Ya Gotta Have a Plan - August 4, 2022 | Kids Out and About San Francisco

Ya Gotta Have a Plan

August 4, 2022

Debra Ross

If you say "Mr. Miller. Wood shop. Go!" on social media to people who went to Orange Avenue School in Cranford, NJ in the '80s and '90s, here's what people will post:


Mr. Miller said "ya gotta have a plan" several times each class, so a generation of New Jerseyans who are now in their 40s and 50s have it burned on our brains much like the initials we burned into the rudimentary cutting boards we were making for our moms. Mr. Miller spoke in an exaggerated Midwestern nasal twang ("plan" was "PLEE-an"); his second favorite phrase, "Mark it with an AWWWL," lives on in our hearts as well.

As much fun as we had imitating Mr. Miller behind his back, his main mission—to teach us how to make a PLEE-an—was spot-on correct: Ya do gotta have one or you're not gonna accomplish much. In my experience, the more deliberate you make the planning, the more you think before you pick up a saw, the more likely you'll happen to the world rather than that the world will happen to you. (Mr. Miller's awl advice proved less universally applicable: I have never once, after 7th-grade wood shop, marked anything with an awl, although I wield a mean pyrography pen if the occasion demands it.) Short-term or long-term, if you start with a plan, you'll end with something resembling the bird house you'd envisioned.

Plan now for now: Here's something short-term that you need to plan for NOW: after-school and Saturday programs and enrichment classes for the 2022-2023 school year. Wondering how to find options that are perfect for your kids? This coming Monday, August 8, we'll send you our Fall 2022 Programs e-newsletter showing local classes, subject by subject. So be on the lookout for this special edition newsletter, coming to your in-box in just 4 days! You'll find all kinds of fun stuff in there: Arts education, sports education, exercise, STEM classes, preschool programs... maybe even a wood shop class or two.

We'll do our best to help your kids find their own personal Mr. Miller this year!

Debra Ross, Publisher

P.S. I took a peek at the list of what we'll be sending on Monday. There are a lot more options this year than last year, daring me to declare a post-Covid world. Almost.