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Archive for the ‘Higher Education’ Category

Jamie Olive is my hero.  Last year, when he came to the United States and make a debut in the small, sleepy town in West Virginia, he clearly made an impact and difference in their lives.

This year, he might have taken on more than he could chew by tackling the enormous Los Angeles Community.  By the end of the last show, though, he gained the support of the new supertindent of the LA School system.

He’s got the right ideas though.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is aiming to put things into good perspective with good eats, starting in the schools.

I thank him for his perseverance in keeping on the school systems.  I look forward to see the long range effects of his efforts.

What’s next for this hero?  Can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve for the next leg of his crusade!

News | Jamie Oliver (US).

 

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Something you just don’t see everyday:

This Chinese cheerleader video from the Chinese Youtube Youku.com is going viral in the People’s Republic and around the world. The man clad in a skirt and flourishing kicks and arabesques is an unknown student from a Chinese university.

via Chinese Male Cheerleader Brings it On! Video goes viral in the People’s Republic – Digg.

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$31,244 is the average income of 90% of the income earners, which has only seen a change of 1% during 1970-2008.  As you climb the chart to see other ranges of earnings, the population gets smaller and smaller, but the change of income earned during this same time frame is increasing higher and higher.  Something is very wrong with this picture.

How are folks supposed to hold on to hope for economic change in the future, if 90% of the population is seeing the littlest of changes?

via (Not) spreading the wealth – The Washington Post.

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So frustrating is the fear of the unknown.   I remember when I was mentoring a after school program in an Community Program in a poorer segment of Austin (not East Austin) and a young boy had drawn a much worse picture than this child who had been suspended.  While I was alarmed that a boy could have drawn such a picture, I was told that these children were allowed to have their creative expressions.

Somehow, the balance between creative expressions and the psychological aspects of whatever hidden meanings behind artwork done by our children must be met.  Without the creative expression, one might not be able to understand what is going on in the minds of our children.  I believe that children’s creative expression should not be suppressed or meant to be punished; after all, how are we going to be understand what is going on in the children’s minds if they feel threatened for punishment if they express themselves.

I am not saying that children’s expressions that seem to have hidden messages of psychological problems should necessarily be promoted and offered on a public display; however, admonishing them because they have expressed themselves through drawing (which may be a mode that that they are more comfortable with than writing or talking) seems wrong.

Perhaps, a better approach would be to have the parents and teachers more attuned with the meanings and offer the child guidance when the child “speaks out” through his artwork.  Of course, caution should also be had to make sure that, also, too much is read into things as well.  🙂

What say you???

Boy suspended for stick-figure drawing – Education – MSNBC.com

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Summer has been eventful for me…..

1. Biotechnology Program — I attended ACC’s fasttrack program this summer. A very intense program whereby we had 5-1/2 weeks of classes for 3 full days each week, then later had 5-1/2 weeks of nearly 40 hrs/wk internship at many Biotech type locations. Mine was held at the Texas Department of Health. It was an invaluable learning experience and I would love to consider it for a career option; however, the market for Biotech personnel, on the whole in this area, require a degree in Science already. My degree is in Criminal Justice, but they would prefer a degree with more of a forensic approach to it, if in Criminal Justice. Therefore, I am looking to attend in the Spring, perhaps, if I get a Scholarship to do so.

2. Granddaughter — This summer my granddaughter was born. She is absolutely beautiful and growing slowly but surely. Well, that isn’t exactly true as she is outside of the growth percentile range, but weight/height proportional. They are thinking that she may end up being very tall.

3. Still working in the crisis field. I am enjoying it and may continue to make it my career option — if only the money was better!

4. Took a bit of time this summer for a short retreat to reflect upon the summer events and assess where I should be moving forward in my life. Still not sure about the whereto, but really enjoyed the retreat time to enjoy some much needed R&R. (The picture above is one of many pictures I took during my retreat.)

Other than that, not much else happening. Still involved in my Red Hat Society group and planning activities to keep myself active — Church, bowling, reading books, blogging, etc. Would love to hear from you all to see what you have been doing this summer, as what your current aspirations might be. 🙂

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I have but one more day to complete of the intense program that began at the end of May and continued well into August.  The first half of the program was intense classes covering scientific math skills and problem solving, ethical issues, and biotechnology laboratory science and lab skills classes for 3 days a week for 5-1/2 weeks.  Then, in July, we began our intense internship at differing locations.  While some of my classmates went to CellzDirect and Ambion, some of my classmates went with me to DSHS.  I was there for 4 days a week.

Having to keep an income coming in for purposes of paying bills, etc., I had to continue working my parttime job at the hotline.  Keeping up with an intense internship and working hours was grueling at times; however, it was extremely rewarding in the end. 

I am certainly appreciative to be a part of the program and look forward to furthering my education in this arena.   I wish I could somehow attach my final presentation to demonstrate some of the enriching experiences I had this summer; if I do figure it out, I will certainly attach it.

In the meantime, I am relieved that the intense program is behind me now….

and I will have more time to communicate in my blogs in the future! 🙂

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One of my many fond memories of my childhood is being very little (maybe 4 or 5 – the age that many older adults still enjoy picking you up and letting you sit on their knees). We were sitting outside in the “courtyard” of sorts between my Grandparent’s home and the guest house that was attached to a detached garage (detached from the main home, that is). The yard had a huge pine tree that overpowered the levels of the roofs of the structures and hid the water well from view. Along the sidewalks and the outer outlining areas, separating it from the rest of the ranchland were many flowerbeds that had roses and daisies planted in them. They were all a-bloom.

One of the visitors that my Grandma had over was an older man and a friend to my Grandma and Grandma. I always loved it when he would come over because he would bring us the largest jar of honey that you would have ever seen in your life with the largest honeycomb right smack in the middle of it. I loved picking up the honeycomb and allowing the fresh honey to be dribbled all into my mouth. It was almost tradition that my Grandma would let me have the first taste of the fresh honey brought to us.

My Grandma would have made fresh bread for this occasion and we would spoon heaping spoonfuls of honey all upon the hot bread and savored each and every bite as my sister and I would play outdoors and the adults would continue talking beyond when the sun went down.

Before the sun went down though, I sat on this man’s knees for a bit. A bee landed upon my knee and I quickly got the attention of everyone by saying, “Grandma!” without even a flinch. This man quickly patted me on the back and assured me that, if we just watch the bee, he will fly away soon and look for something else to light upon. The bee did fly away while the beekeeper continued to tell us a story about how he collects the honey from the bees and how the bees were our friends.

Apparently, this story wasn’t heard near and far though!!

Katie Couric, from the CBS News, aired a story entitled, “FYI: What’s happening to the bees? Lots of theories but little proof as scientists scramble to solve what could be an agriculture crisis!” She started out with the story about a Pennsylvania farmer:

“As if by one sudden swoop, thousands of bees disappeared from the Pennsylvania farm of Dave Hackenberg. But he was just the first of hundreds of bee farmers — also known as apiarists — to report a sudden die-off or depopulation of their hives to researchers.

He told National Geographic: ‘In almost 50 years as a beekeeper, I’ve never seen anything like it.'”

and then continued by explaining:

“In short, a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been decimated or lost. There are many theories about what’s caused the loss, but there is no definitive answer.

One thing has almost been agreed upon: Scientists are calling this Colony Collapse Disorder. Well, except for those who call it Fall Dwindle Disease (the phenomenon’s former name).

A Congressional Research Service report for members of Congress listed the following possible causes of CCD, as reported by scientists.

 

  • Parasites, mites, and disease loads in the bees and brood
  • Known/unknown pathogens
  • Poor nutrition among adult bees
  • Level of stress in adult bees (e.g., transportation and confinement of
    bees, or other environmental or biological stressors)
  • Chemical residue/contamination in the wax, food stores and/or bees
  • Lack of genetic diversity and lineage of bees
  • A combination of several factors”
  • and concluded with some resources that will be posted at this end of this blog posting.

    In the meantime, I am remembering another story where a virus has been developed to destroy the pesty and annoying fire ants, such as in the May 7, 2007, CNN story entitled, “Fire Ants May Have Met Their Match”. They said:

    “Researchers have pinpointed a naturally occurring virus that kills the ants, which arrived in the U.S. in the 1930s and now cause $6 billion in damage annually nationwide, including about $1.2 billion in Texas.

    The virus caught the attention of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Florida in 2002. The agency is now seeking commercial partners to develop the virus into a pesticide to control fire ants.

    The virus was found in about 20 percent of fire ant fields, where it appears to cause the slow death of infected colonies.”

    They are now looking for a partner to introduce this virus into pesticides. But one has to wonder if by gambling with the development of this virus that, supposedly just affects the ants, isn’t potentially affecting our bee supply too????

    With so much biotechnology being developed, one has to wonder if, perhaps, development of some viruses could also be an upset to our balance of nature. What do you think?????

    *******************************************************************

    As promised, some of the additional resources for more information about bees that was given in the CBS News article are (for quick access):

    USDA’s “National Honey Report”

    The National Honey Board – This month’s top topic is the “Colony Collapse Disorder”

    Prepared Testimony of Diana Cox-Foster, Professor Department of Entomology at the Pennsylvania State University before the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture on Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bee Colonies in the United States, March 29, 2007

    Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines, March 26, 2007, by Renee Johnson, Analyst in Agricultural Economics (Resources, Science, and Industry Division) for the members and committees of Congress

    Honey Locator

    Additional Resources:

    National Human Genome Research Institute

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