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We’re all for hands-on learning. But, in hindsight, this probably wasn’t such a good idea:

ROWLETT, Texas — What started off as a history lesson at Schrade Middle School in Rowlett ended up with a 7th grader having rope marks around his neck.

A history teacher was trying to teach lasso techniques used during cattle drives. He asked for student volunteers, and had them run… then tried to rope them.

“[The teacher] was visiting with the students, telling the students about how Cowboys would corral maverick steers back into the herd,” explained Garland Independent School District spokesman Chris Moore.

The 13-year-old volunteer ended up with bruises.

“This is not something that we feel was malicious, it was not intent,” Moore said. “Extremely unfortunate, and extremely poor judgment.”

The Garland ISD has launched an investigation and suspended the teacher, they say for precautionary reasons.

Only in Texas.

Read the full story here.

Via: Drudge

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Now this is what we call litigious:

Megan Thode isn’t the first Lehigh University student who was unhappy with the grade she received in a course. But she may be the first to sue to get it changed.

The C+ that Thode was given scuttled her dream of becoming a licensed professional counselor and was part of an effort to force her out of the graduate degree program she was pursuing, said her lawyer, Richard J. Orloski, whose lawsuit seeks $1.3 million in damages.

Orloski said his client is the victim of breach of contract and sexual discrimination, and a civil trial began Monday before Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano over the claims. They’re nonsense, said Neil Hamburg, an attorney for Lehigh University.

“I think if your honor changed the grade, you’d be the first court in the history of jurisprudence to change an academic grade,” Hamburg told Giordano.

“I’ve practiced law for longer than I’d like to [admit],” Giordano said, “and I’ve never seen something like this.”

But after a day of testimony, a settlement could be in the works, after Giordano called the lawyers into his chambers late Monday and they emerged to hold private discussions with their clients. They are slated to return to court Tuesday with the trial, if it continues, expected to stretch through the week.

Thode, the daughter of Lehigh finance professor Stephen Thode, was attending the Bethlehem school tuition-free in 2009 when she received the poor mark in her fieldwork class. But instead of working to address her failings, she “lawyered up” and demanded a better grade, Hamburg said.

Imagine if this girl had devoted the energy she has put into this lawsuit into her studies instead.

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In the “People’s Republic of Boulder,” by City Council decree, residents are known as “pet guardians,” and now they’ve stretched their roles to guardians of wild life as well.

On Sunday, about 50 people gathered at Pearl Street Mall for a candlelight vigil to demand justice for an adult, male elk shot by a police officer in a suburban Boulder neighborhood on New Year’s Day.

To honor the elk, participants played recordings of elk bugling from their cell phones. They passed out flyers to passersby. They vowed to mount pressure on police as the investigation continues. In addition to the vigil, a silent march took place recently as well.

Since the shooting, town meetings have been held. The chief of police has made statements. An announcement from the district attorney on whether charges will be filed against the police officer, who reportedly failed to handle the situation by the book, is expected today.

Meanwhile, in interviews with The College Fix, some CU Boulder students offered a different perspective, calling the reactions a bit much, even insulting.

Junior Taylor Lane, 20, said she thought the vigil was “extreme.”

“So many people in Boulder are concerned with our ecological, or ethical, facade and this is a perfect example,” she said. “One animal was shot out of season. I’m certain more than that are hit by traffic on a daily basis.”

What’s more, the Boulder community did not hold a vigil for the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in mid-December, in which a classroom of young students were gunned down by a mentally unstable gunman.

Senior Mitchell Whitus, 20, said he feels the Boulder community reacted “to the wrong thing.”

“I saw a report on Channel 4 about the vigil, and a lady who was there compared the shooting of the elk to the Sandy Hook shooting,” he said. “I’m appalled that they would compare the shooting to the massacre of children. Why not hold a vigil for the Sandy Hook shooting, instead? It is crazy.”

Nearly half of Boulder’s residents are registered Democrats, and the city is widely understood as the home of “pet guardians” and environmentalists.

Nevertheless, their reaction to the elk shooting also runs in stark contrast to the lack of any uproar over a bear that was tranquilized on the CU Boulder campus last year, then found dead after being hit by a car.

Meanwhile, other students felt the Boulder community used the elk as a symbol to gather around, but failed to hit on the bigger question of the police officer’s conduct in shooting the beloved creature.

Senior Elizabeth Coombs, 22, said the elk is the wrong target.

“I think we should focus on the potential abuse of power by the officer if he was, indeed, on duty when he shot the elk,” she said.

Fix contributor Aslinn Scott is a student at CU Boulder.

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IMAGE: Odolaigh/Flickr

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Yale University has announced that it will begin teaching an informal class on bartending. Now students can learn to mix cocktails on the university’s dime.

The Yale College Dean’s Office will host three free bartender-training sessions beginning Jan. 28 in an effort to raise awareness about alcohol and decrease high-risk drinking. The training includes a two-hour course in mixology and a four-hour course in Training and Intervention Procedures (TIPS) — a national program designed to reduce risky drinking by improving the knowledge and intervention skills of alcohol servers. Twelve students attended a pilot training session held Dec. 10 and 11, and 30 students will be allowed at each spring event.

“We know underaged people are drinking,” said Director of Yale Catering Robert Sullivan. “We’re trying to see what we can do to make sure underage students understand what a drink is supposed to look and taste like.”

For “underaged” students? Apparently, Yale wants to make sure that when underage kids drink, they do it right.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

What could be more vital of an Ivy League university than teaching underage students what a drink is supposed to taste like? And they announced it with such a somber, self-serious tone, full of platitudes about “high-risk drinking” etc.

Are they serious? Yes they are!

Ha, ha, ha, ha. (I’m sorry, please allow me my blog laughter.)

What a coddled generation. What’s next? Toilet training classes?

If you’re like most people, you might read this and wonder what in the heck is happening to this once-great university. Even I wonder that–and I wrote a book trying to explain it, for Pete’s sake.

There’s one line from Sex & God at Yale that comes to mind.

“Yale is an institution of tremendous power and influence that is no longer aware of why it exists.”

I’ve never been more convinced of the truth of that statement than I am today–and it applies to just about all of our elite universities, not just Yale.

Make no mistake: The people who run Yale are dangerous. They are corrupting an entire generation of future American leaders with their aimless and often value-free brand of education.

But you have to laugh at a lot of it.

By the way, if I may peddle my wares for a moment. This is a good time to mention that Sex & God at Yale is now available in audio format, as well as e-book and hardcover at Amazon.com, iTunes, and other booksellers.

For the sake of your own sanity, however, it may be a good idea to sample a few cocktails yourself before you sit down to read about everything else they’re up to at Yale. I promise you, bartending class is the least of the university’s ills and absurdities.

 

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Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

Image Source: Ken30684 / Wikimedia Commons

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That’s Dave Barry’s take, anyway in his blistering and hilarious 2012 year-in-review essay. And who am I to argue?

This may be one of the best pieces of political writing of all 2012. Here are a few snippets:

As the year began, the hottest recording artist was the brilliant singer-songwriter Adele, whose popularity made us think that maybe, just maybe, after years of rewarding overhyped auto-tuned dreck, we were finally developing more sophisticated musical tastes, and then …

WHAP, we were assaulted from all sides by the monster megahit video Gangnam Style, in which a Korean man prances around a variety of bizarre Korean settings riding an imaginary Korean horse and shouting a song that, except for the words “Eh, sexy lady,” is entirely in Korean.

And:

…As American motorists struggle to afford ever-higher gasoline prices, prompting a pledge from President Obama to do “whatever it takes” to bring relief at the pump, “including killing Osama bin Laden again.” Romney responds that he, more than any other candidate, understands the consumers’ pain over this issue, since he owns “at least 45 cars.”

In Spain and Greece, hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in protest against government-imposed austerity measures necessitated by the fact that for the past five years pretty much nobody in Spain or Greece has done anything except take to the streets in protest.

And:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, having dealt with all of the city’s other concerns — disaster preparation, for example — turns his attention to the lone remaining problem facing New Yorkers: soft drinks. For far too long, these uncontrolled beverages have roamed the city in vicious large-container packs, forcing innocent people to drink them and become obese. Bloomberg’s plan would prohibit the sale of soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, thereby making it impossible to consume larger quantities, unless, of course, somebody bought two containers, but the mayor is confident that nobody except him would ever be smart enough to think of that…

San Francisco, not wishing to be outdone by New York in the field of caring about the public welfare, bans beverage containers altogether, requiring restaurants to serve soft drinks by pouring them directly into their customers’ mouths.

Read Barry’s full year in review at the Miami Herald. You won’t regret it.

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