Sunday, August 24, 2014

Within black families, hard truths told to sons amid Ferguson unrest By Michael Martinez, Stephanie Elam and Erica Henry,

CNN) -- From parent to son, uncle to nephew, grandparent to grandson, there's a raw, private conversation being re-energized in America in the wake of violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
It's an intimate lecture that most Americans won't know, but parents like Kelli Knox of Southern California know it too well because it begins the loss of their children's innocence and exposes them to a painful national truth that's increasingly become a matter of life or death.
As challenging as parenting is, black families in particular are assuming more burdens: At kitchen tables and in living rooms, they hold honest talks with their boys about how life can be different for them and what they ought -- and ought not -- to do in public, especially near police.
Think twice about wearing a hoodie. Pull up your pants. Shut your mouth around police. Swallow your pride. Don't drive with more than three friends. And keep your hands where they can be seen.
These are just a few examples of the rules that parents tell their young black sons -- and sometimes daughters -- about how to stay safe. Though stark and blunt, the admonishments follow a trend of violence that touches upon the most fiery issue in America: race.
The 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the 2013 police shooting of a North Carolina man who was apparently seeking only help and this week's riots against Ferguson police -- these sensational cases all involve shooting victims who were unarmed, young black men.
"I've had this conversation with my son since middle school on how to behave," said Knox, 46, of Inglewood, California. "When the police come, this is what you do. This is how you speak to them. Do not get into a power struggle. Listen to them. If they are trying to give you a ticket, get the ticket. Because it's not worth it. It's just not worth it."
A 'sad' day and time
Whether at reunions, picnics, or the mall, families and friends make it a point to apprise sons, nephews or grandsons of what Knox calls "the rules of engagement" for young black men when they encounter police or other figures of authorities.
Robert Spicer tells his eldest child, Crishawn, 15, to be aware of even how he dresses.
"I stress to him his appearance is important, the way he conducts himself, the way he talks to people," said Spicer, 44, a tow truck driver who lives Los Angeles.
His wife, Lashon, 42, said the California couple worry about their four children every day.
"You don't know what's going to happen between dropping them off and them coming home," she said.
To read more, click on the following link:

How the Common Core Lost Teacher Support Huffington Post Article

Let's think back to May of 2013. Personally, I'm a fine example of what teachers were like at that point. I didn't know a lot about the Core, and what I did know didn't sound all that bad. As far as I'd heard, a bunch of important people had called together a bunch of teachers to write some standards that could be used across the country to bring a little coherence to the higgledy-piggledy crazy-quilt that is US education. I'm not really a fan of national standards, but as long as they came from educational experts and were largely voluntary, it couldn't hurt to look at them. Heck, if you had asked me in May of 2013 if I supported the Common Core standards, I might very well have said yes. And though there were teachers out there who had already caught on, there were plenty of teachers like me who were perfectly willing to give the whole business a shot.
So how did the reformsters lose all those hearts and minds?
I think it's a measure of how detailed and painstaking and inch-by-inch this massive debate has been that it's easy to lose track of the big picture, the many massively boneheaded things that CCSS supporters did along the way. Let's reminisce about how so many teachers were turned off.
The lying.
Remember how supporters of the Core used to tell us all the time that these standards were written by teachers? All. The. Time. Do you know why they've stopped saying that? Because it's not true, and at this point, most everybody knows it's not true. The "significant" teacher input, the basis in solid research -- all false. When someone is trying to sell you medicine and they tell you that it was developed by top doctors and researchers and you find out it wasn't and they have to switch to, "Well, it was developed by some guys who are really interested in mediciney stuff who once were in a doctor's office" -- it just reduces your faith in the product.
The involuntariness
In many places, it took a while for it to sink in -- "You mean we're not actually allowed to change ANY of it, and we can only add 15%??!!"
It quickly became clear -- this was not a reform where we would all sit around a table at our own schools and decide how to best to adapt and implement to suit our own students. Session by session, we were sent off to trainings where some combination of state bureaucrats and hired consultants would tell us how it was going to be. We were not being sent off to discuss or contribute our own professional expertise; we were being sent to get our marching orders, which very often even our own administratorswere not "important" enough to give us (or understand).
Shut up.
Particularly in the latter half of 2013, we all heard this a lot. Phrased in diplomatic language, of course, but on the state and federal level we were told repeatedly that this was not a discussion, that our input was neither needed nor wanted, and that if were going to raise any sorts of questions, we should just forget about it.
This was particularly true for public schools. After all, the narrative went, public schools were failing and covering it up by lying to students and their parents about how well they were doing. It became increasingly clear that the Common Core were not meant to help us, but to rescue America's children from us. "Just shut up and sit down," said CCSS boosters with a sneer. "You've done enough damage already."
The slander.

Arne Duncan told newspaper editors to paint core opponents as misguided and misinformed. Then he portrayed objectors as whiny white suburban moms. Opposition to CCSS was repeatedly portrayed as coming strictly from the tin hat wing of the Tea Party. If you opened your mouth to say something bad about the Core, you were immediately tagged a right-wing crank. There was no recognition that any complaint about any portion of the Core could possibly be legitimate. It had to be politically motivated or the result of ignorance.

To read more, click on the following link:

Keep Trying to Perfect This! (circuit training)

My wife and I have been working on this circuit for two weeks now.  We are getting better at it each time we do it.  We are up to three sets with a minute rest in between each set.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fast Fuel Pre-Workout Supplement

Preworkout Supplement:

Fast Fuel: RSP Nutrition
This is the Pre-workout supplement that I have been using since June of 2014.  I know that I have reviewed other products on my blog regarding pre-workout mixes but I will admit that this is the one that I will stick with.  I must admit, I did like the Mike Change Afterburn pre-workout mix but I did not like the price. The GNC brand that I was using was also good but not in comparison to Fast Fuel.  The advantages of this mix are clear.  The price is excellent!  The product has been very effective in how my body has changed.  I have lost weight and gained a nice lean physique.  I attribute the change to the Fast Fuel mix as well as the Isopure protein powder and change in diet.  In short, my structure has changed dramatically.  I will speak to the diet and workout changes in a new post.
Yours in training,

·         Designed to build lean muscle and promote a lean athletic physique.*
·         Contains Agmatine Sulfate, Arginie AKG and Arginie HCL for maximum Nitric Oxide production.*
·         The only concentrated pre-workout supplement with a full BCAA profile, Beta Alanine and Glutamine.*
·         Intense Energy and Focus with no crash.*
·         Great taste and solubility