Archive for the ‘Everything Else’ Category
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You are currently browsing the archives for the Everything Else category.
Sometimes spam on the site is annoying, but today offered up a funny sample:
Why the Grand Thief Auto has several controversial concern is the player from the game themselves. I mean, there’s stuff being released all on the place. This nonprofit organization is situated in Des Plaines, Illinois.
She stayed in contact while using Emperor, but continued to rebuff his requests.
Hold your ground about that Emperor, girl! His Grand Thief Auto is def a bootleg. Hope you didn’t get too much snow in Des Plaines.
Last night at dinner, I made a wish (it was 31st my birthday) and blew out my candle. I always have a hard time with wishes, so I took my time. In my mind this time, I thought about what I want to accomplish this year, where I see myself next year, but in the end, I just wished it’s a good one. I always end up doing this. I cannot explain some of the good things that have happened to me, but I have settled on prepared luck.
Here’s to the next year full of preparation, hard work and a bit of luck!
Mirroring a post by my other half, and the consistent message from the conference I’m attending, we all need to consider what we are contributing to the masses.
Today I did something really exciting. I participated in an abstract exchange for the UCEA conference (a bunch of educational leaders and researchers, new scholars and seasoned sages). My dissertation topic (perceptions of students with disabilities regarding their reasons for persisting in higher education) is exciting to me; however, is it exciting to other people? My advisors and colleagues, sure. But other scholars?
Each participant in the abstract exchange had 3 minutes to address his or her abstract. There were 10 of us, so we pushed 2 round tables together and went around the table in turn. How was my topic received? Everyone said they enjoyed it on the feedback cards. A few people caught me after to chat about my topic and I even received several business cards asking me to send my completed paper. Why did this happen? Was my topic good? Well, I suppose. But why did I get such a reaction out of my audience? Passion. I am very passionate about my topic and what I do.
I know there are many people out there who are passionate about what they do, inspired by something they read, or even just curious about something they have experienced. It is so very important to contribute and to not stop contributing. How else are we going to move forward as a society? We are all very intelligent beings. We each have something to contribute to the vast collective of knowledge. It is vast, but not all knowing – so much left to uncover!
So many of us are armchair critics. It’s easier to gripe about what others have or have not done than to do ourselves. Go forth. Blog. Edit Wikipedia. Make a solid review on Amazon. Just contribute!
While many of the articles on my feed reader this morning are pertaining to the government shutdown (because one party won’t stop their hissy fit about the Affordable Care Act), I am going to highlight one article about healthcare that probably will be overlooked today.
My awareness of public health issues is not all that great honestly; however, while presenting at the Graduate Student Summit this past spring, another presenter discussed his research regarding the Pertussis (whooping cough). He said whooping cough was appearing not only in the lowest income groups, but was almost eclipsed by the middle and upper income groups.
He noted access to services or transportation to services for the lower income groups as potential causes for not receiving the vaccines and following doses to provide immunity. For the other group, the one of middle and upper income, he noted research against vaccinating the children was the cause.
I was shocked. First, wouldn’t the disease be worse than the risk of vaccination? Second, whooping cough is happening?! Still?!
The next week I get a letter from Kari’s school. A child in the school had come down with whooping cough. Wow.
While few adults die from whooping cough, it does present a great risk to babies, children and people with compromised health.
Here is a link to the article on Boing Boing about why new parents need to be vaccinated. Also I suggest reading the linked article from that article.
In spite of the government shutdown, Obamacare still goes into effect today. Go get vaccinated!
Well, it’s official. My husband has a new woman in his life. There are pictures of her all over his Facebook.
This one is from when he took her to his old college.
They have went on many dates together.
He has taken her on long rides to wineries.
Bought her new accessories.
Even helped her get cosmetic surgery.
He’s even bought a new outfit to wear on their dates. And now she sits naked in my garage. She doesn’t even have the respect to put her custom cover on! At least I can say my Father’s Day present to Chris was a good investment.
Last night before bed I had Kari pick out her outfit as always. I told her it was red, white and blue day at school tomorrow. This morning, after getting dressed, I asked her if she knew why today was red, white and blue day at school. She said, “For Patriot Day and Remembrance.” I then asked her if she knew why. She didn’t. I told her on September 11, 2001, some people did a bad thing. They crashed airplanes with people inside. Two were crashed into a very busy building in New York and one the passengers fought the bad people and crashed it into a field in Pennsylvania so no one else would be injured.
Kari then asked me, “Where were you?” I thought this was an appropriate question from Kari, as she was worried I was close to the action, but I am shocked about all the “Where were you?” hashtags, etc. floating about on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Yes, where we were is something that is etched in all of our minds, but on this day, I choose not to remember where I was, but the shock I felt. The shock that a human being could wish to injure other human beings. Remember what you felt on this day, those who were lost and those who lost.
Last week I read this Op-Ed piece Arne Duncan wrote for the Washington Post. This morning during my commute, I was delighted to hear the upcoming Diane Rehm Show would focus on education discussion for the first hour of the program, and the guest list included Arne Duncan. The topics included early start of high school, ranking of colleges and their rising cost, early childhood education, and education law.
My comments concerning the discussion are swayed by my firm beliefs regarding a right to education for all and education can benefit all people.
Early Start/Late Start High School
Research has shown starting later gives way to better minds, but where do activities, homework and after school jobs fit into a high school student’s life? Perhaps start later, and offer sports earlier. Jump start minds with some zero hour sports! This is a time to mesh research about exercise and education. Also, the bus debate will always make staggering the start and release times of schools necessary as long as we make busses the priority. I think everyone would benefit from school starting no earlier than 8:30 or 9 am. Being functional at 7 am is a feat for many of us – young, teen and adult.
College Cost and Ranking
The U.S. News and World Report College Rankings are a little swayed. All of the information depends on how the colleges report it. What is that joke about violent criminals and white bread? Statistics can be manufactured to show what is meant to show. For argument’s sake, questions asked to the colleges are potentially interpreted differently by the individuals answering the questions.
The quote about community colleges having a low graduation rate frustrated me for several reasons. First, some people go to community college with intentions of taking a few classes, but not completing a degree. Second, some people attend community college with the intent of transferring to another college to complete their degree. Finally, some people attend community college to test the water to see if they like college. If not, that is not a fault of their own or the community college. We should not be focused on production of graduates, but on providing a service to the community served.
Cost is a very passionate topic of mine. I feel strongly that college is a right and all people should be able to go to college if they so choose. Some people do fine without higher education, but even if their career does not require a higher degree, the student development in college can lead to a well rounded individual in society. There should not be a person willing to attend where cost is the prohibiting factor. No, perhaps not everyone could attend a private school, where costs are also outrageous, but attend some form of higher education regardless of economic class.
Early Childhood Education
Research has shown access to early childhood education can impact the success of students. A point during the show focused on assessment of teachers who are teaching students with and without early childhood education, and how students without early childhood education could negatively impact their evaluations. Perhaps we need to move into a system that looks at growth of a student educationally over the year, instead of the whole population reaching certain standardized test goals.
Perhaps also focus government financial support for children receiving daycare assistance on facilities that provide a meaningful early childhood curriculum.
Education Law and Standardized Testing
At curriculum night for Kari’s school, one of the teachers mentioned the standardized tests were changed this year and the curriculum would be changing slightly to address that change. I remember filling in bubbles after bubbles on standardized tests when I was little. This portion of the school year was dreadfully dull and I imagine so for other children. There has to be another answer besides a standardized test philosophy.
Will we as a society figure this out? I hope so.
I fell in love with games when I was little playing on my parents’ Apple II and the coveted computer time at school. I was not allowed to have any game systems when I was little because they were expensive and my parents would rather I spent my time with my imagination and studying. When visiting my cousins, I would just want to play Duck Hunt and games from the Mario franchise nonstop. Then when I had my first boyfriend when I was 15, I discovered PlayStation. Now I kind of wonder if I didn’t just continue to go out with him even after our relationship lapsed to continue my affair with Bushido Blade, Gran Turismo and Grand Theft Auto.
Enter the college years: Chris and I moved in together after I graduated high school. He had a PlayStation 2. Growing up without games, my learning curve was high, and I felt embarrassed to play in front of Chris, who could get me through crazy jumps in Ico on the first try. I binged if you will on games. While at the time, I would not admit to skipping my feminist theory class a few times to stay home playing Jak and Daxer, I will now. You will find the irony in this later.
Chris bought me my first Gameboy (Gameboy Color in Teal) when they came out. Then I became a Pokemon nut and dappled in Animal Crossing, Kirby, Wario, and Mario Kart. Then he got me an SP, then a Pink DS in 2007, and last year he bought me a 3DS after finding an admittedly amazing deal on Craigslist (and, no, it was not a stolen one sold on Craigslist – I wondered that myself).
Enter Kari: Chris and I were very cautious about introducing television and video games with Kari. We were the parents who followed the rule book. Then, we thought maybe at 3 or 4 she could start playing games with us. As expected, she loved games just like us.
Now that she is getting older, the games she sees are appealing to her; however, being her parents, Chris and I have to look at how balanced that game is. We continue to be very choosy about what she sees us play and what she is able to play based upon themes and handling of gender roles. Earlier this year we went to PAX East and Kari was totally into it. She loved playing new games and giving suggestions to the developers. Kari is currently big into Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Style Savvy.
Going back for a minute to when Kari was 3 or 4 playing on the Wii. She used to love to look at the Mii Plaza then graduated into playing games herself. I remember one time when she kept scrolling back and forth through the available characters. She was frustrated and said she wanted to play the girl one. Well, in video games there are not many girl heroes or protagonists. Just like preschoolers said, “Where’s the camera?!” about the iPad, they nail it with video games too.
While I know Anita Sarkeesian received a lot of flack for her role in exposing gaming for what it has been and still kind of is, I connect a lot with her videos. Why do we have to sit back and have the female stereotypes perpetuated in front of us, others and our children over and over and over again? Simple. We shouldn’t.
Recent examples of female stereotypes being perpetuated in video games include Chase’s character in Uncharted: Golden Abyss (released in 2012) and how the script was written. Many of the focus group found her character to be annoying. Maybe a more active Chase would have rendered her less annoying. Then the design for the Comic ConQuest featuring Cosplayers. I hope the traditional exaggeration of the feminine form is not an indication of the game play traditional to female characters in video games we might witness.
I truly hope once Kari is old enough to play more mature RPGs, there is more opportunity for female characters than to be Peached.
In this article, President Obama calls for cutting a year of law school. I have to agree for two large reasons: cost savings and experience.
Most of the students in law school graduated with at least some student loan debt. Some students graduated with quite a bit. Many students I saw in my office had over $100,000 in students loans. All of the graduate level student loans are unsubsidized, meaning interest accumulates from the point of disbursement, even if the student is in school and unable to pay.
If students graduate and take an entry level legal job, most are not, especially in this economy, making over $50,000 annually. The final year of law school is mostly in externships and internships, which are unpaid and the students have to pay tuition for these externships and internships. If only we could make it so students graduate after 2 years of classroom instruction, and use the traditionally reserved third year for externships, internships and Bar exam preparation. This way, if these experiences are still unpaid (which should be changing soon with all unpaid externships and internships under debate), the students are not paying outrageously to gain experience.
Sure, there is the student loan repayment plan for students working with non-profits to have their loans forgiven after 10 years of service, but many individuals now change employers as opportunity strikes. I personally would hate to miss an amazing employment opportunity because I need to stay with a certain type of non-profit to get my loans forgiven. Employment to this generation is not just about salary, but impact one can have on the whole of society.
How impactful could these students be without the added stress of an additional year of student loans? Would the Bar exam preparation be less a trial of determination and more a trial of knowledge? How many more students could actually follow their intended career path of non-profit legal work with potentially $60,000 less on their student loan bill?