AllPencilsDown's classroom and online curriculums are the product of more than 10 years of ACT- and SAT-preparation experience. Founders Laura McDanal and George Mizzell, both graduates of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, created the program after spending years tutoring students in college-exam level writing, grammar, reading, vocabulary, math, and science. Laura, a state-certified teacher with experience working with 11th and 12th graders, knows first hand the difficulties students face when preparing for important tests, and constructs the program's English curriculum to help ease their concerns. George, meanwhile, draws upon his experience as an electrical engineer and teacher to construct science and math courses that bolster students' confidence when approaching complex formulas or plotting the optimal trajectory for a thrown graduation cap.
Housed in their brand-new $32 million sports facility, the Samford Bulldogs conduct a sneaker-squeaking symphony of floating three pointers and skillfully pirouetted layups as they battle the best of their Southern Conference rivals. In the hunt for their third NCAA Tournament bid, Samford has relied on playmaking guard Jeffrey Merritt and forward Josh Davis, and currently boasts the second-highest three-point shooting average in the country. Earlier this year Samford defeated state power Auburn and made its claim as the best team in the state. With half-court seating at the nearly 5,000-seat Hanna Center, you'll have a prime location from which to view all the hoops hysteria, as well as shower the players with play-calling pointers and advice for keeping the magic alive in a marriage.
It's easy to spend an entire day at Mountainside Sports. You might start by making an appointment for an NRA-certified class in the proper handling of pistols, rifles, or shotguns. Instructors also teach self defense, or you can simply linger in the 2,000-square-foot clubroom, which overlooks the Compak clays range. Mountainside Sports also has charcoal grills out on the pavilion, so you can flip burgers after practicing on the range.
The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and crushing, unflinching grasp on world economics make it required reading for people, people persons, and people-shaped cacti looking to stay up-to-date on world news, politics, and business. In addition to the weekly publications—including the magazine's 20+ Special Reports and its Technology Quarterly—subscribers to The Economist also receive special benefits, such as The World in 2012, a special annual volume that predicts trends for the coming year. Subscribers also get unrestricted access to the online site, with a fully searchable archive dating back to the Neolithic Internet era (1997), as well as free access to The Economist in audio, which includes the option to listen to digital recordings of all print articles or to download them as a weekly podcast. For updates on the go or “on the sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery,” access The Economist on an iPhone or iPad—every photo, article, and chart is delivered to subscribers' devices by Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.
Spanning 4,000 square feet, the climbing surfaces at First Avenue Rocks mimic the natural textures of the abundant local sandstone boulder terrain. One hundred varied climbing routes up to 17 feet high greet climbers who choose to ascend by bouldering without ropes on angled walls and roofs dotted with challenging foot-and handholds or on the facility’s ropes courses. For safety, the facility positions its vertical terrain above the floor’s 10-inch-deep Asana pads for safe landings in the event of missed holds or misguided urges to fly. Instructors are available to prep students of all ages and ability levels to tackle the gym's terrain, teaching three stages of introductory climbing courses and two advanced lead-climbing courses. When not on the rocks, guests can hone muscle cooperation through onsite fitness programs in weight training, yoga, CrossFit, and climbing-specific training. Outdoor excursions are also available with the gym's guides, certified by the American Mountain Guides Association, in top rope, sport climbing, and bouldering.