It cost us $13 to park yesterday (Monday) and $25@ to eat. But--the good news--Joyce and I got to see and hear our son, Steve, speak at the City Club of Cleveland, right on Euclid Ave., the same venue where, on Wednesday, the President of the United States is also speaking. Not a bad week for the City Club.
Many of you know Steve from Harmon School (where I taught him in eighth grade English--1985-86) and Western Reserve Academy (where Joyce taught him in English II (87-88) and English IV-AP (89-90)). Here's a little catch-up for those who don't know what he's been doing since those days ...
After he graduated from college, Steve got a master's in journalism at Kent State University, then worked as a reporter for the Akron Beacon-Journal for ten years, earning a (shared) nomination for a Pulitzer Prize. He started taking law classes at night at the Univ. of Akron, finished his program, passed the bar, then went into politics, serving two terms as a Representative in the Ohio Legislature. He lost in 2010 (along with just about every other Democrat in the state) and joined a think tank in Columbus--Innovation Ohio--as their "education policy fellow." (Link to their website.) He had specialized in education issues in the statehouse. He's also--in his "spare time"--teaching writing courses at the Univ. of Akron. His wife, Melissa, teaches in the nursing program at KSU, and their two sons, Logan and Carson, are, respectively, in fourth grade and kindergarten. Great boys, both.
Anyway, Steve was making a presentation yesterday about charter schools--a hot topic in Ohio (since so many of them are performing so poorly--not all by any means, but most). He spiced up the statistics with slides showing scenes from Star Wars films, from Home Alone, and some others. The questions afterwards were generally amiable--and he handled well the less-than-amiable ones.
One year--when Steve was in sixth grade--I was one of the assistant coaches on his little league baseball team. (And, of course, Joyce and I watched a lot of his games even in those years when I didn't coach.) I also directed him in seven play productions when he was at Harmon Middle School. The point: I always got extremely nervous when he was pitching, batting, coming out onto the stage.
And guess what? It hasn't changed. I was a wreck yesterday--until he got going, and I realized--once again--that there was no real reason for wreckage. He can handle himself perfectly well without dragging behind him the freight car of his father's worry.
Proud of that boy. Who's no longer a boy, of course.
PS--Thanks to Jerry Brodsky, who was Steve's middle school principal, and Bill Lavezzi, who was an Aurora colleague of mine, for coming out to support Steve yesterday.
|Son Steve with his proud parents at|
the City Club of Cleveland
(photo by Jerry Brodsky)