Vela Kurv Journeys with Captain Picard “Where No One Has Gone Before”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Intelligence isn’t measured or merited always by time or age; such is the case with U.S.S. Enterprise-D’s Wesley Crusher in the episode “Where No One Has Gone Before”. Wesley is young, curious, and determined to get Captain Picard’s attention. He is able to recognize the truth before all of the ship’s engineers and scientists who stare right past “the Traveler” and miss his energy phase that propels the ship past galaxy M33.

It is Wesley Crusher’s efforts in working with the Traveler that encourage him to return the Enterprise to the Milky Way galaxy. Picard does the honorable thing; he grants Wesley the rank of “acting ensign”, after a one-on-one conversation with “the Traveler” convincing Picard of Wesley’s talents with time and propulsion.Despite Picard’s self proclaimed inability to communicate or relate to children, he does so with a young 12-year old Crusher. It is precisely his nobility of rank that draws in this child’s desire to work and learn from Captain Picard. Taking off the blinders and embracing what we fear as leaders can be the challenge and the blessing that enables us to conquer more than our fears, as military leaders. Breaking through these bindings may allow us to save the crew we are entrusted with leading.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Reviews Star Trek Voyager’s “Phage”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


Janeway in “Phage” like Picard in “Code of Honor” must deal with a medical plight. However, in this scenario, it is not a Federation quest to deliver a vaccine to an infected planet, but a new race in the Delta Quadrant, the Viidians, who themselves have become raving body part raiders because of a plague on their own world.

Janeway finds that these aliens attacked and stole lungs from her crew member (Neelix), in order to implant them in a dying Viidian sculptor. Because she spares the sculptor’s life instead of killing him to take the organs back, he offers his race’s superior medical expertise to save the debilitated Neelix and Voyager’s doctor is also enriched with new medical technology for a long lost crew, very far from home.

Although Janeway employs a threat against the Viidians from ever utilizing her crew to harvest body organs, in the end her diplomacy wins over force and an executed death threat. Knowing the time to warn, act, or exact diplomacy is a skill a commander must accomplish. I’m keeping notes to help me make the best choice when I’m conflicted with a similar choice.

Exhausted now, goodnight, Lorabella

Vela Kurv on Star Trek TNG’s “The Last Outpost”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


Determining where the greater threat lies, when all factors are not evident? U.S.S. Enterprise-D is in pursuit of Ferengi spacecraft, while attempting to recover a T-9 converter. Both ships become trapped by a powerful energy beam emanating from an outpost on the planet and from the long-dead Tkon Empire.The true enemy was not detected by the Enterprise crew until Picard orders a surrender and the Ferengi interpret his offer as a call for them to surrender to the Enterprise. Now the investigation begins and in the end diplomatic efforts are successful in freeing both ships, and retrieving the energy converter from the Ferengi Daimon Taar.

In the end, the true enemy becomes a friend, impressed by reason and a logical assessment of philosophy. The true test for a new leader, such as me, will be the ability to use reason when a soldier’s first response is always to fight.

Good night all, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Weighs in on Star Trek TNG’s “Code of Honor”

 

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Captain Picard must employ respect and nobility to Ligonian leader Lutan on  planet Ligon II and what begins as a diplomatic mission to establish a treaty quickly turns into a kidnapping. Picard must walk a tactical line between befriending this planet to acquire a rare vaccine needed to treat the plague on planet Styris IV or use the Enterprise-D’s technological advantage to secure Security Officer Yar back aboard ship from where she was taken.

When to exact might in a power struggle? Picard has to patiently acquire more information on this abduction to direct his next move and secure the needed vaccine because his medical staff is unable to replicate the formula. Further investigation reveals the abduction is an internal power struggle between Lutan and his own ambition. Non-action until a course is determined is Picard’s winning move.

In this scenario, mind instead of might reveals the successful move. The vaccine is acquired and a more nobile leader is determined without much interference from Picard. My lesson here is clearly to investigate, examine, and then act. Force is not always the answer.

I’m tired now, going to sleep, good night, Lorabella.

From Superhero Vela Kurv graphic book.

Vela Kurv’s Take on TNG’s “The Naked Now” and Voyager’s “Time and Again”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


Today I watched TNG’s “The Naked Now” episode. This resonates as all about trust and I see the same theme in Voyager’s “Time and Again” episode. Both Captains: Picard and Janeway must trust an officer when their abilities are compromised. Trust can be difficult in a leader but is absolutely necessary in order to effectively lead. Picard must trust his second-in-command, Riker, to save the Enterprise-D crew from a severe psychological disorder (Psi 2000) that infected the Enterprise during their rescue attempt of the 80 member crew aboard the Tsiolkovsky now found dead.

Janeway must trust the young officer she’s trapped with on a Class-M planet in a red dwarf system that exploded in the future, and was wiped out by a polaric ion explosion. Janeway’s away team investigates the aftermath and inadvertently is trapped a day into the past. Trust in the midst of the treat of destruction must be absolute and I’m sure also difficult. Trust that a young crew will follow their Captains’ lead and execute their orders, I see as a challenge of command. Both Captains are effective because they both ultimately do trust.

Picard is absolute in his conviction and execution of this skill. Janeway learns to bend and trust her junior officer’s (Paris’) resolve to follow her lead. Both Captains survive because their instincts prove their trust. Choosing one’s crew is therefore essential to the affective execution of this ability. I pray I choose well when my time to lead comes. My survival will depend on it.

Signing off, Lorabella

The Saga of Vela Kurv Following Star Trek Captains Continues…


One last mention, how will Janeway handle a piece of technology that the crew must have to survive, namely their Emergency Medical Hologram? A storm is a brewing…
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Exhausted from training today at the academy. Turning in early, Lorabella.

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Vela Kurv Witnesses the Challenge of Conflict with Voyager’s “Parallax”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Tonight’s episode of Star Trek Voyager was all about conflict. Despite the plot of the ship trapped inside a localized spatial disturbance – a quantum singularity – Janeway is challenged by her own command ideal restraints. She must learn to bend the Federation rules to merge a renegade Maquis crew into the rigidity of her own. She is challenged by her new second-in-command, Chaktoay, as well as B’Elanna’s superior engineering prowess to gain the Chief Engineer charge B’Elanna proves her qualifications for over and above the Starfleet officer slated as next in-line.

 

Command must allow for flexibility in order for a leader to win her crew’s respect and dedication. This is gained through some hard knocks allowing the molding process to work. I guess my turn is coming. For now, I get to watch and learn…

I’m calling it a night, Lorabella

Vela Kurv on Star Trek Voyager’s “Caretaker” Pilot Episode

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Tonight I watched “The Caretaker” pilot episode of the Star Trek Voyager television series. I found Captain Kathryn Janeway to be noble and focused. She is confident and capable. I didn’t find her to be combative or someone with an agenda to prove. She decides to offer a command to an imprisoned former officer, Tom Paris. She’s not thrown off by Paris’ own personal edge or drive. Neither do I see evidence of a need to prove her own capability when she is challenged at the end of the episode by B’Elanna Torres. Her belief system is strong, but I wonder if she wouldn’t have some reconsideration of her choices. Time will tell as I watch her adventures.

Janeway seems committed to her own convictions and her scales of justice appear fair until she chooses to strand her crew in the Delta Quadrant. Confronted by such a choice, I am uncertain what choice I might make presently. Her choices aren’t pretty, strand her crew 70,000 light-years from Earth or destroy the Caretaker’s spaceborne array in order to prevent Kazon-Ogla forces from using his machinery against the Ocampa after his death.

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I like Janeway and I respect her science knowledge and ability to command a Federation Starship. Hindsight is always 20-20. How will I fair when I have to choose how I will protect my officers given unknown circumstances, threats, and conditions of what lies ahead? Above all, Janeway seems committed to fair examination although awfully strong on the execution of her command choices. But I guess, this is strength in leadership, something that is watched by the eyes reporting to your command.

Signing off for the night, Lorabella

To view this video, paste this link into your web browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlKwUAmVvCI.

Vela Kurv on “Encounter at Farpoint”, Star Trek The Next Generation’s Episode 1

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

As a child my father often talked about Captain Jean-Luc Picard. I believe he found his character to be noble. I watched the first episode of Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) last night: “Encounter at Farpoint”. I too am enchanted by Picard’s presence and the strength of his backbone. Although he is motivated by his command and the responsibility it carries, I find his moral compass to be fairly even. This assessment is obviously an early assumption. He keeps his head, though confronted with a powerful enemy called the Q, a visitor from what it calls the Q continuum.

Picard logically contemplates how to deal with this extradimensional life-form that demonstrates power to manipulate space and matter, and interferes with the execution of the Farpoint investigative mission. Although Picard is surprised by his crew being charged and placed on trial for being a “dangerous, savage, child-race”; he keeps his head and instead challenges Q’s intrigue: “Those who go on misinformation, half-information, self-righteous life forms who are eager not to learn but to prosecute, to judge anything they don’t understand or can’t tolerate.”

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Now the threat from one extraordinary alien is contained by his own desire to prosecute and judge. The Q releases the crew of U.S.S. Enterprise-D spaceship, allows them to continue on their mission under observation of tried accusations. Picard is cerebral but strong in his personal belief of what good his crew will accomplish within the optimistic guidelines of The Federation: “We’ve no fear of what the true facts about us will reveal.” In the end his conviction proves true and wins his crews’ freedom from the Q and gains moral goodwill from an enslaved spacefaring life-form by returning it to its mate after gifting it with needed energy to set itself free. This may prove helpful for future missions to come.

My challenge is seeing the logical approach and believing in the end resolve. Unlike Captain Picard, I’m gaining my experience; he has many years of life experience to draw from. I must also interpret what my world’s challenge is and assess a method to solve it. This is my last year as a cadet, before I am placed in command and must find answers to many questions confronting Earth and its present planetary attacks. So far they are occurring infrequently but still have resulted in loss of life, thus the military plans for a time when more drastic measures and decisions will have to be made. I may be making them. But for now I study, watch, and learn.

Signing off, Lorabella Kurv Wiles
(To view this episode’s video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIzsobuccbI)

President Donald Trump, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Brag about Low Unemployment Versus the Impact of “Underemployment as the New Unemployment Measuring Stick,” Bloomberg Opinion Reports

 -Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

Literacy Is The Challenge For Educators But Is It The Cited Pinnacle For Impoverished Communities Seeking Fair Education In The United States?

What does a college education mean when an experienced worker is laid off and can’t find employment they are qualified to fill? Especially when job search reveals that in order to find work workers must take a substantially underpaid position to survive. How does this affect the well being of the workforce? Is this the definition of literacy?

The United States National Unemployment Rate is reported as remaining at 3.7 percent through October of 2018. “Approximately 250,000 jobs were created in October 2018 and the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Is low unemployment real and is literacy truly an answer for the depraved?

In my article, “Driving Toward Literacy Engineered By Noteworthy Female Authors: J. K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyers and E.L. James, Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth, Whose Words Are Relatable As They Touch The Lives Of Urban Communities, Particularly Children Of Color,” on SheWrites.com, low literacy rates drive up health care costs by $73 million according to the Health Policy Institute (2018). The job market is a Catch 22 paradox.

According to Leonid Bershidsky, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European politics and business, “Some major Western economies are close to full employment, but only in comparison to their official unemployment rate. Relying on that benchmark alone is a mistake: Since the global financial crisis, underemployment has become the new unemployment.” Bershidsky expands and clarifies, “Western countries are celebrating low joblessness, but much of the new work is precarious and part-time.” How does an educated, experienced worker who is literate earn sufficiently to make a living and support a family, in a rising cost economy that’s paying a decreasing wage? Is the hope of a better life because this worker is literate, a reality?

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Further clarity on literacy and underemployment

Blumberg Opinion clearly points the finger at the politicians claiming low unemployment: “In a recent paper, David Bell and David Blanchflower singled out underemployment as a reason why wages in the U.S. and Europe are growing slower than they did before the global financial crisis, despite unemployment levels that are close to historic lows. In some economies with lax labor market regulation — the U.K. and the Netherlands, for example — more people are on precarious part-time contracts than out of work. That could allow politicians to use just the headline unemployment number without going into details about the quality of the jobs people manage to hold down.”

Clearly the problem points to underemployment despite the literacy of workers. If world leaders are misquoting the employment of suitable workers, (Bloomberg Opinion), how does the problem get resolved? “In recent months, leaders including President Donald Trump, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have bragged about record high employment. The veracity of these boasts varies, however. As different economies recovered from the global financial crisis, some relaxed labor regulations, creating more precarious jobs to drive down the headline jobless numbers and get more people off the dole.”

Underemployment Despite Literacy In An Educated Population

The whole point of literacy is to educate and train oneself in an area of expertise that one is interested in, so they can support themselves in their lifetime. As workers work, over time their experience and expertise grows and so should their wages. If this is not the true model of growth, then workers become disillusioned and resistant to accepting unappealing work. Once again, health care costs rise from a growing pyramid of physical and mental health care stresses.

The impact on health care costs of the underemployed

“Should We Be Happy At Work” as reported by Dede Henley at Forbes magazine reports that, “…unhappiness at work can be expensive.” The American Psychological Association estimates, “… that 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. 60-80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress. And workplace stress has been linked to health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.” We know without a doubt just how miserable and costly a bad boss can be.

Employees reported with a high overall ‘well-being’ have lower health-related costs (41%), as compared to employees that are struggling and a reported 62% lower costs compared to employees that are “suffering,” according to a 2012 Gallup State of the American Workplace study. In addition, a study by Willis, Towers, Perrin reported on higher employee engagement, productivity and morale as contributing to major financial returns and competitive advantages for U.S. businesses.

In looking at the overall state of U.S. educated, literate, workers who continue to struggle to “make ends meet “ in a supposedly recovering and growing workplace, underemployment feels like the crab in the boiling pot pulling the struggling worker back down into the depths of plight and surrender. As a teacher working within the depressed urban communities of Southern California, finding the olive branch that offers a solution feels evasive and unreachable. Encouraging the youth of a depressed urban environment can be elusive and unfounded if the evidence of education and literacy cannot be found within the very environments that need it most.

The goal is always to encourage students in K-12 schools, to want to read and write and pursue higher education so the marketplace will embrace how these students will contribute to it. Be it be that these students pursue careers in writing as new authors, or following a path into engineering or medicine or perhaps focusing on a path of career training in the industry of automotive repair or hair care – becoming a barber or a beautician as salon owner. Yet and still, these students need to see that the fruits of their desired education and training will offer a better life for their pursuits than the path of underemployment. How do we solve this concern, given the current plight of the underemployment marketplace as it currently exists in the U.S. right now (November 2018)? There doesn’t seem to be a heart-warming solution in the current state of marketplace or opportunity. All we can conceivably do is hope for the best.

 

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  1. Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University. Low Health Literacy Skills Increase Annual Health Care Expenditures by $73 Billion. Retrieved from URL: https://hpi.georgetown.edu/agingsociety/pubhtml/healthlit.html.
  2. Blumberg Opinion, Underemployment is the New Unemployment. Retrieved from URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-09-26/unemployment-numbers-hide-the-effects-of-underemployment
  3. Forbes Magazine, Should We Be Happy At Work? Retrieved from URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dedehenley/2018/04/30/should-we-be-happy-at-work/#b8e90e959eae.
  4. GALLUP, How Employee Engagement Drives Growth. Retrieved from URL: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236927/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx.

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