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Human Resource Information System – HRIS

Human Resource Information Systems

The purpose of this paper is to identify other companies who have faced similar human resources issues in regards to information technology. Through benchmarking different companies we can learn how other companies have handled certain human resources issues related to information technology, information systems, new technology, and data security. An overall analysis has been completed using research on IBM Europe, Ameriprise Financial, Terasen Pipelines, Shaw’s Supermarkets, CS Stars LLC, IBM, WORKSource Inc., and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. This paper also includes eight synopses of companies facing similar issue to those in the reading.

New Technology

With the changing world and constant new technology that is available, managers need to be aware of the technology that will increase effectiveness in their company. Human resource information systems (HRIS) have increasingly transformed since it was first introduced at General Electric in the 1950s. HRIS has gone from a basic process to convert manual information keeping systems into computerized systems, to the HRIS systems that are used today. Human resource professionals began to see the possibility of new applications for the computer. The idea was to integrate many of the different human resource functions. The result was the third generation of the computerized HRIS, a feature-rich, broad-based, self-contained HRIS. The third generation took systems far beyond being mere data repositories and created tools with which human resource professionals could do much more (Byars, 2004).

Many companies have seen a need to transform the way Human Resource operations are performed in order to keep up with new technology and increasing numbers of employees. Terasen Pipelines moved its headquarters from Vancouver to Calgary to be closer to the oil and realized a major growth in employees. In the past recording keeping was done on paper and with spreadsheets. Mangers at Terasen realized that there was a need to change to a more computerized system and looked into different HRIS vendors. By making the move to a HRIS system, Terasen is able to keep more accurate records as well as better prepare for future growth. Another company that saw the benefits of keeping up with new technology is WORKSource Inc. To meet the challenge of handling 100 new employees, WORKSource Inc. acquired Web-based technology programs from GHG Corp. like electronic pay stub, electronic timesheet software, time-off system, and human resource information system (“Tips,” 2006). By adapting these new programs, WORKSource was able to reduce waste and cost.

The Internet is an increasingly popular way to recruit applicants, research technologies and perform other essential functions in business. Delivering human resource services online (eHR) supports more efficient collection, storage, distribution, and exchange of data (Friesen, 2003). An intranet is a type of network used by companies to share information to people within the organization. An intranet connects people to people and people to information and knowledge within the organization; it serves as an “information hub” for the entire organization. Most organizations set up intranets primarily for employees, but they can extend to business partners and even customers with appropriate security clearance (Byars & Rue, 2004).

Applications of HRIS

The efficiency of HRIS, the systems are able to produce more effective and faster outcomes than can be done on paper. Some of the many applications of HRIS are: Clerical applications, applicant search expenditures, risk management, training management, training experiences, financial planning, turnover analysis, succession planning, flexible-benefits administration, compliance with government regulations, attendance reporting and analysis, human resource planning, accident reporting and prevention and strategic planning. With the many different applications of HRIS, it is difficult to understand how the programs benefit companies without looking at companies that have already benefited from such programs.

One such company is IBM. IBM has a paperless online enrollment plan for all of its employees. Not only has the online enrollment saved the company 1.2 million per year on printing and mailing costs, the employees enjoy working with the online plan. “Since we began offering online enrollment, we’ve learned that employees want web access,” Donnelly [Senior Communications Specialist] says, so they can log on at home rather than through the company intranet. So the company has been working to put in place a web-based enrollment system that employees and retirees can access from anywhere (Huering, 2003). By utilizing the flexible-benefits application HRIS has to offer, IBM was able to cut costs and give employees the freedom to discover their benefits on their own time and pace.

Another company that has taken advantage of HRIS applications is Shaw’s Supermarkets. In order for Shaw’s to better manage its workforce, the company decided it was time to centralize the HR operations. After looking at different options, Shaw’s decided to implement an Employee Self Service (ESS) system. The use of self-service applications creates a positive situation for HR. ESS gives HR more time to focus on strategic issues, such as workforce management, succession planning, and compensation management, while at the same time improving service to employees and managers, and ensuring that their data is accurate. With this solution, employees have online access to forms, training material, benefits information and other payroll related information (Koven, 2002). By giving employees access to their personal information and the ability to update or change their information as needed, HR was given more time to focus on other issues. Understanding the different applications HRIS has to offer will give companies the chance to increase employee efficiency and reduce costs.

Measuring the Effectiveness of HRIS

The evaluation should determine whether or not the HRIS has performed up to its expectations and if the HRIS is being used to its full advantage (Byars & Rue, 2004). One of the most significant challenges faced by public personnel executives today is measuring the performance of their human resources information system (HRIS) In order to justify the value-added contribution of the HRIS to accomplishing the organization’s mission (Hagood & Friedman, 2002). Implementing an HRIS program may seem a necessary stem for a company, but unless it will be an effective tool for HR operations, it will not help increase efficiency and may hinder it instead.

One company that implemented a HRIS system is Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (TAMS). TAMS put all employee benefits information online and created an open enrollment option when TAMS changed healthcare providers. Almost immediately upon rolling out the UltiPro portal [new HRIS technology] to employees, TAMS began seeing improvements, with an estimated 70% increase in open enrollment efficiency (Wojcik, 2004). By determining the efficiency of the new program, TAMS was able to realize the benefits of the new HRIS system.

Security of HRIS

The privacy of employee information has become a major issue in recent years. With identity theft becoming a common problem, employees are becoming more sensitive about who sees their personal information, and the security it is kept in. By making sure employee information that is kept in the HRIS is relevant to the company and making sure there is limited access (password protection) to such information, companies can make its employees more secure with the safety of their information. Whether electronic or paper, employee files deserve to be treated with great care. Establishing security and end-user privileges calls for a balance of incorporating, HR policy, system knowledge and day-to-day operations (O’Connell, 1994).

One company that faced a major security issue was CS Stars, LLC. CS Stars lost track of one of its computers that contained personal information that included names, addresses and social security numbers of workers compensation benefits. The bigger problem was that CS Stars failed to notify the affected consumers and employees about the missing computer. Though the computer was retrieved and no information seemed to have been harmed, many employees lost their sense of security with the company. New York’s Information Security Breach and Notification Law, effective in December 2005, requires businesses that maintain computerized data which includes private information to notify the owner of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization (Cadrain, 2007).

Another company that experienced a breach in security is Ameriprise Financial. In late 2005, a computer that contained personal information on clients and employees was stolen. Because many of the employees at Ameriprise take their computers between work and home, the company determined there was a need to put more security into those computers. Ameriprise made sure all employees had the new security suite installed on their computers. By responding quickly to the need for more security, Ameriprise made sure all information is being kept secure. Making sure employees information is kept as secure as possible there will be more trust in the company and the HR employees working with that information.

Conclusion

IBM, Terasen Pipeline, CS Stars LCC, and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. are good examples of companies facing issues similar to human resources information technology and human resources information systems. All of these companies know the importance of new technology, human resources information systems, and data security. The remainder of this paper provides synopses of more companies facing human resources issues, how the company responded to the issues, and the outcomes of the company’s responses.

Companies Benchmarked

IBM Europe

The Situation:

IBM is a global organization offering research, software, hardware, IT consulting, business and management consulting, ring and financing. It employs around 340,000 people, speaking 165 languages across 75 countries, and serving clients in 174 countries. In January 2007, IBM established a separate “new media” function within its corporate communication department. IBM main goal is to educate, support, and promote programs that utilize social media. IBM Europe decided to expand internal communication by blogging guidelines. The recognition was that blogging was already happening among IBMers, just in an unregulated way. In a similar way, institutionalizing a function to deal specifically with new media is not a corporate move, or establishing from scratch. It’s a response to the issues already emerging in the company. Now that those technologies are here, people are using them, they’re growing and there here to stay-we’re just going to put some structure around them so that we can try to optimize their use.” The users decide what technologies they want to use and how they want to use them. That main idea is that IBM understands that they must remember to respect the fact that social media are social. IBM had the need to connect its 340,000 global employees more effectively.

The Response:

IBM’s intent around social media has now been officially formalized. From January 22 2007, the company established a separate “new media” function within its corporate communication department. “Its remit: To act as expert consultants inside and outside IBM on issues relating to blogs, wikis, RSS and other social media applications. The main idea is to educate, support and promote programs that utilize these tools. IBM has a history of being a t the forefront of technology based corporate communication. From the multimedia brainstorming “WorldJam” that made news headlines back in 2001 in which 50,000 employees worldwide joined a real time, online idea-sharing session about the company’s direction. IMB has always prepared itself to use breakthrough technologies to establish a two-way dialogue with its employees. The need for social media was necessary and could no longer wait.

The Outcome:

In the last few years IBM has been recognized as being the vanguard of social-media use: IBM was on of the first Fortune 500 companies to get behind collaborative wikis, published internal blogging guidelines as far back as 2003, and is now moving fast beyond RSS and podcasts into videocasting and “virtual world” technologies like Second Life. The intranet search facility extends to all areas of the site, including new media aspects. When an employee logs onto their portal an executes a key word search, the results they get back not only come from the main intranet pages, but include results from IBM forums, wikis, blogs and podcast/videocasts tags. IMB has an understanding that employees are no longer staying in a company their entire lives. It’s just not like that any more. In Belgium for example over 50 percent of 2,300 employees have been there fewer than five years. The company has come to the conclusion that with an increasingly young and mobile workforce, the likelihood is that an employee population full of a younger generation, for whom these tools are part and parcel of life, is not that far away. In years to come IBM will have to deal with employee base for which blogging is just the natural way to interact over a web platform. IBM has created centralized platforms for most tools that fall under its remit, which includes wikis. For Philippe Borremans, new media lead Europe for IBM, has the potential business applications of a wiki cover two broad benefits: Collaborating and knowledge sharing. IBM has scored some notable successes on both fronts in the near 5000 wiki pages now up and running in the organization. The company has been a huge pick-up in interest in podcasting over the last 18 months writing can seem such a technical skill, whereas people feel they can talk more freely than they can write. One of the most consistently popular IBM podcasts, with over 20,000 downloads a week.

Ameriprise Financial

The Situation:

The Department of Justice survey estimates that 3.6 million U.S. households were victims of identity theft in 2004. Trafficking in personal date goes beyond U.S. borders: the New York Times reports that stolen financial information is often distributed among participants of online trading boards, and the buyers are frequently located in Russia, Ukraine, and the Middle East. One reason clients are concerned about data security is the widespread publicity generated by breaches at financial services firm. In late December 2205, an Ameriprise Financial employee’s laptop that contained unencrypted data on approximately 230,000 customers and advisors was stolen from a car. Other financial services firm, including Citigroup and Bank of America, also acknowledge large-scale customer data losses in 2005. President of NCS, Rita Dew, a compliance consulting firm in Delray Beach, Florida, says that the Securities and Exchange Commission requires investment advisors to have policies and procedures that address the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards related to client records and information.

The Response:

Ameriprise Financial had to fight back and had to implement “layers of protection.” It is important for employees who their primary business computer, and employees regularly transport the computer between home, office, and meeting sites. The vulnerability of this arrangement and the need for a safety software program is much needed.

The Outcome:

Employees who are transporting lab tops should install the Steganos Security Suite on their
computer. This software allows employees to create an encrypted virtual drive on the laptop that serves as data storage safe. Employees stores all client related data and tax preparation software database on the encrypted drive, which employees has set up with one gigabyte of storage space. The best thing is that when an employee turns off the computer the information is stored “safe”, the software automatically encrypts the virtual drive’s data. The software also generates encrypted backup files, which employees store on CDs in a fireproof safe. This should keep the data secure if any employee’s laptop is stolen or if the drive is removed from the laptop. Other financial advisors are relying on encryption both in and out of the office. Other programs that are being used to protect client’s information are RAID Level 1 system to store data on the drives that are encrypted with WinMagic’s SecureDocs software. Encryption ensures that anyone who steals the computer will be absolutely unable to read the data, even by connecting it to another computer as a “slave drive. This has given many financial advisors the greatest peace of mind.

Terasen Pipelines

The Situation:

Terasen Pipelines is a subsidiary of Terasen Inc. located in Vancouver, Canada and is located in several provinces and U.S. states. In 2001 the company changed its headquarters to Calgary to be closer to the oil. With the big move, the company went through a growth spurt. With the company in many different locations and the growing numbers of employees, the HR department saw a need to find a new system to keep more accurate records.

The Response:

In the past Terasen had kept records on paper and with spreadsheets and with the growth of the company, this system does not work as well as in the past. In order to compensate for future growth, Terasen began to look into HRIS companies to help with the HR operations. After researching different companies, Hewitt’s application service provider model with eCyborg was found to be the right fit.

The Outcome:

Although there was difficulty adapting to a new way of recordkeeping, Terasen was able to find a system that will help support the current and future growth of the company. Fortunately, some of the HR staff had experience working with an HRIS and were able to help their colleagues imagine new processes, as aided by a system. One theme often voiced throughout this process was: “You guys don’t know how hard we’re working when we can make it so much easier with a system that could do a lot of this for us. You don’t always have to run to the cabinet for the employee file just to get basic information. It can all be at your fingertips.” (Vu, 2005). In order to help Terasen ease the HR burden of implementing a new HR system, the management of Terasen was convinced to look for a vendor to help implement and maintain a HRIS system. This system has helped Terasen better prepare for current and future growth.

Shaw’s Supermarkets

The Situation:

Shaw’s Supermarkets is the second largest supermarket chain in New England. With a workforce of 30,000 located at 180 stores throughout six states, Shaw’s HR staff is responsible for managing employees’ personal data. Their employee mix includes approximately 70 percent part-time employees, consisting of students, senior citizens, second-job part-timers, and career part-timers. One third of the workforce is made up of union associates, and Shaw’s staff oversees the company’s involvement with three unions and six separate contracts (Koven, 2002). In order to help manage the workforce, the HR staff became interested in centralizing its HR operations.

The Response:

In order to centralize HR operations Shaw’s decided to implement an ESS (employee self-service) solution. The use of self-service applications creates a positive situation for HR. ESS gives HR more time to focus on strategic issues, such as workforce management, succession planning, and compensation management, while at the same time improving service to employees and managers, and ensuring that their data is accurate. With this solution, employees have online access to forms, training material, benefits information and other payroll related information.

The Outcome:

Shaw’s has had positive feedback since implementing the ESS solution. “The reaction from our employees has been extremely positive,” Penney, VP of Compensation and Benefits, says. “We even had a significant increase in our medical coverage costs, and it was almost a non-issue because the online enrollment featured the plan choices, the employee cost, and the company subsidy. An employee self-service application makes it very easy for them to understand their contributions and coverage options. I received several e-mails from employees saying this was a great change and how easy ESS was, which the case is not often when employees are selecting their benefit options.” (Koven, 2002). By giving the employees more access to their information they are able to see the benefit choices available to them. Employees are also able to update their information online, which helps reduce the paperwork of the past. Shaw’s has also seen improvement in productivity because employees are updating information at home, not during work hours.

CS Stars, LLC

The Situation:

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York State has reached its first settlement with a company charged with failing to notify consumers and others that their personal data had gone missing. Cuomo’s office, which enforces the state’s 2005 Information Security Breach and Notification Law, charged CS STARS LLC, a Chicago-based claims management company, with failing to give notice that it had lost track of a computer containing data on 540,000 New Yorkers’ workers’ comp claims.

The Response:

The owner of the lost data, which had been in the custody of CS STARS, was the New York Special Funds Conservation Committee, an organization that assists in providing workers’ comp benefits under the state’s workers’ comp law. On May 9, 2006, a CS STARS employee noticed that a computer was missing that held personal information, including the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of recipients of workers’ compensation benefits. But CS Stars waited until June 29, 2006, to notify Special Funds and the FBI of the security breach. Because the FBI declared that notice to consumers might impede its investigation, CS STARS waited until July 8, 2006, to send notices to the 540,000 New Yorkers affected by the breach. On July 25, 2006, the FBI determined an employee, of a cleaning contractor, had stolen the computer, and the missing computer was located and recovered. In addition, the FBI found that the data on the missing computer had not been improperly accessed.

The Outcome:

New York’s Information Security Breach and Notification Law, effective in December 2005, requires businesses that maintain computerized data which includes private information to notify the owner of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The law affects not only businesses in their dealings with their customers, but employers in their role as custodians of employees’ personal data. (Cadrain)

Without admitting to any violation of law, CS STARS agreed to comply with the law and ensure that proper notifications will be made in the event of any future breach. The company also agreed to implement more extensive practices relating to the security of private information. CS STARS will pay the Attorney General’s office $60,000 for costs related to this investigation. (Cadrain)

IBM

The Situation:

IBM’s paperless online enrollment system, introduced in 1999, has proved to be a winner for both the
company’s 135,000 active U.S. employees and the company, according to Cathleen Donnelly, senior communications specialist at company headquarters in Armonk, N.Y. The company saves $1.2 million per year on printing and mailing costs alone, Donnelly says, and the employees’ can take advantage of a variety of technologies to learn about issues, research program information and access decision support tools from their desktop computers. (Heuring, 2002)

The Response:

One of those tools, a personal medical cost estimator, enables employees to calculate potential out-of-pocket health care expenses under each of the plan options available to them, Donnelly says. Employees log in personally and are greeted by name and with important information regarding their benefits enrollment, such as the deadlines and when changes take effect. They automatically get access to health plans that are available to them, and the calculator lets them compare estimated benefit amounts for each plan.

“Employees can select the health care services they expect to use in a particular year, estimate expected frequency of use, and calculate potential costs under each plan option,” Donnelly says. “The feedback that we’ve received from employees tells us that this tool has really helped them to make a comparison between plans based on how they consume medical services.” The calculator shows both IBM’s costs and the employee’s. (Heuring, 2002)

The Outcome:

“Since we began offering online enrollment, we’ve learned that employees want web access,” Donnelly says, so they can log on at home rather than through the company intranet. So the company has been working to put in place a web-based enrollment system that employees and retirees can access from anywhere.

Employees can get summary information on the plans, drill down into very specific details and follow links to the health care providers for research. Donnelly says the system has received high marks for convenience because employees can “get in and out quickly.”

WORKSource Inc.

The Situation:

To meet the challenge of handling 100 new employees, WORKSource Inc. acquired Web-based technology programs from GHG Corp. like electronic paystub, electronic timesheet software, time-off system, and human resource information system (“Tips,” 2006). These tools enabled CEO Judith Hahn to handling payroll procedures efficiently and effectively.

The Response:

WORKSource has eight workforce centers, with approximately 108 employees, located throughout a six-county region. Previously, payroll, benefits, and human resources for those employees were processed and managed by a Professional Employer Organization. The company also has 52 administrative staff in its headquarters office. When the contract with the PEO terminated on June 30, 2006, those 108 employees were immediately moved to the payroll of WORKSource, which meant Hahn’s workload more than doubled effective July 2006 (“Tips,” 2006).

Hahn, in an interview with PMR, said she relied on LEAN to help get a handle on what needed to change for her to manage the increased workload. Two years earlier, Hahn’s CEO had introduced her to LEAN, a Japanese management concept of eliminating wasteful steps and motion when completing processes. “I began to read as much as possible about LEAN and joined an HR LEAN focus group” (“Tips,” 2006).

The Outcome:

Mastering the concepts of LEAN led Hahn to develop and apply her own acronym of “REASON” to her department’s payroll and HR processes. Review the process: map payroll tasks from start to finish. Eliminate waste: determine how to complete a payroll task most efficiently without unnecessary steps. Analyze alternatives: research and evaluate the applicability of new technology. Sell innovations to management: document the return on investment of each innovation. Open the lines of communication: communicate openly—and often—with all stakeholders, including employees and top management. Never allow negativity: make change simple and fun. Give employees plenty of encouragement and time to learn (“Tips,” 2006). Judith Hahn was able to implement the right human resource functions using information systems.

Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc.

The Situation:

Lynda Morvik, director of benefits and human resources information systems at Tustin, California-based Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. (TAMS), thought it would make sense to add a benefits communication component to it. By having all the benefit information online, the TAMS employee handbook would also be a living document, enabling Morvik to make changes when necessary. Such was the case halfway through the project, when TAMS changed health care plans from Aetna Inc. to United Health Group Inc (Wojcik, 2004).

The Response:

TAMS, an independent group company of Toshiba Corporation and a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, MRI, and information systems, had been using a payroll service bureau and an in-house solution for HR that didn’t include easy-to-use consolidated reporting or an employee portal. After evaluating UltiPro alongside several enterprise resource vendors, TAMS selected Ultimate Software’s offering and went live in September 2002 after an on-time and on-budget implementation. Almost immediately upon rolling out the UltiPro portal to employees, TAMS began seeing improvements, with an estimated 70% increase in open enrollment efficiency (Wojcik, 2004).

The Outcome:

In an effort to expand the usage of the Web beyond the benefits enrollment process, TAMS has posted a library of documents and forms on its HR portal, including the benefits handbook, which garnered a 2004 Apex Award for publication excellence. That same year, Business Insurance magazine also gave TAMS the Electronic Benefit Communication (EBC) award for outstanding achievement in communicating employee benefits programs over the Web. To continue elevating its use of Ultimate Software’s HRMS/payroll solution, TAMS modified the UltiPro portal to meet the imaging company’s unique needs (Wojcik, 2004). It was completely integrated with several proprietary applications created to address compensation and performance management issues so that TAMS employees have a central location for comprehensive workforce and payroll information from a Web browser that they can access with a single sign-on (Wojcik, 2004).

References

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Source by Steven Phillip Brown

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Dryden's Definition of Drama

John Dryden is a great literary figure of his age. He saw the great plague of 1665; it drove him to Charlton in Wilt-shire where he lived for eighteen months and wrote dramatic poesy. The work is in dialogue form, consisting of four characters, discussing about drama. It was proved a popular literary form and reigned supreme in England during the next seventy-five years. It is an Aristotelian form because several persons with different wits and faculties participate in the discussion and contribute to it by giving or adding their views and ideas. In this dramatic poesy, the center of discussion is drama. Dryden’s definition of drama really covers a wide range. It can be applied to heroic poems, epics and romance or dramas. He treats drama as a form of imaginative literature that appeals to poetry.

According to him, drama is a just and lively image of human nature, representing its passions and humours, and the changes of fortune to which it is subject, for the delight and instruction of mankind. He insists on the words ‘Just’ and ‘lively’ image of human nature. In support of the words, it must be admitted that material of all topics is drawn from a society. The society is made of mankind or living things, and without them, society is nothing. Dryden implies word ‘Image’ as an imitation or appearance of human nature must be just. Just means exact or as it is. It means an exact copy of reality. Dryden is different; he does not like only the slavish or exact copy of reality, but it must be lively. David Diaches expresses that the image of human nature is implied for drama as well as imaginative literature, which shows the acting of people in such a way as to reveal what they are like. He further says that Dryden has used the word ‘Image’ for the appearance of human actions. The human actions must be just and lively. Plato described the imitation of imitation or copy of the copy. He is not different, but he adds the word ‘lively’.

In poetic imitation, the word ‘Just’ is not sufficient, but the word ‘Lively’ must be added. ‘Lively’ means interesting. David Diaches interprets it as interesting. R.A Scott James agrees and interprets it as beautiful and so delightful. Such interpretation admits that the poet is a maker or a creator. He finds material, works on and makes it beautiful by heightening its quality. John Dryden gives value to labour. If one reveals it as rough as it was, it must be a rough work with a trivial value. If it is represented lively, the work would be lively, and the poet would be valued.

Dryden is really a great critic and supporter of imagination. In his age, he is rather different from all the poets. He calls imagination as a special faculty of a creative artist without rules and regulations. It enables the artist to create the work of beauty that makes him distinctive. Indeed, imagination is like a polisher that makes the material elegant. Such labour uplifts its value more and more. In other words, it is more needed to say that imagination is a shaping power. Through it, the poet selects, orders, rearranges and heightens his material. In result, the more distinctive and more beautiful material is achieved. Through imaginative creation, the just images of human nature become lively.

The writers or creative artists don’t hold the imagination of same power. Each has his own, and it brings something different and peculiar in his work. Indeed, it forms the personality of a writer. According to Dryden, it is an inherent element that is found different in Shakespeare, Jonson and Fletcher. Each poet has his own qualities, and through such qualities, their work is analyzed and valued. Dryden admits that Shakespeare writes better between man and man; Fletcher betwixt man and woman. The one describes friendship better and the other love. He is of the opinion that imaginative work gives birth to qualities and peculiarities of a writer; by which he is known in the world of literature. So, such qualities or peculiarities make him more distinctive writer. Actually, he talks about the individual qualities of the creative artists which are named and contrasted. By pursuing such qualities, he accepts Shakespeare as the Homer, or the father of dramatic poets, and Jonson is accepted as the Virgil, or the pattern of elaborate writing. He concludes that he admires Jonson, but loves Shakespeare. All depends on the faculty of imagination. The rich faculty forms rich work and makes the writer eminent.

In the definition of drama, John Dryden gives primary importance to delight, and the secondary to instruction. The function of poetry is delight, and to instruct is the function of prose. It is he who combines the both. It is examined that the instruction comes out of the delight. A bare imitation gives birth to bare instruction that is quite ineffective, but when the bare imitation is selected, ordered and shaped by the poet’s imagination, the work becomes beautiful and lively. David Diaches expresses that the function of poetry is to inform the reader in a lively and agreeable way, or the way that human nature likes.

Scott James stresses on aesthetic pleasure or delight. Aesthetic delight is concerned to poetry which springs from a beautiful thought. Shamasuddin Bulbul, the great poet of Mehar city, also emphasized on aesthetic pleasure as the chief function of poetry. Scott James says that the pleasure which a work of art produces is of a certain kind; it is that which comes up from a sense of the lively creativity. For Dryden, speaking of poetry is speaking of beauty. If one speaks the pleasure of poetry, it means a pleasure that comes out of the beautiful art. The aesthetic pleasure has the power to move and to transport. According to Dryden, the power of aesthetic pleasure affects the soul and excites the passion, and above all, it moves admiration. The soul, thus, is moved by reading the beautiful work, and it compels the reader to value it.

The poetry instructs as it delights. A bare imitation of reality does not have such power. It lies on poet’s imagination that makes beautiful works of art. John Dryden lives in the age of prose, but follows such concept that makes him distinguished from the others. His concept of poetic imitation is not mere imitation, but it is the work of a poet, a maker or a creator, whose endeavor is to produce some piece of art but beautiful. Such lively work gives pleasure or delight, and the delight gives birth to instruction that is very effective and resultant.

Source by Ali Asghar Joyo

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How to Make Him Want to Propose & Spend the Rest of His Life With You? Follow These Tips Right Now

by sinnga kilam 0 Comments

No woman can wait forever! She wants her boyfriend or the man she has been seriously dating for months to produce the ring and propose! Besides, most women have grown up nurturing the hope of Prince Charming coming her way and asking her to marry him! If you are in this position and need some help to make your man propose read these tips!

Pushing him won’t work
It has been proved time and time again that pressure does not really work. And even if you do force him to marry you then you can never be convinced in your heart of his love and true feelings for you. The best way is to wait and give him time to propose.

Don’t be too obvious
It is good to subtly hint that you want him to propose, but leaving obvious “loud” signs like leaving wedding magazines all over the place or steering him by “Tiffany’s” and exclaiming over the rings, will make him embarrassed and resentful.

Show him you don’t like being kept “hanging”
If your man has been taking his own sweet time to propose and seems to be comfortable with just dating – let him know that you think it is a good time for you to start making new friends and also date others. If he intends to marry you – he will be horrified with the idea and will quickly produce the ring!

Create a little distance
Don’t allow your man to get the benefits of marriage without the actual “ring”! If he seems reluctant to marry you – let him know that you want something more! Create a little distance and cool off! This will make him realize that he could lose you for good and make a decision regarding the future.

Look for signals
Whether you like it or not, it is better to look for signs and signals that tell you about his intentions and feelings towards marriage. Mentioning the future, kids and marriage will show you if he is for or against commitment. You can work accordingly to get him to propose.

An ultimatum is a last resort
If your man seems impervious to any sort of hints or is being deliberately “dumb” when it comes to settling down and marriage to you, then maybe it is time to tell him that since he is so opposed to commitment you think it is time to find some one who isn’t. This will get you the desired result in a jiffy!

Take away the doubts and fears
Talking about his fears and doubts will get him to face them and also overcome them. If he realizes that you are the woman who can be a wonderful life partner, he will be more open to considering a future with you.

Source by Russell Jackson

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The Biggest Misconceptions About Plagiarism

Students should always be careful to avoid plagiarism when writing term papers and essays. There are severe academic consequences for students caught plagiarizing even a portion of their term paper – most will automatically receive a failing grade, and in many cases the student will be expelled from school entirely.

The reason why plagiarism is treated so seriously by teachers, professors, and school administrators is that plagiarism is considered a form of cheating. By copying another person’s words or ideas without citing the source, not only are you failing to give proper credit to the author, but you are passing the work off as your own. You falsely represent to the reader of your essay (ex. your professor) that you came up with the words and ideas by yourself. This is no different than copying an exam answer off a classmate and pretending that you arrived at the answer yourself.

Actively remembering to cite your sources of information and recognizing the consequences for not doing so will help prevent deliberate cases of plagiarism. However, even well-intentioned students can get in trouble by failing to understand what constitutes as plagiarism and what does not.

The biggest misconception about plagiarism is that you only need to cite a source when you’ve directly copied the words of that source – for example if you copied a sentence word-for-word from a book into your term paper. These students mistakenly think that if you change the words of the sentence or put the author’s ideas in your own words, it is not necessary to cite the source. This is not true!

Students must provide a citation whenever information from another source is used in their essay, even if the original words were changed. Plagiarism counts not only when you borrow other people’s words, but also when you borrow their thoughts or ideas. Therefore, paraphrasing is not a substitute for citation. Neither is summarizing. The only time you can use information without attribution or credit is when the information is considered common knowledge – something that is generally accepted as a fact or can be easily found in reference materials.

Here are some other myths about plagiarism:

Plagiarism only counts if most of the research paper was plagiarized. FALSE: Even if only one phrase or sentence in the essay was copied without attribution, it is still considered plagiarism. It is easy to get away with plagiarism because it is so hard to detect and prove.

FALSE: Not only are teachers and professors experts in their subject matter and therefore likely to be familiar with the source you are plagiarizing, but educators are increasingly using Internet tools that can automatically detect even minor cases of plagiarism.

Remembering these misconceptions will help you avoid accidental plagiarism in your next essay or term paper.

Source by Tony A Henderson

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Pisces Love Horoscope: Understanding Pisces Men

Do you wonder what’s in the stars for the Pisces love horoscope? Is a Pisces man right for you? What is it about a Pisces that’s so special, anyway? If you’re looking for more understanding of the men born between the nineteenth of February and the twentieth of March, you’re certainly not alone. The Pisces man is an emotional, rather than logical creature – here are ways to relate to Pisces best.

Understanding Pisces Emotion

The Pisces love horoscope is full of emotional ups and downs. Pisces men tend to be very intuitive, although some are quite shy and take some time to warm up to new situations. Once you get to know a Pisces man, you’ll find that he is a sweet and tenderhearted lover. He wants to take care of his partner, and will often make sacrifices to do so.

Pisces needs plenty of love and reassurance in turn – he has a tendency to let his imagination run away from him at times, and you may find that you need to reaffirm your devotion to him more frequently than you might with other signs.

Fish Tales – Truth or Deception?

One of the most dangerous things about the Pisces love horoscope is that Pisces men have a way of getting into rough water when it comes to cheating on their significant others. This is not to say that all Pisces men are cheaters, but Pisceans are very clever and have the ability to make others see things their way – even if their way is something that’s only been imagined.

While the Pisces love horoscope is very clear on the fact that Pisces men are sweet, loving, caring individuals, they have the ability to cheat without blinking twice, and many of them are so good at the art of deception that they’re never even suspected, much less caught, cheating!

If you’ve landed a Pisces, congratulations! You’re in for a great romance. Just be sure to guard your catch carefully to be sure he doesn’t stray.

How to Keep a Pisces Man Happy

Pisces men love to spend time involved in dreamy, imaginative fantasies. They love to talk, and they love spending time enjoying romance with their loved one. Here are a few tips to make the most of the Pisces love horoscope.

  • Think Romance! Pisces men love romance and all things connected with it – so make a candlelight dinner, turn on some soft music, and enjoy a blissful evening together. Pisces men love to be treated gently, and they long to hear words of devotion.
  • Work on Your Connection –Keeping a Pisces man interested can be demanding, unless you understand that they love feeling a sense of newness. Finding new ways to show you love your Pisces can help you build a lasting connection.

Ways to Understand the Pisces Love Horoscope

Understanding your connection with a Pisces man can be quite a challenge, so if you want to make the most of it, think about checking your astrological compatibility charts, or even having natal charts drawn up for both of you. You’ll be glad to discover even more ways to strengthen your relationship.

Source by Tina L. Jones

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The Perfect Business Requirements Document

A Business Requirements Document is a formal document that effectively provides a contract between a “supplier” and a “client”. The “client” is typically a business department and the “supplier” is the company or other business department that will create and deliver the new product, system or process. The document describes in detail every business need and is written in response to a known business problem or shortcoming. The Business Requirements Document is not expected to describe in detail the solution to the business needs but to describe what the business wants and needs. For technical products, such as new or modified software systems, further technical specifications will be prepared.

Various techniques, such as brainstorming, story boarding, use cases and interviews, will have been used to gather the requirements during a business requirements analysis process. That information needs to be written down in a clear, concise format in language familiar to the business users. The process of documenting and refining the business requirements helps to identify conflicting requirements and potential issues early on in the project lifecycle. It is the key document in the effective project management of any type of project.

The business requirements document effectively defines the Scope of a project. This is the description of what will be included in the project and also what is specifically excluded from the project.

Scope is a definition of the limits or boundaries of a project and the reason it is so important is because poor management of the project scope is one of the major causes of project failure. Good management of the project scope by the project manager involves 3 key factors:

  • devote adequate time to fully defining the requirements
  • reach a formal agreement on the scope with the stakeholders
  • avoid scope creep

Scope Creep

Scope creep is when un-authorised or un-budgeted tasks lead to uncontrolled alterations to the documented requirements during the course of the project. The business requirements document should address the possibility of requests for additional tasks in a project and state how they will be dealt with. This usually involves a formal Change Request Procedure that requires the agreement of all stakeholders to any changes of specification, budget or delivery time. The fact that the business requirements document is a formally approved document assists the project manager in implementing and sticking to a Change Request Procedure.

There is, of course, a tendency for changes to be requested during the life of a project. As projects progress, the end-users inevitably see areas where additional features could provide increased benefits. And the purpose of scope management is not to prevent such changes either being requested or implemented, but to ensure that all changes bring substantial, well-defined benefits. And that the budget will be increased accordingly and that the extended duration of the project is acceptable to all parties involved. Failure on the part of the project manager to manage scope adequately undermines the viability of the whole project as approved in the Business Requirements Document.

All changes to the requirements, budget and schedule must be approved by all stakeholders. In large projects it is common for end-users to see their opportunity to have all the “nice-to-have” elements added while major changes are underway – to some extent this is understandable but only if the new features add real business value such as efficiency or accountability and do not require the project to change in such a way as to lose sight of the original business needs that instigated the project in the first place

Document Iterations

A business requirements document is likely to need several iterations before it is close to reaching a document acceptable to all stakeholders. Writing such a document can be a complex and intricate process and will probably need many more iterations before approval is actually achieved. This is no reflection on the thoroughness of the analysis process but rather on the simple human difficulty in translating thoughts and speech into clear, unambiguous and thorough wording on the page. Whilst adequate detail is required to fully define the requirements, conversely, too much detail prevents the readers from absorbing the key points. Writing a document that achieves this balance is a skill in itself.

Fortunately, there are a number of best practice approaches and industry standards that can be used to good effect when writing a business requirements document.These will assist in defining the project scope and managing scope creep once the project is underway.

Key Document Elements

Whether the author of the business requirements is the business analyst or the project manager, they should have an understanding of the different levels of requirements and the different elements within the requirements. They must be able to state the business needs clearly, understand the current business process and the key business objectives driving the project.

The following list, whilst not exhaustive, covers the main areas that should be documented in a business requirements document:

  • Business Problem Statement
  • Current Business Process
  • Scope Statement(s)
  • Key Business Objectives
  • Project Completion Criteria
  • Limitations
  • Risks
  • Assumptions
  • Functional Requirements
  • Non-Functional Requirements
  • Features and Functions
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Delivery Method
  • New/Modified Business Process
  • Data Retention/Archiving
  • Training
  • Stakeholder List
  • Quality Measures
  • Checklists (Process and Requirements)

Ensuring each of these elements is incorporated in to the document with sufficient detail and clarity is the first step to creating a perfect business requirements document. Techniques for writing effective business requirements are covered on both general project management training courses and on specific business requirements courses.

Source by Michelle Symonds

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4 Tips on Being a Happy and Relaxed Person

by sinnga kilam 0 Comments

Being a happy and relaxed person these days has become more and more difficult with financial and other issues to deal with which prevent us from doing life’s important things. Stress and general ill-health brought on by psychological disorders are more prevalent today than at any other time in history. Now is the time to look at yourself honestly and ask exactly what is it do you want from life that will make you a more happy and relaxed person?

Really focus on the things that will make you happy and more relaxed until such time as they become reality for you. The only difference from people that do and people that don’t is the state of their mind, period. The good news is that we all have the choice to change it whenever we really want to. Just changing this one aspect of your life, albeit a powerful one, will make you a happy and relaxed person, guaranteed.

I hope that the few tips below on being happy and relaxed will assist in helping you to decide to change for the better and forever:

Tips No. 1 – Being As relaxed and happy as you want is a personal choice

The song “don’t worry be happy” is very difficult to listen to and stay miserable at the same time purely from the tone of the music. Music is therefore a great way to not only make you more relaxed but to put you in a happy state of mind. Music has been scientifically proven to assist in this area for many years. It is to do with the tone and the way they act on your brain.

Tips No. 2 A Happy And Relaxed Person = A Person Who Lives Longer And Livelier

Visualization of all the good things in your life will, over time, change the way you thing about life resulting in a happy and relaxed disposition. Stop focusing on those things that make you miserable and start to stop taking the good things in your life for granted i.e. source of income, family friends and pay them as much attention as you do to news and gossip about what is wrong with the world. What the mind focuses on and therefore believe in becomes your reality. You choose. Staying relaxed and to some extent happy has great medical benefits in reducing stress, strokes, high blood pressure, gastric problems etc etc.

A great quote that I will always remember is “The only thing in life, that will always remain the same, is change”. Think about that one for a moment and see where it takes you. The magical thing about our minds is that we have the ability to change in an instance and go off in a different direction and improve our entire life, just through chosing to do so.

Tips No 3. Friends And Family

We, by nature, are creatures of a social nature and being around people who have the same outlook on life makes us feel comfortable, happy, safe and relaxed. Sometimes however it is easy to get into a negative mind set around such people and remain in the social group just because it gives you a sense of belonging to something, even if it leads you down the path of negative though manifestation on a constant basis. Take the gossip group at work for instance. A lot of people hang in these groups and belong to them but what is it doing for their chances of living a happy and more relaxed life, absolutely nothing.

Tips No 4. Super Tip To Increase Your Chances of a happy and relaxed way of life.

It’s so simple. Change your mind/thoughts will change your life. Make a conscious decision today, convince your subconscious that you are a relaxed and happy person, stick with that line of self conversation and watch yourself change from the inside without having to consciously be involved in the process.

What needs to be done is that a reprogramming of your mind need to occur which alters your current paradigms (habits) into ones which get you were you want to go and make you the sort of person you want to be. The mind is a great and powerful thing and people should generally be more careful what they expose it to as once something appears in your subconscious it will remain in there.

One last quote, this time from Mr Abraham Lincoln. It goes life this “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. Just go over that a few times and see where it takes you.

Source by Oscar B Jones

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Why Filipinos Speak English Well

Has it ever occurred to you why Filipinos speak English well whereas natives of other Asian countries struggle with the English language? Come to think of it, Japanese men and women seek Filipino tutors, whether it’s online or offline. Koreans have to go the Philippines to study English, and thanks to that, tourism and the economy in the Philippines blossomed, with Koreans flying in and out of the country, and buildings constructed and rooms set up to accommodate the Koreans’ need to ┬ástudy English in the Philippines. As it turned out, many Filipinos are able to not only expand their network of friends but to find work as tutors to these Koreans.

Actually, why Filipinos have the ability to speak English rather fluently is because of their American influences. For a time, the Philippines was under American rule, and so the Filipino people are able to learn the English language by heart.

Not only that, in many schools, English is used as the medium of instruction. This has, in fact, elicited controversies since English is not at all the national language of the country. Needless to say, English subjects are being taught in schools across the nation. In grade school, kids are taught the American Alphabet, and how to read English as well. Grammar and correct sentence structure are emphasized early on. The highly advanced schools have speech laboratories which provide an ideal environment for students to practice speaking well, especially in public. With these kinds of training alone, it isn’t surprising to find most Filipinos becoming good communicators and writers of the English language.

It doesn’t end there. In many homes in the Philippines, the use of the English language is encouraged. In the middle and upper classes of society, the parents often talk to their children in English, and the children respond in English as well. Even caretakers of these children have to speak in English.

English movies and TV shows have also become a learning ground for Filipinos to learn English. It’s not so bad to sit in front of the “idiot box” after all when you think about it. Quite interestingly, children who are glued to cartoon or animated shows day in and day out are able to speak better English (with American accent) than those who are not. Now, I’m not saying I am encouraging watching TV. I am merely pointing out the fact that watching TV is also an educational experience if not abused.

This ability of the Filipinos to speak English gives them an edge over their Asian counterparts when it comes to finding and landing jobs in English-speaking countries. Filipino workers are highly favored and in-demand abroad because foreign employers deem communication skills as important, and they know that with Filipino workers, they will not have any major difficulty understanding one another.

But you know, the reasons why Filipinos speak English well become immaterial because what’s really important anyway is that they do, and that they possess far greater qualities than the ability to speak the English language.

Source by Annielyn Summers

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Public School Prayer: How God Lured Me to a Small TexasTown

To begin with, my children already lived here with their mother and stepfather. The varsity football team, the Stephenville Yellow Jackets, was the winningest Texas football team in the 90’s and my sons, along with their stepfather, urged me to come and see these kids play. “They are phenomenal!” I was assured. I went to watch them play as they won the Texas State Championships in 98 and 99. They WERE phenomenal! My youngest son played football at Stephenville High. His underclass teams won district and he played Varsity ball on a team that went to the Bi-District finals his Senior year. This was enough to get me to criss-cross the wide open spaces of Texas from Arlington, chasing after my son’s football games for four years, including quite a few contests right in his home town of Stephenville.

Game by game, the town was growing on me.

Some unusual things were happening there that caught my attention from my apartment in Arlington. For starters, on a Christian radio show I used to listen to, the host, Dawson McAllister, mentioned he would soon be speaking at a rally in…where else? Stephenville! Hmm. Intriguing. Turns out, my kids attended that rally. I found out later, most EVERYBODY’s kids attended.

Another happening that the Holy Spirit used to lure my attention to Stephenville was the war against prayer in the schools, particularly at sporting events and graduations. The reports were on virtually every nightly newscast. I noticed during my brief visits to town that there were many kids wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with the words “I Pray before I Play” emblazoned boldly upon the front. Following are some pieces of articles I found on the Internet, the likes of which I seemed to be hearing regularly back in the late 90’s. They speak for themselves, painting an accurate picture of the climate of those days:

“…the athletic field is rapidly turning into a culture war battle zone, as it did Friday night at a game in Stephenville, Texas, over the issue of school prayer. Education boards and school principals across Texas are struggling with federal guidelines on religious activities, including the ban on official school prayer. Earlier this year, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that some religious references were permissible at school events like graduation ceremonies, but were inappropriate — not sufficiently sacred — during other activities like athletic contests. Jurists ruled that the hootin’ and hollerin’ of a down-home football standoff lacked the “singularly serious nature” of other functions, such as a graduation event.

“That didn’t stop a small group of 15 students on Friday night, though, from smuggling a portable public address system into a high school game in Stephenville, Texas, to lead supporters in public prayer…

“One of the “prayer warrior” students at Friday night’s game told the Stephenville Empire-Tribune paper, “This was not about football, it was about God. We decided to pray for God (sic).” According to an Associated Press report, local high school superintendent Larry Butler said that the impromptu prayer rally did not have support of authorities from the district. “With that being said,” added Butler, “I applaud them for doing something that they feel really strongly about. I think the entire community of Stephenville believes in school prayer.”

“So far, there are no other reports of spontaneous prayer outbreaks at weekend football games. News accounts suggest that most school district throughout Texas are abiding by the Circuit Court guidelines…”

FROM ANOTHER ARTICLE…

“A number of “spontaneous” protest at football games have taken place in Stephenville. Last week, the Board of Trustees of the Stephenville Independent School District grappled with a policy which would permit a student selected by popular vote to deliver a pre-game “message,” provided certain rules were observed. The local Empire-Tribune newspaper noted: “The rules are that the purpose of the message is to encourage good sportsmanship and student safety and to promote the proper environment for the competition… The message may also be used to welcome or greet fans and the opposing team and/or to commend them for their achievements.

“While one board member mused that the new policy “would legally create an open forum for a period of time designated for the message and designate a place for the student message,” another member saw through the obfuscation. Referring to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court decision disallowing pre-game prayer, he told fellow board members: “This is the law today whether we like it or not. Until this is cleared up, I personally think we go against the law if we allow student prayer, or any prayer, before the game…” “

HERE’S ONE MORE FROM ’99…

Students Defy Federal Judge on Prayer at High School Game

Stephenville, TX – The August 27th football season opener for the Stephenville High School Yellow Jackets was not only memorable for the lop-sided victory they had, but also for the courage shown by the student body and the fans in the crowd. A district federal judge had issued a decision forbidding prayer at public school gatherings, even if initiated by students. The students of Stephenville High believe this is a violation of their constitutional right to freedom of religion. The student body not only takes pride in being the defending 4A state champions, but in exercising their constitutional rights.

Before the opening kickoff, one of the students of Stephenville High grabbed a microphone and led a “spontaneous” prayer. Several students joined the young man on the sidelines, but what was even more powerful was the fact that not some, but all of the people in the stands stood up, removed their hats and joined in the prayer. Local news stations were there to cover the game and questioned the police and high school administrator as to what they planned to do about the “illegal” praying. There was no response from the police, but the high school administrator simply said that no actions were to be taken against the students. School officials also pointed out that since the school had not officially sanctioned the action, it could not be held legally liable for what happened.

The federal judge, upon hearing about the public prayer, said that the prayer was in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. Some supporters of the students pointed out that the Constitution does not demand separation of church and state, but guarantees that there will be no laws made establishing any official religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Students interviewed said that they planned to pray publicly at their next game.

One thing that most local reports on the event failed to mention was that it was not just the Stephenville students and supporters, but their football adversaries as well that stood up to be counted. The Weatherford High School Kangaroos, and all their fans, honored the brave individuals that dared to challenge the edict of a federal judge by standing with them during the prayer. With reporters scouring the crowd for an opposing view, not one person was found whom the prayer offended. Still the judge finds this act illegal and irresponsible!

What happens going forward from here depends on how determined the judge is to force his will on the people, and how determined the citizens of Stephenville are to defend their constitutional rights. For one night at least, this was seen as a victory for Texans in the exercise of their rights. As for Weatherford High, it was the one bright spot in a night that resulted in a 34-7 loss to the Yellow Jackets.

AND ANOTHER…

MORE SCHOOLS IGNORE FOOTBALL PRAYER BAN

North of Dallas, Celina high school football fans prayed before a football game with a Christian school. The apparently coordinated prayer by fans, football players, cheerleaders, and band members violates the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ban on school football prayers because football is not properly solemn enough for God.

Rev. John Mark Arrington, pastor at Lighthouse Full Gospel Church in Garland distributed 250 T-shirts with the slogan, “Celina Bobcats Pray Before They Play.” Arrington want students to obey “God’s law,” which justifies the growing rebellion of evangelicals against the U.S. Constitution.

In Stephenville, students brought their own sound system to football games and delivered a religious message using the equipment. There was no report that school officials took any action to prevent it.

In Midland, student-led prayers at football games still happen. School officials said the prayers would continue until someone filed a lawsuit to make them stop.

FINALY, THIS FROM U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT…

To pray–or not to pray” by Robert Bryce.

U.S. News & World Report, Sep 13, 1999 (Vol 127, No 10). Page 26.

Joel Allen and Alan Ward, two Stephenville, Texas, high school students, refused to be denied the tradition that surrounded their school’s football games. So to circumvent a federal court order barring use of a school’s public address system for prayer before high school football games, the two students borrowed a small speaker system and led the crowd in prayer, much to the fans’ delight.

The court ruling that affects Stephenville, Texas, handed down in February 1999, by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a national furor over the place of prayer in public school events. The court’s decision stated that student-led prayer during graduation ceremonies is allowed, but prayer during events such as football games is not since they do not represent a “solemn” enough occasion.

This latest ruling is one of several conflicting federal decisions on school prayer in recent years. In July 1999, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Alabama school district could not ban student-initiated prayer at school activities, even when attendance of the event is mandatory.

The Fifth Circuit Court’s decision will most likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, some school districts in Louisiana and Texas say they will hold a moment of silence in lieu of prayer. Others vow to ignore the ruling altogether.

YOU GET THE PICTURE.

I was fascinated, waiting with baited breath for the next act of civil disobedience to come from the kids from this li’l ol’ town in Texas I’d never heard of until my kids moved there.

Finally, I became very ill and was faced with a difficult decision. I had to leave Arlington, a place I’d lived for 14 years and a Church of which I was a Charter Member and Assistant Pastor as well as a good-paying job where I held a prestigious position. But I couldn’t bend over to load my dishwasher, walk a flight of stairs or carry groceries to and from my car. I needed my children’s help.

Stephenville, here I come!

Crippled and in pain, finding a job was nearly impossible. I came very close to filing Medicaid papers and becoming a ward of the state. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Where God guides, He provides and He regularly sent ravens to take care of my needs. My old college roommate lived in Dublin just 12 minutes away. He directed a publishing company to contact me as they needed an illustrator for a series of children’s books. That job alone, a job I could do from my kitchen table or even from propped -up pillows, was enough to help me make ends meet. Between chapters, recipients of my weekly email Bible broadcasts would occasionally come through with a love offering.

I was living from miracle to miracle until I received a call from my old college pal informing me that the local Chamber of Commerce was in need of a receptionist. I did not even know what a Chamber of Commerce actually did but I was feeling miraculously better, well enough to have applied for work at a local dairy reading the ear tags on cows just the day before. Funny, I can’t recall a job interview where a prospective employer asked if I’d mind occasionally getting “splattered with manure.” (I replied that it sounded like my last job. He didn’t laugh.) Any way, I went right to The Chamber and I’ll be there 5 years this July 7th. It’s a great job and the Lord has allowed me numerous opportunities to tap into the spiritual roots of the community from my position.

UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY

At the Chamber, I’ve been privileged to work for and with wonderful Christian people. Several years back, one lady I worked with had the idea of putting on an event that would give teens something to do after school ended in may. as we brainstormed, the event evolved into “The Extreme Thing.” In no time, other church members and ministers jumped on board. In the end, we had 29 churches involved, 9 bands, bouncy toys, organized games, 1,000 attendees and several ministers. The event was closed by a wonderful Church of Christ choir and their pastor. It was awesome!

In 2002 and 2003, I organized a July 4th parade entry which I called “The Declaration of Dependence.” I designed a T-shirt and matching banner and about 50 Christians suited up and took part. The next year, over 150 Christians took part from 11 different churches – including Hispanic Churches. We had the largest entry in the parade that year.

One day, a man from the Assembly of God Church took me to lunch. He had an idea for a door to door prayer ministry he called “Operation Jesus.” I designed a logo for a T-shirt and, in the past two years, hundreds of participants have prayed for virtually every dwelling place in town. We’re about to start over and the numbers of participating churches is increasing every time we go out.

A young Youth Minister from the Disciples of Christ had the vision to organize an event he called “The Unity Conference.” In the end, hundreds of believers attended from various denominations to listen to seven different ministers speak on a variety of subjects and worship together in song with several church worship teams. I was honored to have been one of those who ministered. Just a few months ago, I actually preached the Sunday morning services in that same church on two consecutive Sundays.

My own ministry has expanded to include opportunities to speak at the high school and the local college where I recently participated in a panel discussion on homosexuality in a grad level counseling/psych class. Last Sunday, I completed my 6th and final week of teaching at the First United Methodist Church. I’ve been invited back. The Pastor called me at work just today to thank me for “sharing my gift” with his congregation. Nice man.

The pastor from the local Cowboy Church – a Baptist group that has blossomed to 500 members in its first year – has asked that I come and teach the Cowboys about the cults. Though I’m not Baptist, I have taught too many times to count at the Sunday meetings of the local Baptist Ministry. I attend a weekly house church meeting that includes several Pentecostals, some Baptists and a couple of Catholics. We’ve prayed together and ministered to others and have seen miracles and spiritual gifts in operation.

Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. Unity commands a Heavenly blessing.

THAT’S MY STORY…

That’s how I got to town and what God’s shown me in the mean time. Has it been without its trials? Hardly. Aside from hate mail via my computer, I once visited a woman in the county jail and even helped arrange her release. She later accused me of a crime and filed a restraining order against me. Not only did that case never make it to trial, but that woman has been sent to the state jail for another crime. On top of that, there have been a few people who wouldn’t allow their kids to sit under my teaching because they learned I’ve been divorced. At least no one’s shooting.

Oh, one last bit of good news is this: I moved to a cabin in the woods and, when I met my wonderful wife, Barbara, we not only moved here and love it, but we bought a Victorian home in town that my parents moved into from Las Cruces, New Mexico and are managing as a rooming house. We call it Vanderbilt P
lace. Barb is a registered nurse and got a job at the hospital located just 2 blocks from my downtown office at The Chamber. I see all 4 of my kids, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren regularly. I can recall the times that I was always so all alone and sickly.

I’m not sure what it is the Lord is doing here in this wonderful little town but, knowing Him, I know it’s gonna be great! I encourage anyone reading this now to grow where you’re planted, regardless of circumstances. I’ve learned that anything we can see with human eyes is subject to change. Even at my sickest, I was mailing Christian Gospel tracts to Middle Eastern-sounding names from the phone book on the chance the recipients might be Muslim. I made it to the letter “J” as I recall. My stamp-licking tongue wasn’t broken, after all. Later, a dear friend gave me a good used computer and my email ministry was on its way. I STILL only type with one finger (40 wpm, not bad, huh?).

Now, scroll down and FORWARD the message. Rate it if you like.

Source by Michael Tummillo

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Judo Tips – 10 Ways to Improve Your Groundwork (Ne Waza)

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This short article identifies ten tips to improve your Judo groundwork (Ne Waza) skills.

All Judo players could drastically improve their Ne Waza or “groundwork” techniques by attending a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school – you will quickly learn the geographic hierarchy of positions rarely discussed in Judo.

Don’t start with both knees on the ground – use ‘Combat Base’ when beginning ground work with one knee down and one knee up.

Don’t knee fight – in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo it is common to see both partners fighting aggressively from the knees – in reality nobody fights from the knees. Try to co-operate with training partners and take turns for one partner to start in a bottom position.

Never lay flat on your front, especially during Ne Waza practice. This results in failing to utilise your training time to improve your techniques and skills. Nothing of value is learnt by laying flat on your front and trying to protect your neck from your opponent. Reserve this for the competition mat only and you can learn to defend your neck more effectively from other positions.

Never try to choke your opponent when you are in his guard (the guard is where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players lay on there backs with their legs either wrapped around you or the legs are between you and them). There is a high chance that you will be armlocked or reversed if your opponent has even basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills.

Learn to use the modified scarf position – the standard head and arm position is less stable, especially when you are lighter and / or smaller than your opponent. Therefore instead of holding your opponent around the head, which may give access to your back or being reversed, grip under your opponent’s armpit.

Ask more experienced practitioners for advice – if a training partner applies a technique that are unfamiliar with, ask them to show it to you and any counters or defences that they also know. This will further develop your knowledge and skills.

Practice holds and skills during Ne Waza – in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools there is often an emphasis on winning by any means and all-out sparring. Whilst sparring is essential, try to spar with a particular skill, objective, or even position in mind. Agree with your sparring partners to repeatedly work on your escapes, holds, etc.

Keep a training diary – record your performance, submissions, holds, successes and learning areas.

Search the internet for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sites as you will often be able to find techniques that will address areas requiring improvement.

Follow these tips and you should drastically improve your Ne Waza skills. In the next article, I will address 10 simple tips to assist Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in improving their stand-up and throwing skills.

Glyn Powditch of JudoBJJ and SBG Manchester

BJJ purple belt

Judoka

MMA Instructor

© Glyn Powditch 2008

Source by Glyn Powditch

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