Texas LGBT Students Say They Don't Feel Safe Now That People Can Carry Guns On Campus
“I feel like I can’t speak up for myself anymore."
By Ema O'Connor

Many LGBT students at the University of Houston say they feel like they can no longer express themselves safely now that a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus is in effect and classes have begun.

“I feel like I can’t speak up for myself anymore,” Robyn Foley, 22, a transgender and intersex student who majors in anthropology, told BuzzFeed News. “I can’t correct someone on my pronouns” — Robyn’s pronoun is “they” — “I can’t stand up for my transgender friends, because if I do and someone gets pissed off all they have to do is pull out a gun.”

A number of other students eating lunch at the campus LGBTQ Resource Center nodded in agreement.

Here are this year's best and worst colleges for LGBTQ students
Here's which institutions of higher education got the "most improved" award.

Every year, Campus Pride releases updated lists of the colleges and universities that are most supportive and affirming of LGBTQ students. This year, they released two lists: the “best of the best” and the “shame list.”

The rankings are research-based and examine policies for LGBTQ student safety, recruitment and retention, with a specific focus on trans students. Schools on the shame list openly discriminate against LGBTQ students. 

Read below the break for the full lists of the top 30 most LGBTQ-friendly schools, as well as the whopping 102-name shame list of schools where it’s dangerous to be an LGBTQ student: 

Keep reading

Israel impeding entry of 300,000 textbooks into Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education said in a statement on Saturday that Israeli authorities have been impeding entry of 300,000 textbooks from the occupied West Bank into the blockaded Gaza Strip, jeopardizing the new school year in the coastal enclave, which is set to begin on Sunday.

The ministry approved a new curriculum for grades 1 through 4 and distributed the new textbooks to all schools in the occupied West Bank, while most textbooks for Gaza were printed in presses located in the Gaza Strip itself.

However, 30,000 math and science textbooks bound for Gaza were printed in the West Bank, “which Israel has so far denied entry to the Gaza Strip,” Basri Salih, undersecretary for planning and development,said.

He said that the ministry arranged the shipment of the 300,000 textbooks with the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Salih added that Palestinian Authority official institutions and human rights groups should do their best to secure the entry of textbooks to the Gaza Strip.

In response to a request for comment, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories(COGAT) denied the accusation, saying that Israeli authorities had only received the request from the Palestinian side on Tuesday and had still not responded to the request.

The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade since 2007, when Hamas became the de facto ruling party in the territory.

Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008.

Friday marked two years since the 2014 Gaza war, when at least 1,400 Palestinian civilians were killed – 60 percent of whom were women and children – and some 100,000 more made homeless during the devastating Israeli offensive.

Seven schools were completely destroyed, one of which has been repaired, while 252 were partially damaged by the war – all of which have been completely repaired, according to the United Nations.

Residents have continued to experience trauma in their daily lives following the 2014 Israeli offensive, as reconstruction efforts have been painfully slow, with some 75,000 Palestinians still displaced after losing their homes in 2014.
The Gap that Won’t Be Filled | Anthropology-News — An Anthropolitical Critique of the “Language Gap”
Is language responsible for poverty? If poor and minority parents spoke like rich white parents, would they too become rich and successful? That’s the impression one gets from the now-familiar discourse about the language gap (or word gap, or 30 million-word gap) between children (of color) on welfare and children of professional (white) parents. This notion of a language gap is based on flawed and limited research yet has taken on a life of its own, circulating like those 200 Eskimo words for snow.

Here is a word dump about applying to a UC type school from Ellee, a girl who just graduated high school and is going to UCLA this fall! 

First: use the University of California application ( PRETTY SURE THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO APPLY LOL

Next: fill out all your basic info. It doesn’t require too much brain power to do this, so like, do that NOW. UC app is open already cmon guys it is basically September it’s been open for a month now 

Now after you do all that, you’ve come to the sections that ask you to describe your volunteer activities, your job experience, extra curriculum, academic achievements etc etc. Yep you’re gonna be sick of writing by now, but just stick with it. Take a break and come back later (not too later!) if you need toAnyways, with these, don’t just spit words out. Write about what you’re writing about in great detail! Describe it! Include EVERYTHING! For example: say you volunteer at a hospital. Don’t just write ‘hospital volunteer’ NO the application readers will be like Ok? So? DEFINE IT. Say you volunteer at the hospital and help old people and young people smile by bringing them a positive attitude on the daily. You get what I mean. Really spend time on this! Honestly, some of your extra curriculum will set you apart from someone else with a 3.9 GPA or an upper half SAT score, so fill those little sections up! 

FINALLY: I only briefly went over those previous sections because I am a firm believer behind the PERSONAL STATEMENTS. (oo scary) nah but seriously, I have seen situations where this is the deal breaker. DO NOT BS OR RUSH THROUGH THIS I REPEAT DO. NOT. RUSH THIS 


-take a scrap paper and word dump about yourself. What are you proud of? What’s something that you do that not many others do? How have certain situations affected/changed you? Heck, what’s your favorite Jolly Rancher candy flavor? 

-read you personal statement prompts and begin to brainstorm what aspects of your existence would BEST address to the prompt. You NEED to stay on topic! If they ask you to describe an activity that means a lot to you and you go off talking about how your aunt makes the best granola bars, the application readers are going to be like, “who’s applying again? You or your aunt?" 

-to add to that, after you write a rough rough rough draft of your personal statement (yes you’re going to re-write that sucker again and again AND YOU WILL QUESTION YOUR EXISTENCE IN LIFE [like, what have I even done with my time on this planet, I can’t think of anything]), after your write it, read it over and make sure the central focus is ALWAYs on you. You can talk about how your mom has contributed to your life, but always bring it back to you by explaining your inner revelations or internal epiphanies that were provoked by your mother’s presence in your life. Remember, you’re tryna sell yourself to the readers as someone who deserves to go to this school, so don’t sell anything else. 

Originally posted by parharsh

-I THINK THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT SO LISTEN UP: yes, indeed have other people read your statements. Outside opinion is good. BUT do NOT let them change your statement drastically, because hey, this is YOUR life you’re writing about. Keep it your way. Ask them to focus on grammatical issues, or ask someone very close to you to suggest adding or removing minor ideas to enhance your statement. Also, ask them to tell you what kinda vibe they get from the writing; like, if they didn’t know you, would they think you come off as what you were aiming to present yourself as through your writing? Just don’t let them change your personal statement beyond belief. Remember again, it’s about you, so stick with your ideas. This personal statement is about who you are and who you will be come fall when you become an active student of the college. It takes a village to raise a child, but on this one, keep the content solidly your own.

Last year when I applied to UC schools they had two mandatory essays (about 500 words each). This year, 2016, I have noticed that they are using “Personal Insight Questions” in place of the two essays. Although I did not apply with these questions, I have done a lot of applications in the past with prompts similar to these, so I’ll try to give some tips for each one here:


Answer any 4 of the following 8 questions:

Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.  

  • Think about any time you were in charge of something. Common things are board member positions in clubs, being a captain of a sports team, leading a group discussion in class, or that time you were put in charge of a bunch of the neighbors’ kids to babysit. After you’ve chosen which memory you will to write about, brainstorm how it affected those around you. Did you bring a positive attitude to your team? Did you stop the little kids from fighting over the last Oreo by splitting it in half? Think about that, and then think about what you learned from it. How did it build your character? Do you feel you became a better person from that experience?

Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.  

  • Again, brainstorm things that you’ve done that you feel have expressed creativity. Do you write poems? Maybe you draw? Do you know how to wipe everyone out in Monopoly? This prompt is very broad. Have fun with it because I really feel like this one prompt will set you apart from others because it is asking you to describe your creativity. I also can’t really comment on how to write this, because again, this is very unique to you. Just try to keep the focus on how your hobby expresses your ability to be creative.

What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

  • The first thing that comes to mind when you read this prompt should be what you write about. Your subconscious told you what you believe is your best quality. However, pay close attention to the second part of the prompt; it can be easy to talk about your skill endlessly while forgetting to address how you developed and demonstrated the talent. Briefly describe what your focus will be, and then focus on explaining how you developed the skill (your determination to get better? your commitment to practice?) and also how you demonstrated the skill (did it come in handy somewhere? did you look to teach others what you do? did you look to become more involved in activities related to your talent?).

Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

  • I like this question. With this, you can really tell the reader what kind of student you have been and promise to be. Think of a class you took that really kicked your butt but still you worked to conquer it. Think about how that hard class gave you a lesson in life. Or, think about all those times you sought tutoring or extra help in a subject that was never your strong point. Express the mental revelations you had after you overcame such challenging academic issues. 

Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

  • This might take some deep thinking to put together a focused response because it has many components to respond to. However, if done well, this could be a real deal maker for your admission decision. Choose a challenge that you believe will best exemplify you as a survivor. Explain it very briefly. Then, explain how you overcame it (did you find a different way? did you seek outside help? did you change something about yourself?). Finally, and I believe most importantly, describe how this experience affects your academic achievement by detailing what morals or values you obtained by surviving and how you brought those qualities to the classroom. Or, maybe it even affected your academic achievement negatively. Be sure to explain reasons behind the changes in your achievement based on the challenge you faced, whether they be positive or negative. 

Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you.

  • Ahh, such a simple yet meaningful prompt. I don’t know how else to help with this one, it’s quite straightforward. Think of your favorite subject, BUT DO NOT BE CLICHE ABOUT WHY IT’S YOUR FAVORITE. Think on a deeper level. You’re on your way to college, you’re expected to describe things on the philosophical level now, not just the physical or topical level. Like, say you like math. Math helped you become a better problem solver because you knew that you could apply theorems and formulas and rules to your problem and eventually come to a final, correct answer. You also happen to like math because it is not open for interpretation–it is definite and will always have answers that can be easily agreed on. Use these thoughts to describe how the subject influenced you (like maybe you’ve become someone who enjoys challenges now, or you developed a fondness for certainty).

What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?  

  • I feel like this is a great question for you ASB/Student Council presidents, but it applies to anyone. How have you contributed to your community? Maybe you pick up trash everyday, even if it isn’t yours. Maybe you willingly tutor (for free even) to help your peers succeed as well. Maybe you actively participate in community events by volunteering at every block party. Talk about the good things you’ve done, and explain what effect your actions had on your community. 

What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?  

  • AYE, WOE THERE UC APP. WHAT IS THIS? I’m just kidding. This is the most open question ever. On my application last year (2015), there were the two mandatory essays, and then a third optional essay titled “Additional Comments.” This question right here is the “Additional Comments.” Use this to talk about something that didn’t fit into any of the sections in the UC app yet. Honestly, this is anything and everything. Gotta say, you’re on your own with this one LOL. Be outstanding!

To end this SUPER LONG post: I just wish you all good luck. Applying sucks, I feel it yo. But you can do it. Take it seriously. Re-read everything. Take short breaks and come back later because your brain will refresh itself. MOST IMPORTANTLY: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE 




Give yourself time in case you want to revise your application again! This application is literally the only thing you have to show yourself off to the school readers. Be serious about how you want to present yourself. Again, BEST OF LUCK!


PSA: New Teachers

I saw on the previous post answering a question @lovely-anomaly​ that she tagged it “teacher college didn’t tell us about this.” And that absolutely breaks my heart. Other teachers have written (better) on this topic, and I’ve written on this long-form before.

But seriously, it drives me nuts to no end how little those programs prepare teachers for the real world, and are so wrapped up in pedagogy and philosophy that most grads walk into their future classrooms with little TO NO practical advice like “grading policies.” 

In short:

Originally posted by ohmyreactionsgifs

So new teachers, REACH OUT. ASK QUESTIONS. You are not behind, you are not failing, you are not the ONE loser in a sea of highly successful people.

Nigeria is the English-speaking world’s Scrabble superpower. - NPR

Africa’s most populous nation is home not only to the global Scrabble champion, but team Nigeria ranks as the world’s top Scrabble playing nation — ahead of the U.S. in second place.

The Scrabble world champion is Wellington Jighere. He’s 33, has a soft voice, a slow smile and a penchant for fedoras, earning him the nickname “the Cat in the Hat.” Jighere acknowledges that he’s taciturn by nature, but also has an explosive, infectious laugh, though he considers Scrabble is serious business.

“You can’t afford to waste too much energy doing unnecessary chatter,” he says. “During a tournament, I see it as business time. And that is no time to be joking around.” Jighere plays chess to relax, “and for fun,” he says.

Jet-lagged and weary, Jighere was crowned the world Scrabble champ last year in a grueling 32-round competition in Australia. Up to 30 of the top 100 global players are from Nigeria, which has the highest percentage of any country in the top 200. The Nigerians’ apparent collective strategy — short words that rack up the points.

Nigerians have been credited with perfecting that tactic under the tutorship of senior team coach, Prince Anthony Ikolo. He says Nigerians are passionate about Scrabble and the short word method gives them an edge. Many put Nigeria’s towering Scrabble prowess down to its players ability to “choke the board” as they say, with this defensive play.
5 Amazing Trans Women You Didn’t Learn About in History Class
These trans women deserve a place in the curriculum.

While those interested in LGBT history are becoming more aware of important figures in transgender history, like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Lili Elbe, through films that chronicle their lives, there were so many trans women who fought for their rights and happiness but were never covered in history class.

lovely-anomaly  asked:

How do you stay on top of grading homework? 8th grade science teacher whimpering at the sight of her pile of homework.

Hello @lovely-anomaly. I know a lot of different teachers have a lot of different answers for this, and my answers may have “ed-reformers” and “Twitter teachers” in a tizzy. 

1.) If a Google Form + Flubaroo can grade an assessment, it should. Science doesn’t always lend itself to multiple choice formative assessment, but sometimes you just need to asses students on facts before you start application or analysis. You can also give a multiple choice homework assignment and have kids key-in their answers on a Google Form the next day. Google Form grades it, emails them their grade, you copy/paste the results into gradebook.

2.) Whenever possible, have students grade each other’s work, or more often than not, grade themselves. When turning in essays, I have students highlight their claim, evidence, warrant, and rebuttal. That makes grading the essays a lot easier because I see exactly where students placed their information and it jumps off of the page. Giving students a voice in HOW they are being assessed can make your job easier. 

3.) On that note, focus your grading. I do not know what science looks like, but for ELA classrooms, grading stacks on stacks on stacks of essays is incredibly daunting. I focus my grading on the specific standards that I’m assessing at the time. I have kids highlight and circle where they attempted whatever standard we’re working on. This means that, YES, the entire essay can be misspelled and a total mess, but if they achieved that one standard, they can do well. Rubrics go a long way to help out as well. Some teachers HATE that and prefer to be prescriptive over helpful; that’s your call.   

4.) Something rarely told to to teachers, but cue the collecting pearl-clutching: you don’t have to grade everything. Have a bi-weekly binder check, check the occasional assignment for completion as long as you’re fully assessing in other areas or other times. Sometimes, teaching responsibility of completing work on time can BE the lesson and you will check them for comprehension or application on another assessment.

Grading is first and foremost about feedback. If the learning opportunity is not going to provide feedback for your students to improve, then manage and consolidate how much time you spend on it. Prioritize the learning opportunities over the numerical values. On a practical note, you will have to carve out a section of your day or after school to grade or enter scores into the gradebook. Pick an hour or two every day to get some work done and then leave it for the next day; grading will always be there tomorrow. I hope that helps.