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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Schorsch’

Volunteer Mediation: A Peaceful Way to Resolve Differences, By Jon Schorsch

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Volunteers of America, Western Washington chapter, offers a variety of helpful services to Seattle and the surrounding communities. Among other services, the organization provides mediation and facilitation for those who need it. Mediation refers to aiding in disagreements between separate parties, whereas facilitation is the process of remedying internal conflicts between the members of a group. By taking advantage of Volunteers of America’s mediation and facilitation service, many disputes and interpersonal conflicts can be resolved without having to resort to more drastic methods such as going through the legal system.

The mediation/facilitation process is totally voluntary and confidential. Mediators are trained to remain neutral and work with both parties to help reach a compromise that is agreeable all around. Moreover, mediation services are available for many common types of disagreement. Mediators are on hand to help figure out problems between tenants and landlords, neighbors, and family members, as well as to resolve consumer complaints and more. Facilitation services likewise provide a way to find a compromise on which every member of a group with the same interest, such as a neighborhood association or parent-teacher association, can agree.

Taking advantage of Volunteers of America’s mediation services has several benefits. By bringing a dispute to mediation, a win-win outcome with input from both sides can often be achieved. Additionally, the mediation system is much faster and cheaper than the formal court system. Best of all, mediation has a very high rate of resolution.

About the author: Jon Schorsch is a former police officer and police sergeant for the Port of Seattle. Jon Schorsch volunteers as a mediator with the Volunteers of America of Western Washington.

Highlighting Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Balanced Man Program, by Jon Schorsch

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

With 300,000 lifetime members, the national Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity distinguishes itself in the collegiate Greek system by offering a four year development curriculum called the Balanced Man Program. Instead of potential members undergoing a pledge process, the fraternity recruits new men through current SigEp members at campus chapters across the country. Throughout the length of the individualized program, SigEps cultivate leadership and life expertise while maintaining a concentration on scholarship.

As a part of the Balanced Man curriculum, SigEp members partake in challenges focusing on personal advancement by promoting healthy habits for life. Skills fostered through the program include establishing a personal fitness regimen, refining time management, learning etiquette, and cooking. Members also interact with assigned mentors farther along in the program, as well as alumni.

Another important portion of the SigEp Balanced Man Program is community service. The fraternity partnered with the not-for-profit organization YouthAIDS to launch a national HIV/AIDS campaign at several universities. Across the United States, SigEp members are educating fellow college students about the disease and engaging in fundraising efforts on university campuses. In addition, fraternity brothers regularly volunteer at charities and service organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Diabetes Association.

Launched at Richmond College (now known as the University of Richmond) in 1901, SigEp was built on the virtues of diligence, virtue, and brotherly love. Fraternity headquarters remain in Richmond.

Jon Schorsch is an alumnus of Washington State University and lifetime Sigma Phi Epsilon member. He currently resides in Bothell, Washington.

 

Jon Schorsch with an Overview of Jiu-Jitsu

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Jiu-jitsu is a martial art form dating back to 16th-century Japan. In simple terms, the discipline involves reflecting the movements of the attacker back onto him or her. Additionally, it incorporates small weaponry, defensive tactics, and joint locks with conserved energy. The practice also emphasizes gentleness and learning how to focus and be calm, leading to more refined students. Students use flowing, circular motions, and many spectators find the sport to be beautiful and mesmerizing.

The sport became popular during the Tokugawa Shogunate, which outlawed weapons to most Japanese citizens. Jiu-jitsu includes movements and actions that are extremely useful when neither party has a weapon, including joint locking, which can effectively disarm an opponent. Unlike other martial arts, jiu-jitsu is a defensive practice. Students will learn how to surrender as well as how to be patient during a conflict. The practice is often taught in self-defense classes.

Jiu-jitsu was introduced to the United States in the 20th century and a regulatory organization, the Ju-Jitsu International Federation, was introduced with the intent of providing structure to the sport.

About the author: Jon Schorsch practices jiu-jitsu and skis year-round to stay in shape. Professionally, he has spent more than a decade involved in the police force, including four years as a sergeant.

A Brief History of Waterskiing, By Jon Schorsch

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The sport of waterskiing dates back to 1922, when a young Ralph Samuelson declared that if one could ski on snow, one should also be able to ski on water. He journeyed to Lake City, Minnesota, to test his hypothesis and struggled for several days before he finally stumbled upon the secret: leaning backward in the water with the tips of the ski pointed up. Pulled by his brother, he reached a top speed of 20 miles per hour that summer. Within a few years, he decided to add a new element to the sport and built a ramp that he began to jump, establishing the sport of ski jumping. At first, he used skis fashioned from barrel staves, and then later experimented with snow skis. Eventually, Samuelson decided to create his own design, engineering the first water ski from wood and leather. As the sport grew in popularity, largely due to Samuelson’s tours of the country to publicize waterskiing, more individuals became involved with design. Fred Waller patented the first water skis and Jack Andresen introduced the first trick skis in 1940.

In the mid-twentieth century, waterskiing grew increasingly more popular and various tournaments and competitions arose around the United States. The 1972 Olympics included waterskiing as an exhibition sport. Two years later, enthusiasts established the National Show Ski Tournament. In 1979, young devotees organized the National Intercollegiate Water Ski Championships. A decade later, the Home CARE U.S. National Water Ski Challenge provided a forum for those with disabilities to compete.

Today, individuals engage in a number of different forms of waterskiing, from slalom skiing to racing. Slalom skiers use only one ski, which significantly increases their speed and agility. During slalom competitions, skiers must maneuver around set buoys. Professional skiers regularly engage in jumping, trick, and racing competitions. Show skiers perform orchestrated tricks, similar to gymnasts, such as forming pyramids.

About the Author

Jon Schorsch belongs to the Lake Sammamish Water Ski Club and dedicates a significant amount of his time to pursuing the sport around the country and at Ski Paradise in Acapulco, Mexico. Despite a boating accident that permanently blinded him, he continues to entertain his passion for the sport, in addition to Jujitsu, sailing, snow skiing, and golf. An advocate for the blind in sports, Jon Schorsch serves as a member of the United States Blind Golf Association, among other organizations.

Jon Schorsch’s Tips and Tricks for Water Skiers

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment

A passionate water-skier, Jon Schorsch takes advantage of any opportunity to get in the water and enjoy the sport he loves. For individuals at the beginning stages, or looking to get into the sport of waterskiing, here are a few helpful tips for maximum enjoyment behind the boat.

1. Find a comfortable rhythm. Beginning water skiers often have trouble with the anticipation of speed and power. To help this, try making turns wide and slow. This way, you can enhance your balance and eliminate some of the fears associated with the turning and edging.
2. Maintain a strong start with a solid foundation. To achieve this, focus on squaring your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, and make sure that your entire body is lined up and balanced while you are getting up and once you have started planing. Your core position is the most integral part of the sport.
3. If you utilize buoys, assert your angle of attack before you’re pulled up to full speed. By doing this, you can focus on acceleration rather than your direction.
4. In slalom waterskiing, learning how to round buoys is essential. For optimal performance in this maneuver, roll onto the edge of your ski using your body’s natural motion. Think about achieving a maximum sustainable angle without an overuse of muscle. Allowing yourself this more natural position will greatly improve your buoy turns.
5. Always take a look at the rope before the boat accelerates. A broken rope mid-course can lead to serious injury. Also take the time to inspect all of your gear before each outing.

Highlighting Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Balanced Man Program

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

by Jon Schorsch

With 300,000 lifetime members, the national Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity distinguishes itself in the collegiate Greek system by offering a four year development curriculum called the Balanced Man Program. Instead of potential members undergoing a pledge process, the fraternity recruits new men through current SigEp members at campus chapters across the country. Throughout the length of the individualized program, SigEps cultivate leadership and life expertise while maintaining a concentration on scholarship.

As a part of the Balanced Man curriculum, SigEp members partake in challenges focusing on personal advancement by promoting healthy habits for life. Skills fostered through the program include establishing a personal fitness regimen, refining time management, learning etiquette, and cooking. Members also interact with assigned mentors farther along in the program, as well as alumni.

Another important portion of the SigEp Balanced Man Program is community service. The fraternity partnered with the not-for-profit organization YouthAIDS to launch a national HIV/AIDS campaign at several universities. Across the United States, SigEp members are educating fellow college students about the disease and engaging in fundraising efforts on university campuses. In addition, fraternity brothers regularly volunteer at charities and service organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Diabetes Association.

Launched at Richmond College (now known as the University of Richmond) in 1901, SigEp was built on the virtues of diligence, virtue, and brotherly love. Fraternity headquarters remain in Richmond.

Jon Schorsch is an alumnus of Washington State University and lifetime Sigma Phi Epsilon member. He currently resides in Bothell, Washington.

Sports and the Blind: Some Tips

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

By Jon Schorsch

Sports have made an incredible impact on Jon Schorsch’s life, becoming even more meaningful to him after a boating accident took his sight. Not one to give up or succumb to the limitations of blindness, Jon Schorsch has continued to participate in the sports he loves, including waterskiing, golfing, running, skiing, and sailing.  For children who are blind, sports can play an important role in developing confidence and self-assurance. The following tips represent some helpful ways to assist a blind child in learning a new sport or activity.

1. When helping a blind child who is first learning a sport, make sure to let them know that it is all about fun. The more enjoyment a child can gain from the activity, the more likely he or she will want to continue participating.
2. Assess what sports might be a good fit for the youth. Individual sports can be easier for blind children to learn and excel at, while team sports provide camaraderie and a sense of teamwork.
3. Let the youth know that it’s okay to make mistakes.
4. Be creative, especially at first. In team sports, you may need to be a “play by play” coach, letting him or her know what is going on in the game and offering instruction.
5. Don’t forget the details. When you are assisting a child who has impaired or no vision, all the small things matter, so try to communicate the details you may not normally think to vocalize.
6. Let the child give you feedback on what is or isn’t working for him or her.