Tuesday, January 29, 2013

End of the Second Marking Period Reflection: Jan 30, 2013

Purpose of Reflection: Working in groups and teams is a part of life. Those teams are all around you, they are your family, friends, class periods, sports, hobbies, and work related. The ability to assess yourself, your peers, and in this case even the teacher is important to this team maximizing our learning. The ability to analyze yourself and others is critical to the team if that team seeks to learn and improve its performance. "Looking in the mirror" is important, as is showing and sharing with others your perspective while being open to their perspective.

Here was the class assignment for Tuesday in class and your last graded event of the marking period. You need to complete by the end of class today.

1. What Did You Learn this Marking Period In This Class? 


Leadership & Ethics (Petraeus), AMI Prep (Chain of Command, Orders To Sentry), You say You Want To Be successful, Gender Desegregation for sports, Woman in the Infantry, Commander NSTC Video, Respect and Sexual Harrassment Preventiuon, To Build of Not to Build the Mosque, 
Islamic Extremism, Stress Management for High School Students) 

2. Self Grading and Peer Grading (A, B, C, D, F)

A. What Grade Would You Give Yourself in NJROTC this marking period? Why?

B. What NJROTC Grade Would You Give Your Individual Classmates (By-name) and Why? 

Feel free to include any advice or constructive criticism you would provide.

3. What Could Your SNSI Have Done Better This Marking Period To Make the Class Better? (Be candid = Be Negative. I am looking for ways to improve so if you think I can or should do something better tell me.)  
I will collect the results and brief the individuals and the class. I am interested in your thoughts associated with the picture inserted, do you agree with that comment or not, please comment.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stress Management for High School Students

Many things happen to us in the course of a day, week, month, and a year. Some of the things are good, some of the things are bad, and others things fall in between. Identifying stress is important and then having a mechanism or activity you do to manage that stress is important, even critical to your physical, mental, and moral well being.

Ask the student's what the picture above means to them:  Solicit their impressions.

 Lets take a look at a video of Teens and Stress:

The video is presented from a parent's perspective so as young adults on the cusp of adulthood view this from both the parent-to-be and teenage child perspective.

Class Activity:

Have the students  put their heads down and close their eyes while seated at their desks and with the lights turned off. Before doing this they are instructed to think about the positive stressors and negative stressors in their lives, and how they manage or don't manage that stress. This will be used in the class discussion after the video.

Class Discussion:

1. What are your stressors?

2. What are some way you manage or could manage that stress?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jan 14: Small Group Reading & Draft US Policy on Countering Islamic Extremism

Is the quote above appropriate for our previous discussions, or would you consider it extreme? Think of the Sept 11th Module we conducted and the loss of innocents lives due to Al Qaeda...is it civilization (US / Western World and Islamic World / Allies) against terrorists or not.

Using the template of the National Elements of Power (DIME: Diplomacy, Information, Military/Security, and Economy) as you break into small groups and read the assigned curriculum, try to think of ways to use DIME to develop a draft US Policy to Counter global Islamic Extremism.

In Class Tasks:  After viewing the above information and the example of a religious extremist conduct the following in class tasks and homework posting assignment. 

1. Let’s take a look at our Cultural Studies Global Awareness book and review the following Vocabulary Words: terrorism, international terrorism, jihad, terrorist group, agenda, figurehead, proxy, sharia, Wahhabism, Caliphate, insurgency, transnational, reactionary, safe haven.

2. Break up into 2 or 3 groups and read this lesson from page 92 to 109. Take whatever notes or questions you deem appropriate to outline draft US Policy to Counter Islamic Extremism.

3. Participate in small group class discussions in developing a draft policy for countering Islamic Extremism using the national elements of power (Diplomacy, Information, Military / Security, and Economy). You will continue this work on Tuesday, and make a class presentation on your draft policy on Wednesday.

4. Homework Assignment: Post your individual thoughts on how the United States could counter Islamic Extremism. (Class Period and First name only)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Friday PT: Getting Stronger and Smarter

Warm Up:  Gather in a Circle Around the Class Leader and slowly stretch from head to toe. Remember ease into the stretch and don't bounce in the stretch. You are encouraged to bring a water bottle and drink from it as you desire.

Physical Fitness Event:  

  1. We will split the class up into two groups. 
  2. Each group will be asked a question based on information from Cadet Knowledge (General Orders, Uniform Info, Chain of Command, or other information taught by the NSI). 
  3. If the group gets the question correct, the entire group only has to perform 10 repetitions of the selected exercise. If the group gets the question incorrect, they will have to perform 15 repetitions of the selected exercise. 

Selected Exercises:

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Crunches 
  • Regular Push Ups
  • Standing Knee Raises
  • Crossed Ankle Push Ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Backward Claps
  • March In Place

Cool Down: Class Leader remind the NSI when it is 6 minutes before the end of class. We will gather our backpacks and walk down to the water fountain to hydrate.

Global Awareness: Islamic Extremism Small Group Discussion

The radicalization of people to commit extreme acts of violence against others in the name of religion  is the key element that needs to be addressed in our discussion about religious extremism. Take the case of US Army Major Nidal Hasan who attacked and killed and wounded fellow soldiers in Fort Hood Texas.

Major Nidal Hasan was a commissioned officer in the US Army and an Army psychologist who swore an oath of allegiance to the United States Constitution  and a Hippocratic oath as a doctor obligating him to help and not harm others. He is a Muslim like many others in our US Armed Forces, citizens from all  different races, creeds, and religions who voluntarily serve their nation in the military.

 Is there something other than mental illness, which would cause this soldier to attack other soldiers that he was sworn to lead and maintain their well being? How was he radicalized as a Muslim to commit terrorism in the name of Allah when it is counter to the teachings of Islam...?

Class Activity: We will conduct a class discussion on this phenomenon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jan 8 Unit NJROTC Change of Command

There is a change of command ceremony after school today.

Here is the new unit chain of command and staff positions:

Cadet CO: Cardenas
Cadet XO: Elguera
Cadet Company Chief: Gomez

1st PLT (Periods 1 and 7)      2d PLT (Periods 4 and 5)           3rd PLT (Periods 2 and 6)
Plt CDR: Umpierre                    Plt CDR:  Gonzalez                      Plt CDR: Ramos
Plt Sgt: Arias                             Plt Sgt: Leon                                Plt Sgt: Huerta

Class Leaders:                        Class Leaders:                            Class Leaders:
Walsh                                       Vacas                                           Sanchez
Q-H                                          Argenio                                        Monroe, Patel

Note: Class Leaders are also Squad Leaders as each class is half a Platoon.

Admin: Walker
Public Affairs:  Vacas / Harrison
Ops: Walsh / Argenio
Logistics: Perea / Assistants to be named

Monday, January 7, 2013

Islamic Extremism's and Terrorism

Jan 8, 2013: We discussed on Monday during the previous blog post  "To Build or Not To Build...That is the Debate" some of the issues associated about the perceptions versus realities separating religious extremists from the religion they follow. We discussed in that class, different examples of religious extremism resulting in violence (The Spanish Inquisition, Murdering or Bombing Abortion Clinics, Salem Witch Trials as a few). Many religions have had extremists violate the tenets of their religion and commit violent acts on the behalf of that religion in their words. A modern phenomenon this past decade has been Islamic extremism symbolized by Al Qaeda and their affiliates. The photo below is a picture of the Sept 11th Hijackers.

Is it fair or accurate to judge all Muslims by the extremist acts of others...? Do you separate the religion from religious extremists?  What do you understand about the religion of Islam? What do you understand about Islamic Extremism espoused by a group like Al Qaeda and their affiliates?

Listen to a Muslim Scholar discuss Islamic Extremism and Globalism (7 minutes)

In our Cultural Studies book, An Introduction to Global Awareness in Chapter One in Lesson 4 the authors discuss, Islamic Fundamentalism and Terrorism on page 92.

Here is a video where they discuss the Long War Against Islamic Extremism (25 min)

View the video and discuss your thoughts and impressions.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

To Build or Not To Build...That is the Debate

Today's Debate will center on the controversial topic of building a mosque in lower Manhattan, NY in the general vicinity of Ground Zero. The World Trade Center Towers were twice attacked by Islamic Extremists (Al Qaeda). The first attack was in 1993 by a car bomb in the parking garage of one of the Towers. The second attack was on Sept 11 where the towers were destroyed by flying hijacked planes with innocent people killed in the destruction of the Twin Towers. That terrorist attack and other attacks, generated much national focus, passion, and sacrifice on behalf of Americans and their allies against the spread of Islamic Extremism. Watch these two short videos to see opposing interpretations against or in support of building the mosque there... the first video opposes the building of the mosque.

This video is the President supporting the building of the Mosque in NY.

Some Questions to Ponder in preparing for your debate:

  • Can you separate a religion from groups who exploit or high-jack the religion for their own extreme purposes? 
  • Is a religion responsible for the acts of extremists who follow that religion? 
  • Our country claims to exercise freedom of religion, however, is that freedom or any other freedom absolute?
  • Some people claim that extremists are using our freedoms against us and in support of themselves. 

Class Task
  1. You will be formed into two groups (one group that supports and one group that opposes the building of the mosque).
  2. Your debate groups will be given a short period of time to prepare your hasty debate each focusing on three main points. 
  3. Your homework is entering a comment tonight on how you feel about the topic. Include you First Name & Last Initial, and class period you are in. Keep your comments professional.

TO BUILD OR NOT BUILD.....that is the question?????

Thursday, January 3, 2013

RESPECT and Sexual Harassment Prevention

In House, we talked about the concept of See Something, Hear Something, Say Something. It is a bias for being aware and concerned about each other's safety, security, and general well being. Most of the negative issues we have in the variety of interpersonal relationships we participate in revolves around the concept of respect. Respect defines how we treat one another in either a positive or negative fashion. Ideally, respect is a two way street where we give respect to others and receive respect back. However, this is not always the case. As we view our personal relationships and professional relationships the concept of RESPECT is critical to the success of those relationships.

From our JROTC curriculum, we will view the video: REAL LIFE: SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN SCHOOLS which is 24 minutes long.

Preventing sexual harassment is about realizing how disrespect in the form of inappropriate touching, communication, or pressured compliance can make someone not only feel uncomfortable but it can have negative legal consequences for the harasser.

Some Points To Remember:

  • It is HOW YOU FEEL that is what is important if you feel you or someone else is being sexually harassed. Harassment is in the eye or ear of the receiving party. 
    • The first step is telling the person what they are doing or saying is inappropriate and they need to stop. It is strongly recommended you tell someone else you trust what happened. 
  • Touching is not appropriate in any circumstance. It is always a violation of school policy or business rules.
  • Forced compliance, pressure, or veiled threats (even presented as a joke) are wrong
  • Immaturity by others often demonstrates itself as disrespectful disregard for others feelings or beliefs. Immaturity (I was just trying to be funny) is no excuse for harassment of any kind.
  • Social media adds complexity to this issue because respect is still a concept even in the online world. 
  • Bystanders who are silent to what harassment they observe become complicit in the harassment by their inaction. This includes others downplaying HOW YOU FEEL if you think something is inappropriate.
    • "Why are you making such a big deal? They were just kidding? He or she likes you probably?"
  • As a witness to harassment you have an obligation to do something or say something. SEE SOMETHING, HEAR SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.   Throw someone a Life Preserver, because someday you may need someone to throw one to help you out.