Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Reason to Buy a House Rather than Rent

The NYTimes has an article here giving the advantages of buying or renting a house.  The article looks at the choice purely in financial terms, but I think they've missed one of the most important reasons for buying a home:  children.

A huge benefit to buying a house, if you have  children, is that now they can stay in the same neighborhood and the same school system.  Moving can be very hard on children, and in my thirty plus years of teaching high school, I saw a number of my students fall apart when their families moved, whereas those who had grown up in the same small town were able to keep close friends for years.  Plus, a stable school situation is usually a great benefit for children with learning issues.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

J.K. Rowling is Back!

The New York Times has a story here about the new play that J.K. Rowling has written using the characters from her Harry Potter series.  The comments I found especially interesting, as so many writers told about their love or the series, and describe how it brought them to a love of books.  There was the occasional snotty comment of someone who is clearly angry that a children's book author gets so much attention and acclaim.  The post by Peter Giordano is typical of them, calling Rowling's books trashy and calling her a hack.  I just had to respond to his posting, as I think people who think like he does have done more to cause a reading crisis than all of the televisions and video games in the country:

Oh Peter, Peter.  I wonder if you've actually read the books you are so confidently writing off.  I was a high school English teacher when they were coming out, and I read them, since my students were falling in love with them.  I found them to be very well-written children's literature--fresh and funny and full of interesting themes and characters.  Plus they brought an untold number of children to a love of reading.