The Red Lantern

The Red Lantern:

Natural talent is rewarded early and often. As Malcolm Gladwell has pointed out, most of the players in the NHL have birthdays in a three month window, because when you’re 8 years old, being six months older is a huge advantage. Those kids, the skaters with good astrological signs, or possibly those performers with the genetic singing advantage–those are the kids that get the coaching and the applause and the playing time. Unearned advantages, multiplied.

If we’re serious about building the habits of success, tracking is precisely the wrong approach. Talent (born with or born without) is not your fault, is not a choice, is not something we ought to give you much credit or blame for.

How do we celebrate the Red Lantern winners instead?

[It seems like the Red Lantern of the Iditarod is sourced from the Lanterne rouge of the Tour de France, which in turn borrowed it from the rail system where the last car was marked with a red lantern so that the conductors could ensure that the train was complete. That said, Seth is right on. ]

Source: Seth’s Blog

Almost ran

The school bus was supposed to pick up The Kid™ at about 8:30am this morning. By 9am, my wife was getting exasperated, as she had expected to be at work long before then.

When the bus driver arrived the story he told was remarkable, and sounded a lot like an unintentional, possibly child complicit, abduction. But since I don’t know if any of it is true, I’m going to skip it.

It’s 2013, and sending kids to school seems wonderfully antiquated, and I’m going to skip this harangue as well and go straight to the following:

  • Why does a school bus in 2013 not have a GPS?
  • Why don’t I know where the bus is along the route it takes?
  • Why isn’t there a “bus pass” scanner that displays the child’s name and picture so that the bus driver knows that the child getting on the bus belongs on the bus?
  • Why hasn’t the printed paper bus pass been replaced with something more useful?
  • Why does the bus driver have a piece of paper listing the addresses of his route, but not a GPS with the route loaded in so that he really knows where to go?
  • Why doesn’t she at least have a print out from a Maps site of the route?
  • Why don’t I know that my child has safely arrived at school?
  • Why don’t I know that my child has left the school?
  • I could go on.

    I think this will all change shortly as it does not require much for parents to do a lot of this on their own, and it will continue to get less expensive to do so. But it concerns me that schools would rather try and deal with a flood of phone calls on mornings like this than add a bit of technology that would make even the least helicopterish parents happy.