Friday, February 17, 2012

Women In The Military

I had the opportunity to have a guest writer....yay! I hope you all enjoy. Thank you Kristin Wells!

Women in the Military: It's Been a Long Road Since the 1970s

The first foray of women in the military on a wide-scale basis began in the 1970s as women began being allowed to function in ancillary positions of the U.S. military. While women did eventually obtain positions in military support roles such as artillery, they are still barred from direct combat roles such as infantry. At the officer level, women are completely integrated into all the military academies, graduating as cadets and 2nd lieutenants ready for assignment.

Both physical and psychological concerns have continued to be the main barriers barring full integration of women in every aspect of the military, but today there are very few functions women do not have role in. U.S. military branches have incorporated women in everything from pilot positions to executive management roles of the armed forces. However, some areas still remain men only. For example, it was only in April 2010 that the U.S. Department of the Navy first allowed women sailors and petty officers to serve on naval submarines. Also, with health standards in the military ever increasing, it is becoming a more attractive option for women. Long gone are the concerns of asbestos related
Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma cancer that were used extensively not too long ago.

The unfortunate dark side of integration into more and more military functions has been the increasing rate of physical attacks and rapes of female military personnel, particularly in remote assignment situations. In multiple cases women have not only been attacked by their own fellow soldiers, the issues have also been covered up by immediate command thereby making the injuries worse. The U.S. military has had to wrestle with this issue over the last decade and confront it, both in the field and in training academies.

A unique aspect of wide integration of women soldiers has been seen in the latest conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Given the extensive involvement of U.S. military in the Middle East, women both in active branches as well as the National Guard have been ordered abroad. Many have children and spouses that are now left behind in a military role-reversal. Toddlers are now being raised by fathers alone as their mothers spend their children's formative years on assignment, only being able to connect through computer videos, email, and letters.

Once integrated, the U.S. military makes no exception of the gender of a soldier called on for a tour of duty. Even mothers with young children have to make arrangements and leave their kids to serve as required once enlisted. The 2000s has probably been the first decade this dynamic has been fully experienced, with many fathers and grandparents filling in the gap waiting for a wife and mother to come home again.

Kristin Wells is a recent college graduate from The University of Georgia and an aspiring writer. She wants to make a difference in people's lives through her writing. Kristin also likes competitive cycling, running, and traveling as much as possible.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Sentence of My Life

First of all, I was very impressed from the moment I opened the box. All of their business information and card placed in a nice folder right on top. I love learning about the companies I blog for and have never been given quite the presentation. McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds, I applaud you for that!
 We were blessed with a few different versions of the game "You've Been Sentenced," and were very excited to start playing! This particular game has earned over 10 national awards. I was surprised this game was winning awards back in 2007. Where have I been and why didn't I know about this game sooner?! This game is great fun for the whole family! Having 3 homeschoolers is a lot of work. I'm always looking for fun, innovative teaching tools. This is great for our language art studies! I also love the fact that so many people can play at one time. This particular game is for ages 8 & up, takes 30-40 min to play, and takes 3-10 players.

 Here's What They Say:

The real fun begins when players have to read their sentences out loud and explain what they mean to the rest of players. They form the jury and vote thumbs up or down on whether the sentence and justification stand and the points are scored. 540 cards with over 2,500 words insure billions of possible sentences so the game is never repetitive and has unlimited re-play value. Multiple other methods of play are available on the website that turn "You've been Sentenced!" into not just a game, but a full game system! 

Socially interactive, players become members of the Jury and can ask a player to justify and defend the grammar, sense and meaning of the sentence. The player has a chance to convince the Jury to accept their often outrageous and hilarious sentences.

Never the same game twice
A word deck with over 2,500 individual words, plus Wild Cards, ensures an infinite number of sentences, guaranteeing maximum re-play value. "You've Been Sentenced!" offers unlimited play, without ever becoming stale or repetitive. 

What We Have To Say:
The sentences people come up with can be hilarious! So to play everyone starts out with 10 cards. They must use the words on the cards to make a grammatically correct sentence. You don't have to use all 10 cards but it earns you more points if you do.

We had so much fun playing this game! It didn't take long before we had to form a jury to vote on the crazy sentences we made up.
In the beginning of the game my son made some pretty crazy sentences that were not grammatically correct. By the end of the 5 rounds we played he was making some great sentences. We could not stop playing we were having so much fun. I think we played for a good 3 hours before we finally called it quits. My son was literally in tears because he was laughing so hard. OK, a lot of us were. I agree that this game is great for kids to learn on as well as adults. There are so many different ways to play this one game! Their website even has a lesson plan. Learning can be fun! We are so glad and thankful to add this game to our game closet because it will get lots of use!
We also received the game Twisted Fish...Can't wait to play that one!
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 One winner will receive an $86 McNeill Designs Prize Pack of their own.
I received all of the games pictured above for this honest review.