BTE to Perform Atsumori in Bloomsburg Town Park

On Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4, the Noh Training Project (NTP), an international program hosted by BTE and Bloomsburg University, will perform the classic Noh drama Atsumori in Bloomsburg Town Park, at 8pm. Preceding the performance each night at 7pm will be two Noh excerpts featuring visiting Japanese professionals, and a recital of this year’s NTP students. Atsumori will be performed with projected English supertitles; the recital and Noh excerpts will be untitled. Free translations of the play are available at the Bloomsburg Public Library. On August 7th at the Bloomsburg Public Library, the Socrates Café will meet to discuss themes of war and forgiveness as expressed in Atsumori.

NTP is a three-week intensive workshop in the movement chant, and music of Noh. It draws participants from around the world, and is the only such program in the western hemisphere. BTE member Elizabeth Dowd is NTP’s Producing Director; now in its 18th year; she is also a member of Theatre Nohgaku with whom she has toured Europe and Asia in modern English-language Noh. Ensemble member James Goode is a three-time participant in NTP.

Says Elizabeth: “Whether they know it or not, BTE audiences are certainly seeing the influence of Noh training on my work – from the stillness of Sister Aloysius in Doubt, to how I directed Jim as the ghost of Mr. Woolsey in Ghost Writer. It’s great to be able to share with them the source material in the form of ATSUMORI”. James adds to that: “Absolutely, my Noh experience was put to good use in Ghost-Writer, as well as portraying the Ghost of Hamlet’s father in Hamlet. Plus, it’s great training in listening; there are subtle shifts of tempo, and always a forward moving pulse, even in the super slow sections.”

On Friday, Elizabeth will perform the lead role in an extended Noh excerpt with instruments. James will be in the chorus for the second excerpt, and also be in the chorus for the full Noh drama, Atsumori.

On Saturday, James will perform his recital piece. Each will be in the chorus for a different duo of Noh excerpts. Elizabeth will be in the Atsumori chorus to follow.

Atsumori tells the story of a priest, who makes a pilgrimage to a battlefield where, in a previous career as a soldier, he had killed the young nobleman Atsumori. He encounters some grasscutters. One of them reveals himself as the spirit of Atusmori, and re-enacts the battle when he was killed.

More information about Atsumori and Noh can be found on the websites for BTE.

[box type=”shadow”]Photo via Flickr.[/box]

NCAA Hands Down Penn State Sanctions

On Monday, July 23, 2012 NCAA President NCAA President Mark Emmert made the announcement that the Penn State football program will face a four year postseason ban. Additionally they must pay a $60 million fine to be used to create an endowment to support causes that fight child sexual abuse. The school will also be forced to cut 10 scholarships for this season and 20 scholarships for the following four years. Finally the school will be forced to vacate all wins from 1998-2011, a total of 112 victories, and serve five years of probation. The loss of victories means Joe Paterno is no longer college football’s winningest coach, moving Bobby Bowden into the top slot as the winningest coach.

Penn State President, Rodney Erickson released the following statement regarding the NCAA consent decree.

“The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children. Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse.

Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA. With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.
The NCAA ruling holds the University accountable for the failure of those in power to protect children and insists that all areas of the University community are held to the same high standards of honesty and integrity.
The NCAA also mandates that Penn State become a national leader to help victims of child sexual assault and to promote awareness across our nation. Specifically, the University will pay $12 million a year for the next five years into a special endowment created to fund programs for the detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse. This total of $60 million can never reduce the pain suffered by victims, but will help provide them hope and healing.

The NCAA penalty will also affect the football program. There is a four-year ban on all post-season games, including bowl games and the Big Ten Championship game, and a future reduction in the number of football scholarships that can be granted. We are grateful that the current student athletes are not prevented from participation because of the failures of leadership that occurred. Additionally the NCAA has vacated all wins of Penn State football from 1998-2011.

We also welcome the Athletics Integrity Agreement and the third-party monitor, who will be drilling into compliance and culture issues in intercollegiate athletics, in conjunction with the recommendations of the Freeh Report. Lastly a probationary period of five years will be imposed.

It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes. We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative.

Since receiving Judge Freeh’s preliminary recommendations in January, the University has instituted several reforms. Today we accept the terms of the consent decree imposed by the NCAA. As Penn State embarks upon change and progress, this announcement helps to further define our course. It is with this compass that we will strive for a better tomorrow.

Penn State will move forward with a renewed sense of commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of our University. We continue to recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community as we strive to appropriately balance academic and athletic accomplishments. Penn State will continue to be a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud.”

Update: Statement by Coach Bill O’Brien

“Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.

I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university.”

[box type=”shadow”]Photo credit, Cole Camplese.[/box]

Penn State Removes Paterno Statue

Earlier this morning, equipment and a construction crew arrived at Beaver Stadium to remove the statue of Joe Paterno. For the first time since it was put into place in 2001, the image of Joe Paterno leading the Nittany Lions onto the field is no longer there. Penn State president, Rodney Erickson, released the following statement describing the rationale for the statue’s removal and the continuation of Paterno’s name on the University Library.

“Since we learned of the Grand Jury presentment and the charges against Jerry Sandusky and University officials last November, members of the Penn State community and the public have been made much more acutely aware of the tragedy of child sexual abuse. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse. I assure you that Penn State will take a national leadership role in the detection and prevention of child maltreatment in the months and years ahead.

With the release of Judge Freeh’s Report of the Special Investigative Counsel, we as a community have had to confront a failure of leadership at many levels. The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. The Freeh Report has given us a great deal to reflect upon and to consider, including Coach Paterno’s legacy.

Throughout Penn State, the two most visible memorials to Coach Paterno are the statue at Beaver Stadium and the Paterno Library. The future of these two landmarks has been the topic of heated debate and many messages have been received in various University offices, including my own. We have heard from numerous segments of the Penn State community and others, many of whom have differing opinions. These are particularly important decisions when considering things that memorialize such a revered figure.

I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.

On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.

Coach Paterno’s positive impact over the years and everything he did for this University predate his statue. At the same time it is true that our institution’s excellence cannot be attributed to any one person or to athletics. Rather, Penn State is defined by our actions and accomplishments as a learning community. Penn State has long been an outstanding academic institution and we will continue to be.

The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner.

I fully realize that my decision will not be popular in some Penn State circles, but I am certain it is the right and principled decision. I believe we have chosen a course that both recognizes the many contributions that Joe Paterno made to the academic life of our University, while taking seriously the conclusions of the Freeh Report and the national issue of child sexual abuse. Today, as every day, our hearts go out to the victims.”

[box type=”shadow”]Photo credit, Kristin Camplese[/box]

Blogging Relieves Stress on New Mothers

New mothers who read and write blogs may feel less alone than mothers who do not participate in a blogging community, according to family studies researchers.

“It looks like blogging might be helping these women as they transition into motherhood because they may begin to feel more connected to their extended family and friends, which leads them to feel more supported,” said Brandon T. McDaniel, graduate student in human development and family studies at Penn State. “That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they’re feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression.”

McDaniel and colleagues from Brigham Young University surveyed 157 new mothers about their media use and their well-being. The moms were all first-time parents with only one child under the age of 18 months — most much younger than this. The researchers report in the online version of Maternal and Child Health Journal that blogging had a positive impact on new mothers, but social networking — mainly Facebook and MySpace — did not seem to impact their well-being.

“We’re not saying that those who end up feeling more supported all of a sudden no longer have stresses, they’re still going to have those stressful moments you have as a parent,” said McDaniel.

“But because they’re feeling more supported, their thoughts and their feelings about that stress might change, and they begin to feel less stressed about those things.”

McDaniel pointed out several potential benefits for new mothers who blog, including giving moms both a way to connect with family and friends who do not live nearby and an outlet to use and showcase their hobbies and accomplishments, particularly for stay-at-home moms.

The researchers found that 61 percent of the mothers surveyed wrote their own blogs and 76 percent read blogs. Eighty-nine percent of the mothers who wrote their own blogs did so to “document personal experiences or share them with others,” and 86 percent wanted to stay in touch with family and friends through the blog.

Because this is one of the first studies to look at the effects of participation in online communities on new mothers, McDaniel noted that there is not enough information collected yet to determine how or why blogging and social networking have markedly different impacts on new moms. However, this study demonstrated that mothers who blogged frequently show stronger connections to their family and friends.

The researchers saw a significant correlation between a strong connection to family and friends and increased feelings of social support, which in turn led to higher marital satisfaction, less marital conflict and less parenting stress. The mothers who experienced fewer feelings of parenting stress also had fewer feelings of depression.

Study participants completed an online survey that focused on two main subjects — their media use and their well-being. Mothers rated their feelings on scales corresponding to each item. Moms also tallied time spent on different activities throughout the day, including sleep, housework, childcare tasks and computer usage. They reported spending about three hours per day on the computer, using the Internet — behind only childcare, at almost nine hours a day, and sleep, at about seven hours per day.

McDaniel is continuing this line of research and exploring why blogging has the significant impact it does with new moms, while social networking may not always show the same effect. He emphasizes that this initial study is all correlational research, and one cannot establish causation from this study.

Sarah M. Coyne and Erin K. Holmes, assistant professors, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, also worked on this research.

[box type=”shadow”]This post originally published by Penn State Live. Photo via Flickr[/box]

Lewisburg Triathlon Weekend Announced

Entries are still being accepted for the Annual LARA Triathlon for Kids and Sprint Triathlon, which will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, and at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, respectively. Both events will start at the Lewisburg Community Pool.

The kids’ event, which consists of a pool swim, a bike ride on closed roads and a run around the Lewisburg Community Park, is open to children ages 7 (by Dec. 31, 2012) to 14. Event distances will vary based on ages of contestants. The triathlon is chip-timed and all children will receive a finisher’s medal. Registration will be capped at 225 participants; pre-registration is required.

The adult event, consisting of a 300-yard swim, a 15-mile bike ride and a 3.25-mile run, is open to racers 14 and over. Two- and three-person teams are welcome. The event is chip-timed and awards will be given to the top three finishers in each category. T-shirts are guaranteed to all racers registered by Aug. 1. Entry limit is 325.

Details on both events can be found on www.LewisburgTriathlon.com. Early registration is encouraged as both events may sell out.

For more information or to become a sponsor or volunteer, contact tara@fitforfunds.com or call 570-939-0712.

Proceeds benefit the Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority.