Archive for: February 2013

Teenagers & Transitions: Supernatural Edition

 By Erin Nguyen, Children’s Department, Knox County Public Library



The Lightning Thief
By Rick Riordan
Reading level: 5th – 8th
Twelve-year-old Percy (Perseus) Jackson has always had problems at school, but he has only just discovered it’s all because he’s never learned how to control the powers he inherited from his absentee father, Greek god Poseidon. Read more →

The Teen Years: Searching for the 30-Foot Wave

By Liz Stucke, owner of LS Admissions Prep


Teens at an elite prep school in Connecticut got more than they bargained for when they set off for a 3-week educational cruise to Antarctica.  The excursion delivered on its promise to see nature close up.  In addition to seeing elephant seals, king penguins, albatross and whales, they also witnessed the immense power of the sea.  According to the New York Times, while the cruise ship was heading south towards Antarctica they ran into a storm, which produced a 30-foot wave crashing down on the ship and smashing the bridge’s windows injuring the captain and a few crew.  While the students were uninjured, it was undoubtedly a very frightening experience, even more so for parents back home.  One mother expressing her relief that her son was fine looked on the bright side.  “She told him when he left to be on the lookout for a college essay idea.  Now, she said, he has one.” Read more →

“You can be anything you want to be?”

by Barry Van Over, Premier Martial Arts


When parents want to encourage their children about finding a career they often say, “You can be anything you want to be.” Is it a lie? Absolutely!

The truth is, if you’re 4’9, you will probably never play in the NBA. You teach someone all the basketball you want, but if they do not match up with the physical requirements of the NBA, all the techniques and practice in the world will not allow this goal to become reality.   Read more →

A special bond

By Paul Metler, Ph.D.



Although it has been nearly four years, I can remember making the trip to Children’s Hospital like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday afternoon in February when I checked my son’s blood sugar with my monitor. As soon as I saw the result, I knew what it meant. Nick’s blood sugar was very high. I recognized the symptoms and understood the reading because of my history as a Type I diabetic. Diagnosed as a child, I have been a diabetic for over forty years. Diabetes care has changed dramatically since I was a child. There were no electronic meters then. But, I still remember hearing the news that I needed to go to the hospital. As a seven year old I understood what it meant to be a diabetic because I watched my older brother take his shot every morning. He was diagnosed at sixteen months. Read more →

The Violet Jessop story

Provided by Titanic Museum Attraction


The Violet Jessop Story reads like a movie script!  It has two major shipwrecks, romance, danger, excitement, and most of all, the unvarnished truth about a woman’s life lived on the edge.

Violet was born to adventure in the rugged pampas of Argentina in 1887 – the first child of a young, Irish immigrant couple.  She survived the hardships of life on a sheep farm and the loss of her father, all before entering convent school back in England. Read more →

Protect your teenager with vaccines



Though measles, mumps and whooping cough seem outdated, teenagers are exposed to them every day on college campuses and in large groups. These diseases are among the many that parents can prevent by making sure their teenage children are properly vaccinated. Though it may seem like all of your child’s immunizations were taken care of in elementary school, many shots are meant specifically for adults and long-term protection. Read more →

Teenagers’ Dread: The final of all finals

By Mike O’Hern, Center Director of Mathnasium of West Knoxville


When I was in school I used to dread final exams.  Why did my grade rest so heavily upon my performance on one day?  I remember my Statics course at UTK where the mid-term accounted for 40% of the grade, and the final for 60%!

The final exam is intended to determine if the student has digested the material for the entire course – a cumulative exam covers concepts from the very first day of the class.  But what if there was a final exam for everything the student has learned since beginning school?  Oh, wait.  I can think of two: the SAT and the ACT.  Yes, these college entrance exams cover material that the student likely hasn’t seen or worked on for years! Read more →

Climbing into reading

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.


Photo courtesy of Edward Foley Photography.

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout complains to Atticus about her first grade teacher, Miss Caroline, who “said you taught me all wrong.” Apparently, Miss Caroline had her own views on how to teach young children reading and didn’t want Atticus to teach Scout (“you tell him I’ll take over from here and try to undo the damage”). Atticus is amused at this comment and proceeds to teach Scout a valuable lesson. “First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Read more →

Teenagers and Transitions

Helping your teenager survive transitions

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.



Sarah and Matthew Esslinger remember their experience of transitioning into high school. Photo courtesy Edward Foley Photography.

“Dr. Smith, I’m worried about my daughter. Since starting high school, she’s just not herself. She’s stressed and unhappy. She’s not sleeping, she’s cranky, she’s isolating from friends, and she doesn’t want to go to school. What can I do to help her?”

The teenage years are times of transitions including school-related transitions.  Going from middle to high school and from high school to college can be very stressful. One of the challenges for parents of teenagers is to help them cope effectively with the changes they face. Parents can help their teens with transitions by following these three “psychological” steps. Read more →

Run (or walk) on down to the Knoxville Zoo on March 2!

Information provided by Knox County Schools and Knoxville Parent
Photo provided by the Run For The Schools Facebook page

How many races get you face to face with an elephant while you support education in East Tennessee? Just one – the Rusty Wallace Honda Run for the Schools on Saturday, March 2.

The Rusty Wallace Honda Run for the Schools features a 5K run/walk and a 100-yard dash in Chilhowee Park and a one-mile family fun walk inside the Knoxville Zoo. The event includes fun for the whole family, with music, refreshments, vendor booths and prizes. All participants even receive a complementary day at the Knoxville Zoo following the race. Read more →