“A balm for the soul”

# Can you answer this sample question from the newly redesigned SAT?

## Can you answer this math question from a practice test for the SAT?

SAT study blogs recommend spending only about 75 seconds on each math problem, so you should set a timer.

Here it is:

A typical image taken of the surface of Mars by a camera is 11.2 gigabits in size. A tracking station on Earth can receive data from the spacecraft at a data rate of 3 megabits per second for a maximum of 11 hours each day. If 1 gigabit equals 1,024 megabits, what is the maximum number of typical images that the tracking station could receive from the camera each day?

A) 3
B) 10
C) 56
D) 144

*You can find the answer at the bottom of this story.

Keep in mind that the numeric details here are presented in an intentionally confusing order, from which multiple equations must be extrapolated before any math can actually be done.

Give up? Timer run out? Or hey, maybe you answered it without even blinking (no judgements here ... nerd).

## That question comes from the newly redesigned SAT, which will roll out in March 2016.

Millions of juniors and seniors in high school take the SAT every year with the palm-sweating hope they'll do well enough on it to at least get into their safety school. The test is, traditionally, the final word on your intelligence and scholastic acumen before you go off to college.

The second worst aisle in the book store. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Of course, there's no shortage of strongly worded arguments to the contrary, and the SAT, which was designed in the 1920s, has long been criticized for being outdated and unfair to groups such as minorities and lower-income students.

"The only persistent statistical result from the SAT is the correlation between high income and high test scores," Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, told Time magazine in 2014.

## But in an apparent attempt to address the criticism that students from high-income families perform better on the SAT, the College Board might have actually made the SAT even worse.

The College Board, which makes the SAT, has updated the test to be "more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education" and to more accurately reflect what students are actually learning in high school as well as what they need to succeed in college.

"College success skills?" Former College Board president Gaston Caperton in 2002. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

The SAT was also redesigned to more effectively compete with its competitor, the ACT, which has been gaining more market share since at least 2008.

## With the SAT redesign comes a new set of problems.

And I'm not just talking about math problems.

Simply put, the new SAT test is wordier. There are longer and harder reading passages as well as more words in the math problems.

Experts are saying that those changes put immigrants and lower-income students at an even greater disadvantage since they might not have as much access to English-language reading as other students.

Carol McMullen-Pettit, a premier tutor at The Princeton Review, with a student in 2014. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

The College Board is countering those criticisms, of course, saying that the new SAT test contains the same amount of words in its reading sections and that the math sections contain the same percentage of word problems as before (about 30%).

## Outside analysts are alleging that the way words are used on the updated SAT is what makes all the difference.

Short sentence-completion questions, for example, have been swapped out for long reading passages from prose-heavy texts like "Ethan Frome" and "Moby-Dick" or political thought pieces like John Locke's "Consent of the Governed."

Math problems have also been wrapped in more narrative, forcing students to do a higher level of reading comprehension just to figure what equation the question is really asking about.

Another math problem that took me and two other college graduates 20 minutes to solve.

And just to be clear, the SAT is supposed to be challenging. On top of that, math word problems are meant to teach extrapolation and reading comprehension as much as algebra.

However, if we want a test that's even a little bit "standard," it's going to have to take into account that some students are at a disadvantage when it comes to skills like reading comprehension.

"It’s going to change who does well," said Lee Weiss, vice president of precollege programs at Kaplan Test Prep, to The New York Times. "Before, if you were a student from a family where English was not the first language, you could really excel on the math side. It may be harder in the administration of this new test to decipher that, because there is so much text on both sides of the exam."

## Whether the new SAT addresses systemic disadvantages or makes them worse remains to be seen.

"We’re going to need to see how they did, which test is going to be better, how can we weigh it," Eric J. Furda, the dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Times.

But it's hard not to feel for the kids who are currently studying and signing up to take the SAT. For the last several years, many of them have been told that it's one of the most important ingredients in their recipe for success, but in fact, the SAT is likely on its way out.

Texas A&M University, which doesn't require SAT scores for admission. Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images.

## Hundreds of colleges are now going "test optional" because the SAT is so outdated.

Advocates all the way up to the president have called on schools to reduce the time spent on standardized testing, saying that it puts students under a tremendous amount of stress while failing to make them smarter.

In fact, studies have shown that SAT and ACT are not a good measure of a student's intelligence or academic potential at all. It's pretty easy to see why a test designed shortly after World War I is at best outdated and at worst dramatically unfair.

Oh, and by the way: The answer to the Mars question from the top is B) 10.

Parenting

## Man asks how to help his wife who works full-time with a baby at home and keeps getting the same answer

### More and more families are trying to scrape by — by trying to do it all

Photo by Katie Emslie on Unsplash

There are times in parenting where you just feel kind of useless.

You can't carry the baby, take a late-night breastfeeding shift, or absorb any of the pain and discomfort of childbirth.

Sometimes the best you can do is to try to take care of your partner.

That's what brought user u/DietyBeta to the AskParents subreddit with a well-meaning question.

## "My wife watches our 1yo, works, and is 12 week pregnant. How can I make her daily life easier while I'm away at work?"

He says that when he gets home from work, he takes over all parenting and homemaking duties.

But yeesh! That's still... a lot to handle. No wonder his wife is stressed out.

A few folks chimed in to pat the OP on the back. After all, it's great to see a dad who realizes how much is falling on mom's shoulders and actively looking for ways to lighten the load!

Some helpful suggestions rolled in, like taking over meal prep and making her easy lunches to heat up, hiring cleaners, or paying someone to walk the dogs.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

But then even more people came in to the comments asking the same question over and over: If mom is working, why isn't the 1-year-old in daycare?

u/young-mommy wrote: "Is the one year old in daycare? If not, I would start there. Working from home with a child gets harder and harder as they enter toddlerhood"

u/min2themax said: "It’s nice of you to be asking how to help her but she really is getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop here. It sounds like she is literally always working or parenting. Sometimes both at the same time. Walking the dogs and making her lunches and prepping meals and doing laundry is all well and good but this is not at all sustainable."

u/alternative-box3260 said: "Have the one year old in daycare. I was in a similar situation and it’s impossible. I was able to breath after that, not before."

And u/sillychihuahua26 wrote: "She’s caring for your 1.year old while working? That’s a horrible plan. You guys need childcare like yesterday."

## We have a legitimate childcare crisis in our country, and stories like this one really bring it to life.

Childcare in the United States isn't nearly accessible or affordable enough for most families. Period.

ChildCare Aware found that that average cost of childcare in 2022 was \$10,853 per year, or roughly 10% of a median family income (in 2024, it's likely even more than that — yet the actual workers at childcare centers are somehow severely underpaid).

But even that eye-popping number is conservative. Anyone who lives anywhere close to a city (or in California or New York) knows the number will be way higher. It's just not feasible for most families to put their child, let alone multiple children, in full-time care while they're young.

And yet! The percentage of households with two parents working full-time has been rising for decades. Life is more expensive than ever, and the extra income from two working parents really helps, even if it's offset by those child care costs.

## More and more families are trying to scrape by — by trying to do it all

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

Now we don't know whether the OP's family can afford childcare for their 1-year-old or not, although in a later update to the post he wrote:

"As far as daycare, she doesn't want to because she feels like she would be missing out on the time"

So even if you can afford childcare, there's the still the crushing guilt of shipping your child off to be raised by strangers to deal with! Classic.

(Take one guess who shoulders most of the daycare guilt — dads or moms?)

The work-from-home revolution has been a Godsend for parents in certain ways — flexibility, balance, less commuting time — but its also saddled many of them with double duty.

'Hey how about you work full-time because we need the money AND keep an eye on the kids, since you're home anyway!'

But it doesn't work like that, and trying to do both is crushing modern parents.

In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States just put out an official advisory based on the plummeting mental state of today's parents.

We know parents are having a hard time and that it's getting picked up in the national conversation. But hearing about a mom working full-time with a 1-year-old on her hip while pregnant, and a dad stuck working out of the house who's at a total loss for how to make things better really paints a pretty bleak picture.

No one should have to work full-time and parent full-time, at the same time.

A fridge full of microwavable lunches and a fleet of dog walkers isn't going to make it any better until things start changing from the very top.

Joy

## A 9-yr-old cheerleader’s veteran dad couldn't help with her routine, so a high schooler ran to her side

### Sensing something was wrong, he sprang to action with many witnessing his kind act.

Images from YouTube video.

Addie Rodriguez does her cheer.

## Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

## But as Addie sat there in front of the game's crowd, with no one to join her on the field, someone ran toward her. That person was Central Catholic High School senior Matthew Garcia, who went to her after realizing she was the only cheerleader without a partner.

Garcia told local news station FOX 29, "I ran down from the bleachers right here, and I just hopped the fence, and I went over, and I kneeled down, I talked to her and I said, 'Are you OK?'"

He then lifted Addie onto his shoulders just like the dads did with their daughters so she could participate in the routine. Many onlookers quickly realized they were witnessing an extraordinary act of kindness, and social media was abuzz:

It may have been a small gesture for Garcia, but as Addie tells it, that little bit of assistance meant the world to her. They posed for a picture after the routine was done, and it's clear this will be one encounter she won't soon forget.

Addie Rodriguez and Mathew Garcia.

Images from YouTube video.

"I just felt like somebody saved my life," Addie said, adding, "I thought that's so nice, especially since my dad's serving for us.”

Watch the YouTube video below:

Joy

## Man attempts to rescue stray kitten and quickly discovers he got more than he bargained for

### Here kitty, kitty! Oh wait, there are 12 more of you?

It's kitten season!

Who can resist a sweet little kitten trying to cross the road? Even if you’re not a fan of cats, you’d likely stop for a baby animal in the street. That’s what happened to Robert Brantley of Louisiana. Brantley was on his way to work and spotted a tiny white and gray kitten trying to get across the street. Being a kind human, he stopped his car to bring the kitten to safety. But he got more than he bargained for, because as he was scooping up the little thing, several more kitty cat siblings came running out of the nearby grass.

In all, Brantley counted 13 kittens. Twelve more than he planned on caring for, but by the looks of his Instagram page, his family has taken their role of cat rescuers seriously. With kitten season being in full effect in these warmer months and pet surrenders remaining high since the return to work from the pandemic, Brantley taking on fostering 13 kittens is much needed. Humane societies across the country are reportedly full or even over capacity. My own local humane society currently has nearly 150 animals over its limit and is begging for foster families and adopters to help clear the shelter.

It’s not only humane societies that have reached or exceeded capacity. Animal rescues across the board are in dire need of people to take animals to make room for the inevitable drop off of puppies and kittens from the current litter season. Mating season, which subsequently turns into puppy and kitten season, starts in early spring and lasts throughout the summer. This inundates local shelters and rescues.

## Some shelters, like my local humane society, are asking people who find litters of puppies or kittens to do exactly what Brantley is doing.

Foster them and attempt to adopt them out on their own. It looks like Brantley's wife decided to get these now cleaned up kitties in their Sunday best to have a photoshoot in her makeshift studio. One kitten sported a bow tie while the others climbed around the enclosure patiently awaiting their turn. It also seems Brantley himself is having fun with the situation—in one video he talks about what he packs to go on a marksmanship match and includes 13 kittens along with his tripod and toolkit.

In one of Brantley’s most recent updates, he says that two of the kittens, Michael Scott and Nala, have been adopted by a family in Alexandria, Louisiana. In the same update he informs his followers that one of the kittens still left to be adopted is currently on daily medication and the family is keeping up with check-ups for the rest of the furry crew.

Here’s hoping that all of these little guys get adopted out soon. And may more people take Brantley’s lead to foster the kittens or puppies they find if they have the means. This can also serve as a reminder to spay and neuter your pets and any strays you may be caring for outside of your home.

Women's Health

## Woman’s bikini shot and caption become a manifesto on self-acceptance

### She has no interest in changing her body.

This is not a before picture.

When Molly Galbraith posted on Facebook a photo of herself on a beach in a bikini, her caption wasn't your usual "look at me" selfie.

"This not a before picture. This is not an after picture," she writes.

Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Galbraith is the owner and co-founder of Girls Gone Strong, a company that seeks to provide fitness solutions and community not influenced by the juggernaut, multi-billion dollar weight loss industry, and in her caption for the Facebook post, she creating a litany of what her body has experienced and withstood. "This is a body that loves protein and vegetables and queso and ice cream. This is a body that loves bent presses and pull-ups and deadlifts and sleep. This is a body that has been abused with fast food and late nights and stress. This body has been publicly evaluated, judged, and criticized."

## Galbraith's list goes on, and, so far, the image and caption have spread like wildfire across Facebook, inspiring many others.

"This is the first year in as long as I can remember that I have made NO resolutions to change the way my body looks," writes Galbraith. "Today this is a body that is loved, adored, and cherished by the only person whose opinion matters — ME."

This is Molly Galbraith.

Molly Galbraith on Facebook.

Education

## Have you ever heard of the Ludlow Massacre? You might be shocked when you see what happened.

### It's important to know your history.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

The early 1900s were a time of great social upheaval in our country. During the years leading up to the Ludlow Massacre, miners all around the country looking to make a better life for themselves and their families set up picket lines, organized massive parades and rallies, and even took up arms. Some died.

## It's always worth considering why history like this was never taught in school before. Could it be that the powers that be would rather keep this kind of thing under wraps?

Here is Woody Guthrie's tribute to the good people who fought in the battles of Ludlow to help make a better tomorrow for everyone — you can just start the video and then start reading, if you wish:

## Coal Country, Colorado

100 years ago, the Rocky Mountains were the source of a vast supply of coal. At its peak, it employed 16,000 people and accounted for 10% of all employed workers in the state of Colorado. It was dangerous work; in just 1913 alone, the mines claimed the lives of over 100 people. There were laws in place that were supposed to protect workers, but largely, management ignored those, which led to Colorado having double the on-the-job fatality rate of any other mining state.

It was a time of company towns, when all real estate, housing, doctors, and grocery stores were owned by the coal companies themselves, which led to the suppression of dissent as well as overinflated prices and an extreme dependence on the coal companies for everything that made life livable. In some of these, workers couldn't even leave town, and armed guards made sure they didn't. Also, if any miner or his family began to air grievances, they might find themselves evicted and run out of town.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

Union Parade, Trinidad, Colorado, 1913. Images via Colorado Coal Field War Project/University of Denver Library.

## The Union

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) had been organizing for many years in the area, and this particular company, Colorado Fuel and Iron, was one of the biggest in the West — and was owned by the Rockefeller family, notoriously anti-union.

Put all this together, and it was a powder keg.

The Ludlow Colony before the massacre, 1914.

Photo from Youtube video.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

Photo from Youtube video.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

Photo from Youtube video.

## Strike!

When a strike was called in 1913, the coal company evicted all the miners from their company homes, and they moved to tent villages on leased land set up by the UMWA. Company-hired guards (aka “goons") and members of the Colorado National Guard would drive by the tent villages and randomly shoot into the tents, leading the strikers to dig holes under their tents and the wooden beams that supported them.

Why did the union call for a strike? The workers wanted:

1. (equivalent to a 10% wage increase),
2. Enforcement of the eight-hour work day,
3. Payment for "dead work" that usually wasn't compensated, such as laying coal car tracks,
4. The job known as “Weight-checkmen" to be elected by workers. This was to keep company weightmen honest so the workers got paid for their true work,
5. The right to use any store rather than just the company store, and choose their own houses and doctors,
6. Strict enforcement of Colorado's laws, especially mine safety laws.

Cavalry charge on striker women in nearby Trinidad.

Photo from Youtube video.

Militia and private detectives or mine guards, Ludlow.

Photo from Youtube video.

## The Powder Keg Explodes

The attacks from the goons continued, as did the battles between scabs (strikebreakers) and the miners. It culminated in an attack on April 20, 1914, by company goons and Colorado National Guard soldiers who kidnapped and later killed the main camp leader and some of his fellow miners, and then set the tents in the main camp ablaze with kerosene. As they were engulfed, people inside the tents tried to flee the inferno; many were shot down as they tried to escape. Some also died in the dugouts below the burning tents. In the first photograph below, two women and 11 children died in the fire directly above them. A day that started off with Orthodox Easter celebrations for the families became known as the Ludlow Massacre.

The "Death Pit."

Photo from Youtube video.

Rear view of ruins of tent colony.

Photo from Youtube video.

Funeral procession for Louis Tikas, leader of Greek strikers.

Photo from Youtube video.

## The 10-Day War

The miners, fresh off the murders of their friends and family members, tried to get President Woodrow Wilson to put a stop to the madness, but he deferred to the governor, who was pretty much in the pocket of the mine companies.

So the miners and those at other tent colonies quickly armed themselves, knowing that many other confrontations were coming. And they went to the mines that were being operated by scabs and forced many of them to close, sometimes setting fire to the buildings. After 10 days of pitched battle and at least 50 dead, the president finally sent in the National Guard, which promptly disarmed both sides.

## Union Victory

While close to 200 people died over the course of about 18 months before and after the battles at Ludlow and the union ultimately lost the election, the Ludlow Massacre brought a congressional investigation that led to the beginnings of child-labor laws and an eight-hour workday, among other things.

But it also brought national attention to the plight of these miners and their families, and it showed the resilience and strength that union people could display when they remained united, even in the face of extreme corporate and government violence. Historian Howard Zinn called it "the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history." And the primary mine owner, John D. Rockefeller Jr., received a lot of negative attention and blame for what happened here.

The UMWA is still a solid union today, and there is a monument in Colorado to those who died in the Ludlow Massacre.

Image by Mark Walker/Wikimedia Commons.

This article was written by Brandon Weber and originally appeared on 08.14.14