The school district in which I teach (the second largest in the U.S.) recently announced a new policy limiting a student’s homework liability to 10% of his or her term grade.
I understand the good-hearted intentions. I know what life is like for many of our students in this city.
They go to jobs after school and on weekends, sometimes exceeding the legal limits of child labor laws to earn money on which their family depends; they live in overcrowded apartments with no quiet place to work or even think or in group homes or cars or the streets or they bounce around from place to place, they are the caretakers of younger siblings and sick parents and grandparents and they live in neighborhoods too dangerous to travel in after dark from school or the local library.
I don’t know what percentage of our city’s students face such challenges but in the area where I teach the number is substantial — as is the drop-out rate at many of the schools.
We — teachers, most of us anyway — are not insensitive to the circumstances of our students. We try (when we can) to work with children facing such challenges — but the most important way that we can help them is to prepare them to live a better life as adults, to go to college and succeed there and beyond, and many of them enter my class quite deficient in the skills and knowledge they will need to do so.
Our school district, short on funds from the state for the past few years, has had to reduce the school
Archive for June 29th, 2011
The school district in which I teach (the second largest in the U.S.) recently announced a new policy limiting a student’s homework liability to 10% of his or her term grade.
When the weather gets really hot, it’s important to drink cool beverages to keep your body temperature down. Smoothies make great use of ingredients you might already have in your refrigerator, and are a healthy way to start your day. Check out these five healthy smoothies from MarcusSamuelsson.com:
Avocado-Banana Smoothie Recipe
This smoothie takes a cue from Moroccan smoothies, and is equally refreshing and filling. Choose this for a healthy morning meal that will keep you energized until lunch
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 2011, 154 minutes, rated PG-13
On a relative scale, the third time is the charm for the Michael Bay robot-smashing series. This second sequel basically gives us the apocalyptic Transformers epic we’ve been waiting for since 2007. That which was annoying about the previous two films is still present here, but in more sensible doses. We still have needlessly campy
“The model was the starving, but well fed artist. We went in figuring we’re going to make what we want and how we want it, and do it the best we can and buy the best ingredients we can so our ice cream has an insurance that it tastes good for people.”
Meet Gab Carbone & Matt Errico, the founders of The Bent Spoon, a locally-loved, artisan, small-batch ice cream shop in Princeton, New Jersey. Gab & Matt both grew up in The Garden State; learning at a very young age, through their food loving Italian-American families, how to cook and appreciate the special terroir of New Jersey.
For them, eating was a way of understanding and honoring a “taste of place”, a way of enjoying the specific food of an area – a philosophy that stayed with them when they met and discovered their mutual love of ice cream and started experimenting with local ice cream flavors in their kitchen. And, after their flavor inventions became too good to be just a hobby, they decided to open The Bent Spoon – becoming one of the first ice cream shops in the NYC area to really source locally and introduce their customers to novel and interesting flavors that really celebrated New Jersey.
So, come watch a little behind-the-scenes peek inside one of my favorite go-to ice cream
Happy Wednesday everyone, here’s my Top 5 for June 29, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
Maria Sharapova and three others make the Wimbledon semifinals.
Was it a World Series preview? Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee pitched his third straight shutout, a two-hitter, as the Phillies beat the Red Sox 5-0.
South Carolina clinched its second straight College World Series title by sweeping two straight from Florida, 5-2 last night.
The American women beat North Korea 2-0 in their opening World Cup match. The North Korean coach blamed the fact that several of his players were struck by lightning during a training session. Oh.
NFL talks are continuing in Minnesota.
Tiger Woods looks doubtful for the British Open in two weeks.
In the vast exhibition hall of London’s Tate Modern, the installation looks from a distance like a huge patch of gravel. Perhaps it is the first stage of a construction site or the last stage of a demolition. Only when you come closer and crouch down can you identify the little objects. A discerning eye might determine that they are
How does it feel? Any pangs of regret?
On Friday, the governor of New York signed a marriage equality bill, hours after it was passed by the legislature. It’s being called a monumental historic victory and is in the news all around the world. The suspense leading up to it built for weeks, ending in a cliffhanger finish that rivaled your biggest Hollywood blockbusters. New York’s
These last few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my newest tattoo — a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on my right shoulder.
“Why Abraham Lincoln? Is it because there are rumors he was gay?” Well, no, but I do appreciate the opportunity to make a Gaybraham Lincoln pun, thank you.
“Why Abraham Lincoln? Do you want to make sure everyone knows that you really hate slavery?” Wait, was there ever a question about my stance on slavery?!
“Why Abraham Lincoln? Is it because you’re a hipster, and hipsters have beards, and he had a beard, and he was tall and skinny and wore a weird hat — so he was, in a sense, kind of the original hipster?” …What?
“So, why Abraham Lincoln?”
These kinds of questions aren’t terribly unexpected (well, okay, maybe those specific examples were). Every time I get a tattoo, the first question I get is “why?” But the investigation is always imbued with a tentative urgency, as if the asker is presenting a deeply personal — almost rudely penetrating — question. The inquiry always feels a bit loaded, as if I’m expected to answer with the most consequential, most sacred reasoning imaginable. It’s as if only something life-or-death could be worthy of permanently etching into one’s skin; as if tattoos should be confined to homages to dead relatives or to religious
In many respects, it’s not suprising that Bank of America just got stung for a $8.5 billion settlement..
The Wall Street Journal notes that the bank is close to an $8.5 billion settlement with a bunch of high powered investors who were burned by BOA in the mortgage backed securities market.
Bank of America was deemed a bank that was “too big too fail.” When President Bush, Hank Paulson, and Ben Bernanke put together the first Wall Street bailout of $700 billion, it was a move designed to reward bad behavior among big banks.
BOA has the money in their pockets to pay for bad behavior. If a Main Street company, without taxpayer bailout money, had behaved as badly, they wouldn’t be getting off for $8.5 billion, they would be shutting down.
Instead Bank of America rolls on, picking up Merrill Lynch along the way.
A small story from last year tells me that Bank of America is never going to “get
The smart, young entrepreneurs of today’s generation are becoming successful by bringing new, innovative ideas to the table in terms of how to make products profitable via the internet, right under the nose of corporate America, the so-called “experts” in this field. How are these visionaries able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time, and how can corporate America position itself against such a threat?
Below are the top 10 things leading internet entrepreneurs are doing to become successful that big businesses should constantly be aware of in order to stay ahead of the curve in the midst of a changing marketplace.
Faster Turnaround Time Internet marketing entrepreneurs have truly opened my eyes to just how important a quick turnaround time can be. Often times, an interview they conduct with me today is online by the next morning. The interviewee is then able to start making money less than 24 hours after the initial
Evolution is evolving from unconscious chance to conscious choice. We are entering the first age of conscious evolution.
Why? Because we obviously affect our own evolution by all the choices we make — from the food we eat, the number of babies we have, the cars we drive and the weapons we build.
Humans have no experience at being responsible for global change at this level. We are facing, as Bruce Lipton and Deepak Chopra recently wrote, the possibility of the collapse of our life support system. Or, I believe, the emergence of something new, something better than we have ever known before.
This shift in evolution began overtly in 1945 when the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on
After New York’s historic gay marriage vote last week, the national political media has begun speculating about the presidential prospects for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Right now, in fact, Cuomo is drawing more national media attention and more Google searches than at any other point in his governorship. (You can see the data at Google Trends.)
So reporters and regular people are zeroing in on Cuomo. But put aside the historical significance of the gay marriage vote, and anyone who follows New York politics knows the prospect of Cuomo as a popular Democratic primary candidate in 2016 is a
Predicting political developments is a treacherous business. Social scientists like me turn out to be wrong all too often. Nevertheless, I will predict the outcome of the hectic negotiations on raising the debt limits–and show why this is not much of a boast.
I predict that a deal will be reached and that it will focus on deficit reduction, at a time when the economy is limping and many economists hold that the government ought to spend more, not less. (I would add that Congress should commit itself irrevocably to deficit cuts–to be activated once unemployment falls below 7%.)
Moreover, the deal will be at least two-thirds, more likely 80%, “Republican” and only the rest “Democratic.” I mean the deal will largely reflect the Republican demand that government spending be cut–and that it will contain only few revenue-raising features, which the Democrats favor.
Furthermore, the revenue-raising features will include few or no tax increases and will mainly take the form of reducing “tax expenditures” such as cutting subsidies, for instance to ethanol, and closing some tax loopholes.
Finally, the easiest and most distressing prediction of them
As an openly gay American, it will not surprise you that Governor Andrew Cuomo is my very favorite governor (we call him the Cuomo-Sexual at our house). As an openly gay resident of the state of New Jersey, it will not surprise you that Governor Chris Christie is my least favorite governor (I can’t really tell you what we call him at our house).
It did not surprise me that “my” governor said that he would not sign a marriage equality bill. In fact, I like clarity. It tells us that the legislative path to marriage equality in New Jersey is
I was one of many readers intrigued by a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times about finding out who we really are. Under the title, “In Search of the True Self,” the piece was by an associate professor at Yale, Joshua Knobe, who attempts something very ambitious. He wants to solve the dilemma that humans are divided between our civilized and our animal nature. The question is far from
Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Cramping Your Style?
Our bowel habits usually aren’t cocktail party fodder, but some gastrointestinal problems are so common that several of your fellow partygoers are likely to suffer from one of them. Take irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for example: This condition — which affects an estimated 15 percent of Americans — can cause uncomfortable changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea, chronic constipation or a combination of both. People with IBS may also experience bloating, gas and intense abdominal pain. No wonder no one wants to talk about it.
Living with IBS can be frustrating, especially if you rely on conventional measures to treat
The greatest point of leverage that any of us have is the state of our consciousness. Our circumstances, events, personal resources and environment all play important roles in determining what we can or cannot accomplish. However, it is our attitudes, beliefs, clarity of intention and determination that combine to empower one person to rise above a situation while another falls victim to it.
Here is a checklist of eight ways to maximize your health and well-being by maintaining a healthy state of consciousness:
1 of 8
The Ridge by Michael Koryta is a strange and intense novel that has a touch of Stephen King thrown in for good measure. It concerns Wyatt French, a man who is the town drunk, but who also holds the secret to a pact with evil that permeates a small Kentucky town. It is here that the drunk has taken all of his savings and built a lighthouse up in the hills and from there a bright light illuminates the surroundings. Koryta takes this premise as a jumping off place for a fascinating study of good
We’ve all experienced food cravings, the feeling that we don’t just want to eat something — we want something very specific. Researchers at Tufts University found that the types of foods people crave are individual, but generally speaking, people crave foods that are high in calories. For a better understanding of food cravings, it’s important to understand what influences our cravings and what we can do to control them.
In the May 2010 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association of Psychological Science, psychologists Eva Kemps and Marika Tiggemann of Flinders University, Australia, reviewed the latest research on food cravings to answer one question: Why do we get intense desires to eat certain foods? They found some studies suggesting that the mental imagery of food (the vivid images we get when we crave) hold the key. In fact, one study found that the strength of an individual’s craving was correlated with how vividly they imagined the
Begin by remembering who the author of this book is. Henry Kissinger, most familiar to Americans as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, is, even if we ignore Christopher Hitchens’ allegation that he is a “war criminal,” nonetheless a profoundly problematic character, especially on the subject of China.
For one thing, he is chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international political consulting firm based in New York City and counting among its clients some of the biggest American companies doing business in China. So the man clearly has a financial incentive to relate a version of Chinese affairs conducive to the interests of these companies — the very ones that have been offshoring American jobs and worsening America’s trade balance through their
The Booker International Prize judging panel was "animated by disagreement" over the decision to recognise author Philip Roth, its chairman has revealed.
"When you judge a literary prize, taste and judgement collide [and] egos can be bruised," said Dr Rick Gekoski at an awards ceremony in central London.
Roth, 78, did not attend the event, but sent a short film instead.
One of the judges, feminist publisher Carmen Callil, resigned in protest over his selection in May.
The prize made headlines earlier this year when spy novelist John le Carre asked for his name to be taken off the shortlist.
The award has previously been presented to Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, Nigeria's Chinua Achebe and Canadian author Alice
Several days ago, a historic vote in the state of New York, pushed aggressively by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, legalized the practice of same-sex marriage. Such an action was certainly a momentous decision for marriage equality rights in the LGBT community. The vote was not exactly sui generis, but the fact that it occurred in a large and populous state in the country drew more media attention than, say,
As we – hopefully – enter a critical time in our long-running labor dispute, NFL and NFLPA representatives are meeting in for the fifth week back where the lawsuit of Brady v. NFL began: near the courthouse of the Minnesota District Court for four days of talks. We can only hope that the Secret Negotiation Tour ’11 — having made tour stops in Chicago, New York, Maryland and Boston makes its last and final stop at the chambers of Judge Nelson — who must review and approve any settlement of Brady v. NFL — only minutes away from these current meetings.
With that and having received so many questions over the past week, here are few of the most common, with my best attempt to answer them:
With a new round of secret meetings this week in Minnesota, are you optimistic about a deal getting done soon?
In a word,
On June 24th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a marriage equality bill into law after it passed a senate vote 33 to 29. The law will become effective July 24th, making New York just the sixth state to legalize gay marriage in the United States.
The signing of the bill was almost poetic, coming during Gay and Lesbian Pride Month on the same weekend as the pride parade and in the same city where the Stonewall Riots–considered the origin of the Gay Rights Movement–occurred over forty years ago, inciting the creation of an American gay and lesbian community with a will to voice and action that had previously been squelched by an oppression astoundingly similar to what the Civil Rights Movement fought against during the same time period. Gays and lesbians were put on FBI “watch lists” during the anti-Communist sentiments of the 1950′s and 60′s because they were deemed “un-American.” Cities conducted routine sweeps of public areas to “rid” them of people thought to be