Thursday, July 9, 2015

To rename or not? Institutions reconsider honors for racists by Becky Bohrer and Matt Volz

HARTFORD, Conn. — The massacre at a predominantly black South Carolina church has institutions from Alaska to Connecticut evaluating whether they should continue enshrining the names of historical figures linked to slavery and the Confederacy.
The June 17 slaying of nine black worshippers led to calls to curb displays of the Confederate flag after photos emerged showing the suspect posing with one and burning the U.S. flag. But it also has added urgency to discussions on whether it is time to do away with names given to schools, colleges and streets that have come to be seen in a new light in places far outside the South.
A petition is calling for Yale University in Connecticut to change the name of its residential Calhoun College, which honors 1804 alumnus John C. Calhoun, a prominent advocate of the slave plantation system who became a vice president and U.S. senator from South Carolina. The petition says the name, in place since the 1930s, represents "an indifference to centuries of pain and suffering among the black population."
Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said the university welcomes the discussion. "The tragedy in Charleston, on top of countless preceding tragedies in our country's history, has elevated public opinion and discourse on difficult subjects that have too long been avoided," she said.
Other campaigns around the country include efforts to change the names of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis and New York City's General Lee Avenue in Brooklyn, named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. In Helena, Montana, officials will meet Wednesday to discuss whether anything should be done with a downtown memorial to fallen Confederate soldiers. The foundation was built in 1916 by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The Charleston shooting took place during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the man charged in the attack, Dylann Roof, posted photos online showing him holding a Confederate flag, along with writings laying out hatred of minorities.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The One Hundred Workout

“The One Hundred Workout”
●Sit ups
●Pull downs

Main Concept:
The reason why I chose these exercises is because I want to focus on my chest, calves, torso, legs and back.  These are the major muscle groups that I wanted to condition in a different way with more focus on them.  Hopefully the end result will be more stratification of the muscle and more definition.     I do these repetitions every Wednesday.  I am at an advanced stage so I can complete the repetitions in two sets of fifty per body part.  I work on the upper body first then I work on the lower body.  After I am done the rest of the workout is straight cardiovascular.  If you are at a beginning stage, break it up into four sets of twenty five and make it a circuit.  For those of you who wish to try this please leave some feedback and I will post your thoughts!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Your bank account: The next thing to go obsolete

People please read this article!  As citizens we need to be very wary of this issue.  I personally don't want to see the handling of money in a purely digital format.  The opportunity for crime is just too high.  It is bad enough that the IRS and the United States government website as well well as other financial institutions have been affected by cyber crime as well.  So, as citizens what do we do to combat this?

It might finally be time to break up with your bank.

Not only is banking not for everyone, accounts are inaccessible to about half of the world. People are too poor, live too far from a bank or don't have the required documentation. Abra, a new startup, makes banking more accessible while completely cutting out the actual bank.  With Abra, all of your banking lives on your phone. You can withdraw funds, deposit cash and send money using the app. There are no ATMs and no bank branches. (The service is different from recent innovations like Simple, Venmo, PayPal and Chase Pay because those all require bank accounts.)
The idea is that all banking should be as easy as sending a text message.
"In a hyper-connected world, it is astounding to me that you can't pick up the phone and instantly send money to any other phone number in the world," said Abra founder Bill Barhydt, a former software engineer for Goldman Sachs based in San Francisco. He presented his company last week at the Exponential Finance conference in New York.
"Traditional banking is really good at serving the global 5% to 10% of consumers who reach a certain income level," Barhydt said. "The reality is, the majority of the planet is a cash-based economy and banking doesn't work for those people."
Here's how Abra works: Say you need $100 in cash. To get it, you would open the app and find a bank teller near you using your phone's GPS. Bank tellers can be regular people, as well as businesses like convenience stores. If it's a person, they've had a background check through Abra. (The system is similar to how Uber vets drivers.)
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Teacher To Teacher: Classroom Reform Starts With “The Talk” by Melissa Halpern -- June 2, 2015

We teachers often complain, justifiably, that policy makers and even school administrators are too disconnected from the classroom to understand how students learn best. Research is one thing, we claim, but experience is another. As the only adults in the school setting who have ongoing, sustained experience with students, we’re in the best position to understand them—but do we really? Do we understand our students’ educational priorities, turn-ons, anxieties, and bones-to-pick in our classrooms and in the school at large?
The truth is that no amount of research or experience makes us experts on the experiences and perspectives of the unique individuals who inhabit our classrooms. If we want to know what’s going on in their minds, we have to ask. We have to have “the school talk.”
What have students learned that is important to them, and what do they wish they could learn? What makes them feel happy and empowered at school? What makes them feel bored, stressed, or dehumanized?
For the teacher who thinks his job is to deliver content, these questions are irrelevant. For the teacher who is interested in helping students build meaningful relationships with content, they are essential. A recent study, Caring Leadership in Schools, identifies “attentiveness”— paying attention to and understanding people as individuals—as an essential element of caring, which leads to “personal wellbeing and academic success” (Louis, Murphy, & Smylie 2015).
It makes total sense; if we understand our students and their needs, we have a better chance of meeting those needs.
But “the talk” can be scary. It will likely unveil a swarm of problems, some of them local, others systemic, and few, if any solutions. When I started having these candid conversations with my students, they said a lot of things I didn’t want to hear: “In school I feel like I’m nothing more than a number;” “Nothing I’m learning here is going to help me in life;” “I feel like I’m in prison;” “It’s hard to focus on learning when I’m stressed out about grades;” “I hate ____ (fill in the title of whatever required reading I had enthusiastically selected).”
Initially, hearing these things made me feel helpless. As a teacher, my realm of influence is mostly limited to the classroom, and even there, I work under conditions that are to a large degree beyond my control. But the more I ask and listen, the more I understand the underlying needs revealed by my students’ comments, even if what they say is not always true at face value.
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