Showing posts from July, 2011


Dressed and ready for church on the Sunday eve before term start.
 Angela has come up from Kosrae to attend college.

Friday evening past my son and I went out of an evening run about town. This was a second run. An earlier run two and half weeks prior had seen his then new shoes from a local store disintegrate in a short four kilometer run. Knock-offs from Asia are not real shoes. This time he went out in serious ASICS shoes from Road Runner Sports
In town we stopped to pick up a bottle of water. In front of us two young boys put down a C note and bought a six pack of beer, a pack of cigarettes, and two aging take-out cheeseburgers. I asked my son what disease would get them first in twenty years - alcoholism, lung cancer, or diabetes. The health problems of Micronesia are not the health problems of Africa. Almost all diseases here are self-inflicted.

While I did get in some badminton during the week, a dog bite the prior Saturday left me in poor condition for running during the bri…

Farewell luncheon for Jean Thoulag

On Friday 30 July the college held a farewell luncheon for Vice President Jean Thoulag, one week after a thank-you dinner for former president Spensin James. This is indeed a time of transitions for the college.
 Kathy Benjamin, Sven Mueller, and Shrue Lee Ling.  Jean Thoulag and Richard Womack  Director Office of Admissions and Records Joey Oducado  Comptroller Danny Dumantay  Pelma Palik, Morehna Rettin-Santoa Jean Thoulag, Jon Berger, and Spensin James. Jon Berger is stepping down as well after ably heading assessment, the entrance test, and working as the college's accreditation liaison officer.
 Director Technical Programs Grilly Jack  Interim President Ringlen Ringlen  Maggie Hallers and Chair Business Joseph Felix Jr. Emliana and Gordon Segal
I printed and presented one of the earliest digital photographs still extant at the college, including an image of Jean who was then coordinator of the Title III grant. The page was produced for use at a job fair at PICS in March 1998.

Summer end assessment

What follows are a few rambling notes to myself, data I may want to access at some future date. Placing the data here makes the data retrievable either by sequential access from the blog archive, using a label or tag, or via a restricted search.

The item analysis of the MS 101 Algebra and Trigonometry final examination:

qtopicnp1Evaluate exponential functions2596%2Solve exponential functions2388%3Calculate compound interest2285%4Calculate continuous interest2388%5Calculate best fit log function2596%6Evaluate logarithmic equation2492%7Solve logarithmic equation2492%8Evaluate exponential decay1454%9Solve exponential decay2285%10Identify coordinates on a circle2492%11Calculate trig function2596%12Interpret coordinates based on trig calculation2285%

PEC and Utwe fest

Mixon Jonas of Malem Elementary school, Kosrae, covered School Improvement Plans during a morning session at the Pacific Educational Conference.
Sueleen along with other teachers from Kosrae in the session.

Of the two vials hovering on the boundary between two liquids, the one on the right has more fluid than the vial at the bottom. This activity led off an excellent session on inquiry based, guided discovery science learning. Getting a group of teachers to provide observations - not theories or inferences - is difficult. Many wanted to leap to concepts of density and specific substances.

 Dr. Thomas Scarlett providing some methods scaffolding after an inquiry session.
In the evening PEC again hosted all delegations for a dinner at the FSM-China Friendship center. Dancers from Madolehnihmw were a highlight of the early evening.

I ducked out of the PEC evening dinner to catch the tail end of the Kosrae Congregational Church Utwe July festival that apparently commemorates the forced mo…

Vernacular Language Benchmark Results Grade 3

The Pacific Educational Conference opened with a formal sakau ceremony and the honoring presence of traditional leaders including Nahnmwarki Madolehnihmw, Nahnmwarki Sokehs, Isonahnken U, Isonahnken Sokehs, Isonahnken Nett.

Later in the day Mr. Linter Kihleng presented the results for the grade three vernacular language benchmarks. In Pohnpei local language is taught until third grade, then the students begin a transition to English. "First language first" is the policy of the FSM. 
The results indicated that there has been little change in L1 proficiency over the past three years, and that on the order of only one-third of the students are proficient at a third grade level in their language. This is a matter of especially grave concern as post-transition there is, at present, no specific courses on local language grammar and vocabulary.
Click to enlarge. Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding
I missed the sample size for 2008, but for 2009 the sample included 874 thi…


When I came home Monday evening, two children ran from the house dressed to swim screaming, "Papa Dana!" Apparently they had gotten it into their head that I would take them swimming when I got home from the college. And I did do just that.

 Arrival at the beach means a full tilt headlong run for the water.
 Or a more measured short-stepping trot.
The middle one does not call her aquatic activities swimming. She calls them "walunga" which means "drowning." Which she means quite literally. She consumes vast quantities of the Pacific ocean until she reaches the point of "wotlac." This does not seem to bother her. Explaining to her that humans do not breath water makes no perceptible dent in her misconception that water is a source of oxygen.
Happiness is playing in the water until the wind makes one shiver.


Ice bow in cirrus

Favorite labs

Favored labs summer 2011 in SC 130 Physical Science were laboratories one, nine, and ten. Students liked lab one because the predictability of the soap was a surprise and because some did not realize that Ivory soap floats. Laboratory nine attracted the interest of one student because they liked walking and clapping. Laboratory ten was favored for having beautiful colors.

Disliked laboratories included seven, nine, ten and thirteen. Seven was noted to be confusing. Nine was noted, as in the past, as being a long tiring walk under the hot sun. Ten attracted the most dislikes with students finding it not exciting, uninteresting, and one noting that the colors they see are different from the colors other students see.

Three students claimed to like all of the labs and dislike none.

Sitting Comfortably in School

Should our children be sitting comfortably in school? is an opinion piece published in the BMJ that thinks outside of the usual boxes. In a nation with an epidemic of lifestyle related diseases, a situation that has been declared a health emergency by PIHOA, thinking outside of all boxes to address the desperately poor state of nutrition and physical fitness is necessary.

Years of nutrition education, health education, PE methods, public health campaigns, and public service messages have not seen any change in the steady erosion of health for the residents of these islands. Whatever we are collectively doing is not yet improving the health indicators. As Rita Mae Brown noted, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

I recall lecturing while running during Joggling class back in 2002 to 2004 and noticing that running students do not fall asleep during lectures. At the time I joked that I ought to teach statistics in th…

Navy Pacific Partnership Band

In a farewell performance on their summer tour 2011, the Pacific Partnership band out of Honolulu played a last full member gig at Spanish wall ball park on Sunday evening.

 A rainy morning and afternoon gave way to cloudy but rain free skies.

The band played a variety of songs that ranged back into the 80s and up to the last decade. The songs were what I think of as party songs - danceable, popular, with a beat.

The boys joined me while the girls did evening service at the Kosrae church. I made a short video of their rendition of Black Eyed Peas Let's Get it Started, and when I got home the video really connected with the youngest. He lit up when he again saw the band playing, much more so than he had done at the field. The wall behind the boys is the over one hundred year old Spanish wall that encircled the settlement of Santiago de la Ascension during the time of Spanish rule in then Ponape.

The lead guitarist made the best of an awkward layout for a band that probably usually…

Of pride, honor, service, and running

Thursday evening the house saw a rare simultaneous presence of my children and their summer break chums. Usually one or another is out and about slumbering over with a friend, or one is here for the night with their friend. Having all in the house at one time is rare.

The next day, Friday, my son and his friend joined me at the college in order to attend a presentation by the Mission Commander for the Pacific Partnership 2011, Captain Jesse Wilson, at the Media and Instructional Technology Center, College of Micronesia-FSM. Major General Lei-Ping Chang, commanding general of the 807th medical command, was also in attendance and spoke as well, along with the United States Ambassador to the FSM, Peter Prahar. After the presentation there was group photo opportunity in front of the Learning Resource Center.

Captain Wilson spoke of the importance of education in both nation building and in personal opportunities. He also noted that enlistment in the US military from the FSM is higher on a…

Site Swap Notation

Laboratory fifteen in physical science sought to push the boundaries on the mathematical box for the students. In laboratory one a quote from Freeman Dyson was used to start a journey through the mathematical models that explain physical systems. Dyson calculated how an electron ought to behave. Later someone went into a laboratory and the electron behaved as predicted by the mathematical model.

In laboratory two a linear model predicted the location of a rolling ball. In laboratory three a falling ball obeyed a quadratic mathematical relationship. The behavior of a marble rolling off of a banana leaf obeyed a square root relationship. And in laboratory four the marbles knew what to do in order to mathematically conserve momentum. Soundrelative depth of an imageOhm's law all exhibited linear relationships.

There are other mathematical relationships that govern physical systems. There are systems that are modeled by exponential and logarithmic functions. The p…