Category Archives for Parenting

To Mayor Peduto and Chief of Staff Gilman

Video Story: Kick-off Presentation and a call to meet as soon as possible.

A worry and a suggestion for a solution for 200

Lots of doubt flow these days concerning our city, the economy and the health of many people. You've been sending some great messages. I have especially enjoyed seeing Dan Gilman's social media posts concerning the virus. He has been with a clear voice -- reassuring to witness. 

With much to do, a cratering economy, and trying to out-run this virus, lets hope our scientists and health care workers are busting it -- working to the brink. But, lets not overlook the kids.

The city and county's summer jobs program for the youth is certain to take drastic turns. 

Hopefully jobs, experiences and compensations don't evaporate.

In striving for a productive summer for some, my offer to the city is to supervise up to 200 young men and women (100 of each) in a meaningful, fully virtual, 2020 summer jobs program that combines sports, literacy and technology. 

The recent mention of digital divide issues within the city is important. Financial support from city hall could go to addressing many of those needs with PPS students this summer too. But my aim for summer, given my background in recreation, literacy, swimming and the internet -- is less to academics.

Let's use summer 2020 to build a project for the summer of 2021. Let's leverage the youth's creativity to research and design an all-city sports and literacy camp. This year's summer jobs program can have a goal and purpose.

History, Trust, Credibility

My kids went through Pittsburgh Public Schools. PPS could have a role in the summer jobs program. Perhaps a some of the summer jobs money for 2020 could be devote it PPS for ramping up the tech for summer school and academics. But, Citiparks and/or the mayor office would be more ideal.

This call's mention of my kids speaks to my principle of quality programming. The aim for our city's kids must be good enough for my own children. As a Pittsburgh parent, activities not well suited nor of high quality for my own children's participation, isn't worthy of my energy, nor that of the greater community.

Older son, E

Erik and his classmates hosted a candidates' debate at the school auditorium that helped in flipping the switch in the journey to the Mayor's office.

Recently, Erik pulled out of New York City to work remotely as an entrepreneur, raising capital, producing a product.

Younger son, G

Grant, once an un-paid summer intern in city hall, is finishing his final week of undergraduate studies at Tulane in New Orleans.

He didn't get to play with his club water polo team nor swim in open-water races this semester. He was signed up to do a 10k swim in Miami and a 12-and-a-half swim in June off of the Florida Keys. Rather, just home fitness in his NOLA apartment.

Medical school begins in August.

Pittsburgh, a sports town

Sports participation and even going outside has been suspended. Spring sports -- gone. This winter's State Swimming & Diving Championships was called off. I value the Olympics and cheer for the black-and-gold, but my real love is for playing well with others among our kids in our neighborhoods. Let's triple down on what it means to be fit, healthy and to exercise in life-long ways, for fun and personal wellness.

The mind and body balance is important, especially this summer with our teens and young adults. Social support and positive interactions are critical. Parks are for re-creation. But our focus can't be in the physical group play, but in the internal skills from goal-setting and self-talk to yoga and coding Zapier zaps.

All City Sports Camp, 2021

Hamstring Stretch in Homewood with Water Polo Players

Tech Literacy.

The mind leads and the body follows.

We can teach about open source. Let's listen to podcasts, and make our own. Let's read wikipedia and craft our own wiki pages. Kids can code apps and develop websites with WordPress. A sports purpose with our athletic and high-tech contacts can give great context and interesting assignments. Our job training of lifeguards can resume with blended learning, setting the stage for the future work force. 

Impossible Is Nothing

We can stand with 200 youth in projects in the summer of 2020 with goals and outcomes that makes a difference for 2021.

Let's get the youth working in the knowledge economy!

We're not in a factory town and in a factory time. We need to have fun projects that are with purpose so that the kids want to be engaged and learn. These resources and their application to the kids are in my domain. Sharing a line up of tools and projects and outcomes is possible in further discussions. However, we'd need to see the value of getting our cadre of young adults into the knowledge economy as the new, driving mission. 

Mark Rauterkus = 412-298-3432. 

Bonus section: Check out this podcast


Catherine, crushing it at the AAA Conference General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio

Hail To Pitt! 

Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., at AAA meeting in Columbus, Ohio, at the General Assembly

Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., at AAA meeting in Columbus, Ohio, at the General Assembly

Read the message

The text of the address at the general assembly is posted on an audiology blog.

Pitt people at the Pitt social at the AAA Conference

Pitt people at the Pitt social at the AAA Conference

Bonus link: What's for diner?

Have you seen the fun book, Eat Like an Audiologist? Catherine has a bite in that collection.

With the Freeze came great news for summer = a grant for Aquatic Jamborees, playing well with others

As the coldest days arrived, so too came great news of a grant of more than $7K. 

This award will support our efforts of "playing well with others" at community swim pools. SKWIM USA, a nonprofit that helps to promote swimming, fitness, sportsmanship and game-play get the funding to obtain equipment and host Aquatic Jamboree events this summer in Pittsburgh.

With the spending of other people's money come a big splash of responsibility. So, I'm interested in connecting now to prepare to engage with you, your families, your friends neighbors, organizations and even business contacts.

All ages and all swim abilities are welcome as we play SKWIM at Aquatic Jamborees, but we need to rally more political will to participate and venture out of our comfort zones -- for the sake of fun and fitness.

Can we get your team down to the Northside or Hill District to compete? Or, can we bring our game and perhaps a squad to your summer pool?

Chime in via

Other community news, Catherine is taking the stage to tell a story this Saturday at the UU Church of the South Hills,

The coffee-house proceeds benefit their youth-group trip.

A video of Catherine's story telling from The Moth surfaced. 

Her performance from New Hampshire graced a stage that once featured Mark Twain. (Watch, 12-minutes.)

Stretching to Baltimore this Sunday night, Catherine and Grant both get to share the podium with a former Olympian and WNBA (basketball) star, Tamika Catchings, as they present about HEARING in SPORTS. 

If you are in that vicinity, or a coach any sport and want to better engage with those with hearing issues, check out the ebook, Time Out! I Didn't Hear You.

More at

Hope to see or hear from you soon.

Family Game Night advocated

Article about playing games with the family, from abroad.

Our family has been know to play its share of games, and even attend a few games as well.