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Friday, November 2, 2012
Five links that made us think this week:
“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.”
Gandhi’s famous words inspired 15-year-old sophomore Maisie Kate Millers to start a non-violent movement to tame a bully. Recently bullied by a classmate for wearing her hair in pigtails, Maisie took her campaign to Facebook, naming her protest “Pigtails for Peace.” She received huge outpourings of support from hundreds of students, most of whom didn’t know her. The next day at school hundreds of “girls, boys, a dog, and at least one teacher” showed up with their hair in pigtails. Maisie Kate’s bully without a doubt learned her lesson—she was a no-show at school the day of the protest.
Imagine being in a classroom where the teachers purposely distract the students, either through “Twitter feeds, the latest Tumblr posting or old-fashioned classroom commotion.” Meet the brain trainers, a group of tutors whose innovative working style is meant to “improve cognitive skills.” By using techniques that target one’s mental ability, the brain trainers are drastically improving their students’ IQ: “The average gain on I.Q. is 15 points after 24 weeks of training, and 20 points in less than 32 weeks.” I say, brain training for everyone!
In fitness news, the state of Georgia recently gave grants to 21 schools to help fight the obesity epidemic in our classrooms. These grants came in hand with a list of “fuel goals,” tracking devices to measure each student’s physical activities, and family fitness nights. There’s definitely been a drastic drop in PE class participation throughout the years, and these new initiatives are a great way to help fight the increase of obesity among students.
Hurricane Sandy dominated the news cycle this week. Among all the devastating and heartbreaking photos we’ve seen from the hurricane, Businessweek did a fantastic job, in my opinion, to put it plain and simple to the public. The latest cover from Bloomberg’s magazine reads “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” This cover successfully targets those people whom, somehow, still deny the reality of climate change.
Last week a teacher in South Carolina opted to turn her classroom into a campaign battleground, by displaying a placard that read “The road to hell is paved with Democrats.” There’s a big difference between being politically active and being politically destructive. There’s also a big difference between factual arguments and unfounded accusations. She can learn a thing or two from these students, who get an A+ for making a non-partisan call to action to go vote on Tuesday.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone! Pura Vida.
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