Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Ending the GED Stigma by Edwin Ployhart

February 7, 2014

There is an unfortunate stigma attached to the GED (General Education Development), with some assigning the exam and achievement certificate the cruel name of “Good Enough Diploma.” What these individuals do not understand is that the GED exam is not the easy way out nor does it mean a student wasn’t smart enough to finish school. And it certainly doesn’t eliminate a person’s chance for a successful life.

The GED exam is normalized with each year’s graduating senior class. This means that a large number of students who will soon graduate take the GED to create the base score required to pass. Anyone scoring in the top 60 percent, compared to the control group, will be awarded their certificate. Based on how the test is scored, this means that 40 percent of graduating high school seniors would not be able to pass the test. What employers and colleges can determine from an applicant who earned a GED is that the individual possesses as much knowledge as a high-school graduate but also has the dedication to earn their GED and the ability to overcome some form of adversity.

Edwin Ployhart the story of a successful GED recipient, serving as Vice President of Jet-Way, Inc., based in Harwood, North Dakota.

Beginner’s Guide to Scuba Diving, Part 3

January 9, 2013

Our scuba guide concludes with a final round of tips to employ during your deep-sea adventures.

Tip #8: Poor Wetsuits
An improper wetsuit lets in cold water. This is something you should look for during a checkout dive. Split seams and broken zippers are two sources of leaks. If you notice your wetsuit letting in cold water, discard the suit and purchase one that fits tightly.

Tip #9: Keep Your Suit Dry
After you have finished your dive, towel off your suit, change into regular clothes, and leave your suit out to dry. If you did not bring a change of clothes, keep your suit on after you towel it off, but wear a windbreaker or parka to keep yourself warm while the suit air dries.

Tip #10: Choose Neoprene
A synthetic rubber, neoprene is an excellent choice for wetsuit material; it maintains flexibility in a wide range of temperatures and is used as an insulation material, which will keep in heat while you are diving.

Tip #11: Be Alert for Shivering
If you shiver while underwater, get to the surface as fast as you can while keeping in mind safe ascension tips. Shivering is a sign of hypothermia. Once on the surface, change into regular clothes, get dry, and stay warm.

Edwin Ployhart on Still Alice, a Novel by Lisa Genova

February 7, 2011

By: Edwin Ployhart

One of the most realistic depictions of Alzheimer’s disease ever written, Still Alice traces the decline of Alice Howland, a Harvard psychology professor and esteemed linguist. When she begins experiencing slight lapses in memory, she blames normal biological changes, but as the symptoms progress, Howland realizes that something must be wrong. She sees a neurologist and receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. As she rapidly deteriorates, she loses the ability to teach and interact critically with those in her department. Without her Harvard professor identity, Howland struggles to create a new sense of self but loses to increasingly severe dementia. Alice’s husband, John, likewise labors to accept his wife’s fate. Also a Harvard professor, John retreats into his research and becomes despondent as his wife, once his intellectual match, fails to formulate complete thoughts. Still worse, Howland inherited her condition from her father, meaning that any of her three children may suffer a similar fate. The novel details not only Alice’s disease, but also the reactions her children have to their mother’s degeneration and the realization that they may one day face Alzheimer’s first-hand.

Still Alice is Lisa Genova’s debut novel. A Harvard graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience, Genova uses her own experiences and research to inform the novel. Genova recently completed a second novel, Left Neglected, which chronicles a young woman’s struggle with left neglect, a neurological syndrome that causes the brain to ignore any message originating from the left side of the body. With recovery uncertain, the novel’s protagonist faces not only the challenge of coping with such a catastrophic diagnosis, but also the fear that it may never improve.

To watch Genova discussing Still Alice, play the following video:

Beginner’s Guide to Scuba Diving, Part 1

December 2, 2010

By: Edwin Ployhart

Swimming amongst the sea’s plant and animal life can be expensive and daunting for those who have not attempted scuba diving. Follow our guide to make your first expedition as successful as all the ones that follow.

Tip #1: Proper Gear

If scuba gear could be encapsulated in one word, that word would be “tightness.” Your scuba suit should fit your form exactly. Similarly, your mask should be tight so as not to allow water to seep in, and the scope should be checked for holes to avoid leaks. Fins and booties should fit tightly as well, though not so rigid that you develop blisters. Lastly, your buoyancy compensator (also known as BC or BCD) should fit snugly to your body.

Tip #2: Air Supply

It is easy to become entranced by the colorful sights beneath the surface, but you must be vigilant of your air supply. There are certain actions that use more air and others that use less. Swim efficiently by moving slowly and steadily; flailing your limbs only wastes movement and oxygen. Take long, deep breaths, then exhale just as slowly. Finally, make sure you have enough air in your tank to allow a slow, gradual ascent back to the surface.

Tip #3: Lead Balance

Too much lead in your dive kit affects your ability to swim properly – see the previous tip – as well as your buoyancy. On the other hand, too little lead makes you too buoyant; you will find yourself struggling to keep from floating upward. Talk to a scuba diving professional to help determine just how much lead you should take on your dive.

Tip #4: Photography

Understandably, many scuba divers want to capture on film the spectacle of their dive. Even so, operating any extraneous equipment should not be attempted until you have mastered swimming, buoyancy, and proper breathing techniques.

Beginner’s Guide to Scuba Diving, Part 2 Here

Beginner’s Guide to Scuba Diving, Part 3 Here