Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beating a dead horse....

Ewwww...that sounds kinda gross and pointless!
But anyway, I'll make this short and sweet...sorta.
So, unless you live under a rock or just avoid all news and most people, you most likely know about the big bruhaha with AIG and the bonuses they gave to certain employees.
This has been talked to death...everywhere!
Sooooooo, all I wanted to say was:
When was the last time any of you received a "raise" much less a "bonus" for doing a FABULOUS job much less for doing a really crappy one????
Just wondering......

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March is....Women's History Month

Alright Women!!!
This is OUR month!!
So let's celebrate, learn something and spread a little or a lot of knowledge!!

Women's History Month
The public celebration of women's history in this country began in 1978 as "Women's History Week" in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women's Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women's History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women's History Month.

Women's HistoryTrivia
National Women's History Month's roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women's Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn't until 1981 that Congress established National Women's History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women's History Month, and the president has issued a proclamation.

As of Oct. 1, 2008, there are 154.7 million females in the United States.
The number of males was 150.6 million.
At 85 and older, there were more than twice as many women as men.

Check here for more of the History of Women's History Month

Firsts In Women's Achievement

Ann Teresa Mathews 1715 - First woman whose invention received a patent (for cleaning and curing corn) - it was granted to her husband

Mary Katherine Goddard 1775 - First woman postmaster

Betsy Ross 1776/77 - First person to be a U.S. flagmaker

Hannah Adams 1784 - First woman to become professional writer

Lucy Brewer 1812 - First woman marine

Elizabeth Blackwell 1849 - First woman to receive a medical degree

Amelia Jenks Bloomer 1849 - Publisher/editor of first prominent women's rights newspaper

Harriet Tubman 1850 - First woman to run underground railroad to help slaves escape

Lucy Hobbs 1866 - First woman to graduate from dental school

Susan B. Anthony 1869 - Co-Founder of first US woman's suffrage organization

Arabella Mansfield Babb 1869 - First woman admitted to the bar

Frances Elizabeth Willard 1871 - First woman to become a college president (Evanston College)

Victoria Chaflin Woodhull 1872 - First woman to be presidential candidate

Helen Magill 1877 - First woman to receive a Ph.D. degree (Boston University)

Belva Ann Lockwood 1879 - First woman to practice law before U.S. Supreme Court

Clara Barton 1881 - Founder of the American Red Cross

Maud Booth 1887/96 - Co-Founder of Salvation Army and Volunteers of America

Suzanna Madora Salter 1887 - First woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas)

Mary McLeod Bethune 1904 - First woman to establish secondary school that became 4-year accredited college

Mary McLeod Bethune 1935 - Founder of National Council of Negro Women

Blanche Scott 1910 - First woman to fly an airplane

Jeannette Rankin 1916 - First woman U.S. House Representative (Montana)

Kate Gleason 1917 - First woman president of a national bank

Jeannette Rankin 1917 - First woman in Congress

Florence E. Allen 1920 - First woman judge

Hallie Ferguson 1924 - First woman governor of U. S. state (Texas)

Katherine Bement Davis 1929 - First person to conduct national survey of sexual attitudes

Jane Addams 1931 - First woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize

Hattie Wyatt Caraway 1932 - First woman elected to U.S. Senate

Amelia Earhart 1932 - First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

Bessie Coleman 1921 - First black woman in the world to earn an aviator's license

Ruth Bran Owen 1933 - First woman foreign diplomat

Pearl S. Buck 1935 - First woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature

Hattie McDaniel 1939 - First African-American of any gender to win an Academy Award (she won for Best Supporting Actress in the film, Gone with the Wind)

Linda Darnell 1941 - First woman to sell securities on the New York Stock Curb Exchange

Conchita V. Cintron 1949 - First U.S. woman bullfighter in Spain

Georgia Nesse Clark 1949 - First woman treasurer of the United States

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova 1963 - First woman to fly in space, aboard Vostok 6

Muriel Siebert 1967 - First woman to own seat on the New York Stock Exchange

Janice Lee York Romary 1968 - First woman to carry U.S. flag at the Olympic Games

Mary Clarke 1978 - First woman to be named major general in U.S. Army

Ella Grasso 1978 - First woman governor to be re-elected (Connecticut)

Sandra Day O'Connor - 1981 First woman a justice of the U. S. Supreme Court

Sally Kristen Ride 1983 - First American woman to reach outer space

Joan Benoit (Samuelson) 1984 - First woman to win an Olympic marathon

Penny Harrington 1985 - First woman police chief of major U. S. city (Portland, OR)

Ann Bancroft 1986 - First woman to walk to North Pole

Christa McAuliffe 1986 - First woman citizen passenger on a space mission

Lt. Col. Eileen Collins 1995 - First American woman to pilot a Space Shuttle

Madeleine K. Albright 1997 - First woman Secretary of State and highest ranking woman in the U.S. government

Hillary Rodham Clinton 2000 - Only First Lady ever elected to the United States Senate

Halle Berry 2002 - First African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar

Condoleezza Rice 2005 - First African-American woman to be appointed Secretary of State

Nancy Pelosi 2007 - First woman to become Speaker of the House

National Women's History Museum

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March is ....Theatre in Our Schools Month

Why do we need Theatre in our schools? (I knew you would ask)
Here are a few of the reasons:
Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between drama involvement and academic achievement. In addition to having higher standardized test scores than their peers who do not experience the arts, student who participate in drama often experience improved reading comprehension, maintain better attendance records, and stay generally more engaged in school than their non-arts counterparts. Schools with arts-integrated programs, even in low-income areas, report high academic achievement.

The College Entrance Examination Board reported student scores from 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 using data from the Student Description Questionnaire indicating student involvement in various activities, including the arts. As compared to their peers with no arts coursework or involvement:

Students involved in drama performance scored an average of 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher in the math component of the SAT

Students who took courses in drama study or appreciation scored, on average, 55 points higher on verbal and 26 points higher on math than their non-arts classmates.

In 2005, students involved in drama performance outscored the national average SAT score by 35 points on the verbal portion and 24 points on the math section.

Research indicates that involvement in the arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance, and that drop-out rates correlate with student levels of involvement in the arts .

- Students considered to be at high risk for dropping out of high school cite drama and other arts classes as their motivations for staying in school.

- Students who participate in the arts are 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance than those who do not.

From learning to read to the in-depth study of Shakespearean literature, drama can play a significant role in the continual development of students’ reading comprehension skills. Studies indicate that not only do the performance of a story and a number of other drama activities in the classroom contribute to a student’s understanding of the work performed, but these experiences also help them to develop a better understanding of other works and of language and expression in general. The results below were gleaned from studies where educators and students alike noticed a difference when drama played a part in their classrooms,

- A series of studies on the arts and education revealed a consistent causal link between performing texts in the classroom and the improvement of a variety of verbal skills, including especially significant increases in story recall and understanding of written material.

- Performance of Shakespeare texts helps to improve students’ understanding of other complex texts including science and math material .

- Drama can improve reading skills and comprehension better than other activities, including discussion .

In addition to building social and communication skills overall, involvement in drama courses and performance has been shown to improve students’ self-esteem as well as their confidence in their academic abilities.

- High school students who are highly involved in drama demonstrate an elevated self-concept over those who are not involved .

- Playwriting original works and dramatic presentation of existing works can help to build the self-esteem and communication skills of high school students.

- The act of performing can help students and youth recognize their potential for success and improve their confidence .

Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, there has been a national focus on closing the “achievement gap” between students of varying abilities, socioeconomic status, and geographies among other factors that may directly or indirectly affect a student’s academic success. The arts, including drama, address this issue by catering to different styles of learning, and engaging students who might not otherwise take significant interest in academics. Additionally, research indicates that drama courses and performance have a particularly positive effect on at-risk youth and students with learning disabilities.

- A study published in Champions of Change (1999) cites theatre arts, including performance, classes, and participation in a drama club, as a source for “gains in reading proficiency, gains in self-concept and motivation, and higher levels of empathy and tolerance towards others” among youth of low socio-economic status .

- Drama activities can improve and help to maintain social and language skills of students with learning disabilities and remedial readers .

- Improvisational drama contributes to improved reading achievement and attitude in disadvantaged students .

American Alliance for Theatre and Education

I found these entertaining vids, on Youtube of course, put out by the Americans for the Arts.

Children involved in "any" of the arts improve thier overall academic performance.

Research shows that kids actively engaged in arts education are likely to have higher test scores than those with little to no involvement.

Kids involved in the arts develop skills needed by the 21st century workforce: critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, teamwork and more.

Studying the "arts".....
helps teach kids to be more tolerant and open;
allows kids to express themselves creatively and bolster their self-confidence;
keeps students engaged in school and less likely to drop out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March is.....Girl Scout Month

That's right, not only is March the month that all those wonderful girl scouts sell us cookies (I bought 4 boxes!) but it's their official Month (the Girl Scouts not the cookies).
Here are a few facts about the Girl Scouts:

Girl Scout Mission
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

More Than 90 Years
Founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout Troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia.

An American Institution
Girl Scouts of the USA was chartered by the U.S. Congress on March 16, 1950.

Still Growing Strong
Today, there are 3.7 million Girl Scouts—2.7 million girl members and 928,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.

Empowering Girls
In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.

At Home and Abroad
Girls at home and abroad participate in more than 236,000 troops and groups in more than 90 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas, and over 300 local Girl Scout councils offer girls the opportunity for membership across the United States.

An International Family
Through its membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a worldwide family of 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries.

facts found at

And we don't want to forget Girl Scout Day which is March 12th.
Girl Scout Day recognizes and celebrates the Girls Scouts of America. This date celebrates the creation of the first Girl Scout group on March 12, 1912.

On March 12, 1912 Juliette Gordon Low started the first Girl Scout group in Savannah, Georgia with 18 girls. The Girls Scouts became a national organization, and was was chartered by the U.S. Congress on March 16, 1950. Today, there are millions of girls involved with Girl Scout