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Archive for the ‘curent events’ Category

Savannah State University Shooting Fuels Campus Safety Fears

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The shooting this morning of a Savannah State University student quickly raised fears about the safety of U.S. college campuses. However, by days end, those fears were lessened by the college’s swift actions to insure student safety.

Early reports on the shooting indicated that a wounded student was transported to an area hospital for surgery after being shot. Campus safety directives were quickly implemented to guarantee the safety of the remaining 3,400 students — including the 2,000 students who live in the dorms.

Savannah State was immediately locked down after the shooting, with students being asked to remain at their current locations.

Police SWAT teams arrived quickly; and entrance to the campus was denied to all (except emergency-response personnel) while the gunman was still at large. An automated e-mail and text-message alert system notified students of the dangerous situation, with regular updates provided for those who had signed up for the safety feature.

Those who did not sign up for emergency alerts were in the dark about what was happening, but most were quickly informed by fellow students.

Once the gunman was caught, the campus reopened and classes resumed.

College campus shootings are relatively uncommon. However the worst school shooting in U.S. history occurred just last year at Virginia Tech, with 32 people killed by one gunman. Since then, U.S. colleges have revamped their safety measures to improve student safety and alleviate parental and student concerns.

At Savannah State, it appears that these measures were helpful in preventing widespread harm. Yet the shooting of even one student is one too many. So hopefully, colleges will continue their efforts to provide the safest possible campus environments.

Online degree programs, which are usually offered through online schools and traditional schools, are a safe and flexible alternative for students who would rather skip the whole on-campus scene. E-learning puts students into the driver’s seat as far as when, where and with whom to study.

Thankfully, Savannah State’s swift actions today may help to give college students a better assurance that they are safer now than ever.  And perhaps students will consider doing their part by signing up for the critical e-mail/text-message alerts on their respective college campuses.

Savannah State University,  campus shooting, campus safety, college, online schools, online degree program, Savannah State shooting, Georgia, e-learning

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by vida

Election Day: Where Civics and Politics Dare to Meet

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Civics class is millions of memories away for some; but after learning about government, the Electoral College and citizenship in high school, most of us remember the droning pleas of our civics teacher urging us to vote, Vote, and VOTE.

And now, after months of listening to presidential debates, analyzing news reports of each candidate’s position on the issues and engaging in heated ‘discussions’ with just about anyone, the far-away voice of our civics teacher is blaring.

It is time to vote, it says. It is time to pick a new president, it says. It is time to pick the candidate — either John McCain or Barack Obama — who will become the most powerful leader in the world.

But hey, no worries and no pressure — right? Wrong.

In a campaign season interspersed with the free fall of the U.S. stock market, the historical plunge of home property values, the quaking reverberations of banking industry failures, the crippling rise of gas prices and monumental job losses, most Americans are feeling both hopeful and stressful as they prepare to head to the voting polls.

But head to the polls, we must. Because the politics of this presidential campaign awakened in us not only the desire to make a difference in the leadership and future of our country; but it has stirred in us the truths of our past civics lessons and an interest in putting into practice what we learned.

And we know that our civics teacher was right. None of our high-minded opinions and discussions is worth a hill of beans if we do not cast our vote.

What really matters is each of us making our way to the polling place on Election Day, closing the curtain behind us in the voting booth, and marking our choice for president. Only then do we honestly make a difference in our government and earn the right to consider ourselves true citizens.

And only then do we quiet that far-away voice, the one we thought was our civics teacher.

As it turns out, that voice is the voice of our own conscience.

civics, civics teacher, Election Day, politics, vote, polls, high school, voting booth, civics interest, presidential campaign, cast your vote, electoral college, McCain, Obama, voting polls, polling place

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Civil War History Lesson Depicted in S.F. Opera’s ‘Appomattox’

Friday, October 5th, 2007

For Civil War buffs, tonight’s world premiere of ‘Appomattox’ by the San Francisco Opera is the place to be.

This history lesson, set to the music of Philip Glass, is a dramatic presentation of events leading to the end of the Civil War. The character roles of President Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant, and their wives are brought to life by acclaimed singers of the opera world.

Stanford University’s freshman class received a treat when they attended the final dress rehearsal of Appomattox this past Tuesday evening, along with students from S.F. Bay Area junior high and high schools. Students’ eyes were riveted to the Opera House stage as the drama and libretto related the difficulties experienced by both sides in the remaining days of the war, especially the painful decisions facing Lincoln and the leading generals, Grant and Lee.

The heated debates over slavery, the depiction of mothers who lost sons in the war, and the views of African-American slaves who had the chance to fight as soldiers are all part of this thought-provoking production. Many more students should have the chance to enrich their education with high-quality events such as this; and hopefully, parents and teachers will remain alert for such opportunities.

No doubt, students who witnessed this living American history will never again be able to view the Civil War as dry, dull words on a page.  Bravo to the San Francisco Opera.

Civil War, education, teachers, students, slavery, President Lincoln, San Francisco Opera, War Memorial Opera House, Stanford University, American history, opera, opera singers

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Pavarotti, Opera Superstar & Former Music Teacher, Dies of Cancer

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti, the world’s greatest tenor, succumbed this morning to pancreatic cancer at age 71 after being diagnosed just a year ago. Affectionately called ‘The Maestro’, he was considered to be the greatest operatic tenor in the world. He died at home in his beloved town of Modena, Italy.

As a young adult, Pavarotti attended college to become a music teacher. He was enticed into singing at an early age by observing his father’s love of music; and both joined the church choir. Pavarotti’s natural talent and passion for music were evident from the beginning; and after some encouragement from those close to him, he later left his position in education and sold insurance to pay for classical voice lessons.

Winning a local music competition led to a minor operatic role; then subsequent roles followed in small opera houses throughout Europe. Eventually, Pavarotti caught the attention of conductor Richard Bonynge, who recommended him for a role opposite his wife, rising star Joan Sutherland. Pavarotti and Sutherland embarked on a 14-week tour to Australia, which jump-started Pavarotti’s illustrious career.

He was extraordinarily gifted with rare talent and became a crossover superstar who was proud to have reached over 1.5 billions people with opera. Although he did not read music, he performed with the top orchestras and opera companies in the world, including the San Francisco Opera and the New York Metropolitan Opera.  Pavarotti was called the “King of the High C’s” because he could rapidly sing nine high C’s, an unusual feat. A concert in 1990 with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, dubbed the ‘Three Tenors’ was recorded and nominated for two Grammys. A subsequent concert featuring the trio earned each performer $10 million.

Yet Pavarotti was also a humanitarian, performing in concerts with U2’s Bono to raise money for war-torn Bosnia. He also established a school in the city of Mostar, Bosnia –called the Pavarotti Music Center — to aid struggling children in that country. He assisted in raising money in 1988 for the thousands of victims in Armenia affected by a massive earthquake; and he participated in additional fund-raisers over the years.

The tabloids had a field day with Pavarotti in later years because of his battle with excessive weight gain, troubles with tax evasion in Italy, canceled concerts, a messy divorce from his wife of 35 years and the subsequent marriage to his former secretary, who had his child before they were married.

Still, the world has lost a great musical treasure in Pavarotti. He scaled heights in music that few have ever been able to match. And there is no doubt that his legacy is rock-solid in the international world of opera.

Goodnight, sweet tenor.

pavarotti, opera, tenor, music teacher, singing, classical voice, extraordinary, superstar, international, music, voice lessons, pancreatic cancer, cancer, college, education, joan sutherland, australia, grammy, three tenors, orchestra, opera company, domingo, carreras, u2, bono, bosnia, armenia, divorce, tax evasion

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida