Sara Van Donge

Recent Stories

Better birth date among birthday wishes for some

Everybody seems to think they have the best day for a birthday, even if we all know they are wrong. Some, like my son, who was born on June 21, think they have a pretty good argument: It’s always sunny on his birthday, and it doesn’t matter what day of the week it falls — people can always come to an evening party. Outside. But he doesn’t ever get to have cupcakes or a party at school; he will never know how cool that is. Plus, a lot of his friends miss his party because they end up being on vacation.

Column: Embarrassing parents our lot in life

I know kids are supposed to be embarrassed by their parents sometimes — otherwise, we would probably stay home as a financial burden for the rest of our lives. But my dad seemed to go to a little more effort than my mom to be embarrassing.

Despite bullies' claims, clothes don't truly make the woman

Must-have back-to-school items — schools are full of them. This year it was the latest shoes. The boys were crazy about these huge colorful shoes called Nike Free Runs and the girls were rocking ever more fluffy and expensive Uggs. I dread the day my children start wanting these $150 shoes because there is no way I will want to buy something so expensive for people whose feet are still growing. It is incredible how many of my students wear these overpriced shoes.

Column: Head over heels in love with weddings

I’ve been lucky enough to attend some beautiful weddings lately. I enjoy weddings so much that I often find myself pretty involved.

The search for the right mister

Wet towels. Fans. Frozen hot water bottles. What do these things have in common? They are the lifelines for those of us trying to keep cool without air conditioning.

Growing young again — for old time’s sake

I spend about 95 percent of my time around kids, and this somehow does not make me a kid myself. In fact, I am most decidedly NOT a kid. At work, I am the one telling people to stay on task, pay attention, turn things in, sit correctly: “mmmnnnnmmnnaaammmna” (that was Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice).

Son’s bulging suitcase holds a pack of lies

Summertime is coming and with it maybe some vacation time. For me, one of the hardest parts about traveling is packing.

Spicy-food devotee has had hots for Tapatío sauce since high school

Tapatío hot sauce has a prominent place in my kitchen, a place of honor on the table held by no other item. Even salt, pepper and butter have taken a back seat to my favorite food addiction. My kids would probably argue that ketchup is more important than Tapatío, but I have to disagree. Nothing else gives food that special kick.

What’s in a name? Plenty!

Names are so important. From early childhood I imagined what I would name my own child. I always loved naming my stuffed animals. In fact, in kindergarten I had a whole fleet of them named Stephanie — if it was a good enough for one, it was good for everyone.

Technology upgrades highlight evolutions in education

When studying the effects of globalization on indigenous people in Costa Rica we can see a YouTube video comparing an environmental landmark before and after a new industry comes in.

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