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Topic: Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff

Concussions: There’s an App for that

September 11, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Ben Harvatine had been practicing hard before he hit the mat and couldn’t get up. He’d been dizzy for a while during wrestling practice, but that hadn’t alarmed him: it’s what happens when you’re cutting weight in a 100-degree room. The twenty-year-old MIT student wound up in the hospital and spent months recovering. It was a concussion, the first he said he’d gotten in more than a decade of wrestling. “For a week or two I struggled to carry on conversations,” he told me when I interviewed him by phone a few weeks ago. He couldn’t keep up in his mechanical engineering and architecture classes. And he was sensitive to light. “I effectively didn’t go… Read More

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Summer with the Boomers: Grandparents who Rock

July 10, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Sometimes you send Grandma up with the kids to read books at bedtime and they spend all their time watching the Beatles on YouTube. My six-year-old now knows the words to “Twist and Shout” and, like her grandmother, thinks Paul is a heartthrob. Perhaps this is going on in your house this summer. The odds are good. As of next year, 60% of all grandparents will be Baby Boomers. Consider for a moment the reality of Generation Z, (or Generation i, or Generation 2K, or if you prefer, Generation Homeland) hanging out with their Boomer grandparents. These post-millennials are called digital natives, having spent their entire lives connected. I’m pretty sure it was my six-year-old… Read More


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Hiding the News: What about at School?

March 28, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff A twitter follower of the On Parenting blog asked: What happens when your kids are in school & have a lack of control (over) what & when they are told about tragedies? Several years ago, when I first started teaching, I had a student discuss how he learned about the attacks on the World Trade Center, where his father worked and where he would die. He was sitting in class and his uncle came running into the room and grabbed him. And he took him home. I’ve often thought about how this boy, who’d grown up to become a grounded and thoughtful teen, would have felt had a well-meaning teacher or administrator turned on the television or… Read More


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Disney Comes to School

July 31, 2013

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Disney World is probably a bit crowded this time of year, but that’s not the reason some school districts have decided to bring the themes of the company to their own communities. We’re not talking about riding the spinning teacups, we’re talking about customer relations and morale. According to the Miami Herald, Broward County is one of many school districts around the country that has hired the Disney Institute to get folks a bit more enthusiastic. In my own state of New Jersey, the highly ranked Elizabeth School District was one of the first schools in the country to seek guidance from the Institute, according to a 2011 article in NJ Today. The story stated… Read More

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