Texas teacher makes physics her fulcrum

Hands-on techniques and enthusiasm leverage student interest

To put learning in motion, physics teacher Peggy Schweiger puts students in motion. Schweiger’s Klein Oak High (Spring, Texas) students design fettuccine bridges, pipe insulation roller coasters, and straw towers. They wire dollhouses with three kinds of circuits and build cardboard boats to row in a regatta.

Near Schweiger’s desk, hanging from the ceiling, is an 18-pound bowling ball on which a teddy bear named Newton rests. As a pendulum, the bowling ball is a dramatic lesson in energy conservation to her students and a lesson in trust for the volunteer who stands nearby. Schweiger pulls the bowling ball to a position near the student’s nose and let’s go to show that, on its return, the ball can’t hit the stationary volunteer in the nose, because it never gains more energy than it had at the start.

“I don’t have one of those classes where you walk by and kids are sitting there working with a book. This atmosphere really represents my personality,” says Schweiger, a member of All-USA Teacher Team, selected earlier this year as representatives of the nation’s outstanding teachers.

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Teaching as a fine art

All the world’s a stage for this larger-than-life New Orleans educator and his students

With peeling paint, institution issues, cracked linoleum tiles, broken windowpanes and hopelessly scuffed wood floors, the building that houses the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Academy shows all its 100 years.

But a palpable energy thrives within, feeds on itself and intensifies, thanks largely to a dedicated staff of professional actors/dancers/artists-turned teachers and their extraordinary young charges.

Henry Hoffman is among the teachers whose unflagging enthusiasm for and belief in his students make the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts the success story it has become since its opening in 1974, with alumni including jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Terrence Blanchard and stage actors Anthony Mackie and Mary Catherine Garrison.

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Math Skills and Your Confidence

I have a client who is 39 weeks pregnant with her first full-term pregnancy.  It is a very exciting time for her and I am honored to be her Doula.  While we have been spending the last several days texting and talking about the progress her body is making, I have also been serving my massage therapy clients in my office.

As you may have read in my last blog post, I really love my job.  I love giving massage and helping women find comfort to cope with stress and the physical pains caused by it.  I also really love working with women as they enter the homestretch of pregnancy in preparation for their baby’s birth.

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What I don’t like is math!  I’m in the process of preparing to write a grant to hopefully get some money to expand my business and relieve some of the financial stress on my family (teenagers are so expensive!)  As I began this process, I have realized that the business plan I prepared 6 years ago in massage therapy school is no longer adequate. Fortunately, I benefitted so much from the from Covcell GED prep that I passed my GED and could go to college to get my massage therapy diploma!

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Gary North-Y2K guru

The New York Times Magazine referred to him as a “Y2K guru.” ABC featured him in a prime-time head-for-the-hills news story. And Wired called him “a historian and early leader in the Y2K preparedness movement.” His name is Gary North and the media have anointed him as their official Year 2000-survival poster boy. But who’s spinning whom here?

“My concern about Gary North is that there are a lot of innocent citizens out there who are taking his information as the unadulterated truth,” gripes Steve Davis, co-author of Y2K Risk Management: Contingency Planning, Business Continuity, and Avoiding Litigation (John Wiley&Sons). “Y2K just came along and fit his agenda perfectly.” While Y2K is a real problem with real consequences, it’s uncertainty provides the perfect cover for a whole slew of millennial panic profiteers.

Unfortunately, the details of North’s agenda are not revealed because reporters are too busy lapping up his end-of-the-world sales pitch when they should be checking his background. If they did, they’d discover that North is using the Y2K problem to promote his larger agenda of Christian Reconstructionism. (more…)

Is the Freshman 15 real or just a myth?

Many college and university dining halls offer all-you-can-eat food to students. Unlike high school and middle schools which try to serve healthy foods, not all of these foods are the best to eat for you. Combine fatty and sugary foods with sodas and unlimited portions and you get the “Freshman 15″ — the 15 pounds gained by many students in their freshman year of college.

Is the Freshman 15 real or just a myth?

T_Freshman_15_1Well, it really depends on the person. If you eat unhealthy and don’t exercise, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some weight gain in college. However, if you’re able to control your eating habits well and/or exercise, you won’t have much to worry about. After my first year, I noticed that most people hadn’t really changed weight at all, though there were definitely some students who had put on a few pounds over the year.

So, what can you do to avoid the Freshman 15? (more…)

How do I improve my GPA in college?

Your grade-point-average (GPA) in college is still a very important statistic. Many employers will look at your GPA before deciding whether or not to hire you, and graduate schools will definitely look at your GPA before deciding whether or not to admit you. It’s important to have as high of a GPA as you can get by the time you graduate college. Even if you got your high school diploma through on of these online GED programs but you got a good GPA you will be just fine.

If you calculated your GPA and you don’t think you have a good GPA, you should definitely consider trying to raise it, no matter what year you are in your studies. If you’re a freshman, keep in mind that it feels a lot easier to maintain a decent GPA than it does to bring a low one up. If you’re near graduating, every bit can help out, and raising your GPA a tenth of a point could still make a pretty big difference.

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Raising your overall GPA

Because your GPA is based only on the grades that you earn in college, there’s only one way to raise it: get better grades. If your GPA is around a 2.2, then any grade that counts for more than 2.2 points (a C+ or higher), will help increase your GPA. Vice versa, any grade that counts for less than your GPA will lower your GPA (if you have a 2.2, a C or lower will hurt you).

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