Remembering Boston One Year Later

15 Apr

Last summer, I wrote about a Red Sox vs. Giants game where I viewed a YouTube video produced by the Boston Red Sox.  This tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy was aired on the jumbotron prior to the first pitch.

There are no words for today.

Watching this is my way of honoring and remembering those whose lives were lost and the families and friends who lost loved ones, those who suffered permanent injuries, police and fire personnel, and the entire city with the biggest heart in the country.

Cate Pane

Parents Are Like Palm Branches

14 Apr

mediterraneanfanpalmAs a practicing Catholic, I celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday by beginning Mass on the steps of our Church.  There is a special Gospel reading about Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and then the presiding priest blesses palm branches which were used to welcome Christ as he entered the city.  This begins Holy Week which culminates in Easter Sunday.

This post is for everyone.  The fact that I mention my personal experience of Palm Sunday, is simply a means to communicate a metaphor for each us, regardless of our spirituality. Traveling around in my car yesterday, I frequently gazed upon the palm frond on my passenger seat.  I began to see the that the palm branch is a metaphor for parenting.

The Mediterranean Fan Palm was used in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, over 2000 years ago.  This palm has several historical meanings going back to Ancient Greece.

How are parents like palm branches?

Wishing each of you joy and success as you spend another week growing the palm leaves of parenting your children.

Cate Pane

Deltopia is a Societal Issue: Seeking Guest Blogger

12 Apr

generationxBelow, you will find some excerpts from a letter written and posted on Facebook by a male University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) student. This was letter was posted immediately prior to the Deltopia riot one week ago, April 5th, in the student enclave of Isla Vista.  

I think many people in this community are tired of this subject and simply want to move on in hopes that this type of civil unrest will never pass the way of Isla Vista again.

However, I am left with questions continuing to plague me:  Why are students so interested in a “right to party,” binge drinking and rebellion against authority?  It is my belief that it is in our best interest to answer these questions about this culture of Gen Xers and the world in which they are living.

So, please email me at, if you are interested in the questions I am pondering and desire to comment on the passages from the “Open Letter in the Defense of Deltopia,” listed below.

  • “Do not forget the student activism that has taken place within this community over the course of its inception.
  • “I, as the author of this letter, encourage Isla Residents to remain steadfast in your commitment to express yourselves in however you deem sufficient, whilst upholding appropriate safety precautions that are needed to ensure the wellbeing of others.”
  • “If Deltopia gets ruined this weekend then have it again the following weekend, or better yet, have Floatopia. I assure you, the urge to rage will long outlast the budget of Santa Barbara to keep sending in large numbers of police.”

You may be an anonymous guest author (should you choose to do so) or simply “weigh-in” by commenting to this post.

I look forward to your thoughts, opinions, analyses!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Cate Pane


Friday Funnies

11 Apr

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could use a great laugh today.



Ahhh, the innocence of childhood.  Such a beautiful thing…

Happy Friday!

Cate Pane

Deltopia: Were Hellions to Blame?

10 Apr

On Tuesday, I discussed my assertion that helicopter parents are not allowing their kids to move through the appropriate stages of independence and responsibility for one’s actions.  My analogy of the helicopters of media and law enforcement overhead replacing the hyper-present hovering of parents during the civil disturbance is one that is hard for me to shake.

Let’s look at another possible factor.  Were “hellions” to blame for the recent “Deltopia” riot of April 5th in Isla Vista?

First of all, what is a “hellion?”  A hellion is defined as “a disorderly, troublesome, rowdy, or mischievous person,” it was obvious that hellions created an atmosphere of chaos reaching crisis proportions.  

Massive amounts of drugs and alcohol ingested during the event certainly played a large role in creating this “hellion-like” deltopiabehavior.  Many UCSB students believe that the social unrest was largely due to the behavior of out-of-towners coming to party in Isla Vista.  This may very well be true.  If addresses are made available, the police arrest records will answer this very important question.

I doubt, however, that UCSB students are entirely innocent.  Binge drinking is an unfortunate problem at this university, as well as a multitude of others across this continent.

Those who have followed my blog are aware that I continually seek the roots of social problems.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 80% of all college students drink alcohol and about 50% of those identified drinkers participate in “binge drinking.” Annually, some of the consequences of this alcohol consumption by students are the unintentional deaths of college students who are assaulted by students who have been drinking.

  1. About four out of five college students drink alcohol.
  2. About half of college students who drink, also consume alcohol through binge drinking.

Each year, drinking affects college students, as well as college communities, and families. The consequences of drinking include:

  • Assault: It is estimated that at least 646,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are physically assaulted each year by another student who has been drinking.
  • Property Damage: More than 25 percent of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and more than 50 percent from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a “moderate” or “major” problem with alcohol-related property damage (Wechsler et al. 1995).
  • Police Involvement: Annually, about 5% of undergraduate students find themselves involved with law enforcement due to their drinking behavior. Approximately 110,000 and as high as 8.5% of 18-24 year-old students are arrested due to alcohol-related behaviors.

This list looks like the consequences of the Deltopia riot. Therefore, I must conclude that the “hellion-like” behavior of students under the influence of alcohol and drugs added to the unrest in the student enclave of Isla Vista last Saturday night.

Plainly put, students under the influence of mind and behavioral altering substances are unsurprisingly found to manifest hellacious acts atypical to their normal character.

Binge drinking is now an epidemic and society is paying the consequences.  Are we interested in the cause of this excessive drinking?  I certainly am and am very concerned about our youth.

Any thoughts?

Cate Pane



Deltopia: Helicopters, Hellions and Rebellion

8 Apr

Yesterday, I briefly posted about “Deltopia,” an annual event occurring in the student housing community, Isla Vista, adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

I have spent the past day perusing papers, online news website posts, UCSB student reports and analyses in an attempt to make some sense of the development of a riot and declaration of civil unrest.  Sights and sounds of helicopters, throngs of hellions and rebellious youth fill my head.

But first, here are the facts regarding the tumultuous tornado of civil unrest characterizing the atmosphere of Isla Vista on Saturday, April 5th:

  • attendance was estimated at 15,000
  • 2 people were stabbed
  • six law enforcement officers were injured, including one hit on the head with a backpack filled with liquor bottles and a another wounded by a brick being hurled at his face
  • Over 100 people were arrested
  • According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, of those arrested and cited last weekend, 80% were from out of town.
  • a suspected 17-year old teen from Los Angeles, has been arrested due to evidence of assaulting a police officer with the liquor bottle-filled backpack
  • 44 persons were treated at area hospitals

Moving on to my focus:

1.  Helicoptering:  Students reported hearing the sounds of helicopters in the skies above Isla Vista during Saturday’s events.

Are college students raised by “helicopter parents” suffering the residual effects of too much control during their years of parentandteenagerupbringing?

“Helicopter parent” was first coined by Dr. Haim Ginott in his book, “Parents & Teenagers,” (1969).  Originating from teens describing their parents “hovering over them like a helicopter,” it has become widely used in the vernacular to describe parents who are too protective, controlling and perfectionistic when it comes to raising their children.  The lines become blurred between the success and failure of said children and parents.  Unfortunately, it can continue into the college years, as to which many professors can attest.

Are college students afflicted with this hyper-vigilant upbringing lacking the experiences of behavioral consequences and assuming responsibility for their actions?  What happens when mom or dad’s helicopter is replaced by the whirlybirds of law enforcement officials and news media?  The hovering which once provided refuge from repercussion is no longer a means of protection.

Thursday, I will continue with this series by discussing the role of “hellions” in the Deltopia events of last weekend.

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts about the connection between helicopter parenting and the behavior of college students, I welcome your input!

Wishing you a terrific Tuesday!

Cate Pane






Deltopia and Bill Cosby On Parenthood

7 Apr

deltopiaAs a resident of Santa Barbara County and an alumna of the University of California, Santa Barbara, I spent the majority of my weekend trying to make sense of the riot that occurred in the student enclave adjacent to the university, known as Isla Vista.

The events surpassed last year.  Most unfortunately, on Saturday night mayhem broke out.

Here’s my link to last year’s post:  “Deltopia:”   Student Community Turns into Living Hell

I will be spending the next 24 hours trying to analyze the roots of the barbaric behavior which occurred on Saturday night.  For now, I need a little humor to lighten my mood.  Bill Cosby to the rescue!

Wishing you a peaceful week with sprinkles of humor each day.  We can all use the levity!


Cate Pane

In Praise of Libraries

5 Apr

libraryAs I sat inside my favorite coffee house, typing away at the keys of my laptop, my eyes locked on an atypical activity.  A couple sat, side-by-side in roomy leather chairs reading actual books!  In the entire establishment of approximately 15 sitting patrons, this lovely couple were the only customers holding and turning pages of a book.

Honestly, it was if they had an aura of calm surrounding them.

I frequently bring along my books on my blogging excursions, but often accomplish more reading at home.

However, I am not reading as many books as I once did.  I hate to admit this fact.  I read quite a bit of short blogs and articles on the internet each day, but this does not fulfill the satisfaction of turning the last page of a great book.

I have a gaping void inside my “book heart.”davidandgoliath

In an article published in The New York Observer titled:  “Malcolm Gladwell Calls Google ‘The Answer to The Problem We Didn’t Have,” Gladwell states:

“Google is something of a personal hobbyhorse: “Google is the answer to the problem we didn’t have. It doesn’t tell you what’s interesting or what’s important. There’s still more in the library than there is on Google.”

Well, Malcolm Gladwell said this in 2008, but he is still doing the lions share of his research in the New York Public Library!  A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996, he is the author of 5 New York Times Best Sellers, including his latest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).  Gladwell’s books require copious hours of discovering, reading and analyzing research in sociology and psychology.

No wonder he is most productive in a library.  He is spending time alone, perusing the stacks, reading and putting together patterns of behavior gleaned from enormous amounts of probing.

I am no Gladwell, but I admire his example. It is difficult to make a commitment to read in the library!  I love the buzz of coffee houses and reading in the comfort of my home.  However, I think Gladwell’s behavior is a great model for all of us who are in pursuit of growth as writers.

Research has found that reading on a screen may require greater mental resources.  This may cause us to struggle to remember what we have read.  It has been recommended that if one desires to remember something, best to print out the document or read the actual book. This has an enormous implication as far as the means by which our children are learning today.

As far as I am concerned, even the research is telling directing me toward the doors of my neighborhood reading institution!

As previously mentioned, I have an impulse control problem where ebooks are involved.  “One click” and a minute later my eyes are fixed on the first page of the latest recommended publication.  Making matters worse, I am guilty of reading more than one book at a time.  You may begin to get a mental picture of my very confusing list of books in progress.

Heaven help me!book heart

So, in order to continue on the “Clear Parent” journey I embarked upon a year ago, I hereby commit to spending at least 5 hours each week in the public library located 2 minutes (!) away from my home.  The rules are as follows:

  • no ebook reading
  • no laptop accompanying my book bag into the library
  • browsing stacks highly recommended!

If only these public institutions had coffee bars, I would be “so there” at this very moment!  However, my longing for the “calm aura” of that lovely couple in the coffee house is enough to spur me on to reach my goal.

I welcome any comments you may have about reading!

Have a wonderful weekend and let me know if you spend some time reading in your local library.

Perhaps we can start a support group?

Cate Pane



The Journey of a Parent Blogger

4 Apr

One year ago, I entered the blogosphere, with a dream to have my voice heard.  It seemed like a logical progression for a woman and mother obsessed with great research and bringing studies to parents in a palatable manner.  It was also my desire to share my never-ending path to seeking clarity in parenting. As stated many times before, I am not a “clear parent” who is an expert on raising children.  However, I believe that we can learn by listening to our each other and our intuition (some may see this as a God-directed leading) and by my mission of taking the research that often remains in the world of academia and bringing it to those of us in the trenches of child-rearing.

I must say, it’s been a wacky, wonderful and at times, wearisome experience.



  • I am elevated by the various voices I have found in my seemingly endless hours spent writing and following blogs, tweeting, “Pinteresting,” Stumbling Upon, and “Digging.” Honestly, my in hope in humanity has been bolstered.  Thank you to the many inspirational voices out there.  To name a few:
  1. Kari Kampakis
  2. Culture Monk
  3. Lady in the House (a PHENOMENAL writer, now on sabbatical)

Please note that if I am following your blog and “liking” and commenting, you are also a part of my list!


  • Reading blogs that insist that writers need to compose posts in a particular way
  • Reading that grammar doesn’t matter like it once did
  • Reading time after time that one must write the way one talks

If we all penned our posts in an identical manner, the blogosphere would be brutally boring!  I am sorry; appropriate grammar DOES matter to me!  Finally, is there no such thing as a writer’s voice?  If not, we should all simply make audio-recordings of our blogs and transcribe our words.

Looking back on the past year, I must admit that I have changed.  Other bloggers have changed me and I believe they are changing the world.  I am now a student of writing and continually immerse myself in the subject. I work on technique, as well as what author, Dorothea Brande, so aptly states in her book, Becoming a Writer, as “the emotional and childlike side” of a writer.

Dorothea Brande

Dorothea Brande

With a year of experience under my belt, I continue my journey as a “Clear Parent” blogger in this wacky, wonderful and wearisome world-wide web.

I welcome comments any from bloggers and readers!

Happy Friday!

Cate Pane



Guest Blog: From Awareness Grows Hope – Kicking Off Asbestos Awareness Week 2014

2 Apr

Cate Pane: The Clear Parent:

In memory of my mom, who died of mesothelioma, 10 years ago. Cate

Originally posted on Taking it a Step at a Time - Autism:

By: Heather Von St. James

Every year, 3000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma.

In 2005, I was one of them.

I had never worked with asbestos, but my father did, and secondhand exposure as a child was enough to make me sick decades later. I was lucky, able to make a miraculous recovery through surgery. But I experienced for myself the fear, pain and suffering this disease can cause, and I believe I’ve found my calling fighting for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.

Because of that, Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1 – 7) is very close to my heart. Join me and organizations like the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization as a voice for the victims, and together we can work toward an end to mesothelioma and asbestos disease.

Remember: From awareness grows hope. Each voice could save a life.

Read more:

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