Teaching like a Marine

first_imgSlogging through muddy obstacle courses, enduring long marches while bearing heavy backpacks, and accepting regular torrents of insults may not seem like a good model for public education, but those dedicated to the motto semper fi argue that schools nonetheless can learn much from studying the Marines.During a discussion Thursday afternoon at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), two former members of the U.S. Marine Corps discussed how their rigorous training and military careers prepared them for their current roles in education, and how those lessons can translate more broadly to the teaching field.Speaker Jenny DuFresne spent years as a Marine, tasked with the complex administrative duties associated with officers headed to flight school, and later as a logistics expert who moved troops and supplies at a moment’s notice. After her active service, DuFresne worked in the nonprofit and corporate sectors. Then one day she found herself wondering where she could use her experience to “really do some good?”She discovered her answer in public education.A 1999 HGSE graduate, DuFresne now heads the Septima Clark Public Charter School for boys in Washington, D.C., where she relies daily on her military experience. She said she founded the school on the fundamental Marine Corps premise of creating a highly organized structure united around a common goal.“We have a mission statement, just as we did in the Marine Corps,” said DuFresne, adding that everybody in the school knows what it is, from her youngest students to her staff. While some might call that Draconian, DuFresne said that too often she has seen people thrown together in a school setting with little or no sense of “where we are all going.”“We need to get these students to college,” she added, “but we don’t have a uniform way of all being on the same team to do that work.”Panelist and former Marine officer Steve Scarfe is the assistant principal at a public high school in Illinois. The Marines’ structure, which requires constant communication across all levels of leadership, is an important concept in education as well, he said. Scarfe compared the Marines’ adherence to a uniform tradition, mission, and language to the national movement aimed at having every state adopt the same basic teaching standards in public education, known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative.That initiative “is positive, because then we start to have an understanding, when we meet another educator, that we have some common language now to talk about things.”In the Marine Corps, as in education, consistent management is critical, as is having leaders who know their mission and are able to adapt it to their circumstances, agreed the panelists.“In the Marines, we train people to know their particular role, and their particular way of doing things, and to be flexible, because once you are on the ground, stuff happens,” said DuFresne. “In education, we either don’t know what those roles are, we’re missing layers of leadership, or we don’t believe that the leader is going to be there” for any significant length of time.A commitment to excellence is another concept that the elite fighting force can contribute to educators, said Scarfe, who learned the importance of going that extra mile the hard way. While training as an officer, he told his next in command one night that he wasn’t sure he could complete a particular task because of his other responsibilities. “He looked at me like he had just found a big piece of hair in his salad,” said Scarfe. “He finally just said, ‘Lieutenant, that’s why they invented lights.’”In the Marines, said Scarfe, if your boss has made the judgment that despite limited resources something is important and must happen, “then you need to get it done, and you need to do it well.” While there are many committed educators willing to put in extra time, Scarfe added, there are also those who “just see it as, ‘I’m by contract. I’m supposed to be here until 3:45, and my car will be started at 3:46.’”“Excellence is who we are, as a Marine, and that starts from the (first) moment someone is yelling at you to get off the bus, get off their bus, and get your feet on their little yellow footprints,” echoed DuFresne.“I don’t have any option other than to be excellent,” she said, “and to expect all of my staff, all of my scholars, and all of my parents to be excellent, and to hold that value all the time.”In addition to providing students with solid foundations in core subjects such as English and math, educators increasingly need to help build character, something the Marine Corps does by providing its members with a strong sense of confidence and self-worth, the educators said.“It’s obvious that a lot of kids are missing something crucial in their lives,” said Scarfe.As students spend more and more time in school, he added, “We have to look at providing that character feedback, so they can have that confidence and self-worth.”The moderator for the session was Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education Partners and education columnist for Time magazine, who has also written about the topic.last_img read more

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Watch Patina Miller, Sutton Foster, Anna Kendrick & Karen Olivo Celebrate Shirley MacLaine at the Kennedy Center Honors

first_img Karen Olivo View Comments Star Files Sutton Fostercenter_img Patina Miller Lord help us, we love her! Screen and stage star Shirley MacLaine was celebrated at the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors by a bevy of Broadway leading ladies including Sutton Foster, Patina Miller, Karen Olivo and Anna Kendrick, broadcast on December 30. The performance featured a medley of songs inspired by MacLaine’s career on stage and in movie musicals including numbers from The Pajama Game, Sweet Charity, Irma la Douce, Seesaw and more! Check out how moved the Downton Abbey star is by the young performers paying her tribute (and pay attention at 5:23 when the icon is mouthing the words along to Kendrick singing “It’s Not How You Start”)! Oh yes, we are crying too.last_img read more

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Conservation Tillage Conference

first_imgSustaining agriculture’s future through conservation practices will be the focus of an upcoming workshop in Lyons, Ga. on Thursday, Feb. 13.The Conservation Tillage Production Systems Training Conference/Workshop will be held at the University of Georgia Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center. The workshop is designed to educate farmers on the potential benefits conservation tillage can bring to their day-to-day operations.“Conservation tillage practices have become increasingly popular by farmers over the last 20 years. A lot of farmers use conservation practices, to some extent,” said Chris Tyson, the UGA Extension agent in Tattnall County. “I’d say more and more people are doing some type of conservation practice. They may just be running a strip-till rig through winter weeds that they kill off, or they may be planting a cover crop like a wheat cover crop. Or they may be using something like a heavy rye cover crop.”Tyson will lead inside and outside field day demonstrations at the fourteenth annual event. “What we’re doing at this year’s workshop is focusing more on back to basics; very basic stuff in conservation tillage. Why are they important? Why it’s important to conserve water or prevent erosion?”Farmers will see a rye crop planted adjacent to the Vidalia Onion Research Lab where the conference will be held. Tyson will point out the process used in growing the rye and explain the benefits.UGA Extension faculty members will discuss various conservation practices. Gary Hawkins, a UGA Extension water resource specialist, will cover how to conserve soil and water resources. In his study of conservation tillage, (caes.uga.edu/topics/sustainag/contillage), Hawkins describes the technique as a process of preparing land for crops with the focus of enhancing aspects of a healthy soil. One way this is done is by planting a row crop, like rye, during the winter months. The rye is planted but killed prior to planting cotton. As a result, limited tillage is needed during cotton planting. This reduces the amount of disturbed soil. If this process is repeated every year, residue left from the winter cover crops builds the soil’s organic matter, reduces erosion and runoff and improves soil quality and water quality. For a list of the system’s benefits, see caes.uga.edu/topics/sustainag/contillage/benefits.UGA Extension weed specialist Stanley Culpepper will discuss weed management issues and UGA Extension ag economist Amanda Smith will focus on the economics of conservation systems.“From an economic standpoint, conservation tillage farmers make fewer trips across the field because they’re not having to disc or plow the soil. So there’s a savings from the standpoint of machinery and equipment with lower fuel, labor and repair costs as well as time,” Smith said. “Some farmers have found that if they use conservation tillage practices, they can actually expand their acres. They’re spending the same amount of time in the fields, but farming more acres.”Yields from conservation tillage compare to those from conventional tillage, she said. However, farmers who practice conservation tillage enjoy non-monetary benefits that result from limited tillage of farmland.The workshop will begin at 9 a.m. with registration and welcome and conclude at 2 p.m. Registration is free, but interested participants are asked to register at ugatiftonconference.org/calendar.last_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: Oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is much higher than the well-owner claims

first_imgWildlife officials on the French island of Corsica have discovered a new species of feline Photo by Office of Response and Restoration (NOAA) Skimming oil in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill A new study that took a look at the oil leaking from a platform that toppled off of the coast of Louisiana 14 years ago has found the amount of oil seeping into the Gulf of Mexico is much higher than the well-owner claims. Wolf pups successfully introduced into the wild in Arizona and New Mexico  Surrogate wild wolves are raising twelve Mexican wolf pups after they were successfully introduced into existing wolf litters in Arizona and New Mexico. Scientists from the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan and Interagency Field Team placed the wolves in their new dens. Six of the wolf pups came from the Endangered Wolf Center in Missouri, three from the Mesker Park Zoo in Indiana, two from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas, and one from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. Cross-fostering is a way to successfully introduce pups into the litters of wild females and has the highest survival rates of wolf release methods. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ In 2004 Hurricane Ivan caused the oil platform, owned by Taylor Energy Co., to fall, breaking a number of well-pipes. The company capped nine of the wells but said it could not cap all 16. Taylor Energy has argued that the uncapped wells are leaking just 2.4 to 4 gallons of oil per day. The authors of the study, which was paid for by the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, say that the total amount of oil released each day could be closer to 4,500 gallons. The study was done using sonar and a newly developed tool that measures oil and gas bubbles as they rise through the water. Study finds that oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is much higher than the well owner claims Good news for all you cat lovers out there—there’s now one more feline species for you to enjoy. Wildlife officials on the French island of Corsica have identified 16 golden striped cats on a remote area of the island. The cats are described as larger than the average housecat with large, ringed tails and “highly developed” canine teeth. Locally the cats are being referred to as “fox-cats” because of their appearance. Scientists believe that the cats are a newly discovered species that may have originated thousands of years back in Africa or the Middle East. While the DNA of the cats is close to that of an African forest cat, their exact identity is still unknown. last_img read more

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Enough With the Hype—Just Make Rental Apartments Available and Affordable

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island’s housing options are woefully inadequate, yet we’re doing little to address this ever-growing problem.If you ask LI’s developers, they would say that the answer is the creation of developments that “meet the needs of seniors who are downsizing and young adults looking for more affordable rentals, as well as to create ‘vibrant’ destination communities that attract workers and retain young people,” as representative of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities, Inc. and The Engel Burman Group in Garden City told the Long Island Regional Planning Council at a recent meeting in Hempstead.That sounds good to any rational resident. On paper.But nobody is talking about the rents in these developments, nor the marked disconnect between what is getting approved and built, as well as what this region truly needs to thrive: high-paying economic opportunities for the region’s eager and educated younger workforce, and housing they can actually afford.The new rentals are telling. Avalon Bay claims it wants to provide housing options that will keep the Island’s millennials here. It charges $1,840 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in Coram, $2,670 a month for a one bedroom in Garden City or $2,748 a month for a one bedroom in Long Beach.These rents are higher than most single-family home mortgages. For Avalon Pines in Coram to be considered “affordable,” which means less than 20 percent of the household income going toward rent, its occupants would need a combined income of $110,000 per year. And that’s to live in Coram, where the closest Long Island Rail Road train station is roughly six miles away.Statistically, it’s unlikely that workers residing that far out east in Suffolk County would utilize the LIRR anyway to commute to Manhattan, but the developers still call it a walkable, transit-oriented community regardless. Avalon Huntington Station, about a mile from the train station, is charging $2,285 a month, which would require a joint salary of $135,000 for it to be considered “affordable.”In 2013, the average rent in Suffolk for a one-bedroom was $1,490 a month, according to The New York Times, while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that the average fair market rent for a one-bedroom is $1,324. For the Nassau-Suffolk region, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom is $1,437. The average median family income for the region in 2015 was $109,000.In western Suffolk, housing prices declined 12 percent in the wake of the recession from 2008 through 2013, while rents in one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments rose 19 percent. Nassau saw even larger price disparities. Housing prices declined by 7 percent, but rents went up 27 percent for one-bedroom apartments, and 28 percent for two-bedrooms. From 2011 to 2013, Long Island’s rents increased between 7 percent and 10 percent, yet housing prices only grew 3 percent to 4 percent.Not to pick on Avalon Bay, but it is just one example of how many developers tout their desire to supply what the Island needs, yet the economics prevent them from doing it because it doesn’t make fiscal sense. To acknowledge the need for affordable workforce housing for the next generation and the elderly, while charging $1,840 a month to live 60 miles from New York City is ludicrous. Compare this situation to Queens. As the MNS Real Estate Services reported in December 2015, average rent in Astoria, complete with easy subway access and a more vibrant neighborhood than most suburban areas, was a mere $2,057 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, while Forest Hills and Rego Park came close with $2,014 and $2,038 respectably. Although familial ties to LI are strong for many young people who grew up here, is it worth their paying $750 a month more to live in Nassau County instead of renting in Queens, or should they just pay the $20 train ticket on the weekends to visit their parents?Herein lies the problem. Developers and their vested nonprofit buddies often get so caught up in the convenient narrative that, yes, Long Island needs more multifamily housing projects, yet few actually build them at price points to suit the needs of our many young people who want to move out of their childhood homes. The Island needs more apartments, but few builders, if any, are actually building them for the markets they claim to be supplying.Of course, builders don’t have it easy. From NIMBY protests over community fears that are sometimes legitimate and often imagined, LI’s development climate is difficult and easy at the same time.But to grandstand to a regional planning group about what we need is wrong considering what they are providing. The LIRPC should be telling developers what housing options Long Island needs, not the other way around. For too long, planning efforts on the Island have been spearheaded by vested interests and specialized groups instead of serious data-backed study driven by public participation.Further, the LIRPC should be taking more of a leadership role in confronting the economics of why, exactly, many of these developers are building projects with rents well above the median rent levels in Suffolk.Instead of focusing on squeezing every bit of density into the last bastions of open space on the Island, the emphasis should be on how to repurpose our existing, underutilized disturbed sites to meet our region’s needs. The LIRPC must usher LI into a new economy that allows for sustainable economic growth by unifying the patchwork system of our Industrial Development Agencies, and stop trying to compete with Manhattan and the outer boroughs for apartments, and complement what the city has to offer.By playing to Long Island’s strengths, instead of trying to urbanize Nassau and Suffolk here and there, we will get the jobs we need, and the housing options will follow.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

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Dual-system LRVs arrive

first_imgKarlsruhe’s public transport operator VBK and its associated local railway AVG have taken delivery of the first of 21 low-floor eight-axle dual-system LRVs (right). Unlike the earlier dual-system cars (left) which have a high floor throughout, the vehicles have lowered areas in the two end sections. Floor heights are 880mm in the centre section and over the end bogies, and 630mm in the wells where the doors are located.The car bodies and interiors are being built by Duewag in Düsseldorf, and the bogies are coming from Adtranz Siegen. Siemens VT is contributing the 15 kV transformer, rectifier and voltage selector, which are identical to those used in the first series. Other electrical equipment is from Adtranz, with the 750V traction drives identical to 20 low-floor LRVs in use on VBK’s DC network. Four 125 kW three-phase motors are driven by four bipolar transistor inverters; regenerative braking is only possible in DC operation. Top speed is 100 km/h. Kassel’s KVG has ordered the first low-floor tramcars in Germany designed specifically for operation on EBO-regulated private railways. A batch of 12 cars from DWA Bautzen and Kiepe will run on the city’s tramways and on the 22 km Lossetalbahn, which is to be electrified at 750V DC. Due for delivery in mid-1999, the 28·8m long welded steel cars will have 70% of the floor at 354mm above rail and the rest at 560mm. The centre section will be carried on bogies with 590mm diameter independent wheels. Each unidirectional car will carry 90 seated and 98 standing passengers, and will be powered by four 100 kW motors controlled by four IGBT inverters. The cars must withstand end buffing loads of 300 kN at 5 km/h and will have Indusi and Sifa train protection. olast_img read more

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Jadestone sets in motion arbitration action against Total

first_imgSingapore-based oil and gas company Jadestone Energy has started arbitration against the French oil major Total related to a breach of a farm out agreement for an asset located offshore Philippines. Jadestone informed last week that its subsidiary, Jadestone-56, had started an arbitration action against Total Philippines, a subsidiary of Total.Jadestone-56 has started the action as a response to the breach of the farm out agreement (FOA) dated August 23, 2012, between Jadestone-56 and Total Philippines in respect of Service Contract 56, Philippines.Total farmed into the block in exchange for a carry through of the go-forward exploration program. The block covers a total area of around 4,300 km², in water depths ranging from 200 to 3,000 meters.The operatorship was transferred to Total in 2014, after a decision was made to drill an exploration well on Halcon prospect. Jadestone-56 holds a twenty five percent interest in SC 56, while Total Philippines holds the remaining seventy five percent.The notice of arbitration was filed with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre in accordance with the terms of the farm out agreement, Jadestone said.In the notice, Jadestone-56 claims that, among other things, Total Philippines failed to drill an exploration well on the Halcon prospect located within the block covered by Service Contract 56 and is seeking damages as a result of this failure to drill.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

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Fugro delivers remote inspection in UK sector

first_imgFugro has delivered the first fully remote inspection of an oil and gas platform in UK waters. Karl Daly, Fugro’s director for IRM services in Europe, said: “This innovative approach allowed for efficient scope delivery and demonstrates to all our clients the opportunities for maximising operational windows whilst reducing offshore HSSE exposure, which is always important but even more so during the current pandemic.” The ROV mobilised with dedicated remote systems for visual inspection, cathodic protection (CP) and flooded member detection (FMD). Neptune employs Fugro for subsea inspection in North Sea The project took place 250 kilometres east of Scotland, using an ROV and Fugro’s remote operations centre (ROC) in Aberdeen. In a first for the UK sector, the platform’s entire jacket structure was inspected remotely. Fugro also recently secured a contract with Neptune Energy to employ remote monitoring technology at the Cygnus gas field. Fugro originally intended to trial the remote inspection provision during the campaign. center_img Business & Finance Posted: 2 months ago This allowed its client and ROC personnel to access data acquired by the ROV in near real time. However, when only one offshore inspection engineer was able to mobilise to the platform due to Covid-19, inspection engineers based at Fugro’s ROC in Aberdeen stepped in and delivered the whole project remotely to stay on schedule. Categories: Posted: 2 months ago Fugro also transacted a COABIS database across the onshore and offshore locations.last_img read more

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MPs to vote on gay marriage

first_imgNZ Herald 26 July 2012 A bill on whether to legalise gay marriage is to go before Parliament. The bill, submitted by Labour MP Louisa Wall and aimed at legalising same-sex marriage, has been drawn from the Members Bill Ballot. It was one of five drawn from a pool of 62 bills. The principal Marriage Act 1955 does not define marriage being between a man and a woman, but couples other than between a man and a woman have not been permitted to obtain marriage licences. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill) submitted by Ms Wall makes it clear that marriage is a union of two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. A bill allowing a debate on same-sex marriage had double the chance of being drawn after Green Party MP Kevin Hague also had a private member’s bill in the ballot to legalise same-sex marriage. Mr Hague said “the time had come” for gay marriage in New Zealand. “One of the things we said was regardless of which bill got drawn, we’d both be putting our full weight behind them. I am very pleased to say I will be campaigning hard out to support Louisa’s bill.”  He said it was likely the bill would have majority support at the first reading, because Prime Minister John Key has indicated he would support the bill in its early stages. “I think John Key’s support is quite important because within the National Party caucus that is effectively the green light for people who support the bill to be able to vote for it,” he said. Prime Minister John Key said last month he would support a bill to legalise same-sex marriage at its initial stage, but will not guarantee his support will continue through to the final reading that would see it become law.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10822370last_img read more

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Luiz confident Blues will bounce back

first_imgDavid Luiz is optimistic Chelsea will swiftly overcome the pain of relinquishing their hold on the FA Cup and refocus on securing Champions League qualification. Chelsea face crucial matches in the Barclays Premier League prior to the trip to Basle in the Europa League semi-finals, beginning with Wednesday’s west London derby at Fulham, as they seek to secure a top-four spot and a return to the Champions League they won last May in Munich. “It’s not difficult (to overcome),” the Brazil defender said. “You need to take positive things. For us it was a great game. In the second half we controlled the game, we controlled one big team and created a lot of opportunities. In the future we have confidence. I’m always positive.” He added: “We have important games in the future. We need to win. We need to be in the best position in the league and win the Europa League.” Chelsea’s defeat came at the end of a run of six matches in 16 days and following Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final second leg with Rubin Kazan in Moscow. But interim boss Rafael Benitez played down the impact of fatigue, citing the second-half response. “It’s more that City were very strong in the first half,” he said. “We know physically players like Yaya Toure can make a big difference in the middle of the park and also (Sergio) Aguero. They have very good players. “The first half we didn’t show the level that we wanted to show and second half the reaction of the team was quite positive. “For me the positive thing is we saw in the second half we could do much better.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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