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This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Nicole Johnson’s secret to being her best self? Keeping busy.It’s what fueled her journey to Harvard in pursuit of what could be called a fifth diploma in higher education — and it’s what now has her weighing either a doctorate or more research-based work.Johnson has taken three courses at a time (the normal load is two) toward her master’s in education policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) while working four jobs, serving as vice president of the HGSE Student Council, and preparing for the Miss Massachusetts International Pageant, which she won in March.“I have this ridiculous amount of energy and I have no idea where it comes from,” Johnson said, noting with a smile that she never drinks coffee.But she does plan her day to the minute, from when she wakes up to when she studies to when she goes to bed. And while others may dread the thought of being so busy or having their day so structured, for Johnson it’s normal.“At this point, [keeping busy] is just something I enjoy,” she said. “It feels like so much of just who I am. To not be this busy would … make me a little antsy to just be sitting at home twiddling my thumbs.”This “stay busy” attitude dates to Johnson’s childhood in a neglected neighborhood in Detroit. She packed her day with so much activity that she didn’t have time to consider breaking rules. In high school, she joined the Junior ROTC, took lessons in baton, piano, and clarinet, and worked in the school’s main office.“I would be able to tell my friends, ‘Oh no, I can’t do this bad thing with you because I have after-school practice or I have this organization meeting that I have to go to,’” she said. “The busier I got, the more excuses I was able to give people.”Johnson set herself apart, graduating while many of her peers did not.The Detroit Public Schools Community District has perennially been ranked among the worst in the nation. In 2007, the year after Johnson graduated, Education Week cited the district’s graduation rate as below 25 percent (though a district spokesman said it was more than twice that, accounting for students who left the district and graduated from other systems).“When I was a little girl, or even a high school student, I would have never in a million years thought that a person like me could even apply to Harvard or a [doctoral] program,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t even sure that I would go to a four-year college.”But go she did, to Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, where she earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, and two graduate certificates — while, of course, working full time.“Pretty much, I have taken classes — at least one, every single semester — year-round for about the past 10, 11 years,” Johnson said. “I really enjoy school, if you can’t tell.”Johnson went on to work at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, then applied to Harvard.Arriving here, she had a clear goal: Take advantage of opportunities, one of which was to participate in large-scale academic and field research projects. “I absolutely can’t leave here without research experience,” she told herself.While taking those three simultaneous grad courses, she participated in three research projects and worked as a fellow at HGSE’s Education Redesign Lab. The projects delved into types of research she wanted to learn about: quantitative, qualitative, and experimental. They ranged from studying whether teachers would present their classroom lessons differently if they could collaborate on the lesson plan with fellow teachers, to convening focus groups on how to best support over-age students in a Massachusetts public high school, to examining the theory that learning should focus on things a student will actually use in the real world.“I kind of got all of the different [research] buckets,” Johnson said. “So, mission accomplished.”All this helps Johnson feel like her best self, she said, a notion she got from competing in pageants since she was about 16 years old.“When you compete in a pageant, you are your best self,” Johnson said. You are in the best shape you can be, you’re involved in community organizations, and your grades are the best they can be because judges look at that as well, she said. “Even though there is this glamorous side of things, it helps you a lot on a personal level.”“You also have to know yourself — like, really know yourself — your purpose and what drives you,” she said.From her mix of experiences, Johnson has come to feel a responsibility to succeed for the people who have helped to get her where she is — such as her mother.In the spring semester of Johnson’s freshman year at Eastern Michigan, room and board fees were pending and she didn’t have the money. (She didn’t know about federal student aid when she applied to colleges.) The day the bill was due her mother showed up and paid it. Johnson didn’t ask where the money had come from; she was just grateful to be able to stay. Months later, Johnson noticed that her mother wasn’t wearing her wedding ring; she had sold it to pay the college fees.“Once she made that sacrifice for me, it made me realize that there were so many other people in the world that were counting on me to be successful,” Johnson said. “It made me think of not only my mother but of all my teachers, or my counselors, or even the kids that I grew up with that unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. I have to be responsible for my future. I saw that as my turning point and my opportunity to make my life what I wanted it to be. Because of that I always shoot for really, really high expectations for myself and also opportunities.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. read more
Start your own exercise club at work!Work and family commitments can make fitting regular exercise into your life a challenge, so an innovative solution is to start up your very own ‘workout at work’ club, which can combine on-site convenience with the opportunity to exercise with friends and colleagues, saving traveling time and also injecting some regular fun and fitness into your day!Whether your club convenes for an early morning session, a lunchtime energiser, or an end-of-day rejuvenator, it makes real sense to workout at work. In this article, we guide you through the process, covering the whys, hows and wheres, and give you a multitude of tips to help you get started and make your ‘workout at work’ club a success. Our guide includes information and tips on:• The benefits of working out at work• How to get the concept of working out in the workplace off the ground• How to keep the work workout club going• Why work out at work? Workout at work: The employer’s and employee’s views about work workouts Countless studies have identified that fit, healthy and happy workers are more productive, enjoy their work more, and importantly take far fewer days off due to sickness. So for an employer, it makes sense to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle in the workplace, as this will attract a better calibre of employee, encourage staff commitment, and reduce staff turnover. From the employee’s point of view, an employer who provides additional benefits such as the chance to work out is an employer that everyone would like to work for — and so it follows that successfully appointed staff are likely to enjoy their work and working environment more.Workout at work: The health and fitness view about work workoutsFrequently, by the time you arrive home, either family demands on your time or simply that ‘end-of-the-day feeling’ can mean that your planned trip to the gym, exercise class or running club just doesn’t happen. Exercise is a proven energiser, which means that at the end of a workout you will actually have more energy, and you’ll be invigorated and feel a million miles away from that desire to slump in a chair at the end of the day. With your ‘work out at work club’, you can also include a variety of workout timing options to fit in with your schedule — which can bring extra benefits such as saving travelling time to the gym, missing the bulk of the rush hour traffic, and helping your post-lunchtime work focus so that you are more efficient.Workout at work: How to start your ‘work out at work’ club To begin with, you have to garner interest and support from as many people as possible at your workplace and importantly, at every level of the organisation. You’re not just looking for people to train with — you’re also looking for higher level support, which could manifest itself in terms of start-up funding for equipment, installation of showers, extended opening times to allow staff members to use existing facilities, or even flexible working arrangements to allow staff to participate in sessions.Try initiating the following six-point plan to get your ‘work out at work’ club off the ground:Getting started — how to make your ‘work out at work’ idea happenWorkout at work: Plan your workout club Before you ‘go public’ with your idea, you need to ensure that there is some substance behind the concept, so forward planning is essential. Your ideas don’t have to blueprinted, funded and set in concrete, but your work colleagues will want to have some idea of several key points — including:• How often will the club meet or be available for?• Where will the club meet?• How much will it cost?• Who will be responsible for organisation?Workout at work: Get your workout ideas rightSketch out your basic ideas so that everyone can see you’re serious, and then field queries confidently so that you generate some interest.Workout at work: Promote your workout club ideaNext up from the planning stage is contacting everyone. You’ll need to present the idea to the whole company. For large organisations, email or the intranet is an ideal medium — but you could also consider staff bulletins, meetings and face to face contact so that no one is excluded. For smaller companies, the staff canteen or simply the office is ideal, as even a few posters on notice boards will raise awareness.Workout at work: Get help from work colleaguesDuring the contact stage, if you’ve done your homework and have presented the concept well, there will be interest. At this stage it is key to harness the interest so that tasks and responsibilities are shared equally. You won’t want all the organisation to continually fall to you!Workout at work: Firm up your workout club plansNow it’s time to begin putting your concept in place. Logistics, general organisation, fees (if any) and any special arrangements such as late locking up times and showering facilities all need to be finalised.Workout at work: Test drive your workout sessions It’s a good idea to do a couple of dry runs for your ‘work out at work’ sessions and use them to iron out any teething problems, so that everything is running smoothly by the time you’re ready for the full launch. Run some sessions solely for the organising team, as this way you can all get together afterwards to discuss any areas for improvement.Workout at work: Full launch of workout at workBy this stage you should be ready for the full launch. Key information to communicate will include:• ‘Work out at work’ club meeting times.• Types of training offered — for example, running, gym, studio, circuits, aerobics, sports or outdoor workouts.• General arrangements and logistics.And then you’re ready to go!Workout at work: Keeping the momentum going in your work out clubOnce you’ve got your fledgling ‘workout at work’ club off the ground, it’s important to maintain the momentum and keep everyone interested. Again, the day-to-day organisational duties need to be shared, which is why it is important that there is a group to manage all the tasks, rather than just yourself. Newsletters, bulletin boards, emails, or even a club webpage won’t be too difficult to organise. What you don’t want to happen is for the initial enthusiasm to dry up — so the focus needs to be wider than simply managing the weekly training sessions. If you can crack that then you’re likely to find the club growing and your work colleagues will keep on coming back for more!Workout at work: Work can be fun Clearly, getting a workout at work club off the ground requires time and effort, but with so many benefits — from time saving and improving work performance to keeping fit and healthy– working out at work will be a real bonus. When the blood is pumping round after your workout, it’s a proven fact that your thought processes improve and so the combination of more energy and fun at work is extremely attractive!Real Buzz HealthLifestyle Work out at work by: – October 4, 2012 Share Share 12 Views no discussions Tweet Share Sharing is caring! read more
New Delhi: For a cricket fan, World Cup 2019 is the most important event of this year. But consuming this sport has moved from mindless casual entertainment to a sport that commands active participation. It is no more just about getting on the couch and watching the match ideally. How about observing the game, making analysis and having an opinion about it?This was made possible by My11Circle, the fantasy cricket app that allows the user to enjoy the real matches of the World Cup and also participate in it by forming virtual teams of real-life players. The player gets points based on the performance of actual players in the matches going on the field. The players with the highest point score win cash rewards.#DadaKaVaada by Sourav Ganguly My11Circle is not offering grand cash prizes this World Cup but is also running an exciting contest along with its Brand Ambassador Sourav Ganguly. The former Indian Cricket Captain and legendary cricket player, Sourav Ganguly is challenging players on My11Circle to form teams and beat his selection on the app. Players who can beat him will get 5 times the cash reward amount.There is also a mega prize at the end of the World Cup of INR 1 Crore for the player who has maximum number of wins all through the Cricket World Cup 2019 matches. The platform is an excellent way to show your cricket skills and win cash rewards as well. Players can join at any point in time and start participating in the matches. Download the My11Circle Fantasy Cricket app right from the website.Rise of Fantasy GamesFantasy sports has been around since 1951 as a concept. It was first introduced by Dick Seitz as APBA (American Professional Baseball Association), a board game that was based on actual baseball. Of course, the games have changed a lot since then. As per a market research firm Wise Guy Reports, the global fantasy sports market stood at 10.47 billion in 2018 and is expected to cross USD 19.93 billion by 2025.The first glimpse of fantasy games in India started with ESPN-Star when it came up with Super Selector. However, it had phased out before the first edition of IPL.My11Circle powered by RummyCirclePlay Games24x7 introduced the brand-new fantasy cricket app My11Circle recently in 2019. The organization also has RummyCircle, the top online rummy platform in India. With My11Circle it introduced its 10 million players to the fantasy cricket platform and brought in its years of experience in offering personalized gameplay.Fantasy cricket is a game of skill and the players have to form the right teams using their cricket knowledge and quick decision-making abilities to form the right team and select the captain as well. What it means is knowing the player performance history and anticipating how they are going to perform in the World Cup.Why is Fantasy Cricket a Rage?Fantasy cricket is the biggest thing this World Cup. What is making it so big is the participation value and real cash rewards. For a country where cricket is almost worshipped, fantasy cricket simply takes it one notch up. With continuous innovation and new features introduced, fantasy cricket platforms are attracting cricket fans of the country.Fantasy games is not only increasing the followers for the sport but can also actively engage and get participation from real-time viewers. It is also bringing players who earlier didn’t really understand the sport, invest time and engage with the game. When players have the opportunity to win cash rewards, they get more involved in the game and even make the effort to research and understand the sport.ConclusionFantasy game has changed the way World Cup will be consumed this year. From just sitting on the couch and watching the match, to actively getting involved. With millions of players, signing up on fantasy cricket platforms, it is just a matter of time, when it would be become the first preferred option to consume cricket in the country.This is a syndicated feed not has been edited by News Nation editorial team. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. read more