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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Iraq Term Paper

Introduction
In the contemporary world Iraq remains one of the countries which fate is hardly predictable and it is not always possible to say what is the future of peoples inhabiting this country, suffered from the war, and continuous clandestine movement of opposition and followers of the former leader. Iraq has been remaining top news during last several months and even years. Despite an extremely hard situation in the country there is a slight hope for better that could be brought by recent elections in the post-war Iraq. But many specialists argue whether the results of the Iraqi vote are rather positive or negative. That is exactly what will be analyzed in this paper.

Pre-election history
First of all, it is necessary to say a few words about the pre-election period in Iraq. As it is known, the country has been ruled by Saddam Hussein who established a dictator regime and deprived any opposition and dissidents. Naturally, such an undemocratic regime could not remain for a long time because it contradicted to national interests of the US that is now the only super power in the world.

Iraq is situated in a vitally important region for national interests of the US, consequently, the US needed a controllable and preferably democratic country and not a rogue or outcast that threatened to the stability in the whole region.

Taking into consideration the importance of the region at large, and the role of Iraq in particular, the US, supported by its alliances, used conventional military forces to dismantle the regime of dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. In the result of a brief war Iraq was relatively freed from the former authority and the problem of a new legal government and parliament aroused. Despite the provisional government was established it was obviously not enough since it did not have enough legislative power, or as it may be said it was not supported through the plebiscite and nation wide democratic elections. Logically, Iraqi parliament had to be elected and than it could form a new absolutely legal government. So, democratic elections were finally appointed. But at this point it is necessary to say that the conditions before and during the elections were far from ideal. The post-war country suffered from terror attack of supporters of the former regime of Saddam Hussein and Islamic radicals. All of them formed a strong clandestine opposition to the new provisional government, American troops, administration and its alliances and used all means to prevent the elections. However, they failed to sabotage the Iraqi vote but still these elections were probably the bloodiest elections Iraq had ever seen. Furthermore, the results of the elections are quite arguable.

Results of the Iraqi vote and their possible consequences
As it has already been mentioned, the results of the Iraqi vote are not very optimistic because it did not clarify significantly the future and perspectives of the country and the whole region.

Actually, there are two contradicting opinions about the results of the elections. On the one hand, it is estimated that the Iraqi vote is the victory of the American president administration. The opponents of this point of view stay on the ground that the results are rather in favor of Iran, another country which ahs quite tense relation with the US.

At the first glance, 4,23% that Prime Minster Allawi’s bloc seem to be an absolute failure of American policy in the country, particularly in comparison with the results of Shia, pro-Iran coalition. Actually, the former fact is the main reason why many believe that it was Iran that in this vote. At the same time it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that the great majority for Shia coalition was in the Southern part of the country and regions bordering on Iran, whereas relatively stable regions with strong presence of Americans and their alliances mainly voted for Allawi’s block.

Another noteworthy fact that could influence the elections and further development of Iraq is the nature of party and alliances. Basically they are parties representing certain ethnic groups. For instance, the two main parties in Iraq the mainly-Shia Iraqi United Alliance and the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan are ethnic parties but they are “the most vanilla ethnic parties you can imagine” (Bergusen 2005, para.5). Moreover, these two parties used to fight in the civil war against each other. Naturally such a situation creates tension in Iraqi society.

That is why, one of the possible consequences of the Iraqi vote may be growing tension between different political forces, particularly if there is no real majority in Iraqi parliament that could form a stable government. So, speaking about consequences, it may be said that the existence of strong ethnic parties may result in opposition of peoples these parties represent. At the same time, “there is no party winner that could control the government and the parliament” (Jalal 2005, para. 2), consequently the further policy of Iraq would be based on compromises and consensuses, or at least on attempts to reach consensus that would be appropriate for different political forces.

So, the lack of winner may be a disadvantage but on the other hand, it permits different political forces play their own role in political life of the country. It creates conditions for normal development of all regions and all peoples of Iraq regardless their residence or nationality.

Furthermore, it has to be said that on the international level there is practically the same situation. It is quite obvious that in the elections there were two counterparts the US and Iran. In the result of elections both of them or it might be said none of them really won since they do not completely control the parliament and consequently the government of Iraq. In perspective, it means that the future of Iraq is not clear but the fact that the elections took successfully place symbolize that Iraq has perspectives and future.

Conclusion
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to say that Iraq, being in a crucial situation, managed to organize the elections, though American assistance in this process was very significant. It means that Iraq after long years of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship starts its movement toward democratization. However, the results of the Iraqi vote prove that it is a very difficult and challengeable way. Politically, there is no obvious winner both within and outside the country. But still there is a hope that there is one winner, and the winner is Iraqi people.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Leonard Kleinrock Essay


Leonard Kleinrock – “Father of Modern Data Networking”
Leonard Kleinrock is one of the most important people when it comes to the informational revolution; without a doubt, he truly deserves to be called “father of modern data networking”. He was born in New York, on June 13, 1934. Being a kid, he displayed a great interest in mathematics, which was noticed and further promoted by his parents. 

“He received his BEE degree from CCNY in 1957 and MSEE and PhD degrees from MIT in 1959 and 1963, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering.” (Begley 56) Kleinrock is called «Father of Modern Data Networking» for his great contribution (we might even say invention) of packet switching technologies. For the complicated research he had to perform to receive his PhD at MIT, he was able to develop and defend a theory (mathematical) of data networking, as well as the basic principles of packet switching. It is of primary importance to the informational revolution because packet switching allowed the birth of Internet. 
As packet switching is something that made Leonard so famous, more information will be provided to explain it. It was through a marriage of minicomputers and communications that a new kind of digital communications service was developed in the sixties to meet the growing demands of these computer services bureaus and databank services companies as well as the business community of users in general. 

Packet – switching invented by Kleinrock used time-division multiplexing (TDM) techniques to enable individual users to share the same transmission channels on a time-sharing basis in a similar way as they share time-shared computers. (King 126)Because the facility was shared, it was less expensive to use, and because the service was based on digital technology, its quality, reliability, and security was superior to that of leased line analogue channels available from telephone companies. 

After Kleinrock’s invention, Packet - switching was pioneered by the Defence Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In 1969, DARPA financed the development of a network, appropriately called ARPANET, to test the feasibility and economics of the new technology. Kleinrock was a major part of this process with his research works. 

ARPANET grew to connect hundreds of universities and military establishments across the United States and eventually overseas in the seventies, and it subsequently came to constitute the backbone foundation for the Internet, the network of networks that connects millions of users around the world today. (Richardson 118)

Once packet - switching proved to be technologically feasible and economically attractive, it was commercialized by companies like Tymnet and Telenet which leased bulk transmission facilities from the carriers. Because it combined both computers and telecommunications in new and unique ways, packet - switching defied the traditional definitions of telecommunications services. 

On the one hand, companies that supplied these services constituted data processing service organizations. On the other hand, they could be regarded as legitimate telecommunications common carriers. Telephone companies regarded these suppliers as a competitive threat and lobbied the FCC to curtail their expansion. (King 133) 

The FCC, on the other hand, was in a quandary as to what they constituted under the Communications Act and whether or not the act required it to regulate them. As for Leonard Kleinrock, “his laboratory at UCLA became the first node of the Internet on September 2, 1969 and from that laboratory he supervised the first Internet message transmission on October 29, 1969.” (Begley 118) 

The academic work and numerous contributions of professor Kleinrock are tremendous. He was a faculty member at UCLA since the year 1963; he helped graduate 43 PhD, some of whom later on were also able to contribute to the development of the Internet technologies. He worked as Chairman of the Computer Science Department at UCLA in the years 1991-95. 

“In 1997, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from CCNY.” (Begley 124) Leonard Kleinrock is an author of six books, which were highly praised by the scientific community. Also, he was able to publish more than 225 papers, which is quite a great load of work even for such highly acclaimed specialist as professor Kleinrock. “He co founded (and was the first President of) Linkabit Corporation, the Computer Channel, and Technology Transfer Institute.” (Begley 127) 

The numerous rewards and honors received by Leonard are quite astonishing. Currently he is an honorary member of the National Academy of Engineering; he is a fellow of the IEEE, ACM and IEC. One of the most significant accomplishments of Leonard Kleinrock was L.M. Ericsson Prize; he also became the recipient of “the Marconi Award, the C.C.N.Y. Townsend Harris Medal, the CCNY Electrical Engineering Award, the UCLA Outstanding Teacher Award, the Lanchester Prize, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship”. (Begley 131)

Currently Leonard Kleinrock lives in LA together with his wife Stella.  He has four children and five grandchildren and lives quite an active life. His hobbies include Karate, running and swimming, so that Leonard can stay in shape. He is also a big fan of puzzles. In the sphere of business, recently he founded Nomadix, Inc, a California based company that specializes in developing nomadic computing technologies. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Internationale Essay

Essay on The Internationale

From the day the human race appeared on this planet it learned to put their emotions and feelings in sounds. At first the sounds were indistinct and bobbled and could not be interpreted. Though, later the sounds evolved into songs with which it was easier for people to deliver the message that was hard to be described in words. With every century song had been obtaining more and more importance and setting a very significant place not only in the heart of an individual, but also groups and even nations. Songs have become so vital for us and they represent so much that today we cannot imagine a country without an anthem, an organization without a call or a couple without a special song that means a lot to them.
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In this paper I would like to talk about the song, or better to call it a hymn, that has been famous for about one and a half centuries already and had been translated into more than thirty languages. This song is the Internationale (L ‘Internationale in French) written in 1870 by Eugene Pottier.  The original was written and sang to the tune of La Marseillaise.  It is the most famous socialist song, one widely recognized around the world.  In my paper I would like to mention two occasions when this song was by people and what it meant to them. The occasions I would like to cover is the Russian October Revolution and a more recent example that is a protest of the students and workers at the Tiananmen Square in 1989—China.

The Internationale is one of the most widely-recognized songs of the world. It is sung by people in all the countries and it came to mean the socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist symbol of those oppressed. The author of the song had become the workers’ poet much earlier than the song was written. He himself had suffered from the oppression of the working class and he himself lost the faith in what he believed (Gluckstein). With the help of his song he was willing to restore this faith by starting to believe in new ideas. He alleged that very soon there would be changes made in the situation of the working class. The aim of his song was to imbue the people not to be afraid to stand up and speak out for who they are and what they represent (Halsall).

The Internationale means sets a very important place is the Russian Communist History. The song was initially translated by Arkady Yakovlevich Kotsin in 1902. At that time only three stanzas out of original six were translated and some grammatical changes were made in order to fit the song to the taste of the Bolsheviks (Busky, p. 159).   The song became the anthem of the communist party at the October revolution and continued to be so until 1944 when the Soviet Union adopted the Hymn of the Soviet Union as its national anthem.  At that time this song was sang by the working class, the Russian peasants who were willing to throw off the fetters of czarists and other bourgeois.  With this song people went after soviet authorities not knowing what they would have not bare from them later (Busky, p. 159).

The song, translated in Chinese was also the hymn of Chinese workers and students at Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in Beijing.  The protests were caused by the caused by the death of a democratic official, Hu Yaobang, whom protesters wanted to mourn.  The protesters lacked organization and strong leadership, the amount of those protesting had reached 100,000 people (Gluckstein). The people protesting were against the current governmental regime in the country and demanded changes from communist to democratic rule the way it was done in many other countries that year. For them the Internationale was a call for freedom, however then from the communist government and not for it the way it was in Russia (Halsall).

In conclusion, it is important to once again mention that the Internationale is a masterpiece recognized in many countries all over the world. It sets a very special place in the hearts of many people and links all of us to a long and proud tradition. This is so even if sometimes those singing this song and believing that the change they were fighting for would be for the better were wrong.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Urban Design Essay

Essay on Urban Design and Urbanism

"The Present City and the Practice of City Design" in Everyday Urbanism by John Kaliski
Urban design is study of the arrangement, appearance and functionality of urban areas, including the shaping and uses of urban public space. The theory of urban design deals mainly with the design and management of public space, the way they are seen and used. Public spaces are streets, squares, alleys. Boulevards and parks – places that we see every day. One of the main goals of urban design is to improve urban environment, make it more enjoyable and useful.

Urban planning is the integration of the disciplines of land-use planning and transport planning in order to explore a very wide range of aspects of the built and social environments of urban areas and communities. Regional planning deals with larger areas then urban planning, at a less detailed level. One of the main functions of urban planning is urban renewal, using urban planning methods in order to revive existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructural decay.
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We can draw a city on a map, plan the streets and buildings, however, the feeling of a city we can received only by experiencing it, walking on the streets, living its life, meeting its people. John Kaliski writes that despite of the professional efforts of the urban designers, the city lives its own everyday life.
 
The author starts the article with the words that we need the plan in order to look in the future. Later in the article, he mentions with some degree of disappointment, that many designers are behind the time and not in front of it. The designers should be ahead of their time, guessing the tendencies of city development and progress of society.
 
Most of the famous urban designers of the twenties century tried to create a conceptual city and wanted to create utopic cities, like for example, Le Corbusier, many designers wanted to create a city of order. This was characteristic to the designers of the early twentieth century. This trend has passed in the 50s, after the World War II. One of the greatest inventions of the postwar times is shopping mall. It was developed by Victor Gruen, whose childhood passed in Vienna. In the shopping mall, Gruen tried to recreate rich urban life of European cities, with its busy main streets and crowded sidewalks.

Jane Jacob, one of the key figures in American urban design, criticized the urban renewal policies of the fifties. In her famous work The Death an Life of Great American Cities she pointed out that when designing urban areas not the impression they give, but how people use things, she protected the traditional city blocks and proposed new principals of urban renewal. 
 
Edmund Bacon and Jonathan Barnett talked about architect as about “urban policy-makers.” Surprisingly enough, not the architectures and urban designers influence the appearance of the streets, but rather the officials who either approve or disapprove the design proposals. These people have power and authority to shape the way our cities look. Bacon and Barnett, for example, left greater contribution as government officials and not as individual designers.
 
Christopher Alexander thinks that designers and citizens should act collectively and residents should part in their community design together with professionals. He goes as far as suggesting that each time a new project is proposed, citizens and designers should come together and discuss the directions of the project. At the same time Alexander stresses that each time when a new building or object is planned, the next step of development should be also considered, just like a next step in a game of chess.
 
Denise Scott Brown is among the most influential architects of the twentieth century. She criticized urban designers and planners for not being able to catch up with the time and the changes. Her projects often incorporate the needs of every day city life as well as conceptual design.
 
In the United States throughout the 1990s emerged an urban design movement, new Urbanism. The goal of the movement is to change some aspects of real estate development, renewal and urban planning, from urban retrofits to suburban infill. New urbanist neighborhoods are designed to be walkable and interesting from the designers’ point of view.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Essay on Business Marketing

Essay on Business Marketing

Originally Canadian agricultural enterprise Agrium, world’s third large company in the industry (Pugh, 2010), is a wholesale producer of main agricultural nutrients working through a network of retail distributors in the world market, emphasizing primarily on North and South America (Agrium Inc, 2011). The strategy of the company lies in the integrated solutions for the whole production process – from extracting the raw materials to coming up with the ready-made product. Agrium uses own certified technologies increasing the efficiency of the products and dividing the company into three business units, which develop production facilities, sales, and technological innovations. The company now expands into Africa, Asia, and Australia by acquisitions of local companies in the same sector (Pugh, 2010) and building plants for its own production (Donville, 2011). The company reacts to the global competition from the strategic perspective and is making positive contributions from the governmental perspective by investing into the economies of foreign countries.
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Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., or PotashCorp, is the multinational company from Canada, the leader in the fertilizer industry, the competitor of Agrium. In Canada, the company is in the 100 Top local businesses, so it is recognized from the governmental perspective as a valuable employer and appreciated business. Potash is the main product and the focus of company’s business. The global presence is provided due to the operations in North and South Americas, Middle East, and Asia (PotashCorp, 2011). The strategy is based on the unique relationships with the stakeholders who are the consumers of the company’s products at the same time. PotashCorp emphasizes on the environmental approach in regard to all humanity and the planet identifying itself one of the key enterprises in promoting the world agricultural business, the main source of food on the planet.

BHP Billiton, an Australian company with headquarters in London, Great Britain, is a portfolio business in the field of mining and procession of natural resources around the world (PotashCorp, 2011). Its core business sectors are tightly connected with aluminium and other metals, diamonds, ore, coal and many others. Their strategy is supported by the two marketing hubs in Europe and Asia, based on geographic and product diversification, and seeks for business broadening and production site expansion (Taylor, 2010). That’s why in 2010, the company made a bid for the acquisition of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. Having own potash development sites, BHP Billiton has seen a challenge in the expansion into the fast-growing industry of potash and crop nutrients.

Therefore, the strategy of BHP Billiton at present incorporates the purchase of the successful existing businesses, which is affordable for the company of such sizes. Similar acquisition can considerably maximize the profits and introduce the company into the new phase of relationships with the stakeholders, especially the governmental bodies. However, the bid is reported to be rejected by PotashCorp, which feels itself as a strong player in the market, and this means that BHP Billiton has to look for other opportunities in expanding into the relatively new sphere. The example of such giant as BHP Billiton proves the powerfulness of multinational corporations and its considerable impact on private businesses and government.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Essay on Leaders

Essay about Leaders

It’s incredible! One of the most notorious leaders the world has seen, Moamar Khadafi, is facing an internal rebellion and has just learned that the world is ready to take military action against him and his corrupt regime. One of the largest economies in the world, the leader in technology, innovation, medicine, education and countless other fields is facing a catastrophe of biblical proportions. After being hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, Japan currently faces a number of melting nuclear reactors. This situation has the potential to turn parts of Japan into something worse than Chernobyl, Ukraine of 1986, which is still uninhabitable. So, where is the world going and where do I see myself and humanity in the next five, ten, fifteen years and beyond?
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Based on what history shows us, there has been conflict and internal strife within societies, communities, city- and nation-states. It has been an inevitable part of our existence, the constant warfare and bloodshed. Obviously some societies have seen less than others, but all in all, humanity has yet to cleanse itself of the need to harm itself. In essence the serious conflicts started when the hunter-gatherer tribes began settling into what would eventually become cities. Thus, territorial and resource conflicts prevailed, paving the way for male-dominated societies.  (Watson 2006) But there is hope. Since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment periods, humanity has learned again how to heal, much more than it learned how to kill. The evidence is in the population boom that is currently threatening the status quo of our planet. The greater need for resources and energy is pushing us to the limit. Nevertheless, we are more than capable of overcoming this.

In the past societies have encountered great obstacles, and have overcome them. The future does seem promising, although it might appear bleak to some. Great technological strides have been made in the fields of renewable energy, medicine and the sciences in general. The Western World has moved out of the Industrial Age and is slowly, but surely, progressing into the age of ideas. One of the leaders in predicting the future of science, Dr. Michio Kaku usually gives us an optimistic picture of the future. The great advances, previously mentioned, currently include invisibility cloaks, the ability to utilize the energy of the Sun very efficiently, as well as creating a new sphere of information sharing through teleportation.  (NPR Staff 2010)

Of course, it would be very cool to beam yourself from San Francisco to New York in a matter of seconds, but most importantly is that technology is paving the way for us to sustain ourselves on this planet, as well as save lives like never before imaginable. Scientists are in the process of creating devices that will build human organs from stem cells. Imagine, a person needing a new heart, can have it made within a matter of days, thus prolonging his life. But like always, we have great obstacles ahead of us, with wars, natural and manmade disasters, famine, diseases and much more. 

That is unfortunately inevitable, yet analyzing the past, we can also see that there is great hope in humanity, that we have overcame many impossible feats, and although we will stumble again, we will propel ourselves into a brave new world where the true utopian ideals will take shape.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Essay on SEO

Research Essay on SEO

Adapting a Writing Style

Introduction
Adapting to your audience is a crucial writing skill for one who wishes to reach a broad and general audience or introduce a new concept. Sentence structure, sentence length, and vocabulary must be accounted for when writing about a technical or specific subject in order for the audience to understand it. This paper will analyze a particular article and apply these principles in order to exemplify the adaptation process. The article chosen is an online instructional reference entitled “SEO 101: Getting High Google Placement”. The piece is a 12 page how-to guide for website owners who wish to promote their website through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. Although the tutorial is tailored towards beginners more so than experts, there is still a overwhelming of computer jargon and acronyms that can be confusing for some people.
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Adjustments
In this article, there are many terms and concepts that are introduced from scratch, which ensures that the reader will not have too much trouble understanding them. The main issue with this article is the presence of technical vocabulary describing concepts related to Internet practices and computer code such as HTML, Javascript and Flash. The assumption that all website owners are familiar with computer programming codes such as HTML is the first piece of evidence that indicates that some changes should be made.

Vocabulary
On the first page of this article, the author makes reference to “ tags”. As a website programmer, this may be obvious. However, for a beginner or an investor who is not familiar with computer language, this concept is completely abstract. In order to make this more comprehensive for the general audience, the author should describe or define the purpose o TITLE tags in a website before mentioning it. This issue reoccurs throughout the article when the author makes reference to META tags and A HREF links. A short introduction to these codes should be made before mentioning them throughout the article. Other terms such as ‘dead links’, ‘page weight’, and ‘dedicated IP address’ are not explained.

Article Structure
This article contains a lot of general yet useful information about SEO practices. Although it is broken down into 12 parts, the beginner may find it hard to find the information he or she requires. It would be helpful to change the table of contents to include numbering system, in order to provide a more comprehensive presentation of the different sections and subsections of the paper. Furthermore, the structure of the sentences is a little scattered, as there is little utilization of paragraphs.

Conclusion
The article chosen is directed at a general audience, which makes this analysis a little more interesting in terms of identifying aspects that could be improved upon in the aim of adapting to a general audience. The author demonstrates suitable sentence length, providing short and easy to read sentences. The author also does a satisfactory job of explaining most of the concepts throughout and providing definitions for terms. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement through adjustments, such as more detailed introductions of technical concepts and less use of computer jargon.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Online Education Essay

Online Education Essay

Online education presents itself in different ways. This includes distance learning, computer-based learning, distributed learning, and lifelong learning (Volery and Lord, 2000). Although these methods vary slightly, they hold one common denominator, which is unfavorable misconception. While there are misconceptions about many aspects, such as the credibility of online universities and their learning potential, there are many indicators that attending online courses as well as in class courses are equally effective forms of educating oneself.

An experiment conducted by Nova Southeastern University, examining students enrolling in similar courses with the same professors with the only difference being an online versus in-class setting, examined this issue. The resulting posttest score average for online and in-class students were 77.80 and 77.58, respectively, on a 100 point scale, a minimal difference in favor of online studies (Schulman, & Sims, 1999). Research studies similar to this one have proved that online learning that borrows from distance, computer based, and distributed learning is a viable option for anyone wishing to pursue post-secondary education. However, one should be properly informed about the nature of online education before considering pursuing it. This paper will outline the reasons one may want to choose online education, the key factors to a successful and effective online education, and the advantages of choosing online education.
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Choosing a university can be a difficult decision in one’s development in one’s life and choosing an online university is not any easier. There are many considerations such as the subject of interest, credibility of the university, and the financial requirements and capability of the individual that must be evaluated. In recent years there has been a visible skyrocketed usage of personal and portable computerized systems. The economic growth of the Internet, IT, and social networking along with the globalization of the world market has encouraged many universities and students alike to pursue online education. This has created more opportunities and simultaneously tighter competition for students, with some students even deciding to take on multiple workloads simultaneously.

Whether one is focusing on his career while maintaining online education or simultaneously enrolled in a traditional university-campus setting and taking additional online courses, there are many reasons to choose online education. Volery and Lord place the reasons for the growth of online education into four major categories; expanding access, alleviating capacity constraints, capitalizing on emerging market opportunities, and serving as a catalyst for institutional transformation (2000). Meeting a state’s educational needs in under-populated areas can be more costly in a traditional educational setting, the growth of the amount of people wishing to study, lifelong learning has created new student segments such as executives and working adults. The movement away from public funding for institutions requires these institutions to search for new streams of revenues (Volery and Lord, 2000).

When students consider online education, there are critical factors that weigh in on the effectiveness of the delivery of the actual information. The availability of tools such as a course conferencing system, electronic mail, slides, and virtual libraries provide students with various methods to intake information. However, there are certain and important factors which should be evaluated when determining the quality or effectiveness of an online education, which all stem from the categories of technology, instructor characteristics, and student characteristics. The factors to be considered include the ease of access and navigation (Can they log in at anytime of day?), the interface (Is it comprehensive and appealing?), interaction (Is there sufficient capability for communication between the teacher and the student?), attitudes towards students (What is the instructor’s personal approach?), instructor technical competence, and classroom interaction (Volery and Lord, 2000). 

Although the in-class format does hold it’s unique features that may be irreplaceable to some people, learning in an online setting provides students with features that otherwise would not be available in a traditional environment. This is why it is undeniable that online learning holds many advantages over traditional education. Although it is true that some universities, such as Duke, charge a premium for their online programs as opposed to their in-class counterparts, students who want to obtain their diploma online incur far less costs than those who have to actually attend an institution (Schulman, & Sims, 1999). Online students are not burdened with dormitory costs unlike students who live on residence and they do not require finances for transportation unlike those who study abroad.

Although it does not necessarily guarantee an effective form of education, online studies also compare favorably with traditional methods of education in regards to standardized test scores. Two separate studies, one conducted by the University of Michigan and the other by the University Pheonix concluded that computer-based learning yields higher scores than traditional education, with the latter study showcasing a 5-10% increase of scores among graduates (Schulman, & Sims, 1999) .

While a traditional learning environment may feel more personal at an elementary and even high-school level, post-secondary institutions often offer very large classes. Some students may perceive this as intimidating and feel that it is harder to approach a professor in non-“student-centered” environment (Kohn, 2003). These students may find it easier to communicate with their colleagues as well as with their professors through an email/ intranet system.Furthermore, in an attempt to qualify the term well educated, Kohn concludes that quizzes and test scores are an ineffective way to measure the quality of education; rather that in-depth projects and portfolios of assignments are better indicators of one’s ability to learn (2003). Because online education relies heavily on self-administered exercises, it is more practical for instructors to pursue these forms of instruction and evaluation.

As long as students understand the reasons they would like to pursue would like to attend an online university, are able to evaluate the program based on technology, instructor characteristics, and student characteristics, and are aware of the advantages that online education hold over other forms of education, they will be able to complete fulfilling and rewarding study programs online. In fact, one who pursues an online education shows a disposition to educate him or herself and isn’t that what being well educated is really all about? Not just the ability to raise and answer important questions, but to be self-motivated to do so (Kohn, 2003).
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Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Online Education topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fleet Management Research Paper

Fleet Management System Research Essay

Executive Summary
Z, Inc. core business goal is to provide best of breed brokerage and logistical services to its clients. The CIO, Bob Braudy, believes Z, Inc. can improve operational productivity and increase business by introducing a Fleet Management System (FMS) that provides location-based services and near real-time traffic alerts on its existing enterprise network making information related to logistical services available to the company and its clients. Today, Z, Inc. has an enterprise network that includes a Web site as well as Intranet/Internet networking. The FMS system will integrate into the company existing Service Delivery Model as shown in Figure 1. The company presently uses the Internet and wireless technologies to send and receive text messages to its contract fleet of independent truck drivers to communicate.

The primary use of the Internet is to access an online directory, a Web-based e-mail system, and other applications and services. There is an opportunity to introduce a Fleet Management System to track independent trucking fleets to obtain real-time location, communicate using existing communication technologies (e.g. e-mail or cell phone networks for voice or data), and provide near real-time traffic alerts that can provide at least one alternate route. However, the introduction of a Fleet Management System will require new contract negotiations with independent truck drivers.  
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The benefit is that Z, Inc. can collect comprehensive fleet management data directly on any truck in the fleet from the onboard computer using GPS information for remote 24/7 tracking and location data, instant e-mail alerts, activity reporting, and near real-time traffic alerts. The investment is costly and subscription services will have to be transferred to independent truckers to share costs. The timeframe to integrate and implement the FMS solution is readiness for production roll-out within one year of approval.

Business Objective
Z, Inc. strategic goals include the continuing growth and profitability of the company. The Fleet Management System will support these goals by increasing productivity of the independent trucking fleet by allowing the company to increase visibility of logistical activities by tracking and locating trucks and client assets anytime, anywhere. The FMS solution will also provide near-real time traffic alerts. The FMS solution will also improve profitability by reducing downtime, lowering fuel and operational costs, and provide remote vehicle diagnostics which is advantageous to both the company and independent truckers. Because Z, Inc. is focused on identifying a profitable solution and measuring its value after completion, the project team must meet the stated criteria.

Problems and Opportunities
In order for Z, Inc. to gain a lead over competitors there is a need to improve logistical communications between the company and an independent fleet of truckers. The need to have a solution that can be integrated into the company’s existing enterprise that provides anytime, anywhere data 24/7 to track and visually locate trucks and client assets and near real time traffic alerts is crucial. A unified solution is needed that can integrate the existing tools such as laptop computers, cell phones and other handheld devices, and Global Positioning Systems applications used by the company and independent truckers. The solution has to be reliable in mountainous regions where satellite coverage may be spotty. The use of the Internet via landline and cellular networks to communicate with independent truckers lack the visibility needed to track and locate a large trucking fleet.

The need to select three OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to participate in a RFP (Request for Proposal) has to be executed within 30 days during the planning of the project. During the 30 day period OEMs are invited to provide demo models and presentations of their products, including product roadmap for feasibility analysis. This is crucial to OEM selection.   

Assumptions and Constraints
The proposed Fleet Management Solution must be a valuable asset for Z, Inc. Independent truckers must support the solution, and it must pay for itself within one year by reducing operating costs to the company and independent truckers and generate new business. The company has an enterprise network that consists of the various systems related to customer relations, human resource, finance, and so on. What is missing is an integrated approach to fleet management that includes location-based tracking, traffic alerts, and voice and data communications. Integrating a Fleet Management System into the existing enterprise network requires only integrating the FMS servers and operational database which does not require any programming or coding.  Integration in this instance will require only connecting, configuring, and securing the FMS into the corporate Intranet. Internal IT resources can perform this work with support from the OEM vendor.

Currently, most OEM products offer GPS and location-based tracking, but automatic traffic alerts and alternative routing is a part of the product roadmap. To expedite the delivery of this feature Z, Inc. has to initiate a RFP (Request for Proposal) to candidate OEMs to design and integrate the traffic alert feature in advance of their present product roadmap which is scheduled in 3Q2011. The revision of the hardware platform that will be used to integrate the automatic traffic alert functionality is available presently. Some OEMs are currently negotiating licensing agreements with Automatic Traffic Notification Providers to introduce the functionality as a software upgrade. Z, Inc. expects to partner with one of the OEMs as an early adopter of the solution and therefore requires First Office Application (FOA). 

The automatic traffic alert functionality will offer a competitive advantage as Z, Inc. will be first to market this before competition does. This is the area where Rapid Application Development (RAD) is required. Z, Inc. has to negotiate with OEMs about designing and integrating the missing feature, near real-time traffic alerts, into their solution. The OEM will use RAD (Extreme Programming or Scrum methods) to deliver the solution in 30-60 days. This is agreeable to our project timeline. Extensive input from Z, Inc. and the independent truckers is required to support RAD development in order to meet the listed timeline. Concurrently, the Z, Inc. Sales and Marketing Team has to negotiate an agreement with truckers to increase per load cost by 0.5%, which may require mediation to complete within 6 months. The solution will also provide Central Monitoring capabilities that can be viewed by the Z, Inc. dispatchers or the Network Operations Center (NOC).  The business analyst team must lead the effort as a project team that requires participation from truckers, clients, and various parts of the organization. The solution must run on the company’s existing hardware and software, and integrate seamlessly into the trucker’s existing tools and applications. The solution should also require minimum technical support. It must be user friendly and must be easily accessible by end users, truckers, and clients and yet secure from unauthorized users.

Alternative Solutions
Options and Recommendations
There are three options for addressing this opportunity:

  1. Do nothing. Z, Inc., is doing well, and can continue to operate without a FMS project.
  2. Purchase an FMS-specialized software and hardware application to support this new capability with little in-house development.
  3. Design and implement a FMS capability in-house using mostly existing hardware and software. Based on the time constraint, availability of new technology, and in-house intellectual assets, we believe that option 2 is the best option.


Project Requirements
The main feature requirements of the Fleet Management System include the following:

  1. Tracking of trucks. Z, Inc. must be able to track the location of the trucks and therefore GPS position information is recorded for real-time location that can be mapped using digital mapping software or satellite imagery for real-time status and location, and visually displayed on a personal computer at the company dispatch center.
  2. Near real-time traffic alert. Independent truckers must have the capability to receive advanced notification of traffic conditions. In addition to giving directions, the applications must offer live traffic information and alert the drivers to bottlenecks, roadwork and accidents before the drivers get to them. Plus the traffic alerting must be able to respond with at least one alternate route.
  3. Central Monitoring and Tracking
  4. Other function?


Budget Estimate and Financials
Risks and Opportunities
The primary risk in wireless communication is a down-time in transmission. The possibilities for this may come from several sources, and forethought in fabricating a backup plan in each case would keep uptime to a maximum. Those situations that may cause downtime in communications occur in each of the phases of transfer:
  1. Computer-based crashes and offline conditions create a first-level downtime, since the origination of the messages becomes halted without Internet applications. A supplemental computer system, in another department or location, supplied with identical software applications and hook-ups, would be functional as a secondary service base for dispatch in the case of computer breakdowns.
  2. ISP downtime is less likely but still possible. Including a backup plan, as simple as a dial-up phone connection to another service provider, would mitigate interruption to fleet truckers while in route.
  3. Application interruption may occur when using the Internet as medium to transfer data to truckers. The outsourcing of traffic flow from a third party is highly reliable, depending on the source, but not always guaranteed for 100% access time. A secondary option such as MapQuest traffic online, or direct reading from Google traffic, would supply the Z Inc. dispatch with information that would be used manually in situations that require human interface. 
  4. Trucker-systems breakdowns are likely to be rare, but expected to happen over the course of a year. This would be a realistic viewpoint by Z Inc. when calculating the number of trips booked annually, the size of the fleet at any one time, and the number of miles traveled per contract. Implementing a secondary transmission unit per truck is not out of line, when considering the likelihood that each independent trucker already owns a laptop as well as a cell phone, with alternatives such as a Blackberry unit or RFID already installed with the assigned load.

The target result in fabricating a backup system to each phase of communications is to maintain a constant communication between Z Inc. and the assigned fleet. The multiple phases of data transfer require dissection of each step, from origination of data transfer at dispatch to the traveling side of the contents, between initiation of trip and end of cargo transfer.

Risks and Mitigation
Operations

Performance standards that support 99% up-time for day-to-day operations; Service level agreement that delivers performance levels of 99% or better of the time and fulfill 99% of its transactions on-time with minimum delay. How well the supplier manages risk factors associated with processes and handling fault conditions related to service interruptions. 

Security
The solution takes special precautions to guard against security risks such as breach of wireless transmissions and tracking systems that can compromise the whereabouts of truckers in transit.

Risk associated with contract independent drivers acquiring 0.5% percentage ownership cost of new technology added to each load must be negotiated on a short term basis as economic conditions govern the direction of costs.  

Cost of licensing technology and the need to choose from a couple of alternative business models that best fit the company business needs.  In terms of financing, determination about how much money is needed for investment and selection of a strategic investor.
Mitigating this factor…
Technology

Integrating company IT infrastructure to hosting provider as the need to maintain data security is essential. Flexibility of hosting provider service capabilities, cost, and performance are required.  Technological advances and platform migrations through modernization, delivering next generation software to remain competitive are necessary.  The technical architecture i.e. computing equipment, connectivity to the Internet, facilities, management services, and Internet security services (firewall protection) is important. Risk the software would be unable to meet business long term requirements due to scalability.

Voice and Data Communications
What should this feature of the product do? Describe how the existing voice and data communications can be integrated into the FMS solution.

Project Success Criteria
Team–B goal is to compete the FMS project within 1 year at a cost of no more than $X,000,000.00. The project sponsor, Dr. Bob Braudy, has emphasized the importance of this project improving productivity and revenue growth, and paying for itself by transferring costs to independent truckers. To meet the financial goal, the FMS must have trucker’s input and approval. It will be necessary to capture survey data from field testing and after rollout. The project is constrained by a 1 year timeline and should the project take longer to complete, Z, Inc. will then evaluate the success or failure of the project. If the solution provides good results in improving productivity and logistical efficiencies and helps promote a positive image to our clients as a best-of-breed Freight Forwarding and Brokerage firm, then the project will be a success.

Tests and Validation
A random selection of 100 independent truck drivers will perform an initial evaluation of three vendor products during the RFP period, and 30 days prior to integrating the final solution. The purpose is to evaluate the vendor product on the basis of features, functionality, and reliability for a period of thirty days before and after integration. Fleet Management Systems are mature commercial products, currently offering global positioning and location-based tracking. The development portion of the project is to develop near real-time traffic alert functionality. Near real-time traffic alert functionality has to be integrated into the vendor product and field tested by truckers for a period of 30 days prior to rollout. Testing of …

Internal and External Stakeholder
An important part of the project charter is the signature approval and individual comments of key stakeholders. Another important part is to get stakeholders to agree on the project charter. Key stakeholders are encouraged to communicate their concerns to be documented and addressed within the project. Z, Inc., considers this project to be a high priority and all resources committed to the project are expected to be assigned for the duration of the project. Testing and validation of the features, functionality, reliability, and security issues are major concerns that have to be considered within the project.

Governance
Discuss various aspects of governance from a project perspective… What ethical issues should the project consider? What are some of the organizational rules and practices to be followed?  What are Z, Inc., and Vendor responsibilities to the truckers and the public?  To ensure integrity and professionalism what laws and policies should be follow?

"For most very important projects I consider governance structure to mean those executives (C-level) and managers from the company who are directly affected by/responsible for ensuring the project is successful.  The governance board provides strategic oversight and guidance which includes necessary policies and resolving decisions that cannot be made at the operational (project management) level.  The governance group should be relatively small (a handful of folks, but who?).  In this situation, the individual who is project managing the entire project should be a member of the board.” (Dr. Bob, Team B post)

Project Closure
As was described earlier, Fleet Management System is designed in order to ease and improve Z, Inc. performance. It will provide company with the modern and developed tools, which will strengthen its competitive advantage. The process of introducing FMS into the company’s system is crucial yet complex and includes many details, which should be considered. Therefore, in order for the project to be successfully completed, several objectives and activities have o performed.

First of all, since the introduction of FMS in a number one priority for Z, Inc, it needs to concentrate on this project, using all the available resources. All the departments have to perform their tasks in the time periods, which were stated above. There should be no delay in any of the required activities. People from different departments must be assigned to work on this project and provided with all the necessary information and resources.

Second of all, the beginning of all the necessary internal activities should be followed by contacting and meeting the parties, which will be involved in the project development. Those parties are manufacturers and end users. Project initiators must communicate the conditions of the contracts with the vendors and suppliers, who will provide the company with the devices. Since there are five products, which will be developed for the project, each product’s criteria must be discussed. Since end-users will be involved in the financial part of the project, this is crucial to communicate all the conditions and terms with them. All the details must be discussed and contracts are signed in order for the project to move on. It is important that all the time-frames will be followed and all the deadlines met.

Next activity, which should be performed by the team, includes the financial estimation of the project. After performing a second task, the worthiness of the project will be more comprehensible. Financial department then will need to work on the budget and allocation of resources.

Finally, devices must be accepted and tested. It is crucial to make sure that one of the products, which is completely new, will be checked for a quality. All the products must function properly without any technical failures. This is the last step in the project before installing the system and presenting it to the end users. Z, Inc must make sure that all the products and devices will be delivered to the customers in the best condition and perfectly functioning.

The project will be considered to be completed successfully in case all the activities will be performed accurately and will meet all the deadlines. The major objectives of the project, which include delivering faster and more convenient logistics solutions to the customers, will be attained through the collective and dynamic work of the projects’ members.  

Any deviation in the initial instructions, which are stated in the project proposal, must be communicated with project managers, sponsors and all the stakeholders. In this particular project, which needs to be completed within the limited period of time, project’s team might be faced with certain challenges, which will have to be resolved with the minimum risk to the completion of the project.  

Final report will provide project’s stakeholders with the detailed description of the processes and activities, which will be performed during the project. It will illustrate in what sequence all the activities were performed. Report will include all the challenges, which the project group was faced with, and it will then explain how those challenges were eliminated. Final report of the project will be designed in order to give a clear picture of how a project like this must be completed, and what problems might occur during the process. This will mainly be done in order to better understand the nature of such project in the future.

Conclusion
Z, Inc has developed a plan of finding easier and more convenient logistics solutions for their customers. Company has not only found a solution for delivering better quality service to its customers, but also found a way to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors in the market.

The project is concentrated on an introduction of a new system, which will allow Z, Inc products’ end users to enjoy the simplicity and convenience of their design and new features. Innovations will include such features as: 24/7 real-time vehicle location, detailed activity reporting, on board diagnostic data, near real-time traffic alerts, and interfaces to Z, Inc. enterprise databases. Almost all of these features are comparably new in delivering business and will definitely serve as a great tool for logistics companies’ costs reduction.  

Above stated project proposal has offered a plan, which will assist Z, Inc in achieving its goal and successfully introducing Fleet Management System into its routine. It has described the major and most important steps, which should be made in order to conclude this project. Departments, which must take part in this project, were listed together with their major tasks and responsibilities. Due to the urgency of the completion, project managers have estimated and set the deadlines, which must be met by the team.

The most important section of the proposal is the objectives, which need to be achieved by this project. It describes the necessity and importance if such an innovation both for the company and its customers. The objectives are mainly concentrated on improving both performance of Z, Inc in the market and increasing its competitive advantage and on providing products’ end users with comfortable and effective solutions for their logistics issues. 

The proposal also included the description of each tool, which will be introduced to the system and their advantages. It claims that the new system with its innovations will change logistics practices and results and will bring them to the next level. This claim is mainly based on the explanations of each product’s functions and abilities.

The paper gives a clear and detailed picture of how the project is about to be performed. It includes covers such important points as objectives, tasks, people and departments involved, budgets,  etc in order for the investors and stakeholders to understand its nature and necessity of its completion. 
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cause and Effect Research Paper Tips

Cause and Effect Research Paper Tips

Students who study at college or university are obliged to learn writing various kinds of research papers. One of the most important and useful types of research is cause and effect, because student has to present the situation, problem, event and analyze its effect and importance. The task seems to be quite simple but many students fail it because of lack of experience, training and knowledge. If you want to complete a high-quality cause and effect research paper, you have to pay much time to the studying of the topic and its main points and follow brief professional cause and effect research paper writing tips below which will make your work easier and more productive.

Cause and Effect Research Paper Writing Guidelines:
  1. To begin with, choose the best topic which totally suits you. Try to select the most interesting topic, so that you can devote much time to its analysis and get pleasure from doing it. After that create a good thesis statement which reflects the problem of the topic, the purpose of the research and the reason why you thing it is urgent and worth investigation. Of course, in order to make the research interesting for the readers, try to brainstorm a controversial arguable thesis statement to analyze the topic from all sides and draw different conclusions.
     
  2. As you understand a cause and effect research paper requires strict logical organization. You begin from the introductory part presenting the problem, its roots, reasons and develop the explanation of the problem gradually. Paragraph after paragraph you will illustrate the whole problem and then show its effect on the surrounding world, environment, political situation, etc. Evidently, if you want to provide the readers with the reliable cause of the problem, you have to collect trustworthy data from high-quality sources, analyze it and arrange it logically in the text. Remember about the problem of plagiarism and never steal the ideas of talented scholars, always cite their thoughts and expressions but do not overload the text with them.
     
  3. When you present the ideas of different scholars towards the problem, you will make you own image of its effect on the world. You are free to argue or support the thoughts and positions of famous writers, scientists but support your ideas with reliable evidence. Include graphs, statistics, interviews, tables to create a trustworthy image of the paper. Finally, you are ready to summarise your research with a wise conclusion. State that there are many controversial points in the problem but all are worth existing, or choose the favourite effect which you probably like or believe to exist.
     
  4. Presenting the text of the cause and effect research paper, try to make it formal, fill it with good vocabulary and avoid first or second person pronouns.
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    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Summarizing Exercise Essay

    Summarizing Exercise Essay

    1. In scrambling, one of the most dangerous mountaineering sports, the weight of the backpack and the ability to balance play a vital role, since the fall either backward or forward is maintained primarily by the weight of the pack, making balancing rather difficult and keeping the individual cautious at all times (Gruchow 163).

    In scrambling, one of the most dangerous mountaineering sports, the weight of the backpack and the ability to balance play a vital role, since the fall either backward or forward is maintained primarily by the weight of the pack, making balancing rather difficult and keeping the individual cautious at all times (Gruchow, 1988, p. 163).
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    2. In his book Grizzly Years, a well-known animal expert, Doug Peacock suggests the grizzly bears to be similar to the representatives of the modern mankind, having such traits in common as: the feeling of joy, risk-taking, and appreciation of privacy(104).

    In his book Grizzly Years,(1990) a well-known animal expert, Doug Peacock suggests the grizzly bears to be similar to the representatives of the modern mankind, having such traits in common as: the feeling of joy, risk-taking, and appreciation of privacy (p. 104).

    3. On page 161 of his 1991 book Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra, states that the reason why severe and provoking tactics are used nowadays to treat addictions of different kinds lies in the fact that in order to be cured, the patients should be constantly and coercively reminded what they should not return to, and become as strong of haters of the ex-addiction as they were the adherents.

    4. It has been proved that being different from men women show dissimilar tactics when starting up a business, one of these tactics is consulting another woman who has achieved something in the interested field, which encourages the women and gives them more self-confidence to start up a new enterprise (Price, 1994, p. 73).

    It has been proved that being different from men women show different tactics when starting up a business, one of these tactics is consulting another woman who has achieved something in the interested field, which encourages the women and gives them more self-confidence to start up a new enterprise (Price, 73).

    5. Today more and more we hear about the groups of teenagers who hurt, injure or kill their coevals, without any remorse or regret, such acts are usually done from the desire to fit into the group of peers or maintain the leading positions, this problem is becoming frightening indeed, as implied in the book Teen Violence Explodes in Cities by John Greer (Greer, 28-36).

    Today more and more we hear about the groups of teenagers who hurt, injure or kill their coevals, without any remorse or regret, such acts are usually done from the desire to fit into the group of peers or maintain the leading positions, this problem is becoming frightening indeed, as implied in the book Teen Violence Explodes in Cities (1995) by Greer (Greer, p. 28-36).
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    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Essay on Anxiety Disorders

    Sample Essay on Anxiety Disorders

    Affecting approximately 10% of all youngsters under the age of 18, anxiety disorders are among the second most common psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents.

    With this numbers in mind, a trained clinician assessing a child with anxiety problems should pay attention at the limitations and challenges he or she might face.

    As an example, let us consider the faced when assessing a child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The first complication one might encounter is the influence of office atmosphere upon the child during the examination. Children may simply not show symptoms during the appointment if they are able to control their behavior for short periods of time (hyperactive/impulsive type) or appear to pay attention (inattentive type) at the doctor’s office.
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    Children (especially younger) may have difficulty talking about their behavior, and also be unaware, or unwilling to admit, that their difficulties or behavior may indicate symptoms of a disorder, which, in turn, complicates the assessing.

    When counseling a child, it is preferable to ask specific and detailed questions about symptoms, and in addition interview parents, teachers or other caregivers, who are able to describe the child’s behaviors more accurately. The parent needs to be continually part of communication between the teacher and the doctor.

    Another challenge to assessing is the fact that, as a child grows, symptoms vary and their appearance may change, therefore, to determine the appropriate diagnosis, it is often better to see a child over time.

    When counseling a child with ADHD it is also important to remember that other behavioral conditions may look like ADHD or may co-exist with this disorder (e.g. the conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder, etc). Mood disorders (e.g. depression and bipolar disorder) influence the child’s ability to pay attention, and are often preceded by ADHD.

    The misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder as ADHD can lead to inappropriate treatment resulting in rapid cycling or mania. Anxiety disorders (like generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder and panic disorder) may look like ADHD, because a child’s anxiety can produce difficulty concentrating or agitation.

    When assessing a child, it is important to obtain additional information thorough relevant laboratory tests and physical examinations upon the child’s background (e.g. abuse, the cases of physical trauma, neglect, caffeine and medical conditions (like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, seizure disorders, genetic conditions, sleep disorders, head trauma, and toxic exposures) can cause ADHD-like symptoms of hyperactivity or problems with paying attention.

    Medical, educational, and behavioral history, plus the developmental survey, evidence of normal vision and hearing, and recognition of any systemic illness constitute a comprehensive evaluation for ADHD. The prevailing criteria are contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association--Fourth Edition--Text Revision, known as DSM-IV. Making a diagnosis based solely on a diagnostic checklist is inadequate – it should be based on the history and clinical observation reviewing the individual’s current and past life. Additionally, clear impairment of functioning in at home and school and the presence of 6 of the 9 inattention or hyperactivity symptoms as specified in the DSM-IV are necessary to make that diagnosis.

    Psychological testing, although not diagnostically helpful, can detect the possible coexistence of learning disabilities. Conservative estimates of the prevalence of learning disorders among children with ADHD are about 20-25%.

    When children attend a counseling session for assessment they may face uneasiness and anxiety, or, on the contrary, stay mute. This occurs due to the temporary loss of significant people, familiar surroundings and special items (like toys, etc.). It is extremely important to address their needs of safety and comfort and to provide a respective environment. This might include the participation of the caregiver or a private item. The inattentive type of ADHD-diagnosed children might benefit from a place with no extra distraction, but not a hostile medical office, but rather a place of mutual trust.

    Counseling children with ADHD takes a lot of encouragement and support. Therefore, it is of vital importance to coach a family about what they can reasonably expect from their child and the means to stimulate positive response upon the requests from him or her.

    The specialist trying to formulate a therapeutic relationship with these children might also encounter certain problems, like a problem of sharing necessary information (sometimes children – especially younger ones – are unable to answer the questions properly or even reluctant to do so). The children’s perceptions of closeness with their therapists are often associated with their perceptions of closeness with their mothers, their own age, and welfare status of the family. The more coincidence there is, the better relationship becomes, and the more benefits could be gained from the counseling process.

    Generally, children are much more emotionally vulnerable and family (caregiver)-dependent, which on the one hand complicates the counseling but at the same time it provides additional opportunities of making parent-teacher-therapist alliances that might be beneficial for both the child and the assessing process itself. It is important to develop emotional sensitivity, mindfulness, compassion validation and empathic understanding that comprehend truly effective therapeutic relationship.
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    Essay on Polish Culture

    Essay on Polish Culture

    The performance of the Mazowsze Polish dancers, singer and musicians, which took place on November 24 in the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia became a very bright and interesting cultural event. The Mazowsze folk ensemble is very popular all over the world. High quality of performance and adherence to national traditions become the main reasons of its popularity. The performance of this ensemble helps people from all over the world to get an idea about Polish folk art and culture. Mazowsze was founded by Tadeusz Sygietynski and Mira Zimenska-Sybietynska in 1948. Originally the Mazowsze ensemble was created with the intention to save Polish original art and culture. This idea was supported by the Ministry of Culture of Poland.
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    The Polish culture is a unique combination of Latinate and Byzantine cultures. Many local ethnic groups, who lived on the territory of modern Poland, added to the cultural diversity of this country. The Polish culture can be generally characterized by the combination of different cultures and lifestyles. This country incorporates Eastern and Western customs, traditions and styles. Traditional Polish costumes combine Eastern style with Islamic elements. For the most part Polish songs are monophonic but they can also be suitable for dancing. The themes of Polish folk songs reflect the history and identity of the people. Many songs are dedicated to the historic events; others describe the themes of love, friendship, betrayal, etc.

    Mazowsze ensemble was created during the difficult time when the cultural identity of Poland was under threat. With the flow of time it helped not only to save Polish culture, but also to popularize it all over the world. The troupe perfectly reproduces the national spirit. It gives an opportunity to people, who are not familiar with the Polish art, to form an opinion about it. The costumes of the ensemble reflect national clothing of many regions of Poland.

    The debut at the Kimmel Center became a bright and picturesque event. The ensemble consisted of around 100 singers and dancers, who performed in more than 1500 costumes. During the show they presented dances from 15 different regions of Poland. The members of the troupe projected the national spirit, which contained a mix of emotions, humour and rich musical expressions. The songs from Hrubiezow fascinated the audience with melodic and romantic sounds while the songs from the Kjelce region cheered up the public. Several songs, dedicated to the coming holiday season, displayed strong religious values. All songs were very melodic and even without understanding the words the audience was able to hear the message conveyed by the artists.

    Wonderful choreography was accompanied by nice music. Bright and lively compositions, where music sounded so nice that it was hard not to start dancing, were changed by lyric and melodic themes, which touched the very depth of my soul. During the dances smiling dancers moved so naturally and organically that the entire stage seemed to be a mixture of colours, sounds and joy. Lyrical compositions made nice combination of wonderful play and singing. Traditional Polish instruments sounded so nice that it seemed sometimes that I could hear the very spirit of these people, who make such wonderful music and put so much soul in it. Polish music is a combination of touching sounds and very melodic passes between them. When the song starts, you feel poured in to the melody and can not think about anything else but tender, appealing and deep sounds, which capture all your attention and make follow them.

    The national dance from Krakow, called Krakowiak, filled the audience with the true polish spirit. It originated from the Malopolska region of Poland. Krakowiak inspired many Polish composers, such as Chopin, Paderewski and Szymanowski. It was very interesting to see this famous dance in a perfect performance of Mazowsze troupe which is known specifically for performing national Polish dances. During the dance performances I could feel the rhythm of the music and enjoyed watching the dance movements. The dances captured the Polish spirit and reflected the performers’ national identity.

    Integration and globalization, which became a big part of the modern world, assumed not the absorption of one nation by another, but rather an interconnection and creation of closer ties between different nations. That is the reason why sharing national identities and getting closer to other cultures is so important. I believe that Mazowsze troupe gives a perfect opportunity for everybody interested in Polish art and culture to get to know it better. Poland is a European country and its unique history gives it a rich cultural heritage. Originally situated between East and West, this country united the best achievements of many cultures of the world. At the same time it combined the inputs from different cultures in the unique manner and created its own national identity. The globalization has raised the level of interest to different cultures and their folklore. The rich Polish art has a lot to offer to the world and Mazowsze presents it in a way which appeals to many people from different cultures.

    What I really enjoyed was that people of Polish descent as well as the people of other nationalities enjoyed the performance. This indicates the high proficiency of the troupe. It is natural that this folk art appeals to the polish people, since this culture is native for them, but when the people of other cultures enjoy the performance, it demonstrates the universal language of art.

    I enjoyed the performance not only because it gave me the insight into another lifestyle and culture, but also because the singers and dancers were magnificent. The costumes recreated the spirit of different regions and historical epochs of Poland. I would recommend this show not only to those, who are interested in Polish art and culture, but also for people, who appreciate folk art of high quality. Attending a show like that is a best way to get acquainted with different cultures and to get an aesthetic pleasure from the performance of high level.
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