Monday, April 29, 2013

The Reluctant Fundamentalist...or Frustrated American Citizen...

We studied the national security concern of Islamic extremism and the importance of establishing the differentiation between faithful practising Muslims and those who use terrorist violence in the name of Islam. We have discussed the dysfunctionality of our present political system in their inability to balance the national budget and sequestration effects on our nation. However, the one recent area of agreement looked to be on the issue of immigration, both Republicans and Democrats seemed supportive. The recent Boston Bombing attack has added a twist and changed that common ground. The Tsarnaev brother's bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15th has combined our national security concern of combating violent extremism (CVE) with the immigration issue. Both of the Chechen immigrant brothers were on student visas seeking  naturalization. The younger brother become a US citizen, but the older brother's case was pending until his death at the hands of US Law Enforcement.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Naturalized US Citizen)

Classroom Activity: A fictional Homeland Security scenario has been developed for this module that connects with previous instruction on global awareness issues of Islamic Extremism, Islam, and US efforts to counter global terrorism at home and abroad.

Background: A fictional character (Rashid Khan) is a 24 year old American citizen born in the US from Pakistani immigrant parents. A Princeton graduate he got a job as a financial manager on Wall Street in May 2001 and he was highly successful. He was on an international business trip on September 11th, 2001 and his world changed. Due to trips and phone calls to Pakistan in communicating with his family who returned to care for an ailing family member, he was placed on a DHS Watch List. He has volunteered to come in for questioning, he is not under arrest, but we have security concerns.

Class Task:
 1. The class will be broken up into three groups for this education module: Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Investigation Teams, Department of Justice Inspector General Observer Group, and Rashid Khans.. Each group will receive a product to help them participate in the scenario.

  • Rashid Khan (role playing student with a script) is in the back room awaiting DHS questioning.
  • DHS Investigation Teams will review the fictional DHS case file, and formulate a strategy among their team and adjacent teams to determine if Mr. Khan is a national security concern or not. 
  • DOJ IG Observer Group will monitor all DHS activity to include the voluntary questioning of Mr. Khan. 
2. There will be two class periods (Monday & Tuesday) of questioning of Mr. Rashid Khan by the DHS Investigation Teams. On Wednesday, there will be a facilitated discussion to analyse the perspectives and perceptions of each group.  

3. Homework: Provide a comment Tuesday night on this blog post highlighting what you learned from this experience and post it in short answer format. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Partial President's Physical Fitness Test (Friday, April 25)

Spring is upon us and we need to get out an exercise. We have to take advantage of the good weather and get moving after our partial winter hibernation!!!!  

For those cadets considering Leadership Academy / Sail Training (LA/ST) during the summer, today's test  (Friday) will function as Inventory Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

LA/ST Candidates will conduct the full PFT (cadence pushups, maximum  crunches in one minute, & 1 mile timed run), but all other classmates will conduct the partial PFT (cadence pushups & maximum crunches in 1 minute).  

Remember SAFETY and our ORM (Operational Risk Management) Plan:
1. If you don't feel well at any time or notice someone else not looking like they don't feel well, call a Training Time Out (TTO). Let the NSI or another teacher know ASAP. 
2. If you have asthma, you can't run without your inhaler. 
3. If anyone starts to encounter breathing difficulty or gets light headed (feels dizzy) let someone & NSI know ASAP.
3. NSI will have their cell phone with them to call school nurse or 911, if required 

Good Luck. Enjoy the weather and ability to exercise. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 23, 2013: Peer Interview and Presentation (Presenting Someone Else)

Welcome back from Spring Break and Time To Get To Work!!!! This week's public speaking assignment is to interview someone else and then conduct a short presentation of that person to the class. 

Classroom Activity: 
1. You will be assigned a partner, you will interview them and they will interview them. you will be given two class periods (Tuesday & Wednesday) for the peer interviewing. The two of you will form your own questions, but they do not have to be the same. 
2. Ensure you take notes of what your questions are and their answers to those questions. Try to capture who they are to provide your classmates with appropriate but interesting insights - paint a picture of who they are as an individual. It is not merely a regurgitation of the facts and answers to your questions.  
3. Prepare a short (3 to 5 minutes) presentation of the peer you interviewed and rehearse it. You may use prepared notes to assist but you can't read your presentation. 
4. Conduct the peer presentation on Thursday in class. 
5. You will be graded on the length (minimum 3 minutes and maximum 5 minutes, quality of the content, and your public presentation skills.

Remember, after these presentations our class (our team) should be closer together in understanding each other, because we know each other better. First Leadership principle is "KNOW YOUR PEOPLE". 

Hey Remember the Discussion of Meditation for Stress Management, Maybe We Are On to Something...?

Meditation Helps Improve Student Grades

Click on the above Link

Remember our class on Meditation as a form of Stress Management, the link above has a posting that says meditation can improve your grades and school performance.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ELEVATOR INTERVIEW...30 Seconds to land a Job

Our next public speaking assignment is the 30 second Elevator Interview. We are combining this with Dress Up Day. Be prepared to:

  • Greet Them as You Introduce Yourself
  • Describe Yourself
  • Talk About Your Skills
  • Tell the why they should hire you

Good Luck

Friday, April 5, 2013

Platoon PT Competition By Class Period (Friday)

Background. We are almost finished with our internal unit competition, called TOPGUN (after the Navy Fighter Pilot Aviation School). Today's event is a calisthenics competition where every one does a series of selected exercises to determine how many correct repetitions they can accomplish in one minute:

  • BURPESS (Similar to 8 count Body-builders) 
Assessment: We are using the President's Physical Fitness Test standards for assessing a correct repetition of the Push Ups and Crunches. Students counting are supposed to correct improper technique as well as not count it as a successful repetition. Teacher supervises this assessment ensuring only credit for proper technique is given. 

Class Activity
  1. Warm Up: Two class leaders are selected and will perform a group stretch and warm-up.
  2. Pick a same gender partner for the competition. One person performs the exercise and the other person will count the repetition only if it is performed correctly. 
  3. One line of students will perform the exercise while their partner across from them counts. Students are encouraged to have and bring water bottles with them as they exercise.
  4. There will be a designated timer and results recorder.
  5. Safety: Following each event they will be given a recovery window. Following the competition they will conduct a Cool Down. (Training Time Out) Any student not feeling well during the event is allowed to stop. Any student observed to not be feeling well or acting OK will be identified to Teacher immediately. 
  6. Teacher will conduct a Cool Down where the class walks (column of twos, route step) down the hall to the water fountain to drink water and go to the bathroom if necessary. Then they walk back to class, if they have water bottles then they can fill them up. 
Give it your best effort and exercise safely!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

North Korea, the Greatest Country in the World...?

We often talk about the national elements of power in the form of the acronym, DIME (Diplomacy, Information, Military (& Security), and Economy. When we consider North Korea, it is a "closed society" where they do not allow the free exchange of ideas, communication, travel, or commerce. The key to maintaining a totalitarian regime is through controlling information. The North Korean people have to believe or act like they believe everything the government tells them. Look at how technologically stunted they are when you view a satellite picture of the Korean peninsula even in the area of electrical power and infrastructure. The contrast is amazing.  

NK Threatens US with Pre-emptive Attack

Lets Take a look at North Korea the closed Society.

Now lets here from a young lady who escaped North Korea...

More to follow...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Round Robin Peer Inspection (Wednesday)

Background. You may not realize it, no matter what you are doing (personal or professional) and no matter where (work, rest, or play) you are the people around you are evaluating (inspecting) you. Especially during professional activities how you look, act, and speak has a direct reflection on your professional reputation. 
Wednesday is our designated uniform day. We have had the NSIs inspect you, cadet chain of command and class leaders inspect you in the past. You have been inspected, but now it is time for YOU to inspect others in the path of learning how to lead others. Take the task seriously if you want to be taken seriously. You have to "know your stuff" to be squared away and maintain a positive professional reputation. when you inspect. Remember, as the inspecting officer YOU are also being visibly being "inspected" by the person you are inspecting. 

Class Activity:   
1. I will pair you up into two person teams. Consistent with the entire year's focus on inspections, there are three major areas you are inspecting: Appearance, Bearing, and Knowledge.
2. You will take turns inspecting the other cadet once complete. So each of you will inspect the other cadet, then I will say switch and the cadet closest to the room clock will rotate to their right. This way we will continually rotate the pairing of students and you will inspect a larger number of cadets.  
3. Before the end of the period, we will have a class discussion on the trends (positive and negative) you observed.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Collaborative Speech with Time Limit (Mon & Tuesday)

Background. Communications skills are critical to just about every activity in life in both your personal and professional endeavors. In this picture, you see a sailor from the Submarine School talking to cadets during a visit to Groton Naval Base. In this situation the sailor has limited time to orient high school students to a multi-million dollar submarine simulator so they can generally understand what it is and how to basically operate the simulator in the short time they have. Sometimes we not only have to communicate, but have to do so effectively in a short amount of time or within a time limit.

Speech Word Bank:

Popcorn      Ice        Baseball     Van    Light     
Fear     Integrity     Banking     Lint   Goals

Classroom Activity:


1. Pick a Partner, you will not be assigned one...choose wisely. There will be 2 person speech teams.
2. Choose 2 words from the speech word bank with each of the team members responsible for the speech content and speaking related to that word.
3. Collaborate the development (planning, preparation, etc.) of your speech which is required to be 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. Use your creativity to determine how you will use those words from your speech word bank to include the theme (persuasive, informative, etc.) or focus of your speech. Ensure you have a written speech script timeline which encompasses:.
  • Introduction,  (Student A) Time estimate: _________________
  • Discussion Points about Word #1, (Student A) Time Estimate: _____________________
  • Discussion Points about Word # 2, (Student B) Time Estimate: _____________________
  • Conclusion (Student B)  Time Estimate: _________________________
Endstate of Monday's Class

A. Have a Speech Script timeline complete where each one of you knows what content (with associated time estimate) you are responsible for in the 2:30 minute speech.  
B. Finalize your portion of the speech, as will your partner, to include self timing your portion of the speech as you rehearse it at home. Rehearse & time your portion numerous times to ensure it is of high quality as you can make it and it meets the time limit. 
C. Anything you don't finish in class is your homework, which will be assessed during your speech tomorrow. You will not have any time to work on your speech Tuesday in class, you will only be given a short amount of time to rehearse it one time with your partner for timing and transition. 


Orientation for Tuesday's Class: 

  • We will start right away. Come to class with your refined and rehearsed (timed) portion of the speech ready to go. 
  • You will Rehearse your speech within the first 10 minutes of class with your partner. 
  • Then we will start the speeches and the peer assessment of the speeches. 
  • When you are not giving your speech you will be assessing (grading) your fellow students performance. Write the speech partner's names on a piece of paper and grade them for Body Language, Speech Content, and Presentation Effectiveness. 
    • You will assign a grade of 1 (acceptable),2 (very good),or 3 (outstanding) for each one of those three areas: Body Language, Speech Content, and Presentation Effectiveness. 
    • Also give any specific feedback on anything you think they need to improve upon. 
  • You will hand in your Peer Assessment sheet in at the end of class. Ensure you write your name & class period. 

Effective Communication is a Lifelong Skill and you won't generally have unlimited time in which to communicate your points.