Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How I Became Rich Before 30 and How You Can Too

If there is one universal truth, it’s that everyone is looking to get rich quick. This probably explains why so many people are willing to believe there’s a Nigerian prince out there with their email address, ready and willing to mail them money. Truth is, whether looking for your dream job or starting up a new company, too many young people are looking to strike gold as quickly and easily as possible.
As someone who made my first million before I turned 30, the question of how to become a young millionaire often arises. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any magic pill to take or button to press to become instantly successful.
For starters, I followed the 10,000 hour rule of mastering any subject, deferring parties in college to spend sleepless nights working on business plans with a select group of other broke overachievers. Along with my 13 other roommates, I spent most of my formative “party” years working hard, mastering skills and eating a lot of Ramen noodles.
I know it’s possible to become wealthy early in life if you have the drive, determination and ambition to succeed. Here are a few tips that helped me achieve success and just might help you, too.

1. Confess and Attack

As a young worker, most people will see your age as your biggest hurdle and most pressing handicap. But the truth is that your youth just might be your biggest advantage.
So many of the people I networked with and contacted were older (sometimes much older) than myself. Often, these people knew they wanted to get hooks into the online space but just didn’t understand how the game was played online. They were actually looking for someone hungry and motivated, but best of all, they were looking for someone who had grown up around technology and understood the market.
Still, there is definitely a real perceived disadvantage to being a young and “inexperienced” worker or entrepreneur. This is when I began to formulate my “confess and attack” strategy. I would tell potential business partners the fairly evident truth: I’m young. But this doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing or that I haven’t put in the time and energy to become an expert in my field.
Once I confessed what we both knew and explained my skills, I would attack their preconceived notions. I would push the conversation back to them, explaining if they weren’t comfortable with me or my team after understanding my skills, then perhaps we weren’t a good business fit.
I took back control of the situation and found business partners who actually believed in me and my ability to succeed, instead of jittery investors ready to bail at the first signs of trouble.

2. Your Socializing Can Determine Your Success

As a young job seeker or entrepreneur, your network is key. Think of the old saying, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” This is as true for the business world as it was when your mom said it about that one friend you had in high school who was always trying to get you to skip class.
According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, we are the average of the five people we chose to spend the most time with. We will often emulate the people we’re closest to and, if those people are successful, your own chances of success rise in proportion.
If your five closest companions are highly motivated and successful individuals, these traits will likely spur you to work even harder. In fact, a study showed people who shared goals with others were 33% more likely to achieve those goals.
In my own experience, spending time with successful people has allowed me to meet interesting individuals and expand my professional network. The relationships I’ve fostered have been sincere, allowing me to help others as much as they offer guidance and support.
For instance, I had a contact at the NFL who introduced me to a former player he knew who was influential in our industry. We shared business ideas and became fast friends. One night, I got a call from this player inviting me to attend a party he was throwing.
Once at his gathering, I had the opportunity to connect with many influential and successful people. In college, I didn’t spend much time socializing because I was putting in my 10,000 hours, now I was chatting with a well-known tennis star. A big part of my current social life is surrounding myself with successful people who understand what I’m working toward and can attempt to help me reach my goals. Connecting with the right movers and shakers is extremely effective for allowing you to see what direction your own path to success might take.
Unfortunately for us all, money doesn’t fall out of the sky or grow on trees. The good news, however, is that nothing is holding you back from being successful at a young age. You just need to work hard, have confidence in your abilities, and surround yourself with positive and successful people.
What do you think? Were you successful at a young age? How did you achieve it? Share in the comments!

Mashable Job Board Listings

The Mashable Job Board connects job seekers across the U.S. with unique career opportunities in the digital space. While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past two weeks to help get you started. Happy hunting!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Justin Bieber 'retiring' from music after next album Journals

JUSTIN Bieber has declared he's "retiring" from music. (Don’t tease us, Biebs.)
The biggest brat in pop music told a Los Angeles radio station he’s planning to take a break from music after his new album Journals is released next week.
"After the new album, I’m actually retiring man," he said. "I’m retiring."

Of course, Bieber then suggested he hasn’t quite made up his mind, adding: "I want to grow as an artist and I’m taking a step out, I want my music to mature." (No word on whether he wants to mature also.)
Shockingly, Bieber said he’s no longer attracted to the idea of fame. He said: "I’m here solely for my fans and for the music." (Then why do you come on stage two hours’ late?)

He also hit back at his critics and denied he is becoming increasingly "arrogant."
He said: "People think I’m arrogant, I’m not, I’ve always been a caring and giving person."

justin bieber
Justin Bieber's 2013 included posting a whole lot of shirtless Instagram post.
He added: "I’m 19, I’m going to make mistakes it’s inevitable."
Bieber has had an "eventful" 2013. Some Bieber lowlights include spray-painting a hotel in Queensland, relieving himself in a restaurant mop bucket, calling a teenage fan a "beached whale", frequenting Brazilian brothels, and spitting at a portrait of ex-President Bill Clinton (one can only wonder what he’ll get up to in 2014).

To top it off, he’s also being sued by a photographer who alleges the star's bodyguard threatened to kill him, after he was spotted taking photos of Bieber in June.
Jeffrey Binion claims one of the singer’s minders choked him and stole his camera equipment in Miami, before threatening him with a gun earlier this year. Binion said he was confronted by Bieber pals Lil Za and Lil Twist as well as two bodyguards.
Binion claims he was hurt by the group and forced to delete the photos because the minder had him in a choke hold. Bieber is due to give evidence next month.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Mall at Short Hills victim defending wife from carjackers when shot

The Hoboken lawyer killed by carjackers at an upscale New Jersey mall gave up his life — to protect his wife.
Dustin Friedland had just let his beloved Jamie into their luxury SUV and was walking around to the driver’s side when he was ambushed by two crooks who demanded the keys, a source close to the investigation told The Daily News.
“He knew his wife was in there and he refused,” the source said Monday.
Instead, the brave lawyer resisted and in the struggle four shots were fired, one of which mortally wounded Friedland, police said.
Dustin Friedland, 30, was shot and killed during a violent carjacking at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey.


Dustin Friedland, 30, was shot and killed during a violent carjacking at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey.

“Then one of them comes to her door and says, ‘Get out of the car’,” the source said. “She got a look at him.”
Friedland died later Sunday night with his heartbroken wife by his side.
His 2012 Range Rover, which is worth at least $70,000, was found Monday in the back of an abandoned Newark house, police said.
Heartbroken relatives described the 30-year-old Friedland as a sensible man who would avoided violence if at all possible.
The man was remembered as a devoted husband to his wife, Jamie (left). The wife was with him as he was gunned down in cold-blood.


The man was remembered as a devoted husband to his wife, Jamie (left). The wife was with him as he was gunned down in cold-blood.

But Jamie Friedland’s boss at the Manhattan law firm where she works as an attorney said he would have fought like a lion for her.
“Dustin was rational, intelligent and had great judgment,” said Adam Leitman Bailey. “I highly doubt that he fought the attackers to save his car. I do believe he would fight for his wife’s life.”
Bailey said the young couple had been planning to start their own family.
The vehicle, a 2012 silver Range Rover, was recovered on Renner Ave. in Newark.


The vehicle, a 2012 silver Range Rover, was recovered on Renner Ave. in Newark.

“She would just light up when he would walk in the room,” he said. “She was so happy to be married.”
The Adam Leitman Baily law firm has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
“What happened is unconscionable,” said Bailey. “Everybody is crying.”
Investigators suspect Friedland was targeted at The Mall at Short Hills by members of a carjacking ring who were after his silver-colored SUV.
Police converged on the car Monday morning after issuing an alert. The suspects were not found with the vehicle.


Police converged on the car Monday morning after issuing an alert. The suspects were not found with the vehicle.

The suspects were spotted scoping out potential targets while cruising through the parking lot in a green Subaru shortly before they attacked Friedland around 9 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
"We’re leaving all options open at this time,” said Katherine Carter of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, when asked about the reported ring. “We haven't eliminated anything at this juncture.”
In Hoboken, Yiba Diez, a waitress at Zafra restaurant, mourned the handsome young couple that regularly came by for brunch with pals on the weekends.
“He would come in early with his wife,” Diez, 40, said. “They were always happy, very happy together. Especially him, he was very friendly."
This Syracuse University College of Law class photo from 2009  shows victim Dustin Friedland.


This Syracuse University College of Law class photo from 2009  shows victim Dustin Friedland.

Diez said they were stunned when they heard what happened to one of their favorite customers.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God, no way’,” she said. “Very sad.”
Reached in Michigan, Friedland’s uncle said the killers didn’t need to shoot his nephew.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said it is unclear why the two suspects targeted the silver Range Rover.


Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said it is unclear why the two suspects targeted the silver Range Rover.

“I hope they catch and kill him,” he said. “I’m not a violent person, but this criminal doesn’t deserve to breathe.”
Friedland's parents live in Toms River, N.J., and their neighbors seconded the grieving uncle.
“Dustin would have given them the car,” one woman, who asked not to be identified, told the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper. “Dustin was sweet, kind, gentle, giving. I just can't believe God took him away so soon. He didn't deserve it."
Both Friedland and his wife were graduates of Syracuse University's law program, Bailey said. The slain man also had an engineering degree from Bucknell University.
Police investigate the scene of the fatal shooting, which occurred on the third-floor of a parking garage near Nordstrom.


Police investigate the scene of the fatal shooting, which occurred on the third-floor of a parking garage near Nordstrom.

Of late, Friedland was working as a project manager at Epic Mechanical, a firm based in Neptune, N.J., that "analyzed construction-related legal claims," according to his LinkedIn profile.
A woman who answered the phone at Epic declined to comment.
Meanwhile, police were asking for the public’s help in identifying the carjackers, who vanished after dumping the SUV with license plate U26-BVD.
Tipsters are being urged to call the DA’s office at (877)847-7432.
Friedland, 30, from Hudson County, died after being shot in the head during a violent carjacking the parking deck of The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. He’s seen here being taken away from the scene of the crime.


Friedland, 30, from Hudson County, died after being shot in the head during a violent carjacking the parking deck of The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. He’s seen here being taken away from the scene of the crime.

The Range Rover has been impounded and crime investigators were looking for physical evidence that could help identify the culprits.
"We do not know why that car (was targeted), but it obviously was a car with some value," Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said earlier.
The mall, which includes high-end stores like Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, usually closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays. But it was open later for holiday shoppers.
The mall had been open later than its normal to accommodate holiday shoppers.


The mall had been open later than its normal to accommodate holiday shoppers.

Workers arriving for their shifts said they were frightened.
"I hope the mall will take extra precautions and add security,” said an employee at Stuart Weitzman who declined to provide her name. “I’m not sure what the mall can do but it doesn’t feel so safe — especially after last night.”
The area where Friedland was gunned down continued to be cordoned off by police.
Mall officials declined to comment on the deadly shooting or on what safety measures they have taken in its aftermath. But this is not the first time the shopping mecca has been hit by carjackers:
The up-scale mall is located in Short Hills, N.J., a roughly 25 miles away from New York City.


The up-scale mall is located in Short Hills, N.J., a roughly 25 miles away from New York City.

- In 2009, a 56-year-old woman was carjacked by a knife-wielding Hillside man who forced his way into a car and demanded her dough.
- Back in 2006, a gun-toting crook robbed two women outside of a mall restaurant of their 2004 Jeep Liberty.
- And in 2002, a carjacker made off with a 76-year-old woman’s Cadillac from the parking lot near the Saks Fifth Avenue store.
Last month, the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., was terrorized by a troubled pizza deliveryman with a death wish who killed himself with a high-powered rifle before cops closed in.
— With Irving De John and Joel Landau

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hunt-underway-suspects-short-hills-mall-shooting-carjacking-article-1.1549107#ixzz2nglW55jY

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Peter O'Toole, star of "Lawrence of Arabia," passes away at 81

In this file picture taken on March 23, 2003, actor Peter O'Toole poses in front of the Oscar statue after receiving an honorary Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California.  LEE CELANO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
LONDON - Peter O'Toole, the charismatic actor who achieved instant stardom as Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, has died, his agent said Sunday. He was 81.
O'Toole died Saturday after a long illness, Steve Kenis said in a brief statement.
The family was overwhelmed "by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. ... In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer, as he would have wished," O'Toole's daughter Kate said in the statement.

  O'Toole got his first Oscar nomination for 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia," his last for "Venus" in 2006. With that he set the record for most nominations without ever winning, though he had accepted an honorary Oscar in 2003.
A reformed - but unrepentant - hell-raiser, O'Toole long suffered from ill health. Always thin, he had grown wraithlike in later years, his famously handsome face eroded by years of hard drinking.
But nothing diminished his flamboyant manner and candor.
"If you can't do something willingly and joyfully, then don't do it," he once said. "If you give up drinking, don't go moaning about it; go back on the bottle. Do. As. Thou. Wilt."
O'Toole began his acting career as one of the most exciting young talents on the British stage. His 1955 "Hamlet," at the Bristol Old Vic, was critically acclaimed.
International stardom came in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia." With only a few minor movie roles behind him, O'Toole was unknown to most moviegoers when they first saw him as T.E. Lawrence, the mythic British World War I soldier and scholar who led an Arab rebellion against the Turks.
His sensitive portrayal of Lawrence's complex character garnered O'Toole his first Oscar nomination.
O'Toole was tall, fair and strikingly handsome, and the image of his bright blue eyes peering out of an Arab headdress in Lean's spectacularly photographed desert epic was unforgettable.
Playwright Noel Coward once said that if O'Toole had been any prettier, they would have had to call the movie "Florence of Arabia."
In 1964's "Becket," O'Toole played King Henry II to Richard Burton's Thomas Becket, and won another Oscar nomination. Burton shared O'Toole's fondness for drinking, and their offset carousing made headlines.
O'Toole played Henry again in 1968 in "The Lion in Winter," opposite Katharine Hepburn, for his third Oscar nomination.
Four more nominations followed: in 1968 for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," in 1971 for "The Ruling Class," in 1980 for "The Stunt Man," and in 1982 for "My Favorite Year." It was almost a quarter-century before he received his eighth and last, for "Venus."
Seamus Peter O'Toole was born Aug. 2, 1932, the son of Irish bookie Patrick "Spats" O'Toole and his wife Constance. There is some question about whether Peter was born in Connemara, Ireland, or in Leeds, northern England, where he grew up.
After a teenage foray into journalism at the Yorkshire Evening Post and national military service with the navy, young O'Toole auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and won a scholarship.
He went from there to the Bristol Old Vic and soon was on his way to stardom, helped along by an early success in 1959 at London's Royal Court Theatre in "The Long and The Short and The Tall."
The image of the renegade hell-raiser stayed with O'Toole for decades, although he gave up drinking in 1975 following serious health problems and major surgery.
He did not, however, give up smoking unfiltered Gauloises cigarettes in an ebony holder. That and his penchant for green socks, voluminous overcoats and trailing scarves lent him a rakish air and suited his fondness for drama in the old-fashioned "bravura" manner.
A month before his 80th birthday in 2012, O'Toole announced his retirement from a career that he said had fulfilled him emotionally and financially, bringing "me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits."
"However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay," he said. "So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."
In retirement, O'Toole said he would focus on the third volume of his memoirs.
Good parts were sometimes few and far between, but "I take whatever good part comes along," O'Toole told The Independent on Sunday newspaper in 1990.
"And if there isn't a good part, then I do anything, just to pay the rent. Money is always a pressure. And waiting for the right part - you could wait forever. So I turn up and do the best I can."
The 1980 "Macbeth" in which he starred was a critical disaster of heroic proportions. But it played to sellout audiences, largely because the savaging by the critics brought out the curiosity seekers.
"The thought of it makes my nose bleed," he said years later.
In 1989, however, O'Toole had a big stage success with "Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell," a comedy about his old drinking buddy, the legendary layabout and ladies' man who wrote The Spectator magazine's weekly "Low Life" column when he was sober enough to do so.
The honorary Oscar came 20 years after his seventh nomination for "My Favorite Year." By then it seemed a safe bet that O'Toole's prospects for another nomination were slim. He was still working regularly, but in smaller roles unlikely to earn awards attention.
O'Toole graciously accepted the honorary award, quipping, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot," as he clutched his Oscar statuette.
He had nearly turned down the award, sending a letter asking that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hold off on the honorary Oscar until he turned 80.
Hoping another Oscar-worthy role would come his way, O'Toole wrote: "I am still in the game and might win the bugger outright."
The last chance came in, for "Venus," in which he played a lecherous old actor consigned to roles as feeble-minded royals or aged men on their death beds. By failing again to win, he broke the tie for futility which had been shared with his old drinking buddy, Richard Burton.
O'Toole divorced Welsh actress Sian Phillips in 1979 after 19 years of marriage. The couple had two daughters, Kate and Pat.
A brief relationship with American model Karen Somerville led to the birth of his son Lorcan in 1983, and a change of lifestyle for O'Toole.
After a long custody battle, a U.S. judge ruled Somerville should have her son during school vacations, and O'Toole would have custody during the school year.
"The pirate ship has berthed," he declared, happily taking on the responsibilities of fatherhood. He learned to coach schoolboy cricket and, when he was in a play, the curtain time was moved back to allow him part of the evenings at home with his son.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Shooting at Arapahoe High School, 1 girl in critical condition, gunman dead

By Kieran Nicholson, Ryan Parker, Jordan Steffen, Kurtis Lee and Sadie Gurman
The Denver Post

CENTENNIAL — A student carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School, asked where to find a specific teacher and then opened fire on Friday, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. He shot a fellow student in the head before apparently killing himself.
A 15-year-old girl was reported in critical condition after undergoing surgery. Two other students were treated and released from a hospital for non-gunshot injuries.
The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Karl Pierson, was found dead inside a classroom from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Robinson said. Authorities believe he acted alone.
Robinson said authorities are investigating reports that Pierson may have been motivated by revenge against the teacher following a disagreement.
Arapahoe High School shooting
Students wait outside Arapahoe High School on December 13, 2013. (Ryan Parker, The Denver Post)
Local and federal investigators were at the gunman's house Friday night along with a bomb squad. They also searched his father's Denver home.
Fellow classmates described the gunman as a bright student and a gifted debater whose family attended Bible study meetings. His body remained inside the school Friday night.
Hundreds of students fled in terror from the school after the shooting began and many others huddled into the corners of their locked-down, darkened classrooms, where they waited for more than an hour for police to lead them outside.
"We were all just sitting there staying quiet and praying," said 15-year-old Jessica Girard, who was in math class when she heard three loud bangs.
Outside the locked classroom door Jessica heard someone walk by saying. "It hurts. It hurts. Make it stop."
The school, which has roughly 2,100 students, is at the corner of South University Boulevard and Dry Creek Road in Centennial.
As students left the school after the shooting, many held their hands in the air or on their heads, and police officers patted them down. They were taken by bus to Shepherd of the Hills church, at 7691 S. University Boulevard, or Euclid Middle School, at 777 W. Euclid Ave. Parents of Arapahoe High students were asked to go to the church or the school as well to reunite with their children.
"The school was evacuated very slowly, very deliberately and very meticulously," Robinson said. "We wanted to ensure that all of our students were safe."
Robinson said the first 911 call on the shooting came in at 12:33 p.m.
The shooter carried the shotgun openly as he entered the school's west doors, making no attempt to hide his weapon, Robinson said. Once inside, the student asked where he could find a specific teacher, Robinson said. Alerted to the situation, the teacher quickly left the school, something Robinson praised as "the most important tactical decision that could be made."
"He took himself away from the school in an effort to try to encourage the student to move with him," Robinson said.
Arapahoe High School shooting
Parents Cathy Thorson, left, and Heather Moran, facing camera, embraced while they waited for news on their children outside Arapahoe High School Friday afternoon, December 13, 2013. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)
The shooter, though, remained in the school, where he shot a female student he came across.
Dozens of sheriff's deputies and SWAT teams converged on the school, but the school's resource officer was already in pursuit of the shooter. According to police scanner recordings, the deputy ran to the library, where he saw smoke, and then into the athletic hall. There he found the wounded girl.
"I have a student in the athletic hall," he said into his police radio. "She is bleeding pretty bad."
An ambulance arrived within minutes to take the girl to Littleton Adventist Hospital, where she underwent surgery Friday afternoon.
More officers swarmed into the school, "to engage the shooter if they could locate the individual," Robinson said.
Once inside, Robinson said officers found another student covered in blood, but she had not been shot. That girl and a third student were taken to Swedish Medical Center in Englewood and treated for non-gunshot injuries. Both students were released from the hospital later on Friday.
Further inside the school, deputies found the suspected gunman dead in a classroom. Robinson estimated it took the school resource officer about five minutes to find his body.
Robinson said sheriff's deputies did not fire their weapons.
Officers also found two Molotov cocktails inside the school, Robinson said, one of which had been ignited. Robinson said investigators had already contacted the gunman's parents.
At an afternoon news conference, Gov. John Hickenlooper lamented the "all-too familiar sequence of gunshots" at a Colorado school, but praised law enforcement and first-responders for their quick action.
"In this case we saw the incredible training and preparation of our first responders," said Hickenlooper, who met with the family of the critically injured girl Friday afternoon.
Students and teachers, too, acted quickly after the sounds of shotgun blasts echoed down the school's hallways, a sign of how much has changed since the tragic shootings at nearby Columbine High School, which occurred when most current students at Arapahoe were just toddlers.
Saturday is the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.
Arapahoe High School is about eight miles east of Columbine High School, where two students killed 12 students and one teacher in 1999. The school is about 15 miles southwest of the Aurora movie theater where a gunman shot 70 people, killing 12, in July 2012.
Seniors Carl Schmidt and Brendon Mendelson were in yoga class at Arapahoe High when the shooting began. Their teacher hurried them promptly away from the door and into a closet.
"You always had the sense that nothing bad would happen to you," Schmidt said.
Student Justin Morrall said students had been trained to move to the corners of classrooms where they would not be visible. Morrall said he heard screams when the shots were fired, but his classroom fell silent.
"Then we went into the drill positions," Morrall said.
The orderliness, though, belied the terror in the classrooms.
Students said they hid in the corners of dark classrooms until they were led out by police. Adam Jones, whose sister goes to high school, said students were still locked in rooms about an hour after the shooting began and were "very scared."
A teacher wrote in a text message from inside the school: "lockdown-super scary."
Will Torres, a sophomore, was in weight class when he heard two gun blasts. The class's teacher slammed shut the door to the weight room and told students to get on the floor.
"My heart started sinking," Torres said. "I though about my family and other school shootings. ... Some kids were crying. I was so scared."
Torres said he was in the weight room for about 45 minutes then evacuated to the church nearby.
Nich Herzog, a senior at Arapahoe High School, stayed home from school because he was sick. He said he learned about the shooting after getting messages from friends in other schools asking if he was OK.
Herzog then started texting his friends at the school to find out what was happening.
"A lot of them are scared," Herzog said. "One of my friends was right next to someone who got shot and she's really shaken up. They are really scared and they want to get out."
Inside her classroom, Girard said students were sitting quietly and praying.
"I was thinking I was going to die and I was never going to see my family again and I was praying that they knew how much I loved them," Jessica said.
Parents dashed to the school to find their kids.
Earlier in the day, Chris Foster's daughter, Devan, sent him a text message saying, "I love you. There is a shooting." He made his way to the school, where he found Devan walking in a crowd. He waded in and hugged her.
Julie Kellogg was driving by Arapahoe High School when she saw police rush to the campus. Kellogg said she frantically began calling and texting her children at the school but did not hear back. She said she knows they are OK now but the situation was horrifying.
"The shooter started off in the front office and last I heard he was in the library," Kellogg said, describing what she heard from employees and students who were evacuating the campus. "It was actually the most frightening thing I've ever been through.
"I would have never expected my reaction to be what it was," Kellogg said. "I immediately went into panic, broke down. I didn't know what to think and I didn't even know what happened but it I knew it was bad. You could tell it was bad."
Several hundred parents gathered at Shepherd of the Hills church — stretching tall, leaning this way and that, crying, praying, trying to find their children.
And at the corner of University and Dry Creek, Christina Long stood in tears, staring at the school.
"This doesn't happen at this high school," she said. "My baby is in there."
Long said she didn't want to text her 16-year-old son, Dylan, a junior at Arapahoe.
"He'll call me when he's safe," she said. "I'm going to let him hide."
A few minutes later, she got a phone call and broke down in tears. She leaned over and simply said "Oh Baby. OK. OK. He's OK."
Then she sprinted across the street.
Kieran Nicholson: 303-954-1822, knicholson@denverpost.com or twitter.com/kierannicholson
Denver Post reporters Lynn Bartels, Kevin Simpson, Zahira Torres, John Ingold, Carlos Illescas and Jeremy P. Meyer contributed to this report.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

'Affluenza': Is it real?

By Ashley Hayes, CNN
(CNN) -- Attorneys for Texas teen Ethan Couch claimed that his "affluenza" meant he was blameless for driving drunk and causing a crash that left four people dead in June.
Simply put, Couch, 16, claims that his condition stemmed from having wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for him.
Judge Jean Boyd sentenced him Tuesday to 10 years of probation but no jail time, saying she would work to find him a long-term treatment facility.
But Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," "There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day. The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can't buy justice in this country."
'Affluenza' or just plain 'spoiled'?
Mark Geragos explains 'affluenza' ruling
'Affluenza' family sued for $20 million
Is "affluenza" real? Or is it a way for coddled children and adolescents to evade consequences for their actions?
Not surprisingly, "affluenza" does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, the "psychiatric Bible."
But the term highlights the issue of parents, particularly upper-middle-class ones, who not only refuse to discipline their children but may protest the efforts of others -- school officials, law enforcement and the courts -- who attempt to do so, said Suniya Luthar, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University.
"There are families where very, very few limits are set at a time when they should be," she said. By age 16, she noted, it's too late: "The horse is out of the barn."
Psychologist defends 'affluenza' decision
The diagnosis for youths in such situations would be impulse control problems, said Atlanta psychologist Mary Gresham -- and impulse control problems are seen across all socioeconomic levels in families where limits aren't set.
"We don't know if the rates of poor limit-setting are higher in affluent families or not," Gresham said, noting that there has not been a lot of research.
Luthar says she has studied wealthier families, however, and "we've found the level of serious adjustment problems ranging from depression, anxiety, delinquency, substance abuse higher among kids of upper-middle-class families."
She says in one of her studies, her team gave youths several different scenarios, ranging from minor to serious infractions -- such as being caught for the third time with vodka at school or plagiarizing on a test -- and asked them how likely their parents would be to protest any punishment for them.
"There was definitely a subgroup of kids that said, 'My parents would object (to punishment from school officials),' " she said.
However, she points out that this is not the norm. "It's a small group (of parents) but very vocal, aggressive, entitled. ... There is definitely a small subgroup that is powerful and way off the charts."
"I wouldn't say there's worse parenting in affluent families and fewer limits set," Gresham said. "That's not true."
But in wealthy families, Gresham said, "kids without limits have a lot more resources to use for their impulsive behavior. They have a lot more money and a lot more access to powerful cars that are fast; to drugs and alcohol, because those things cost money. So the extra resources that you have to live out your impulse control problems really create a problem."
Both she and Luthar pointed out that affluent families also have the means to afford things like quality defense attorneys and treatment for their children. And, says Gresham, children in affluent families may not have jobs and may have more free time.
The day of the crash, Boyles' wife, Hollie, and daughter Shelby had left their home to help Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had a flat tire. Youth pastor Brian Jennings also stopped to help.
All four died when Couch's pickup plowed into them. The vehicle also struck a parked car, which slid into another vehicle coming the opposite way. Two people riding in the bed of Couch's pickup sustained severe injuries.
Earlier that day, Couch and some friends had stolen beer from a local Walmart. Three hours after the crash, Couch's blood alcohol level was 0.24, three times the legal limit for someone of legal drinking age, according to prosecutors.
"There are ways in a society that we collectively shape the behavior of our kids," meaning parents, school officials and law enforcement, Luthar says.
"If you find the parents are not imposing limits themselves but fighting consequences ... then obviously, the child is going to continue whatever," she said. "You keep upping the ante." And unless a child faces consequences, their actions are "likely to mushroom."
"It really speaks to the importance of attending to our children's behavior early on," she said. "In all cases, it is the duty of us ... to step in and do the right thing. It's not just loving our kids but putting the appropriate limits" on their behavior.
Gresham says she understands why Couch's sentencing left some outraged but agrees with the judge that he should be in treatment.
"I can understand how people would be angry, if 16-year-olds from less affluent families are sentenced to juvenile detention and not treatment," she said. "All teenagers who act out should actually have access to therapeutic resources," although not all of them do.
Luthar says she doesn't like to blame children for their actions. But on "affluenza," she notes: "If you have a child who grew up in the inner city, and the parents were crackheads, and (the child) was abused all along and grew up at the age of 16 and ran over four people, how likely is it the public or culture would say, 'You must understand, what the child did was a result of his upbringing'?

"If you're not going to say that for the inner-city child, how can you say it for the more affluent child?"