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The Start of Softball Season

As if my schedule wasn’t full enough, softball season came faster than I expected! After a month of conditioning, softball has started (excuse the pun) in full swing.softball

This year, unfortunately since its my senior season, will be a year of rebuilding. Not only do we have an extremely young team, we also have a new coach that is fairly new to Kansas. Even though we are only three days into the season, I must admit that I have learned so much more from this coach than I have from any other. This excites me because I know there are a bunch of small things I need to work on that will improve my game and I know this coach will help me make these improvements. We have focused on the fundamentals every day so far and even though it gets a little repetitive, it will really help not only the younger girls but also us older girls who could use a few days going over basics again.

I am extremely excited for this season. Not only because it is my senior season, but also because it’s a young team, which not only allows me to be a leader on the team, but the fact that they are so young will allow me to try and teach them softball. I believe if you are able to teach something, you know it extremely well. And considering how long I’ve been playing, I would hope I know a lot about softball! So as the season progresses, I hope coach can help build a strong, young team that can help get East High‘s softball program back on its feet.

Hispanic Students to be Majority by 2023

Roughly one-fourth of the nation’s kindergartners are Hispanic, evidence of an accelerating trend that now will see minority children become the majority by 2023.

Census data released Thursday also showed that Hispanics make up about one-fifth of all K-12 students. Hispanics’ growth and changes in the youth population are certain to influence political debate, from jobs and immigration to the No Child Left Behind education, for years.

In colleges, Hispanics made up 12 percent of full-time undergraduate and graduate students, 2 percent more than in 2006. Still, that is short of Hispanics’ 15 percent representation in the total U.S. population.

“The future of our education system depends on how we can advance Hispanics through the ranks,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “In many cases it’s going to be a challenge, because they are the children of immigrants, and their English is not as strong. Many have parents without a high school or college education.”

Read more from the Associated Press.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Another one of those “lasts” happened today. My last parent-teacher conferences. The funny thing is, I was never present for my parent-teacher conferences, so its not exactly one of the “lasts” I’ll miss next year.

Recently East High School has moved to parent-teacher conferences that are more student lead. In our “Ace Time” class (a class we have every Wednesday to do things that relate to grades and school) we filled out a sheet with not only our grades, but also ways to better grades and goals we have the final semester. Our parents picked these sheets up and carried them around during conferences to help see the student’s views and goals for the semester. This is the only input my mom received from me the last two conferences. I actually haven’t gone to conferences since the first round my junior year. (more…)

Harvard’s Endowment and the Education Bubble

harvard endowmentFueled by endowment gains and tuition increases, universities in recent years have gone on a building, faculty and program expansion spree. I have personally seen it in the law school realm. Instead of the historical 12-credit loads, the norm over the past few years in law schools has trended towards nine to ten credits. This allowed for more research, but also meant that the faculty needed to expand to continue offering the same course levels. Salaries also rose as law schools and other areas of universities competed for top talent.

But the same forces buffeting the general economy are affecting the university.

Yale recently froze all faculty salaries for employees paid more than $75,000, and Harvard froze all faculty salaries at its arts and sciences school. The big private, elite universities appear to be particularly at risk. To understand why, let’s take a look at the Harvard endowment.

Read more at New York Times

Wordless Wednesday: Harvard’s Endowment

Harvard University

Spring Breakers Warned to Stay out of Mexico

Due to a recent outbreak in violence by Mexican drug cartels, the U.S. Department of Justice’s ATF Bureau has sent a clear warning to students to stay out of northern Mexico destinations this spring break. The State Department also warned students and other travelers to stay away from areas of prostitution and drug-dealing for the utmost security.

In recent weeks, communities like Tijuana and Rosarito Beach, just South of San Diego, have seen a surge in drug-related violence.

In a statement released by the ATF, special agent in charge John A. Torres said “I know that spring break is a rite of passage for many college students, however I would discourage traveling to places like Tijuana and Rosarito due to drug cartel violence affecting those areas. If they do decide to go, they should be sure and follow the information provided by the State Department in a recent Travel Alert.”

Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas Nominated to be the Next HHS Secretary

obama and sebeliusI never thought the Governor of Kansas could be part of Obama‘s new team in the White House. Guess I was mistaken! According to a source from the White House, Governor Sebelius was announced as nominee today to be the next Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.

Sebelius was originally one of Obama’s finalists to be his running mate, but pulled out of the race to focus on Kansas and its economic state at the time. She didn’t pull herself out of Obama’s options completely. Many believe she is a solid choice for the HHS Secretary because of what she has accomplished as the Governor of Kansas. She has been responsible for the Medicaid program here in Kansas, faced the pressure of rising care costs in a very direct manner, and has seen how difficult it can be to spread health care when the economy is facing rather difficult times. (more…)

The 9 Hottest Spring Break Destinations for 2009

Cancun is the most popular spring break destination.

Cancun is the most popular spring break destination.

Coeds everywhere are counting down the days until they trade their backpacks and study sessions for cocktails and naps on the beach. If your plans are still posted as TBD on the calendar, then use this list as a guide to help you pick the 9 hottest party spots this spring break. This list proves that Mexico still has the market cornered for spring break, but also boasts some in-country destinations that will let you wind down with new and old friends.

1. Cancun – This Mexican oasis is consistently unanimous with spring break. The clubs stay open far later than your campus dives, there are endless margaritas, and some of the most scenic views on earth. You’ll need to take a passport.

2. Bahamas and Jamaica – A tie for second leads spring breakers to two of the Caribbean’s most popular locales. Nassau in the Bahamas and Montego Bay or Negril in Jamaica are the ideal places to stay. Passports are required to take in the food, fun and drink of these spots. (more…)

Obama Making Affordable College Education a Priority

Here’s what’s perhaps most unusual about President Obama‘s big budget proposals for higher education: That he’s thinking about higher education at all.

Delineated in a handful of brash proposals Thursday, Obama’s plan to make college more affordable and within reach of more students represents a break from the approach that President Bush took — he focused much of his energy from Day 1 on improving K-12 education, most notably with his signature No Child Left Behind law.

“It was unusual for President Bush to make higher education a significant part of his budget,” said Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education, a lobbying group for college presidents. “President Obama has made this a very substantial part of his first budget.”

See this story at USA Today.

Families Paying for FAFSA Assistance, Obama Calls for Change

Most everyone agrees that something is very wrong with the six-page federal form (FAFSA) for families seeking help with college costs.

Created in 1992 to simplify applying for financial aid, it has become so intimidating — with more than 100 questions — that critics say it scares off the very families most in need, preventing some teenagers from going to college.

Then, too, some families have begun paying for professional help with the form, known as the Fafsa, a situation that experts say indicates just how far awry the whole process has gone. (more…)


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