I don’t remember writing a single line in those first few weeks, while I attempted to calm the rising panic in the house.I became the IT fixer, cook, teacher, college advisor, nanny, bank negotiator, therapist, nurse, dental hygienist, hairdresser, and veterinary nurse, everything but, a writer. In an even shorter time, tempers frayed, and long-held annoyances and fears were voiced at decibels which left our neighbors blushing.My, ‘light-bulb’, moment came after revisiting the biscuit tin for the umpteenth time one morning. If Covid didn’t kill me then the stress might. I swallowed my pride, like 90% proof bourbon, gathered the family and announced I couldn’t do it all. You should have seen their faces! Complete disbelief.RELATED: 5 Growth Hacks To Help You Adapt And Thrive During Challenging TimesNow for the delegation of duties part. I set about the room asking each one of them what their preferred chore was and what hidden skill sets they possessed, pointing out, we didn’t need any twerking done in the house. I was pleasantly surprised and not a little relieved as they took it upon themselves to take responsibility for household chores, communication with the outside world, and scheduling.In late 2020, we were months into the lockdown and bracing ourselves for the second wave. Our perspective as a family had shifted—it’s no longer ‘poor me’, it’s now ‘what can I do to be useful?’.MORE: Writer Starts a Pandemic Pen Pal Project – Now 7,000 People Are Mailing Joy to Strangers With LettersFinally, I was writing more furiously and with more conviction and creativity than ever before. I looked at my family, one of the millions on the planet and thought, “wow, these people support me and I support them—and in turn, we support our community”. It was a ripple effect. I’m not alone. We are not alone.Writing under the pen name Pandora, Claire Pandora Gearty lives in Devon, England with her husband and two daughters. Her debut novel, The Balance-Pilgrim, selling in nine countries since 2015, was adapted for a screenplay, and her follow up novel, Pilgrim and the Geometry of Fear, was published in 2016. She’s working on the third in the trilogy, Pilgrim and the Fall of Kings.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreYou might quite naturally jump to the conclusion that COVID-19 has provided the opportunity through lockdowns and enforced isolation to create the perfect storm in which writers can work on their book.For some this may be true, however, for others—and I include myself among them—it has created a barrage of situations that have shrunk my writing time, instead of expanding it. On the face of it, my fingers should be running across the keyboard like a woman possessed. So, why aren’t they? I can sum it up in one word – family – and I use that all-encompassing word with a smile. Despite, the fact my writing time is now at least halved from before, I don’t begrudge it, because I actually feel the need to nurture, comfort, support, and teach those I love during this unique opportunity for my family to develop a deeper understanding of one another.Family, are like the pieces of a puzzle where the picture is continually changing and everyone is trying to fit themselves together as best they can. Under normal circumstances; pre-Covid; any family difficulties, sibling disagreements, home boundary issues, household chores and finances; could be easily avoided or postponed; by simply exiting the family unit on the pretext you’d be late for school, work, or friends. In my case, any unpleasantness could be shelved until after the first glass of red.Enter stage right; Covid 19. My daily routine was erased and I found myself sitting opposite a bewildered family at breakfast, who hadn’t said good morning to me in years, as I was out the door by 7am. If asked, pre-Covid, I would have said, ‘we’re a highly adaptable family, we’ve lived in a few countries, we have some experience of the world – bring it on! The reality landed a punch that made my knees wobble. I believe we pulled off the description, ‘plucky’, but that was about it.Before the week was out, our house had become the center of all operations, with each of us acting autonomously to what was in our individual best interests. My husband was determined to stockpile every can of beans within a thirty-mile radius. My eldest daughter (who has a young son and apartment in the next town) needed to know immediately what my babysitting schedule was looking like for the next year and that I was in her, ‘support bubble’(?), and my youngest daughter believed she was destined to become a spinster. I began planning how to sneak into the garage to write and leave them all to it.CHECK OUT: Walking Through the Doorway of Change – How to Thrive Through UncertaintyThe pandemic forced me to step-up and be emotionally present for my family. The first weeks were the hardest, with no routine and no idea of what I was expected to do, other than cruise the supermarkets for toilet paper. I was hit with what felt like collective shrapnel: upcoming exams, work interviews, medical exams and a speeding ticket – all of which had to be taken online using a webcam. I reminded myself, ‘you’ve relocated across continents with a 3-and-6-month-old – I can do this!’
Manchester City maintained their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, with a convincing 2-0 win at Leicester City on Saturday.Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne scored either side of the interval, as Pep Guardiola’s men produced another scintillating performance.Their city rivals, Manchester United, kept pace with a 4-1 win at home against Newcastle.Dwight Gayle put the Magpies ahead, becoming the first player to score against Jose Mourinho’s men at home. However, goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku gave the Red Devils all three points.Chelsea climbed up to third place with a 4-0 thrashing of West Brom, leapfrogging Tottenham Hotspur who lost 2-0 at Arsenal in the early kick-off.Liverpool are fifth after beating Southampton 3-0.Crystal Palace were held to a 2-2 draw at Everton, Swansea City lost 2-0 at Burnley and Bournemouth hammered Huddersfield 4-0.
The Selkirk College Saints are looking to become the first team in BC Intercollegiate Hockey League to capture three straight titles.The Saints host Simon Fraser Clan beginning Friday at the Complex in Castlegar.“Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would be in this position,” said Selkirk defenceman Lucas Hildebrand after Saturday’s game.“When I came here, I didn’t really know what to expect. This third year has really opened up my eyes to how great this program has become. Everybody has done such a great job, starting with [Selkirk College Athletics Director] Kim [Verigin] and [Saints head coach] Alex [Evin], it’s just incredible to be part of it and I’m loving every minute of it.” The Saints advanced to the final by knocking off the University of Victoria Vikes in two games.The Vikes, with a pair of Nelson Leaf grads — forwards Carsen Willans and Linden Horswill — and a coach behind the bench who is a graduate from Nelson Minor Hockey —Harold Schamhart — made remarkable strides this season.The Vikes, with no less than 10 rookies on the roster, watched the Saints narrowly escape the first game in overtime — 4-3— before scoring two quick second-period goals to eliminate UVIC — 4-1— in game two.Both Willans and Horswill fit seamlessly into the Vikes squad.Willans finished the season with five goals and 14 assists for 19 points while Horswill scored four times and added 14 assists for 16 points.Both players played all 24 games for UVIC.The puck drops on Game One of the BCIHL Final at 7 p.m. at the Castlegar Recreation Centre on Friday night.Game Two will also start at 7 p.m. on Saturday and if necessary Game Three will be played on Sunday (time to be determined).
The Galway hurlers booked a semi final meeting with Waterford next weekend in the National Hurling League after a stirring second half into the wind at Pearse Stadium this afternoon saw them overcome Wexford on a 3-21 to 3-11 scoreline. All 3 Wexford goals came in the first half as Davy Fitzgerald’s men led 3-5 to 0-13 despite playing into the very strong wind. Joe Canning accounted for 0-11 of his sides scores and the Portumna maestro would go on to register a personal tally of 0-15. The second half was a different story though as Cathal Mannion found the net for Galway soon after the re-start after being set up by Davy Glennon, with Niall Burke and Brian Concannon quickly adding free. Paul Morris pulled back a point from a free for Wexford but Niall Burke got Galway’s second goal after Glennon’s effort was saved by Mark Fanning. Galway pushed on with points from Concannon and Mannion to lead by 2-18 to 3-06 at the end of the third quarter. Wexford never looked like staging a revival and Galway sealed the win when Tadhg Haran finished to the net after Canning’s effort was superbly saved by Fanning.After the game Sean Walsh spoke to Galway manager Micheal Donoghue…Sean also spoke to Galway defender Kevin Hussey who felt it wa important win…Galway: Fergal Flannery; Jack Grealish, Paul Killeen, Darren Morrissey; Aidan Harte, Padraic Mannion (c), Géaroíd McInerney; Cathal Mannion (1-2), Seán Loftus; Niall Burke (1-1), Joe Canning (0-15, 0-13f, 0-01’65), Conor Whelan (0-01); Seán Bleahene (1-00), Brian Concannon (0-02), Thomas Monaghan.Subs used: Kevin Hussey for PMannion (22 mins), Johnny Coen for Morrisey (h-t), Davy Glennon forMonaghan (34), Seán Kilduff for Killeen (61-62), for Harte (64), TadhgHaran for Bleahene (69).Wexford: Mark Fanning; Damien Reck, Liam Ryan, Simon Donohoe; PaudieFoley, Matthew O’Hanlon (0-01), Shaun Murphy; Jack O’Connor, KevinFoley; Aidan Nolan (0-01), Lee Chin (1-02), Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-01);Cathal Dunbar, Paul Morris (0-04, 0-03f, 0-01’65), Conor McDonald (2-02,0-01f).Subs used: Darren Byrne for Ryan (39mins), Liam ÓgMcGovern for J O’Connor (47), Shane Reck for D Byrne (52), Ian Byrne forChin (59), Harry Kehoe for Morris (69). print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email
Elise Mertens produced another huge upset in a tournament littered with them when she thrashed fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the first attempt on Tuesday.Ukrainian Svitolina was riding a nine-match winning streak this year but was outplayed by the 37th ranked Belgian in 73 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.The aggressive Mertens smashed 16 winners to win the opening set and held her nerve to keep up the pressure on the world number four in a one-sided second stanza.After barely putting a foot wrong in the contest, the 22-year-old fired down a 26th winner to seal a date with Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro in her first grand slam semi-final.(Source: Reuters)
The 2012 X-Blades National Youth Championships (NYC) and State of Origin (SOO) series is a big deal for the players and coaching staff but it is also an important event for the men and women who control the game – the referees.Love them or loathe them, the referees are an integral part of the running of events such as NYC and SOO.Without referees there wouldn’t be these type of tournaments.For the 60-odd referees who will be blowing the whistle during the NYC and SOO, it is an important event for them as much it is the players.Making the right call could be the difference between a championship win and a loss.Helping the referees throughout the week will be some of Australia’s best men and women to ever don the white-diamond shirt.New South Wales and Australian number one referee David Baggio is one of the referee mentors who will be lending his experiences to the NYC referees, which began this morning.“Helping some of the refs, mentoring them, passing on my knowledge and what I know on to them so we can get their skills up and assist them and make them better refs,” Baggio said.“There will be at least 50 or 60 refs so there are a few games for them to do.“They will get a lot of experience out of it especially this being a develop tournament as well, so there are a lot of up and coming referees and new referees, first timers at a national event, which is good to see.“I think every state is represented and that is excellent to get them from all over Australia here.”Baggio will be stepping out on to the field to referee when the SOO begins on Friday.He said he enjoys being a referee.“I got involved because I knew I wasn’t going further as a player. I had to make a decision if I wanted to play or referee and see how far I wanted to go,” Baggio said.For more information on the NYC and SOO events, check out their websites.NYC – www.nyc.mytouchfooty.comSOO – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auRelated LinksBlowing the whistle
Crystal Palace striker Sorloth on his way to AA Gentby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth is on his way to AA Gent.Sorloth, reports VG, will join Gent on-loan – which will extend into next season.Jess Thorup, the Gent coach, is driving the deal having worked with the Norway striker at FC Midtjylland.He is leaving just as Palace wrap up a loan deal for Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke.Sorloth has managed just one goal for Palace. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
CHAPEL HILL, NC – MARCH 07: Jahlil Okafor #15 of the Duke Blue Devil drives between defenders Brice Johnson #11, Marcus Paige #5 and Marcus Paige #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean Smith Center on March 7, 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)Duke stars Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow seem like locks to be lottery picks on June 25, when the 2015 NBA Draft rolls around. Point guard Tyus Jones has a great shot at being a first round pick. Senior guard Quinn Cook? He was vital to Duke’s success this season, but his NBA potential is a little less clear. Well, at least to those who didn’t play with him on the 2015 national championship team.Basketball Insiders‘ Alex Kennedy wrote a great piece on Cook’s NBA prospects, and spoke to Okafor, who had nothing but praise for his former [email protected] praised @QCook323 and said he’d love to play with Quinn again. Full article: http://t.co/1lRWwrBv01 pic.twitter.com/p4ZfERqzrL— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 17, 2015Cook is ranked as the No. 55 prospect in the draft by Draft Express, but the site’s mock draft doesn’t have him being selected. While the other three Blue Devils all look like safe bets to be drafted, we imagine Duke fans would like nothing more than to see Cook land with a team. If that team winds up being Okafor’s? They’d probably sell a bunch of gear in North Carolina.[Basketball Insiders]
The story was much the same about 30 years later, in 2006, when the NCAA convened a task force to study levels of spending. The conclusion, as expressed by task force chairman Peter Likins? “There seems to be an unsustainable trend in financing athletics.”We can find even more examples of the NCAA sustaining “unsustainable” spending. In July 1929, at the end of a boom decade, the Carnegie Foundation put out a detailed report documenting what it saw as many evils in the college sports scene of the day.2 The study found that: “Since 1906 [college sports’] intensity has not abated, intercollegiate rivalry has not grown appreciably kinder, and specialization has much increased; costs have mounted amazingly.”More than two decades earlier, in 1902, the New York Daily Tribune ran a study of the elite of college sports,3 what we now know as the Ivy League, and found that other than Harvard and Princeton, athletics were finding it “difficult to make ends meet.” The biggest culprit? The cost of providing food for athletes was overwhelming some schools. The only answer, at least for Yale, was to balance the yearly deficit for athletics by dipping into “undergraduate subscriptions” (i.e., student fees) among the student body as a whole.So the modern NCAA’s tale of woe — expenses outpacing revenues, students forced to pick up the tab for athletes receiving perks — is older than the NCAA itself, which was founded four years after the Daily Tribune exposé. For more than a century the crisis has persisted, ever looming, never arriving. So what’s going on here?As far back as Howard Bowen’s revenue theory of cost, economists have known that within the context of a nonprofit organization, if a department on campus gets a budget, it spends it. Revenues grow, budgets grow, spending grows. The NCAA itself commissioned a series of reports (in 2003, 2005 and 2009) by several economists, which basically said each new dollar of college sports expense goes hand in hand with a new dollar of revenue. And NCAA President Myles Brand even bragged about this dynamic in a 2006 speech:Universities attempt to maximize their revenues and redistribute those resources according to their educational mission. Universities are nonprofit corporations, and as such, they do not generate profits for private owners or shareholders. But they do have an obligation to generate significant amounts of revenue to pursue their mission.The definitive word goes to University of Michigan professor Rod Fort, author of a 2010 paper on the topic in the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport. Fort shows what all of these anecdotes and the economic theory predict, which is that college sports expenses have grown at the exact rate as revenues for as long as the data exists. Even writing in the midst of the Great Recession of 2007-09, Fort found that “little seems to threaten the sustainability of FBS athletic departments,” and he used (and showed) data (the NCAA’s own revenues and expenses reports) to support his claim.What Fort found was that from 1960 until 2006, “In real terms, the annual growth rate in the average report of both revenues and expenses is 4.9%, nearly twice the typical growth rate in the economy at large.”Graphically (and extended out to 2010, with thanks to Fort for his data), here’s the trend: Year after year expenses zoom ever upward, but so do revenues. Revenue and expenses are basically locked together like you’d expect of a department that spends its budget and a budget that’s set based on expected revenue.And indeed, almost on cue, despite all of the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the unsustainability of college sports revenues, news arrived Tuesday that the Big Ten has negotiated a new deal that blows its old deal out of the water, estimated to be worth $40 million for each of the 14 schools in the innumerately named conference.So how has this perpetual crisis rhetoric survived so long in the face of year-over-year revenue growth? The best explanation comes from a working paper by two economics professors at Western Kentucky University, Brian Goff and Dennis Wilson, which explains how useful it is to look poor whenever someone comes looking for money:Keeping awareness of the rent flow4 low, permits either certain athletic or other university officials discretion over use of the flows. As a result, the most common practice over many decades has been to minimize or diminish apparent surpluses. In fact, the supposed losses have been a means for university presidents to pursue “cost containment.”In other words, we’re always in a crisis because the people in power have a vested interest in seeming poor. This means many of those who’ve been predicting a looming college sports apocalypse have something very much in common with your run-of-the-mill apocalypse cult: They have something to sell. It’s worked for a century, so why not keep selling it until people stop buying? Once or twice a year, as predictably as the launch of college football season or March Madness, we’re treated to the “everyone’s broke” meme in college sports. Sometimes it’s pegged to the football season. Sometimes we hear about it in the context of a new TV deal worth billions. And sometimes it’s tied to the release of new numbers, as was the case last week when USA Today released its trove of college sports accounting data as a resource for researchers everywhere. Along with the data they compiled, Erik Brady, Steve Berkowitz and Jodi Upton put out a companion piece addressing the familiar claim that college sports are reaching a crisis point where they will begin to crumble under their own cost. As economics professor Andrew Zimbalist says in the article, “It’s an unstable situation.”The USA Today article then pivots from its ominous opening, quoting industry participants such as school presidents and former TV executives who have their doubts about the situation — the theme being that claims of financial doom are nothing new for college athletics, and they’ve not come true yet. But in a story built around financial reports showing that 90 percent of the industry is losing money, the clear theme seems to be “this time it’s real.” It’s unsustainable!A sober reading of the history of these claims of unsustainable spending leads to a very different conclusion — specifically: NCAA expenses track with revenue and have done so for decades. But rather than hand-wringers learning from the past and ferreting out Occam’s ledger — the accounting isn’t telling the whole story — decade after decade we see similar fretting over schools losing money on college sports yet spending more and more, surely building to a “bubble” that has to burst. “This time it’s real” has been part of this sky-is-falling rhetoric for over a century.For example, in 1975, the NCAA was worried about costs. As many economists and historians before me have noted,1 this worry over costs coincided with a period of economic stagnation and inflation in which much of America was worried about costs. NCAA members gathered in what was called a “special” convention with the goal of taking collective action to control costs. The president of the NCAA opened the conference with a dire warning that likened the crisis to an urgently needed amputation:Due to the intense competitive nature of the intercollegiate athletics, it seems the only way to successfully curtail costs is at the national level. … The NCAA, to be an effective instrument, must adopt measures to curtail costs which may well guarantee the continuation of intercollegiate athletics. … We urge you to put aside, or at least put in second place, your special interests and put as primary the goal of curtailing costs so intercollegiate athletics may survive. It is probably better to cut off the hand than to die.The members made it clear that the crisis was dire and the solution was NOT to raise more revenue, because that wasn’t realistic. The only answer was to lower the cost of scholarships. A representative from Bowling Green explained:We know that the generation of new income is unlikely, if not impossible. It is only the number of grants, the source of funds and the revised basis for grants that any real economies can be made. For most of us, a good many of the other proposals here are nickel and dime stuff, when we are talking about real dollars, we are talking about grants-in-aid.The result in 1975 was that the elements of cost of attendance that had been allowed previously (course supplies and a monthly stipend known colloquially as “laundry money”) were banned by common agreement. Of course, revenue did go up, and not surprisingly, expenses managed to keep rising at the same rate — the money saved by lowering the cost of scholarships simply moved into other forms of spending.Here’s what that revenue growth has looked like since 1992, shown against the growth in the list cost of tuition.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett sprained his MCL in the first half of an Oct. 25 game against Penn State, but stayed in to lead the Buckeyes to a 31-24 double-overtime win.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhen Urban Meyer said his quarterback had a sprained MCL, some Ohio State fans might have cringed — for good reason.It’s the second straight season the third-year OSU coach has seen his starting quarterback suffer that injury, after all. But unlike then-junior Braxton Miller — who missed two games and all but the opening drive of another with the same injury in 2013 — redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett is expected to play this weekend after hurting his knee on Saturday against Penn State.On Monday, Meyer stressed that Barrett would play in the Buckeyes’ Saturday matchup with Illinois, and the quarterback reiterated the same point — barring unforeseen circumstances — on Wednesday.“It would have to be something drastic happen between now and Saturday at 8 o’clock,” Barrett said. “But I plan on playing Saturday.”During the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday, Meyer said he expected Barrett to be “full-go” at practice on Wednesday, but that didn’t quite end up being the case.“He went — I wouldn’t say quite full — be he’ll be full tomorrow, they’re telling us,” Meyer said after Wednesday’s practice. “He did good, real good.”Barrett said practice went “fine” for him, and added he did most of the things he would normally do at practice, but not everything.“I was limited at first, but then today got out there and did team stuff at the end, which was good,” he said.“Dropping back, jogging a little bit, just normal things.”Junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker agreed that Barrett seemed “fine” in practice, and said the quarterback was trying to make sure he takes care of his knee.“Obviously he is trying to be careful with his knee, you don’t want to tweak it anymore,” Decker said Wednesday. “Hope to have him as healthy as possible coming back for the game, but he has looked fine to me.”While he’s been limited in practice since the injury, Barrett didn’t miss any significant time during the Buckeyes’ double-overtime win against the Nittany Lions. In fact, he ran for 32 yards during the extra periods and scored both of OSU’s overtime touchdowns on the ground.On the other hand, Miller originally hurt his knee during the Buckeyes’ opening drive in their second game of the 2013 season against San Diego State University, and didn’t return to the field until week five against Wisconsin.Despite the stark contrast in the amount of time missed, Meyer said Barrett’s injury is “very similar” to the one Miller suffered just over a year earlier. But he was sure to stick to his expertise when addressing why Barrett could play when Miller could not.“I’m not a doctor,” Meyer said. “(Barrett’s injury is) probably not as severe.”Meyer added that MCL sprains are fairly common and don’t require surgery, and went on to say some players simply react differently to injuries.“Everybody is built differently, I guess, but once again, I’m not a doctor,” he said.As he decided to leave speculation out of the picture and trust the medical experts when it comes to the differences between Miller’s injury and Barrett’s, Meyer said he listened to his medical staff after the initial injury as well.“At halftime, they said he got an MCL sprain,” Meyer said. “I said, ‘how bad?’ And they said, ‘well, we’ll see how it goes.’”Apart from one drive when redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones, redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall and sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson all took snaps, Barrett didn’t miss any game time after spraining his knee.Barrett — who tore his right ACL in the last game he played at Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas, before spraining his left MCL against the Nittany Lions — said he’d never played through a similar injury in the past. He added he wouldn’t have stepped back on the field if he wasn’t fully ready to play.“I’ve actually really never played with an injury to this degree,” he said. “But I knew that I could take a drop, I could run, so it was just one of those things like, ‘Hey man, if you play, you play.’ It’s not like going in there half stepping, because if so, the team could use a Cardale Jones that could go full-go.”Even after playing through it on Saturday, Decker said Barrett is likely still hurting in practice this week.“I’m sure he has got some pain but he played the whole second half with it, so I have no doubts that he will be back and be ready,” he said.Barring “something drastic,” Barrett is set to lead the Buckeyes against the Fighting Illini on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.