Thursday, February 28, 2013

Supreme Court Justices’ Athletic Feats Recounted on First Day of Arnold Sports Festival

The 25th Arnold Sports Festival kicks off today in Columbus. The festival will feature more than 18,000 athletes from 80 nations competing in 45 sports and events, including 12 Olympic sports.

Normally associated with bodybuilding, the festival’s other sports bring to mind the athletic feats of two former Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court.
Justice Francis Sweeney played professional football in the Canadian Football League for the Ottawa Rough Riders as a defensive tackle from 1956 to 1958. Justice Sweeney served on the Supreme Court from January 1993 to December 2004. Perhaps his most significant contribution while a member of the court was his majority opinion in DeRolph v. State (1997), the first school funding decision.
Justice Arthur H. Day set an unofficial world record in the 40-yard dash as a varsity sprinter at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1909. After his graduation from Ohio Wesleyan, he was appointed to the Cleveland Boxing Commission in 1914. Justice Day served on the court from January 1935 to December 1940.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Ideal Educational Philosophy

 Ideal Educational Philosophy
In an ideal world, I really believe that the majority of people who are involved in education, whether they're a teacher, administrator, coach, counselor, are anything else, would have a genuine care for kids. I also think that most educators really are trying to do the best they can with what they have, and they probably feel that their style or philosophy of what they're doing is the best way to do it. So while I also have my own beliefs of how things should be done, and how I eventually want to do things when I become a teacher, I am aware that my beliefs can be subjective, and I would hope to be flexible enough to change and evolve as a teacher, as my beliefs change and evolve.

As of today, I sincerely believe that regardless of style or philosophy, there are certain parameters that need to be a part of every classroom, such as discipline, accountability, tolerance, care, and maybe a few others. But the irony to me is that, over the years, the way I define these things, what they mean to me, and how they are carried out, probably will change, as have other things in life. I think that a good teacher, has to be aware of these changes, not only in themselves, but in their students as well, and they should be versatile enough as a teacher to be able to adjust to these changes and remain effective.

The reality today is that the learning environment for our kids has expanded greatly. Kids are learning from TVs., from the internet, from friends, from music, and host of other things, teachers have got to be able to get their attention for the short time that they have them, and get them to learn; Whether they like it or not, and whether they know it or not. And unfortunately most of today's kids don't respond as well to some of the more traditional teaching styles, and thus their learning can be inhibited, regardless of the importance or quality of the information you are giving them.

In a lot of ways I am in a privileged position as a campus monitor in that I am a staff member, and now I can see how things work on that side. But as a monitor and a coach, I also am around the kids a lot and I develop relationships with them that while still professional, they are less formal then traditional student/teacher relationships tend to be, and I can get a sense for when they're really learning, and when they're just getting (or not getting) a grade.

I can also hear from them what they say about teachers such as, who they like, who they pay attention to, and who makes them want to learn. After looking at it from both sides, when I think about which teachers I think are the best, it doesn't have anything to do with male/female, black/white, older/younger, short/tall, coach/science teacher, or anything like that. They do all have similar qualities in that they care first of all, they are all willing to be creative and try new things, and they are all aware of discipline and accountability, all with a touch of humility as well.

For teachers today, it seems being effective for a long period of time carries a big responsibility in that it's a constant challenge to learn, evolve, and adjust to the natural ebbs and flows of life. There is no comfort zone, so to speak, where you can see growth in a class one year or even a couple years, and you can figure if you do what you did with last year's 8th graders, next year's 8th graders will respond the same way. There is a constant challenge to gain knowledge, and knowledge itself is becoming more and more subjective every day, making that challenge even harder.

What was so important or essential to know last year, you might find it just isn't so anymore, or it has been replaced by something just as or more important to know, like the year the internet came out, encyclopedia's became instantly expendable, or after midnight morning January 1st 2000, Y2k became a little less important. Not to mention that what becomes important knowledge to one person may not mean anything to another. The kid who is hungry everyday and has to fight to eat, or for clothes, or for love, they may not care at all about the square root of nine, or who shot who at the Battle of Gettysburg.

To me there has to be some relation to this wealth of knowledge that we are trying to teach these kid's, and the real lives that they are living. The other half of having knowledge as a teacher is being able to deliver that knowledge to their students in a way that their students can both hear, and absorb. Knowing how to deliver that knowledge effectively, and really get student's to absorb and learn it, is knowledge in itself.

During my younger years as a student, I always considered myself to be smart, I always felt like I knew at least a little bit about a lot of things, but I was never a consistent student. My individual motivation never came from really wanting and trying to learn the information, I was an athlete so my immediate motivation was to be eligible to play, and once I realized I wanted to go to college my motivation was to be good enough to get into college, after all that there was getting good grades, even still that wasn't just for the knowledge, but more for my parents, or maybe to get a job.

I do however remember certain classes that I was already interested in, but even more I remember certain teachers or professors who were able to spark some sort of interest in me and ended up making me want to learn more. But, in my scholastic career, these situations were rare. I tell people all the time there is probably 10% of what I learned in college that I still remember from my classes, what I did learn and I do remember are such things as keeping a schedule, how to formulate thoughts and put them on paper, punctuality, keeping a budget, and whole lot of other useful things that you learn from life as a student, that would have been useful had I learned them earlier. I guess I would like to be the type of teacher that can somehow put some of these real life things into learning and give my students not only information, but also help prepare them for life in the real world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Classroom Resources Available to Learn About Historic Case

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, a landmark case that recognized the responsibility of state courts to provide counsel for indigent defendants.

The U.S. Courts website has unveiled a series of courtroom-ready and classroom-ready activities to provide a teen-age perspective on the case, which was decided on March 18, 1963.

Students can read a summary about the case, reenact the story of Clarence Gideon, and put themselves in a similar situation through a realistic scenario where they might need a public defender.
The activities provide a great opportunity to learn about the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Comparing Notes with a Judge from China

A few days ago Judge Caiyan Yan from China visited the Ohio Supreme Court. Judge Yan is a member of the Higher People’s Court in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province approximately 915 miles southwest of Beijing.

Judge Yan observed three oral arguments at the Thomas J. Moyer Judicial Center on February 5. Two days later, I welcomed her in my chambers for an informal conversation about the similarities and differences in our judicial systems. She had many questions about what she observed here at the Supreme Court of Ohio and the other courts she had visited throughout her stay in the United States.

We talked for about an hour through the help of an interpreter. Both of us had questions for the other about what it was like to serve as a judge in our country.

Judge Yan has served on the Higher People’s Court since 2005, after she received her master’s degree in law from Wuhan University. Her primary judicial role is to review administrative law and procedural matters for the court.

Judge Yan was very interested in discussing dispute resolution because she oversees the resolution of disputes between bureaucracies. She said that in China, officials encourage judges to use mediation and other similar means to resolve civil disputes. I expressed my view: Mediation is successful when both parties leave the table equally unhappy with an agreement because that means they each had to compromise on strongly held positions.

Judge Yan also was interested in hearing about cases when public figures were involved. I stressed that officials here in the states do not receive special consideration: judges use the same rules for litigants whether they are rich or poor. We strive for equal justice under the law.

I enjoyed spending time with Judge Yan, having the opportunity to exchange ideas. Perhaps we will have the chance to meet again.  She, her husband, and their 8-year-old daughter will return to China at the end of the month.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Games and Sports in Student's life

Physical and mental fitness is essential for every person. Students have very busy schedule and they often get tired from it. To perform best, it is necessary to have a sound mind in a sound body and for that games should also be played with study.

Sport gives physical strength whereas game increases mental power. Sports like cricket, football, hockey improve physical health and mental fitness can be achieved by games like chess, brain games, Sudoku etc. They make body fit and help us to perform well. They teach us team work that is helpful in student as well as professional life. The sense of brotherhood makes us care for others.  Sports build one’s behavior in such a way that he/she is able to accept defeat with victory which produces positive approach towards life.  They make us able to think in stressed condition that makes our mind sharp. Researchers find out that the students who play games and have good performance in sport; they also do well in exams.

Sports and games should be made a part of life to make mind and body healthy. Students should manage their time for study as well as sports if they want to perform well. Recent scientific studies have proven that students, who give equal importance to games along with studies, are achievers in professional life as compared to those who neglect sports.

A visit to Sea side/ A picnic

Last Weekend, my cousins visited my home. At Sunday morning, we planned to go to Hawke’s Bay. It is a sandy beach located 20km South West of Karachi. At about 10 a.m., with our parents, we left for the beach. We enjoyed the journey a lot. We bought food and drinks from the way. 

When we reached the beach, Sun was high in the sky.  We hired a beautiful hut there. Our elders settled in the hut and after enjoying juices, we went to the sea. Water was warm and cozy and waves were not harsh. For an hour, we stayed in it and enjoy the waves softly hitting our bodies.  After that my cousin suggested to play Volley Ball. We were still playing when my mother called us to have lunch. After lunch we went back to sea and only came out when it was time to leave for home at sunset.

Sun was looking beautiful at evening, it was giving golden color to waves and it seemed like the sea was made of gold. With the cherish memories of the day and tired bodies, we all went to home. It was a great day, full of fun and joy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Flood in Pakistan(essay)

Flood is the natural disaster which causes massive destruction by over flowing of water. This huge amount of water come from heavy rain falls and snow melting that burden the rivers and results in flood.

Floods are common in Pakistan and affect Sindh and Punjab most. Monsoon season brings lots of heavy rainfall that increases water level of rivers of Sindh and Punjab and river basins sink into water.Whenever it comes it takes away many precious lives, take homes of many poor and left people in misery. Flood take away many houses of people, they are forced to live under open sky. The shortage of clean water and food takes away lives of many. The other major problem arise is the spreading of diseases. Water borne diseases become common and lack of medicine makes situation worse. Infrastructure damage causes transportation problems. People get stuck in their places until the rescue team arrives through helicopters or boats.

Natural disasters are not in the hand of man. They can’t stop them but can take measures to reduce the damage. Properties loss is amendable but a life loss is a loss forever. Government does take some action for it, but bringing back the life as it used to be takes years.