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Tag Archives: education

study abroad

ISEP is a network of 300 colleges and universities in 42 countries cooperating to provide affordable access to international education for a diverse student population. ISEP students gain intercultural competence through integration into their host institution and host culture while exploring the international dimensions of their academic field.

the inner life of a cell

“The Inner Life of the Cell” takes undergrads beyond textbooks and vividly illustrates the mechanisms that allow a white blood cell to sense its surroundings and respond to an external stimulus.This animation explores the different cellular environments in which these communications take place. “I was impressed by the ability of the XVIVO team to transform all the structural information and the very detailed sequence of molecular events that I assembled in a story-board into a visually pleasing work of art. This was made possible because the XVIVO team combines artistic talents with a good understanding of biology,” says Alain Viel Ph.D., Associate Director of Undergraduate Research at Harvard University.

Even if one (and I am certainly one) does not understand the biological terms and words used in this video, it is spectacular to visually see the organization of the cell.

Quest for Understanding

A Quest For Understanding

We recently received the devastating news that another Loved One has symptoms of early dementia.

The number of Alzheimer’s patients is expected to increase dramatically in coming years, straining the health care system.

Scientists have not discovered the cause nor devised effective treatments. Even diagnosis is difficult.

In the absence of therapies, attention has turned to teaching the skills necessary to cope with demented patients.

Increasingly caregivers are encouraged to validate the feelings and perceptions of the person with Alzheimer’s.

The news about advances in Alzheimer’s is not encouraging; however, we are becoming better educated about and aware of this Soul Thief.  Hopefully, in my lifetime, there will be Real Answers.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and no way to prevent it. Scientists haven’t even stopped arguing about whether the gunk that builds up in the Alzheimer’s brain is a cause or an effect of the disease. Alzheimer’s is roaring down — a train wreck to come — on societies all over the world. People in this country spend more than a $1 billion a year on prescription drugs marketed to treat it, but for most patients the pills have only marginal effects, if any, on symptoms and do nothing to stop the underlying disease process that eats away at the brain. Pressed for answers, most researchers say no breakthrough is around the corner, and it could easily be a decade or more before anything comes along that makes a real difference for patients.

Meanwhile, the numbers are staggering: 4.5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s, 1 in 10 over 65 and nearly half of those over 85. Taking care of them costs $100 billion a year, and the number of patients is expected to reach 11 million to 16 million by 2050. Experts say the disease will swamp the health system.

It’s already swamping millions of families, who suffer the anguish of seeing a loved one’s mind and personality disintegrate, and who struggle with caregiving and try to postpone the wrenching decision about whether they can keep the patient at home as helplessness increases, incontinence sets in and things are only going to get worse.

Drug companies are placing big bets on Alzheimer’s. Wyeth, for instance, has 23 separate projects aimed at developing new treatments. Hundreds of theories are under study at other companies large and small. Why not? People with Alzheimer’s and their families are so desperate that they will buy any drug that offers even a shred of hope, and many will keep using the drug even if the symptoms don’t get better, because they can easily be convinced that the patient would be even worse off without it.

It is telling, maybe a tacit admission of defeat, that a caregiving industry has sprung up around Alzheimer’s. Books, conferences and Web sites abound — how to deal with the anger, the wandering, the sleeping all day and staying up all night, the person who asks the same question 15 times in 15 minutes, wants to wear the same blouse every day and no longer recognizes her own children or knows what a toilet is for.

The advice is painfully and ironically reminiscent of the 1960s and ’70s, the literal and figurative high point for many of the people who are now coping with demented parents. The theme is, essentially, go with the flow. People with Alzheimer’s aren’t being stubborn or nasty on purpose; they can’t help it. Arguing and correcting will not only not help, but they will ratchet up the hostility level and make things worse. The person with dementia has been transported into a strange, confusing new world and the best other people can do is to try to imagine the view from there and get with the program.

. . . Basically, just tango on. And hope somebody will do the same for you when your time comes. Unless the big breakthrough happens first.

[Zen and the Art of Coping with Alzheimer’s by Denise Grady]

quote of the day

What did you ask at school today?
– Richard Feynman, 1918 – 1988

taking a break

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A gap year is a period of time when students take a break from formal education to travel, volunteer, study, intern, or work. A gap year is also referred to as a deferred year, year out, year off, time out, time off. A gap year experience can last for several weeks, a semester, or up to a year or more. Typically a gap year is taken between high school graduation and starting college, during college, or between college and starting graduate school or a career.

GOOGLE – come to Farmington!

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Texas Textbooks

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There has been a spate of news about Texas textbooks within the past few weeks: news articles, television reporting, radio commentaries – in every state in the union, I believe.

This is a BIG issue.

As a giant in the textbook market, Texas and its education officials have left fingerprints on the classroom readers used far beyond the Red River.

The long reach of the State Board of Education has attracted outsized national attention for years as board members engaged in pitched battles over textbook content from evolution to the Founding Fathers. [Kate Alexander, American Statesman Staff]

Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change

Everyone’s heard the advertisement that claims, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” While that’s questionable, one thing that is not questionable is that what happens in the Texas education battle will not just stay in Texas.

What your kids learn about historical figures like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein most likely depends on what happens in Texas in the next two days.

Texas is in the process of adopting its social studies standards, which only happens every ten years. The standards cover U.S. Government, American History, World History, and more, and they affect how students in grades K – 12 see America, its founding principles, and its heroes for the next decade.

More than that, because Texas is one of the largest consumers of textbooks in the nation, publishers use these curriculum standards for textbooks that are distributed in nearly every state in the union. Thus, what happens in Texas will impact the nation.

Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were removed from World History, yet Mary Kay and Wallace Amos (of Famous Amos Cookies) were added, it appears, for more “diversity.” That’s unbelievable. Edison is the greatest inventor in American history with over 1,000 patents; oh, and by the way, that Einstein guy was pretty successful too! [Kerry Shackelford, Fox News]