Winston & Damman August 2018

On Your Side (810) 966-WINS (9467)

August 2018

Unwavering Support 4 Teachers With an Outsize Impact on My Life

A s the stores stock up on binders of every imaginable color and the kids finally start to get bored of summer, back-to-school season is fast approaching. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own teachers and mentors who steered me in the right direction along the long path to where I am today. I feel lucky to have been around some pretty incredible people at every stage of my life, and this seems like a good time to reflect on a few of them, offering a small token of recognition for all they’ve done for me over the years. In my school days, I was always an overachiever, eager to involve myself in the school community. I guess a teacher or two picked up on my drive and took a personal interest in me. I had one teacher, Mrs. Lucio, who was also the advisor for the student council, of which I was a member. Over the first semester of the school year, we talked a lot and eventually became friends. Her husband was the assistant principal, and one day — probably running some errand for the student council — I ended up in his office, and we became friends too. From then on, I could always turn to the both of them for anything I needed. When times got tough, they were there to listen and offer sage advice, a precious resource for any 13-year-old still figuring things out. They embodied the very definition of integrity and always knew the right thing to do in any situation, even if it wasn’t

what I wanted to hear. In return, I became a kind of intermediary between the student body and Mr. Lucio. If something was going on with the students, he’d call me in and ask, “What’s going on? What’s the issue? And how can we help?” It was a level of mutual trust and support that was invaluable at that age. Even now, we keep in touch, and they continue to offer support and conversation when I need it.

useful perspective, honed from years on the front lines of education. I was one of those kids who actually liked school growing up, but of course, it wasn’t always easy. Junior high and high school are challenging times for any kid, full of changes and new responsibilities. But with Mr. and Mrs. Lucio and later the Haddens as sounding boards, I was privileged to have an amazing group of people in my corner every step of the way. Though life may not always be sunshine and rainbows, with the guidance, trust, and encouragement of people who genuinely care about us, everything becomes that much more manageable.

After my family and I moved to Michigan and I headed to high school, I connected with another assistant principal and his wife, funnily enough. Tom Hadden and I started chatting while I was his student aide in the office and struck up a friendship that continues to this day. Even back then, he was always real with me, which isn’t always the case with adults when you’re a kid. Now that I’m grown up and on the school board for the Marysville School District where he used to work, he and his wife are close family friends. While we don’t see each other as much as we probably should, we drop each other a line pretty regularly just to check in and share what’s going on in our lives. If ever I’m confused about a school board policy or decision, I’ll call Tom up and ask him about it — he always has a

–Nicole Winston

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3 Ways to Mentally Prepare Your Kids for the School Year

It may not feel like it yet, but summer is coming to a close, and summer break is ending along with it. Soon, the kids will be back to early- morning breakfasts before the school bus arrives and late-night study sessions. Thankfully, there are some steps your family can take during these closing weeks of summer to ensure your kids hit the ground running this school year. Set an Early Bedtime For many kids, summer schedules are flexible. They may have become accustomed to sleeping in and staying up late without any obligations. Getting back into the rhythm of the school year can take some getting used to. In fact, according to psychologist Cherie Valeithian, it can take upward of two weeks to properly adjust to a new sleep-wake cycle. So why not give your kids a head start and ensure they begin the school year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Outline a Homework Schedule Resuming a homework regimen can be a difficult transition for some kids. Late summer, when they don’t have assignments to worry about yet, can Though troubling to talk about, dog bites are some of the most common personal injury cases our lawyers take on here at Winston & Damman. In many of these cases, children end up being the victims due to their playful and curious natures. Of course, no one wants to place blame on pets or children in traumatizing accidents like these, but in the state of Michigan, the responsibility falls on the dog’s owner to ensure the safety of others in the dog’s vicinity. To clarify, this means that even if the child provoked the dog through unwanted petting, hugging, or playing, the onus still falls on the pet’s owner to guarantee that attacks do not occur. More often than not, dogs will give some kind of physical indication to warn humans of their discomfort before a bite actually occurs. According to, there are several signs that a dog is about to bite: 1. They may yawn, lick their lips, or avoid eye contact to demonstrate discomfort. 2. They may growl, snarl, or show their teeth to show more severe aggravation. 3. Their muscles may go rigid while their neck and back hair rises up.

be a great opportunity to help them prepare a study schedule. Ask the following questions to help them get started: “Do you want to dive right into homework when you get home? Do you need to accommodate for a sport or extracurricular activity? Do you work best when doing your assignments in one large chunk, or would you prefer taking breaks in between assignments?” Your kids may find that last year’s schedule doesn’t work for them this year. Emphasize that this is okay; part of growing up is learning how and when you work most effectively. Don’t be afraid to help them switch things up as the school year progresses. Ask Your Kids HowThey Feel Maybe your kids are excited about the school year. Maybe they are anxious, or perhaps they’re just disappointed to see summer vacation come to an end. Starting a dialogue about the aspects of school your kids are looking forward to and those they’re dreading can help you dispel myths and identify problem areas. More than anything else, this can help your kids feel at ease about the coming year.

Some Indications a Dog Might Bite And What to Do if It Happens

4. Although it can also be an indication of happiness, dogs may slowly wag their tails if they feel reactive or on edge. 5. If you can see the whites of a dog’s eyes, it may be because of visual fixation on a perceived threat, which can be a bite warning. Dog bites can result in a lot of emotional trauma and medical expenses, and filing a claim in these situations can be very confusing and overwhelming. At Winston & Damman, we understand where to turn to receive compensation for these dangerous dog attacks. Contact one of our lawyers to learn more about how to get your child the help they need and deserve at (810) 966-WINS.

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Does ‘Legally Blonde’ Adequately Portray Law School?

‘What? Like It’s Hard?’

If you’ve watched the 2001 American comedy, “Legally Blonde,” then you probably remember the iconic conversation that takes place between the protagonist, Elle Woods, and her ex-boyfriend, Warner. In disbelief, he asks, “You got into Harvard Law?” Elle responds, “What? Like it’s hard?” This exchange brought laughs from those in the law community and outsiders alike because everyone knows that getting into any law school is an arduous and time-consuming process. Just in case you aren’t familiar with this conversation or the film’s overarching narrative, here is a little backstory. Shortly after being dumped by her college boyfriend, Elle decides to apply to Harvard Law School to demonstrate her worth as a serious partner. After much preparation, Elle is accepted due to her high LSAT score and her original, albeit hilarious, admissions essay. Elle has quite the experience during her first year of law school, which is filled with ups, downs, new friendships, and self-reflection. In the end, she is able to serve as head lawyer for a high-profile client’s murder case, which she decidedly wins. Whether watching the film for first or 20th time, many viewers wonder if the law school experience conveyed in the film provides an adequate portrayal of life for real law students. The answer is ... kind of. The

depiction of the application process contains some truths. For example, Elle’s determination and intense study habits definitely portray both the difficulty and significance of earning a high score on the LSAT. On the other hand, her admissions video was a little less realistic; donning a swimsuit in a pool while referencing details of popular soap operas might not be as helpful as portrayed. That said, Elle’s experience while in law school isn’t far from reality. Taking enough notes to require a laptop, navigating a wide range of professor preferences, and skipping parties to study are all necessary components of the law school struggle. However, Elle’s fictional time in the courtroom is just that: fiction. The examination and cross-examinations are quite disorganized and the media presence is overly dramatic — but to be fair, the scenes are meant to provide entertainment value over accuracy. While the film might not be completely consistent in its overall representation, there are some realistic portrayals of the triumphs, tribulations, and mishaps that could occur throughout the law- school experience. And if nothing else, the film helps remind viewers that lawyers can have a great sense of humor and a great sense of style.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower doesn’t have to be boring! With a little Parmesan cheese and some seasoning, it can pack a punch of flavor that will please even your most vegetable-averse family members.


• 1 head cauliflower • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced • 4 sprigs thyme • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

• 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Cut cauliflower into florets. On a large baking sheet, toss cauliflower with onions, thyme, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 35–40 minutes, tossing occasionally. 4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and finish roasting, about 10 minutes longer. 5. Serve while hot.




Inspired by

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516 McMorran Boulevard Port Huron, MI 48060 (810) 966-WINS (9467)


this edition INSIDE


Nicole Winston on Her 4 Most Influential Teachers


How to Prepare Your Kids for School Warning Signs That a Dog Is About to Bite ‘Legally Blonde’ and Law School Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Safe Sailing This Hurricane Season



Book a Caribbean Cruise

Safe Sailing This Hurricane Season

Flexibility Is a Must The flipside of this ability to dodge storms is the fact that your ship may not be able to stick to its original itinerary. You may have to anchor at an island you weren’t expecting to or miss out on seeing a port you were supposed to visit. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific location, cruise travel this time of year may not be for you. But if you are simply looking for a safe, affordable vacation to a beautiful region, then it doesn’t much matter which white-sanded beach you wake up to next. While unpredictable weather will always be a concern for any vacation, the safety and variety cruises offer make them great options for anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway before the holiday season. So if you have a flexible schedule and a healthy sense of adventure, it’s time to call your travel agent, pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, and head to paradise!

Cruise-ship travel is a fun and adventurous way to explore any time of year. After all, what could be more magical than a floating hotel room where you fall asleep in one country and wake up in another? This charming mobility is also what makes cruise travel the safest option for visiting the Caribbean and the coast of Mexico this time of year. Safety and Savings Much like resorts and airfare, cruise lines discount their Caribbean fares significantly during peak hurricane season, fromAugust to October. However, unlike a traditional hotel, these massive ships have the luxury of navigating out of a storm’s path with ease. For all their ferocity, hurricanes move slowly across the Atlantic and have relatively predictable trajectories. Meanwhile, modern cruise ships carry the most sophisticated weather-tracking instruments, allowing them to bypass even small storms and inclement weather.

After last year’s devastating storm season, would-be tropical travelers are undoubtedly hesitant about purchasing those discounted plane tickets to the Caribbean Basin. No one wants to face a possible evacuation during their vacation — or worse, be forced to weather a hurricane at a beachfront resort. If you want the most bang for your buck while enjoying the turquoise waters of the Caribbean this fall, consider booking a cruise.

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