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Local News

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3 local: NYS Cramps Pimps Style 5 AUTO: How To Prepare Your Car For Warm Weather Driving

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Help Quell Behavior Problems CARIBBEAN NEWS: ‘Evil Spirit’ Victim Swindled By Fla. Woman CARIBBEAN NEWS: Caribbean In Sight, Sound, Soul, And Speed travel: Learn How To Plan The Perfect Honeymoon dining: Stress And Food: Great Ideas For Curb Cravings

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Brooklyn Student, A Victor, Not A Victim


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Rukayatu “Ruky” Tijani of Coney Island is inspired by the life and career of famed jurist Thurgood Marshall. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

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local Highlighting the Spirit of the Caribbean Lenecia Hines Editor-In-Chief IVROL HINES Managing Editor Ainsley Rowe Circulation & Marketing Nekisha Telemaque Retail Sales Leonardo Harrison Webmaster & Community Relations Deidre Olivera-douglas Brownsville Advocate Editor Telephone: (718) 785-9722 Fax: (215) 294-5903 Submit Articles Visit us online @: NEW YORK CITY CORPORATE OFFICE 397 Rockaway Ave Brooklyn, NY 11212 Send all Mail to: New York Liberty Star 1930 Rockaway Pkwy. Brooklyn, NY 11236

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A Surprise Reggae Flash Mob In Union Square

NEW YORK, NY -- Hundreds of New Yorkers and visitors alike were able to experience the rhythm of Jamaica, May 9, when the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) partnered with Flash Mob America for a destination flash mob. This week marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of Jamaica’s music legend Bob Marley. In honour of the occasion, Jamaican reggae star Ziggy Marley, Bob Marley’s eldest son, showed his support by creating an exclusive version of a track from his upcoming album, Wild and Free, into an island-themed remix titled “Jamaica In My Head” for the event. Over 200 reggae enthusiasts performed to a choreographed routine, which included Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s signature “Bolt to the World” dance move. The crowd also witnessed surprise appearances by no-

table Jamaicans, including Devon Harris, a member of the first Jamaican bobsled team, which inspired the movie Cool Runnings, members of the Jamaican national women’s basketball team, Jamaican chess master Maurice Ashley, among others, who walked down a Jamaica-branded runway. “We want everyone to know that Jamaica is the ultimate destination in which to relax and celebrate our ‘One Love’ motto,” said John Lynch, Director of Tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board. “We’ve utilized various digital media platforms to showcase Jamaica’s entertaining vibes; not only in New York City, but around the world.” The event took place in New York City’s Union Square on the south side at 14th Street. While there, people were able to scan human barcodes with their Smartphone to sign-up for the chance to win prizes and an exclusive free download of “Jamaica In My Head.” In addition, visitors were provided with information highlighting the destination’s world-class attractions, resorts, beaches and cuisine.

Jamaican reggae star Ziggy Marley, Bob Marley’s eldest son, paid tribute to his dad with exclusive tracks from his new album.









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Coney Island girl Raises The Bar at albany university

Ruky Tijani: A Victor, Not A Victim ALBANY, N.Y. -- Rukayatu “Ruky” Tijani has wanted to be a lawyer since she was 5 years old and learned about Thurgood Marshall’s most famous case, Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka. With her graduation from the University at Albany on May 15 and her law school acceptance to the University of California, Berkeley, she’s on her way to achieving her dream. “I became the person I am because of all the resources available to me at this University and all the people who truly believed I could be somebody, not because of my obstacles, but despite them,” said Tijani. This support strengthened her confidence. Tijani grew up in an economically disadvantaged area of Coney Island, the daughter of a divorced mom who raised three children alone. Tijani’s older brother Tommy, who had Down Syndrome, died while she was still in high school. “Losing Tommy feeds my passion to succeed,” she said. Her younger brother Abraham, who is developmentally disabled, turns 17 on May 20. “I send money home to help my mother who lost her job,” said Tijani, who has three jobs, as a Resident Assistant, a mentor/tutor in Project Excel, and a work-study student in the library. Still, there were times she couldn’t afford to go home for holidays. The political science and Africana Studies major, who is in the Honors College, is graduating with a 3.99 GPA. She is not afraid to talk about growing up economically disadvantaged. “As a mentor and a tutor, it is important for me to tell students who are just going through difficulties, I’ve been there,” she said. “And I’m a victor, not a victim.”

Tijani finds a way to make things happen. She once approached her math professor and said, “I have no money to afford the book for class, but if you loan me the textbook during your office hours, I’ll get that A.” She did. Tijani credits Makisha Brown and Chris Fernando of Project Excel (officially the TRIO Student Support Services program) with being “pivotal to my academic success.” Biology Professor Dan Wulff noted that Tijani ranked highest in his fall 2008 nutrition class out of about 485 students. Wulff said she is “one of the finest students” he has seen in more than 40 years in public higher education. Philosophy Professor Bonnie Steinbock remembers that Tijani always sat in the front of her Moral Choices class. “I would put her in the top five percent of students I have taught over a period of 35 years,” said Steinbock. “On the UAlbany campus, there are large posters of alumni who have gone on to do great things: judges, writers, activists and researchers. I fully expect to see Ruky’s picture up there one day,” she added. Tijani ranks in the top 1 percent of the Class of 2011, has won two Spellman awards, and is a member of three national honor societies. She has been vice president of Phenomenal Voices, a multicultural performing arts group and has

Ruky Tijani of Coney Island is inspired by the life and career of famed jurist Thurgood Marshall. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) served as director of public relations for the African ‘Precizun’ step team. As campus coordinator for the Law School Admissions Council, Tijani presents several workshops each semester about the law school admissions process and

on resources for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Long-range, she plans on practicing entertainment law (she loves to sing), civil rights litigation, and constitutional law.

Lawmakers Clamp Down On Prostitution

D SENATOR SAMPSON ATTENDS NATIONAL BLACK HIV/IDS AWARENESS DAY: In efforts to bring awareness to the scourge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on the Black community State Senator John L. Sampson, Democratic Conference Leader, visited Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and took part in the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day hosted by college President Dr. William L. Pollard. Senator Sampson heard from President Pollard about his innovative plans for the college and pledged to support this vital Central Brooklyn institution. IN PHOTO: From left State Senator John L. Sampson, Dee Bailey of Watchful Eye organization (center) and President William Pollard.

emocratic Conference Leader State Senator John L. Sampson announced that the New York State Senate passed legislation, which establishes new crimes and increased penalties for promoting and conducting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds.

“We, as a community must ensure that these types of crimes do not occur near school grounds,” said Senator Sampson . “Prostitution is not only dangerous to the participants, but brings unsafe elements into our communities which impressionable and vulnerable

school aged children should not have to bear witness to.” This law stems from a January 2011 New York Times article entitled “A Bronx Elementary School, Surrounded by Prostitutes.” The article revealed that students attending the West Farms Elementary School are unwillingly subjected to witnessing daily acts of prostitution. The brazen activity ranged from prostitutes roaming the streets around the school to performing illicit acts in a tent at the base of the school’s playground. The senator concluded, “this bill goes considerably further than current law so that law enforcement may effectively prevent and punish prostitution crimes. The penalties for those who exploit women and force victims into prostitution are much harsher. This is an unfortunate but necessary precaution to protect our children and ensure their educational environment is safe and secure.”

friday, May 13-26, 2011 * NEW YORK LIBERTY STAR


Jamaica Welcomes ‘Faith Based’ Tourists

By Glenis Rose

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has announced that approximately 5,000 Christian cruise ship passengers and crew members will visit Montego Bay, aboard the “Carnival Destiny”, on June 1 to participate in Jamaica Praise Fest 2011, to be staged at the Dump Up Beach, June 1-4. The cruise passengers, from the United States, will play a leading role in the mission, dubbed “Cruise with a Cause” set to kick-start Jamaica’s involvement in faith-based tourism. They will be engaged in Christian ministries in western Jamaica’s schools, as well as prisons and other institutions across the island, and will distribute literature and school supplies to over 130,000 students in 230 schools. A joint effort between the internationally known Praise Fest Ministries and Dove Ministries, the mission is aimed at reaching souls through ministries conducted by world renowned Christians. Events and activities over the four days will culminate with a grand concert featuring acclaimed Christian artistes and evangelists, including Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker and Byron Cage, among others. Addressing a press conference last Thursday, Bartlett said that the event reflects Jamaica’s “aggressive” moves to tap into the lucrative faithbased tourism market. Between May 17 and June 2, Jamaica will welcome some 4,000 faith-based tourists. May

17-25, 1,100 visitors will be coming in from the World Council of Churches, for their International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, the first time that the convocation will be held in the Caribbean. “We are seeing a real boom, and we are expecting that Jamaica will earn pretty close to a billion dollars over that period, from the first real intervention of faith-based tourism activities,” Bartlett said. “I have great hope for this segment to grow and expand and, in growing and expanding, it will also enable the smaller and medium sized entities within the tourism accommodation sub-sector to find their place,” he added. He indicated that the Ministry of Tourism was fully behind the planners and organizers of Praise Fest, and that his Ministry will commit some $100,000 to support the mission. President of Praise Fest Ministries, Dr Matthew Dunaway, said that the objective of the mission is to bring together people of different races, ethnicity, age and denomination to minister to people’s needs of

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett (right), addresses the official launch of Praise Fest 2011, at the Tourism Center, Montego Bay. Also pictured are Deputy Director of Tourism, Jason Hall (left). the Gospel. “In order for that principle of unity to come to fruition, it’s important that we realize that it’s a partnership between us and Jamaica. It’s us coming to work with Jamaica, and that’s what drives those results,” he said. “We believe that when children and people realize and begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, that gives them purpose, and we want your children here to understand that they are children of value, and that God has a plan for each and everyone of them, and to realize that they can make something of themselves,” Dunaway stated. Bartlett congratulated the key players of Cruise with a Cause, and expressed the hope that their mission would be successful. He also extended condolences to persons in the south-eastern US who were victims of the recent tornados there.


PM: Recession Ends In Jamaica By Athaliah Reynolds


amaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding says Jamaica is now officially out of the recession, with the country registering modest but positive growth in the January to March quarter of this year. Golding made the announcement during his presentation in the 2011/2012 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. He said a detailed analysis of the out-turn and the projections for the future will be presented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) at a press briefing scheduled for Wednesday, May 18. Additionally, the prime minister said that the government is well on its way to reducing the country’s Debt/ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 100 percent or below by 2016. He pointed out that the Debt/ GDP ratio of 128 percent, which was recorded at the end of March, was well within the ceiling of 139 percent as set out in the Standby Agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The program calls for it to be reduced to 100 percent by 2016 and we are already clearly on the right trajectory to achieve that. If we focus our efforts seriously on investment and growth, we will reach that target even sooner,” he stated. In the meantime, the prime minister said the government is significantly concerned about the number of people falling below the poverty line. He said the increase in the poverty level is directly attributed to the decline in the economy, loss of jobs

Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the significant drop in remittances in 2009. Golding said the impact of these factors has been mitigated by the provision of increased benefits through the Program of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), the allocation for which has been increased from $1.7 billion in 2007 to over $4.0 billion this year. “Even after allowing for inflation, this represents a real increase of more than 60 percent,” he stated. “Increased welfare provisions can do only so much to ease poverty. Getting the economy back on a path of growth, doing everything possible to facilitate and accelerate that growth is what will rescue people from poverty. This is our area of focus,” the prime minister added.


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Preparing Your Car For Warm-Weather Driving

(ARA) - With warmer weather setting in across the country, now is the perfect time to enjoy a road trip. While millions of Americans are hitting the pavement in hopes of a travel adventure, many do so without realizing that the effects of winter are still taking a toll on their vehicles. Here are a few tips to make sure drivers are prepared for a successful road travel season. * Watch for inflation: As temperatures change, so can tire pressure. Proper tire inflation is essential for automotive safety, optimum driving performance and significant cost savings, including better fuel mileage. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the glove box and should be checked monthly. Over-inflation can lead to premature or irregular tire wear and under-inflation reduces a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent. * Breathe free: Replacing a dirty air filter can increase a vehicle’s life expectancy and fuel efficiency by reduc-

ing the strain on the engine, especially during warmer months. Over the winter months, salt, sand and other impurities may have built up in the vehicle’s air filtration system and replacing the air filter can improve acceleration time by 6 to 11 percent. * Keep it clean: Cars, trucks or SUVs likely took a beating from this winter’s harsh conditions and corrosive elements, including freezing rain, snow, ice, sand and salt. Keeping vehicles clean will help protect them from the chemicals and dirt that may attack the car’s finish and undercarriage. Be sure to use quality cleaners. * Check that tread: The economy has forced many to postpone tire purchases, but after enduring what was most likely a harsh winter and coping

with wet spring weather, it is a bad time to have low treads. The lower the tread depth, the less traction on wet roads, and the greater the distance needed to stop. It is imperative that the tires on a vehicle are in good working order. Advances in tire technology are helping deliver a new generation of tires that offer allseason traction and increased comfort. For those in need of new or used tires, drivers should consider visiting Reliable Tires Inc., for tires which are built for a smooth, comfortable ride. For more helpful car care advice or information on tires for cars, light trucks, SUVs and more, visit Reliable Tires, located at 9718 Ditmas Ave (Bet. Rockaway Pkwy & E98 St), Brooklyn, NY 11236 or call (347) 789-8032.

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Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the glove box.

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words of encouragement

He Makes Up The Loss By Bishop T.D. Jakes


herefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. (Isaiah 51:11) Anyone can recognize Him in the sunshine, but in the storm His disciples thought He was a ghost (see Matt. 14:26). There is one thing every Naomi can rely upon as she gathers wood for winter days and wraps quilts around weak, willowy legs: God is a restorer. That is to say, as you sit by the fire sipping coffee, rehearsing your own thoughts, playing old reruns from the scenes in your life--some things He will explain and others He will heal. Resto-

ration doesn’t mean all the lost people who left you will return. Neither Naomi’s husband nor her sons were resurrected. It is just that God gives purpose back to the years that had question marks. How many times have you been able to look back and say, “If I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t have known or received this.” Simply said, “He’ll make it up to you.” He restores the effects of the years of turmoil. People who heard Naomi running through the house with rollers in her hair complaining that God had dealt bitterly, should have waited with their noses pressed against the window pane as God masterfully brought peace into her arms. If you wait by the window, you will hear the soft hum of an old woman nodding with her grandchild clutched in her arms. Perhaps she is too proud to tell you she charged God foolishly, but the smile on her leathery face and the calmness of her rest says, “He doeth all things well” (see Mark 7:37). And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, and my

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great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed (Joel 2:25-26).

friday, May 13-26, 2011 * NEW YORK LIBERTY STAR

health & Living

Why Mom Wakes Before Dad


ifferences between males and females abound, of course -- but some are found in the oddest places.

New research has found that women tend to have shorter, earlier sleep cycles then men. This makes women typically go to bed earlier and get up earlier in the morning. It could also cause women’s higher rates of insomnia and seasonal depression. “This has implications for how easily they can fall asleep and how well they can stay asleep,” said study researcher Jeanne Duffy of Harvard Medical School. “It could alter and contribute to differences between individuals as to when it’s easy to go to bed or wake up.” The researchers found that, on average, women’s 24-hour sleepwake cycle (called the circadian rhythm) is about six minutes shorter than men, but in the reality of sleeping and waking, this equates waking up about 30 minutes earlier. Extreme sleeping The research team, led by Duffy and advisor Charles Czeisler, studied the sleep cycles of 52 women and 105 men for two to six weeks in the lab. They studied two indicators of

circadian rhythm, the patient’s core body temperature and levels of the hormone melatonin -- thought to play a role in setting sleep-wake cycles -while the patients followed extreme schedules (following a sleep-activity cycle spread across a 20 or 28 hour day, instead of the normal 24) in a dimly lit room. This environment allows the researchers to measure the natural circadian rhythms of the individuals, which are normally reset daily by exposure to natural light. Without outside cues, the body reverts to its natural cycle, which is sometimes longer or shorter than 24 hours. In this study, about 35 percent of women had circadian rhythms shorter than 24 hours, compared to 14 percent of men. This difference is important for people with seasonal depression, who are treated with light therapy to reset their circadian rhythm. If they have a cycle shorter than 24 hours, they need evening light to sync up, and if it’s longer than 24 hours, they need light in the mornings. Why women? The finding could have to do with differences in estrogen levels, the researchers say. This could mean that hormone levels could change circadian rhythm, though this evidence on pre- and post-menopausal women suggests the sleep cycles are related to hormone exposure during develop-

Researchers found that, on average, women’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycle is about six minutes shorter than men. ment, not adult levels. Figuring out what controls our biological clocks “is one of the most important questions in human chronology research right now,” Alfred Lewy, of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, told LiveScience. “It’s brilliantly done and has important clinical implications,” said Lewy, who wasn’t involved in the current study.

Breast-Feeding May Help Quell Behavior Problems Breast-fed children are less likely to have behavioral problems at age 5 than are those who were given formula, a new study reports. The finding comes from an analysis of data on 10,037 mother-child pairs taking part in a study of white infants born in the United Kingdom in 2000 to 2001, including 9,525 carried full-term and 512 children who were born prematurely. Of the full-term children, 29 percent were breast-fed for at least four months, as were 21 percent of the pre-term children. The parents completed a questionnaire designed to identify various types of behavioral problems, including conduct (stealing and lying), emotional (clinginess, anxiety) and hyperactivity. About 6 percent of the children who were breastfed and 16 percent of the formula-fed children had abnormal scores on the questionnaire, an indication of potential behavioral problems, according to the study. The researchers suggested that the content of breast milk could be a reason for the differences. Breast milk contains large amounts of certain fatty acids, growth factors and hormones important in the development

and function of an infant’s brain and central nervous system, they explained. Also, they noted, the interaction between mother and child that breast-feeding promotes could influence the child’s behavior. “Our findings suggest that longer duration of breast-feeding (at all or exclusively) is associated with having fewer parent-rated behavioral problems in term children,” Maria Quigley, of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, and colleagues concluded.

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Caribbean News

‘Evil Spirit’ Victims Swindled Out Of Thousand Of Dollars

MIAMI, Fla. - United States authorities have arrested and charged three women who allegedly convinced nationals in the US and the Caribbean to send them thousands of dollars to be cleansed of evil spirits and demons.

Federal prosecutors said on Monday that Bridgette Evans, 32, Polly Evans, 36, and 22-year-old Olivia Evans have been charged with two counts of mail fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors said that the trio defrauded victims from Wisconsin, Texas and the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The three allegedly coerced the unidentified victims to send them money, totaling US$59,000, between December 2007 to October 2008, so the victims could be “cleansed” of “evil spirits,” said the indictment filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of Florida. “The money was not returned to these individuals as promised,” said the indictment, charging that Olivia Evans also convinced one victim to buy and send a Rolex watch with a prism, so it can be “used as a vortex for demons to return to hell.” Prosecutors said the watch was never returned. Prosecutors said the alleged scammers face up to 20 years in jail on each count.

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The Caribbean In Sight, Sound, Soul And Speed By Bevan Springer

Recently, I traveled to a beautiful island, the City of Brotherly Love and back to a number of inspiring events in two of New York City’s boroughs. It was a seven-day trip which reinforced my belief in the Caribbean and its endless capacity to inspire.

First, it was to the azure waters of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda for sailing week activities with some newly found media colleagues from the US and the UK. The non-stop Continental Airlines flight from its New Jersey hub at Newark was a breeze. I have visited Antigua, which boasts 365 beaches, several times since I was a young lad: on national duty as a tennis player, the past decade to produce a media conference, last December to try out Caribbean Airlines’ new nonstop service from JFK

Airport, and even to enjoy its alluring summer carnival. This time, I gained an even greater appreciation for the twin islands’ strength as a Caribbean tourism player. I was particularly impressed with its beautiful, pristine environment and the quality of accommodations on island. And, there are some very attractive properties, including the fourstar Blue Waters Antigua and Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa in the north, and the well appointed Sugar Ridge boutique hotel on the southwest coast of the island. Antigua and Barbuda has so much to offer, at surprisingly affordable rates and truly deserves a more aggressive marketing charge across the globe. Unfortunately, my Caribbean jaunt was short-lived and before I knew it I was deplaning a jet plane in Newark and driving to Philadelphia for the historic Penn Relays where many an athletic star is born. The Caribbean spirit was strong at this meet thanks to the thousands of Jamaicans who assembled to cheer on their athletes. Other Caribbean nations such as the Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago also took to the track, and plenty of praise must be showered on the

Caribbean companies who sponsored their athletes. That same evening, the Spanish Caribbean was the focus at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Jamaica, Queens where Xiomara Laugart, the Afro-Cuban vocalist gave a memorable performance. Patrons enjoyed her sultry tones and the band’s pulsating Caribbean rhythms generated welcome warmth on a cool April evening. Following an inspiring church service in Brooklyn on Sunday morning, I attended an event hosted by Country Team Barbados at the Sheraton in Brooklyn (who knew there was a Sheraton in Brooklyn?) in support of athletes from three Barbadian high schools which participated at the Penn Relays. Even though the Bajans did not return with any medals, I was heartened to learn that two female athletes from my Barbadian alma mater, the St Michael School, performed so well they were offered athletic scholarships. From Antigua to Philadelphia to Queens and Brooklyn, the Caribbean has so much to be proud of, and I am thankful to carry on witnessing the beauty and excellence of our region in sight, sound, soul and speed.

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friday, May 13-26, 2011 * NEW YORK LIBERTY STAR





The week couldn’t begin on a better note. The person you’re crazy about is crazy about you back, your energy level is through the roof and you have tons of fun excuses to work up a sweat. Tuesday and Wednesday are the same — the craziness-for-eachother, the energy, the sweat. Halfway through the week you already feel like you’ve been on an epic adventure. Thursday and Friday are less incredible (responsibilities, details, other people’s feelings), but over the weekend you get to focus entirely on you-know-who.

This is a week you’ll want to write home about. Or maybe you’ll want to send a series of postcards instead, postcards depicting sunsets, after all the Sun — radiant, warm, central — is an apt correlative to your own state this week. You are the Sun. It’s fun, huh? Being the Sun? But three straight days of radiance leave you exhausted, and Thursday and Friday pass almost without incident. (Use the time to get some planning done.) Then, the weekend! One romantic thing after another! It feels too good to be true. You and you-know-who are quite the cosmic pair.

(21 March - 20 April)


(21 April - 21 May)

In order to enjoy all that Thursday and Friday have to offer — huge gains in the romantic department — you have to suffer through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They’re not pure torture, but they do give you plenty of opportunities to, uh, practice your tolerance of other people. Then, Thursday! And Friday! You’re off to a concert, or a coffee shop, or an art show, or a posh dinner or … well, the possibilities are endless. Say yes to whatever you-know-who comes up with. This weekend, you’re walking on air.


(May 21 - June 20)

The weekend is where all the romance is this week. Which isn’t to say that the other days aren’t great — Monday through Wednesday are brilliant, full of wild assertions, hilarious opinions and a scavenger hunt of some kind. And Thursday and Friday, while not the proverbial walk in the park, do challenge you in ways you like to be challenged. (Communication challenges, mostly.) What should you expect for Saturday and Sunday? Fun? Oh yes. A chance to really focus on you-know-who? Yup. Walking in step down the street together? Absolutely. Cotton candy?


(June 21 - July 22)

You think of relationships as investments. When you commit to someone, you have long-term dividends in mind. At least you think this way Monday through Wednesday. No wonder your week is so bereft of actual romance! Thursday and Friday you have a lot of plans and they actually turn out to be quite fun, but something is missing; even if you’re coupled up, your connection this week will be more intellectual than physical. Which is fine. Every week is different. Saturday and Sunday, there’s a hiccup in your domestic bliss.

(July 23 - August 22)


(August 23 - September 22)

You’re having a hard time sorting things out Monday through Wednesday, and that bugs you. You like things sorted out. Plus, you have people calling you nonstop, including some friends you happen to owe favors to, all the while you’re feeling a bit of the underdog, romantically speaking …. It’s a lot of stuff. And relief doesn’t arrive until Thursday. But when it comes, it’s like a pile of sandbags has lifted off your shoulders. This weekend, you and someone else (a romantic partner, perhaps?) buy something sort of major together.


(September 23 - October 23)

Monday through Wednesday are honestly more about friends than anything romantic. You hold a special place in your social circle — you are the unofficial leader, whether you realize this or not (it’s becoming increasingly apparent) — and your social circle holds a special place within you. You love these people. That’s nothing to take for granted. Thursday and Friday, you have the opportunity to forgive someone who isn’t expecting you to forgive them. This is satisfying. But it’s not as satisfying as this weekend. It’s a super weekend — a super romantic weekend.


(October 24 - November 22)

This is not a romantic week, and it’s not even a particularly fun week. It begins with three days of tension at work. Something’s up with the boss. It isn’t until Thursday that you actually enjoy yourself. But Thursday and Friday are very much friend-oriented. A friend wants to see you. A friend tells you a secret. You do a favor for a friend. That sort of thing. This weekend, you and someone else are tossing ideas back and forth. This person might be a romantic interest — possibly a spouse. But you’re not ex-

actly discussing whether you should vacation in the Caymans or cruise to Alaska.


(November 23 - December 21)

If you and you-know-who are traveling anywhere at the start of the week, well, lucky you. An insanely great stroke of fortune awaits you somewhere in the course of your travels — be it an upgrade to first class or a hotel room with free room service or just a cash rebate for something you don’t remember buying. Whatever it is, whoopee! Your journey just got a lot better. Plus, you’re getting along smashingly. Thursday and Friday are not even worth mentioning, but Saturday and Sunday you get love from all sides.


(December 22 - January 19)

If you happen to be taken, someone else will favor you with a long monologue about how they deserve to have love in their life and how it’s not fair that you have someone, blah, blah. This will happen on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and it should be ignored entirely. It’s hogwash. You have nothing to do with their romantic life or lack thereof, and you certainly have no reason to feel guilty. Get a lot done Thursday and Friday.


(Born January 20 - February 19)

This relationship — no matter how new or longstanding it is — is giving you a lot to think about Monday though Wednesday. They are days of discovery and creativity, of sudden insights that should have occurred to you already and of compromise. (In a relationship, it’s inevitable.) Thursday or Friday, it occurs to you that this person has perhaps a different agenda than you thought. Dig a little. Press them for details. And then, this weekend, go out and do something that blows your mind. That blows both of your minds. Something you’ll both be talking about afterward.


(February 20 - March 20)

You have a new fitness plan, and it already seems to be doing wonders for you — you feel good, you look great — but others might not necessarily want to hear all about it. Monday though Wednesday, watch for people’s eyes glossing over while you’re talking to them, and take the hint. Thursday and Friday hold the most possibility of romance this week. Relationships are a major theme. If you and you-know-who are trying to weigh your next step, don’t get mired down in facts. Go with how you feel. The weekend is about starting fresh.


Star Advice End Your Heartache Now

’ve been with my girlfriend five years. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but overall it’s been the most rewarding relationship I could imagine. Recently everything was perfect. Then I went camping with my friend’s girlfriend and alcohol was involved. I made a very bad and unconscious decision to perform oral sex on her, which is all that happened. I just wasn’t thinking. I never thought this could happen because I am not that kind of person. Afterwards I felt terrible. Although I had no emotional attachment to this girl, I felt I had done the worst possible thing. I told my girlfriend the next day, and now our relationship is on the brink of dissipating. I still love her and know in my heart we can work this out, but she doesn’t want to talk to me right now. Jack Jack, when horror writer Stephen and in her memory. King was in high school, he was giv- You claim alcohol made you a difen a chance to be a sports reporter for ferent person against your character, his local newspaper. King had only values, and will. Some ancient, and one reservation: he knew nothing not so ancient, cultures take a differabout sports. The editor of the paper, ent view. Alcohol frees a person to be however, didn’t see that as a prob- who they really are, or at least frees lem. As he explained to Stephen, them to do what they seek to do. “These are games people understand Often when a relationship reaches when they’re watching them drunk the three, five, or seven year mark, in bars. You’ll learn if you try.” it’s at a crossroads. It needs to beYou are trying to understand a game come marriage or be over. Some inyou played while drunk on a camp- ner voice is telling you to end it, but ing trip, and you are taking the high you won’t face up to that, so you’re road in all this. Alcohol made you going to force her to end it for you. do it, so you are innocent there. It The outer part of you is having a was only oral sex, so you are almost problem with this. But the inner part blameless there. And you confessed, is driving this forward. so you are an honorable person. If she lets it pass this time, your inner But you must have known when you voice will force the issue again, and confessed you were destroying your again your outer part will deny all rerelationship in your girlfriend’s mind sponsibility for what is happening.

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He proposed, you said “Yes!” and now you’re in the throes of planning your dream wedding. Among all the ceremony details, no doubt part of your wedding planning process also involves scheduling a romantic honeymoon.

Planning tips for the perfect ...


Honeymoon planning can be very easy, or very complicated, depending on the trip you want to take. For example, signing up for an all-inclusive resort hotel on a beach somewhere, or a cruise trip with limited ports of call, tend to be easier vacations to organize because they don’t require multiple lodging or transportation details. But you might discover that you and your sweetheart can save a little money as you start your new life together and plan a more localized tour. For example, maybe you are both baseball fans. Touring several cities with major league fields and catching a couple home games would make a very memorable honeymoon vacation that you both would enjoy. Here are some tips to help you

plan your honeymoon so you’ll have memorable stories to share through your life together: * Pick a destination together. Discuss with your soon-to-be spouse what activities or sights you want to see together. You might want to pick a location where neither of you has traveled previously. Or maybe you can plan your entire honeymoon around an event that brought the two of you together. * If you plan to change your name once you’re married, make sure you book all your tickets in your maiden name, because you probably won’t have time between the wedding ceremony and the honeymoon to get your official identification cards and passport changed. And with tightened security at airports, you don’t want to be left behind because your ticket name doesn’t match your ID. * Research and plan for what you’ll need to pack. If you’re leaving the country, make sure you have your passport and visa (if needed) ready. The U.S. Department of State provides plenty of information about travel warnings and alerts for different countries based on political uprisings and natural disasters, as well as information on shots needed for different countries. Also, research average temperatures for the time of year you’ll be traveling so you can bring along

the proper clothes. You can register your travel plans with the U.S. Department of State to help ensure you are easy to reach should something happen with your family in the United States or if something important is happening in the location where you will be traveling. Visit the State Department at www. * No matter if you’re flying overseas or just driving to the other side of the state you live in for your honeymoon, consider investing in medical evacuation and travel assistance memberships. On Call International’s programs offer members help for major and minor mishaps ranging from lost passports and other travel documents to help with tracking lost baggage or assistance if your flights are canceled or postponed. And if you or your spouse were to get sick or injured while on your vacation, On Call can help you get to the right medical care and back home to recover. Visit to learn more. Time will fly by as you plan your wedding and honeymoon, and before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags for a romantic trip with your honey. Follow these tips to help prepare for a safe and fun honeymoon, and enjoy the start to your life together.

A Companion You’ll Want To Bring On Your Next Vacation


ow that computers have become increasingly powerful and portable, bringing one along on your trip is more convenient and helpful than ever.

Computers offer the optimal experiences for tasks that require a full-size keyboard or screen and for content that runs on Flash. With more and more devices like tablets, netbooks and sliders being introduced that are hardly larger than a children’s book, it’s completely practical to bring one on your next vacation. Here are a few reasons to consider taking an ultramobile device on your vacation this summer: * With the ability to jump online, you’ll have access to updated road maps and information on places of interest nearby. You’ll also have no

problem searching for places to eat, or making last minute hotel reservations. It’s never been easier to plan on the fly when you’re on vacation. * Edit and organize your photos with ease on your computer while your memories are still fresh during the trip. * In addition to devices being easy to transport, you can also save on space you might otherwise dedicate to DVDs, CDs and games by storing them on the device itself. Slim form factors also make it easy to set up in your back seat to keep your kids entertained with a movie, and tablets’ ability to use Flash makes it easy. *With a larger screen and longer battery life, you can read myriad newspapers, magazines and books on the go. * You can also play your favorite games like Angry Birds and Downhill Snowboard or watch animations and other media content that run on Flash. *No matter how much you want to disconnect, there’s always the possibility that you’ll have to check in

with the house sitter or pay a bill that you forgot to take care of before you left. A mobile device allows you the chance to do these things with ease without interrupting your vacation. Thanks in part to the small size of the Intel Atom processor, netbooks and tablets have become more portable, faster, sleeker and more lightweight. If you’re looking for a netbook or tablet to accompany you on your next trip, consider these options: Dell Inspiron Duo: This computer’s unique 10-inch HD touchscreen monitor can be mounted within a fold-out keyboard, or docked at an audio station - making it a great device for storing and playing music, as well as an easily adjustable video player. It also switches from a clamshell form to a tablet slate, simply by flipping the screen Asus Eee PC 1015PE (Seashell): With a built-in 3G Bluetooth connection, mobile surfing is easy with the Seashell. The computer comes with an additional 500 GB of Web storage, making it easy to maintain access to

all the media you’ll need during your trip. Samsung Slider 7 Series: The Slider 7 Series features a keyboard that slides out from behind the screen if you would rather type than use the touch screen. ExoPC Slate: It’s hard to find a mobile device with a sleeker design than the ExoPC Slate. The 9-inch

screen is perfect for watching movies, or poring through your favorite e-book. Whichever device you choose to accompany you on your family vacation this year, you’ll be amazed by how much a mobile device can help you avoid familiar setbacks during your trip.

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Man is what he eats.

Breadfruit With Corned Beef Stuffing Ingredients: 1 large roasting breadfruit 1 can GRACE CORNED BEEF 1 can whole kernel corn 2 medium onions, chopped 1/2 tsp. chopped scotch bonnet pepper 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese



Directions 1. Preheat oven to 450°F / 230°C. Place breadfruit in oven and bake for about 45 minutes until done. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. 2. Peel and remove core and a little of the flesh from the stem end of the breadfruit to create a cavity for stuffing. 3. Grace Combine Corned Beef, whole kernel corn, onion, and scotch bonnet pepper in a heated saucepan. 4. Stuff beef mixture into whole breadfruit. Sprinkle cheese on top and return to oven for 10 minutes until cheese melts. Serve warm.


Stress And Food - Tips For Curbing Cravings


veryone reaches for comfort foods and junk food when stressed out. You know you shouldn’t, but you probably feel you need something to help you during that intense period of time when stress is king.

“In moments of stress, people tend to reach for foods they know, sometimes even favorite foods from childhood. It is certainly not a time when we choose to experiment,” says Chef Odette Smith-Ransom, chef instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. If traveling, you may often search for a familiar restaurant or fast food place. It’s easier to reach for food that you know provides a level of comfort to balance out the uncomfortable moments of stress, Smith-Ransom says. It all comes down to food choices where stress and food are concerned. When stressed, you are more likely to make a quick, bad choice. “The vicious cycle of guilt regarding our eating habits steps in and worsens the current stress

situation,” Smith-Ransome says. “Add guilt to the situation, and the stress levels increase compounding the problem.” Chef Smith-Ransom warns that when stressed, one should stay away from caffeine and sugar. It’s easy to grab an energy drink or a candy bar because they’re accessible and in every convenience and drug store in America. Once the rush is gone from sugary, caffeine-packed foods, you’re facing a crash unless you continue to eat and drink to keep your body in the high. Continuing to eat and drink these products will compound the situation even more because you then become sleep-deprived, which raises the levels of anxiety and slows you down. The best way to attack bad eating choices during a moment of stress is to maintain your body and mind at equilibrium. Before an important interview, presentation or exam, try eating whole foods and complete meals, and forget about the bag of cookies. While these satiate the appetite at the moment, it certainly won’t keep your blood-sugar levels stable, making it difficult to cope with your initial problem: high stress. “Eat dark, leafy greens, high fiber foods and lean cuts of protein as a complete meal,” says nutritionist and public health expert, Ni-

cole Dowsett, a nutrition instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Charlotte. She recommends staying away from heavily seasoned foods and eating four to six small meals a day. “Take time to eat and avoid grabbing something on the go to just stuff your face.” It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with your mind that you are full. Making time to eat is very important. If you can, share meals with friends or loved ones, Dowsett says. Sharing meals helps you to take your time and deters you from making bad choices,

or even worse yet, hiding your unhealthy food choices - which can lead to an eating disorder. “High stress mixed with bad food choices can cause and increase behavioral issues, sleep deprivation, problems focusing, over-thinking tasks without developing a clear focus, inability to prioritize, reduced cognitive skills, heightened sensitivity and heightened emotions,” Dowsett says. By making informed, careful food choices during times of stress, you can help ensure what you eat doesn’t add extra calories, fat and poor nutrition to your worries.

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When money speaks the truth is silent.

Free Life Insurance

Help Reduce ‘Real Fears’ For Eligible Parents


hen 21-year-old Amanda Tolliver’s mother, Ginger, died of a brain aneurysm five years ago, the devastation and loss seemed unbearable to her. But as days and months passed, Amanda learned her mother Ginger had left her an unexpected gift. A few years before she died, Ginger Tolliver applied for life insurance through the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s (MassMutual) nationwide LifeBridge free life insurance program. The program provides income eligible working families with a $50,000, 10-year term life insurance policy that will aid their children in pursuing their education if the household’s insured dies within the term of the policy. Policy benefits are given to the beneficiaries through trust services offered by The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB, a wholly-owned stock subsidiary of MassMutual. MassMutual pays the premiums on the policy for the person that is insured. Such planning ahead isn’t always easy, but because education was important to Ginger, she took advantage of the LifeBridge program to help

The current tuition rate for four-year, in-state schools is about $9,000 a year. ensure her children succeed despite life’s inevitable, unplanned challenges, her daughter says. Still, for parents with lower incomes like Ginger, the thought of being able to afford college, especially if the primary income earner were to die, can seem daunting, if not impossible. Cindie St. George, director of the LifeBridge program for MassMutual, says LifeBridge gives options to families and fits with the company’s philanthropic stance that education for all children is the key to their success and that of the

country. “In these challenging economic times, it is easy to think that there are no options for families who work hard but have little resources. LifeBridge can help bridge that gap,” she says. “Our program recognizes that many people, who value life insurance most, are often those who can least afford it.” Indeed, the cost of not planning for college can be prohibitive. The current tuition rate for four-year, in-state schools is about $9,000 a year according to The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2010 and Trends in Student Aid 2010 re-

port. Private schools are even more expensive - about $35,000 a year. For Amanda, her mother’s foresight meant she could purchase a computer, obtain her high school diploma and continue on to college to pursue a medical assistant career while raising her daughter, Haleigh. “My mother always wanted me and my brothers and sisters to do well and get an education,” Amanda, of Michigan, says. “When she died, I did not know what I was going to do.” Now, thanks to her mother’s planning, she has a path, she says. To be eligible to apply for the term life insurance policy applicants must be: * Between the ages of 19 and 42 (inclusive). * A permanent, legal U.S. resident. * Currently employed - either full or part-time and have a family income between $10,000 and $40,000. * The parent or legal guardian of at least one dependent child under the age of 18 For complete details, visit lifebridge to find the Community Responsibility site or call (800) 767-1000 ext. 24188.

How To Lower Your Utility Costs During The Hottest Months


he dog days of summer can be brutal on utility bills and a major drain for pocketbooks, but they don’t have to be. During the hottest months of the year, water is wasted due to over irrigation, and air conditioning systems are forced to run longer to keep indoor temperatures cool. While scorching temperatures can push water and energy consumption to its limits, there are ways to consume less and save more. “Reducing water and energy consumption isn’t as difficult as many think,” says Rhonda Hills of, an online resource for homeowners looking for expert home advice. “Even minor changes in behavior and small investments in energyconscious materials can make a big difference.” The home experts at recommend the following actions to provide short-term and long-term relief as the mercury rises. Install a soil or rain sensor - Soil and rain sensors are effective water conserva-

tion tools. Soil sensors monitor the soil’s moisture content and allow sprinklers to operate only when water is needed. Rain sensors detect precipitation and shut off sprinklers if it is raining. Both devices are upgrades from traditional timers and can greatly reduce water usage. Seal openings around windows and doors - Cracks around windows and doors are a source of significant energy loss. The U.S. Department of Energy reports more than 20 percent of the air entering and exiting the home does so around windows and doors. Using caulk and weather stripping to seal around these vulnerable areas can make a significant difference in the home’s energy efficiency and monthly utility bills. Replace old windows - Windows are a major source of energy loss in most homes. Old, single-paned windows are inefficient and will allow radiant heat from the sun to increase indoor temperatures. Replacing old windows with Energy Star-rated windows can save 7 to 15 percent on energy bills and increase comfort within the

home. Use ceiling fans to circulate air - Ceiling fans do not reduce indoor temperatures, but they can make the home feel more comfortable. Fans work by circulating air across the skin and creating a wind chill effect which makes inhabitants feel cooler. It’s been proven that using a fan can allow homeowners to turn up their thermostat by 4 degrees with no drop in comfort level. Ensure the fan’s blades are turning counterclockwise during the summer to maximize the wind chill effect. Increase attic insulation - Adding insulation to a home is one of the fastest ways to reduce energy consumption. More than 10 percent of the average utility bill goes to cooling a home, and insulation can help significantly reduce the frequency and duration the air conditioning system is running. Only 20 percent of homes constructed prior to 1980 are properly insulated. Replace incandescent bulbs - Light bulbs produce light, and they also produce heat as a byproduct.



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Knowledge is power

Automotive Technician: A Great Technology-Based Career Opportunity


t used to be all a car mechanic needed was a good set of tools, some oil and knowledge of a car’s parts and pieces.

But in today’s highly technical world, automotive technicians are going to school for a lot more training, especially in the technology fields. Technology is changing the automotive industry, and industry professionals are expressing concern in finding enough qualified employees to hire. The experts stress the importance of reaching young people early to recruit them into automotive careers and ensuring they have top-notch training in the technical aspects of the field. Job opportunities will abound for skilled automotive technicians, and continued growth in the number of vehicles in use in the United States will lead to new jobs for workers performing basic car maintenance and repair, according to the 2010-2011 Edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook. Retiring baby boomers will also create additional job openings. “Qualified technicians are in great demand,” says John Hurd, president of the

WyoTech campus in Sacramento, Calif. “Having good diagnostic and problemsolving abilities, as well as training in electronics and computer skills, will give a job candidate a great lead over the competition, especially for entry-level positions.” Despite the bright job prospects, finding talented employees with the right skill set is difficult. Hurd stressed that WyoTech makes an important contribution to the automotive industry by training young people for careers in automotive technology. He says that advances in automotive technology do not pose significant challenges for WyoTech. “No matter what technology aspects manufacturers put into the newest and most advanced cars - if it’s being built, we’re going to train our technicians to fix it.” Young students and students entering the automotive field from a different career all make great candidates for automotive technicians, says Hurd. But one challenge in educating students from so many different backgrounds is often a lack of basic technical knowledge for entering students. “We get students who don’t even know what a screwdriver is, so we still have to start with the basics,” Hurd says. Adjusting for new automotive trends like hybrids and advanced diagnostics also

keeps the school up to date in the mechanical industry. “You have to know how to tune the engine and chassis to work together, for instance,” Hurd says. “While we used to have a six-month program, we now go through nine-, 12- and 15-month programs so that the students can raise their skill levels and become better employees.” Vocational education and technical colleges help the automotive industry meet its future talent needs. A focused technical education can teach students the skills that they are going to need for the future as an automotive technician.

Phone Interview? Here’s How To Ace It


hen employers advertise an open position, they receive a mountain of resumes. As a result, many are turning to telephone interviews to screen applicants. If you’re one of the 13.5 million Americans looking for a job, it pays to plan in advance for the prospect of interviewing over the phone. Telephone screening saves a lot of time. Paula M. Scott, director of Career Services at Brown Mackie College - Michigan City, shares advice she uses to prepare students for successful phone interviews with prospective employers. “The phone interview is a screening tool that helps employers narrow down the number of applicants,” says Scott. “It’s important to give a 100 percent effort because the next step - a face-to-face interview - depends on it.” In an April Economic News Release, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports some job gains in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality and mining. Still, the unemployment rate hovers at 8.8 percent, and applicants face hefty competition in the marketplace. What do you sound like on the phone? Scott and her staff regularly prepare students at Brown Mackie College - Michigan City for all aspects of a successful employment search. “In a phone interview, the voice does it all,” she says. “No one can see facial expressions or body language over the phone. The first step is to record yourself practicing answers to interview questions.” Many of us don’t realize how often we mumble or use “filler words,” such as “um” and “like.” Scott recommends cleaning up speech habits before a telephone interview. “Smile when you speak; it reflects in the tone of your voice.” “Dress for the interview,” she says. “Don’t laugh. People tend to feel and act more professional when dressed for work, and the voice reflects attitude. It also helps to stand rather than sit during the call. A job seeker’s voice seems to better project when standing. “Prepare like you would for a regular interview. Know your

strengths and weaknesses, and plan to speak about accomplishments you want to share. Also, research the company who has taken interest in you,” Scott says. She lists a wealth of tips for a successful phone interview, including: Before the phone interview: * Dress for the occasion * Use a landline; a cell phone may drop the call or distort an applicant’s voice * Turn off call waiting; it’s annoying * No background noise; no TV, no music, no kids, no barking dogs * Place your resume in front of you, along with the employment ad * Keep a pen, paper and calculator on hand; take notes During the phone interview: * Ask the interviewer for the correct spelling of his/her name; verify the title * Smile as you speak; the interviewer will hear it * Stand as you speak; your voice will project better * Speak slowly; enunciate words and use proper grammar * Don’t interrupt; it’s not polite * Don’t ramble; make your answers brief * Ask questions; this shows the interviewer you have interest in the job * Thank the interviewer; it’s good common sense After the phone interview: * Send a note of thanks; it shows gratitude and interest * Send it within 24 hours; either email or regular mail Career Services departments at colleges and universities interact regularly with professionals in the business community. Communication in both speech and writing are valuable business skills for employers. Since many employers are using the phone interview as a screening tool, it’s important to remember that with a little thought and practice before a telephone interview, you can help ensure that a prospective employer will maintain interest in you.

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Knowledge is power


Good Teachers Getting Bad Rap Q. As a parent I am always concerned about my children’s education. There has been a lot of chat lately about good teachers versus bad teachers. I feel that teachers are facing challenging times and challenging students and are getting a bad rap. What do you think?

A. Wow! I agree! Many people complain that teachers have it so good, have so many days off and summers off, too. What most people don’t realize is that the work that goes into being a good teacher is exhausting and endless. I’m just going to mention a few since I work in a school district and know the work that my colleagues and I put into being effective educators. All teachers have to have a graduate degree to be certified in New York State however, most teachers in New York have two or three graduate degrees. Effective teachers need to know strategies for classroom management so they can teach, need to attend countless professional development workshops to stay abreast of their fields and must have a global knowledge base to enhance what they are teaching and what is not in the textbooks. I’ve seen good teachers buy shoes, school supplies, lunch and pay for field trips for their students who don’t have or can’t afford it. Teachers buy extra supplies and teaching tools

out of their own salaries because cut backs have depleted money needed to buy supplies in school districts! Teachers have to supplement and re-teach a lot of material that their students missed in previous school years but should know for the grade they are currently in and still have to teach this year’s benchmarks expected by their districts. Teachers have to tie shoelaces, listen to sad stories, cuddle abused children, counsel emotionally impaired students, allow students to cry on their shoulders, feed and help homeless children, plan and teach students with special needs, use effective behavior modification techniques, take the most extreme verbal and sometimes physical abuse from students and parents, attend numerous meetings, complete endless paperwork and lesson plans, create lessons that meet students’ style of learning whether visual, tactile or hearing and still teach students what they need to know to do well in school and on state exams. Teachers often have three or more levels of performance in one classroom and must plan to meet all of the students’ needs. Larger class sizes make this job much harder! Some children enter school 3 grades behind in academic skills and with hard work and creativity the teacher is able to catch them up by 2 grades. This means the children are now 1 grade behind but instead of being praised for the growth the children have made the teachers are penalized. Just as teachers have mastered a new math or reading program, the districts buy into a whole new program which means more and more training and often extreme changes in techniques and delivery of teaching. Teachers are also expected to identify vari-

ous learning disabilities and refer students to the appropriate professionals in their buildings. However, it’s hard to notice that a student is having petite mal seizures that only last a few seconds in a classroom of 30 lively students. Unlike charter schools, public school teachers have to keep the 3 to 4 ADHD and severe behavior students that swing from the lights and have to be peeled off the windows everyday. Even though school ends at 3:00 pm, good teachers are there until 4:00 or 5:00 pm planning and preparing for the next day. Those that leave early take their work home. Like a teacher in my building I came across one late afternoon who was preparing fresh see weed she bought at a Korean store so her students could see the real thing and better relate to and remember it when she read a specific book the next day. Good teachers are stressed and burdened with tremendous pressure to perform and get results under the most difficult conditions! Are there bad teachers? Of course, just like bad doctors, bus drivers, lawyers, plumbers and secretaries! However, blame needs to be directed at those who deserve it. School administrators evaluate teachers during a 3 year probation period before teachers are tenured. Poor administrators mean poor teachers are hired and kept. Teachers who are not showing any growth in weak areas that have been identified by administrators should be fired before they achieve tenure. This is an area of concern. What needs to be done now? An evaluation method needs to be created that surpasses a principal’s frailties and objectiveness and those of computer programs that are being designed

Lisa-Anne Ray-Bayers

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to evaluate teachers. Right now there are too many variables that could account for one teacher having significant student performance while another teacher does not. It would require that all things in each classroom are totally equal and that is extremely unlikely in the near future. Let me know what you think? Lisa-Anne Ray-Byers is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist who has worked in education for over two decades. She holds graduate degrees in speech-language pathology and multicultural education. She also holds certification in educational administration. She is the author of the book, They Say I Have ADHD, I Say Life Sucks! Thoughts From Nicholas available at www. She is currently employed in the Hempstead School District. You may contact her or by visiting her website at

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May 13, 2011 edition