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LAFLIN Surrounded by shelves of tools and tiny trees, some two dozen people gather monthly inside the Midway Garden Center to practice an ancient Japanese art.

The garden supply and landscaping business, owned by Ray and Sue Lauer, has catered to area bonsai enthusiasts for about 30 years. It’s also where the NEPA Bonsai Society gathers to talk trees, and the centuries old practice of growing and grooming them in artistic pots.

The Bonsai Society began meeting at the garden center about 1987, when Ray Lauer suggested it as an alternative to the club’s former meeting site a VFW Post in Dupont where they weren’t allowed to actually work on the trees during meetings.

At the time, the garden center had no bonsai trees or bonsai equipment for sale, but the Lauers had an interest in the hobby.

“As we got into it more, when (the bonsai society) started meeting here more, we would get things that we thought the group would need,” Sue Lauer said.

Midway currently stocks bonsai trees, pottery, soils and tools from shears and root rakes to concave cutters as well as books and literature and other equipment, making it a full service, one stop shop for bonsai hobbyists.

It’s the Lauers’ dedication to the art of bonsai that sets them apart from many mass merchants who sell the tools and trees online. Beyond just selling the trees, they want to see the trees thrive.

“It’s a very easy hobby, but the trees are not forgiving,” Ray Lauer said. “They’re a living plant that require food and water,
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and some grooming and wiring. But it’s an art, so it can be as expensive as one wants to let it become. It’s a growing experience, because every tree is different.”

While juniper bonsai trees are often portrayed in popular culture, virtually any tree can be a bonsai. The word bonsai simply means “tree in pot,” and Midway offers a variety of trees for hobbyists with different levels of expertise.

NEPA Bonsai Society member Brooke Yeager is a professor of biology with a concentration in botany, but he only started doing bonsai a few years ago when he got a tree as a gift. He said Midway is a great resource for people just starting with the hobby, both when it comes to buying equipment and learning from the staff.

“You can get some of the supplies online, but it’s nice to be able to just go to the store to get what you need,” Yeager said.

“They never made me feel like I should know all of this (because of my biology background). They really guided me on my journey.”

In addition to the Lauers’ institutional knowledge, the club also offers an arena for members to teach and learn from one another. They often host experts who give demonstrations, or experiment with new techniques.

On a cool evening last month, for example, the club gathered at the garden center to practice “slab planting,” where the tree is anchored to a slab of stone instead of rooted in a pot. Together, they worked through the process of anchoring wires to the stone that stabilizes the tree as it grows.

“We feel that it’s an excellent learning atmosphere, because everyone is very interested in teaching and growing the hobby locally,” bonsai enthusiast and club member Joseph Senchak said of the garden center and the club. “You become friends. You get to tap into each other’s expertise. . That helps to make us better artists.”

When the Lauers opened Midway in 1985, they had no idea it would develop into the area’s foremost bonsai outlet.

“It was the farthest thing from my mind. We were a landscape contractor with a retail store,” Ray Lauer said. “Bonsai became our niche only because we developed a passion for it.”

While bonsai accounts for only about 10 percent of their business, the Lauers maintain that passion,
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helping others to nurture both their trees and their enthusiasm for the art.

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The husband and wife team that brought GForce Karting to the province two years ago is pushing their business model into the next gear.

Next week, following an extensive and expensive renovation, Walter Matena and Kieley Hickey will open the doors to the GForce Funderdome, a 40,000 square foot facility that will feature an indoor go kart track, a sizeable blacklight arcade, five party rooms with the option of converting three of them into one room to accommodate larger groups a licensed adult only race lounge and a canteen.

Come February they also launch a race themed indoor glow in the dark 18 hole mini golf course at the facility at 1269 Topsail Rd., nestled on the edge of Donovans Industrial Park.

Unlike the go karting operation they operated during the summer in the parking lot of the Jack Byrne Arena, the indoor karts are not the same high performance variety, meaning they top out at around 32 km/h compared to 65 km/h for the outdoor karts.

But, Hickey adds, speed at 32 km/h on a tight, constrained track feels very much like 65 km/h. and outdoor are so unique, explains Matena, a lifelong karting enthusiast who has previously operated both types of tracks in Ontario.

you really drift and slide in the turns, it tight, it fast paced. Outdoors is fast paced as well, but it a wide track, it a longer track, you stick a bit more in the turns. been in here playing with different track layouts because we want to find one that comfortable for all walks, Matena says. still aggressive and fun enough for guys who are skilled, but still easy and fun enough for someone who doesn have those skills. is paramount, he says.

As with the Jack Byrne karts, drivers must be a certain age and meet a size requirement 52 inches in order to steer their own kart. For those who are either too young, too small or both, there are special two person karts that allow a parent or guardian to sit in the driver seat.

All the karts are also speed controlled.

when we get younger kids out we can put them at a half speed so they can get out there and get a feel for a couple of laps before we kick them up to full speed. If there an accident where a car spins out on the track, we can put them all down to an idle speed so you drive around nice and safe. and Hickey have even installed a state of the art ventilation system and carbon monoxide sensors throughout the racing area.

had karts going while we were testing track layouts and you can smell anything, says Matena.

It also markedly cheaper than the outdoor racing. Whereas $20 got you a 10 minute spin around the Jack Byrne track, members at Funderdome can tackle the indoor circuit for $15. The more sessions, the cheaper it becomes for both member and non member alike.
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Welcome to the Gender and Medicine website of the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, Victoria, Australia . Since 2002 Monash has been teaching a new five year undergraduate medical curriculum. Monash University’s medical Faculty is the first in the world to commit to mainstreaming an evidence based gender perspective throughout its new medical curriculum. To this end we do not limit discussion of gender to women health but through gender analysis of the entire curriculum development, assessment and clinical teaching process we systematically identify where the gender has an impact on health presentations, interventions and outcomes and include this in the curriculum.

This site provides grounding in the concepts of gender, a gender perspective,
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and gender mainstreaming as they relate to medicine. It provides links to important medical research, documentation and resources, as well as links to other institutions that do significant work in this area. It is anticipated that this information will be useful to biological and medical researchers, medical and allied health educators, clinicians and students.

This site also provides information about the process of mainstreaming a gender perspective into the medical curriculum at Monash. This information will provide insight for anyone introducing a gender perspective into their own curriculum and for people who are curious about how it came about at Monash.

The information provided is a work in progress. If you think that something should be added or would like to provide feedback about the site please contact us.

A Project of National Significance Funded by Rural Undergraduate Support and Co ordination Program (RUSC), Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing,
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Census Bureau. Home care generally includes non medical support services delivered at the home of the senior citizen. For seniors, the aim of home care is to allow them to remain in the comfort of their home. Caring for a senior citizen requires patience, kindness and respect; however, senior citizens are perhaps more vulnerable to receiving this quality care, especially when it comes to home health services. Many senior patients will let you know their difficulty level of blood draw and will reiterate how the process tends to make them nervous. They typically know areas on their body that have worked better than others and will tell you. In this case it is always preferable to accommodate the patient, unless the area is badly bruised from previous draws. In this case, a good phlebotomist will ask their permission to try elsewhere. A phlebotomist s role requires a professional, courteous, and understanding manner in all contacts with any patient but especially with seniors. This includes greeting the senior and talking directly to them and discussing the procedure that will take place. This effective communication both verbal and nonverbal is essential to putting the patient at ease. Respect should always be given to the patient and this is easily accomplished with a smile and taking a few extra moments to listen to the patient and address any concerns they may have. Elderly patients tend to have very fragile skin and this requires special attention. Following are key tips a phlebotomist should follow when taking a blood draw for a senior citizen: oA tourniquet should be carefully used as not to tear or break the skin. oBecause of the loose skin typically seen on the elderly, a phlebotomist will need to take extra care to insure that the vein is secure before inserting the needle oKeep the bevel up and keep the skin tight with one hand. The insertion of needle should be one smooth motion. oCoFlex bandages and paper tape should be used taking in account for fragile skin oThe Phlebotomist should inform the patient that a bandage/tape typically stays on for only hour. oTo ensure all bleeding has stopped before leaving the patient.
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Have a question for Dr. For more information on Dr.

April 29, 2013

Q: My 5 year old daughter just had her adenoids and tonsils removed because of snoring and possible sleep apnea. There are two main types of sleep apnea (or not breathing while sleeping): central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

In central sleep apnea, the brain simply does not prompt the body to breathe. A very common example of this would be premature babies who need caffeine to stimulate their central nervous system enough to breathe. Before a baby on caffeine can go home from the neonatal intensive care unit, he or she has to pass a trial period off caffeine while on monitors to ensure there are no more episodes of prolonged apnea (20 seconds or longer). If there is any concern, the neonatal specialist will keep the baby longer, or send the baby home on an apnea monitor. Which of these occurs depends on many factors, and the safety of the baby always comes first.

Your daughter was treated for obstructive sleep apnea. While sleeping, the airway relaxes and enlarged tonsils or adenoids that do not cause problems during the waking hours can obstruct the airway. All people will snore at some point. This is not a concern unless prolonged pauses in breathing, or apnea, occur, in which case your child’s pediatrician will refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist, to discuss potentially removing the tonsils and adenoids.

If the obstructive sleep apnea was caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids, your daughter should be safe from it coming back after the surgery. Leftover remnants of the tonsils and adenoids can grow again but usually not enough to cause obstructive sleep apnea.

April 17, 2013

Q: My girlfriend’s 5 year old son was told he has HSP. Is that bad? It seems to be a serious illness. Should he go to the ER, or since he has already seen his pediatrician is that enough?

A: Good news! If he was sent home after getting a diagnosis of HSP, or Henoch Sch purpura, his pediatrician must not believe he has a bad case. HSP can be caused by an unusual reaction to infection, medication, insect bite, food or vaccination. It is more common in children, especially boys.

HSP causes an inflammation of the blood vessels, or vasculitis. When blood vessels are inflamed or irritated, they can leak. The first noticeable sign of HSP blood vessel inflammation is usually of the skin. The leaking red blood cells cause a skin rash called purpura. The rash likely led your girlfriend to take him to the doctor. Often this rash is preceded by joint pain, but not always.

However, there can also be inflammation with HSP, as well as leaking of the blood vessels in the intestines and the kidneys. If there were intestinal or kidney involvement, that would be of more concern. A simple urine test can check the kidneys. If you suspect blood in the stool, that can also be checked. In fact, kidney involvement is rather common with HSP, and many doctors check the urine whether you have noticed dark colored urine or not.

Whether or not your girlfriend’s doctor sent her son to the emergency room depends on the symptoms he had in the office. She would have been told to call her pediatrician if she noticed any new symptoms like lethargy, bloody stools, dark urine or increasing abdominal or joint pain.

The treatment prescribed may be ibuprofen for joint pain, antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection, or steroids if there is kidney involvement. If the symptoms are more severe, hospitalization may be required. Most kids with HSP do not need to be hospitalized, but all kids with HSP need to be monitored closely by a pediatrician.

March 14, 2013

Q: My son turned 4 in December. He was daytime potty trained at 2 but is still wearing a diaper at night. (he goes to bed between 7 and 7:45), and I have him pee right before bed. Unfortunately nighttime potty training usually takes longer and many children are still not nighttime trained at 4 years old. It is more likely to occur in boys and often runs in families. Ask family members privately and you may be surprised at how many of them wet the bed as children.

Most girls are fully trained by age 5 and boys by 6. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nocturnal enuresis (nighttime bed wetting) affects 5 million children older than age 6 in the United States.

You are correct that limiting fluid intake is a must. Many times it is the little things that get in the way. Kids will drink water after brushing their teeth and not realize how much they consumed. Ask your son how much water he drinks, rather than if he drinks water. By not putting him on the defensive, you will be more likely to find out if he is drinking something.

Emptying the bladder like you are having him do just before bed is also imperative. In addition, have your son empty his bladder just after dinner. Another influencing factor may be constipation, where the stool fullness presses on the bladder. Urinary tract infections and stress, among other things, can cause enuresis as well.

One other thing to try is having him relax with quiet time for the last hour before bed. If his muscles are not moving much, he will not have increased blood supply to the muscles. When we relax and do not need the extra blood supply, our body gets rid of the fluid by making urine. If the first time his body relaxes is when he lays down in bed, he may have a full bladder during the night. A good way to start relaxation time is reading to him before bed. It will help him relax and get him interested in books. Avoid the TV because that can affect his quality of sleep.

If these suggestions do not help, talk to your pediatrician. There are other possible medical reasons and options that take into account your child’s personal medical and social history.

Nov. 6, 2012

Q: Is it OK to give 3 month old babies oatmeal instead of rice cereal?

A: Congratulations! Your baby is growing up. There are many new steps coming for you and baby. Starting solid foods is one that many parents enjoy. Before deciding which food to start with, think about whether your baby is ready for solids on a spoon. In general, do not add solids to a bottle unless your baby’s pediatrician tells you to do so because of reflux.

In order to start solids, babies must be able to hold their head steady while sitting in a seat. In other words, they must be a “supported sitter.”

Additionally, younger babies have a tongue thrust reflex, meaning the tongue pushes the spoon out of the mouth. Most term babies lose this reflex around 4 months old. Pediatricians usually recommend waiting until 4 months to start solids, but check with your pediatrician to see if your baby is ready.

The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends continuing to exclusively breastfeed without introducing solids until 6 months old if that is your baby’s milk source.

Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, please continue to give babies their milk source in addition to the solids.
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Doug Oster Tribune Review

‘Plants That Matter.’ This is a banister that the late Bill Tribou carved the likeness of his hand in at the home he had at Plumline Nursery in Murrysville. Karen Tribou, his wife puts her hand on top of the carving when they use the railing. Here, Karen is wearing Bill’s old watch. Bill Tribou planted a weeping cutleaf Japanese maple n the late 1970’s at the nursery. The tree is one of the things that reminds the family and visitors about what a special person Bill was.

They were introduced at a Bible study class. His nickname was Wild Bill, and she is a self described goody two shoes, but the unlikely match was meant to be. After they went out on a Friday, the couple were engaged the next Tuesday and married just six weeks later.

“I knew nothing about him, but I just loved him. I thought he was the best,” she says with a smile.

In 1974, Bill opened Plumline Nursery on two acres overlooking Murrysville.

“We didn really know what we were doing when we started it,” Karen says, laughing. “I supported him and went for the ride.”

It began with about a dozen rhododendrons, which he would sell to friends and acquaintances. Each time he sold one, he bought two more, and that how the business grew.

A few years later, the self taught nurseryman planted a weeping cutleaf Japanese maple.

“Bill loved Japanese maples his whole life,” Karen says. “That was a neat variety, so he planted it in a little spot in the nursery and put some big rocks around it.”

It is in the very center of the nursery, and at first, no one paid it much attention. A decade later, when it started to really grow, customers commented on its size and beauty.

“It sold a lot of other Japanese maples,” Karen says with a laugh. “As it grew and grew, there was interest to buy the huge specimen. One visitor even offered $7,000 for the tree, but (Bill) would not have any of it.”

Karen says he told her, “That tree is us, that tree is Plumline. People see it, people love it. It become a big part of our identity.”

Bill Tribou died in May 2010 after a long battle with cancer.

“Everything he planted is a connection for me to him and for the kids,” Karen says of son Micah, daughter Melody and four grandchildren. “That tree is just sturdy, solid and pretty, just like he was. He was always there, loyal and consistent, just like the tree. When I see it, I think of Bill.”

First time visitors are always in awe of the giant, but now it has even more meaning for the family and others.

“I used to try to tell people who never met him what he was like,” Karen says. “I got to thinking, all I have to do is point to all the things that he planted.”

Karen, 66, and Micah, 35, run the nursery now. They don know the exact cultivar the tree is, although there are guesses it ‘Ever Red. But no one knows for sure except the man who planted it.

Bill Tribou was an artistic person. When building a handrail for a staircase in their home, he added something personal to the construction project. “For some reason nobody knows why he carved his hand imprint into one of the posts,” Micah says. “When you walk past, you put your hand there; it like you grabbing his hand.”

Wearing her late husband watch, Karen gently lays her hand over the carving on the railing. “He had cancer for so long that I think he was aware of his mortality and did leave little pieces (of himself) everywhere,” she says.

At Soergel Orchards and Greenhouses in Wexford, owner Randy Soergel has lots of trees at the family homestead that have special meanings. The most important is a weeping mulberry that been there for as long as anyone can remember.

He talked to his aunt, Martha Jean Murray, 93, who remembers sitting under the tree as a child. Soergel, 60, has fond memories of the tree. As a child, he would hide inside the canopy of leaves and no one would know he was there.

“As a kid, you got these little mulberries,” he says smiling. “They were never very big, but there were hundreds of them. It just something that always been there.”

Back in the day, the tree was planted behind the ice house, which is no longer standing. There have been lots of changes over the decades at the orchard and garden center, but one thing has remained the same.

“It been kind of like one of those things that has been steady; you always think it going to blow over or fall down, but it just keeps plugging away,” Soergel says of the tree.

“I think (the tree) stands for strength; that if something can be there for so long, it kind of like going to a parent that you know is always going to be there,” he says. “Something steady, not changing. All my life, it been the mulberry tree.”

The farmhouse burned down in 1911. Even though it was only a short distance from the mulberry, the tree somehow survived, along with a couple of old maples and a towering magnolia. One maple got so hot during the fire that the center of the tree was burned and it became hollow. It was filled with cement and Randy father, Warren, stuck a leaf rake in the tree that is still there and is used to hang a bird feeder on.

Looking up at the magnolia while standing in the front yard with his mother, Jean, 87, the two share stories of that big tree.
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In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
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As part of a three year research project, Investigating Cultures of Learning in Higher Education, contradictions around the place and nature of silence in pedagogic spaces have emerged in looking at how different ‘academic tribes’ value the use of silence in learning, and how the ambiguities are experienced in different cultures of learning. Typically, silence has been considered negatively in terms of learning. On a macro level, Freire (1972) has been critical of what he called cultures of silence . He maintained that there are, both in education and its wider context, ‘cultures of silence’, and his pedagogy sought to find ways of breaking that silence, and giving voice to the marginalised. This has been an influential idea, and learning has been attributed a role in giving voice to marginalised and oppressed groups. However, this raises a paradox insofar as it confirms the negativity of a culture of silence. In some circumstances, the use of silence is in itself an exercise of power, and this is applicable to the classroom as well as to the wider community.

In formal learning situations, it is not uncommon for silence to be assumed as being conducive to learning. Until recently, libraries have always been associated with silence. Formal examinations still are, as it is assumed that silence is necessary to enable those doing the examination to concentrate. In schooling, silence is more often associated with classroom discipline. In one culture of learning, silence may be made meaningful by being recognised as integral to the learning process. But in other cultures of learning, there is a persistent attempt to break or disturb the silences. Silence is something other than a void or an empty space, and ‘it is often troubling when students speak, but disturbing when they do not’ (Boler, 2004). We cannot assume that talk in learning settings is necessarily evidence of engagement in learning. Nor does silence connote that learning is not taking place. Yet there is an assumption in active theories of learning that students should not remain silent. This paper explores the ambiguities from the perspective of the idea that learners need to be included not marginalized through silence.

Emergent from the ESRC TLRP Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education project is the idea of junior researchers ‘working underground , and among their working practices is the need to recognize that they are confronted with different ‘types of silence’. Whilst not directly targeted at silence in the learning process, the relevance of their experience of researching learning cultures, is that they are sharing the same pedagogic spaces as learners, and if there are different types of silence observable in the research context, so might it be possible to identify distinct types of silence that takes us beyond silence being merely a void or absence, but a cultural practice? Following Becher’s (1989) conception of subject disciplines as the basis of distinctive academic tribes with their own pedagogic spaces (territories), is the use and value of silence in learning distinctively different across those spaces and locations? If identification with a subject disciplinarity is about learning cultural values and practices, how do learners assimilate, or how do cultures of learning accommodate to the change? And is the practice of silence significant in these transitions between cultures of learning?

Elsewhere I have discussed the methodological issues of observing silence (Armstrong, 2007) and pointed to some of the difficulties of both recognizing silence, observing and then attempting to measure it. That paper argues for the value of investigating the semiotics of silence, as this enables the research to get to the core of the different ways silence is socially and culturally constructed. The range of meanings interestingly tend to be polarized between those expressed as having negative connotations in terms of learning, and those that are positive indeed, it would appear that silence is actively constructed because it is believed to facilitate learning. There is very little evidence of a middle position, though there are those that argue that the connotations of silence vary according to context. Invariably, it seems, that those who generally identify with the positive connotations of silence recognize that there are circumstances where silence may be indicative of resistance to learning, or indeed, confusion or lack of clarity about what is being learned. Equally, those that typically think that silence indicates an absence of learning do understand there are situations where silence can be indicative that learning is being consolidated, often through a process of reflection.

Case studies on silence in the classroom

In order to illuminate the salience of silence, I will present here two case studies reconstructed from my research, one teacher broadly recognising silence as integral to learning, the other who is disturbed by silence as an absence of learning.

I have two main modes of delivery. Primarily, in teaching first years I lecture to a large group of students, and then I have much smaller tutorial groups of five or six. I am conscious of not beginning my lectures until there is silence. At the beginning of the session I always remind the students to turn off their mobile phones, along with the other rules of the lecture room including no eating food. In my lecture I build in reflective moments, to encourage the students to think about what I have been saying, and to ensure they have understood what I have been saying. Last year, I was observed teaching by a peer, and she asked me afterwards what these moments of silence were for, and why I didn t invite them to ask questions. I have to say I hadn t really thought about it until then, but found that I could justify my approach. On the next occasion, on the advice of my colleague, I invited them to talk to each other, and I found it very difficult to get them to be quiet again. I think I was worried that they were not talking about what they were supposed to. I walked up and down the aisles, patrolling, and heard the occasional philosophical idea or name being used, but I wasn t convinced, and went back to asking for them to quietly reflect on what I had been talking about. Tutorials? Well, isn t this a problem for all lecturers, getting their students to talk? When I first came to the university, I had to do this programme for new teachers, and it seemed that everyone had the same problem, except perhaps at postgrad level how to get the students to speak for ten to fifteen minutes on the subject. They all get a turn to talk. Does this make them more participative? No, probably not. This makes me very conscious about the vacuum of silence. It has always been a concern of mine as a teacher, and I remember as a student being disconcerted by it. It is one reason why I like teaching adult learners rather than the undergraduates because there rarely is a period of silence. Yet, I am still aware that I fear silence. Am I making a noise simply to fill the silence. When they are working individually in the class, sometimes the silence gets unbearable and I just have this urge to speak, even if it is to say Just another two minutes , to bring it to an end. A tutor can perceive silence in different ways. When students appear to be thinking and then writing, or thinking and then begin discussing in their groups, I felt more relaxed, as if the silence has served its purpose and stimulated activity. It is, I think, vital to be able to read the class and this must involve an acute interpretation of body language. The tutor has to assess on the hoof if class members are disengaged. Of course the signs could be misread, for they might simply have completed their reading or writing task and simply be reflecting on what they have read or written. But unless I ask them, I don t know. Perhaps I need to be more relaxed about silence. He berated them for not working. Perhaps he should have thought that silence is part of the process.

I have chosen these two case studies because even though silence would appear to be either positive or negative, in reality the salience of silence is more complex and dependent upon context. There is an assumption in the first case that lectures are the place where the teacher talks, the students listen and take notes and the classroom is set out to facilitate teacher control over that situation, and it would appear the place of learning has a set of cultural assumptions about what is normally expected of the lecturer and the students. The philosophy lecturer recognized that the tutorials he taught were different and had a different set of expectations shared by the lecturer and students. However, apart from an input by students at the beginning of the tutorial did not seem to make very much difference to their participation. Whether or not the input was intended to stimulate the students learning, it was a stimulus to the lecturer to pick up their ideas to in effect lecture to a group of six students for the rest of the tutorial. In looking at the observation recordings I documented, and checking back with the recordings of the class, almost every question the lecturer asked was either rhetorical, or almost immediately answered by the lecturer himself.

By contrast, the communications studies lecturer, with a degree in film studies, was highly aware of silence as a form of communication. He suggested that there were probably different kinds of silence, and each had a different relationship to the communication process. He recognised that silence can be used to make a point. Jaworski and Sachdev (1998) would support this view. They state there are different ways of defining silence and these are dependent on the theoretical frames of reference being used, as well as methodologies being employed to study it. They call on the work of Blimes (1994) to distinguish between absolute silence (the complete absence of sound) and notable silence (the relevant absence of a particular kind of sound), of which conversational silence is a particular version of relevance to what goes on in the classroom. Sobkowiak (1997) identifies communicative silence . This is as intentional as any speech action, as silence is a form of communication, a means of facilitating or exchanging ideational meanings through the deliberate use of the pause, or slowing down the tempo. At an earlier SCUTREA conference, I presented a paper on teaching as stand up comedy (Armstrong 2003). The issue of timing in delivery was seen as vital in both the performative skills of the lecturer and the comedian. But also in both timing, the pause , was normative. There are moments when silence is the norm, a shared expectation, not least immediately after a lecturer asks a question. It is interesting to note,
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however, emergent from my research, that the lecturers perception of the length of time they wait for an expected response is much longer, than the reality (up to ten seconds is reported, less than three seconds is recorded).

Are there cultures of silence?

Because my research is ongoing, it may be too early to confirm that there are such things as different cultures of learning within which the shared norms and expectations around the value of silence for learning are salient characteristics. However, in reviewing the literature, it would appear that this space is worth pursuing in the research. Ennigner (1991), for example, provides a detailed analysis of silence across cultures, using semiotics to look at what silence signifies, and what are its signifiers. My research is most interested in how different disciplinary or subject areas have their own sets of shared cultural norms and expectations, of which silence is one. So far my research is suggesting, it is as much to do with communities in context with the shared expectations associated with teaching space and mode of delivery (broadly, the lecture in the lecture room versus other more participative methods and active learning).

Within education, similar analyses have focused on cultural differences between eastern and southern educational experiences. Nakane (2002, 2006), for example, examined the silence of Japanese students in Australian university classrooms. Through interviews it appears that the silences observed were not merely due to difficulties of adapting to Australian norms of classroom interaction and the idea of turn taking, but directed by an ethical position of showing respect and politeness. Zhou et al (2005), studying Chinese students in Canadian universities, argued that the supposed passivity and reticence of East Asian learners was a myth; instead the research focused on that strategic value of silence in avoiding awkwardness associated with disagreement, and maintaining harmonious relationships: Educated through Confucian pedagogies, Chinese students preferred didactic and teacher centred style of teaching and would show great respect for the wisdom and knowledge of their teachers (Zhou et al, 2005, 288). Sifianou (1997) has investigated the complex nature of silence and its inherent ambiguity , from which a similar focus on the strategic value of politeness emerged, confirming the views of Brown and Levinson (1987) that silence is the ultimate expression of politeness . Sifianou argues that looking at silence cross culturally it is essential to understand the predominant cultural values toward silence itself, and its cultural construction.

It is not merely a question of cultural difference and diversity, but an understanding of the classroom processes and interactions that contribute to the active construction of the meanings of silence in its classroom context. Plank (1994) for example in studying the education of Native American children was interested in how teachers made sense of the Navajo use of silence in communication, and talked about the teachers discomfort. This seems to be a common theme in research on silence in the classroom. Boler s (2004) edited collection is organized around the notion of silence as disturbing . In reviewing Bosacki s (2005) The Culture of Classroom Silence, Shiza (2005) talks about silence as frustrating and disconcerting , and the students withdrawal, fear of engaging in dialogue or reluctance to contribute to discussion and enquiry . Copenhaver (2000, 8) similarly talks about the discomfort that fosters silence . In short, silence is seen as a problem, as a barrier to participation and thereby learning. This assumption is the starting point of Gimenez s (1989, 184) concern that she fails to conquer the silent classroom and students apparent unwillingness to engage in critical thinking. In a rejoinder, Wright (1989, 194) agrees with Gimenez s analysis of the problem of silence in the classroom , but is a good deal more sanguine about the possibilities for change . Wright contends that the various structures which contribute to silence in the classroom are reproduced largely through everyday interaction within the classroom (p.194). He still sees silence as a problem he does not show an appreciation of alternative cultural meanings of silence as constructed through the classroom processes of interaction.

As a teacher of adults, silence in the classroom is rarely a problem , although I am not sure that I could argue as strongly as Caranfa (2004) that silence is the foundation of learning. I do agree with him that the relationship between silence and learning needs more critical research. Whilst there is an abundance of empirical data , they are permeated by a deep underlying flaw: they exclude silence dialogical pedagogies on which they are based (Caranfa, 2004, 211). In a more recent publication, Caranfa points to the neglect of both feelings and silence in the reflective or critical thinking process and talks about the value of a pedagogy of an aesthetic of silence (Caranfa, 2006, 86).

The political culture of silence: building communities of participation

What is beginning to emerge from the review of the literature and early research findings is that the salience of silence is very dependent on underpinning cultural beliefs in the classroom. The cultural differences around interpretations of silence as politeness and respect towards the teacher can have the effect of, intentionally or not, silencing and thereby marginalising the students, in the way that Freire recognised as negative in cultures of silence. In the introduction to her edited book, Achino Loeb (2006) argues that silence can be power. Do students have a right not to talk? Petress (2001) recognises a range of reasons why students choose not to talk from low self esteem, fear of being ridiculed, fear of success, avoidance of conflict, through to the kind of cultural differences I have just outlined. Interestingly, his argument rests on the need to construct classes as communities in which participants are communicative through a dialogic perspective. Petress believes that dialogue can only happen when all communicative participants are allowed to, and encouraged to, actively participate by speaking and listening to others, in sharing ideas with each other. He adds that they do not necessarily have to participate equally, but they must have equal opportunities to participate, and to achieve this it is necessary for them to feel they are valued members of the class as community. Dialogue can only be authentic is there is inclusion, and there can only be inclusion through confirmation ( acknowledging, accepting and valuing the other ) within a spirit of mutuality and in a supportive environment.

But there is also an argument for the intentional use of silence as a political act. Knight (2002 03) describes how he has developed a pedagogy of silence for teaching about homophobia, through silent discussion . The whole of a one hour class is undertaken non verbally, the whole class is silenced. A sheet is handed out at the start of the class to explain the purpose:

The Day of Silence is to draw attention to those who have been silenced by hatred, oppression, and prejudice. Think about the voices you are not hearing. What can you do to end the silence?

Knight recorded the events and at their next class he encouraged the students to reflect on the experience. Not surprisingly, knowing that no speaking was allowed made communication difficult and uncomfortable for both the tutor and the students. The experience apparently provoked students emotions and stimulated new thoughts , as they empathized with those whose voices were not heard, and sensitivity to the usual processes of communication was heightened, and understanding was enhanced. As the Sufi poet, Rumi (1994) has written, Now let silence speak .

Armstrong, P (2003) Teaching as stand up comedy: the metaphor of scripted and improvised performance of teaching , in I. Davidson, D. Murphy and B. Piette (eds) Speaking in tongues: languages of lifelong learning. Proceedings of the 33rd SCUTREA Annual Conference. Bangor: University of Wales, Bangor/SCUTREA, pp. 9 13

Armstrong, P (2007) Observing silence , paper presented to the 47th Annual AERC/CASAE Conference, Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 2007

Becher, T (1989) Academic tribes and territories: intellectual enquiry and the cultures of discipline. Milton Keynes: Society for Research into Higher Education/Open University Press

Bilmes, J (1994) Constituting silence: life in the world of total meaning Semiotica, 98, 73 87

Boler, M (ed) (2005) Troubling speech, disturbing silence: democratic dialogue in education. New York: Peter Lang

Brown, P and Levinson, S (1987) Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Caranfa, A (2004) Silence as the foundation of learning , Educational Theory, 54, 2, 211 230

Caranfa, A (2006) Voices of silence in pedagogy: art, writ
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Larry Nassar stands to hear an Eaton County (Mich.) Circuit judge deliver his sentence Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, the third and final day of sentencing in Charlotte, Mich.

Matthew Dae Smith, Lansing (Mich.) State Journal

CHARLOTTE, Mich. Five hundred and twenty seven days after Rachael Denhollander called Michigan State University police and after more than 260 additional sexual assault reports, 13 convictions and nine days of victim impact statements the criminal cases against Larry Nassar are over.

Eaton County (Mich.) Judge Janice Cunningham sentenced the disgraced former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Monday morning to 40 to 125 years in prison.

It’s the third decades long prison sentence he has received since Dec. 7, this one on three charges of sexually assaulting girls during medical appointments at Twistars Gymnastics Club in Dimondale, Mich.

Feb. 5: Expert: In federal prison, Larry Nassar is ‘going to have to watch his back’

Feb. 4: USA Gymnastics: Athletes to be chaperoned at upcoming events after sexual abuse scandal

Nassar is facing a lifetime in prison.

His other sentences include:

December, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison on three federal child pornography charges.

January, he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years on seven sexual assault charges in Ingham County, Mich.

Nassar pleaded guilty to both the federal and state charges as part of plea agreements.

He must serve the entirety of his federal sentence before he can serve any time on the state sentences, which he will then serve at the same time.

In sentencing Nassar on Monday, Cunningham said, a crime involves a child, when it involves an adult harming a defenseless child, it is only natural to think in terms of an eye for an eye and to want revenge.”

She added, are a doctor, you took an oath to do no harm, and you have harmed over 256 women and that is beyond comprehension. 2: Parents lash out at Larry Nassar: ‘You violated our daughters’

Feb. 2: ‘Give me one minute with that bastard.’ Father rushes Larry Nassar after daughters give victim impact statements

Nassar, 54, formerly of Holt, Mich., gave a brief statement before he was sentenced:

“The words expressed by everyone that has spoken, including the parents, have impacted me to my inner most core. With that being said, I understand and acknowledge that it pales in comparison to the pain, trauma and emotions that you all are feeling. It impossible to convey the depth and breadth of how sorry I am to each and every one involved. The visions of your testimonies will forever be present in my thoughts.”

Denhollander, the first woman to publicly say that Nassar sexually assaulted her, was in the courtroom as Cunningham sentenced Nassar, just as she was in Ingham County last month when Nassar was sentenced there. She gave the final victim impact statement in both cases and was one of about 200 women and girls to do so.

Nassar sentencing Eaton County Final day

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis, the lead prosecutor on the case, spoke first Monday, laying the foundation for the sentence her office was seeking. She started by asking a question.

“Will we ever truly know the breadth of the evil acts committed by this defendant?” she said. “After 156 women came forward to share their heartbreaking experience in Ingham County over the course of seven days, 48 new voices emerged here in Eaton County.”

Much like she did when she spoke in Ingham County, Povilaitis spent a good portion of her time Monday talking about the societal characteristics that allowed Nassar to thrive.

She spoke about what it took for at least 265 women and girls to feel comfortable coming forward, and for them to be believed. She mentioned the efforts of Denhollander and The Indianapolis Star reporters who told her story and that it took federal charges related to at least 37,000 images and videos of child pornography for many to drop their support of Nassar.

Feb. 2: Nassar victim told her father about abuse before she died at 23

Feb. 2: Social media reacts to father who rushed Larry Nassar

“It should be easier than that,” she said. “It has to be easier than that. And it can be. We must all start by believing victims when they tell.”

The Lansing (Mich.) State Journal reported in June that between 1997 and 2015 at least seven women or girls said they raised concerns about Nassar’s actions to coaches, trainers, police or university officials. He was investigated twice by police but never charged and at least once in an internal Michigan State University inquiry that cleared him.

Nassar’s seven day Ingham County sentencing hearing drew international attention as 156 women and girls gave impact statements, many while being publicly identified and having their faces and voices broadcast live.
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