Mayflower Beacon School Complex – Accra,Ghana

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We love you AKua!!!! u rock. i choose to call tou Intellimodel…

Expect the unexpected.

You’re unforgettable. I may or may not be up to par to what you’re used to.  I think it’d be so worth it. I think I’ll wait though. There is a time for everything. The timing is just not right…..

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Don’t run from …

Don’t run from a challenge. Instead run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet. -Nadia Comaneci

How much better it is to get skillful & Godly Wisdom than gold! & to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. Proverbs 16:16

Titan

The Numinous Cosmos

titanland

Deep in the bosom of the night he trudged on

accompanied only by the sound of

staccato static weeping in his ears.

Long ago his helmet light went out-

plunging him into bewildering darkness

he was tempted to contact the outside world

to seek out what options he had to survive,

if only the radio had not died too.

Still he could not comprehend the series of

events that culminated in this total isolation;

what alien malice worked against him and his mission?

Soon, lost in his thoughts, he stumbled upon the

discovery that would reveal all the answers…

ahead of him stood a denizen of this lonesome

worldlet—it’s body glowing in orange phosphorescence,

it’s teeth a white ivory gleam-

he stood there realizing the formalities of

First Contact would not apply.

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Britney Spears, Secret Agent

The Lester & Charlie Review

culkin

We at the Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking like to fancy ourselves as being up-to-date on important things. We know how to search Google News, and we get regular Facebook updates from things like LOLCats and George Takei. We’re pretty sure we’re not missing anything important. So it was kinda startling to stumble across the revelation that one of our favorite child stars from long ago is all grown up and torturing Somali pirates.

Really! We all know that some child stars grow up to become drug addicts or media whores, but it turns out that formerMouseketeer Britney Spears is doing something different: Combating evil on the ocean by using her unique talents to make sounds that can drive pirates insane.

We should have seen this coming. We were vaguely aware that Britney’s been making these sounds for some time now, but we hadn’t realized their true…

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my table. (and what I love about food.)

I want to say something about food.

Well, I want to say a lot of things.

And as always, I want to speak out of a place that recognizes my privilege. For one, to be able to sit in a comfy brown chair and write about it, and also, that I have the means to buy good ingredients, cook them, and feed myself and at times, others.

There is something to be said about sitting down at a table with plates with forks and maybe a few nice glasses. Maybe a cute napkin or some candles. Very similar to the picture at the top of this blog. It is a simple joy, that I can reproduce this from time to time. And really, it doesn’t take much.

But there’s something inside of me that gets excited when I know I am to be cooking for people I love and for…

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Have you every been called or said the B word to someone?

Thought provoking***

About Pia

awesome pesonality + greater works.

Inspiring me

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

 

#Inspiring

A Stylish Teacher

Gardner’s 7 Multiple Intelligences can be used in the classroom to teach all of our different types of learners. For example:

To show an understanding of five new vocabulary words
1. draw a picture of each vocabulary word (visual)
2. match word strips and definition strips and glue onto a piece of paper (kinesthetic)
3. make up a song featuring all five vocabulary words (musical)
4. create sentences with each vocabulary word with a partner (interpersonal)
5. create a short story (two-three paragraphs) using all five vocabulary words (intrapersonal)
6. say vocabulary words out loud to a partner identifying roots and affixes (linguistic)
7. complete a crossword puzzle for the vocabulary words (logical)

To create and present a book review or report
1. create a poster to advertise the book (visual)
2. make a puppet show of an important scene from the book (kinesthetic)
3. pretend the book is going…

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How to Be a Leader in Your Industry

Helpful Lessons from James Bond 

I am slowly making my way through every James Bond movie in chronological order. It’s been interesting to watch the series evolve through the Sean Connery years and devolve through the Roger Moore era. The George Lazenby experiment was too short, in my opinion. His movie provided the deepest look into what made Bond tick. But in the last movie that I watched, it was an infamous Bond villain that had the biggest impact on me. In today’s essay you’ll discover the one line from a deadly assassin that ties in with how you can turn yourself into a thought leader in your industry.

Craig Ballantyne

“Make a difference. Live a life that matters.” – Frank McKinneyDepending on which list you read, Scaramonga, otherwise known as the title character in “The Man With the Golden Gun,” is the 9th ranked Bond Villain of all time. A deadly assassin with a trademarked weapon, he considers killing Bond to be the pinnacle of achievement. 


Through a series of adventures gone awry on the Hong Kong mainland, Scaramonga eventually traps Bond on a remote island off the coast of China. With Bond helpless, Scaramonga invites him to a final gourmet dinner before challenging Bond to an old-fashioned duel to the death.

(I apologize if you just downloaded this movie on iTunes. I don’t mean to give the plot away.  There’s much, much more to the story, I assure you.)

During what is meant to be Bond’s last supper, Scaramonga says something that made me pause the movie and write down the line. 

In explaining his history as a hired gun, Scaramonga described his goal of killing Bond by saying, “Like every great artist I want to create an indisputable masterpiece once in my lifetime.” 

As soon as he said that my eyes widened. It’s a goal that I have in my own career as well. 

Now hold on, your editor is not a hit man in his free time. But I do share the desire to be a thought leader in my industry and to create a piece of work that remains long after I’m gone.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel the same way. 

Maybe, like me, you’re approaching Malcolm Gladwell-described “Outlier” status in your profession, having spent your 10,000 hours honing your craft. Or perhaps you’re just starting your journey but know that ultimately you want to create a masterpiece in time. 

That’s what a thought leader does in their industry. That’s how you become the go-to expert in your marketplace. And it all starts with a key tool, a metaphorical “Golden Gun,” if you will. Let me explain.

One of my virtual mentors, Dan Kennedy, recently outlined the critical steps to becoming a thought leader in any industry. If you implement this blueprint, and ultimately create your Golden Gun, you can dominate your industry for years to come.

It All Starts with a BIG Idea

Your Big Idea for your business, your speaking career, and in your writing must be clear and concise. It must be, as Yanik Silver says in his Maverick Business Rules, “Something that you and your team can get in seconds.” 

Kennedy adds that your Big Idea should preferably be articulated in just two to eight words. Here are some powerful examples from the past few decades: 

  • “Cheat Your Way Thin” – A nutrition program created by my friend, Joel Marion
  • “Nothing Down” – Robert Allen’s riches in real estate promise
  • “The 4-Hour Work Week” – The NY Times Best-seller by visionary, Tim Ferriss
  • “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” – a Big Idea from John Gray’s Big Idea in the early ’90s.

As Kennedy concluded, “The difference between fifteen minutes of fame and a decade of dominance is your Big Idea.” 

Take the message you are trying to communicate and simplify it. If you can articulate it in a succinct and powerful way, you will ensure a big breakthrough.

A Divide & Conquer Strategy

This advice is politically incorrect, but accurate. Only you can decide whether it is worth pursuing, but a polarized strategy simplifies the message and solution for the end user. This lets the reader off the hook. They no longer have to think for themselves anymore and can just follow you, their thought leader, like sheep.

Kennedy recommends that you “deliberately divide and conquer by finding a group that feels they are unheard, and then you stand up and speak for them. Tell them that everyone else is wrong.” 

You sacrifice being “everything-to-everyone” so that you can connect more strongly with those that want or need to hear your message.

Use this principle wisely and ethically, in the most positive method possible. That’s all I ask.

Clearly Communicated Philosophical Principles

If you believe the old saying, “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything” then be sure to pay close attention to this one.

As a thought leader you must stand strong and tall for your chosen and well espoused philosophical principles. I have several clearly communicated rules that guide my life and businesses, including, “Get up earlier and work on one big project before you do anything else,” “Script your day for maximum productivity,” and “Just say NO to cardio,” among others.

You must have the values that you share with your readers on “Program Repeat.” 

When I was a youngster in Sunday School, I had to memorize the 10 Commandments, but it was only through Biblical stories demonstrating their application over and over again that the lessons stuck in my head.

Your task as a thought leader is to first clearly and concisely communicate your philosophical principles, then use success stories and dramatic proof to demonstrate these principles over and over again. This way your readers will have the way they are supposed to think and act branded into their brains.

Remember – YOU are the thought leader. You call the shots.

An Origin Story

Using the example of Batman, Kennedy recommends using your origin story to explain, “How you came to be.” How did you get to be the expert in this area? 

Your background story gives you the moral authority to pronounce yourself as THE expert. For example, perhaps you were once in debt but through trials and tribulations you stumbled across a formula for getting out of debt fast. That’s why today you should be considered a leading expert in helping others do the same.

I’ve written many times before that one of the best business models is the Affinity Model, where you can show your prospects that you were once just like them. You were once in their shoes but then you learned the secrets to success and those changed your life. Now it is your goal to share these secrets with the world. If true, this makes for one of the most powerful marketing foundations for your product or services.

That is how you get others to believe that they can do it too. So tell your origin story (and use the aforementioned Program Repeat principle to tell it every chance that you get).

Your Golden Gun

The Thought Leader’s “Golden Gun” is what really separates them from the pack. “A thought leader needs to be in print a lot…and every thought leader has a book,” Kennedy proclaimed.

A book is the Golden Gun of today’s thought leader.

Even today in the world of social media domination, the power of a real book – not just a digital book published on Kindle – remains the indisputable calling card of a thought leader.

A book wraps up all of the other principles into one powerful weapon. It requires a Big Idea, it uses clearly communicated values to divide and conquer, and it encapsulates your origin story to prove that not only you were able to achieve success, but that your reader can too. 

That’s why the power – and allure – of writing a book remains today. Because it works and it matters. 

But whether you decide to write your book or not, now is the time to finally get your Big Idea out there and become recognized as your industry’s thought leader. Start driving home your message today by using the tips above and you could very well develop your legacy that will far outlive you. 

And let me know when you finally get your Golden Gun.

 
By Craig Ballantyne

Language Education We Can Use

As the global nature of work and life in the 21st century becomes clearer by the day, calls for a greater focus on international education and language learning are growing louder. Leaders from the education, business, and national security communities are agreed: International understanding and second-language proficiency are critical to individual and national interests—and our K-12 system must do more to promote them.

But with respect to international education and language learning, more of what we are doing today wouldn’t be better. In fact, it might be worse.

For too many years, we have maintained a language-learning strategy that simply does not work. In programs using outdated pedagogies focused on grammar and translation and coupled with low expectations, students take foreign languages with goals that seemingly include everything except actually learning to speak the language. If graduates of our high schools regularly reflected that, after four years of mathematics, they couldn’t solve for an unknown variable, we would be outraged. But we share a laugh when someone says, “I took four years of a language, but I can’t really speak it.”

As a nation, we seem unconcerned by students’ wasting years in language programs with instructional approaches that have no chance of helping them achieve meaningful levels of proficiency. Students are neither learning to speak in large numbers nor at high levels because the traditional platform cannot possibly deliver enough intensity or time in the target language. As a result, everyone understands that putting Spanish or French or Mandarin on your resume simply means that you took it, not that you speak it.

But what is the goal of traditional programs if it is not learning to speak the language? Teachers and administrators will tell you that there is much more to language classes than just oral proficiency. There is cultural awareness and sensitivity, global knowledge, and exposure to the target language.

They are absolutely right. And these objectives would be well worth the investment if traditional world-language programs were actually set up for those outcomes. Unfortunately, they aren’t. They continue to operate with the primary goal of increased proficiency and a secondary goal of increased global knowledge. The result? We achieve neither.

But we could. To do so, however, we will need to part ways with our traditional one-size-fits-all approach to language instruction.

Let’s start with increased global knowledge. Rather than perpetuate the fiction that world-language classes can result in advanced proficiency, it is time to convert existing courses to a classroom experience that provides a combination of introductory language exposure, cultural studies, and deep, experiential learning about the countries that speak the target language. These middle and high school language courses would have the following three components:

“We seem unconcerned by students’ wasting years in language programs with instructional approaches that have no chance of helping them achieve meaningful levels of proficiency.”
 
 

• Specific, real-life language instruction narrowed to focus on survival travel skills and with the goal of teaching a subset of the current language curriculum to greater depth and understanding—with relevance and utility as guiding principles;

• A cultural-studies framework that teaches students how to understand a country’s cultural identity and to compare and contrast countries; and

• Global knowledge through the study, comparison, and contrasting of countries that speak the target language.

To be clear, students will not leave these classes with advanced language proficiency. What they will obtain, however, are the language skills needed to travel in countries that speak the language, an understanding of other countries and cultures, and an awareness of the global issues that impact both those countries and our own.

For the students who seek to achieve proficiency, classrooms with dual-language instruction will provide the route. In these classrooms, the target language is not taught as a separate subject; it is the language in which instruction is delivered. Students master the curriculum objectives in all subject areas, while becoming highly proficient in a second language. A recently released book by the renowned dual-language-education researchers Wayne Thomas and Virginia Collier, Dual Language Education for a Transformed World, provides ample evidence that not only is dual language a best practice for second-language acquisition, but it is also the “most powerful school reform model for high academic achievement, whatever the demographic mix!”

There are different models of dual-language education, including 50/50 two-way (in which half of instruction is presented in English and the other half in the target language), and 90/10 full immersion (in which nearly all instruction is conducted in the foreign language being taught). Communities with native Spanish-speaking, Mandarin-speaking, or other English-language-learner populations can benefit from the 50/50 model—a program that promotes academic achievement through enrichment, rather than remediation. In 90/10 programs, native English-speaking students benefit from the academic rigor inherent in learning nearly all content through the target language.

For students who enter these programs in the elementary years, school districts and states would develop companion middle and high school coursework that would build their language skills and ensure high-level proficiency by high school graduation.

No doubt, it will be difficult to wean our schools and districts from their traditional language approaches. But these approaches seek to teach language to 100 percent of the students with a success rate of 1 percent. Instead, we should aim for 10 percent participation in dual-language education to achieve 100 percent success, and support the remaining 90 percent of students with courses that will build survival language skills, cultural understanding, and global knowledge.

The good news: We can redeploy the existing world-languages course platform, teaching positions, and support resources to implement a language-learning and international education agenda that will actually achieve results.

In doing so, we will be in tune with the demands of states, businesses, and parents to better prepare students for the global world in which they will live and work.

 

By David Young and J.B. Buxton

David Young is the chief executive officer of VIF International Education, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based company that works with states, districts, and schools on international education. J.B. Buxton is the founding principal of the Education Innovations Group, in Raleigh, N.C., and a former deputy state superintendent of education and governor’s education adviser in North Carolina.

@ElwakSportsStadium

@ElwakSportsStadium

@TheJuniorHighSchool Dorothy Kraft an intern from Germany with our lovely pupils

@TheJuniorHighSchool

Never imagine that your edu­cation is “finished”

 

A father once proudly said to me, “My son has finished his education”. He did not mean to be funny; but he was. Of course he meant that his son has taken his degree and left college; as though it is only in schools and colleges that education is to be had. “Finished his education!” Why, he had only just begun it.

“Education” means the drawing-out, or development of the faculties. This begins in school and college; but it does not end there. At school and college one learns the rudiments, and gains a smattering of knowledge on various subjects. More important, one learns there how to learn the best methods of acquiring knowledge. School and college education trains the mind (or should do), and makes it accustomed to continuous application and study. But this is not the whole of education; in a sense, it is but a preparation for education. Our education should never be “finished” at any rate so far as this life is concerned, until we die.

“Every person”, said Gibbon, the historian, “has two educations: one which he receives from others, and one, more important, which he gives himself”. And Sir Walter Scott confirmed this when he wrote: “The best part of every man’s education is that which he gives himself”. “That which is put into us by others”, says Samuel Smiles, “is always far less ours than that which we acquire by our own efforts. Knowledge conquered by labor becomes a possession a property entirely our own.”

If this is so, how do you hope, and plan, to continue your education when you leave school or college? I say “plan”; for mere hoping will not accomplish much. You must make up your mind to do it, and form some definite plan of studies.

First, you must keep up your reading. Too many young men close their books when they have taken their degrees, and learn no more. They very soon forget all they have ever learn. But, if you intend to continue your education, you must find time for serious reading. Go on with the subjects or some of them, you began as a student; and take up new ones that you feel will interest you.

Further, if you have the chance, join continuation classes, attend what lectures you can, become a member of some literary circle or debating society. Solitary study is not enough; you can learn much from discussion and conversation with others. But, what ever you do, never imagine that your edu­cation is “finished”.

#I like this

Never imagine that your edu­cation is “finished”

A father once proudly said to me, “My son has finished his education”. He did not mean to be funny; but he was. Of course he meant that his son has taken his degree and left college; as though it is only in schools and colleges that education is to be had. “Finished his education!” Why, he had only just begun it.

“Education” means the drawing-out, or development of the faculties. This begins in school and college; but it does not end there. At school and college one learns the rudiments, and gains a smattering of knowledge on various subjects. More important, one learns there how to learn the best methods of acquiring knowledge. School and college education trains the mind (or should do), and makes it accustomed to continuous application and study. But this is not the whole of education; in a sense, it is but a preparation for education. Our education should never be “finished” at any rate so far as this life is concerned, until we die.

“Every person”, said Gibbon, the historian, “has two educations: one which he receives from others, and one, more important, which he gives himself”. And Sir Walter Scott confirmed this when he wrote: “The best part of every man’s education is that which he gives himself”. “That which is put into us by others”, says Samuel Smiles, “is always far less ours than that which we acquire by our own efforts. Knowledge conquered by labor becomes a possession a property entirely our own.”

If this is so, how do you hope, and plan, to continue your education when you leave school or college? I say “plan”; for mere hoping will not accomplish much. You must make up your mind to do it, and form some definite plan of studies.

First, you must keep up your reading. Too many young men close their books when they have taken their degrees, and learn no more. They very soon forget all they have ever learn. But, if you intend to continue your education, you must find time for serious reading. Go on with the subjects or some of them, you began as a student; and take up new ones that you feel will interest you.

Further, if you have the chance, join continuation classes, attend what lectures you can, become a member of some literary circle or debating society. Solitary study is not enough; you can learn much from discussion and conversation with others. But, what ever you do, never imagine that your edu­cation is “finished”.

TV aesthetics in terms of panel thinness and bezel width may be improving, and the technology powering the display screens and Web connectivity continues to advance. However, consumers in Asia still view price as the most important consideration when deciding which TVs to buy. 


Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at GfK Asia, said hardware features that appeal to consumers currently revolve around aesthetic design, including panel thinness and bezel width. These features help the TV device be the centerpiece in their living rooms, he said. 

A January GfK Asia report corroborated Tan’s observations, stating sales of flat panel TVs hit 8.3 million units in Southeast Asia in the first 11 months of 2012 which reflected a 26 percent volume growth over the same period in 2011. LCD was the most sought-after TV type across the region, making up more than 9 out of 10 sets purchased by consumers, it stated.  

“The total LCD TV market across the region increased by 13 percent over last year, spurred largely by the strong demand of LED TVs which contributed to a significant chunk of the LCD TV pie,” Tan said in the report. 

“The developing countries [in Southeast Asia] are getting more exposed to the advantages of this newer TV technology and consumers are increasingly demanding for it.”

Another industry watcher, Paul Gagnon, added there are a lot of variations in terms of preferred hardware features across the Asia region. The director of North America TV research at NPD DisplaySearch said in China, 3D and smart TVs are both quite popular as these are “aspirational” features. Consumers are also using the Web connectivity to access a much wider variety of content compared to what is available from state broadcasters, he added. 

Smart TVs are similarly popular in Japan and South Korea, as are LED backlights which make for thinner TV sets and lower power consumption. For other Asian markets, many of which are emerging ones, the focus is simply on lower prices and, therefore, fewer features, Gagnon said.

Software innovation matters

Asked if the TV manufacturers’ push to include social media and content recommendation enginesinto the device will entice consumers here, Tan said people are getting more used to accessing social networking sites and going online at the flick of the finger on mobile devices. As such, TV sets need to be relevant to the consumers, he noted.  

“The social network connections and recommendation engines on TV will help consumers feel as if they are accessing social networking sites or going online on mobile devices. These are strong reasons why consumers will buy the TVs with latest software innovations,” he said. 

He did point out the latest 4K and OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display technologies touted by manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic were less likely to draw a big consumer demand. 

The GfK executive said TV models with 4K and OLED displays are likely to be priced at more than twice the amount of a standard LED TV of the same size, and this would be a barrier for most people. “For innovators and early adopters, the features will appeal to them. However, for the majority of the consumers, the price will be the main factor for them in making buying decisions.”  

Gagnon said OLED TVs will continue to be a very expensive product until production costs can come down. He held higher hopes for 4K LCD TVs, which are being heavily featured by manufacturers now and will start shipping in greater quantities this year. For Asia, and China especially, 4K LCD TVs will be “very attractive” for high-end consumers and could drive a lot of excitement toward the second half of 2013, he added.

Price is still king

Two Singaporean consumers ZDNet Asia spoke to echoed the importance of price, but differed on the importance of software features.

James Hee, a sales executive, said price is the main consideration when he is looking to purchase a new TV set. To him, S$1,000 (US$807.50) for a “good 42-inch TV that has some smart features and Internet connectivity which allows him to surf and watch videos” is the ideal price and features combination. 

Local lawyer James Teo had a different view, saying he does not see the need for a smart TV just for Internet connectivity. Rather, it’s the TV’s graphics and design aesthetics that matter, he said. 

However, when asked if he would pay US$12,000 for a TV with cutting-edge technology, Teo balked. “US$12,000 is a ridiculous price to pay for a TV, even if it has a Siri-like voice assistant, 3D and all the top-end features such as social recommendation engines,” he stated.

LG’s first OLED TV, the 55-inch 55EM9700, will retail at US$10,000 when released in March this year. A Reuters report Thursday stated the Korean electronics giant has received pre-orders for over 100 units of the TV model.

 

By  | February 14, 2013 — 09:16 GMT (17:16 SGT)

@GIMPA

@GIMPA

familiarization with an American School via teleconference*

Is grading the only to test a students or a pupils academic progress?

Virtual School Meanderings

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

Is this email not displaying correctly?  View it in your browser.

The Grading Game

A State’s Report Card Can Vary from A to F,
Depending on the Grader’s Agenda

Contact:

William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Sherman Dorn, (813) 974-9482, dorn@usf.edu

URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/az4hfyq

BOULDER, CO (February 20, 2013) –  “Report cards” that grade states on their education policies assign rankings that vary tremendously, depending on the political ideology of the grader, according to a new review released today by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC). As a result, every state has been assigned a “D” or “F” by at least one of these report cards in the past few years, and almost every state can claim an “A” or “B” grade from another report card.

Sherman Dorn, University of South Florida professor of education, and Ken Libby, University…

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