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News And Notes From ATA College Prep
By Caleb Rightmer
We watched the sea lions play and yelp. We even got to pet the dolphins and feel their rubbery, smooth skin. One thing I wasn't expecting was getting to hold a yellow python. The python was huge. It took five people just to hold it.
All in all, the trip was awesome. I would have to say petting the dolphins was my favorite. There is still a lot I need to learn about marine biology, but Sea World definitely taught me a lot of what it takes to work with such awesome animals.
Thought: Nurture or Nature?
I spent days, weeks, months contemplating my new charge, wondering in what directions its branches might tend to grow. I would occasionally turn it and put it in a different location so as to admire it from another perspective, visualizing it in its future. In an effort to gain ideas of how I wanted to form its shape, I began researching other Bonsai creations, hoping to find the perfect one to inspire my new canvas ready for change. I found pictures of some amazing oak trees so tiny in stature but grandeur in shape and personality. I found fall colored maples and evergreen pines that mimicked the most majestic forest specimens. Then… I peered back at mine. It was then, for the first time, that I noticed It was really rather… well... ordinary… and sort of lopsided; most of its leaves were too big for its trunk size… some were even yellowed, and I really wasn’t sure how to tame its awkwardness. I became less enamored with its nature and a bit more obsessed with trying to change it into one of its more majestic counterparts.
Well, it was not a maple, nor a pine, nor a mighty oak… it was in fact a ficus with a tiny trunk and oversized leaves. What happened to my love affair with this newborn project? Had it changed? Had I changed? Or was I simply comparing it to other Bonsais that held different DNA.
I took a deep breath, picked up my clippers and I began to carefully clip a few leaves that protruded beyond the limits of the container… the outliers. Clip, clip, clip. As I did so a tiny bead of white liquid formed on the tip of the clipped surface in an attempt to heal the affected part. This process changed and limited some growth of all but one protruding branch… and I left it there to do as it wished.
It is the ultimate challenge for the Bonsai designer to expose the true essence of the tree. Just as in parenting, coaching or teaching, the challenge is to draw out what is within the child, and then ever so gently, and over time, refine it.
Take care, Carol
The Bullying Project
The project will premiere at the December 16th Christmas Party. Featuring staged bullying scenarios and interviews with fellow students and teachers, the project is geared towards raising awareness of what bullying looks like and what can be done to stop it.
Building a Bridge
Mr. Rutherford's class project has taken hold of the whole school. The task is simple: the person who designs the cheapest safe bridge wins.
It's all part of a larger annual competition held by The United States Military Academy, West Point. National finalists are eligable for prizes, including scholarships, laptops, or a trip to visit West Point. Students create logins which allow access to the simulations where they can test out different bridges in an attempt to make the most cost efficient one.
The ATA CP competition will pick its winner at the end of the semester, and the national competition at West Point will take place later this winter, after the new year.
The Holden Health Corner
Dr. Nicole Holden is the Clinic Director
at HealthFirst Wellness Center
Can 4 Minutes Of Exercise A Day
Dramatically Improve Your Performance?
With just 4 minutes a day with Tabata Interval Training your whole body can experience huge improvements in health and fitness. Tabata training is a very intense form of interval training.
Tabata Training is broken down into 4 minute intervals to maximize your workouts. Here is how it works:
• Sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds
• Walk for 10 seconds
• Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 sets.
• Total workout time: 4 minutes
Tabata Training can be done with a number of different exercises. The idea is to use an exercise that gets the whole body involved or at least the major muscle groups. Tabata Training can be done with Barbells, Dumbells, Kettlebells, Resistance Bands, or just Bodyweight exercises. You can also pair Tabata training with your favorite activity, such as cycling, to help improve endurance.
Tabata Training was developed by Izumi Tabata, at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. They did a study on comparing the effects of moderate intensity endurance (aerobics) and high endurance intermittent training (tabata training intervals) on VO2 max and anaerobic capacity.
The results of the comparison were staggering. Subjects in the moderate-intensity exercise trial improved their VO2 max by a healthy 9.5 percent, while their anaerobic capacity did not change at all. Subjects in the maximum-intensity intervals trial—despite exercising for only 20 minutes per week, compared to five hours per week for the other group—improved their VO2max by 14 percent and their anaerobic capacity by a whopping 28 percent.
Since the study was published in 1998, coaches and athletes began to adapt the protocol to sports ranging from swimming to boxing. Virtually everyone who tried the Tabata protocol made the same report: It was excruciatingly painful, but it was effective.