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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to School Once Again*

It's that time of year again, when students and teachers go back to school after the Labor Day holiday, unofficially marking the end of summer vacation.

Other school systems in the country have begun school a week ago or two ago, as have many private schools.

For teachers, the time since they returned to school Aug. 20 has been filled with teachers' meetings, in-service training, professional updates, working in and decorating their respective classrooms, doing last minute arranging and setting up their audio-visual teaching aids and equipment, all in an effort to get ready to welcome their students.

One of the guest or resource speakers in a professional development class my wife and I attended a few years ago quoted Henry Brooks Adams, a Harvard graduate who became an assistant professor of history at Harvard University, 1869-1876: "A teacher affects eternity; teachers can never tell where their influence stops."

My daughter Tintin, who left Hampton Roads a week ago, is back at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, pursuing graduate studies in school counseling, after her two-year stint as one of the college advisers of Virginia College Advising Corps and employed by UVA in partnership with AmeriCorps program.

As a parent and retired member of our armed forces who values a good quality education, I applaud and support my daughter's decision to pursue a career in school guidance and counseling. her two-year working experience with high schoolers in an economically-depressed community in Virginia has inspired her to help students stay in school and further their education.

As parents, we have to let our children go and experience life outside of their comfort zone, spread their wings and learn more about life and the world, with hope that they will realize their dreams and be successful in their own ways.

But we assure them that we're always there for them, no matter what happens.

I remember our two separate trips to UVA six years ago, when we dropped off our then third-year student Andrew and then our first-year college student, Tintin. The road that day was busy and overwhelming, filled with travelers, with a convoy of family vans headed to Charlottesville.

Overall, move-in day turned out smoothly and orderly. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped us parents unload and bring our students' stuff to their respective dorms.

Best wishes to all students and teachers-educators for a successful new school year.

-Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. E-mail him at

*Published in Suffolk News-Herald (print edition), Sunday, August 31, 2014. For more info, visit

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Alive and Well with A New Adventure!

Thank God, we're alive and well...As you've noticed, I haven't had any post for the month of August and the month is almost over just as summer is, I believe. Anyway, I'm here...still trying to live in and enjoy the present moment the best I can! Yes, I'm very much alive and enthusiastic to go on, or shall I say, move on...with a new adventure! (I'm sure, you've seen a couple of my silliness and amateurism in YouTube!)

Guess what's occupying my time betcha, YouTube! For those of you, my dear folks and friends, who didn't have a clue that your truly has invaded YT, check his channel out! Go to YT and type Chris Quilpa, and there you have it! But please, oh, please, be kind and supportive of me, I beg you. If you like and learn something from my videos, do subscribe, will ya please? Thank you. And if you have comments, be bold to share them with me so I can improve my channel's content. Deal? But, of course, I would like to go on making/uploading short, varied vids. That's my short term goal. That is, to share with you whatever something that comes to mind that's appropriate and decent, and entertaining, for as long as I'm able and capable. FYI: I've got about 200 short videos already on YouTube, in not even a month that I ventured into this new adventure! Wow, isn't that something, folks/friends? I need a pat on my shoulders, please! Thank you. This is the reason why I had a "brain fart" or hiatus on my blog. Don't worry, friends, for as long as we're alive and well, we'll keep on chatting/communicating/keeping in touch with you. That's a promise. Even if there's only one blog post weekly or monthly, we'll do it. As you know, this blog of mine serves as a portal for me to dump or "vent" my artistry/creativity, sort of. So, dear folks and friends, stand by for more...

On the other hand, we know what's keeping us all busy these days. (Not me, personally,but my wife who has been reporting to her school-work ten days ago, attending teachers' meeting, in-service training or professional development, decorating their classrooms, etc.) Since summer is almost over, it's "welcome back to school" for new and returning students and teachers! For those of us who are not familiar with the educational schedule of classes or opening of schools in the U.S. of A., school opening for public schools is held after the national Labor Day holiday (first Monday of September, each year). This year, Labor Day falls on September 1st, Monday. That is why, back to school is scheduled on September 2, Tuesday. For private schools and colleges and/or universities, classes have started a week ago. How do I know? Well, my young adult daughter returned to her alma mater, almost two weeks ago, to pursue her graduate studies, after having worked for two years with high schoolers.  That's right, we did help her bring some of her stuff to her apartment. Glad and thankful that we were able to meet her two apartment mates; one of them we came to know her parents. They seem nice and friendly, too.

Before I forget, here's wishing you all, dear folks and friends, a happy, safe, restive and relaxing holiday weekend! Again, Happy Labor Day, everyone! Take care and God bless US always!-chris a. quilpa, 30Aug2014