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Archive of posts published in the category: fxjwodrf
May
9

Ice sheet history from Antarctic continental margin Sediments: the ANTOSTRAT approach

first_imgThe Antarctic Ice Sheet is today an important part of the global climate engine, and probably has been so for most of its long existence. However, the details of its history are poorly known, despite the measurement and use, over two decades, of low-latitude proxies of ice sheet volume. An additional way of determining ice sheet history is now available, based on understanding terrigenous sediment transport and deposition under a glacial regime. It requires direct sampling of the prograded wedge of glacial sediments deposited at the Antarctic continental margin (and of derived sediments on the continental rise) at a small number of key sites, and combines the resulting data using numerical models of ice sheet development. The new phase of sampling is embodied mainly in a suite of proposals to the Ocean Drilling Program, generated by separate regional proponent groups co-ordinated through ANTOSTRAT (the Antarctic Offshore Acoustic Stratigraphy initiative). The first set of margin sites has now been drilled as ODP Leg 178 to the Antarctic Peninsula margin, and a first, short season of inshore drilling at Cape Roberts, Ross Sea, has been completed. Leg 178 and Cape Roberts drilling results are described briefly here, together with an outline of key elements of the overall strategy for determining glacial history, and of the potential contributions of drilling other Antarctic margins investigated by ANTOSTRAT. ODP Leg 178 also recovered continuous ultra-high-resolution Holocene biogenic sections at two sites within a protected, glacially-overdeepened basin (Palmer Deep) on the inner continental shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula. These and similar sites from around the Antarctic margin are a valuable resource when linked with ice cores and equivalent sections at lower latitude sites for studies of decadal and millenial-scale climate variation.last_img read more

May
4

Bataan amphibious group completes first SWATT

first_imgThe US Navy amphibious ready group (ARG) assembled around amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) has completed its first Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise.For the Bataan ARG, SWATT provided an important transition from single ship operations to multi-ship, aircraft, and landing craft operations in scenarios that spanned multiple warfare areas.SWATTs are a relatively new construct in the surface fleet that deliver advanced tactical training to increase surface force lethality and tactical proficiency by providing warfare commander and unit level training beyond the basic phase.“SWATTs prepare individuals, watch teams, ships and staffs to be more capable, ready and lethal to ‘Own the Fight,’” said Capt. Lance Lesher, commodore of Amphibious Squadron 8. “It’s crucial that ships’ crews are prepared to work together, communicate and face all varieties of challenges at sea. That need is amplified when you have multiple ships conducting coordinated operations as a group.”SWATT exercises are conducted in two phases. The first phase of the Bataan ARG SWATT — like similar SWATTs — was an in-port academic session. After the in-port phase, underway training commenced when all the ships, aircraft and landing craft that make up the Bataan ARG — including USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS New York (LPD 21), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), and embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 (HSC 28) and Naval Beach Group 2 assets — completed training events to sharpen their warfighting skills.These events included conducting integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), anti-submarine / surface warfare (ASW/SUW), amphibious warfare (AMW), information warfare (IW), mine warfare (MIW), ship maneuvering, and live-fire events designed to tactically prepare surface forces for maritime warfare missions.Since 2016, there have been 11 SWATT exercises completed by carrier strike group cruiser-destroyer units and ARGs. View post tag: US Navy View post tag: SWATT Photo: San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) fires a Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) during SWATT. Photo: US Navycenter_img View post tag: Bataan ARG Share this articlelast_img read more

May
2

Hooked on Houses: The Little Pink Cottage That Could

first_imgBy Maureen SchneiderIt all started as a whale’s tale – literally. David and Bernice Losinno took a day trip to Sea Isle City to lay eyes upon a beached whale in the fall of 2016. They missed seeing the whale but ended up seeing and subsequently purchasing something far different in Ocean City. The Losinnos rode home to Pennsylvania as the new owners of the “Little Pink Cottage that Could.”In 1879, four Methodist ministers (Ezra B. Lake, James Lake, S. Wesley Lake and William Burrell) chose the town and established a Christian retreat. Overlooking the grounds of the Ocean City Tabernacle, the Losinnos’ recently restored home was built a year later in 1880 by the Lake Brothers. The home was erected for and inhabited by Simon Wesley Lake Sr.It is said that buyers know within seconds of entering a home if it is the right fit for them. Bernice knew right away, claiming that the house “spoke to her.” David is still wondering what the heck it said!Owners Bernice and David Losinno lovingly restored the old home.This home is a key contributing structure to Ocean City’s Historic District, which was recently touted by Coastal Living magazine. The magazine refers to the “Residential Historic District full of bungalows and beach cottages making year-round life feel like an old-fashioned vacation.”The couple worked closely with both the Historical Committee and the Preservation Society to return this gem to its former glory. Yet instead of gutting and renovating it, they feel they have “restored” the tiny beauty. David estimates that in addition to the many months contractors spent on the home, he and Bernice have over 4,700-plus hours of sweat equity invested.They painstakingly took on much of the interior and exterior restoration themselves. Missing cupboard and closet doors, newel posts and spindles, as well as fireplace surrounds were collected from salvage yards in Philadelphia and subsequently installed.The historic pink house features a comfortable front porch.They found their new “old” front door discarded in the alley, a perfect fit for this vintage home. This cottage is adorned in a colonial style, with both vintage and antique items nestled throughout. The newly rebuilt front porch is complete with painted white rockers and a cozy swing for long breezy after-beach naps. Life couldn’t get any better for these two.More than 138 years old, this house could tell some tall tales. Neighbors and visitors alike have watched the couple renovate over the past year and a half. Some are stopping by for a tour of their childhood vacation home, some simply thanking the couple for their efforts to save this local treasure.As one of the finishing touches, the couple chose the signature pink paint for the exterior of the home. The fresh paint encapsulates and protects this historic home, ensuring it will go on to host many more dinner parties, sleepovers, early morning coffee cliques and lazy afternoons on one of the best front porches in town.Quaint steps lead to the cozy third floor.The story of this house mimics the storyline of “The Little Engine that Could,” which instills the value of optimism and hard work. This cottage was built upon these values back in 1879 and restored as “The Little Pink Cottage that Could” with these same values in mind more than a century later.To SEA MORE of “The Little Pink Cottage that Could” like SeaMorewithMaureen on Facebook, or follow SeaMorewithMaureen on Instagram. Does your home have a story to tell?  Send me an email at [email protected] house includes the original cupboard dating from 1880.Bernice Losinno’s bike sits waiting for her along a small pathway.A stately stairway connects the first floor to the second.The porch is a haven for relaxation time.last_img read more

May
2

Late Field Goal Sinks Red Raiders

first_imgRed Raiders get ready to take the field Friday night against Mainland. (Photos courtesy Dennis Green) By Tim KellyThis was Ocean City-Mainland to the max. The high-energy game featured two evenly matched teams going at it for 48 minutes. Unfortunately for the Raiders, “The War at the Shore” did not have a happy ending.Sean Corey booted a wind-aided 41-yard field goal with three seconds left on the clock to lead Mainland to a wild 24-21 win at gusty Carey Stadium. “It’s hard to complain when you lose on a 40-yard field goal,” Ocean City coach Kevin Smith said. “We had that great drive to tie it and (Mainland) did what they had to do in the limited amount of time they had available.”Ocean City had tied the game by driving 80 yards on 12 plays in the last four minutes, against the wind, highlighted by Ian Aungst’s two passes for 20 and 18 yards, respectively, to Billy Kroeger and the 14-yard drive-capper, also to Kroeger. The drive was made even more impressive by the gusting wind coming off the ocean and blowing directly into the faces of the Red Raiders. The National Weather Service said the gusts were topping 50 mph in Ocean City. The drive set up the crucial two-point conversion, with Aungst finding Brandon Lashley in the corner of the end zone, knotting the score at 21.Mainland (6-2 overall, 4-0 league) clinched an NJSIAA playoff berth with the win, as well as the West Jersey Football League Independence Division title. Ocean City dropped to 3-4 overall, 3-1 in the league. After starting out 3-0, the Raiders have now dropped four straight games.“We’re still mathematically alive (for the playoffs) but I can’t think about that now,” Smith said afterwards.  Ocean City seniors are honored before the game as part of Senior Night festivities.Ocean City scored first when Jake Schneider ran back a punt to the Mustangs’ 40 and Aungst hit on a 19-yarder to Schneider, and got 14 more to Lashley. Then Aungst found Lashley in the right corner of the end zone for the TD. Brandon McGonigle’s PAT made it 7-0 late in the first quarter. Mainland came back after OC failed to convert a fourth-and-one at the Mainland 48, and quarterback Dean Hall engineered a seven-play scoring drive capped by a 12-yard Joe Salome run and Corey booted the PAT to tie it. On Mainland’s next possession, Ocean City defenders Austin Green, Travis Stoerrie and Will Drain forced a Mustang fumble, which Brandon Lin pounced on at the Mainland 43.Then Smith dipped into his bag of trick plays and Lashley took the ball on a reverse and launched a perfect 31-yard pass to Jaden Toci-Rogers, and Aungst capped the drive with a four-yard run to the right side of the Mainland defense. The kick failed, making it 13-7 OC. Mainland grabbed its first lead late in the third when Joe Massari ran for 31 yards on a reverse and Corey’s extra point made it 14-13 Mainland. Things looked particularly bleak for the Raiders after Mainland upped the lead to 21-13 on a 69-yard 10-play drive and another Corey point after. Then, after Ocean City’s valiant game-tying drive, Corey lined up for his game-winning boot. “It felt amazing coming off my foot, I knew I had a chance to make it, especially with the wind,” Corey said. “I wasn’t nervous at all.” Both teams shook hands and had left the field when the officials discovered three seconds remained on the clock.  The squads returned to the field for the kickoff, which sailed out of bounds, giving OC one last shot from their 40.  But the pass failed as time expired.Austin Green (83) and Travis Stoerrie have a word before the Mainland game.last_img read more

Mar
1

Mapping the future

first_imgAfter 18 months of quiet effort, a committee of scholars from within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) released a set of three reports this week on teaching the arts and humanities at Harvard College. The lengthiest one, “Mapping the Future,” is a 70-page analysis of what the trends are, what the stakes are, and what steps the future requires.In sum, the trend is downward for undergraduates concentrating in the arts and humanities. The stakes are high for beleaguered departments. And the action steps are plain: more attention to freshmen exploring concentrations, broader courses, and more cross-discipline collaboration.“We really want to be present,” said Arts and Humanities Dean Diana Sorensen, “not just as a signpost but as a practice.”The three reports were inspired in early 2012 by a request from Sorensen. The first, “Mapping the Future,” focused on the philosophical underpinnings of the humanities, its present state at Harvard College, and its aspirations. A second, the Curriculum Working Group Mission Statement, took on curricular reform and announced a first step: a series of “gateway” courses to the humanities to be offered in the fall. A third report, “Addendum,” characterized the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard as an intellectual crossroads, a place where the integrative spirit of the humanities is already playing out (though largely for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students). Its author was Center Director Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, who called for gateway courses that “audaciously cross disciplinary hubs” at Harvard.An ongoing divisional initiativeThe report is the first product of what will be an ongoing divisional initiative, what Sorensen calls the Humanities Project. At Harvard College, the goal is to make the humanities more vitally collaborative across disciplines, she said. “We show what we’re good for.”“We live in a world where social media has allowed everyone to be an interpreter and commentator. Ideas are the currency of today and tomorrow — in every discipline and industry — and powerful, persuasive arguments are what hold the day,” said FAS Dean Michael D. Smith. “The humanistic competencies of communication, interpretation, and argument are more relevant and more widely practiced than ever. A Harvard College education must provide our students with the ability to interpret ideas, regardless of discipline, in order to prepare them for the world they will enter.”The humanities commonly include literature, philosophy, the classics, film studies, art history, music, and religious studies. History is traditionally included, though Harvard groups that with the social sciences. By way of a definition, the humanities “emphasize the importance of linguistic training,” said Bhabha, “and the powers of communication through argument, interpretation, and discussion.”Bhabha was one of three co-chairs of “Mapping the Future,” which combined statistics, philosophy, historical context, and aspirations. Joining him were Sean Kelly, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, and James Simpson, the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English.All three reports come at a time when the culture at large seems to be considering the utility of a branch of learning whose mission is to describe, evaluate, imagine, and reimagine the human experience. The report acknowledges what some analysts might call a moment of cultural doubt in these beleaguered disciplines, but it also states its biggest goal: the “collective assertion of the humanities as an essential foundational element in American liberal arts education.”After studying data that goes back decades, “Mapping the Future” acknowledged that art and philosophy are “where the meanings are,” but increasingly where the undergraduates are not.Since 1966, the number of humanities bachelor’s degrees awarded nationally has slipped from 14 to 7 percent. At Harvard College, the percentage of humanities concentrators has fallen from 24 to 17 percent since 1954. If you count history (not officially regarded as a humanities concentration at Harvard), the six-decade decline is even steeper: from 36 to 20 percent.Among arriving freshmen in the Class of 2006, 27 percent said they would concentrate in the humanities. When the Class of 2016 arrived, the number of would-be humanities concentrators had sagged to 18 percent.In a way, it gets worse, said Simpson, whose literary specialties are medieval and Renaissance English, but who appreciates the power of data. Within three semesters, he said, 57 percent of that 18 percent surrender their plans to study the humanities. More than half move over to the social sciences, chiefly to government, psychology, and economics.That’s the darkest data point, said Simpson, but it’s offset by a brighter one: Arts and humanities concentrators have the highest levels of satisfaction within the College, and the highest levels of adherence. Once in a concentration, they stay. “We don’t have a crisis here,” he said. “We have a tremendous opportunity, and we have a challenge.”The task is clear, said Simpson. “We should be focusing on freshmen.”Lessons and action “Mapping the Future” lists action points, and the ones highest on it refer to the youngest students. The report called on the College to:Develop resources for that “freshman-year challenge,” including a strong humanities component during Visitas and freshman orientation.Open an arts and humanities version of i-lab.Found a student group modeled on the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School (that is, a student-run venue to host visits by top practitioners).Create more art and exhibition spaces.Get multiyear funding for internships that allow undergraduates to experience an arts career firsthand.Investigate more cross-School courses and co-teaching.Fund new faculty positions.If an institution beyond Harvard wants to adopt these action points, it is welcome to do so. But Simpson and others were explicit: The report is intended for Harvard College alone. Widen the intended audience, said Bhabha, “and you start speaking from 36,000 feet. You become sovereign and imperial. All learning should be on the ground and not in the air.”The report identified other Harvard College imperatives that rise out of the data. Among them:Arrest and reverse the decline in humanities concentrators.Focus efforts on the first three semesters of study.Continue providing “demonstrably excellent undergraduate teaching,” as measured by satisfaction levels.Reaffirm that Harvard’s critical tradition of undergraduate teaching is general and interdisciplinary.Expand ways of collaborating with the social sciences and with other Schools.Emphasize that the humanities represent solid launching pads into professional schools.National statistics bear out the findings. Professional schools such as law and medicine admit humanities majors at similar, and sometimes higher, rates as any other branch of study.The humanities produce graduates who go into a surprising range of careers. Kelly mentioned a few students who graduated with degrees in philosophy. They are lawyers and journalists now, he said, along with comedy writers and graduate students. To illustrate the intellectual diaspora, starting next semester, he added, “We are very interested in bringing alumni back” to tell their stories.Sorensen had the same vision. “The arts and humanities give you all the tools for all the other jobs you will have,” she said. “We see them as creating habits of mind that stand you in good stead — no matter what for.”New curricular directions The Curriculum Working Group was co-chaired by Julie Buckler, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, and department chair, and Shigehisa Kuriyama, Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.Citing the “profound and direct relevance” of the humanities to undergraduates, the working group acknowledged that the focus must be on Harvard College, and in particular on those first three semesters of study. It recommended creating more curricular and extra-curricular pathways into the humanities that could attract concentrators from every field of study. That requires expanding outreach to freshmen. And it requires expanding advising programs.Creating new pathways would also involve renewed attention to the Freshman Seminar Program. That means encouraging faculty to offer such courses, especially ones that involve compellingly fundamental themes like time, justice, love, or happiness. Eventually, Freshman Seminars might cluster around a common theme, opening the way to joint activities or meetings.The first official curricular step in the Humanities Project will be a series of gateway courses in 2013-2014: intentional, focused invitations to experience the arts and humanities. These humanities framework courses reflect three directions for learning: the art of listening, the art of reading, and the art of looking. “These square with the recommendations,” said Simpson of his committee, for “courses that offer freshmen a clear pathway to the humanities.”Some of these courses might count toward concentration credit, a step that the working group called “accreditation.”By 2014-15, gateway courses may be gathered into a proposed sequence, Humanities 1 and Humanities 2.Starting this fall, the working group also proposed creating an arts and humanities section in the undergraduate course offerings, along with an enhanced navigation tool that makes it easier to find courses thematically. The group proposed junior and senior seminars to bridge the arts and humanities disciplines with all the others. This echoes a subtext with the Humanities Project, to build community.A committee of scholars from within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences released a set of three reports this week on teaching the arts and humanities at Harvard College. The three reports were inspired in early 2012 by a request from Arts and Humanities Dean Diana Sorensen (front row, center), seen here with the reports’ faculty contributors. Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe curriculum group also looked beyond 2014-15. It envisions eventual course clusters that explore a single theme or problem, creating a “mini-culture” of students focused on a common issue. The future could also bring a humanities secondary field designed for concentrators from other divisions. Eventually, curricular reform could even mean piloting an interdisciplinary humanities concentration, a rigorous program of individual study modeled on the current idea of special concentrations.Other initiatives are still just being talked about, said Sorensen. One might examine “the city and the humanities,” in a partnership involving the arts, humanities, and disciplines at the Graduate School of Design (GSD). (Another subtext of the report involves more interplay between graduate and undergraduate students.)A new secondary field is being discussed, too, the public humanities, which would illuminate the role of culture in statesmanship. “The arts and humanities create a sense of civic virtue,” said Sorensen.The hostile arguments “Mapping the Future” includes imperatives arising from decades of data. It outlines a complex action plan looking ahead a decade or more. But it also acknowledges the challenges the humanities face. Chief among these are the “hostile arguments” that exist most powerfully in the corridors of political power, in the thinking of skeptical parents, and in the minds of college graduates saddled with record school debt.Here is a sharp taste of these arguments:The “economic argument” comes from a shift in the sense of what universities are for, a movement that began following World War II. “Knowledge of the humanities,” the argument goes, “is no practical response to the most pressing practical challenges we face.”The “cultural and social arguments” hold that art and literature are no longer tools for nation building, as they were once explicitly in France and Russia, and more mutedly in the United States. The humanities are now a “low-level factor” on that plane, the report said. Instead of building nations, the argument goes, the humanities “offer us private understanding, pleasure, and consolation.”The “scientific argument” perhaps looms largest in the public imagination. It holds that the sciences and the social sciences do not pretend to create universal truths. But they seem to create knowledge based on quantifiable experiments — a comforting thought to a public hungry for certainty. The knowledge produced by the humanities, said the report’s authors, “looks soft by comparison, forever relative, forever a matter of mere interpretation.”The “vocational argument,” common during debates at American kitchen tables, avers that humanities departments “are failing in the vocational marketplace” and that declining enrollments are proof of that. To paraphrase the line of argument as explained in the report: To be successful, a university discipline studies money, attracts money through research, and promises graduates a lot of money in future income.Finally there is the “technological argument.” For centuries, societies throughout the world have understood themselves by way of immersion in their cultural art forms: hours at a loom or a potter’s wheel; nights of tales told by firelight; endless days sunk into worlds created by the printed word.However, the report said, “Deep immersion is no longer the order of the technological day. New technologies disfavor the long march of narrative, just as they mitigate against sustained imaginative engagement.” In the humanities, the report said, studies of “the high arts” may give way to “media studies.” The authors cited an article that recommends a radical strategy for the American humanities. It was subtitled, “Blow them up and start again.”Origins that matter “Mapping the Future” is not about to recommend blowing up a centuries-old humanities tradition that still resonates with universal truths. The authors simply recommend bringing traditions into the 21st century in a way that speaks to modern concerns.“We are in the present ourselves,” said Simpson of humanistic scholars. “But that which has been recovered from the past can help with answers of the present.”The sciences discover knowledge, and the humanities recover knowledge, he said. The humanities can address problems that may seem modern but that people have confronted again and again, from monarchy to feminism to ecological decline. “The humanities almost always tell us the same thing, that there is nothing new under the sun,” said Simpson, and the field’s “long stories” can be a comfort and a guide. “We understand [problems] better by having access to that deep archive.”The humanities also inform governance, said Bhabha. “To be a citizen, you require a great deal of cultural literacy. It’s the humanities that supply it.”Along with the other authors of the report, Bhabha values and honors the work of the sciences. “Experimentation is hugely important,” he said, but it is best leavened with “humanistic interpretation. There is something about [experimentation] that allows itself to close half an eye to human values in the name of discovery.”There is also something appealing about the lack of stasis suggested by the humanities, said Kelly, since “they’re unlike a certain geometrical system, where you get a clear answer that is correct for all time.” If your learning is girded with philosophy, literature, and the other arts, he said, “We have a future that in some ways is always up for interpretation.”The humanities bring values into interpretations of the world, as well as a shifting, flexible sensibility that matches changing mores. They also bring the gift of expression, said Bhabha, “the very act of literacy — teaching people to read, to express themselves, to argue, and to transfer their own ideas.”“Transferable competencies” In its first pages, “Mapping the Future” outlines what Simpson called the “transferable competencies,” the tools provided by the arts and humanities to describe experience, to evaluate it, to imagine it, and then to transform it.The tools of description have resulted in a long list of established adjectives that are still useful in grappling with the complexity of the human experience. Life can be “tragic” or “comic.” The world can be “sublime” or “harmonious.” It can be described in ways that are “elegiac” or “satiric.”The tools of evaluation are required for the act of criticism, a central practice of the humanities. This “rigorous, receptive responsiveness to art and philosophy,” the report said, “provokes … an answering responsibility to the world.” Evaluation denies that the business of the humanities is precious and private. It provides a critical framework for judging the world.Then there are the tools of imagining and transforming the world at large. “Just as the engineer makes life-transforming models,” the report said of the humanities, so too the artist and scholar help to “imagine the remaking of an always recalcitrant world.”Besides outlining the tools that remain unchanged, “Mapping the Future” goes back in history to origins that matter, to the landscape of what the humanities once were and how they adapted in response to a changing world.During the Middle Ages, in the few universities that existed, there were seven liberal arts: the trivium (“three ways”) of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; and the quadrivium (“four ways”) of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. All seven were in service of philosophy, “the master discipline,” which was later conflated with theology. (Poetry was excluded from the liberal arts, dismissed as “a fiction with no bearing on the truth.”)Later in the Middle Ages came the studia humanitatis, which resembled the modern humanities. Its chief practices were rhetoric, philology, and history — separate from theology (and later from science). With this new order came a radical idea: To understand the past, you have to recover original texts, the ad fontes, whose rigorous parsing is central to humanities scholarship to this day.In the 15th century came another radical idea, that the humanities were not just scholarly, but were prompts to civic action. The practice of “rhetoric” — structuring arguments for persuasion, often in oratory — was thought to underlay good government. During the Renaissance, the humanities added the idea that art-making “was an intellectual as well as a manual activity,” according to the report’s authors.  In turn, the classics encouraged the idea that both texts and archaeological artifacts could illuminate the human experience.In the mid-19th century, the humanities began to acquire a modern cast because the disciplines became secular. Modern hermeneutics (textual interpretation) started with Bible criticism, but even the Bible was eventually viewed as a historical document rather than a divine one.Today, the humanities contain three traditions, each in tension with the others: disinterested scholarship, practical skills (such as rhetoric), and enlightened civic action. At the same time, the humanities are in tension with the modern world because the claims of liberality seem counter to the way the world works. We are, say the humanities, free from the pressures of economic survival, free from vested interests in producing knowledge, and free from ideological (or religious) pre-judgments.Of course, said “Mapping the Future,” the humanities are “motivated one way or another by the needs of now. But a liberal education is not determined by those pressures. It stands back from, and adjacent to, such pressures, reaches deeper, and looks … from a longer, more disinterested perspective.”The modern humanities are “dangerous” too, the report said in a section authored by Kelly, the philosophy professor. Rhetoric can persuade in ways that overturn convention; criticism may challenge authority. To some, this may fuel another argument against the humanities. After all, this branch of study hews to what is perhaps a culturally threatening task, the report states: “to unmask the operations of power.”The humanities have this critical strain, he said, which represents “the power and the danger” of shaking up what may seem the verities in a given era. But they are also “preservational,” said Kelly, a means of conserving common practices “that have value and are being lost.”In the end, the humanities represent “a potentially perilous pursuit,” the report says. “But a culture that has no mechanism for bringing its most fundamental commitments into question is a culture that risks stagnation and even potentially moral decline.”Changes in cultural mores will occur again, just as slavery was overturned and the disenfranchisement of women was discredited. When debates flare up during the next major period of change, the humanities need to be there as a moral compass, “Mapping the Future” said. “The domains they characterize [are the] domains of freedom and justice, of reason and goodness, of beauty and right and perhaps even of truth.”last_img read more

Mar
1

Strong enrollment for Class of 2019

first_imgNearly 81 percent of the students admitted to the Class of 2019 plan to enroll in August. Last year, 80.9 percent matriculated; 81 percent did so the year before. The last time Harvard’s yield on admitted students reached these levels was 1969 for the Class of 1973.“In the face of record-setting snowfall this year, enrollment projections were challenging. Nevertheless, a number of factors led to the high yield, including Harvard’s robust financial aid program, which once again made it possible for many of the nation’s and the world’s best students to choose to come to Harvard,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid.Harvard is more affordable than most public universities for 90 percent of American families. Families with annual incomes of $65,000 or less pay absolutely nothing toward the total cost — tuition, room and board, and student fees — of their child’s Harvard College education. The total annual cost rises to only $15,000 for families earning $150,000. Families with higher incomes can also receive need-based aid depending on individual circumstances, including having multiple children in college or unusual medical expenses.More than 64 percent of students planning to enroll applied for financial aid compared with 62 percent last year, one measure of the economic diversity of the class. “Despite the financial challenges facing a large percentage of families today, Harvard remains accessible for students from all economic backgrounds, and all students are able to graduate debt-free,” said Sarah C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid.Harvard’s yield is particularly notable because the College does not offer athletic or other non-need-based scholarships. In addition, Harvard’s early action program, unlike binding early decision programs, allows admitted students to apply elsewhere and asks only that they reply by May 1 after comparing other offers of admission and financial aid. Such freedom and flexibility allow a student more time to choose the college that provides the best match, a factor contributing to Harvard’s nearly 98 percent graduation rate.“We are particularly pleased that nearly 49 percent of the class are women, compared to 45 percent last year,” said Marlyn E. McGrath, director of admissions. “Women made up 48 percent of the admitted students, and the yield on women this year was very high, at 82 percent.”The geographical origins of the Class of 2019 are similar to those of last year’s entering class, and there were slight increases for Asian-Americans (more than 21 percent of the class), Latinos (nearly 12 percent), African-Americans (nearly 11 percent), and Native Americans (1.6 percent).All admitted students were invited to campus April 25–27 as part of the College’s annual Visitas weekend. Admitted freshmen, often accompanied by family members, come for their first true taste of campus life. Prospective students stay with hosts in the freshman dorms or Harvard’s Houses; attend lectures, panel discussions, and activity fairs; eat in the dining halls; and explore the University’s diverse academic and extracurricular offerings.“The spirit of Visitas was particularly vibrant this year, with nearly 1,000 of our undergraduates serving as hosts and other facilitators,” said Visitas Director Timothy J. Smith. “The Freshman Dean’s Office and the Houses went out of their way to give students a realistic view of life at Harvard.”“The Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP) once again worked tirelessly throughout the year and especially during Visitas, with UMRP and other minority students hosting over 25 percent of participants,” added Roger Banks, director of recruitment and co-director of UMRP.Faculty and administrators also played a critical role in the program, which featured a welcome by President Drew Faust. “Faculty involvement in recruiting admitted students reached new heights this year,” said Fitzsimmons.“For example, the Arts and Humanities faculty, led by Dean Diana Sorensen, held a well-attended open house during Visitas and used a variety of social media,” said McGrath. The yield on prospective humanities concentrators was 83.2 percent, and the percentage of the class planning a humanities concentration jumped from 14.1 percent to 15.4 percent.Admitted students who were unable to travel to Cambridge could still experience a “Virtual Visitas” through a combination of live-streamed presentations, interactive Google “Hangouts On Air,” and social-media content shared through the hashtag “WelcometoHarvard.”This year’s high yield means about 60 to 70 applicants will be admitted from the waiting list. That number will be determined over the next few weeks as admitted students decide whether to defer admission to pursue other opportunities that often develop during May and June.last_img read more

Jan
26

University continues to integrate iPads into instruction in campus classrooms

first_imgWhile iPads may be considered a trendy device outside of a university environment, this semester, two new pilot classes are exploring the benefits of using these University-provided devices in the classroom. Professors also are making adjustments based on last fall’s experiences. Last semester 50 iPads were dispersed among different undergraduate classes, including assistant professor of management Corey Angst’s Project Management course. The class used iPads mainly as e-readers, in addition to electronic pop quizzes and sharing documents and videos. Although student feedback was mostly positive, the e-reader through which the class read textbook and supplementary PDF files posed challenges because of its limitations. “One of the criticisms that we saw in the survey [the class took] was that the students said you couldn’t annotate and you couldn’t highlight,” Angst said. “But in fact you can do those things, but you need [to purchase an] application to do it.” Julian Velasco, associate professor at the Notre Dame Law School, who is using iPads in his Advanced Topics in Corporate Law class, requires students to purchase iAnnotatePDF, the application to which Angst referred. He also is using different e-reader software. “The software used to read the text [last semester] was very clunky software designed for the iPad, a 1.0 at best,” Velasco said. “I wanted to nip that in the bud, and I refused to use proprietary software.” Academic Technologies consultant Jon Crutchfield believes the upgrades for Velasco’s class will improve students’ experience with iPads. “Most of the technical issues [last semester] were the usability of the apps themselves,” Crutchfield said. “The apps that are available for Professor Velasco’s course are better than those available to the business school course.” In addition to Velasco’s class, iPads will be used in Professor Lance Askildson’s course on the Impact of Language, Culture and Identity on Educational Practices. For this class, the iPads have two distinct purposes. “They’re both using [iPads] for coursework and trying to figure out how to use it to teach others languages,” Crutchfield said. Because of the success of the iPad first semester and continued improvement, Crutchfield said he foresees an increase in the use of iPads and their equivalents at Notre Dame in the near future. “We actually have web statistics that show that more iPads are accessing Notre Dame websites as time has gone on,” Crutchfield said. Velasco said while the iPad has contributed to a decrease in their own paper usage, a truly paper-free class does not wait in the future. “A completely paperless office? No,” Velasco said. “But as for a drastically reduced paper one? I think absolutely.”last_img read more

Jan
17

Prevent dropout

first_imgThe decision to drop out of school has consequences that affect a student for life. It can hurt communities, too, say education experts with the University of Georgia. Parents should intervene early to keep kids on the right path to success.Numbers vary. But there is no doubt Georgia’s dropout rate is high.Almost one out of three Georgia students leaves school before getting a diploma, according to the Georgia Department of Education. Georgia’s graduation rate is only 62 percent, according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, a non-profit organization that conducts education research, and less than half of the students in Atlanta earn a diploma.“Dropouts are more likely to end up unemployed or working in low-wage positions,” said Ted Futris, a child and family development specialist with the UGA Cooperative Extension. “They are also at a higher risk for criminal activity, imprisonment, childbearing out of wedlock and poverty.”It’s a “push-me-pull-me effect,” he said. School policies like those on truancy and negative experiences at school can push kids out. Challenges at home and early transitions like teen pregnancy can pull kids out. There is no single cause or cure, but efforts to prevent dropout should start before high school.“Adolescents’ brains are not finished developing, especially the parts that control reasoning, planning and making wise decisions. Preventing dropouts begins much earlier than high school or middle school,” said Diane Bales, an associate professor with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “In fact, it begins in early childhood with the skills, relationships and attitudes toward learning that young children build in early childhood programs.” Children should be encouraged to learn and graduate even before entering school, Bales said.“Encourage parents to read to young children daily,” Bales said. “One of the best predictors of children’s ease in learning to read is their oral vocabulary at age 4.” Parents should stay involved, Futris said, by attending parent-teacher meetings and volunteering in the classroom.He suggests parents:Monitor learning, keep up with what children are doing and ask questions.Read daily to children and introduce them to the library. Praise effort and not just success. Give children responsibilities at home, which can translate into positive classroom behavior. Establish a schedule at home, which helps children understand routines at school. “Help children explore careers they are interested in and find out what they need to accomplish to meet those goals,” Futris said. “Make your values and expectations clear to your children.” Involvement in extra-curricular activities can keep kids attached to the educational community, he said. If a high school student suggests dropping out of school, try to identify the reasons and work through solutions. Parents can talk to school counselors and teachers for help. “Help them think through all the consequences and see beyond the immediate,” Bales said. “Get them the help they need. It may be a tutor or testing for a learning disability.”“Dealing with academic difficulties in high school or dropout after the fact can be challenging,” said Futris. “That’s why it is important that parents foster learning and the value of education in their children when they are young.”last_img read more

Dec
30

Cycle Blount County, TN

first_imgCycle through the memories in Townsend, TN and the Dancing Bear Bike Bash.12032247_10152981117591213_5333454283990916745_nYou can never experience a better bike event than the Dancing Bear Bike Bash. Cycle through some of the most beautiful scenery and backroads that can only be found in the Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains.12004832_10152981105661213_2272902664517437142_nLocated right outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend offers great cycling experience. “We count miles in moments”.   Come join us and enjoy the rides of your life.Register for the ride at https://www.bikereg.com/27264www.dancingbearlodge.comwww.smokymountains.orgdancing Bear Bike Bashlast_img read more

Dec
17

Blockchain: Your link to speed, security and growth

first_img continue reading » Blockchain isn’t a secret. You’ve read about it, heard about it and, perhaps, found yourself in discussions about it. It is, after all, among the fastest-evolving areas of technology. Yet blockchain still is often misunderstood, leaving financial professionals wrestling with one major question: Why should I care?It’s a fair question that stems from understandable skepticism. You might suspect it’s simply the latest tech fad. Or maybe you think it applies only to the megabanks; not your department or financial institution.The answer goes straight to a financial institution’s bottom line: Blockchain matters because it holds the potential to fuel the growth of your business by improving the transparency, auditability, security and speed of financial transactions and applications.Those characteristics are fundamental reasons why Fiserv cares about blockchain. Along with leading institutions and industry participants, we are actively engaging to define practical applications of the technology that drive value for our clients and their customers. 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more