Thursday, January 27, 2011


For tonight...

New Feature on Cheap Tables.... :)

BurcikoS has been featured on

Cheap Tables

Thank you very much! :) 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'Cinderella Ate My Daughter': Are Princesses Bad for Girls' Self-Esteem? - Newsweek

'Cinderella Ate My Daughter': Are Princesses Bad for Girls' Self-Esteem? - Newsweek

Disney Princesses and the Battle for Your Daughter’s Soul

Can pink frilly dresses and magic wands really harm young girls? Peggy Orenstein thinks so.

Gallery: A Century of Outrageous Beauty Ads
Youth in a Jar
When it comes to raising girls, today’s moms have plenty to worry about: self-image, depression, eating disorders, and, of course, a culture that teaches women that their worth is as much about their beauty as it is about their smarts. Peggy Orenstein knows this all too well: she’s written about girls for years as a critic for The New York Times, and her 1994 book Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap was a bestseller (as was her 2007 one). All of which is why, when Orenstein got pregnant, she kept to herself a dirty secret. “I was terrified at the thought of having a daughter,” she writes. “I was supposed to be an expert on girls’ behavior. What if, after all that, I wasn’t up to the challenge myself? What if I couldn’t raise the ideal daughter?”
In her new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein documents her struggle to do just that: raise a daughter who is happy and self-confident amid a world that encourages little girls to engulf their rooms in pink chiffon and rhinestone tiaras. Yes, she’s talking about the princess complex—the little-girl love affair that starts with Cinderella and ends with sheets and toothbrushes and cups and tiaras and home décor and pint-size wedding gowns and myriad other products. And the ultrafeminine messages that come along with it.
This princess mania, many argue, leaves girls all mixed up: while they excel in school and outpace their male peers in science and math, they also obsess about Prince Charming and who has the prettiest dress, learning—from a mix of mass marketing and media—not that girls are strong, smart, or creative, but that each is a little princess of her own, judged by the beauty of her face (and gown). Just think about the fairy tales themselves: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White—all pitted against evil, ugly old women (read: age = awfulness), waiting for the prince they’ve never met to fall for their beauty (not smarts) and rescue them from misery. In The Little Mermaid, Ariel literally trades in her voice for the chance a man she’s never met will love her in return.
Orenstein’s own daughter didn’t start out princess-obsessed. Daisy marched into her first day of preschool in Berkeley, Calif., in her favorite pinstriped overalls and carrying a Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox. (Gender-neutrality success!) But it would be less than a month before the now-7-year-old would scream as her mother tried to wrestle her into pants, begging for a “real princess dress” with matching plastic high heels. Suddenly, as if on princess steroids, Orenstein began noticing princess mania at every turn: Daisy’s classmates—even one with two mothers—showed up to school in princess outfits. The supermarket checkout woman addressed her daughter with “Hi, Princess.” She found her daughter lying on the floor at a bat mitzvah, surrounded by a group of boys, waiting for her “prince” to come and wake her.
Orenstein knew there was something about this she didn’t like. Frilly dresses? Waiting for Prince Charming? Isn’t that a retrograde role model? One would think—but as it turns out, it’s harder than it sounds to find the science to back up that notion. So instead, Orenstein decided to head to the front lines of this girl culture herself—observing the world of gyrating pretweens at a Miley Cyrus concert, the powdered pop tarts of the child-pageant circuit, an American Girl store, a toy fair, and, last, Disney, whose princess line of merchandise has become the largest franchise on the planet for girls ages 2 to 6. What she learned? “It’s not that princesses can’t expand girls’ imaginations,” Orenstein explains. “But in today’s culture, princess starts to turn into something else. It’s not just being the fairest of them all, it’s being the hottest of them all, the most Paris Hilton of them all, the most Kim Kardashian of them all.” Translation: shallow, narcissistic, slutty.
Much of Orenstein’s territory is well trod (there are only so many times you can hear about toddlers and beauty pageants, or the outrage over sexy Bratz dolls). But the way she sees it, there is one very big thing that separates Daisy’s generation from those who came before her—and it’s called mass marketing. Disney alone has 26,000 Disney princess items on the market today, part of a $4 billion-a-year franchise that is the fastest-growing brand the company has ever created. “What these companies will tell you is that girls want this, so they give it to them,” says Orenstein. But for girls who don’t want to play with pink princess toys, there’s virtually no other option.
And when princesses grow up? Let’s just say that Miley Cyrus isn’t exactly the best role model. There may not be research that looks at the detriments of princess culture specifically, but there is certainly evidence to show that girls are struggling. Studies show young girls today face more pressure than ever to be “perfect” (like a princess?)—not only to get straight A’s and excel academically, but to be beautiful, fashionable, and kind. And the more mainstream media girls consume, the more they worry about being pretty and sexy. One study, from the University of Minnesota, found that just seeing advertisements from one to three minutes can have a negative impact on girls’ self-esteem.
Orenstein is the first to admit she’s not a perfect parent. But her advice to others is to pride yourself on saying no. “People have said to me, ‘Don’t you feel like you’re brainwashing your daughter because you’re not giving her the choice of what she consumes?’ ” Orenstein says. “But there’s not really a choice. Disney isn’t giving you a choice.” Being a princess may seem simple. But raising one takes a whole lot of brains.

Sweet Talk

Web 2.0. and Teaching..

Hi everyone,

I had no idea about web 2.0 and its importance in education until I attended an online course 'Learning Technologies In The Classroom' held by British Council,Turkey. This course made me see that traditional education in the classroom is no longer the one and only way to reach our students. My first action about Web 2.0 was to start this blog. Although it started as an ELT blog,it turned out to be a personal blog as well.. You may ask me why I did not seperate the personal and the proffesional blogs and my answer is clear; I can not seperate these two issues in my life.. I mean,I am the same Burcu in the classroom and I am still a teacher and I keep on working at home. Teaching and 'learning' for teaching is all I do both at home and at school..

My second action about Web 2.0 was a page in Facebook. As I kept adding my students as friends,I realised that they spent their time with useless videos and applications. So with the help of my dear collegue Filiz Ayşe Youzofewich, we created a FB page in order to keep our students continue learning English with enjoyable video posts. Although it has only been three weeks,the results are unbelievable.. Currently we have 163 followers, 43.657 page views and 1768 post feedback. The students also use the page's wall so effectively; they ask and answer eachother's questions. By this way, English learning process continues at home as we planned..Fun2LearnEnglish

I can only say that I am no longer the same old ESL teacher who writes grammar exercises on the board.. Teaching and learning has no limits for me now, with the help of web 2.0 technology..

Saturday, January 8, 2011

10 Child Stars Who Are Also Serious Students

After making millions of dollars as a TV star, movie actress or singer, it can be hard to make yourself study for a math test or even decide to go on to college, especially if you still have a bright career ahead of you. But for these young stars, school is still a priority. Through tutors, home schooling, online programs, or even breaks from working, high school and college are just as important as waking up for hair and makeup.

Dakota Fanning: Dakota Fanning — with her big blue eyes — has been startling audiences with her intelligence and sensitivity since she was just a tiny thing, playing bit roles in popular TV shows like Ally McBeal and ER before making audiences sob as Sean Penn’s daughter in I Am Sam. Since then, Fanning has been one of Hollywood’s most consistent child stars, acting alongside serious movie stars like Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Meyers and Queen Latifah. Now, Fanning has a recurring role as a vampire in the immensely popular Twilight films, but she’s got an active, exciting life offscreen, too. She’s been named homecoming queen of her high school two years in a row, goes to prom, and even dropped out of a film to finish up — and thoroughly enjoy — her senior year. She’s decided not to take on any major roles until after graduation.

Emma Watson: British actress Emma Watson has actually been in a few other movies besides Harry Potter, but most of the world knows her as wizardry class pet Hermione Granger. Watson virtually grew up on film, a fact that often left directors unsure of how to handle her adolescence. And for Watson, who’s said that she’s glad she saw Hermione and the film series "through to the end," it’s clear she wants to take a new direction with her life. She enrolled at Brown University on the U.S. East Coast in the fall of 2009, where she’s worked hard to disappear on campus behind a protective group of friends.

Hailee Steinfeld: The young True Grit remake star is just fourteen years old, but she’s already garnering real praise from her Academy Award-winning costars like Jeff Bridges for her poise and professionalism. Steinfeld left Colina Middle School before finishing sixth grade to be homeschooled, but she’s still a serious student. An avid reader, she talked with Scholastic about how excited she is to dive in to her U.S. history books and curriculum: "Now I can come home, I can read twenty pages and take a test on it, and I learn so much more than sitting in a classroom just listening to a teacher talk," she said.

Elle Fanning: No longer known as just "Dakota’s little sister," Elle Fanning is starring in one of this year’s more popular festival films, Sofia Coppola’s sweet Somewhere, with Stephen Dorff. She’s quickly becoming a favorite among the fashion crowd, too, and she’s only 12. Formerly home schooled, Fanning and her parents decided to enroll her in a private Episcopal school in Studio City, CA. Like her sister, Elle seems determined to have as normal a childhood as she possibly can: she plays volleyball and hopes to get into theater programs when she’s in middle school.

Hayden Panettiere: At one time one of the most popular and in-demand teen actresses, the Heroes star is still poised for a successful, long-term career in Hollywood. Panettiere has been acting since she was a little girl, first appearing in commercials at just 11 months old, then in soap operas, and in memorable, spunky roles in movies like Remember the Titans. She attended a conventional middle school in New York but was homeschooled — involving online education — for high school.

Zac Efron: When Zac Efron became a major sensation after the release of the High School Musical franchise, he wasn’t dismissed as a generic teeny bobber star. Instead, he caught the eye of directors and critics, and has since carved out a very respectable career for himself, which is only expected to grow. Besides acing roles in movies like Hairspray and Me and Orson Welles, Efron’s also interested in higher education. He’s been accepted to USC but has deferred a couple of times to finish up film projects.

Nastia Liukin: Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin was known for her fierce concentration and ballerina-like grace during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and the gymnast hopes to be just as dedicated to her schoolwork. Even while training for the Olympics, Liukin couldn’t resist registering for one class at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, near her home. She deferred until after Beijing, but still had to drop out after the Olympics as she trained for other championships. But Liukin has said that college is still at the forefront of her mind.

Karlie Kloss: She’s just now 18 years old, but Karlie Kloss is a veteran of the biggest runways in the world, and even debuted as an exclusive for Calvin Klein when she was only 15. Kloss has snagged lucrative campaign deals, editorial opportunities, and magazine covers, and was most recently featured as a star model in December’s British Vogue with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Beyond jetting around the world for shoots, awards galas and shows, the St. Louis native also goes to a normal high school. She attends classes when she’s at home in Missouri and takes online courses when she’s on the road. Kloss goes to school dances — she wore Oscar de la Renta to homecoming — and also plans to go to medical school.

Nolan Gould: Modern Family‘s Nolan Gould is a member of one of the most celebrated TV casts in the industry. He plays the goofy, common sense-deprived son of Claire and Phil, but in real life, he’s a smart kid. Gould is seriously dedicated about his acting education, performing in improv shows each week, and working with actors and trainers to improve his craft.

Miranda Cosgrove: Nickelodeon actress Miranda Cosgrove has created a successful career for herself as a popular singer among kids and teens, too. But she’s also a serious student. She’s finishing school via homeschooling and online classes and puts in serious time at the library, even on weekends. Cosgrove is said to want to attend college at NYU, but may be convinced by her father to stay close to home, going to USC instead.

10 Child Stars Who Are Also Serious Students

Thursday, January 6, 2011

whoop whoop!!! Great news from planets this month! :))

Gemini Horoscope January 2011

By Susan Miller

You had money on the brain most of last year, but trust that this near-obsession of yours will end sometime soon because good news will come in to soothe you and give you reason for celebration.

Mars has been going through your eighth house of other people's money ruling money / debt / credit since December 7, sending credit card bills to much higher levels than you are used to seeing. It looks as though you were very generous to friends and family at holiday time. As January dawns, you'll have several bills on your desk that seem larger than usual and will be trying to figure out how to pay them. Not to worry.

On January 4, a new moon solar eclipse will come by that may fix all (or at least a large portion) of your financial dilemmas. A financial offer of stunning proportions could easily come in suddenly that could help you balance your ledgers once and for all. Or, news of a big lump sum of money coming to you through news of a bonus, commission, prize, inheritance, insurance payout, back child support, divorce settlement, or other source will resolve problems and leave you relieved.

Mars will be conjunct this eclipse, suggesting that you will hear news immediately, near June 4, with little or no waiting in January. If you are in a business deal, you may have to spend money to make money, but you would be willing to do that, for it looks like you would see a powerful backend benefit.

Mars will leave your financial sector on January 15, so that exit of Mars would instantly help you reduce your need to spend. Solar eclipses are very different - and generally much easier and more fun - than the emotional lunar full moon eclipses (like the one we had on December 21), for lunar eclipses bring endings or culminations. A solar eclipse, like we have January 4, open doors, often quite unexpectedly, and create outstanding opportunity where none existed before.

The only hard part about the January 4 eclipse is that the new moon will be in tough angle to Saturn. Because Saturn often requires a personal sacrifice, you may have to put out a hefty sum to help one of your children. Alternatively, you (or your partner) may be pregnant and experiencing high expenses in regard to the doctor or other outlays you need to make for the baby's arrival.

I say this because Saturn is in your fifth house, and the fifth house rules children, but this same house also rules creative efforts and social events.

With this in mind, here are alternative ways things could work out. A creative project may be bringing in cost overruns, and you may have to figure out how to keep things going despite these budgetary concerns. Or, a social event, such as a friend's wedding, may start to become far more expensive than you had anticipated, but by now you are in too deep to pull out! Have a little faith, dear Gemini, for I feel you will be able to cover these costs AND still have some money left over to put aside if this eclipse works the way I think it will for you.

Sometimes, with a lot of emphasis on the eighth house, as you will have on January 4, the topic of surgery comes up, for the eighth house is the house of transformation. This is the house where the surgeon takes out what your body does not need so that you can heal and recover. If you do need an operation, you should feel confident that things will go well, and this includes both medical operations and dental work. With so many planets in Capricorn, teeth and bones might need special care, for Capricorn rules both. No need to worry, dear Gemini. While no one ever wants surgery, if you do need to have it done, and you have completed your research and trust your doctor, you can feel confident that this is the time to act on your doctor's advice.

On this very same day, January 4, remarkably, one OTHER of the most beautiful and exciting aspects possible will take place, namely, the meeting of Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces to light your house of honors, awards, and achievement. This is another piece of evidence that whatever financial offer comes up for you to consider, quite suddenly on or just AFTER January 4, it will not only be potentially quite lucrative, but prestigious, too. Good fortune planet Jupiter is now in his final days of Pisces and will make his last link up with Uranus before the two bid adieu and go their separate ways. After their meeting on January 4 in your career sector, they will not meet again until 2021, next time in Taurus, and at that time it will not be in your career sector. This month's meeting is very special, indeed!

Pisces is the sign that guards the cusp of your tenth house of career honors and achievement, so the good work you've done in the past will now bring you exceptional reward, opportunity, kudos, or publicity (or several of these possibilities, rolled up in one!) January 4, and the days to follow, should be really exciting.

Mars will be in a perfect place to support Jupiter and Uranus! Mars is the planet of action, Jupiter the planet of gifts and luck, and Uranus the planet of surprise, all working together. Hooray - help is on the way, dear Gemini.

Two days that will be outstanding for financial news or talks will be January 12 and 13 when the Mars and Uranus (the former day) and the Mars and Jupiter (the latter day) will receive golden beams from Jupiter. If you can wait to seal a deal on January 13, do, for it's the best time to sign.

There is another reason mid-month will be important. You will see a blast of energy on January 12 for another reason, because Mercury will reach the same degree it was when it first retrograded last month - an important mathematical point.

Now the plot thickens and the news gets even better. Venus will be in your sixth house of work projects, in late degrees of Scorpio, and will jump in to help out this trio (Jupiter, Uranus, the eclipse / new moon) on January 4. Venus is closely associated with money, as well as the affairs of women, so both will be intertwined, and women seem to bring you profits. Wow, Gemini, you have a crowd of planets that are trying to help you.

If you are in a court case or hoping to get funds from a client, with four planets in your eighth house of shared income, this topic will be up for discussion, but it looks like negotiations will go exceedingly well. Mercury, your ruler, will be moving direct speed, no longer retrograde in January (as it has been in December), so you will have an open road ahead, with no roadblocks and can get to a speedy conclusion IF the other side wants to finish things now.

Financial talks will wind up by the full moon, January 19, minus one or plus four days, much to your enormous satisfaction. Jupiter will be at perfect angle to the Sun at that time, in one of the best possible planetary contacts in the heavens. At the same time, Pluto, planet of transformation, will conjoin Mercury, so an agreement you make should please you - it seems like a big deal. This is one of the best full moons I have seen in a very long time.

If you didn't see anything happen with the eclipse of December 21 last month, you may find this full moon, happening one month to the day later, plus or minus five days, to be a major moment for a partnership in business or in love. You'll likely want to celebrate!

The project on your desk now that you are negotiating likely will tap your writing or speaking abilities, and if so, you will be eminently qualified to do it. In fact, there would be no one better for this project, and the other side will want you because your reputation will precede you.

Here is something to keep in mind: The very best career aspects you will enjoy in 2011 will happen in the first three weeks of January (January 1 to 22). The runner up dates will happen just after the new moon March 2. I love this month for you, for Jupiter, the giver of gifts and luck, in a rare once-in-12-year cycle, will make your career wishes come true until it leaves January 22, 2011.

On January 26 Saturn will be angry with Mercury, reason enough to seal your critical career deals far ahead of this date. Mercury is the planet of contracts and agreements, so when you make any sort of written or contractual agreement, you need Mercury to be strong and in good shape, which won't be the case at the end of January.

Here's another reason to get your career show on the road. Saturn is the planet in charge of Gemini's profits, for Saturn is the natural ruler of your eighth house of money that comes in chucks, or as bonuses, commissions, royalties, licensing fees, and so forth. Saturn will go retrograde on January 26, the same date, as Mercury will be at a 90-degree square to Saturn, showing obstacles will come up. As you see, you must work quickly.

Here is some excellent news. From January 1 to 25, every planet in our solar system will be moving at top speed, and none will be retrograde. (Last month, Mercury was retrograde and created havoc in your life, but Mercury is back on track now, thank goodness.) When you have eight very independent-minded little planets that keep doing things their way, in their own time, it's nearly impossible to get them all to behave and be moving direct speed at once. It's been years since this has happened, and when it has, it was never for as long a period as we have now!

This is important to know because when you plan a big initiation, you want to have as many planets moving at top speed as you can get, for they will contribute good energy to your endeavor or new relationship. A retrograde planet is weak, or said in a funny way - a little drunk. You simply can't get your little planet to wake up and help you. He just keeps babbling and going back to sleep, so you are left to fend for yourself.

We saw the nightmares that occurred in transportation all over the world from December 7-30, due to Mercury retrograde last month. Whenever Saturn and Jupiter are retrograde, profits are held down. When Neptune is retrograde, the creativity and vision of a project is limited. When Mars goes retrograde, the project lacks energy. When Venus is retrograde, love is absent or withheld. You get the idea - you see how important all this is for you to have all the planets in strong shape! They will be from January 1 to 25. I feel you should get things wrapped up by the full moon for best luck, January 19. You can coast after that!

Now you may think: January is great, I am so happy! Wonderful! You should be feeling that way! But wait! I have saved some MORE good news for you, and this is monumental!

On January 22, Jupiter will enter fire sign Aries and fill your house of hopes and wishes until June 4. This will be a boon to your social life, for the eleventh house, where Jupiter (giver of gifts and luck) will be, rules friendships, events, and new people you meet. Lots of new people will pour into your life now, and some will be very, very good for you. Joining new clubs and organizations will also bring benefits, whether online or in real life. Jupiter in Aries will be adventuresome and exciting, and even if you are shy, you'll find the courage to venture out and meet many new people.

Things may even improve romantically. Often when you have a major planet like Jupiter in one house, it will ping energy into the opposite house on the horoscope wheel, in this case your fifth house of true love. In truth, Gemini has not had the best romantic aspects since October 29, 2009, when Saturn arrived in the fifth house, which can brings delays and obstacles to finding true love. While Saturn will not leave until October 2012, you will have reason to hope for a thawing of this situation between now and June 4.

Jupiter in Aries will help you socialize and perhaps help you find the right person for you romantically. Jupiter rules your marriage house, so it will be through friends that you have your best chance of meeting your "true north" between now and June 4. As we go along in 2011 I will have more to say about this, but in the meantime, stay optimistic! You have reason to do so!

One other thing about Jupiter in Aries: The eleventh house is also considered the house where profits show up from hard work done and plans put in place the year earlier (2010). This means you may see the blossoming of many of the meetings and plans you put in place last year.

Last year, you made your best career headway by having formal meetings and sending formal proposals. This year, from now through June 4, you will do best by circulating and networking through friends and contacts in a more relaxed and social way. In short, the first half of 2011 seems to be a lot more fun than you've seen in a long time.

You may also be inspired to work on a charity, community, or humanitarian project in the coming months, and be amazed to see what a difference you make to a group that dearly needs your help. In the process, you will meet many like-minded people, and among them may be a romantic interest that will blossom beautifully in time.

Keep in mind that as a Gemini, you are an air sign, and with Jupiter in Aries, a fire sign, he can now help you in a more direct, helpful way than he can when in Pisces, a water sign. Jupiter has not been in Aries since February to June 1999, so think back to that year - did something wonderful happen to you then? Even if the answer is no, you will have reason to be happy because other planets are now in new positions, and you have a second chance at fun and happiness.

Romantically, this month, as said, attached Gemini will have the edge, for Venus - in Sagittarius - will tour your seventh house of committed love from January 7 to February 4. On January 23, Venus will be in lovely angle to Saturn, a time when you can make plans together and simply have fun - see how this works for you! If you are not attached, your best time comes near January 4, and at month's end, after January 22 onward.

Most romantic, fun days for you include: January 5, 6, 10, 15-16 (special weekend), 20, 21, 24, 28, and 29.

Travel to a distant city, possibly abroad, is one option you may take after January 15, when Mars goes into Aquarius, or if not, there is a very good chance you'll be at the airport taking off in February. Mars, the planet of energy and determination, will brighten your ninth house of distant travel from January 15 through February 22 and help make the pieces of your puzzle fit into place.

Next month you may become more deeply involved in this area of international commerce, or get a chance to work on a new publishing or broadcasting project. If you are a university teacher / professor or student, academia is also a growing area of favor. You will see signs of growth in one of these areas at month's end: Science, biology, high tech, telecommunications, the Internet or digital media, social work or any of the human sciences will play into this new trend.


At the very start of the New Year, you could be celebrating outstanding career success. Jupiter and Uranus are now ending their visit to your tenth house of fame, but before they go, they are planning a fireworks display to outdo any you've seen in recent memory. It will come on the new moon solar eclipse of January 4, so get ready for some sort of surprise. You won't be able to guess what's coming, but it should be a dream offer. With Neptune making its ascent to the top of your chart, you may be moving into a role where your picture or an image of you will be "out there" much more than it has in the past - you will like what is coming! A friend might be very instrumental to your career progress this month.

Money will be on your mind too, just after the solar eclipse January 4. You can now pave the way for getting the money you need to finance a large goal or complex plan. If you need a line of credit, infusion of venture capital, a mortgage, scholarship, or other such lump sum infusion of cash, it could now appear. Alternatively you may be given a generous bonus, commission, or licensing fee, or perhaps an insurance payout or as a court settlement. No matter where the money emanates, you are happy to have it. If you work for yourself, this date could mark the start of a new and very lucrative client.

In early January, Pluto will reach the same degree of the past June 26, 2010 eclipse, so a financial matter that you discussed then may now resurface for more talks. Saturn will be in hard angles to this eclipse, so you may have to figure out how to get what you want even though the other side seems unable or unwilling to give it to you. Gemini can talk circles around the other side in these types of situations, so you have what it takes to be persuasive. If you are working on a creative project, you may have to figure out how to keep its creative integrity intact despite budget restraints.

Keep your spirits up because by January 12, 13, and 17, VERY exciting news should arrive involving your career and money. News will be surprising and play out in ways you could never anticipate.

By the full moon July 19 (plus four days) your financial talks will conclude. If you are in salary negotiations, the final offer will match or exceed your expectations.

Travel could be on your list sometime between January 15 and February 22, as Mars will be heating up your long-distance travel house in the most perfect way. This is a trend you will see grow in February, just after the new moon February 2. It will be an exciting time for you, so get that suitcase, and possibly a passport, ready to use!

Breaking news will occur on January 22, when Jupiter, giver of gifts and luck, enters Aries. You made a lot of progress in your career last year, but your personal life may have been neglected. In the next five months, the universe will help you bring better balance to your life.

You will still progress in your career - March looks to be a huge month for career progress - but you will also have more time to enjoy the company of friends, and possibly even start a romantic relationship. You will enjoy Jupiter in fire sign Aries - fire and your air sign element go together like spicy tomato sauce on pasta. The house that Jupiter will visit will not only encourage friendships, and humanitarian and charitable efforts, but also will help you materialize a dream dear to you.

Gemini Dates to Note:

Watch January 4 for sensational news to emerge about your career.

More spectacular days for your professional progress include January 12, 13, and 17, although in truth, January 1 to 21 will be amazing!

The solar eclipse on January 4 (same date) will bring news about a one-time lump sum of money. It could be a bank loan or a court settlement, commission, a gift or prize, a bonus, large amount of back-owed child support, insurance payout, or other types of funds, but it will not be salary.

A purchase or payment may be made at the full moon July 19. You may finish salary talks, purchase something expensive, or get a check in the mail. This point of the month is positive.

If you need surgery, it would most likely happen this month, just after January 4 (anytime within the two weeks that follow).

Jupiter will enter Aries on January 22 and will light your house of hopes and wishes, friendships, and humanitarian efforts. All are areas that glitter and glow for you!

Most romantic, fun days for you include: January 5, 6, 10, 15-16 (special weekend), 20, 21, 24, 28, and 29.

The Importance of Kindergarten

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned--the biggest word of all--LOOK.
          Robert Fulgham

The Kindergarten Advantage

How everything you learned in kindergarten affects your salary, your chances of going to college and owning a home, and even your retirement savings.

An experienced teacher and a small class in kindergarten can set a person up for life, according to a large-scale study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

On average, a kindergarten teacher with more than 10 years on the job is worth an extra $1,100 per year to his or her students by the time they are earning a salary at age 27, the study shows. The lifetime gain for a class of 20 students with an above-average teacher totals $320,000 — and that’s from a single year in a high-quality kindergarten class.

“We’re not saying that teachers should be paid this much,” said John Friedman, a faculty research fellow at the bureau and an economist at Harvard Kennedy School. “But very large amounts of money look like they might be worth it when it comes to finding better teachers.”

Small classes make a difference, too: They are linked to higher test scores in kindergarten, which in turn improve a student’s chances of attending college, the study shows. And regardless of race, gender or family income, students who learn more in kindergarten — or in any grade through third grade, for that matter — also are more likely to get into better colleges, marry, own homes, live in better neighborhoods and save for retirement by the time they turn 27, the economists found.

The results are surprising because previous research has shown that the impact of early grades on test scores fades out by eighth grade, said Raj Chetty, a research associate at the bureau and an economist at Harvard University.

“We found that everything comes back,” he said. “Our paper shows that investments in early childhood education have potentially very large payoffs. In the U.S., kids from disadvantaged families attend lower quality schools because of property tax financing. That system basically perpetuates income inequality. Disadvantaged kids end up not doing so well. We should think about improving schools at the lower end of the school distribution.”

The bureau study, conducted by Friedman, Chetty and a team of four other economists from Harvard, Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley, draws on data from Project STAR, one of the most widely studied education experiments in the United States. The project included 11,600 students and their teachers in kindergarten through third grade across 79 schools in Tennessee from 1985 to 1989.

Previous studies of STAR students have shown that those with more experienced teachers scored higher on standardized academic tests. The bureau economists for the first time found a similar impact on earnings in young adulthood. Based on the federal tax returns and W-2 forms of the former STAR students, they found that the students in the highest-earning kindergarten class were earning $1,520 per year more per student, on average, than their peers in the lowest-earning class. That’s an extra $39,100 over a lifetime, or a lifetime gain of about $782,000 for a single class of 20 students.

“It gives you a sense of what’s at play,” Friedman said.

Numerous studies have highlighted the long-term benefits of Head Start and other intensive preschool programs. But the bureau study is the first to show on a large scale, using randomized data, that a better classroom environment in the earliest grades can have substantial benefits in adulthood, even without intervention in preschool.

Under the STAR project, the students were randomly assigned to less or more experienced teachers, either in small classes of between 13 and 17 students or in classes of 20 to 25 students. Most of the students stayed in the same size classes through third grade and took standard math and reading tests at the end of every grade. Thirty-six percent of participants were African-American. The students were less affluent, on the whole, than their peers nationwide: Sixty percent were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches, compared to 49 percent of students in the same grades around the country.

In the bureau study, the economists tracked virtually all of the STAR children into early adulthood, looking at things like their income, college attendance, contributions to 401(k) retirement accounts, home ownership and marital status. They consulted U.S. News and World Report rankings to assess the quality of the colleges the students went to, and ZIP codes from the 2000 census to measure the quality of neighborhoods where they were living.

Why would the beneficial effects of good classrooms in the early grades fade out by eighth grade but re-emerge in adulthood? Perhaps the students in those classes are building skills such as focus, initiative and discipline, things that cannot be measured on academic tests but can pay off in other ways, the economists said. Previous studies have shown that students assigned to small classes in the early grades are more likely to complete high school and, in the case of white females and black males, less likely to give birth or father a child as teens.

Maybe Robert Fulghum was right — all he really needed to know was learnable in kindergarten.

“We don’t see inside the classroom,” Friedman said. “All we see is what happens on test scores. The positive effect works more through a teacher’s ability to convey non-cognitive skills, like the ability to get along with your peers, pay attention in class and cooperate in groups. If you can share your toys with others, it’s easy to see how you’d earn more, 20 years later in life.”

By Melinda Burns

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Brand new award..

Thank you so much!!

Welcome 2011...

Mutlu yıllar ♥ Happy new year ♥ Frohes neues Jahr ♥ 新年快乐 ♥ С новым годом ♥ Срећна Нова Година ♥ Feliz Año Nuevo ♥ 明けましておめでとうございます ♥ كل عام وأنتم بخير