Genesys Works revisited

I met a young intern this week who is part of Genesys Works. I have written about this organization before, but this work training program is worth revisiting. They do such good work. Here’s a video about them.


It’s school and sports physical time

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I refer to August and early September as school and sports physical time because so many of these are done at this time of the year. I have two pieces of advice for parents and teens-first, if you need a physical, make an appointment soon because appointments fill up. Second, use that visit with your healthcare provider to get what you need to remain healthy. Get your shots, your medication refills, your STD checks, whatever you need. If you do this, you will start the school year, your sports season ready to go.

Help making yourself stupid

I heard John Hickenlooper, the Governor of Colorado on the radio today. You probably know that Colorado recently legalized the use of marijuana. Anyways, Governor Hickenlooper was asked why he and his staff don’t smoke marijuana. He said, “We don’t need any help trying to make ourselves stupid.” Do you need any help making yourself stupid? I don’t need help doing this either, so I don’t smoke.

Far too many of you dying

I heard the Marvin Gaye song, “What’s Going On” recently and thought of the lyrics when reading about the shooting of young people. This song is really appropriate today.

“Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, yeah”

Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On”

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Distracted riders-foolish and dangerous

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The other day I saw a young person with headphones on, typing on his cell phone, while riding a bike on a freeway overpass. Was he a stunt person? No. Was he doing something foolish and dangerous? Absolutely. I suppose those of us driving by were in danger because we were distracted as we stared at him in horror, but he was the person most at risk. I hope he arrived where he was going safely, and I hope that he and others distracted by their electronic devices learn that the text, the Facebook message, the phone call can wait.

No rule against that

I often tell young people that the time to start birth control is before they have sex so that they can find the birth control that works for them safely. What I mean by safely is that they are safe from having a pregnancy. For sure, if you wait until after you are having sex to think about birth control you could be in trouble. Also, you can be on birth control even if you’re not having sex-there’s no rule against that.

Wear your birth control proudly

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I once saw a young lady whose contraceptive patch, Ortho Evra, was visible on her bare arm. Do you know what I thought? I thought, “Good for you. Wear your birth control proudly!”

Guy’s guide to birth control now has a guy’s guide to birth control. Here’s a funny video introduction.

Training your taste buds

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I didn’t know that people need to taste a new food between 14-21 times before they start to like that food. I’m not a picky eater, but this is helpful to know if you are a picky eater, or know some one who is. It really is about “training your taste buds” like Dr. John Anderson, a pediatrician who works with me wrote recently. Here’s more advice from him for picky eaters,

To be or not to be

I was talking today with a young person about the Hamlet soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be” today. I then remembered that great video last year of this soliloquy that was made of snippets from performances students submitted via Instagram. Here’s the link

The Drum Major Instinct


Try getting a little extra sleep and see how you feel

“Why not do an experiment, go to bed early and see how you feel?” This is the question I asked a young person I know. He didn’t answer-he just shrugged and walked away. Why not try getting a little extra sleep when you can? You never know-you may actually like it.

My best advice for college students

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The best advice I can give a new college student is to make sure that they get enough sleep. I have found that many college students give up on sleep even though they need sleep to do their best in school. I’m happy to report that a young person I know who is beginning college in the fall won’t become sleep deprived. She said that she needs 8 to 10 hours of sleep now and doesn’t plan to change her sleep habits when she gets to college.

Chew it

 I have always admired the ability to bite off more than one can chew and then chew it. ”

— William DeMille

The choice

In honor of the new Harry Potter story:

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It makes too much sense

A young person I know told me recently that he feels tired in the morning if he gets up at a decent hour, and he feels guilty if he sleeps in late. I asked him why he didn’t try going to bed earlier so that he would get up early enough and not be tired. He said that wouldn’t work. Of course, why would this work? It makes too much sense.

Vamping all night

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Have you heard about vamping? I think there are different definitions, but the one I’m referring to is where someone stays up late, texting or being online and not getting enough sleep. There is an article about vamping on the New York Times website, Sleep is so important for everyone, especially young people, that sometimes I advise parents to lock up cell phones and turn off the internet at night just to try to get their teen to get some sleep. This may be a harsh solution, but it is what some young teens need until they know how to regulate their media use.

What is trichomoniasis

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Human drama of athletic competition

“..the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition…”

Why do people play sports when defeat is possible? Because the opportunity to compete and the possibility of success is so alluring. Anyway, no matter what your ability, you too can push yourself to improve athletically. Get up, get out, get active, get strong!

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Like a girl

A young period told me about a new commercial that, even though it’s a commercial, explores well why it’s okay to be told you do something like a girl.

Jookin for good

I hadn’t heard about jookin, a type of dance, until today, but I’m now really impressed. I’m impressed by the artistry and I’m impressed by the artist Lil Buck. Here’s a video from the New York Times about him. I like how he describes using his gift for good.

Stick with love

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Iron Kids

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Iron Kids is a strength training app for iPhones and iPads from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Iron Kids is a safe way for young people to build strength, balance and fitness. The app contains a workout program and instructional videos. The app is only $3.99, so it’s an inexpensive way to become an Iron Kid.

Between every action and reaction

It’s soccer’s World Cup and one well-known soccer player appeared to lose his mind. He bit another player! What was that about I wonder? To me it appears that this player got angry about something and doesn’t know how to control his anger. Have you heard the saying, “Between every action and reaction is a space, you must control that space.” That soccer player doesn’t know how to manage that space, so that he controls his reaction. If you have this problem, if you’re easy to anger, your probably need the help of a counselor so that you can control the space and your reaction.

Athletic and strong or a like a model and weak? The choice is clear (to me)

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With Wimbledon starting soon, I posed the following question to a young woman I know, “Would you rather have the body of an athlete and be strong, or have the body of a model and be weak?” The young woman said that she would rather have an athlete’s body and be strong. I then asked her “Would you rather have Serena Williams’ body, which is obviously strong and powerful, or the model Giselle’s body (she looks like she needs a good meal)?” The young woman answered that she would rather have Giselle’s body. I don’t get it-why is a weak-appearing, too-skinny woman preferred? For me, I would love to have Serena’s body, a body that can beat you at tennis and probably any other sport.

Powerful water

This video shows how powerful water can be. You won’t be swimming in falls, but all water can be dangerous, especially if you don’t know how to swim. To be safe, everyone needs to learn how to swim. The Red Cross website can help you find swim lessons in your area.

Super Smile team


If everyone brushed twice a day for 2 minutes-they’d have a Super Smile also.

There’s a world waiting for you

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Today is the birthday of James Weldon Johnson. He lived from 1871 to 1938 and was an author, teacher, lawyer, diplomat, civil rights activist, and songwriter. In fact, he wrote the famous song, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” I found that this quote from him still applies today, not only for African American young people, but all young people. “You are young, gifted, and Black. We must begin to tell our young, There’s a world waiting for you, Yours is the quest that’s just begun.”

What it’s like to be transgender

I am always so impressed by strong, independent people. I found this type of person on the GLSEN website. The young person featured in the video speaks so eloquently about their experience and the stigma they face.

Raise strong children

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Close-up of a Hot Cheeto. Yuck!

That’s 2 days in a row that I meet young people who have belly pain when they eat Hot Cheetos. Have they stopped eating Hot Cheetos? No!. Why haven’t they stopped? Well, Hot Cheetos like most junk food is made so that we have a hard time not eating it once we get started. But you must stop because these foods, or whatever they are, are so unhealthy and can even make you sick.

Here’s a close-up of a Hot Cheeto. Yuck!

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It’s World Cup time, go out and play soccer

Many people know that tomorrow the World Cup for soccer begins, but have you heard of blind soccer? I hadn’t until I found this video from the New York Times. Enjoy the World Cup and use that and blind soccer as inspiration for you to get out and play also.


It’s Lyme disease time

It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer which means that it’s Lyme disease time. Here’s more information about Lyme disease and how to protect yourself.

Decide when sex is right for you

Recently a young person told me that she had decided not to have sex until she was older. I told her that I was happy that she had taken the time to think about it and made a decision. This is what I hope for all young people-that they decide whether and when they plan to have sex. I think that if they are thoughtful they will be less likely to have sex to early, have sex without using condoms, or risk getting pregnant.

Won’t let his circumstance define him

Someone told me about this young man in Folsom California who despite having a difficult upbringing has done so well in high school that he is going to Princeton on a full scholarship. Learn more about him here

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James West, scientist and inspiration

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I had the pleasure of hearing James West speak this weekend. He, along with Gerhard Sessler, developed the type of microphone that is the most widely used now-almost 2 billion are made annually. West has also been a mentor to many minority scientists and an inspiration to all. This weekend West spoke about everyone’s responsibility to help others. He advised, “do not be afraid to ask for what you know can make life better for everyone.”

Hate leads to suffering

Yesterday I posted a quote from Yoda because I saw Star Wars movie characters in a parade yesterday. Here’s another Star Wars quote with the life lesson that caring and compassion offers the greatest chance of happiness and success.

“Fear is the path to the Dark SIde. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Wisdom from Yoda

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Where the fight is won

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Muhammad Ali

Roots for the Home Team 2014 lineup

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Roots for the Home Team partners with youth garden programs in Minneapolis and St. Paul to develop and sell salads at some Minnesota Twins’ games. Here’s their salad lineup, when they’ll be selling salads, for the 2014 season.

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“Depressed but Not Ashamed”

There was a great opinion piece in the New York Times by two high school journalists who have depression. Initially, they wanted to interview other students with depression for their school newspaper, but the school authorities wouldn’t let them do this. Despite this limitation, these young women have shown real bravery. I applaud them.

Give yourself a start

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Most of you have probably heard of Madam C. J. Walker the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. After a difficult early life she worked hard to become a successful entrepreneur. She said, “I got my start by giving myself a start.” At one time or another we probably all needed to give ourselves a start.

It’s not so simple

I thought it was so simple, that teens who drive with other teens were more likely to get in an accident than teens who drive by themselves. Of course it’s not so simple, teens with friends in the car are less likely to get in an accident-maybe their friends help them drive properly. But, if the teens in the car are acting foolish, pushing each other or doing other rough things, well of course accidents are more likely to happen. So, I guess the message is that it may be a good thing for teens to drive together, but only if they’re not doing goofy things.

Formula for a healthy lifestyle



Formula for a healthy lifestyle from Nemours Children’s Hospital:

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100% chance of learning something

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Recently, I heard someone give a great reason for why we should try to achieve something new, try to stretch ourselves to accomplish something. He said that even if you have only a 50% chance of success, so a 50% chance of failure, there is probably a 100% chance that you’ll learn something. Those sound like good odds to me.

Stop, Breathe and Think app

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I read about the STOP, BREATHE & THINK app for iPhones and iPads that can help you mediate and remain calm. You can even track your progress as you work to remain calm and mindful.


Orthorexia is unhealthy obsession with healthy eating so that food choices become so restrictive that one’s health suffers. I found the following questions on the National Eating Disorders site that can help someone figure out if they have orthorexia. The more you answer “yes” to, the more likely it is that you have orthorexia. But, if there is an chance you have orthorexia, you should talk with your healthcare provider and get help.

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Today, the US federal government recommended that people at risk for HIV take a once-a-day pill, Truvada, to prevent the infection. Truvada is pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP and has been shown to be 99% protective. A lot of health insurances cover it, so ask your doctor about it. Remember, Truvada doesn’t protect against other STDs, so keep using condoms.

The greatest gift is your own development

I saw this great poster that I think shows the importance of being healthy so that you can help others.

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