Parents Of Nasal Learners Demand Odor-Based Curriculum

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Vol 36 Issue 09

Skittish Juniors-Department Clerk Calls Security Again

TALLAHASSEE, FL–Barb Leland, 51, a newly hired clerk in the JCPenney juniors department, called security for the third time in three days Monday. "There were these two teenage girls, and they were laughing loudly and pretending to talk to one of the mannequins," she said. "I just didn't want to take any chances." Leland added that 3 p.m. on a Monday is an odd time for a pair of teens to be shopping.

Sitcom On PBS Assumed To Be Intellectual

SALINAS, CA–Assuming the program to be an intellectually enriching treasure trove of highbrow delights, PBS viewer Ross Waymer immersed himself Monday in the BBC sitcom I Dare Say, Mr. Pumsby! "It's a biting, incisive satire of the British class system that simultaneously skewers and celebrates the social mores of the have-nots in post-Thatcher Britain," said Waymer, explaining to his wife a scene in which a man is repeatedly doused with buckets of paint. "And this one guy, he has to dress up as a lady to fool his landlord into thinking he's dead so he doesn't have to pay the rent."

Racist Merely Misspoke

HOLLY SPRINGS, MS–Apologizing for any misunderstanding, Holly Springs councilman Knox Jeffries explained Monday that he "merely misspoke" when he called African-American councilman Isaac Witherspoon "a dumb, spear-chucking porch monkey" during a Mar. 10 meeting. "I can see how my remarks could have been misconstrued as offensive, but I can assure you they were not intended as such," Jeffries said. "I am sorry for any hurt I may have inadvertently caused Ike, a fine, law-abiding Negro." Jeffries then extended an olive branch to Witherspoon, inviting him and his wife to his home for "a whole mess of collard greens and cornbread."

Terrifying Mutation Killing Off U.S. Cabinet Members One At A Time

WASHINGTON, DC–The slime-covered body of Commerce Secretary William Daley was found in a cocoon in the White House Monday, bringing the number of Cabinet members killed by the terrifying space mutation to five. "We're doing everything we can to stop this creature," said Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, hiding somewhere in the White House with the other surviving Cabinet officials. "Unfortunately, you can't kill what you can't see." Added Slater: "What? Where's Alexis? I just saw her two seconds ago! Lord help us all." It is believed the secretaries will attempt to lure the shapeshifting mutation into the East Room and blast it through the airlock.

National Interest In Anything Hovering Around 3 Percent

PRINCETON, NJ–A Gallup poll released Monday reveals that only 3 percent of Americans describe themselves as "interested" or "very interested" in anything whatsoever. "America is hard-pressed to get excited about tonight's episode of Spin City, much less the situation in Chechnya," Gallup spokeswoman Jill Pierce said. "I guess there's just not all that much going on right now."

Suicide Attempts A Desperate Cry For Death

BOSTON–Mental-health professionals have long characterized attempted suicide as a desperate cry for help, the last-ditch plea of a wounded soul who, more than anything else, longs to live.

Cash-Room Bitch Be Havin' My Shortie

Heads up, y'all: Tha H-Dog's wildin' days be OVA. Now, I still be keepin' it real as tha Accountz Reeceevable Supervisa at Midstate Office Supply, so don't all y'all new-jack two-year accountin'-degree punks fresh outta community college be thinkin' about musclin' in on my turf, lest you want a Letta Opener Of Death in yo' ribcage. But, yo, y'all gots to understand, tha H-Dog gots a lot on his mind right now, an' he ain't bangin' like he used to, know what I'm sayin'? 'Cause, check this out, G's: I'm gonna be a daddy. One of tha Cash Room bitches, Agnes, be havin' my shortie.
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Parents Of Nasal Learners Demand Odor-Based Curriculum

COLUMBUS, OH–Backed by olfactory-education experts, parents of nasal learners are demanding that U.S. public schools provide odor-based curricula for their academically struggling children.

A nasal learner struggles with an odorless textbook.

"Despite the proliferation of countless scholastic tests intended to identify children with special needs, the challenges facing nasal learners continue to be ignored," said Delia Weber, president of Parents Of Nasal Learners, at the group's annual conference. "Every day, I witness firsthand my son Austin's struggle to succeed in a school environment that recognizes the needs of visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic learners but not him."

Weber said she was at her "wit's end" trying to understand why her son was floundering in school when, in May 1997, another parent referred her to the Nasal Learning Research Institute in Columbus. Tested for odor-based information-acquisition aptitude, Austin scored in the 99th percentile.

"My child is not stupid," Weber said. "There simply was no way for him to thrive in a school that only caters to traditional students who absorb educational concepts by hearing, reading, seeing, discussing, drawing, building, or acting out."

Austin's experience is not unique.

"My 15-year-old daughter Chloe couldn't sustain her interest in academics and, as a result, she would goof off with her friends and get in trouble," said Michael Sweeney of Oswego, NY. "Now I realize that all those Ds and Fs did not represent any failure on my daughter's part, but rather her school's failure to provide an appropriate nasal-based curriculum."

According to Reyna Panos, director of the Nasal/Olfactory Secondary Education (NOSE) certification program at Brown University, children begin to indicate their nasal needs as early as the first grade, so parents need to be on the lookout for the telltale signs.

"Nasal learners often have difficulty concentrating and dislike doing homework," Panos said. "They also frequently have low grades in math, reading, and science. If your child fits this description, I would strongly urge you to get him or her tested for a possible nasal orientation."

Educators have been slow to recognize nasal learners, said Panos, even though her research finds that 10 to 20 percent of all students fall into the category.

"In the early years of educational psychology, children were believed to fall into one of two camps: visual and auditory. Eventually, kinesthetic and tactile learning styles were recognized, as well," Panos said. "But, to this day, nasal learning continues to go unacknowledged."

Panos said nasal learners do best when they are encouraged to use odor-based recall techniques in testing situations, and are allowed to organize and prioritize items by scent. The biggest challenge now, she said, is to "educate the educators."

"It's very gratifying to be a pioneer in a totally new field of education, but at the same time, it's frustrating to come up against such strong resistance," Panos said. "That's where groups like Parents Of Nasal Learners make all the difference: They've got to push, push, push until their children's needs are finally met."

Scholastic Scents is a Cambridge, MA, company attempting to fill the void in educational materials geared toward nasal learners.

"Our line of scratch-and-sniff textbooks won't be available until next school year," Scholastic Scents president Randy Bauer said, "but we do have a variety of educational packets such as the Oregon Trail fragrance set and our 'Speak & Smell' language workshops. I'd also recommend you browse our non-text book selections, such as the all-odor version of The Yearling."

However, according to Dr. Ira Greene, author of The Nose Knows: A Nasal-Based Curriculum Development Guide, such efforts do not go far enough. Greene said there are three distinct types of nasal learners: the goal-oriented nasal learner, the activity-oriented nasal learner, and the learning-oriented nasal learner. Each type, he said, must be treated differently.

"It's important to understand that not every nasal learner is the same," Greene said. "For example, while goal-oriented and activity-oriented nasal learners may see the prospect of olfactory reward at the end of a task as sufficient motivation, the learning-oriented nasal learner needs something more to sustain his interest."

For parents who suspect their children may be nasal learners, Panos recommended the Stanford-Binet Nasal Index Exam.

"This test asks students to respond to statements like, 'I enjoy smelling things,' and 'I would rather write a book report than smell one that has already been written,'" Panos said. "From this, we can determine the best way for parents to help teach that child. It would be nice if the schools gave such tests, but the sad fact is, for the child with special nasal needs, today's educational system stinks."

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