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DL Ruf 2009 April 2009

In This Issue
New Assistant
New Blog
New Book
Photos for Our Website
Parent Survey
Articles Published in PHP
Computer Game Creation Contest
Gifted Education Symposium
Podcast About ADD
Homeschool Planner
Keeping Up with Dr. Ruf . . .

Presenter at  Minnesota Mensa Regional Gathering (RG), April 24-26, 2009, Holiday Inn Express, Eagan, MN, "How Your Myers-Briggs' Type Affected Your School Performance."

Eden Prairie Chapter, Minnesota Council of Gifted and Talented, April 10, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Andrews Church, speaking on Levels of Giftedness.

Iowa Gifted and Talented Association Annual Conference (ITAG)- October 4, 5 and 6, Iowa City/Coralville, Iowa, Keynotes and Presentations.

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February and March has produced a series of unfortunate events for those at Educational Options. Dr. Ruf went into the hospital with abdominal pain early in February, which fortunately resolved itself with no residual problems. Then, while leaving work on a blizzardy day, I slipped at the end of the driveway and badly sprained my ankle. After a month, it's much better and I have been able to put aside the crutches. But then Dr. Ruf was involved in a car accident when another car ran a red light, which totaled her good and dependable auto but which fortunately did not do the same to her. She is totally recovered from some neck stiffness.

The most unfortunate and saddest event was the death of Dr. Ruf's father-in-law, Ben Larson, the day after he suffered a massive stroke. Her husband's stepfather, Ben had been a close friend of the family Larry's entire life.

But now we are all looking forward to the end of winter. April and spring are bidding us to move on, and we wish you all the best from the season of renewal.
Sincerely, Kathy Hara, Editor
New Assistant

We wish to introduce our new assistant, Julia Zimmerman. A long-time neighbor of Dr. Ruf, she will alternate days with me in order to better serve our clients! Julia has been thrown in to a dizzying system of facts and procedures and has been able to keep her head above water! We are very happy to have her join the team, and we know you will enjoy working with her in your contacts with Educational Options.

New Blog

For some time now, Dr. Ruf has wanted to find a way to make her thoughts on giftedness more accessible to the public. She has written articles for various publications, but wanted to find a wider audience. It became apparent that the fairly recent phenomenon known as the "blogosphere" would suit her needs well, especially since it would dovetail nicely with our new website. So you may now link to Dr. Ruf's blog from Educational Options' homepage, or go to the blog directly.

In her first entry, posted on February 10, 2009, Dr. Ruf writes about her "Thoughts on Our Educational System and the Increase in Eating Disorders."  Watch for more entries in the near future.
  New Book

Morality and Ethics cover
It gives us great pleasure to announce that the book Morality, Ethics and Gifted Minds, edited by Don Ambrose and Tracy Cross and published by Springer Publications, has just appeared in print.  Dr. Ruf has contributed a chapter, "Self-Actualization & Morality of the Gifted: Environmental, Familial, and Personal Factors," to this important work.

Springer, in describing this book on its website, says "Morality, Ethics, and Gifted Minds brings together the leading thinkers from diverse scholarly fields to share and integrate their perspectives on morality and high ability (giftedness, talent, creativity). These two broad areas of inquiry should have much more overlap and interconnection than currently exists.   One of the many justifications for such connection making is the pressing need for the application of intelligent, creative minds to the many ethical dilemmas facing the world today."

Click here to learn more about this book.
Photos for Our Website

We are always looking for more photos that we may post on our website. I am getting more and more comfortable with editing our site, and am looking forward to filling our pages with photos of our families. In particular, we would love to have more pictures of family activities. Remember that we will not attach names with any of our photos. Thanks for your help!
Parent Survey

Dr. Jennifer Jolly, editor-in-chief of Parenting for High Potential Magazine and a professor at Louisiana State University, sent us the following information about a parent survey that she and Michael Matthews of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are conducting. There hasn't been a large scale survey of parents of gifted learners since 1983, she said. She has submitted the following:
"Parents, Your Opinions are Important!
As a field, we in gifted education know surprisingly little about the experiences and opinions of parents of gifted learners. Please help us to learn more about the issues you face! Researchers at Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have developed a survey that we are asking parents of gifted learners to complete. You can fill out our parent survey online by copying and pasting the following url into your browser  [http://tiny.cc/LmsOw]. It should only take about 15 minutes to complete, and if you wish, after completing the survey you may provide your contact information to be entered in a drawing to receive materials related to parenting the gifted."
Dr. Ruf Articles Published in PHP

Speaking of "Parenting for High Potential," the National Association for Gifted Children's quarterly magazine, several of Dr. Ruf's articles were published in recent issues. One Profoundly Gifted Kid's Story was published September 2008, and  Gifted or Highly Gifted? What's the Difference was published March 2009.
Save the Earth Contest

Save the Earth computer game creation contest  is a two-phase competition designed for all students, engineers or professionals. There are two ways to win prizes - win with a game concept idea, or win with a playable computer game you designed and created.
Create a game for players to use Earth Observations of our environment for solving issues of the world around us. Show how real-world events affect the Earth and impact people. Whether it is flooding or drought, changes in energy or climate, work with our experts who can help you with data and impacts to create ideas for a game and even a playable prototype.
Deadlines are coming up soon. So click here to get more information about this contest.
Gifted Education Symposium

The first annual Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium is scheduled June 14-18, 2009, in Austin, Minnesota. This symposium provides an opportunity for educators, counselors, administrators and parents to gain greater understanding of the unique needs of gifted and high potential learners.

A generous grant from The Hormel Foundation and collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Education and Austin Public School District makes possible an intensive educational experience for educators. Invited speakers include many of the field's finest regional, national and internationally known presenters, focusing on foundational knowledge, creativity, curriculum strategies, and social and emotional needs.

Registration is now open!
Visit the the Austin Public School District website and access symposium information located on the bottom right corner under The Hormel Foundation heading.

Podcast About ADD

The Mensa Education & Research Foundation introduces the latest Conversations with Mensa podcast: Taking Control of ADD. This 45-minute session features Dr. Frank Lawlis, American Mensa's Supervisory Psychologist and author of The ADD Answer, providing basic information about Attention Deficit Disorder and the steps that can be taken to manage it. Leading the discussion is Mensa member Robin Crawford, an experienced educator and mother of twin Mensans.

The Conversation is available for listening or download. All Conversations with Mensa are available to the general public, so don't hesitate to tell your friends and family members about this informative and interesting program.
Homeschool Planner

A client of Educational Options has recently announced the beta launch of a homeschool scheduling application, MyHomeSchoolPlan.com.  In this stage, the makers are offering the application at no charge and are requesting both positive and negative feedback on how to make this a product that you are as passionate about as they are.

What is MyHomeSchoolPlan.com?  Simply put, it is a web application that allows you to create, record, and review your homeschool activities quickly and easily.  The idea is to spend time with your kids, not your computer, so the focus has been on quick and easy setup.  Create your courses, enroll your students in the courses and you are ready to create this week's schedule. 
Losing Our Minds
Dr. Ruf's book, Losing Our Minds: Gifted
Children Left Behind, is available through Great PotentialPress or Amazon.

Click here to learn more.

Deborah Ruf
Educational Options