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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
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January 31, 2013     Valley News and Views
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January 31, 2013
 

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Page 2 January 31st, 2013 & Notices Valley News & Views benefit. For veterans in a digital age, it's about "re-framing" a meaningful story that can be replayed at will, as close as one's smart phone, replayed as often as one wants, until the story becomes imbedded in positive memory and to be shared with a sense of pride to those one chooses. It's a simple application of the teaching model in medicine: see one, do one, teach one. Four major TV shows on Sunday, including Piers Morgan, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Next List and CBS Sunday morning - all had segments on returning veterans, their problems with PTSD, new effective treatment approaches, and promising career transitions from military to civilian occupations. One of the consistent points emphasized was that so many of the current returnees are from National Guard and Reserve units that havebeendeployedincombat conditions, often repeated times. They are hometown families where one parent or youth dramatically shifts from civilian life to combat stresses and back, sometimes with difficult adjustment to a civilian environment that is not the same as they left it. Their basic constant is the unit that they trained with before and after deployment, although the unit is likewise impacted by the experience. TV networks during the Presidential Inauguration events were heavily programmed to recognize and call attention to the needs of service members and their families. Many new government programs outreach to military families and states are developing "one-stop" military service centers. The first inter-television "Veterans Network" was launched recently that posts 20 channels of specialized services to veterans, with video clips on a single screen, and links to resources, services, and narrative stories from all wars. Many veterans are unable to find a job, as hnemployment rates are Considerably higher than the general population. Many returnees enroll in college to acquire new skills, but according to the Huffington Report, half of graduating college students find if difficult to find employment. USED EQUIPMENT tED At UND, 500+ veterans are registered as students with numerous retraining and assistance services available. UND is ranked a top "military-friendly" school and # 3/200 in the nation in online courses. Transitions into employment become a problem for many, coupled with lingering stress that comes from traumatic experiences under combat or life-threatening conditions. American Legion Posts and VFW clubs have a difficult time recruiting returnees as active members for a variety of reasons. One factor is that recent returnees often avoid openly "telling their stories" to others, even family members, or hearing stories from others that do not seem relevant to them at the moment. I gained three major points from the array of TV shows on Sunday. First, that the heightened public awareness of effects from combat experience, or even family separations, have a lasting impact, often unseen and commonly unspoken. Second, that returnees benefit from a combination of new missions -one bigger than themselves -- driven by meaning within the service member and viewed with esteem in the public eye, as described by Tony Robbins to Piers Morgan on Sunday. Third, that new programs using virtual reality and simulation experiences that progressively reduce stored memories of traumatic stress have excellent results, as researched by Dr. Skip Rizzo at the UCLA Institute for Creative Technologies and shown on CNN's Next List. During my 27 years of military service as a clinician, I learned from working with PaWs and their families in re-entry to civilian life that optimum results stem from small groups of crew or squad size (5-8) where individuals with their own we Mak00 It Easy TO Open An IRA If you've been thinking about starting an Individual Retirement Account, come see us! You can open your IRA in a matter of minutes with a small deposit. when you open an IRA with us, there are no annual fees or servic e charges and your IRA is separately insured from your other accounts by .the FDIC to $250,000. KodaBank ,rn 9 tJup commmit of tyo  Minro Call Us 701-454-3317 Or Sign Up Today For Online Banking at www.kodabank.com Member FDIC skills could comfortably function in relation to their crew and yet connect with the larger mission. While PaWs were hospitalized in large military medical centers, we drove them as a crew during the day in a van to neighboring small towns where they felt safe and accepted. Whatever "therapy" that took place during these times happened in the van or in a far corner of a community building with subdued lighting (and sometimes a can of beer if they chose) and a time for exchanging their personal stories. The therapist's role was to stand-by during times of emotional intensity and convey a single message: "You are not responsible for how you feel, only how you "frame it" in your actions." A secondary duty was to drive the van. As a part-time student at UND in retirement, I have gotten to know a few veteran-students. The ones that I talked with were either striving to be teachers, tech workers, entrepreneurs in business or in aviation/ aerospace careers. If one could integrate these "lessons learned," I'd simulatethe"van" experience in a relevant way in a digital- world by creating a film crew on a new "mission" in a rural community, challenged to produce cinematic story mapping of the heritage of the town. In learning the soft skills of 1-3 minute crafted digital films, a team of veterans is tasked to produce a short film of each other, then thexselves as a first person North Dakota is joining 33 other states in asking the federal government to waive the performance criteria required by the No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law in 2002. The law was a national effort to raise reading and math proficiency in public schools. With two-thirds of the states now obtaining waivers of various requirements of the law, it is time to concede that the effort was a failure. Armed with new flexibility, these states will tailor the program to meet their own priorities. Standards will be relaxed and the goals will be minimized. Every state will have its own plan. Competitiveness in the global market was the major impetus for the law at the national level. That was never a primary objective at the state level. Concern over world competitiveness varies from state to state which means that the desired results will vary from state to state, depending on the importance of international trade on their agendas. Under North Dakota's proposal for a waiver, the state plans to delegate the evaluation of school progress to the local school districts, with some guidelines from the state. At an initial briefing on NCLB in 2003, Don Piper , a UND professor emeritus of educational leadership, said "the law is based on an incredibly naive assumption , and that is that 100 percent of all students in all 50 states will be able to get to 100 percent proficiency in 12 years." Don Piper was right. The effort was naive because a systematic change would have been required to achieve such a high standard in so short a time. Under the most favorable circumstances in our status qua system of government change comes hard and then only incrementally. When it comes to reforming education, change is almost impossible because every cook in the kitchen gets a spoon in the soup. Before change can get through the federal government, the state government and the local school districts, everybody is entitled to have a "say" about change. NCLB was not only handicappedby the large number of players in this multi-layered game but a plethora of other problems impaired the effort - problems that rose out of the naivety of the planners. First, there was no nation- wide consensus on the problem or the solution. That skewed support. Next, the program was underfunded. We found out it was cheaper to issue mandates than to implement them. Change would be required in the way teachers are evaluated and retained. And a good process for doing that was still being sought. (Just because half of the class is flunking doesn't mean the teacher is a loser. ) The greatest change would have been required of families. When children fail to perform in school, much of the time it is parental failure and not school failure. We not only need good teachers in schools but we need strong parental support in homes. And families weren't (aren't) about to change lifestyles to help children meet higher standards. In short, NCLB required too much change in too complex a system to be successful. With 34 states getting waivers, there is no uniform nationwide attack on the performance gap between American kids and the rest of the world. Each state is pretty much doing its own thing. We may abandon NCLB but we still have an education gap with which to deal. Some Sven and Ole ale and Sven found three we get dere?" "Veil," says Ole, "Ve'll lie and say ve only found two." bathroom, "Ole, did you find dat shampoo?" "Ya," he said, "but I'm nar'ative, and others to do student-veterans taught high school students the art of filmmaking on iPhones and then coached older veterans how to preserve their stories as an American Legion project, then one has a sustainable way for all to them teach grenades, and they decided the same. If ,to take them to the police station. "Geez," Sven asked, "What if one explodes before VJ Ole and Lena Lena Shouted loudly to ale who was in the not sure what to do... it's for dry hair, and I've yust wet mine." Lm'00. TOugh On Their Owu. Unstoppable together. 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