Clinton Township Newsletter

October 2016 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

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1 O c t O b e r 2 0 1 6 October 2016 October 2016 Since 1982 Yesterday afternoon my front doorbell rang. My front doorbell never rings…..except for a smiling Jehovah's W i t n e s s d u o loaded with Bible verses and pleas for my salvation. I usually hide in the bathroom until they leave. Ordinarily I'm a very reluctant hostess when it comes to surprise visits. I totally hate surprise visits. I've been known to feign anything from a migraine headache to an urgent need for the bathroom to discourage "company" from stepping over the threshold. Always wary of the possible burglar or rapist, I suppose I could peek through the little peephole in the door and determine what risk is involved in opening it. But I would arm myself with a cellphone and a sharp kitchen knife if a stranger attempted entrance. Back in "the old days" how different it was on Ridgeway in Fanwood. I looked forward to every ring-a-ding-ling knowing full well my visitor would be worthy of a few minutes of my time and never even considering it might be someone with wicked intentions. Even further back in time my Grandmother always kept a freshly baked pie or cake on hand (and NO sampling for family!) to offer a potential guest. "Flossie Preston is here. What a lovely surprise. Please come in. Would you like a cup of Sanka?" "Are you Phyllis Black's youngest? How old are you now? Come right in – I have Bosco and milk and a fresh batch of Tollhouse cookies". What happened to those trusting times? Of course we always locked the doors when leaving for three weeks in New Hampshire for summer vacations. But otherwise not so much. My butcher on South Avenue would deliver meat, place it in the refridgerator and let Peggy, our Boston Terrier, out if I wrote a note and asked him to. Peter Pinto, our trash collector, had access to the back door on Thursdays so if I wasn't home he could help himself to the garbage in the basement containers. Repair people? No need to make an appointment. "The door will be unlocked all day on Monday. Come whenever you can and leave an invoice on the kitchen counter. Help yourself to a glass of cold iced tea". Of course, you already know the kids of circa 1950 roamed the streets randomly minus adult chaperones. Ditto with bike riding. Our rule was they only needed to come home if they were bleeding or needed food or drink or it was getting dark outside. I can't remember ever calling a playmate's parents before an overnight sleepover. I just assumed (correctly) that if they were Fanwood residents they had to be trustworthy. Our best criteria for checking on the eligibility of a prom date for the kids was if he or she got good grades, had clean fingernails and didn't snap their bubble gum too loudly. All the neighborhood kids went Halloween trick or treating without being accompanied by an adult. Alas, trust seems to have vanished along with the rotary telephone. Sometimes lately I haven't even trusted my doctors' diagnoses. As they say, "What is this world coming to?" Good Luck! – Julie Fl�nn While I hope the younger k i d s o f C l i n t o n Township are enjoying their Halloween season, I know that many of our high school seniors have something scarier in mind – college applications. Here are a couple of my thoughts about the college process from a couple of years ago. (I'm sure I'll have more once our youngest goes through it). Please keep in mind, these are just my opinions: • It will all work out – I promise. Let this be your constant mantra. • North is highly regarded by colleges. Do well there and you'll go far. • With over over 90 degree and certificate programs plus an Honors College, RVCC is a really good school. • The information sessions at any college you visit are invaluable. I recommend you bring the younger kids along before they enter high school so that they understand what colleges and universities expect. • "Undecided" is perfectly okay. I heard this from every single school we visited, Ivy league, big state universities, small private schools – they're all okay with, or even happy with, a student who goes in undecided – because hopefully your child will figure it out at their school. That's success for them. • Expensive private colleges with their huge endowments are not a bad way to go. They can make an unaffordable tuition pretty affordable, indeed. • Think of college visitations as "window shopping". My daughter and I decided to go and see schools without even thinking about the numbers. After getting a decent idea of the variety out there available (for us, all East Coast) she was able to hone-in on where she wanted to apply. • My son applied to two schools, my daughter: seven. Personally, I think anything under 10 seems right. Some of those applications are a lot of work for your child. Also, there's always the possibility of too many choices. • Our family rule is that one application must be to a NJ State school. After all, we're already paying for them and we have many fantastic ones. • My two older kids originally wanted to go far away and ended up at schools within 45 minutes from our house. The benefits to being close to home are many. However, I went to college about 950 miles away from my childhood home (from Florida to NYC). It forced me to truly grow up and become my own parent. So, I could argue the merits of both distances. • KIDS – work really hard. Not to add to your pressure, but you really need to bring it*, especially during Junior year – the money will follow. • PARENTS – Listen to everyone, but keep your focus on what's best for your child – and only your child. He/she isn't the kid down the street, or their best- friend, or your boss's child. What makes those kids and your kid happy could be two vastly different things. All that matters is your child. • The entire application process is just that, a process. Have your child focus on achieving two or three small goals per day and, before you know it, it will be a done deal. One morning I asked my daughter about some of those daily goals and she answered exasperatingly, "Can we NOT discuss colleges for just one day?" Well, fast-forward a couple of years and she's really happy at her school. So, while I apologized to her for being a (loving) nag, her hard work (and my nagging) were well worth it. I think she would agree. Jie Fly, Edit *In other words, make the best grades you can.

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