Monthly Archives: July 2013

10 things to know about Kale

July 25, 2013

Glory Foods Fresh Kale Greens

A rudimentary study of the green leafy veggie.

You may be wondering why I’m writing a blog about kale. After all, what has kale to do with education and evaluation?

As someone living in Southern California, I’ve evolved into a “conscious” eater and learned to be aware of what I put inside my body. I have a small plot at a nearby community garden where I’ve planted basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, arugula, chard, peppers, mint, lavender, and kale…lots of kale. I also support my local farmer’s market where I shop each Sunday and stock up on organic (non GMO) produce. But did I mention my love for kale? I really love kale, whether raw chopped up in a salad, used as a wrap, stir fried or baked in the oven for a bowl full of kale chips. So when a friend and colleague at a local community college (you know who you are) challenged me to write a blog about kale and education, I had no choice but accept. As a staunch supporter of the leafy green plant, I couldn’t shirk away and let kale down. Yet, how was I to tie kale into education or vice versa? I’m neither a nutritionist nor do I espouse to be an expert, but a challenge is a challenge.

Amazing things happen when we face challenges! No sooner had I started my research on kale and scratching my head on how to pair it with education that I came up with the brilliant idea of creating a new college major. In my make-believe college, students can earn the Associate of Arts (AA), drum roll please, in Kale Studies! Not bad, eh? Empowered by the knowledge gained and fortified by all the nutritional goodness of the plant, imagine the opportunities and endless possibilities awaiting the graduate with his/her freshly minted AA in Kale Studies diploma.

I, hereby, present to you, the core curriculum for a major in Kale Studies:

1. History of Kale (3.0 credits)

Kale has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages and made its debut in the United States in the 17th century. (source: Greeks and Romans Grew Kale and Collards)

2. Culinary Arts (3.0 credits)
kalechips

Kale chips, if you haven’t tried them, are a delicious nutritious and easy-to-make snack. Here’s how you prepare kale chips: remove kale leaves from stems, tear into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil (I like coconut oil) and a dash of salt and any other seasoning (I drizzle sesame seeds), and bake 10 to 15 minutes in a 400°F oven or until crispy.
(source: yours truly)

3. Horticulture (3.0 credits)
Horticulture

Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collards. For the best flavor, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures some of the starches are turned into sugars. (source: webMD.com )

4. Nutrition (3.0 credits)
nutrition

Kale is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. One cup of chopped raw kale contains 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of your recommended daily requirements for calcium and vitamin B6, 180% of your vitamin A, 200% of your vitamin C and 1,020% of vitamin K. Kale contains lutein, a type of carotenoid (an organic pigment) responsible for the plant’s color and nutrients. Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy. (source :webMD.com)

5. Economics: Cooperative Economics (3.0 credits lect + 1.0 credit lab)
Economics

Faced with the junk-food variety of food options on and off campus, students at UC Berkeley, helped raise $100K to form a non-profit food co-op that serves as an “edible education hub.” Of course, many varieties of kale are grown in this edible hub.
http://lettuceeatkale.com/2010/berkeley-student-food-collective-education-eating/

6. Etymology (3.0 credits)
Etymology

The word kale, according to Texas A&M Agriculture Extension, comes from the Latin coles which is the Latin word for all vegetables that fall into the cabbage family.

7. Literature (3.0 credits)
Literature

Believe it or not, there’s a school of writers known as the Kailyard school of Scottish writers, which included J. M. Barrie (creator of Peter Pan) and consisted of authors who wrote about traditional rural Scottish life (kailyard = kale field). In the book Autumn in Kyle and the charm of Cunninghame the author D.C. Cuthbertson writes about Kilmaurs in East Ayrshire known for its kale which was an important foodstuff. There’s a story about a neighboring village offering to pay a generous price for some kale seeds, an offer too good to turn down. The locals agreed; but a gentle roasting on a shovel over a coal fire ensured that the seeds never germinated.

8. Design (3.0 credits)
Design

Many varieties of kale are grown mainly for their ornamental leaves, which are brilliant white, red, pink, lavender, blue or violet in the interior of the rosette.

9. Art: Colors of Kale (3.0 credits + 1.0 credit studio)
Art

There are different types of kale and they are differentiated by color (green, white, purple, or bluish green) and leaf shape.

10. Psychology: Behavioral Psychology (3.0 credits)
Psychology

You can beat the blues by increasing your intake of foods that are antioxidants. According to a new study from Harvard researchers there was a strong association between adults’ levels of optimism and the amount of carotenoid antioxidants in their blood. Carotenoids, as mentioned above in the course Nutrition (a pre-requisite), are found in richly colored green and orange vegetables, including kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, and collard greens. The results suggest that the more servings of carotenoid-containing vegetables (e.g. kale) you eat, the results suggest, the brighter your outlook.
(source: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/01/got-blues-eat-some-kale)

Share with us your favorite Kale recipes and any other “education” tid-bits we can add to this list.

In the meantime, go buy (even better, plant ) some kale and enjoy!


The Frustrated Evaluator
www.acei1.com

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Keepin’ It Eclectic and Worldwide!

July 18, 2013

Image

 

This week’s Rhythm Planet features a wide variety of new music from around the world in many different styles.  We feature some Brazilian classics from the band Azymuth and French bossa novista Nicola Conte’s new collection Viagem 5, some cool vibes to beat the heat with Joe Locke and Milt Jackson; we debut new albums from France’s Deep Forest, New Zealand’s Fat Freddy’s Drop, Malian modal blues from Samba Toure.  We remember the great R&B singer Bobby “Blue Bland”, who passed away recently, and there’s modern sufi music from The Shah Hussein Project, a mystery track from the German band Dirtmusic with a song inspired by Werner Herzog’s amazing movie Fitzcarraldo.  We wrap things up in a quieter mode with gorgeous new albums on the prestige label ECM, renowned for its pristine sound, production values, and acoustic music. These final four ECM albums are by saxophone virtuoso Chris Potter (warning: it’s jazz not for the feint of heart), German jazz pianist Julia Hulsmann gives a jazz treatment to a Manuel de Falla classic, “Nana” and finally two beautiful albums from Swiss singer Susanne Abbuehl and veteran English singer June Tabor, who makes her ECM debut.

Despite the moribund state of the music industry, it’s amazing how many good records are being produced these days, and many of the albums featured here might well go under the radar. That would be a pity, so I’m doing my small bit to get the music heard.  You may discover some you really like.

 

Rhythm Planet Playlist: 7/5/13

  1. Azymuth | Meu Mengo | Remixes & Originals | Far Out
  2. Neyde Fraga | Onda Quebrando | Nicola Conte Presents Viagem 5 | Far Out Recordings
  3. Joe Locke | Bittersweet | Lay Down My Heart | Motema Music
  4. Milt Jackson | The Cylinder | Ballad Artistry Of Milt Jackson | Collectables
  5. Deep Forest | Atali Wowo | Deep Africa | Big 3 Records
  6. Samba Toure | Be Ki Don | Albala | Glitter Beat
  7. Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland | Farther Up The Road | The Anthology| Duke/Peacock
  8. Fat Freddy’s Drop | Silver And Gold | Blackbird | Fat Freddy’s Drop
  9. Shahram Shabpareh | Leila | Shahram | Secret Stash Records
  10. The Shah Hussein Project | Saiyyon Assi | The Shah Hussein Project Vol. 1 | The Active
  11. Dirtmusic | Fitzcarraldo | Troubles | Glitter Beat
  12. Chris Potter | Wayfinder | The Sirens | ECM Records
  13. Julia Hulsmann Quartet | Nana | In Full View | ECM Records
  14. Susanne Abbuehl | My River Runs To You | The Gift | ECM Records
  15. June Tabor | Near But Far Away | Quercus | ECM Records

 

 

 

“Please join me online and listen to my music show “Rhythm Planet” at http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/cl. Thanks!”

Tom Schnabel, M.A.
Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Host of music program on radio for KCRW Sundays noon-2 p.m.
Blogs for KCRW
Author & Music educator, UCLA, SCIARC, currently doing music salons
www.tomschnabel.com

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10 Newsworthy Items on Education in the United Kingdom

July 11, 2013

Oxford University

Back when I was in school in England, the benchmark of completing secondary education was taking the external examinations known as the General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level (GCE O’level) and /or the Certificate of Secondary Education. (CSE). By the time I was in Form V (11th year of secondary school), my classmates and I were deep in preparation for the GCE O’levels and CSE examinations. Our boarding school, Charters Towers School (CTS), in the sleepy beach town of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, followed the University of Cambridge GCE O’level curriculum, implying that we were preparing for tougher exams. All I remember is being sick with a serious case of laryngitis and having to suppress excruciatingly painful coughs induced by the illness so as to not disturb the other girls furtively scribbling their answers on the exam papers. The fact that I managed to score well on the exams given my poor state of health is a wonder I can’t explain to this day. I left CTS and the UK after finishing the first term of Form VI after being accepted to university in the U.S. Much has changed in the UK education system since then, especially with the GCEs and CSEs which were combined into the GCSEs. And there’s still talk about revamping the secondary and Form VI curriculum and even extending school leaving age to 18.

Thanks to The Guardian newspaper, below are highlights of 10 newsworthy developments in education in the UK:

1. Raising school leaving age from 16 to 18

To combat the rising unemployment numbers, the government is considering to raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 and offer apprenticeship and training programs. “Latest figures show that of the 137,000 rise in unemployment in the three months of October, 55,000, or 40%, were in the 18-24 age bracket. While the country’s overall jobless rate is currently 6%, among 18-24-year-olds it is 14% and among 16-17-year-olds it is 26%. Unemployment in Britain stood at 1.86 million at the end of October, and many experts predict it will rise to around 3 million over the next 12-18 months.”

(Source: “School-leaving age may rise to 18 in effort to tackle unemployment”)

2. GCSE overhaul, again

Harking back to the days when the GCE O’levels and CSE’s were scrapped and replaced by the GCSEs (taken by students in England), now there’s talk of revising the GCSEs to make them, in the words of Michael Groves, Secretary of Education: “more demanding and rigorous.” The new exam, tentatively known as “GCSE (England)” recommends a new grading system of 1-8, with 8 as the highest grade and 1 as the lowest, replacing the A* to G grade scale of the current model. The new GCSE curriculum for English literature requires the study of at least one Shakespeare play (which I believe existed in the former GCE O’level course), selection of Romantic poetry, a 19th century novel (I still remember slogging through DH Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers”), a selection of poetry since 1850, and British fiction and drama written since the first world war.” GCSE history will also experience a makeover and include a minimum 40% British history (covering medieval, early modern or modern periods) and a minimum 25% content on world history. (I remember on days we had history classes, how we all dashed to the school library to pour over newspapers gleaning news of current world events in preparation for the inevitable pop quizzes our history teacher was prone to give.)

(Source: “GCSEs to become more demanding and rigorous, says Michael Gove”)

3. Counting the 1st year toward the Bachelor’s degree

Unlike the United States, where every course taken with credit and final grade earned counts toward ones overall grade point average qualifying for the award of the Bachelor’s degree, students at UK universities did not face the same assessment methodology, at least until now. Debate is currently underway in the UK as to whether the 1st year of university studies should be counted toward the degree and in so doing to adopt a grading system similar to the grade point system of the U.S. This would mean doing away with the traditional degree classification model (First Class, Second Class, Third Class, Pass, etc.).

(Source: “Should first year count towards your degree?”)

4. Revamping A’levels with help from the Universities

It’s not just the GCSEs that are about to get a makeover, the GCE Advanced Level examinations have also been under scrutiny. The Department of Education has accepted to allow the universities to have more of a say in the redesigning of the A’level curriculum, though some feel this involvement will make the A’levels look nothing but a university entrance examination. (Currently, the A’level examination content is developed by the examination boards and the Department of Education.) As a result, the A-level Content Advisory Body (Alcab) has been formed to co-ordinate input and advice from specialists and university experts. Alcab’s role is ensure the A’levels in mathematics, advanced mathematics, English literature, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and modern and classical languages offer students “adequate preparation” for higher education admission. Universities don’t feel the students entering their institutions with current A’level examinations have sufficient preparation to tackle undergraduate coursework, especially in writing and research skills.

(Source: “Top universities strike deal with DfE to have say in redeveloping A-levels”)

5. A Green Competition

Universities in the UK are competing for #1 ranking in sustainability. Manchester Metropolitan University grabbed this year’s “People and Planet Green Leagu” #1 spot followed by Plymouth University in 2nd place and Greenwich (last year’s #1) in 3rd. Both Cambridge and Oxford ranked abysmally this year, even worse than last year. Cambridge dropped 17 places and is now ranked at 113 out of 143. Oxford didn’t fare well either. Institutions are judged on their strong sustainability programs, from food to design, carbon-reduction efforts, ethical investments, staff resources, and environmental management, to name a few.

(Source: “The firsts and the ‘fails’ in the 2013 Green League of universities”)

6. University of Sussex dips low in the charts

The Guardian pushes the “university league table” that charts the rankings of universities in the U.K. and earlier this month, the institution that suffered the most with the poorest ranking was the University of Sussex. According to the table, Sussex dropped from 27th place to 50th, “its lowest ever position since the table’s establishment.” Some of the reasons attributed to the University’s dip in the rankings are: poor employment rates (perhaps caused by conflict between students and management over plans to outsource campus services) and students concerns over assessment and feedback. Sussex pro-vice chancellor Clare Mackie explains the drop a mere “blip” in the data, when graduate unemployment rates reached double figures for the first time and that students have now been addressed.

(Source: “Sussex University’s league table tumble: blip or catastrophe?”)

7. Oxford University Sued over Selection based on Wealth

After his application for admission was denied for not having access to £21,000 for tuition fees and living costs, Damien Shannon, a 26-year old student, sued St. Hugh’s College, Oxford for “selecting by wealth.” In his suit, Shannon claimed that since its founding in 1886, the college was discriminating against the poor by asking “students to prove that they had liquid assets sufficient to cover £12,900 a year in living costs, in addition to potentially tens of thousands of pounds in tuition fees. Under the university-wide policy the college refused to take into account projected earnings from students who planned to do paid work during their course.” Shannon has met the University’s academic requirements for admission but not its financial criteria. St Hugh’s has filed a defense and refutes the claim arguing “that the test of a student’s financial health is to ensure that they will be able to complete their courses without suffering financial difficulty and anxiety, according to its lawyers’ defense papers.” Friends of Shannaon and even a cabinet member of parliament Hazel Blears (a former Labour cabinet minister who is now chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group on social mobility), see Oxford University’s criteria for a guarantee on living expenses by students who have met the academic requirements, as deeply unfair. According to Blears: “It is ludicrous that a student deemed to be of sufficient academic merit is deemed incapable of budgeting to ensure they have enough money to live on. Even in an expensive city like Oxford, a student can live on far less than £13,000 a year with careful budgeting. In any case, living costs should be a student’s personal responsibility and many get part-time jobs to help make ends meet.

(Source: “Oxford University settles ‘selection by wealth’ case”)

8. Immigration crackdown leads to a loss of international students

International students, as it is for the U.S., are one of the UK’s most successful revenue-
generating economic resource contributing an estimated £8bn to the UK economy every year by paying high fees to universities and colleges and making a valuable contribution to local economies.
As universities faced drastic funding cuts, they were relying on growth in the international student market as a financial reprise, but the decline in the number of students looking at the UK to further their education has hurt universities financially. The immigration crackdown and focus on students has much to do on abuse of the visa system, “bogus-colleges,” and students arriving in the UK with no intention of studying. However, the crackdown also means that those students who genuinely are intent on getting an education are being barred from entering or choose not to apply to universities in the UK and instead turn their attention to Australia, Canada and the U.S.

(Source: “The UK’s immigration crackdown will lead to a loss of international talent”)

9. International education agents: separating the good from the bad

Across the pond, concern over international education agents and their commission-based recruiting of students is a subject of discussion as it is here in the U.S. More and more UK institutions are relying on international education agents to recruit students from them by paying the agents commissions. The University of Nottingham paid £1m in commission to education agents for successfully recruiting international students in 2012. In fact, nearly 58% of international students in the UK and Australia were recruited through agents. There is little transparency over whether agents are used in the first place and how much commission universities pay agents for each recruited student. Transparency, ethical and best practices, and a voluntary quality control program abided by international education agents are steps discussed by educators in the UK to protect the international students, their families and the institutions against fraud and misrepresentation in the marketplace.

(Source: “International agents: how can students and universities tell good from bad?”)

10. Poor students getting the shift in higher education

According to official data reported by Les Ebdon, the access ombudsman for higher education in England, universities and colleges must do what they can to attract students from disadvantaged backgrounds as affluent applicants outnumber those from deprived areas by three to one. (See item #7, which gives Damien Shannon’s suit against Oxford University a heads up.

(Source: “Universities and colleges told to do more for disadvantaged students”)

Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI
www.acei1.com

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20 Fun Facts about the 4th of July/Independence Day

July 03, 2013

On this federal holiday, also known as Independence Day, marking the Colonies’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared independence from the Great Britain and its king, we thought it would be appropriate to share some fun facts about this historic day. We are already familiar with the fireworks, parades , barbeque and festivities like picnics, fairs, concerts and parties that take place on this day, but there are some things many people don’t know about the Fourth.

1. Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

Hancock

2. Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed later.

Signing

3. The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies.

4. The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina.  The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania. The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.

Hall

5. One out of eight signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated at Harvard (7 total).

Gentlemen

6. The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

stars_stripes

7. The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.

Philadelphia

8. The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. This was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public after people were summoned by the ringing of the Liberty Bell.

Whitehouse

9. The White House held its first 4th July party in 1801.

10. President John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on the Fourth. Adams and Jefferson (both signed the Declaration) died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.

birds

11. Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.

12. In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today the population of the U.S.A. is 316 million.

13. Fifty-nine places in the U.S. contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places nationwide containing “liberty” in the name, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (65,471), Liberty County, Fla. (8,276), Liberty County, Mont. (2,392) and Liberty County, Texas (76,571).

14. The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118), Jackson (96) and Lincoln (95).

fireworks

15. Fireworks are part of the tradition of celebrating this national holiday. The U.S. imported $227.3 million worth of fireworks from China in 2012. U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $11.7 million in 2012, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.5 million).

flag

16. In 2012, vast majority of imported U.S. flags ($3.6 million) was made in China.

sign

17. Barbecue is also big on Independence Day. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day.

bell

18. Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.

yankeedoodle

19. Traditions place the origins of “Yankee Doodle” as a pre-Revolutionary War song originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War. It is believed that the tune comes from the nursery rhyme Lucy Locket. One version of the Yankee Doodle lyrics is “generally attributed” to Doctor Richard Shuckburgh,a British Army surgeon. According to one story, Shuckburgh wrote the song after seeing the appearance of Colonial troops under Colonel Thomas Fitch, V, the son of Connecticut Governor Thomas Fitch.[2]

Songs

20. The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called “to Anacreon in Heaven.” The words have nothing to do with consumption of alcohol but the “melody that Francis Key had in mind when he wrote those words did originate decades earlier as the melody for a song praise of wine.” http://www.colonialmusic.org/Resource/Anacreon.htm

From everyone here at ACEI, we wish you and yours a safe and happy Independence Day!

Useful Links:
http://www.parkrideflyusa.com/blog/2012/07/04/20-fun-facts-about-the-4th-of-july/
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb13-ff14.html
http://www.cleveland.com/pdq/index.ssf/2011/07/fathoming_fun_facts_on_this_fe.html
http://interviewangel.com/17-fun-facts-about-the-fourth-of-july/
http://www.colonialmusic.org/Resource/Anacreon.htm

ACEI

Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
www.acei1.com

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