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Woke up Friday morning with one less member of the family in the house. 18 years of, “Good morning Sofia.” And now she is waking up 150 miles away in her little room in Shasta Hall at Chico State next to a stranger named Kaitlyn. Rough, but also awesome.

The goodbye was easy but the drive back to Sonoma and the sadness this morning are suddenly not so. Life changes, people grow, loss happens. I want her here like she’s been for 18 years. Wrecking the kitchen with her cupcake creations or pulling up in her hot little red convertible or just saying, “Night dad, I love you.” She is as much a part of me as any other person and now that part is gone, amputated but still available through texting, facetime and selfies. Not the same.

But she’s in a good place, ready and surrounded by hundreds of kids going through the same stage she is. She’ll figure it out, she’s smart, she’s funny and she has the brand new Wham-o 175 gram Frisbee I gave her (greatest way to meet people). Plus we can get to Chico in under 3 hours. Still, the house is gonna be a whole lot quieter.

Another happy development, sophomore year and son is done with football. Great turn of events, coach pulled him and a few others aside last week, said, “Maybe football isn’t your sport. You’re not aggressive enough, don’t seem to like to hit. “No argument from dad. Happy not to repeat last year.

Football is stupid, there, I finally said it. Especially to developing brains, period.

Creekside changed from 6 classes a day to a block schedule and it kicks ass. Less transition, deeper discussions, more focused, just better. Students seem to be more focused as well, some still suffering from summer brain but that will change. Less interest in swimming in the excrement pool, more interest in how to find their life path. All good.

Best discussion of the week, “How is Ryan Lochte’s Olympic behavior related to Donald Trump?”

Too many phone addicts (Screenagers) but more on that later

The team is awesome, new English teacher who gets what we do here on the island of misfit toys. Plus a series of driving questions for the year to engage students (First up: “Neurobiology and how you learn” followed by “Is technology controlling you?”) Heavy lifting but real life questions. We do all that California State Standard stuff too but we weave in themes each four weeks so that students learn why they’re learning as well as why they’re living.

And in a few short months we will have a new leader of the free world. Students know what issues are important to me: education, hard work, love, empathy equality. I argue often for the dark side but most know it’s just to satisfy the teacher oath of non-biased information delivery. Much more on that later.

I can hardly wait for week two.