Raising Children to be Drug-free

Having grown up in a society where drugs are passed around like candy at dances and social gatherings, which probably happens in the U.S. as well, I’ve seen first hand at what it can do to lives. The Way To Happiness video for the Precept Be Temperate speaks thousands.

Yesterday was the beginning of Red Ribbon Week, which is nationally recognized as the week to promote and encourage living without harmful drugs.  My son’s school scheduled a week long set of events as part of Red Ribbon Week, which includes drug education seminars and voluntary drug testing by middle school and high school students.  The school has a statistic that every student volunteered and 100% passed their drug test. This, I think, is a pretty big deal.

Every day I find more reasons why I love this school and why I think Delphi Academy is so awesome. This is one of them.

The Delphi Difference

The Delphi Academy of Los Angeles just released a YouTube video produced by an alumnus describing the Delphi difference. It is a wonderful video that truly captures how Delphi parents and alumni feel about the Delphi education.

I was raised in Kingston, Jamaica where I was educated based on the British school system. I did OK in school, but I struggled a lot. I somehow got by but only through hours and hours of tutoring and after school classes. I was basically in school 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week and sometimes weekends to get through my requirements. It was grueling. I gave up piano and sports to focus on my studies the last year of high school. The hard work paid off but I wished there was a better way.

When I came to US after high school, I was introduced to Scientology where I learned Study Technology in detail. I was amazed at how the three barriers to study can prevent comprehension and at how easy it is to remedy this. Having learned this technology, I then went off to college and studying was completely different. Studying for college was not nearly as arduous as it was in high school.

Then I met Zack. Zack is a Delphi alumnus. His ability to read, learn and apply was astounding to me. He was raised and educated with the knowledge of the Barriers to Study, which Delphi applies and utilizes to achieve their remarkable results. I was (and still am) totally jealous of his education and the opportunities got as a result.

The Delphi program encompasses more than just learning facts and figures. It encourages a lifetime of learning and provides the tools to children so they can achieve whatever dream they may have. It is this reason why we chose to send our children here, so they can have the best start in life and have the opportunities to achieve their goals.

Flying with Small Children – Benadryl or No Benadryl?

Sometime ago I got into a debate with a very good friend of mine who was a flight attendant at the time. She, rightly, was aggravated with loud, screaming, unruly children on flights she worked. She recommended that parents be more prepared with traveling with children and give them Benadryl to sedate them on long flights. At that time, I started a firestorm debate over whether this was ethical to misuse medication for convenience. I was a new parent when I started that firestorm and spoke from principle rather than experience.

Three and half years later, now a mother of two, who has traveled multiple trans-continental and international flights with infants and toddlers, including several as a solo parent, I’d like to elaborate more on my position.

See, my opinion is that there’s a time and place for drugs. Drugs are critical for precise medical situations and are life saving. They are very important and shouldn’t be disregarded. But beyond that, their use should be questioned.

When you use a drug designed for a specific medical purpose to exploit a side effect like sedating a child for a flight, what in essence are you achieving? What are you demonstrating to your kids by doing this? How is that different from sniffing white-out to get a high? When does this cross the border to recreational drug use?

In The Way to Happiness, L. Ron Hubbard discusses the subject of drugs in Precept 2.1 – Do Not Take Harmful Drugs:

People who take drugs do not always see the real world in front of them. They are not really there. On a highway, in casual contact, in a home, they can be very dangerous to you. People mistakenly believe they “feel better” or “act better” or are “only happy” when on drugs. This is just another delusion. Sooner or later the drugs will destroy them physically. Discourage people from taking drugs. When they are doing so, encourage them to seek help in getting off of them.

So you give a child Benadryl so they can be sedated, how are you affecting them mentally and physically? Is it Ok because it’s just here and there? When does it become not OK? These are rather philosophical questions that I think a new parent should deeply consider.

We all want the best for our kids. It’s these kinds of questions we should ask ourselves that help us make the best decisions so we can give them the best chances in life.

Pink Ribbon Blues

October is a tough month for me.  I love October in California, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles.  Having now lived in both cities for equal lengths of time, I’ve grown a greater appreciation for this state.  The weather is great, temperatures have cooled from the summer highs, Fall decorations are in the stores, Halloween is around the corner, followed very closely by the end of year holiday festivities.  October is what I view the month that beckons for cozy, quality, family and friends time.

But, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.  In addition to the usual Fall and Halloween merchandise, there are shelves dedicated to the Pink Ribbon.  On the consumer side, the Pink Ribbon is a wonderful marketing tool to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research.  On the personal side, I’m reminded of the friends and family I’ve lost and am losing.

Yesterday, I heard news that a very close friend of mine will not win her fight.  This is the third recurrence of Breast Cancer, and all the previous remedies and treatments that worked in the past didn’t work this time around.  She’s in the hospital going in and out of consciousness, so we don’t know how much time is left.  My heart just aches for her and her family.

I’ve lost count of the number of friends and family lost to cancer.  I’ve been fortunate to have religion in my life to get through these tough times.  As a child, I was raise both Buddhist and Christian.  Today I practice the religion of Scientology while maintaining my Buddhist and Christian upbringing.  Without these deep-rooted faiths in spirituality, I can’t image where I’d be emotionally and mentally.

Nonetheless, cancer is simply a terrible disease and I feel takes too many lives too soon.  I want to see a cure.

Why did I get a Microsoft Surface?

For the longest time I’ve wanted a tablet that would be a fully functional desktop replacement.  Back when the Toshiba Portege was around, I marveled at the idea of a laptop that doubled as a tablet.  It was a great idea, but clunky. The stylus and touch mechanisms weren’t very smooth, and back then they were clearly early market versions that didn’t quite reach a polished product.

When the iPhone released, I like everyone, loved the touch screen, but I also immediately thought, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great to make that whole screen a tablet that ran a full OS?”  My dream was coming closer to reality.

Along comes the iPad. Well, I was really excited. And, equally disappointed when I heard it only ran iOS.  Why hasn’t anyone developed a touch screen laptop replacement?

So, when the Surface was released, I was stoked.  But then came the bad reviews.  I mulled this over for several months.  Then in May, Zack finally convinced me to just get it.  Even with the bad battery life, the baby eco-system, the buggy Windows 8 OS, I can finally grasp and hold a tablet style laptop replacement.  And he was right.

I waited almost 7 years for this.  Go get it.  And so I did.  And I haven’t regretted it since.