Linda Sharps


I live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband and our sons Riley (8) and Dylan (6). Prior to 2010 I spent many years as a software marketer, these days I work from home as a freelance writer. I enjoy high-quality ballpoint pens, exercise-induced endorphins, dark TV dramas, and things that smell like coconut.

Sipping on:

Sugar-Free Red Bull (mmm, chemical-y)

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    How would you feel if your teenager was suspended from high school for writing a fiction piece about marijuana in his or her personal journal? And while you're thinking about that, here's another question: how would you feel if your teenager was suspended from high school for credible drug-related activities? Somewhere in between these two scenarios lies the truth, and while her father and school authorities fight it out in appeals, a high school girl may not be able to graduate with her class next May thanks to her 2014 suspension.

    The school cites their zero-tolerance drug policy for the girl's lengthy suspension, but her dad says what was written in her personal journal may not have reflected reality -- and that the punishment was far too severe.

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    Here's an item to add to the list of dangerous things your kid absolutely should not be bringing to school: laser pointers. Apparently these office products fall into the same zero-tolerance category as guns, knives, and explosives -- and can result in a lengthy suspension, as evidenced in the case of a 13-year-old Indiana boy who's been kicked out of school for waving a laser pointer in the parking lot.

    According to police, the boy was spotted holding a "gun-like object," and after a search of his locker came up empty, his mother said she'd seen him with a laser pointer. That's when the school suspended the boy for five days under a policy that prohibits guns or anything resembling a gun on school property.

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    Hey, remember I Know What You Did Last Summer, the slasher flick starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze Jr.? Its popularity led to a franchise of sorts, resulting in the creatively named I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, and apparently Sony Pictures is hoping enough people are interested in what happens to a group of teens after they cover up a car accident that they'll watch the whole story over again in 2016.

    Which is to say, I Know What You Did Last Summer is getting a reboot. I mean, of course it's getting a reboot, because effing everything is getting a reboot these days. But even though it's obvious this is a lame cash grab by Hollywood (it made $125 million when it was released in 1997), there's one reason it should be interesting to see what they come up with.

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    I got frustrated with my Fitbit recently when it recorded a gut-busting hour-long cross-training workout as "three very active minutes." If the Fitbit people are taking feature requests, I'd like to see an update that allows you to carefully fine-tune its definition of very active by telling it to eat a bag of dicks.

    Anyway, this made me think how there are certain parenting activities that seem WAY more physically challenging than they actually are. Like if you bothered to enter them in a fitness/meal-tracking app, you'd probably learn that you burned the caloric equivalent of one slice of cucumber (no peel), but at the time, they feel as exhausting as running a marathon. Uphill. In the snow. Both ways.

    For instance:

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    I think most parents can identify with the challenge of not knowing how to get your child to change their bad behavior. It's a tough situation, and despite what most people like to claim, there's really no one-size-fits-all answers that work for every family. That said, opting to discipline through public humiliation is almost always bound to be controversial -- especially when the child is only 4 years old.

    Rob Devine decided to address the fact that his 4-year-old son Tristan was hitting his female classmates by forcing the child to stand on a busy street holding a sign that read "I hit little girls." Tristan's mother not only vehemently disagreed with this choice, she's asked for child protective services to punish Devine.

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