Posts

The True Cost of a Higher Education

Image
So, what can I say? You and I both know what's going on. As I woke up this morning, checked my cell phone for messages, the date was loud and clear. No, not the day, but the month: August. As any parent knows, the days of summer vacation are growing shorter, and soon, very soon, your kids are going to be back in school. In some cases, you're going back to school. Maybe to learn a new skill for the job? Maybe to get a certification? Maybe even to get a degree? That's what we're talking about on the blog.

It is hard to continually reinvent yourself. Learn a new skill. Walking into a classroom when you're over twenty an try to learn a new trade isn't easy as you encounter the stares from your peers, walking to the last seat in the row. Constantly shifting the priorities of family, friends, and work: ensuring everyone's needs are supported as well as spending time trying to put your own life back in order. It's a constant struggle where being "good en…

The End of Summer Vacation

Image
The End of Summer Vacation
There is nothing better than going on vacation. You save up your vacation time, spend some time planning during the year, and get everything ready to take that week off and ... do whatever you like doing on vacation. For everyone there are at least two schedules that you need to live by 1) work schedule (the usual 8 - 10 hour day to get paid), 2) the kids schedule, (the one you use when they are in school and ensuring they meet their obligations) and 3) the weekend schedule (the one where you run through and get your errands done, ensure you take your kids to games, wear different clothes and try to relax from the work schedule. Then, once a year, there is the vacation schedule. For one week, you travel to a destination, have a casual breakfast, Shepard yourself and the kids to activities at the location you go to, and generally, relax. But, as you approach the end of the vacation, you know it's time to go back to work and, well, you're not motivate…

I Win: Learning that Life is not Fair

Image
I Win: Learning that Life is not Fair
It's getting late on a Saturday night. I can see the eyelids of the kids start falling as the hours move forward. The kids aren't alone. My eyes are about to close up for the night. My wife left half an hour ago and went to bed. For me, I won't leave the table as we are in a high stakes game of Monopoly. The hotels are on the board. All of the houses have been bought. All of the utilities and land on the board have been bought out. So soon, very soon, someone is going to go bankrupt, so I can finally get some sleep!

My son says, "Time to roll them dice Dad."

I take the dice, blow on them like I am betting the family farm in Vegas, then cup my hand and the dice drop to the board.

double sixes!

I take my piece, the sports car, and run it across the board, making car noises as I drive.

I land on Baltic Ave.

My daughter says, "Time to pay up Dad!".

I shuffle a few bills together and hand them over to my daughter.

She l…

Kids, Cards, and Connect: The Lost Art of Post Cards

Image
Kids, Cards, and Connect: The Lost Art of Post Cards

It's Summertime and the livin's easy! Yeah right! Whoever made that phrase doesn't have kids! It might be summer time, but now your kids are going to summer camp, day camp, overnight camp, half day camp, or even summer school (if they didn't do too well during the semester). During the school year, the kids have a set schedule, going in the morning and out in the afternoon. Now that it's summertime, you have to pay through the nose to have someone else watch your kids. Also, they aren't learning anything except how to operate the YouTube on the Internet machine. Also, your kids are on VACATION. Which means, they don't have to read a book, solve a math problem, or even use their manners until September. Well, that's what they believe, although we all know they have to at least use their manners during the summer.

So, as I am driving down the road, with the family in the back or the car, and pulling in…

How many people are there in the world?

Image
How many people are there in the world?
A few days ago, I took my son and one of his friends over to a National Park for a hike. The weather was good, the humidity was low, and we had enough cover to ensure that we didn't get burnt by the sun. It was a great experience, walking, going over a few rocks, walking by the river's edge. A remember a few decades before when I was with a group of friends doing the same thing. One thing about the trip this time which caught my eye was the number of people who were also using the trail with their kids, dogs, and other associated family members. You heard them chatting away in various languages, usually with the younger kids in front and grandparents the back, all of them working together to walk the trail. 
One day, when my son has kids (may it not be for a few decades) and he takes his family on the trail, what will he remember of this day? Will he remember the people passing by? Will I (as a grandparent by then) be in the back of the…

The Importance of Social Media for Social Change

Image
The Importance of Social Media for Social Change
Change, by itself, is hard. No one really wants to do it even if it is the right thing to do. Trying to get a bunch of people to change is even harder. All of the members of a community have to see value in the message, they have to own it, they have to be willing to put pen to paper and market that change to others.  In he modern era, social media has been the conduit in which people are made aware of a change. The worldwide web ties each of us together through news feeds, articles, blog posts, and even listening to the radio over the Internet. We've talked in other blog articles about the power of social media to have diverse groups listen to your message. This only works because there are relatively a small number of social media providers that the world's masses interact with, thus providing the common platform to send and receive a message. This is why so many hashtag issues have gained prominence in our news feeds, social…

Happy First Anniversary of Be the Blog

Image
Happy First Anniversary of 'Be the Blog'
Hey Everybody!
In case you were wondering, it has been one year since "Nick Stockton: Be The Blog" has been around. Who knew this would last? Least of all ... me! I want to take this time to thank the people who come back every week to read some of the news stories that don't always get the attention they deserve, the funny stories about my family, and every once in a while I might introduce you to something new. So, instead of me writing a long imaginative narrative, I turn the microphone over to you. If there is a topic that you would like to hear that I haven't posted yet, leave me a comment in the space provided. That's it! Thank you again for reading the blog!
Thanks,. Nick Stockton