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NYC experience gift for a 9 year old boy: GO!!

I babysit a (pretty mature) just-turned-9 year old boy and would like to get him a ~$20 gift that is non-material and preferably something we can do together in Manhattan. He has two little brothers so the apartment is bursting at the seams toys and books. My first, best idea is a trip to the Superhero Supply Store in Brooklyn, which totally would be his jam, but Mom would probably prefer staying in the city, so I'd like to source some other ideas first! Something we could do after school together one day that wouldn't take more than 2 hours would be perfect. Educational and enriching are secondary to straight up fun. He's mostly an indoorsy bookwormy type whose yearly highlight is the NYCC. He does karate and loves Shake Shack (but too cold!) He's vaguely into video games. And his bday party is inviting friends over to watch Indiana Jones and eat "dirt cake". Is there anything coming up in the next month event-wise that the little dude would enjoy? Any ideas for fun experiences would be magnificent. Thank you MeFi!!!
posted by Juicy Avenger on Nov 28, 2013 - 8 answers

Any ideas for getting primary school children into school on time?

The primary school (age 4-11) I teach in is in a socially disadvantaged area: about half of our pupils are on free school meals compared with around 18% nationally (England). Educational attainment is low. With the aim of improving student outcomes, the Local Educational Authority is awarding an innovation prize of £5000 to execute the project. One of the biggest problems that we face is low attendance - about 92% (of which only approximately 1-2% are absent owing to illness). Currently, actions to improve attendance such as weekly assemblies to celebrate good attendance, class awards and a rigorous follow-up of attendance issues, have only had mixed results. What do schools in the US do to ensure their children attend school regularly and come in on time? Rewards? Phone calls to parents? We are at our wits' end at our school, so I am calling upon you all for suggestions and advice. Thank you so much!
posted by ashawill on Nov 25, 2013 - 27 answers

Would it be ok to ask this person for a reference letter?

I haven't known him for that long. And am in a position of privilege [more inside]
posted by winterportage on Nov 23, 2013 - 17 answers

What hoop-jumping is necessary to take or audit classes at NYU?

I graduated from college in 2010, and have lived in downtown NYC ever since. I'm getting the desire to take some classes again, and NYU is a few blocks away. But I can't find any information on how to get into classes there, as a non-student. [more inside]
posted by Jacen Solo on Nov 21, 2013 - 6 answers

The Meltdown Kid

My husband and I have been married 15 years and we have an 8-year-old daughter. She is incredibly intelligent and receives straight As in school. She participates in the gifted program and reads at a 6th grade level. She has always been an intense child -- one who feels emotions strongly. But after we moved about a year ago, things started to move up a notch and third grade has been very difficult. She has these meltdowns, usually over small things. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 21, 2013 - 47 answers

Wanted: state of the art educational/career counseling

I'm curious to know which businesses, organizations, people and projects are at the forefront of helping young people (12-25) to reach their educational and career goals. What kick ass programs do they have that motivate kids and help them figure out and work towards their futures? Are there any ventures/tools that support or replace the career counseling that kids get in school? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Nov 19, 2013 - 2 answers

How can I give myself the best shot at getting into PA school?

I am 28, and will soon be setting out on the long journey of becoming a PA. I already have a bachelor's in another field, but I now need two years of science prereqs before I apply to PA schools. Should I go to my local community college for the prereqs (it'll be cheaper, and I'll have a better shot at getting top grades), or should I go to the more respectable, more expensive local university where straight A's will be harder to come by? In other words, what do you think admissions officers are more likely to value: excellent grades from a community college or the occasional B from a state university known for its medical school? [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Nov 15, 2013 - 11 answers

Is your school tax a line item on your property tax bill?

I am looking for examples of states or localities (in the US) where school tax payments are separate (either separate bills, or line items) from property tax bills. This is the case in NY State where the school tax bill is a separate bill. If anyone knows a comprehensive source on which states do and don't do this, that would be great. Otherwise your anecdotes as property tax payers in specific states will be helpful, even better if you know where this is explained on a state government website. I am trying to figure out where people know (as in NY) exactly how much money they are contributing to the local school system (or think they are, since they are also contributing to federal and other forms of school support).
posted by cushie on Nov 14, 2013 - 21 answers

School us on the Twin Cities School Systems

We just moved to the Twin Cities (Keewaydin in south Minneapolis to be exact) and are starting to explore potential neighborhoods for our first home purchase next fall. We're interesting in your experiences with either having your children schooled in Minneapolis or St. Paul proper or being schooled yourself in either of the Twin Cities school systems. [more inside]
posted by playertobenamedlater on Nov 13, 2013 - 17 answers

How do get into Science grad school w/an Art undergrad degree ?

I have a bachelors degree in film. I want a Masters in Cell and Molecular Biology. I want to work in a research lab. Getting into grad school in general is a mystery to me, but my special circumstances make it seem that much more impossible...is it? [more inside]
posted by Telomeracer on Nov 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Am I too old (51) to go to grad school?

I have been thinking about getting my pHD—for a couple of reasons. Though I am a very well-established and published non-fiction author, I have been up for a few teaching positions lately and have been told that my lack of an advanced degree (I have a BA) is holding me back. In addition, I simply am interested in going deeper with my work; the degree I am considering is in geography, though history of science also intrigues me. The question: am I crazy to be thinking of this at my age? I don't want to get a degree strictly as a "broadening my knowledge" proposition—I want to be able to use it and to teach. But we're seriously talking being the oldest guy in the class, most likely. So, my questions: is it worthwhile? will it help me find employment teaching? does my existing experience count for anything? and where do I start? Thoughts, answers, advice...all appreciated. Thanks.
posted by soulbarn on Nov 11, 2013 - 23 answers

Adult looking for answers about college, specifically Nursing school.

I'm a 31 year old single father who currently has something of a dead-end job after giving a sales career a shot (I was terrible). I have a BA in History from Ohio State with a graduating GPA of 2.42 (it's fun working full time, going to school full time and raising a kid full time!). I want to go back to school, but don't know where to start. [more inside]
posted by Capt.DooDooFace on Nov 10, 2013 - 8 answers

How to disengage

I am a student working on a term project with a group that has pretty much gone off the rails. We're probably not going to fail, but we will definitely be submitting a solidly (sub-)mediocre finished product, when I know that we could have done much better. As someone with somewhat perfectionist tendencies, how can I learn to let go and accept this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Language school in Beijing needs social media advice.

Please help. I work for a language school that teaches Mandarin Chinese to foreigners inside China. We specialize in one month intensive teaching for beginners. We want to increase our social media presence and have some (even though we do say so ourselves) excellent stand alone ideas to do this. They are educational free formats that allow people to study Chinese online in creative ways. We don't know the best way to present them though. Should they be 'onsite' options through our main webpage,or would they be better served as stand alone entities with their own page and an affiliation to our main company website? Any thoughts and shared best practice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by tjabeijing on Nov 4, 2013 - 1 answer

School bus drivers workday pay.

I live in Boston where public school bus drivers are threatening to strike. They pickup kids and drive them to school and return they home at the end of the day. Are they paid for the down time between runs or are they only paid for actual driving time?
posted by BillyAnne on Nov 4, 2013 - 3 answers

Hall Monitors: Separating Fact and Fiction

How did hall monitors in American schools actually work? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Nov 3, 2013 - 17 answers

Grad school recommendation from someone I only talk to on the phone?

I'm gaining some volunteer experience in my field working for a supervisor I get along with great. I'd like him to write my recommendation letter for grad school. Problem: We've only met once in person, and that was five months ago. I've been working for him since then and communicating via phone and email. Is it appropriate to ask him for a recommendation letter? I'm not sure if he knows *me* so much as my work, but we do have a good working relationship.
posted by sunrisecoffee on Nov 3, 2013 - 7 answers

I need life direction. Should I go to grad school now or later?

I've been at my non-profit position for 4.5 years. I am passionate and devoted to the work I do. They place where I work has allowed me grow as a professional and human being and I love my co workers. The problem? I do not get paid enough. And I won't for a really long time. (pay freezes, money issues, etc.) So I'm going to grad school. The problem: Should I go now or later? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 20, 2013 - 6 answers

I finally made some decisions, but I'm pretty sure i was wrong. Help?

I recently switched to part time at work and moved back in with my parents so that I could attend grad school full time and I'm beginning to think that I made a horrible mistake. Would it be a terrible idea to leave school and try to figure out another direction? (details inside) [more inside]
posted by aka_anon on Oct 19, 2013 - 17 answers

How do you end a friendship when you're eleven?

I'm all about the slow fade for friendships that aren't working, but I'm 34 and my daughter is 11. It doesn't work that way in middle school. [more inside]
posted by Ruki on Oct 9, 2013 - 18 answers

Why do some college degrees have specialized names and others don't?

I have always wondered why some degree programs have a specialized degree name (MPA, MBA, MM, MSW, MLS, etc.) while other degree programs are just an MA in ____ or an MS in ____. Who decides these distinctions and why? [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Oct 9, 2013 - 7 answers

Resources to help parents to support children during a divorce

What are some good resources for helping a parent to support a young child, while that parent is getting divorced? [more inside]
posted by life moves pretty fast on Oct 8, 2013 - 2 answers

A Potentially Electric Question

What is "electric potential"? I've dug through the internet, gone to tutoring, asked my teacher, and nothing has helped. [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw on Oct 3, 2013 - 26 answers

Need help with a difficult professor

I'm a first-year masters student taking a course that is supposed to be the core curriculum of my discipline. My program is in systems ecology. I find myself increasingly frustrated with this professor and increasingly unable to hide it, and now he wants to "meet with me to talk about student-instructor dynamics". I need some help coming up with some strategies to deal with this professionally. Difficulty level: I'm a new graduate student, and he's the director of my program. The program is brand-new (just started spring semester of last year) and this is one of two core courses, both of which are taught by him. His course is so terrible that I'm considering transferring to another program within the university. Excruciating detail inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 1, 2013 - 45 answers

Middle School Woes

Help me understand my daughter's middle school transition. Please. [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser on Sep 22, 2013 - 73 answers

Find role model for middle school student with sorting talent

Which famous person in history is know for being neat, good at sorting and organizing thing? [more inside]
posted by akomom on Sep 18, 2013 - 24 answers

Picture Book Filter

Do children care about old, out-of-date picture books? Should I weed these books? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Sep 17, 2013 - 19 answers

Just don't let him eat marshmallows all day

I need recommendations on articles and books on kindergarten/elementary school education and how it affects someone's later success. My friend is worried that her son's kindergarten program isn't high quality enough. I'm of the opinion that home life is more important at this age, but maybe I'm wrong! Where should I start reading? [more inside]
posted by Viola on Sep 17, 2013 - 12 answers

Music Education Filter: "The History of Recorded Music" for Grades 3-8?

I'm brainstorming a volunteer presentation to give in schools on "The History of Recorded Audio". Probably 2 or 3 45-minute sessions. Has anyone written or presented something similar? [more inside]
posted by 4midori on Sep 15, 2013 - 6 answers

Stress Savers

I'm entering what I expect to be a very busy year: busy full-time job with frequent evening and weekend work, graduate classes one night a week (plus homework), and a large writing project due next year. I find that I can get really overwhelmed and stressed when my schedule gets locked in and deadlines line up. I'm trying to find ways to simplify and ease my daily life so that I don't add additional stressors. What are your best time- and stress-saving tips for getting through intensely busy times? [more inside]
posted by Miko on Sep 12, 2013 - 27 answers

Help me make more money as a retired substitute teacher! (Cleveland)

I am a recently retired elementary school teacher living in a suburb of Cleveland. I have again caught the teaching bug and am doing substitute teaching at schools near my home almost every weekday using a program my son found for me online (aesop Jobulator). I love the work, but the pay is just $80-85/day: Decent, but not what I want to be making with my experience and degrees. I would like to make a bit - or a lot! - more so I can save up some money, travel to Japan and visit my son next year. [more inside]
posted by BuddyBoo on Sep 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Need statistics to convince my students they should learn to touch-type.

Please help me find statistics to convince my high school students they should learn how to touch-type. [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Sep 11, 2013 - 38 answers

Classic children's mysteries seek recipient

What should I do with a large collection of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Sep 6, 2013 - 17 answers

Legal Career Advice

I am looking for some career advice regarding search techniques and information about non-traditional legal jobs that I may be overlooking. I am interested in international law, environmental law, administrative law, and trade and investment law. I have work experience in international law and have also lived and studied abroad. Prior to law school I worked in finance for four years (my undergraduate degree is in international finance), I am located in the Northeast, and I am awaiting results from the bar exam which I took this past July. [more inside]
posted by allthingsconsidered on Sep 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Eeew, that's disgusting. Elementary school lunchtime social resilience.

How can I help my son to not feel embarrassed socially for having the healthy (and admittedly a little weird) lunches that I give him for school? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Aug 27, 2013 - 65 answers

Completing my prequisites online

I have a Quebec high school diploma. I want to apply for to distance learning programs provided by schools based in other Canadian provinces, but since Quebec high school ends at grade 11, I'm missing a whole slew of pre-requisites I'd already have under my belt if I had done grade 12... [more inside]
posted by ohmy on Aug 20, 2013 - 6 answers

How to track down a teacher

Is it possible to track down a teacher through the NYC public school system? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Aug 19, 2013 - 5 answers

Future mapping -- what do I do about school.

I'm 29 and finally ready to attend college for the first time. A year ago, I fixated on a program (up-and-coming) and a school (local, private, VERY well-regarded). Since last August I've been admitted, laid off, rejected for loans, hired, rejected for *more* loans. Last week I came to terms with not attending this September. Today I was unexpectedly approved for more aid that will almost cover my tuition (but none of my living expenses). Orientation starts in two weeks. [more inside]
posted by itesser on Aug 19, 2013 - 14 answers

A good job for my wife to supplement my income

A good job for my wife to supplement my income? Actually she is not my wife yet but soon when we move in together she will want to take some sort of job. Mainly this is for the money, but also we will be living somewhere different so for her it will be a way of meeting new people and hopefully making some new friends. [more inside]
posted by locussst on Aug 13, 2013 - 20 answers

What are some alternatives to going to college?

What are some options for a bright young man who wants to delay college? It can be volunteer-based, overseas, career ideas, special programs, alternate ideas of how to approach higher learning...anything. The main thing he wants is real-world experience outside of a classroom, something that will help him grow as a person and help him learn what he wants out of life. [more inside]
posted by piratesriding on Aug 10, 2013 - 38 answers

Help with finances during intensive college program

I've been accepted to the program of my dreams, but I'm not allowed to hold a job while in attendance, and my EFC is higher than my family can afford, so my school-determined need is too low for me to even support myself with loans. Are there any options I'm missing? [more inside]
posted by orchidgenes on Aug 4, 2013 - 17 answers

So my son wants to enlist...

So my bright, handsome hs senior son wants to enlist in the Marines. I am wrestling with a few things. He has always wanted to join the military so this was not unexpected. What is unexpected is 1) he always wanted to join the Army 2) he always wanted to do ROTC. Now he has been online with some military forums and he has decided he really wants to be on the ground doing engineering stuff (he’s thinking electrical engineering). He’s met with the recruiter, we’ve met with the recruiter and all sounds good. But I am having a hard time as a mom getting over the change of plan, enlisted vs officer, also the Marines vs any other military branch. I think of Marines as the branch that takes the biggest brunt of foreign involvement - as in really dangerous. [more inside]
posted by lasamana on Aug 2, 2013 - 48 answers

Advice for an aspiring CNC programmer/machinist

I will begin a course in CNC programming/operating in 2 months time. I want to be as prepared as possible going into it, make the most of the education while I'm learning and have realistic expectations about employment upon completion. What should I know before I start, focus on during school, and what do you know about jobs available for someone with these skills? [more inside]
posted by breakfast! on Jul 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Technical Theater for Kids

I'm trying to find out if there are summer programs for kids (~13-15) who want to get involved in technical theater or backstage work in NYC. There seem to be a lot of paid summer acting classes, but I'm not sure where to find or look for backstage volunteer work for young people. If anyone has specific programs or places to start looking, I'd appreciate it.
posted by edbles on Jul 20, 2013 - 3 answers

Does a degree measure intelligent?

About a week ago I went through this horrible self-esteem crisis. It occurred to me that almost everyone I know has a degree from a university, but that I do not. In an organization I am a member of, everyone there is a lawyer, professor, teacher, engineer, etc., and the friends I have all have Bachelor's or Master's degrees. Here I am with no degree and having dropped out of three universities – it makes me feel like such a failure. In the next two weeks I'll be starting truck driving school – I feel like it is something I can do and be successful at? – but I still have accomplished nothing that compares to a degree! [more inside]
posted by 8LeggedFriend on Jul 9, 2013 - 81 answers

Best way to manage PTO membership?

I am the treasurer and vice president of the PTO for my kids' elementary school. There is currently nothing in place to contact our members and maintain our membership list. We are slowly starting to get better organized, and I'm looking for the best solution. Can you help me wade through the options? [more inside]
posted by widdershins on Jul 8, 2013 - 13 answers

No you can't go to our university! We screwed up. Sorry!

How do I respond to the University of Barcelona rescinding my acceptance for a Master's program? You know, and hopefully to reverse the decision. Apparently they made an error regarding my qualifications. (mods, please take out the university name if it's possibly a bad idea for me to include it here) Last Friday, two days after an interview I received the following email from the University. [more inside]
posted by Che boludo! on Jul 4, 2013 - 10 answers

How Are School Libraries Different Now than 20 Years Ago?

How Are School Libraries Different Now than 20 Years Ago? [more inside]
posted by Sully on Jun 28, 2013 - 13 answers

Graduate School Choice!!!

So I've been debating where to take my masters for some time. I'm not here to specifically ask for opinions on schools but more so styles of school. [more inside]
posted by Atlantic on Jun 24, 2013 - 11 answers

Degree in market research with no math background? Quickly and cheaply?

Could I get a master's degree in market research or market analysis, even with a poor foundation in math? How long would that take? And could I qualify for any scholarships or anything to do it for cheap or free? (It might be a wild fantasy, but I have to ask.) Basically, I want to be that person that helps organizations target their advertising and campaigns in an impactful way by analyzing consumer behavior and consumer demographics. Details below: [more inside]
posted by peachpie on Jun 24, 2013 - 8 answers

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