Saturday, October 19, 2013

Don’t Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education

Mark Twain said that. Don’t let schooling interfere with your education. The idea behind this quote seems simple. There is a difference between institutionalized schooling and becoming educated. Or maybe more specifically, institutionalized schooling can get in the way of becoming educated.

My grandpa said the same thing but differently. People cannot be fully educated until they can make something with their own hands. My grandpa was a farmer. He was not a college graduate. But he could repair any mechanical system like a tractor or car. He could also repair living systems too, like his animals. Or even a child’s broken heart.

He was both schooled and educated. Having children still in school, I worried about their education. School is good at schooling. Educating, on the other hand, is lacking in school. To be successful in school requires successful time management – be somewhere at a certain time; complete a task by a certain deadline, etc. There is a premium on timeliness in schools. I guess time management is important, but is it related to becoming educated?

Our small family spent a few days in the Ozarks on the lake. The rental house sat right on the water and there was a dock just out the back door for fishing and hanging out. It was a bit too cold for swimming. My oldest son spent a lot of his time on that dock fishing. It was his first time specifically fishing for catfish. Fishing for catfish requires a particular strategy.

He was taught about different hooks, baits and how to set up and watch his pole. Also, there is much learning about what to do after getting a bite, bringing the fish in, and handling it so he or the fish are not harmed or more harmed. He caught several catfish and a couple turtles. I feel comfortable to say that he was well educated during those days on that dock. And the educational processes were exciting to him. He wanted to learn. He was up early and out the door each morning, learning and becoming educated.

This was not school – this was education. Had this been designed and carried out by his school with a project wrapped around it – I suspect…it would have…well…sucked! School would have killed the creative process of education. Who explains this better is Ken Robinson. If interested, please watch his brief discussion in link below.

Mark twain also said something like…the person who does not read is equal to the person who cannot read.  If you are like me, picky about reading, please let me recommend an outstanding book. Or better yet, and outstanding writer -- Malcolm Gladwell. He has written Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink, and his latest offering, David and Goliath. Any and all of those books are worth the investment. I have read every book he has written and just finishing David and Goliath.

As with his other books, I am sad to be nearing its end. He is my kind of story teller and educator. If you are interested in underdogs and education, these are the books for you – especially David and Goliath.

You don’t have to still be in school to continue getting educated. As a matter of fact, school might be the worst place for an education.  Read. And go do or make something. That's educational!
Peace, DAP

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.

Mark Twain

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In Treatment. A Novella excerpt

Below is sample of a novella that is currently under review. It is about a recovering alcohol and drug addict, Daniel, who is the new resident manager at a treatment program. Daniel struggles with helping other addicted men as well as how he can stay clean and sober while helping others. It is a real-world story about addictions, dishonesty, healthy relationships, and self-improvement. Wherever their are people struggling with addiction, there are issues of sex, violence, and death. This story deals with all those issues. I hope you will consider reading the entire offering when it is published soon. Peace DAP
Willy and Daniel’s First Real Talk

            “Hey Daniel…can I come in?”

            “Sure Willy, come on in my friend.”

It was late in the evening. Daniel was sitting in Mike’s office, searching the web and reading the latest news online. Daniel had the run of the place in the evenings and on weekends so if the guys wanted to seek out advice, Daniel was the best person to talk with. Although Daniel and Willy had briefly talked during Daniel’s first couple of weeks, they never spent much time alone getting to know each other.

            “What do you think about our groups?” Willy asked as he sat down.

            “Well…I can say you were telling the truth when you said that Mike’s a ruthless mother fucker man!”

            “You got that right,” Willy nodded, “these men are no match for Mike.”

            “What is up with Larry?” Daniel asked, “I don’t trust him one bit.”

            “The reason you don’t trust him, Daniel, is because there is something not right with that man! I don’t trust him for some reason. Every time I’m in groups with him I get a bad feeling.” Willy said, pointing in the direction of the group room.

            “Are you trustworthy Willy?”

Willy smiled and chuckled under his breath.

            “I think I am trustworthy…more trustworthy than cock suckin’ reformatory raised Larry!” Willy replied. He rocked back and forth in his chair.

            “I wouldn’t brag about being better than Larry at something,” Daniel smiled.

            “You right man,” Willy said as his rocking came to a stop.

            “What’s your deal Willy? No one gets in here for being the type person you are trying to come across as.”

            “Damn, Daniel! What are you, Mike’s little brother?” Willy asked jokingly. He began rocking again. “You can’t just say that kind of shit to people, especially around here.”

Willy shook his head in disapproval.

            “I have changed man,” Willy said, “You not meetin’ the Willy that walked into this mutha fucka!”

Willy got a bit more dramatic now, lifting his hands as he spoke and rocked in his chair.

            Daniel said, “I got about two years clean now. I’ve changed, but not sure all the bad stuff is completely gone yet.”

This put Willy back at ease.

            “What recovery issues are you still working on here, Willy?”

            “Shit, man, a lot” Willy clapped his hands and laughed, “I’m still one angry, jealous bastard, especially when it comes to my baby’s mama, Tisa. That bitch drives me crazy, man.”

They both looked at each other, laughing. Relationships in this program are built on trust. Daniel knew not to get too close to Willy if he sensed that Willy was mostly full of shit. Although Daniel liked Willy right off the bat, he needed more information before he could put some faith in him.

            “Your girl’s name is Tisa. What’s your baby’s name?” Daniel asked.

            “Lavonda. She’s twelve now.”  

            “That’s good, Willy. You a good dad?”

            “I don’t know man…I use Lavonda for an excuse to see Tisa,” Willy admitted.

            “How did you get into First Step Willy?”

            “Man… I was all fucked up after being awake for a few days smoking crack and I was stalking Tisa. I sat out in front of her house for like six hours, man – drinkin’, and smokin’ that shit. Although she had already cut me out of her life, I wanted to know if she was seeing anyone else. I see her pull up with this black mutha fucka. I was out of my fuckin’ mind with rage, man. I had an old pistol…,” he started laughing as he spoke, “…I didn’t have any bullets in it cause I didn’t want to spend my drug money gettin ’em.”  

            “So what happened?” asked Daniel.

            “I jump out of the car and bounce over there like I am going to whip his black ass, and this mutha fucka goes about six foot five – two-fifty pounds!”

They were both laughing now. Willy waved his hand, trying to stop Daniel from laughing so he could tell the rest of the story.

            “Look…Look, man…here I am, five foot seven, built like JJ on Good Times and this big black bastard stands over me like King fuckin’ Kong.” Daniel covered his face with his hands and shook his head, laughing. Willy was standing next to him now, his hand on Daniel’s shoulders.

            “This ain’t no shit…man,” Willy said through waves of laughter.

            “My mind said, ‘You better run your ass back to that car and get the fuck away from this gorilla,’ but all that crack I smoked and all of my rage said, ‘Put that pistol in that mutha fucka’s face.”    

Daniel bent over in his chair, laughing and wiping away tears. He laughed and flung about harder each time Willy tried to get more serious.

“Crack make you do some fucked up things man.”

When Daniel laughed harder, Willy couldn’t help but join him. As the laughing and chuckling calmed down, Willy got quiet and stopped smiling.

            “I pistol whipped Tisa that night. That man didn’t want anything to do with me – he jumped in his car and took off. That rage all came out on her.”

The office fell silent as Daniel looked towards Willy. Daniel noticed him looking down, rocking side-to-side again. Willy continued in a low voice.

            “She’s down on the ground and I’m beating her with my gun and fists. I look up and I see my daughter standing behind the glass door yelling, beating on the door, screaming for me to stop beating her mama. If I had bullets, I would have killed her that night – right in front of our daughter, man. The only reason I stopped beating her was I was too tired, I was weak from being up for days not eating, only smoking that shit.”

            “You’re lucky no one died that night, man,” Daniel said.

            “Naw man…I ain’t lucky. No one is lucky in them situations. My daughter is scared of me still. Tisa won’t have nothing to do with me…and I have to force myself not to jump off the MLK.”

            “What do you mean, Willy?” Daniel asked.

            “Man I don’t know…whenever I get down, I walk the MLK Bridge.”

“Why would you do that, man?”

“Well…my father and older sister jumped off that bridge. All of their problems were gone after they jumped. When problems get too much for my family, that river heals us. It can handle problems better than we can. We let the river take us and our problems away.”

Willy continued talking at a steady pace, looking out the window, rocking. Daniel was still, watching and listening to Willy.

“After I pistol whipped Tisa, I drove to our bridge. It was about two in the morning. Only a few cars were on the road. I crossed that bridge ten times in my car. Illinois to St Louis and back again – over and over. There’s a parking stop on the Illinois side that I always use.

“Tisa and me had our first date on that fuckin’ bridge. We held hands, walked and talked. It was like introducing her to my family.”

Willy wiped away a tear running down his face and continues.

“That was one of the best nights of my life, my first date with Tisa on that damn bridge. I had a small bottle of liquor we were sharing as we walked. We smoked a little weed too. We were having a great time.”

“Did you tell her about your dad and sister?”

“Fuck no, man…that would have ruined our moment. Things were going too good and I thought she would run away from me if she found out about my family, or even me, too soon. I had to trick her into loving me first before I could talk about all that shit,” he said with a little chuckle.

“We get back to my car and we just start kissing and rubbing all over each other. I wanted her, man, and I could tell she would have probably let me do anything to her that night. I had to force myself to stop. She’s always had big soft tits and a fat ass, man. I grabbed them up that first night, but that was as far as it went. I did not want her to think I just wanted to fuck her in my car. I wanted it to be right, man…not like all them other street whores I usually ride with. I took her home after our first date on that bridge and did it correct, man. Walked her to the door and treated her respectable.

“What I did to her in front of her house with our little girl watching was not respectable, man. I kept seeing our little girl’s frightened face standing in that doorway, as I stood on that bridge. I talked to my daddy that night; I talk to him all the time when I walk the bridge, trying to figure out the exact spot where he jumped from. I wondered about all the problems in his life – what problems were pushing him over the rail – the rail that I was leaning on. I climbed over. I grasped the rail behind me. It was wet. I would stretch my arms out straight, looking down onto the water moving past. All my problems would soon vanish beneath that black river. As I was just ready to release, I was snatched up man.”

“Yeah…well thank god, man,” said Daniel.

“Somehow two fucking cops walked right up to me without me noticing them. They locked onto me. I was lifted over that rail, put on the ground, handcuffed, and rushed right down to Barnes Jewish’s psychiatric center, man. It took me a minute to realize what happened. I asked the cop who’s driving, ‘Hey man…you arresting me?’ he says, ‘Just relax, man, I’m taking you to see a doctor.’

“I spent some time there and ended up in this hell hole of a place. It’s changed my life though, man. That mutha fuckin’ Mike broke me down – he is no joke, man. This program is hard but if you are serious, it will change you, man. Some of these fuckers in here could care less about changing.”       

“Name them, Willy,” asked Daniel.

“Well…my opinion, the worst person here is that fuckin’ Larry.”

“Why you say that?”

“I don’t trust him, man. He never talks in group unless he is getting confronted about something. He’s a nasty, sweaty white racist mutha fucka, man!”

“Has he said something racist to you Willy?”

“He don’t say nothing to me, man…and when I try to say something to him, like something that’s been helpful for me, he treats me like I don’t even exist. He does that to all the black folks here. I try to be sympathetic because he has been raised by the state, in a system that’s racist, but man, that mutha fucka needs a big brick upside his head… sorry …I don’t mean that … my thinkin’ is still somewhat sick!”

They both began to laugh again.

“You alright, Daniel.”

“Thanks man…I enjoyed our talk and appreciate you sharing your story with me.”

“Do you think I’m fucked up, Daniel?”

“Shit man, we are all fucked up…we have to learn how to solve problems without alcohol, drugs, or walking that fuckin’ bridge, Willy!”

Willy laughed, reaching to shake Daniel’s hand.

“Damn, man…take it easy on a brotha.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna take it easy. I see you on the MLK, I’m gonna hit you upside the head with a big ass brick.”

They stood up laughing and hugged as they walked out of Mike’s office. They headed toward their rooms.

“Alright my brotha…I’ll see you tomorrow.” 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Buffalo Creek Casino: Next Bets – A response to the author’s “Claims of Racism”


The author, Steve Siegel, of Art Voice’s July 3, 2013 article titled Buffalo Creek Casino: Next Bets ( claims that Native Americans who disagree with and discredit his opinions accuse him of being a racist because we lack no other logical response. Well…please allow me to response – again!

First, Mr. Siegel continues to indicate that there are “…reams of economic research [and] social data…” proving his points. I strongly encourage Mr. Siegel and those who print his words to provide citation(s) for this research. As was indicated in earlier responses to Mr. Siegel’s claims, see and, he has never conducted peer reviewed research on any subject matter which he argues.

At the end of the Art Voice article it states: Steve Siegel recently retired as a professor at Niagara University and has done a great deal of research into the potential economic impacts of the Buffalo Creek Casino upon the community. His research is the best kept secret in all of academics! I have gently asked Mr. Siegel to provide his research or please indicate where it can be found. I continue to search research databases and wait for his response.

If his work does not reach the level of scientific research, which is peer reviewed, he should stop misusing the word “research.” What is being written is “opinion.” An academic with an opinion is not uncommon. What is uncommon is an academic reporting that s/he has done research without the necessary standards of sound scientist activities.

Mr. Siegel states that I “…question the most compelling of empirical truths (such as 2+2 = 4)…” yes, this would be foolishness on my part to question this equation. I do not question simple math, although I do think that whoever incorporated the alphabet into math equations has a special place in the afterlife!  

What is specifically being questioned is how Mr. Siegel postulates that a legal, law abiding company (the number 2) and (the word “and” indicates a plus sign in mathematics) their unfair advantage (the other number 2) results in (the word “result” indicates =) a harm coming to folks in Western New York (the number 4). Please Mr. Siegel, provide us with how your 2+2=4 math works. Please provide us with scientific data that shows how this Native American business, playing by the rules set by the majority, harm other businesses and the people living around this business.

My Bias

I am not Seneca. I do not like gaming as a way to support Native American Peoples. However, I am bias toward anyone who claims that legal Native American businesses have an unfair or harmful impact on communities, compared to similar majority owned businesses. I am bias against folks who claim something which is supported by research (peer-reviewed), when in fact it turns out to be pure opinion. When forces line up against my People (Native Americans), using opinion-based scare tactics, expect a viscous reaction. Having biases is part of being human. Denying their existence in one’s own self while clearly seeing it in others, is dangerous.   

The Claim of Racism

When Mr. Siegel continues to focus solely on the players of the game and not on the rules of the game, this says something. Please note that the Native American business discussed in the Art Voice article did not make the rules they are following. The Native American business is obeying and complying with the rules all others must follow. The Native American business that is exclusively being focused on has the same rights as any other business to be successful. If Mr. Siegel does not like the rules of the game that everyone is required to play within…don’t attack the players of the game. It reminds folks of Jimmy the Greek’s opinion why African American’s were better athletes and seemingly having more advantages over the majority, White athlete. His stated opinion was,   

“The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he's bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade … the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid…”

Was Jimmy the Greek a racist? I am not sure what was in Jimmy’s heart. What he believed came out in his opinions. I am not sure if there is any research that supports Jimmy’s opinions. Regardless, the rules of the game remained consistent for any and all players during Jimmy’s time. Focusing on a specific group of players in a fair game can result in being accused of suffering from biasness. If Mr. Siegel wants to end the claims of racism, he can show his peer reviewed research and/or start focusing on the rules of the business game rather than on a small, specific population of players. Mr. Siegel has a strong opinion about this Native American business and has written a long and thought-out article. I have used some of his quotes about how he views the Native American business to make my case and he has used my words to make his own. Please allow me to show Mr. Siegel’s response to the charge of being prejudice, he states “….” Nothing! Rather than admit to any possible short sightedness, bias, or prejudices, he continues to focus on those who question his practices, and point out their personal flaws.

If Mr. Siegel has conducted scientific research and his peer reviewers have substantiated his research, please lead us to those scholarly works. Until that time comes, please stop misleading readers with opinions. We disserve a discussion based in science, not someone’s biased, academic opinion. It is a lesson Jimmy the Greek could have learned.

Peace, DAP

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Native American Goes to NYC in Search of Mother Nature

The words expressed here may be unsuitable for some readers, discretion is advised!

I just returned from speaking at a global health conference in New York City. It was a great conference and there were many great speakers discussing very important global health topics. The major issue for me was not the conference or the folks connected with it. The main issue is NYC. I have been to NYC two times. Graffiti is everywhere. The streets are lined with trash. A taxi ride results in repeated panic attacks, horns blow constantly, drivers yell and thrown hand signs in anger, people walk past each other without acknowledgement, the air is nasty, trees are few and have about as much life to them as the over populated, deformed pigeons. 

The things that are manmade appear in need of constant repair. The things that were created by Mother Nature are overrun by man’s makings. Mother Nature is having a hard time in NYC with so many humans to contend with.

I had some time to kill before the start of the conference so luckily there was a small park nearby. I figured this is the best place to past some time and it was a nice, sunny day. There was a fountain in the middle, concrete walking paths, benches, a small grassy area, and a small play ground with a few ice cream venders.  From the airport to the park, which took about 25 minutes, caused about the same about of heart stopping incidences, and resulted in some moist underwear, this park was the only space between those two points, with more than one or two trees.

As I settled into my park bench spot that was well shaded and cool, I began to notice a few things happening around me. It all started with reading an article a few days back about Jesus appearing in a dog’s ass.

Now…I have worked very hard to try to understand our Creator and find some of the Creator’s messages and meaning in my life. If it turns out that I have been searching in the wrong spots, then so be it. I will certainly try to refocus my attention.

Being in NYC I was in luck. As it turns out, it seems like most people who live there own dogs. There are more dogs than trees to piss on. Most dogs in the park that day were also bred to have a tail that remains pointed up, purposely exposing their own little unique brown ass-button. If the Creator was to be found in a dog ass, this park provided prime opportunities.

I am not sure if it is God’s will to search him/her out or if these dogs and their parading asses force my eyes to look, but I must gaze upon them. It is the same strategy I used when looking into those painting that seem like nothing until your eyes make the necessary adjustment and reveals the spectacular 3-D stereogram image within.

It is extremely difficult to enjoy an ice-cream sandwich while my mind and eyes are concentrated on every passing little dog ass.
So, back to my larger point. Mother Nature and NYC are incompatible. Having a dog in NYC makes as much sense as having a penguin in Arizona. While folks who have a dog in NYC might benefit from companionship and improved mental health, there is no benefit for the dog. The same is true for a penguin in AZ. Mother Nature did not design the dog to live in studio apartments or outside on concrete. Mother Nature did not design the dog to spend their time outdoors on a mandatory leash.

When a dog takes a piss or lays a dump, Mother Nature designed it to, when done, kick up the grass and dirt around it. That is not a training issue it is a Nature issue.

Across the path from where I was sitting was a community water fountain. It is basically a stem that comes out of the ground with a bowl on top. Mostly children and foreigners drank from it while I was there watching. A larger brown and black mixed breed and its owner came walking towards this water fountain. The dog sniffs around the stem, lifts its back leg and without any hesitation from either the dog or owner, it proceeds to take a long, dark yellow, high pressured piss on that fountain. As soon as it was done and it’s lifted back leg returned to the ground, he was just about to make the scrapping on the ground move when he realized concrete is not grass. The back paw slowly and gingerly slid across the concrete failing to accomplish Mother Nature’s goal (kicking up grass and dirt). It was such an awkward move, the dog looked at its own leg like…"what the heck was that all about?” It finally turned and went on about its business.

NYC is in the process of altering and removing the Mother Nature in that and other dogs. It is doing it to humans as well. Same park, same bench. Again, because every other person walking around that day seemed to have a dog on a leach, I spot two young ladies, each with similar size dogs heading directly towards each other. The dogs meet first because all these dog owners have those leashes that can go out about 20 feet and then wind back in when the dog gets closer. The two small dogs act accordingly, their noses greet each other, they slip past to sniff each other’s under carriage and finally their noses lock onto the other’s ass spots.

Whenever a dog’s nose gets close to another dog’s ass, it is like what happens when my vacuum cleaner hoses gets too close to that little shag rug on my bathroom’s tile floor. The strange thing that happened is not the action of the two dogs, but their owners. As the humans stop to allow their dogs to greet and sniff, they both stand there, arms crossed with their backs to each other. The humans do not take this opportunity to engage with another human. While their dogs are greeting and getting to know their own species, the humans could care less about using this time to interact. The message sent between humans seems to be “I will stop to let my dog’s nose vacuum your dog’s ass carpet, but I'll be damn if I will even acknowledge your existence.”

I can’t imagine living in a place with so many people I have to ignore. Engaging and acknowledging our environments has always been in our human Nature. How and when did this change? The good news is that a dog’s nose and another dog’s ass will always come together and be joined. NYC would have a hard time removing that nature from dogs. The bad news is that what brought humans naturally together have been removed. NYC and Mother Nature have battled it out and Mother Nature was run out of town. She left NYC having smog in her hair, graffiti sprayed on her dress, and dog shit on her shoes. Peace, DAP

Monday, April 1, 2013

American Indian/Alaskan Native Academic Social Context

This is not an April fools

There are many reasons why American Indian/Alaskan Natives drop out of college. Below are some results of a study I have been working on. Please note that this is a first rough draft but one that needs to reach as many people as possible in the hopes of better explaining this continued problem.

There is an established, historical literature indicating that individuals who obtain a college degree have significant health improvements over their life span compared to those without a college degree (1). They benefit from a College Degree Health Booster! They can also transfer that Health Booster back to their communities by completing college with a degree.

Regrettably, underrepresented minorities, especially American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AI/ANs), have very high college dropout rates (2). They do not benefit from this college degree health booster. That booster does not have the chance to be transferred back.

According to the United States Census Bureau, minorities comprised approximately 28 percent of the population (3). Minorities represent about the same rates in student populations of U.S. colleges and universities.

Currently, Whites make up about 60 percent of U.S. new college student enrollment, with African Americans representing about 14 percent, Hispanics making up about 13 percent and AI/ANs consisting of only about 0.8 percent of all college students nationwide (4).

Of the approximate 19 million college students in the United States, AI/AN students are the minority within the minority (5).

About 75 percent to 93 percent of AI/AN students drop out of college prior to degree completion (6). The fact is, if AI/AN students do get a high school diploma and begin attending college, they have the highest rate of dropping out of college compared to any other student demographic.

What happens during college is very important. Many studies try to explain college failures in the context of events in childhood and/or during high school. While those years are important, a very important factor is what is happening as someone is being a current college student.

The most powerful factor associated with college completion is being successful in college. What happening during the time when someone is a college students is much more powerful than before, or so I think.

There is a distinct and reliable relationship between academic performance (e.g., GPA) and college completion (see, 7-10). When GPA decreases, students drop out of college. On the other hand, if GPA is steady or rises, students are more likely to continue on in college.

The boundaries of academic and social activities create a context that promotes success in college. A successful academic-social context (ASC) is one that best serves the student in relation to academic performance – GPA.

For example, full-time attendance increases the likelihood that students will persist to graduation (9-15). If students can attend college full-time they can better focus fully on being a scholar. Full-time attenders have higher GPAs.

Students who are NOT in a relationship living together or who will NOT of do NOT become parents are more likely to graduate (7, 16). Again, the ASC is one that allows the student to be solely -- a student. Anything that takes the student away from being a fully focused student lowers the ASC and GPA. So, as this ASC continues, you will understand the relationship between a student's ASC and its impact on GPA.

Students who live on campus are more likely than those who live off campus to socialize as student learners, engage regularly with faculty, and have friends who are students. They are more likely to succeed (17-19).

Employment and hours worked per week are associated with college success (see, 20-22); the more time students have dedicated to scholarly efforts, the more beneficial it is to academic success.

Students who volunteer benefit personally and academically from those experiences. Many youth are eager to volunteer their time and make meaningful contributions to their society (23). Having the opportunity to connect with and put into practice their own values improves a student’s prospects both personally and academically (24).

A student’s health and wellness have been clearly linked to academic success (25-29).

It is important to understand the academic-social context (ASC) of the student. Having a good ASC increases the likelihood of having a higher GPA thereby increasing the possibility of remaining in, and successfully completing college. Again, the college graduate has a lifetime health benefit!

The present study used data with permission from the American College Health Association (ACHA).  These data were collected via four administrations of the National College Health Assessment (NCHA; Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, and Fall 2010), a bi-annual survey the ACHA has administered since 2000. 

There were a total of 116,992 students responding to the surveys. On the race question, students could check more than one response. The sample were broken up into three groups, those checking as AI/AN only, those who checked AI/AN and White only, and everyone else. Students who checked AI/AN mainly reports either solely AI/AN or  AI/AN and White only.  While there were a few AI/AN and Black or Latino, for example, just the two biggest groups are used here. Below is the table with responses and measures of ASC.

All Else
AI/AN only
AI/AN & White
All Else %
AI/AN only %
AI/AN & White %
Effect size
Relationship involvement
Not in a relationship
In relationship, living together
Current Residence***
Paid Work***
1-9 hrs.
10-19 hrs.
20+ hrs.
No Volunteer Work

Note. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001.

As it relates to a positive ASC, those students who report being AI/AN or AI/AN and White have a lower ASC. That is, percentage wise, they are attending college at a lesser rate than full-time, they are in a relationship, they are living away from campus, and they are working as well as going to college. They are in the context that does not best promote higher GPAs and successful completion. And the differences are statistically significant. The effect sizes are small, so there are other important factors missing.  

So, I looked at other possible factors that impact GPA and what is happening within the past 12 months in their lives, such as experiencing violence and/or emotional issues. Below is the table showing those factors. The first column identifies the issue and the impact on GPA. For instance, experiencing a physical fight lowers GPA by .23. Looking at the first roll, a little over 8% (8.24) of all other groups in college report being in a physical fight in the past 12 months. Almost 12% (11.61) of AI/ANs report being in a fight in the past 12 months. And about the same amount (11.79) of AI/AN & White students report being in a fight in the past 12 months.

What this shows is that students who report being fully or partly AI/ANs experience significantly more physical fights than any other group on campus. And recall, students who have these experiences, results in the lowering of their GPA by almost a 1/4 point. 

As you look down at the rest you will see the same pattern.

Rates and Impact of Violence past 12 months

Item Label (Impact on GPA)
All else
AI/AN & White
ChiSq (pval)
In physical
Fight (-.23)
9498 (8.24%)
57 (11.61%)
110 (11.79%)
Physically assaulted
5495 (4.77%)
41 (8.35%)
75 (8.05%)
Verbally threatened
26870 (23.32%)
138 (28.22%)
317 (34.01%)
Sexually touched w/o consent
8309 (7.21%)
38 (7.74%)
101 (10.83%)
18.18 (.000)
Sexual penetration attempted w/o consent
3129 (2.72%)
17 (3.47%)
37 (3.97%)
Victim of stalking
8239 (7.17%)
57 (11.63%)
105 (11.27%)
37.51 (.000)
In emotionally abusive relationship
11581 (10.06%)
71 (14.46%)
121 (12.97%)
18.97 (.000)
Physically abusive relationship
2691 (2.34%)
28 (5.70%)
26 (2.79%)
24.79 (.000)

Have you ever felt
Item Label
All else
AI/AN & White
ChiSq (pval)
things were hopeless
54626 (47.62%)
254 (52.26%)
480 (51.61%)
10.02 (.007)
93874 (81.63%)
396 (81.15%)
813 (87.14%)
18.86 (.000)
very lonely
68200 (59.27%)
264 (54.21%)
602 (64.59%)
16.08 (.000)
very sad
72380 (63.06%)
308 (62.99%)
642 (69.11%)
14.45 (.001)
so depressed difficult to function
34637 (30.14%)
173 (35.52%)
335 (35.94%)
21.35 (.000)
overwhelming anxiety
56289 (48.97%)
236 (48.66%)
502 (53.98%)
9.30 (.010)
overwhelming anger
44895 (39.18%)
214 (43.76%)
426 (45.91%)
21.67 (.000)
Intentionally injured self
6385 (5.55%)
34 (6.94%)
82 (8.80%)
20.21 (.000)
Seriously considered suicide
7171 (6.23%)
35 (7.14%)
76 (8.15%)
6.51 (.039)
Attempted suicide
1264 (1.10%)
11 (2.24%)
16 (1.72%)
8.98 (.011)

Within past 12 months have you been diagnosed or treated for

Item Label
All else
AI/AN & White
ChiSq (pval)
9944 (8.67%)
38 (7.79%)
106 (11.45%)
9.40 (.009)
2920 (2.55%)
17 (3.50%)
44 (4.74%)
19.36 (.000)
Panic attacks
5163 (4.49%)
33 (6.76%)
69 (7.42%)
23.94 (.000)

Within past 12 months did <item> affect your academic performance

Item Label
All else
AI/AN & White
ChiSq (pval)
48835 (42.70%)
205 (42.27%)
491 (52.91%)
39.24 (.000)
Assault (physical)
3898 (3.41%)
38 (7.84%)
48 (5.19%)
36.96 (.000)
Assault (sexual)
3983 (3.49%)
28 (5.79%)
49 (5.29%)
16.22 (.000)
26623 (23.33%)
134 (27.69%)
283 (30.56%)
31.78 (.000)


As the tables show, again, AI/AN or AI/AN and White students experience significantly more violence and emotional events compared to all other college students. Students whose identify as being fully and partly AI/AN have a significantly poorer context in colleges/universities. That is, they do not attend full-time, they have the extra burden of being in a relationship, they live away from campus, and they are working in addition to being a scholar. This ASC lowers GPA. Furthermore, their ASC is one that experiences physical and sexual violence as well as emotional problems. These additional issues greatly lower GPA – and overall health and wellness.

Is there any wonder why AI/AN students do not remain in college and successfully complete? Their academic-social context is very poor. Being a successful student (e.g., getting and maintaining a high GPA) is a great challenge. Having the additional burdens of a poor ASC seems to result in dropping out of higher education. And who could blame them?
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