Got a good idea? Think it could make you millions? No idea how to proceed?
The University of Oklahoma is hosting a free workshop Nov. 30 called “Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur?” The all-day seminar is open to teens, college students and professors. Business professionals and investors will share knowledge about how to build successful high-tech businesses in Oklahoma.
The workshop is free but registration is required. Go to www.okepscor.org.
The event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and nonprofit group i2E.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
It’s been a few years (read: decades) since my 8th grade Oklahoma history class.
But I got a refresher course at www.occc.edu/centennial today. Oklahoma City Community College has a handy outline of the Oklahoma Centennial Lecture Series coordinated by the Downtown College Consortium. Free lectures were held at campuses around the metro this fall. The last one is set for next week.
Power point presentations are online for the lectures “Oklahoma and the Great Depression” and “Places We Cried.” The latter is a chronicle of the Cherokee people.
Both presentations have photos and maps that poignantly illustrate these times in state history. The final lecture, “Heroes of Oklahoma,” takes place at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at OCCC. Call 232-3382 for details.
For those who can’t attend, check out the Web site, which also is a great source for teachers who’ll be talking about statehood next week.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
At a workshop Saturday at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum about teaching the Holocaust, Cathleen Cadigan discussed some of the most common related myths and misconceptions. Cadigan is a regional museum educator with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Following are those myths, and the correct information about them, based on Cadigan’s presentation.
Myth: Hitler was Jewish.
Fact: Hitler is the fourth child of Alois and Clara Hitler. Allegations that Hitler’s father was Jewish stem from rumors surrounding Hitler’s grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber. There is speculation that Schicklgruber worked in a Jewish household and that her child, Alois, was fathered by the son of the house. Post-1945 investigations found that no Jews had lived in that area.
Myth: Hitler was elected by the German people.
Fact: The Nazi party received 33 percent of the vote in the 1932 elections. Other parties were the Socialist, Communist and Catholic parties. Hitler, however, was appointed chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg on Jan. 30, 1933.
Myth: Hitler survived the war.
Fact: It is believed that on the morning of April 29, 1945, in a civil ceremony in his bunker, Hitler married his mistress of many years, Eva Braun. The next day, they both bit into thin glass vials of cyanide. As he did so Hitler also shot himself in the head. A handful of remaining Nazi loyalists wrapped his body in a gray blanket, carried him out, saluted in honor and ignited his body.
Myth: Hitler was a homosexual.
Fact: One of Hitler’s close associates was a known homosexual. Fearing his rising political power, Hitler ordered his execution along with several of his allies in the infamous “Night of the Long Knives.”
Myth: The Jews are a race.
Fact: First and foremost, Jews are adherents of a religion — Judaism — around which a culture has evolved based on laws, rituals and customs regarding the Sabbath, holidays, diet and other matters. Second, they are a people with a national identity based on a shared history and historical homeland of Israel. The Nazis decided that if a person had one Jewish grandparent then that person was to be considered Jewish. While that strategy does work for determining someone’s national heritage — Irish-American or Mexican-American, for instance — a person can have grandparents of one religion but identify completely with another.
Myth: The Jews were the only victims.
Fact: People who could identify with other groups also were killed. They include:
-The mentally and physically handicapped, because they did not meet the standards of Hitler’s desired “Aryan race.”
-The Roma or Sinti, more commonly known as Gypsies, on racial grounds.
-Jehovah’s Witnesses, because they refused to salute Hitler or serve in the German army on religious grounds.
-Homosexuals, because they could not advance Hitler’s goal of increasing the population of Aryans.
-Prisoners of war, including 3 million Soviet risoners.
-Other groups of people viewed as inferior, including Poles and other Slavs.
Myth: All camps were the same.
Fact: There were four types of camps: concentration camps, transit camps, labor camps and death camps. Though many people died in all the camps, only the death camps existed for the sole purpose of extermination and used gas chambers. Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis created thousands of them in all occupied countries.
Myth: All camps used tattoos.
Fact: Only those sent to Auschwitz received tattoos of numbers on their arms.
Myth: The Nazis routinely made soap out of human fat and lampshades out of human skin.
Fact: After examining all the evidence, including an actual bar of soap supplied by the Soviets, the Nuremberg Tribunal declared that “in some instances attempts were made to utilize the fat from the bodies of the victims in the commercial manufacture of soap.” But, it was not a routine practice. The only confirmed practice relating to the making of lampshades is of Ilsa Koch, who had tattoos she thought looked interesting removed from people’s bodies to make products out of them.
Myth: The Jews went like sheep to the slaughter.
Fact: There were many types of resistance, including spiritual resistance by praying or learning Torah or teaching Hebrew; smuggling food; raising armed resistances; and staying alive, the primary defiance of the goal of the Holocaust.
Myth: The King of Denmark donned the yellow star to show his support for Danish Jews.
Fact: Jews in Denmark were never required to wear a Jewish star. The Danish people did save a lot of Jews by taking them on boats in the night to safety in Sweden. A similar widely believed myth is that Norwegians wore paper clips to show their resistance against the Nazis and solidarity with the Jews. There is no evidence of this, either.
Myth: All Germans were Nazis and all Germans were perpetrators.
Fact: There were perpetrators who took action against Jews and other undesired people, and there were bystanders who did not speak up about what happened. There also were pockets of resistance. White Rose was a nonviolent resistance organization made up mostly of German students. Its leaders were beheaded.
Wendy K. Kleinman
A bag with $165 in cash accompanied sheets of information for participants of a financial seminar for educators and businesses Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the cash was shredded.
“This money is useless to us,” state Representative Ann Coody said. “Unless we know how to use it, then it’s absolutely useless to us.”
And the same goes for the state’s youth, said Coody, who co-authored legislation that requires schools to begin teaching financial skills to students next year.
Coody and other speakers made the argument at the workshop, “Financial Education in Oklahoma: From Policy to Action,” for the need for students to understand money matters like credit card debt and taxes.
More students leave college because of financial problems than because of academic problems. Oklahomans have set record bankruptcy rates for nine out of 10 years. The state is in the top ten for greatest credit card debt per capita. Divorce — of which a leading cause is financial problems — is at an all-time high.
“Unless our children … realize that (a credit card) is not just a plastic ticket to success, then they are doomed to failure,” Coody said.
This year’s sixth-graders will be the first students to need to obtain a “passport to financial literacy” in order to graduate. Students must be taught 14 financial topics between the seventh and 12th grades.
But middle school is not too early to start.
“My daughter got her first credit card application when she was 9,” said Penny Kugler of the University of Central Missouri.
Missouri implemented a similar school program two years ago, Kugler said.
Here, the state Education Department is working on curriculum and assessment tools for educators. But it also is counting on existing programs by banks and other economic institutions to provide help, said Kerri White, director of math curriculum for the state.
Robyn Hilger with the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation also suggested schools and businesses contact local education foundations, which may already have such connections.
To take matters into your own hands, visit www.dallasfed.org/ca/wealth/index.cfm. The site has a beginner’s guide to becoming financially savvy. The “Building Wealth” program is available in English and Spanish, and in print and interactive formats.
Wendy K. Kleinman
I spent the last week at Columbia University in New York learning about the missions and challenges of community colleges across the nation.
The Hechinger Institute fellowship was an amazing opportunity to hear from college leaders, policy analysts and researchers about two-year colleges, which educate nearly one-half of our nation’s college students.
But one of the most inspirational moments took place not in the historic halls of Columbia’s Teachers College, but on the airplane ride home.
On the short flight from Dallas to Will Rogers, I met a young man named Luis. The high school senior from Boulder, Colo., was enroute to his sister’s home in Oklahoma City and then to apply for enrollment at Oklahoma City Community College.
Luis, who lives in a Colorado housing project, wants to study music and business. American Idol aside, this first-generation American has a passion for singing but knows he needs a college degree to succeed in any field.
He can’t afford the University of Colorado, but was told by a high school counselor to check into community colleges. While out-of-state tuition at OCCC is less than he’ll pay if he stays in Colorado, he hopes to qualify for financial aid as an emancipated minor.
Today, I planned to go through my notes from my week in New York and prepare a schedule of stories about community colleges. Instead I’ve been thinking about Luis and the journey he’s taking. It seems so much more momentous than anything I’ll do.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
A knight in shining humor spoke today at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Sir Ken Robinson, a creativity expert knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth, spoke about reforming education systems to encourage more innovation and imagination. It was a good speech, filled with lots of funny asides in his lyrical British accent.
About moving to the United States and enrolling his daughter in American History: “We don’t study American History. We suppress it. Get over it really. We’ve apologized, what do you want? We stay indoors on July 4th, draw the shutters and look at pictures of the queen and think about what might have been.”
About the technology revolution: “There are scientists studying ways to use our own bodies as broadband receivers. You could exchange files by holding hands, really, or whatever method you prefer. It all depends on the size of the file anyway.”
Of course, those quotes didn’t quite make it into the story I wrote for tomorrow’s paper. All in all, he was an entertaining speaker that created quite a bit of laughter.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
I got a press release today about the Stuttering Foundation’s Web site www.stutteringhelp.org
The release says it’s the leading online site for those seeking help with stuttering, a complex speech disorder.
Here are some misunderstood aspects of stuttering:
Myth: People who stutter are not smart.
Reality: There is no link whatsoever between stuttering and intelligence.
Myth: Nervousness causes stuttering.
Reality: Nervousness does not cause stuttering. Nor should we assume that people who stutter are prone to be nervous, fearful, anxious or shy. They have the same full range of personality traits as those who do not stutter.
Myth: Stuttering can be “caught” through imitation or by hearing another person stutter.
Reality: You can’t “catch” stuttering. Recent research indicates that family history (genetics), neurological development, the child’s environment and family dynamics all play a role in the onset of stuttering.
Myth: It helps to tell a person to “take a deep breath,” or “think about what you want to say.”
Reality: This advice only makes a person more self-conscious, making the stuttering worse. More helpful responses include listening patiently and using slower and clearer speech yourself.
Myth: Stress causes stuttering.
Reality: As mentioned above, many complex factors are involved in the onset of stuttering. Stress is not the cause, but it can aggravate stuttering.
Check out the site and tell me if it’s helpful.