Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Reinvigorating Our Workforce

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 7, 2016

Youth employment apprenticeshipsI have long advocated some type of national service for ALL – and ALL means ALL – for ALL have something to contribute.

Whether that service is by a paraplegic youth with computer skills, or a high school footballer with a strong back, or an art student with creative skills, every high school graduate can and should be expected to contribute to our nation through service to our local & state communities, and to our nation.Disabled-youth-can work

Were our nation to become serious about infrastructure repair & expansion, were our nation serious about jobs & employment, were our nation serious about economic vitality & personal responsibility, we would put our money where our mouth is by Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama As A Third World Country: How True Is It?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 26, 2014

Editor’s Note, Saturday, 15 October 2016: Since Sunday, October 26, 2014, the date of this original publication, Yellowhammer News blog has thought to create their own entry (herein linked) obliquely contradicting the data supplied and referenced in this entry, which has now been published for over two years. Though they do not refute the data cited herein, instead, they refer to an Alabama-based data analysis company, and present data exclusively from the United Nations’ Human Development Index to support their assertion. In stark contrast, we use source citation and and references to the variety of sources used to compare Alabama to Third World Nations.

Also entitled as: How does Alabama compare with Third World Countries?

In so many comparative rankings for quality of life within our 50 United States, Alabama and Mississippi seem in a dead heat for last place. In a veritable “Race To The Bottom,” Alabama and Mississippi scrap over being in last place. In fact, it’s been a long-standing joke – with the sad, bitter sting of truth – that Alabama’s State Motto is not Audemus jura nostra defendere,” which has been translated as: “We Dare Maintain Our Rights” or “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” but rather “Thank God For Mississippi.”

And just so we’re singing on the same sheet of music, and on the same verse, a “Third World Nation” is one which were at one time colonies “formally lead by imperialism. The end of imperialism forced these colonies to survive on their own. With lack of support, these colonies started to develop characteristics such as poverty, high birthrates and economic dependence on other countries. The term was then affiliated to the economic situation of these former colonies and not their social alliances to either capitalism or communism.” In a more modern sense however, a “Third World Nation,” is more readily thought of as being one of several “underdeveloped nations of the world, especially those with widespread poverty.” And it is in that sense to which I refer to Alabama as “a Third World Nation.”

In essence, what that term refers to is Quality Of Life. And, there are many aspects of life that can be measured, such as rates and incidences of crime, employment/unemployment, education, health/sickness/disease, responsive & efficient government, availability of clean water, sewerage, utilities such as electricity, natural gas, supporting infrastructure to deliver those utilities, which includes transportation, roads, highways, airports, railways, and access to the same. There is much more to life than the mere availability of food, clothing and shelter. For example, who would want to eat raw meat, wear bearskins, and live in a cave? In context, those three items are certainly fulfilled. And if that’s all there is, then all is well… right?

Demonstrating that, again, there is MUCH MORE to life than the mere availability of food, clothing and shelter.

Consider, for example, Public Health.

Rates of Obesity, and Obesity-related Diseases (also called chronic, or long-term problems) such as Diabetes, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Stroke, and certain types of Cancer, in Mississippi and Alabama are among the highest in our United States. While Obesity is quickly becoming an epidemic of significant national proportions, it is particularly problematic in Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Common Core Math

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 29, 2014

According to Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, high schools in the state have achieved an 80% graduation rate. While that sounds impressive, there is an underlying problem, which is this:

How do we know that the children being graduated are competent?

Competency is exemplified as being able to do something successfully. So if merely graduating high school was sufficient demonstration of competence, everyone with a high school diploma would be competent. But sadly, we know that is NOT the case. For example, one need only look to private high schools to so illustrate. Very few private high schools have any such problems. And, it is not to say that all public schools suffer problems. And yet, it is evidence as well that many courses taught in 1960, or even 1860 at the “high school” level are more advanced than those taught today.

For example, consider the following courses of study were required for a diploma of graduation from Middletown City High School, Connecticut in 1848: Read the rest of this entry »

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No More Alcohol in Gasoline?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 17, 2014

Recently, I received an email message from a friend, one who is highly intelligent, and who has a phenomenal diversity of life experiences. The item had a video to a Faux News video segment, which is included in this post, at the conclusion.

My response to the half-truthed item follows.

Here’s hoping you and others find it informative, and helpful.

While I have neither been the type to proclaim THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! nor believe there is conspiracy against me, nor the paranoid type that imagines “the government” is out to get me (and therefore neither view nor read Fox News), I do think there is some credence to the item. (Of course, a “Snopes check” shows a mix of half-truths. But, if it ain’t all true, it ain’t true – kinda’ like the gas, you know.) More details on that follow.

In a story published published Saturday, February 1st, 2014, the Chattanooga Times-Free Press wrote how some motorists in that area are preferring 100% pure gasoline over the 10% Ethanol blend. (I happened to read that story at the time it was published.)
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/feb/01/some-motorists-want-their-gasoline-corn-free/

While residing there, I also noticed the same, and noticed that the price for 100% pure gasoline is higher than for the 10% ethanol blend. One day, while pumping the 100% gasoline at a Chattanooga gas station, I happened to speak with a gent at the adjacent pump about the difference. He shared an observation with me which I thought quite interesting, and one which certainly seemed reasonable.

He said that in an “accidental” experiment, he purchased some 10% ethanol blended gasoline for use in his lawn mower. He then poured some of the 10% ethanol blended gas into a glass jar, and let it set out at least overnight (or a bit longer). He observed that it had become cloudy from the accumulation of humidity.

While I’ve never tried such an experiment, I do note that many years ago, on occasion, I would run my little carbureted Toyota’s gas tank empty, and would then fill it up with 1 gallon each of Methanol, 100LL, Toluene, Xylene and Methyl Ethyl Ketone. I did so for at least two reasons: 1.) to get any water in the fuel tank & system out, and; 2.) to “clean out” any deposits that may have formed in the fuel system.

Of course, Gasoline and Water are different for several reasons, not the least of which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama High School Basketball Coach Denies Wrongdoing: 17-year-old Student Sex all started with “sexting”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brian Scott Keeton, age 38, taught Math & was a boys basketball coach at Vina High School, in Franklin County, Alabama. He was arrested for having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He denies the charges.

Brian Scott Keeton, age 38, taught Math & was a Boys Basketball coach at Vina High School, in Franklin County, Alabama. He was arrested for having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He denies the charges.

Enough already!

But do notice the punishment – 2 to 20 years in prison upon conviction of the Class B felony.

The Alabama Lunchroom Lady “Cougar” got six months in jail, and 5 years probation.

Reckon what this Basketballing Math Teacher will get?

Second Vina teacher arrested for alleged affair with student

Published 4:38pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

VINA – The Vina High School boys basketball coach became the second faculty member from the school in less than a week to be arrested for an alleged sexual relationship with a student, officials said.

Brian Scott Keeton, 38, 73 Lost Creek Lane, Carbon Hill, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with one count of being a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student under the age of 19, which is a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison if convicted.

This arrest comes only five days after Vina physical education teacher Sonny Dewaine Tibbs, 35, of Hamilton, was arrested on Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Lunchroom Lady Cops Plea: 46 year-old “cougar” pleads guilty to sex with high school student

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At what point must we acknowledge that in many sex crimes cases, women are punished differently than men?

Six months in jail, to be followed by five years probation?

If that’s not a joke, I don’t know what is.

Is such different treatment not a violation of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause?

See Michelle Coker Taylor’s Arrest & Booking record with the Fayette County, Alabama Sheriff’s  here:
https://creator.zoho.com/sheriff3201/inmates-applicantion/record-print/Inmates_View/947281000000264007/

Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, pleaded guilty to having sex with a student while she worked in the cafeteria of Fayette County High School and began her six month stay in jail for that crime last week. (Fayette County Sheriff's Office)

Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, pleaded guilty to having sex with a student while she worked in the cafeteria of Fayette County High School and began her six month stay in jail for that crime last week. (Fayette County Sheriff’s Office)

Ex-Fayette school cafeteria worker pleads guilty to having sex with student

Michelle Coker Taylor to serve six months of 20-year term, then 5 years on probation

Former Fayette County school system employee Michelle Taylor has pleaded guilty to criminal charges for having sex with a student.

Published: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:50 p.m.

A former Fayette County school system employee has pleaded guilty to criminal charges of having sex with a student, according to a news release from Chris McCool, district attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit District.

Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, was sentenced to Read the rest of this entry »

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An Encyclopedic Investment

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 24, 2013

The word ‘encyclopedic’ is often thought of as meaning voluminous, or containing great, or significant knowledge. However, even a casual examination of the word shows something entirely different.

In the middle of the word is ‘cyclo,’ which as we would imagine, refers to something circular, or round. Who hasn’t heard of a bi-cycle, a cycle with two wheels?

And then, there’s ‘pedia,’ and we’ve all heard of ‘pediatrics,’ the health practice concerned exclusively with children. Children, of course, need instruction and teaching.

Thus, we can Read the rest of this entry »

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Small town Alabama man makes good with Harvard education & Oxford scholarship

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 30, 2012

From Waterloo to Harvard to Oxford, Dowdy stresses the importance of college preparation

By Tom Smith, 9/27/12

Jamin Dowdy, Waterloo Harvard Oxford

Jamin Dowdy, a graduate of Waterloo and Harvard, talks with students in Adina Stone’s classes at Covenant Christian School in Tuscumbia about the importance of a college education and academic testing. (Jim Hannon/TimesDaily)

Jamin Dowdy hasn’t decided if he will settle on law or education as a profession once he finishes his studies.

What he does know and what he is trying to stress to high school students is the importance of getting a head start in preparing for college. Dowdy, 22, a 2008 graduate of Waterloo High School, finished at Harvard University in May with a degree in political philosophy.

This afternoon, he leaves from Huntsville International Airport for England, where he will attend Oxford University for a year, studying the connection between math and philosophy as the winner of the Harlech Scholarship.

While preparing for scholarships in high school, Dowdy realized Read the rest of this entry »

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From Homeless to Harvard: North Carolina teen gets Ivy League full ride scholarship

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 10, 2012

To read of this story causes several emotions and thoughts to arise within me.

One, is of sorrow and pity.

Another, is of relief that the community pitched in to assist.

Another is of joy that she is on a trajectory for success.

Yet another is of frustration that these scenarios exist… and do so largely without others’ knowledge.

Even another is of a tinge of anger, for the injustice.

While another is of pride for her resolute attitude and dogged determination.

On the whole, however, it is a “happy ending” to an otherwise difficult, even horrifically tragic story. And it is precisely those kind of success stories we so love to hear. The stories of those whom have overcome adversity – to have excelled despite the most severe adversity, even affliction – is the type of success story, the proverbial Horatio Alger story, that we Americans and all people, love to hear.

From scrubbing floors to Ivy League: Homeless student to go to dream college

By Vivian Kuo, CNN
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Fri June 8, 2012

Lawndale, North Carolina (CNN) — It’s before sunrise, and the janitor at Burns High School has already been down the length of a hallway, cleaning and sweeping classrooms before the day begins.

This particular janitor is painstakingly methodical, even as she administers a mental quiz on an upcoming test. Her name is Dawn Loggins, a straight-A senior at the very school she cleans.

On this day, she maneuvers a long-handled push broom between rows of desks. She stops to pick up a hardened, chewed piece of gum. “This annoys me, because there’s a trash can right here,” she says.

The worst, she says, is snuff cans in urinals. “It’s just rude and pointless.”

With her long, straight dark blonde hair and black-rimmed glasses, Dawn looks a bit like Avril Lavigne. But her life is a far cry from that of a privileged pop star.

She was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. The teachers and others in town pitched in — donating clothes and providing medical and dental care. She got the janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program.

She’s grateful for the work. But it’s where she’s going next, beyond the walls of Burns, that excites her most. She applied to four colleges within North Carolina and one dream university. She’ll graduate soon before heading off, leaving her dust pan behind.

120606082929-homeless-to-harvard-2-story-body

Dawn Loggins is working as a janitor to make ends meet.

For now, there’s Read the rest of this entry »

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Our National Economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is the second in a multi-part series about our national economy.

How we are affected by downturns, spikes and elevations in the economy individually/personally and as families/communities has great similarity across a wide spectrum. But perhaps most importantly, in this instance, once we know the problem, or the causes of the problems, we also know the solutions. That is the natural corollary to identifying those problems.

The CIA World Factbook – which is available online at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html – indicates that “Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households.

The next question that arises from that fact is this: Why?

The Central Intelligence Agency offers this explanation: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tornado Damaged Albertville Schools Forced to Reopen

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 29, 2010

It’s ridiculous you can’t do that in Alabama; but we’ll do what they tell us to do.”

– Ric Ayer, Albertville City Schools Superintendent

In shocking news, Albertville City Schools – devastated by a recent tornado – will be forced to reopen next week, and WILL NOT be able to obtain a student attendance waiver for the five days they were closed this week because of the damage.

Albertville City School Superintendent Ric Ayer said that Alabama state law neither allows for any process – however extraordinary circumstances may be – to waive the 180 day scholastic year, which is mandated by law. Superintendent Ayer said …Continue…

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