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“People talk about family across the NBA, their teams are like brothers, each player, they all get along. But I really think that we have the closest team in the NBA. […] On the road, team dinners, whether it’s Kyle putting something together, whether it’s DeMar, he putting something together, or TRoss holding something, it seems like whenever a teammate has something we’re all together. And everyone just loves each other, you know, whether it’s teammate wise or whether it’s family, kids, wives, mom and dad… We all look to each other as one big family and it’s probably the best that it’s been since I’ve been here.” -Patrick Patterson

“We’re the land of the free, but we lock up more people than any place else on planet Earth.” 

More from Sen. Cory Booker, along with Common, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Piper Kerman of “Orange is the New Black” on reforming our incarceration system and keeping people from coming back. 

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Until The Clock Stops Ticking

(This AU isn’t done yet bc it’s like 64,912 words LOL and I started it this summer and idk maybe all of my 38 devoted followers and cp enthusiasts can give me some feedback if you want more? AnyWHO it’s basically one where Bits is drafted to the Las Vegas Aces and J-Z is kinda his biggest enemy lolz)

Deep breaths and a lot of counting to ten. The sound of that whistle always makes his heart rate rise, and the sound of that buzzer always makes his ears ring. Every game had to be his absolute best, always had to be his hundred-ten percent, because a man his size shouldn’t even be playing in the NHL. It’s boarder line dangerous, but when Bitty went tenth in the draft, chosen to play for the Las Vegas Aces, he couldn’t have been happier. He worked his ass off to be here, but just because he made it on the team the first and second time around and wasn’t sent down to the minors, it’s still a possibility. Which meant no room for mistakes.

Skate through the pain. He can’t be seen as a liability.

He watches as Daniels passes the puck to Parse, but Daniels is checked before the puck even makes it halfway to Kent before Jack Zimmermann intercepts it.

“Bittle!” Coach shouts, frustration and anger laced heavily in his tone. They were behind 4-2, fighting for a spot in the playoffs. “I’m switching up the lines, you’re on!”

It’s true Bitty’s nerves are his biggest rival. Sometimes it helps him on the ice, but in rare moments it causes him to freeze up before getting checked. But even if his nerves aren’t his biggest enemy, Jack Zimmermann is.

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There is big news today for prospective college students and their parents. It comes from Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who is in Iowa with President Obama for his annual Back to School Bus Tour.

“Today, we’re lending a hand to millions of high school students who want to go to college and who’ve worked hard,” Duncan said. “We’re announcing an easier, earlier FAFSA.”

That’s the Free Application For Federal Student Aid. With more than 100 questions, it’s a gatekeeper for students hoping to get help paying for college.

“It’s really a win-win for everybody,” says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. “Ultimately, this is gonna mean less work for [students] and less work for schools.”

Obama Makes College Aid Application Earlier And Easier

Credit: LA Johnson/NPR

In his new book, Raising Kids Who Read, Daniel Willingham wants to be clear: There’s a big difference between teaching kids to read and teaching them to love reading.

And Willingham, a parent himself, doesn’t champion reading for the obvious reasons — not because research suggests that kids who read for pleasure do better in school and in life.

“The standard things you’ll hear about why kids should read I actually don’t think are very strong arguments,” he says. “Because if the goal is to become a good citizen or the goal is to make a lot of money, I can think of more direct ways to reach those goals than to read during your leisure time.”

Willingham wants his kids to love reading because, he says, “for me it’s a family value. It’s something that I love, something that I find important. I think I gain experiences I wouldn’t gain any other way by virtue of being a reader. And so naturally I want my children to experience that.”

Raising Kids Who Want To Read

Illustration credit: LA Johnson/NPR

It’s not just baby talk. Any kind of talk with young children — especially if they’re too young to talk back — will do.

Because talk is vital to a child’s brain development, says Dana Suskind, who found her passion for literacy in an unlikely place: the operating room.

As a surgeon, Suskind performed cochlear implants at the University of Chicago. The implant is a remarkable marriage of medicine and technology that can help even profoundly deaf children hear. But Suskind noticed that her young patients went on to develop language skills at wildly different rates. Some reached or surpassed grade level. Some didn’t. Why?

The Surgeon Who Became An Activist For Baby Talk

Credit: LA Johnson/NPR

George Washington University recently announced it would no longer require applicants to submit SAT scores, hoping to improve campus diversity. 

Which sounds good. But, in a recent column in The Hechinger Report, Stephen Burd asks whether schools have “a less altruistic reason” for going test-optional.

“By going test-optional, they appear to be doing one thing but [are really] doing another,” Burd told me in a recent interview from his office at New America, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

Why Are Colleges Really Going Test-Optional?

Credit: LA Johnson/NPR