Comic book care packages connect students across space and time

first_imgPublished: May 19, 2020 • By Kellen Short Sophomore Aristotle Bougas holds items from the care package shipped to his home.Chris Koehler assembles care packages at his home.In mid-April, as instructor Chris Koehler was preparing to remotely teach his “Pathway to Space” class about the role imagination plays in our concept of space, he had an imaginative idea of his own.Despite the remote course format required by the coronavirus pandemic, he once again invited CU Professor William Kuskin, an expert on the history of books, to speak via Zoom on comic books and graphic novels and the role of imagination.And instead of distributing comic books to students at the end of class as he normally would, he mailed them to his students’ homes.“Venturing into the unknown, whether it’s space or whatever career path you’re on, requires you to imagine your own possibilities and create your own realities,” Koehler said. “So comic books bring that to life in many ways.”Koehler, the founder and managing director of CU Boulder’s space minor, raided the bargain bin at Time Warp Comics in Boulder to create care packages with assorted comics, stickers, a personal note and other goodies for more than 100 students. Concerned about virus spread, Koehler carefully assembled the packages wearing a mask, gloves and self-adhesive envelopes–mailing them in time to arrive to students just before the April 16 class session.“I knew that I wanted to try to send students something once I knew we were going to be remote,” Koehler said. “It was personal, and the comments I got back from students were, ‘It made me feel like I was still part of CU’s community, more than just via Zoom.’ It was something personal that they could feel that connection.”Aristotle Bougas, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies, sent a selfie to Koehler after receiving the package at his family home in Durango. He said the course remained a “biweekly escape from reality” even after they transitioned to remote learning, and the package was a part of that.“My siblings gasped that any professor could care about his students the way the Pathway to Space family cares about each,” Bougas said.The comic book care packages were just the latest signal that the Pathway to Space class is not your typical course. Offered to students from any major, the course aims to introduce students to the history, the science and the mystique of the space industry.To achieve that goal, Koehler routinely dresses in costume, asks students to perform skits and treats his classroom like the set of a game show. The course features a “flipped classroom,” where students watch recorded lectures on their own time and use class time for group work and interactive lessons, like talking with guest speakers.For Bougas, the comic books are a cherished gift, made all the more sentimental by the difficulties the students overcame this year.“Making a class as good as Pathway to Space requires a teacher just as nice,” Bougas said. “Many of us were silly as kids, but less can hold that energy and charm like Chris. The feeling of sitting in that class happy to have an hour of fun and inspiring lecture on how we adventure off our planet and into the cosmos is like no other.“Test scores seem tiny when talking about the universe and the collections of star dust in it. He understood that.”Tags:Coronavirus Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via E-maillast_img read more

NASCAR Qualifying 101: questions answered

first_imgREAD: Top 10 rookie campaigns RELATED: Breaking down the changes | NASCAR official release | VIDEO: New format explained  Q. How does this new qualifying impact the Coors Light Pole Award or Keystone Light Pole Award? A. The fastest driver in the final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying will earn the Coors Light Pole Award. The fastest driver in the final round of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying will earn the Keystone Light Pole Award. Q. How will the cars/trucks be chosen in the first round of qualifying? A. Cars/trucks will be lined up on pit road based on a random draw. Q. Where will the cars/trucks that advance go between rounds? A. Cars/trucks that advance return to their respective pit stalls in preparation for the next round of qualifying. Q. What kind of adjustments can be made on pit road during qualifying? A. Teams can make wedge, track bar, tire pressure and tape adjustments and also plug in oil on pit road, but only between each qualifying round. A team cannot jack up the vehicle or raise the hood. Q. What happens if a car/truck is involved in an on track incident during one of the qualifying rounds? Are they permitted to return to pit road and/or the garage to make repairs? A. Repairs are not permissible on pit road or in the garage during qualifying. Once a vehicle returns to the garage, it will not be permitted to return or compete in that qualifying round or any future qualifying rounds for that event. Q. Will vehicles’ top lap speeds carry over between rounds? A. No. Top lap speeds are reset after each round. Q. Will NASCAR stop the clock during a qualifying round because of an incident? A. The clock will stop if the red flag is displayed and it can also be stopped at the discretion of the managing director of the series. Q. What happens when the clock strikes zero at the end of a round? A. Vehicles are allowed to cross the start/finish line one time. Q. Does a car/truck have to compete for the entire duration of a session? A. No, but the vehicle must complete one lap in order to record a qualifying time. Q. Does the new qualifying format impact provisionals? A. No. NASCAR’s provisional system remains intact and provisionals will be assigned at the end of the first round of qualifying. Q. What if two or more vehicles finish tied with the same top lap speed? A. If multiple vehicles are tied with the same top lap speed, their starting position will be determined by the owner point standings. If owner points cannot break the tie, the driver setting the duplicate time first would start in front of the other. Note: Owner points from the previous season will be used to break ties until the completion of the third championship event of the current season. Q. What happens if qualifying can’t be completed because of weather or other adverse conditions? A. If one or more qualifying sessions are completed, the starting positions will be determined based on the most-recently completed qualifying sessions. Q. What happens if qualifying is canceled because of weather or other adverse conditions? A. Starting positions will be determined per the rule book. Q. Will this format also be used for road courses? A. This format will be used at all NASCAR tracks across all three national series, with the exception of the Daytona 500 and non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. Q. Will pit stall selections be handled as they have been previously, with the No. 1 qualifier getting first choice, No. 2 qualifier getting the second choice, etc.? A. The pit stall selection process post-qualifying will remain the same. MORE: WATCH: NASCAR ’14 trailer: Stewart’s comeback READ: Kurt Busch compares new, old teams READ: Twitter crew: Favorite NASCAR follows Frequently asked questions about NASCAR’s new qualifying ruleslast_img read more

Earth, Wind & Fire Becomes First African-American Band To Receive Kennedy Center Honors

first_imgEarth, Wind & Fire (EWF) made history earlier this week when they became the first African-American band to be inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors at the 42nd edition of the annual awards and performance ceremony this past Sunday, December 8th.Three of the band’s original members, Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson, and Verdine White, were in attendance to accept the honor. Other recipients were singer Linda Ronstadt, two-time Academy Award-winner Sally Field, Grammy Award-winner Michael Tilson Thomas, and beloved children’s show Sesame Street—which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.Related: Kennedy Center Announces 2019 Honorees: Earth, Wind, & Fire, Linda Ronstadt, MoreThe Kennedy Center Honors have been an annual presentation since 1978. The distinction is awarded to leaders in the performing arts for their longstanding contributions to American culture.Bailey commented on the group’s success in relation to being the first African-American inductees in an interview with Billboard in saying, “There are so many more African-American acts that are deserving and perhaps this can be the first of many more to come.”The Chicago-based multi-genre musical group has been making music for nearly 50 years. Formed in 1969, EWF is known for blending the smooth styles of R&B and soul with the energy and commercial elements of funk, rock, and jazz to become one of the more inventive and successful pop acts of the past several decades.As the gala convened in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., singer Ralph Johnson paid respects to late EWF founder Maurice White, who passed away in 2016. “You can’t play any Earth Wind & Fire songs without Maurice’s DNA being on it,” said Johnson. “So he’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision.”While it is difficult to get politicians in Washington to agree on much these days, a large group of lawmakers and cabinet members on both sides of the aisle were present to celebrate this historic event.When the Kennedy Center board chairman David Rubenstein mentioned the presence of members such as House Speaker and noted Deadhead Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the room elevated and erupted with applause. Along with over 40 members of Congress, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin were also present.On the heels of their 50th year, EWF members hinted at the possibility of a new album, though they were hesitant to provide details. “We’re making a list, and checking it twice,” Bailey told Billboard. “You’ll hear about it soon.”The event will air on network television Sunday, December 15th, on CBS.[H/T Billboard]last_img read more