- How did you arrive at that solution?
- What other solutions did you evaluate?
- Can this solution be used to advance new knowledge or applied to solve another problem?
- How might his idea have helped (name an historic figure) in (name an historic circumstance)?
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Every kid is an oddball kid.
As the United States progresses toward the middle of the twenty-first century, we are finding ourselves more and more immersed in global-scale realities. Many of my memoiric tales tell of growing up in a small town that no longer exists. The local department store no longer anchors downtown. The corner grocer is now a 7-ll with no fresh meats or produce but lots of big, fizzy drinks. The independent hardware store is a dying breed. We shop Trader Joe’s for that local feel, but purchase foodstuffs from as far away as one can be and still be on the planet. A trip to the men’s department at Penney’s finds us buying Levi’s manufactured in Mexico. I did this yesterday. The computer I type this on was manufactured in China. Likewise, the market for the area’s almonds or rice or navel oranges is no longer limited to the roadside stand or the Hershey factory down in Oakdale. It is global.
There is good and bad associated with this evolution. On the plus side, consumers can purchase product at favorable prices. On the negative side, locally based industries face competition from across the globe. On the plus side, we are afforded more and more selection of – on the negative side – things we don’t really need. No longer is there a US economy. The economy is worldwide. We are all in this together.
What does this have to do with schools? Education leaders are discovering that the market for their product – the 18-year-old high school graduate – is no longer limited to the community. The market is global. If a high school student from India is more prepared to maintain the machine that solders together solid-state componentry or uni-body automobiles than the graduate from Happy Valley High, guess who’s likely to get the job? Or, worse, guess where the job is going to go?
Schools of late have been charged with ramping up curricular offerings to produce world-class graduates able to complete on a skills-available basis with any other kid of his or her age anywhere. Thus, in California, students are pushed into higher levels of mathematical application, technical comprehension, and scientific reasoning. Coupled with these new-basic skills are the ability to think critically, problem solve and get along with others. These are the tools with which students must be equipped in order to win bread in 2050.
Parents cannot protect their children from the rigors that will be demanded of them – rigors the parents, as kids, were never asked to achieve. Teachers, for that matter cannot rely upon that which has always worked, because, in essence, the goal posts have just been moved, and they aren’t going to stand still. Therefore, parents and teachers may need to adopt a credo of the life-long learner if only to keep one step ahead of their kids.
How does the global view manifest itself in schools? In the education industry’s most recent past – and I am a huge proponent of the public schools, one who served in a site-level or curriculum leadership position for nearly 25 years – efforts have been made to feed students more content and test it out the other end. (Yes, I know what that sounds like.) Higher levels of mathematics instruction are being addressed at younger ages. Reading more complex works is occurring at earlier grades. More time has been devoted to these old basics as success is measured by objective, easy-to-score tests – while those new basics (mathematical application, technical comprehension, and scientific reasoning, the ability to think critically, problem solve and get along with others) have gone unaddressed. Also unaddressed have been the arts: literary, visual, performing and vocational.
Teachers have had to demand compliance of students because there is too much on the agenda to screw around with the oddball child who learns differently or requires more attention. Besides, the No Child Left Behind Act mandated, yes mandated, that 100% of all students be performing at or above grade level by 2014 – this includes the kid who arrives from the Ukraine the week before annual testing began – or the school will be labeled underperforming. Teachers, administrators, and local realtors hoping to jack up the price of homes, don’t want this. Meanwhile, parents grow frustrated because the child comes home frustrated because the frustrated teacher didn’t take time to meet the frustrated kid’s needs. The whole thing is, well, frustrating.
How should the global view manifest itself in schools? With the advancement of nationally based common core standards, we can expect some of the nit-picky factoid regurgitation to go away. Still for schools to move kids to higher levels of competency, they will need to build curriculum not around facts and algorithms and technical comprehension, but the application of facts and algorithms those things comprehended to solve problems through critical thinking. Checking for understanding (and parents can do this as well as teachers) will need to evolve asking such things as:
Public schools will deliver the goods in terms of creating viable, competitive citizens when they depart from the teach and test cycle and embrace instruction that demands application of knowledge in new and different ways. And they won’t be able to test this type of learning with fill-in-the-bubble assessments. Sure, critics will toss up the straw man argument that Joe-High-School-Graduate didn’t even know that Lincoln was president when the south seceded. That’s because Joe had more important levels of learning to accomplish and, besides, Joe probably knows how to look up the Lincoln answer on his Smart Phone.
What options exist for today’s frustrated parent? Having served 19 years as a site principal, I have heard from parents that the school is not meeting the needs of the student. I have also heard from teachers that they have 32 children who’s needs they feel they must address. As budgets tighten there is less resource available for anyone’s kid.
So, what about private school? Choose carefully. Private schools are not required to adhere to content or curriculum standards. Private schools may not necessarily employ teachers who hold valid teaching credentials or certificates. This doesn’t mean the teacher can’t be successful, but just as there are qualification standards for those who drive semi-trucks on the highway, standards for those to whom we entrust our children’s education are probably a good thing. Private schools are under no obligation to serve students with learning disabilities or who present behavioral issues. Many students who return to public schools after years in private schools find they are behind the curve when compared to their grade level peers.
What about Charter Schools? Charter schools are publicly funded. They may not have to employ credentialed teachers. They get to try different things. (So do traditional public schools, but there are some statutory limits under which traditional schools must operate, particularly when it comes to curriculum adoptions.) Some charters are sponsored by school districts. Foundations or corporations sponsor others. Charter schools may have a focus like basic skills, science and engineering or the arts. Charter schools may not deny admittance to students who apply but they may “be full” and place the interested student on a waiting list or they may suggest that, after review the student’s record that the student would be “more successful” elsewhere. For some reason – hmmm – many charter schools serve fewer students who are educationally disadvantaged or come with an IEP. Thus, some charter schools are able to mine for the cream of the crop students in an area. Oddly, as recently as 2009, assessment results for charter schools in California lagged slightly behind those scores for their traditional counterparts.
How about Home Schooling? Home schooling is a viable option for some but it is not without restriction. School districts or county offices of education are the gatekeepers for those wishing to educate their kids at home. A credentialed teacher meets with the provider-parent for a minimum of an hour per week to set out the curriculum that must be covered. Kids are assessed using traditional public school assessments annually. Scores for these home-schooled kids are figured in with the scores of the student’s home district for some reason. The district or county may revoke the home school privilege if the parent refuses to address the curriculum or the student fails to make progress. There are many sound reasons for wanting to school off-spring at home, but some parents choose home schooling simply if their child demonstrates difficulty with school-peer relationships. This is shortsighted. The way to deal with a problem like, say, a hangnail, is not to ignore it. Parents of home-schooled children often form associations so that their "students" may interact with others. Good solution! Often, home-schooled kids reenter the public arena behind their grade level associates, however, just as often, home-schooled kids knock the socks off of their peer group. Some even enter the university one, two or three years ahead of their contemporaries.
What about another public school? Districts in urban or suburban areas often times have more than one school serving the same set of grades. A shift from one school in the district to another (or a shift to a school in a nearby district) will mean educating the student outside his or her neighborhood. If a child needs a fresh start, this is a good option. If the child is running away from a problem it is not. A child moving to a public school outside his or her attendance area or to a school in a neighboring district may be kept on a short leash in terms of behavior. Some school administrators will dismiss a “visiting” student who fails to perform (because it impacts the school’s scores) or exhibits behavioral problems (because it impacts the teacher/principal’s time) without due process.
My recommendation? The local public school is the best option unless something completely unforeseen happens. Parents working with teachers can generally move the child forward. Ensuring that the child knows that the teacher and the parent are on the same path often presents a mountain just high enough that the kid won’t want to peek and see what’s on the other side.
Schools are under both political and economic pressure to demand excellent performance from their students. And parents need to back ‘em up. If questions arise about how “excellence” is defined, those questions should be asked privately, understood thoroughly and followed through upon religiously. Beyond what the schools can currently offer, outlets for extra-curricular activities in the arts or athletics can give a kid a reason to go forth as well as a valuable means of self-expression. Back in the day, we could depend on the school to provide these. As we progress toward that mid-twenty-first century mark, hopefully we, like the Chinese and many European countries, will embrace the value of returning these elements to a full and well-rounded education. But that doesn’t help the current mom or dad or the current student with the current “right now.”
Bottom line? Even with the sharpest or most mild mannered child, it isn’t going to always be easy. Some children require more malleating than others. (Malleating is a word I just made up. It is based on the word malleable, and it may involve use of a mallet.) But insulating children from the consequences of non-performance, lack of compliance, or inability to be a good friend, in the end will not serve the kid in adulthood. And, collectively, preparing the next generation for success is the most important thing, we as a society, can do.
Finally, consider this: Public education is a little like service from PG&E. The utility company gets the power to the house, but it is our job to flip the switch and turn on the light. No fair cursing the darkness.
Church of the Open Road Press
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I have two brothers. The biological one is a hard working man. A college educated veteran, his life’s work has been independent, both skillfully moving pianos and carefully digging foundation footings for new construction. He is often frustrated by swings in the economy that can’t help but impact his bottom line. Approaching his mid-60s, his angst is often expressed with the thought that “I’ll be out of here soon and I can’t wait. I know something better is coming for me.” He believes fervently what he believes about politics, relationships and the state of the world. He attends an all-men’s church regularly and heeds counsel of the pastor. He uses the term liberal as a pejorative, believes the local police are afraid of the blacks in town, and shakes his head disdainfully at the gay rights movement. Eagerly declaring himself a Christian, it could be said that he thumps Bible.
My other brother comes from another mother. Raised in a series of Church of Christ congregations, his upbringing involved strict adherence to the Word. Many Sundays were consumed with a storefront church service followed by a meal at the home of a fellow congregant. Right was right and the Bible outlined it all. As his life progressed through a stint in the military, a university degree, business success and failure, childrearing and aging, the absolutism preached in his youth became peppered with doubt borne of experience. Now, he decries the corruption of our political system by Christians, believing that the church’s narrow focus is wielded as a tool to subjugate the poor, justify military adventurism throughout non-Christian areas of the world, and generally bully the electorate. He’s been known to use the word Christian as a pejorative and disdains those who wrap themselves in a hollow, unpracticed belief system as phonies.
I love ‘em both.
With the recent decline and passing of my father-in-law, we assumed the collection of his mail. A retired Methodist minister, he must have been generous to a fault as his mail was thick with periodicals and coin club come-ons and requests and thank yous from any charitable organization one might imagine – many working at cross-purposes to one another. Cancelling so many of those relationships is a chore.
One of the few pieces of mail “Papa” received that we will not cancel is a magazine called The Christian Century. Early on, I’d set a few of them aside, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps the word “Christian” put me off. One day while nursing a sore throat or a bum knee, I began to thumb through a copy. I did not get past the “Letters” section before I started reading. Then came the editorial. Then a couple of pages of short-takes from other sources. Then a feature section on the social responsibility and upcoming election from a couple of religious backgrounds. It took me ninety minutes to “thumb through” this 48-page periodical. With the turn of each page, my perspective tweaked just a bit. Articles were researched, well written, and reasonable. Some questioned adherence to the Scripture, some spoke to how the Bible informs us today. Some explored the current human condition (Flea Market Individualists, January 23, 2013) and raised questions about ministering to every population. Some compared and/or linked popular culture to presumed foundations in faith (Remembering Brubeck, same issue.) In the few months I’ve been receiving the Century, pieces have been published from Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Rabbis, Imams, and Atheists; from those with divinity degrees and those who simply attend.
When the manuscripts that became the Bible were assimilated, their content was intended to fill two spaces. One was to explain those phenomena we could not yet explain such as the origins of the universe or the reason for drought or plague. The other was to set forth a moral code that would both keep us from killing one another and establish a governmental hierarchy sometimes assumed by the church. As scientific research expands, the former of these two spaces recedes. We know how the earth evolved; we have proof that thunder and lightning are atmospheric conditions, not conditions of God’s anger toward us. However, that science has resolved some of the mythological issues does not mean the moral code of the Scripture is any less relevant. The Bible, the Torah, the Koran and many other ancient works still offer a viable blueprint for our personal behavior. Intrinsically, people want to do good. For some, reference to the early texts helps light the way.
The church I attend is that of the Open Road. A few twists of the BMW’s or the Guzzi’s throttle coupled with a few twists in the road and much that I mull or fret or wonder about comes into a more precise focus. Perhaps it is meditation over a motor. Still, I know there is a place for religion in our society.
From my casual reading of The Christian Century, it is clear that the editorial policy surrounds inclusive, centrist ideas of creativity and faith. Published bi-weekly, I look forward to its arrival and set aside whatever I’m doing for the ninety minutes it takes for me to be refreshed by its content. Interestingly, the faith it restores in me is not in a deity, but rather one in mankind’s inherent goodness.
I’ve passed copies along to both of my brothers in hope that they, too, will see the middle ground occupied by most people of faith.
Resource: For more information on The Christian Century, check out their web presence at: http://www.christiancentury.org/
© 2013Church of the Open Road Press
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The best cigar merchants are those staffed by folks older that I. At sixty, that number is dwindling. I don’t want the proprietor to appear hip or suave or cooler than me. I want him to be professorial, or, if not professorial, maybe just of a different ilk than myself. But more than that, I want him to teach me something about cigars.
|Placer County Historical Society|
My local guy fits all the requirements and calls his store “the Tobacco Republic.” Located in an out-of-the-way berg called Loomis, California – 25 miles east of Sacramento, yet off I-80 – the Republic has a humidor the size of many folks’ dining rooms adjacent to a seating area where locals come to taste product and discuss the issues of the day, week or whatever’s buggin’ ‘em at the moment.
I like to browse the humidor but generally walk out with a couple of Rocky Patel “vintage” 1990 Maduros knowing that they will complement whatever my pallet yearns for on the spirit side of the cigar/whiskey equation.
Occasionally, owner Ron will gently probe: “What are you drinkin’ this evening?” and I’ll reply with some type of Scotch, bourbon or, lately, rye. He knows I’m a mild-to-medium twice-a-month kind of guy. “Then try this,” he’ll say and he’ll trot out something I’ve not heard of before. He talks about the wrapper, the binder and the various leaves that make the filler. He tells me about the history of the group that produces the stick and throws in a little knowledge of Caribbean and Central American politics.
I’m a sucker. I love the smell of the humidor and rarely, if ever, am I disappointed with the resultant stick.
My beloved old-time doctor retired due to health issues. Her replacement was not too many year my junior. In getting to know me, his new client, he asked about my lifestyle choices. “Drink any alcohol?”
“Only when I’m alone or with somebody.”
“Maybe twice a month depending upon the stresses associated with retirement.”
Somehow mention was made of my enjoyment of two-wheeled travel. He asked me where I’d been and I shared a link to my on-line presence. Then he laughed and said he’d always dreamed of touring the west on a Harley. I questioned him on brand of choice and he admitted, “That’s what I thought everyone rode.”
The examination followed including blood pressure, pulse and a bunch of unmentionables.
Upon conclusion, I asked him, “So, whadaya think, Doc?”
“Worst thing you do,” he said, “is riding that bike.”
Rightly or wrongly, I took that as approval of the occasional cigar and whiskey.
My computer crapped out today: Wouldn’t print and couldn’t access some on-line links I needed for a contract I was supposed to complete. My patience for technology is thin.
I headed over to “the Republic” to pick up a couple of Rocky Patels. A little mid-winter quality time in the back yard with my lab-mix, some Elijah Craig and a Rocky, seated in front of a blazing chiminea would probably put all things in good order.
The “try this” amounted to something from Cuba Rica. The Cuban economy has virtually fallen apart, Ron said. Many of the folks who roll cigars have left the island and work through out Central America. This particular group of cigars uses Cuban filler – he mentioned a couple of different leaves that I nodded about but completely forgot – Ecuadorian wrappers and yada, yada, yada. “Try these,” he said. “Only a couple of bucks more a stick. Let me know what you think.”
In America, we do many things well. We invent things like washers, dryers and Z-28s. We get highway systems. We practice agriculture to the point where we can feed much of the rest of the world. We do democracy – whether or not we’re all that enamored with the results of the latest election. (I happen to be okay with the outcome, but no matter.)
But we don’t do cigars.
In the gathering dusk, I am rubbing the little lab’s ears, nursing some Kentucky Bourbon and savoring the fruits of those Cuban ex-patriots, handsomely hand-rolled for my personal pleasure. It’s a good thing I got permission from the Doc.
Today’s Route: I-80, exit Horseshoe Bar Road. North ½ mile to Loomis. Right on Taylor. One block: Tobacco Republic, Ugly Mug Coffee Shop. Across street: Loomis Packing Sheds with great fresh fruit and local products year round. West on Taylor: a classic burger drive-in, an old-fashioned drug store and one of the finer nurseries in the area. Loomis is small town America and is worth a visit.
Tobacco Republic, the local cigar store: www.trcigar.com They do on-line sales. Today’s toke: www.viahavana.com Oh me, oh my: the Corojo is good!
Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce: www.loomischamber.com
Local Produce at the packing shed: http://bluegooseproduce.com/
High Hand Nursery: www.highhand.com
Church of the Open Road Press
Saturday, January 19, 2013
It was my night to cook. But it had been two-and-a-half years since my last “annual winter” motorcycle sojourn around the scenic and mystical Sutter Buttes and today’s weather was better than fair.
The route around the this eons-old formation is a combination of flat, straight nicely surfaced roadways punctuated with a few sweeping curves. The life-blood of the Sacramento Valley is farming. This little tour offers great glimpses into that agrarian roots. At points along the loop, gentle rises offer views of either the Coast Range to the west or the Sierra to the east. This day I would clearly see Mount Lassen, the next volcano in the string, as well as the snow glazed Trinity Alps peeking over the northern horizon.
The Sutter Buttes provide a touchstone viewable from almost anywhere in the Sacramento Valley. As one travels from Red Bluff to Sacramento or Stockton, the position of the Buttes tells you how close (or far) you are from your destination. Back when California was being wrested from the Mexican government, prior to the Gold Rush, John C. Fremont and his band used these highlands as a wintering spot during a wet and boggy trip down the valley.
To the west and south, rice is king. Known as the Butte Sink, the basin here holds water that is leveed into curvaceous tracts.
Not sure if the paddies have yet been seeded, but all manner of waterfowl have chosen these stretches to gambol or float or dive for bugs or aquatic food.
To the north and east, almond orchards lay in wait of the spring warmth that will festoon branches with fragrant white blossoms.
The mantles of the mountain are greening. On the formation’s flanks, sheep graze, some climbing into and out of tiny ravines flush with runoff. They eye me as I ride by and some bolt away. Cattle reside in the area but they simply stand there, more or less aloof on the hoof, knowing I’m not going to hop the fence and take out a weak one.
Here and there, Pacific Gas and Electric has sunk wells to suck natural gas from beneath the surface. Yet again, I don’t stop for enough pictures.
The town of Sutter sits in the foreground of the Buttes. It isn’t particularly picturesque, but it lives an honest existence where residents tend the pasturelands, grow almonds, fruit or rice, provide wintering habitat for migrating birds and care for the ancient and reverence-provoking “Middle Mountain.” The Buttes Grocery and Meats is on a thoroughfare that beelines over to State Route 20. Inside I approach the meat counter and request a whole chicken. The butcher comes out with one that weighs in at well under three pounds.
“You got another just like that?”
Skinny bird two looks as if it came from the same brood. He packages both and after waiting while the young clerk toys with a neighbor gent’s change, I make my purchase, saddle up and head the 45 miles home. Along the way, I contemplate the joys of small-town banter and rural living and my personal need to return to such areas now and then for some grounding in a different reality.
Five o’clock comes early this day. I am watching the sun set over ridge upon ridge of concrete tile roofs contrasting that with what sunset must look like from a farmhouse on the edge of the Butte Sink. I monitor the progress on the two skinny chickens in the smoker, enjoying a Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real with a dram of Knob Creek over ice. Ahhhh.
I decide that there are at least three elements to a really good day. They include: Great weather, a pleasant motorcycle ride, and a little time next to the barbecue with, perhaps, a dram of hooch and a nice cigar reflecting on the how lucky one can be.
SR 20 west from Yuba City; north on Township; east on Pennington which becomes North Butte Road; south on West Butte Road (the verdant Butte Sink will be on our right, the mountain on your left); east on Pass Road to Sutter – stopping by the Thompson Seedless Grape marker before arriving in town; follow your nose east on Butte House Road or south back to SR 20.
The Middle Mountain Foundation protects the delicate Buttes and offers guided adventures into the heart of this little-known area. Their website invites us to visit http://www.middlemountain.org/index.html and is worth a look.
Church of the Open Road Press
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Annually, we visit Seattle if for no other reason than to say things will improve in the coming year – specifically if we focus on the weather. Up that way, my riding partner, Randall Guzziboy, and I check in with the bike shops eyeballing new hardware from BMW, then Guzzi and Aprilia, then Triumph, then Yamaha and Victory. We are both quite satisfied with our current mounts, but as with many things, just because one is on a diet, doesn’t mean one can’t look at the menu.
While my buddy was salivating over a big Triumph, my eye was grabbed by a bright yellow Schuberth flip face helmet (the C-3), the likes I’d read about but knew I could never afford. I’d heard they were really quiet, lightest in their category and that if you damaged it in an accident, Schuberth would replace the thing for 1/3 of current retail. Beneath this hi-viz wonder was a SALE! sign.
I’d been toying with replacing my old Nolan 102 flip face helmet for some time, now. I’d made the mistake of not wearing the thing around the showroom for the requisite 30 minutes prior to purchase so, through no fault of the good folks at Nolan, the thing never really seemed to fit just right. Santa was aware of this, I think, but then again, I haven’t been all that good a boy this past year.
Turns out, the Cycle Barn was closing out their representation of Schuberths because of lackluster sales (perhaps due to price point?) I tried the unit on. Understand that when I enter a shoe store and there’s a sale rack there, I’ve long ago given up looking because nothing’s ever gonna fit. Not so this time with this helmet. I wore it throughout the showroom sitting on everything from Triumph Tigers and Bonnevilles to a Vespa 150s.
The kinds folks at Lynnwood Cycle Barn willingly shipped the helmet and the day after it arrived, the weather gods smiled on me: mid-fifties and clear.
I fired up the Breva intent on enjoying my head-clearing 40-mile loop through the foothills of Placer County. Out this way, the roads sweep and twist through vineyards and orchards, past derelict barns and rusting implements. Cows low. Sheep graze. Horses do whatever horses do in the winter.
First thing I noticed about the C-3 was the quiet. Wind noise was discernibly less than with my other lids. The exception being that when I approached 70 mph, the laminar lip on my stock Guzzi screen funneled a river of air right at the helmet. Noisy. Yet, (and here’s the second thing) under these circumstances, I noted no buffeting. I turned my head left and right and still none.
The initial part of my loop headed east, the return portion, directly into the sun. The C-3 has an interior sun visor that conveniently drops down in side the face shield with the slide of a tab on the side of the helmet. The low January sunrays immediately were quelled, but so was my view of the data on the Guzzi’s readout.
I stopped for a picture of one of those narrow bridges where you always wait for the other guy to cross first. A gentle pull on the tab on the chin bar released the front. It swiveled up, completely out of the way. I figured a cup of coffee could easily be enjoyed without removing ones head from the Schuberth’s cozy confines. The same might be said for filling up the tank or talking to a partner while pulled over.
One of the things I’ve yet to master is keeping my face shield clear of condensation. I figured most of what a manufacturer professes in this regard is hokum. But, the night before this first ride, I installed the Pinlock insert touted as a means to keep fogging at bay. Rimmed in silicon this insert offers a fraction of an inch of air space trapped between the outer screen and itself. Shazam! Not so much as a molecule of moisture showed up whether when I tried it on the previous night in sub freezing temps, or when riding through the 50-degree hills of the gold country.
|Thank God for full face helmets*...|
Although I’ve only ridden with the Schuberth C-3 for about 90 minutes and I have yet to use it on the GSA, which has a different wind pattern at speed, I think this thing will become my go-to lid. It is light, quiet, solid, comfy and, in the case of the one I purchased, extremely visible.
It has been said that the cheapest thing on a BMW is the rider (perhaps this is said of the Moto Guzzi brethren, also) and I’ll plead guilty. Still I like quality gear and will usually wait until I can pay the price for it. I think I learned this from the Michelin Man back in the late 60s. The fact that this one came to me at a discounted price, perhaps, was Santa’s way of winking at me and telling maybe I was an all right boy this past year after all.
Schuberth Helmets etc: www.schuberth.com
Lynwood Cycle Barn: http://www.cyclebarn.co/
* if only to cover up that face.
Church of the Open Road Press