the federal poverty level — in their accounts if the beneficiary works and earns income. The ABLE Financial Planning Act allows families to roll over savings in a …

School Violence School Discipline

Some big news around here the last few days is the story of a Syracuse City School District (SCSD) substitute teacher stabbed breaking up a fight between students in local high school. People are predictably outraged saying all manner of vile things about not only the students involved but all students in the district. Even Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick has weighed in on the matter declaring the school district must drop its current approach to discipline.
The SCSD Code of Conduct has been a hot topic of late. It frustrates families, students, and staff. There is plenty of room for improvement. But people seem to have forgotten, or don’t care, how we got to this point.
Families first recognized the problem with discipline in the schools. The Assurance of Discontinuance details just how bad the problem was. High rates of suspensions of students, minority students disproportionately suspended, failure to notify families about referrals and suspensions, students wit…