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Bag of Tricks -- what are the staples? - Page 4

post #91 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

I like it TR. Although the self grading part is still a bit tricky considering how many students I've had who swear they are performing a maneuver / drill correctly but in reality are not anywhere close. Some could be attributed to my presentation skills but I feel far more is attributable to their mental willingness to see past their pre-conceived notions of what works and what would work even better. For example lets consider the common certification task of RRX. A movement error I see quite a lot is excessive pivoting resulting in skidding, even among our cert 3 candidates. Why? I feel it's due to their past success doing skidded turns and a lack of understanding that the maneuver includes a strong focus on edging with a second and IMO just as important focus on minimizing steering inputs. Especially through the turn entry / crossover. Is the corrective solution to have them edge more, add more pressure, or stop pivotting the skis so strongly. Without actually seeing them perform the maneuver it's hard to offer meaningful advice. It's even harder to list most of the common errors and how to correct them.

Totally agree...It concerns me that this even needed to be stated. 

post #92 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So Nolo where would abstraction fit in something like bloom's taxonomy? Down at the bottom or up near the top? How would that fit with the idea of experienced coaches operating near the top where the need for lists is far less likely? The catch 22 here is those seeking lists are more than likely analogous to new instructors, not experienced pros who would be capable of abstract analysis and synthesis. So while we certainly can offer a list of ten drills that develop fundamental skills, explaining them and offering a grading criteria isn't as easy. It will be interesting ot see how you do that.

When does abstract thinking come into play in human cognitive development, you might ask. Some people are highly abstract thinkers, like Einstein and the like. Others less so, like my mechanic. Are a ski instructor's skills more akin to theoretical physics or auto mechanics? I think Bud's scheme is very "auto mechanic," and I like that. It's less prone to airy debates about "What is rotary?" Everybody's got their own way of explaining it. What is an athletic, ready stance? This is like one of Euclid's Common Notions. Everybody gets it. Nobody argues about it. 

 

It's all in how accessible we make the list. Keep it simple and don't chase after red herrings. 

 

post #93 of 174

Skiing for dummies? Think that will sell?

post #94 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

When does abstract thinking come into play in human cognitive development, you might ask. Some people are highly abstract thinkers, like Einstein and the like. Others less so, like my mechanic. Are a ski instructor's skills more akin to theoretical physics or auto mechanics? I think Bud's scheme is very "auto mechanic," and I like that. It's less prone to airy debates about "What is rotary?" Everybody's got their own way of explaining it. What is an athletic, ready stance? This is like one of Euclid's Common Notions. Everybody gets it. Nobody argues about it. 

 

It's all in how accessible we make the list. Keep it simple and don't chase after red herrings. 

 

 

What is more appropirate here.....irony.gif....or......BSmeter.gif?

 

 

Einstein, "theorectical physics" (note that is not common newtonian physics that is often discussed here), auto mechanics, Euclid's Common Notions?  Keep things accessible? Simple?  Dont chase "red herrings"?

 

 

Scary.

 

 

 

Stick to the basic skills, and go with a pro. 

 

Ski improvment, comes from skill development.  Exercies are just tools instructors use to achieve that goal.  Having a list of exercises is about a useful as having a tool box full of tools.  If you dont know how to use them, your car wont get fixed.....in fact in skiing and your car, if you dont know how to use them chances are very good you will just make the problem worse, or create new ones.

post #95 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Skiing for dummies? Think that will sell?


How about "Skiing by dummies"?   biggrin.gif

post #96 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

When does abstract thinking come into play in human cognitive development, you might ask. Some people are highly abstract thinkers, like Einstein and the like. Others less so, like my mechanic. Are a ski instructor's skills more akin to theoretical physics or auto mechanics? I think Bud's scheme is very "auto mechanic," and I like that. It's less prone to airy debates about "What is rotary?" Everybody's got their own way of explaining it. What is an athletic, ready stance? This is like one of Euclid's Common Notions. Everybody gets it. Nobody argues about it. 

 

It's all in how accessible we make the list. Keep it simple and don't chase after red herrings. 

 

 

Most skiers either sit back, tip inside, or rotate, or a combination of all three.  By giving them concrete understandable goals they have a better chance of self assessing their success and self coaching.  Good stance, Balance on the inside edge of outside ski, Turn the feet below a stable upper body.   Its the instructors' job then to use their favorite exercises or tricks to accomplish these goals.  Most students or self coaching skiers may not understand the skills concept but using these simple topics offer a more concrete tangible target.

post #97 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Most skiers either sit back, tip inside, or rotate, or a combination of all three.  By giving them concrete understandable goals they have a better chance of self assessing their success and self coaching.  Good stance, Balance on the inside edge of outside ski, Turn the feet below a stable upper body.   Its the instructors' job then to use their favorite exercises or tricks to accomplish these goals.  Most students or self coaching skiers may not understand the skills concept but using these simple topics offer a more concrete tangible target.

Yes.

 

 

 

Quote:
Stick to the basic skills, and go with a pro. 

There are a lot of people who apparently do not care to go with a pro. Yet they are skiing.

post #98 of 174

Perhaps the format could be:

 

Here are some drills to help you "balance on the inside edge of the outside ski" if you tend to lean too far inside.

-

-

-

Here are some drills to help you "turn your feet below a stable upper body"  if you tend to turn using upper body rotation.

-

-

-

Here are some drills to help you find a "good fore/aft balanced stance" if you tend to lean too far back or forward. 

-

-

-

Here are some drills to help your edge change...?

-

-

 

 

 

Now the drills we decide on will certainly emphasize one skill or another which is good for the instructor to know and understand but perhaps not necessary for the student?

post #99 of 174

Nolo. The people who do not care to go with a pro probably would not show much interest in a self help guide. So why chase them? Just sayin.

 

I've offerred some drills designed to help those folks develop their fundamental skiing skills and if that helped in any way I am happy. If not I guess I'm just one of those pros the people who don't care to go with a pro would ignore anyway. Good luck, JASP

post #100 of 174
Thread Starter 

As I said near the beginning of this thread, the idea came from doing circuit training this summer. There are a small number of exercises that we go through, with variations, with and without weights, anaerobic and aerobic, and my body is changing without spending a lot of money, time, or leaving my home. Could this work with sports, I wondered, as it does with fitness? I don't know. t does work with fitness. I'm proving that to myself every day with a few squats, lunges, lifts, crunches, presses, etc. 


Edited by nolo - 6/25/12 at 9:35am
post #101 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

I like it TR. Although the self grading part is still a bit tricky 

Agree with you JASP. Actually, my 2 cents is that this is severely understating the point. Nonetheless, there is demand for the concept and little harm in inaccurate self grading.

post #102 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Nolo. The people who do not care to go with a pro probably would not show much interest in a self help guide. So why chase them? Just sayin.

 

Epic seems to attract its fair share of these skiers: skiers who want to improve but don't want to spend money or on snow time in the effort. Sounds like a good deal to me!

post #103 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

Rusty, could you explain what these two are:

-one footed spine slide with 180 hop to the other foot

-backward herringbone -- going uphill backwards?  downhill?

Figured I get asked about the first one - since I just made it up. Find a spine to ride on. Side slip on one foot so that the tip and tail are off the snow. Hop a 180 1/2 way. Keep feet centered on the spine. I was looking for a drill for park rats.

 

Backward herring bone - go backwards uphill in what would be a wedge position if you were going forward.

 

You have to love drills that really suck (no names mentioned hop turns).

post #104 of 174
Thread Starter 

I started a poll: Essential Exercises for All Skiers

 

I was limited to 20 choices, so I took a look at the exercises submitted in this thread and tried to represent them. This could be a preliminary poll just to check (my) understanding. Thanks!

post #105 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

As I said near the beginning of this thread, the idea came from doing circuit training this summer. There are a small number of exercises that we go through, with variations, with and without weights, anaerobic and aerobic, and my body is changing without spending a lot of money, rime, or leaving my home. Could this work with sports, I wondered, as it does with fitness? I don't know. t does work with fitness. I'm proving that to myself every day with a few squats, lunges, lifts, crunches, presses, etc. 

And what is the most common advice we see when exercise professionals publish advice about exercising? Don't do these exercises until after consulting a pro. So we ought to have the sure to be ignored caveat: don't try to do these drills without consulting a pro and include the probably to be ignored "form is important and hard to detect if you are doing incorrectly (other than drills are either too hard or too easy)".

 

But this also brings to mind the possibility of adding lists for indoor teaching drills and indoor/outdoor stretches. Suggestions below are just exploring the concept.

 

For indoor drills we have the classics like the stand on pieces of cardboard on carpet/ stand on paper on a kitchen floor and turn both feet. I've grown fond of a cool femur rotation drill where you lie on your back with one leg raised straight up and rotate it. I've posted numerous variations of drills either sitting a chair or standing next to wall that help for turn initiation movements.

 

For stretches, I love the on snow drill to touch one ski tip to the snow behind you and then drop that knee to the snow and get the tail to touch your shoulder.  There's a golf drill I've doing with a medicine ball that's great for working on upper/lower body separation (hold the ball to your chest, step laterally and rotate over the stepped leg). I love simple balance board drills for developing balance and ankle strength. A generic list should cover ankle/knee/hip flexibility, core strength, balance and vision. A good/better/best rating scale could let skiers know where they stand (e.g. ankle range of motion).

post #106 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Agree with you JASP. Actually, my 2 cents is that this is severely understating the point. Nonetheless, there is demand for the concept and little harm in inaccurate self grading.

 

Well I dont agree.  Sure there is no "harm" as in, its just skiing after all....but inaccurate self grading is certainly detrmental to a skiers development and ultimatley enjoyment of the sport.  For example, people generally believe that if they arent falling, they are in balance.  However experienced pros know balance as it relates to skiing is about the feet supporting the mass.  90%? of skiers ski out of balance 70%? of the time.  Why? because they dont know better...these people have wrongly self assessed and as a result have greatly limited their potential.

 

Another example...ski boots should fit snug so you have "control" over your skis.  A woman feels her boots are too loose because her foot wobbles around, so she gets a smaller size, but the problem is worse, so she gets an even smaller size...feet now mangled, but the problem with a wobbly foot is still there.  Why? Poor self assessment, the real problem was the boots were too narrow and "pinning" her foot, so it was unstable.  Woman almost quit skiing due to frustration.

 

Another example, skier achieve RR tracks by only using upper body rotation countered with tons of hip angulation....looks at tracks, and thinks..."wow, ok, now I know how to carve.....", skier attempts this approach on real hill....of course poor results are achieved, but they are convinced they are doing it right, skier gets frustrated and quits.

post #107 of 174
Thread Starter 

SkiDude72, I think I understand your concerns, and while I agree that a recreational skier will give her- or himself the best advantage by taking lessons from a qualified professional who presumably would introduce him or her to many of these exercises in the course of the instruction, that's not happening with great regularity in the real world. Industry surveys show that the least popular product ski schools offer is the advanced lesson. I don't know why, but I suspect it has to do with the perception that lessons aren't worth their time or money. Some instructors have found that writing a book for popular consumption is a way to market advanced lessons, as readers find that reading about how skiing better leads to a desire for coaching from the author or the author's understudies. I'm stealing a page from their book, you might say. 

 

The dangers of misunderstanding what is required of an exercise could be mediated by providing accurate models -- video models for each exercise would be ideal. 

 

Rusty, the exercise caveat usually is to consult a medical doctor to see if you are fit enough for vigorous exercise. Same as the Viagra ads. I have never seen one that told me to consult a certified fitness pro before embarking on the program. But these fitness regimens are on dvd, so you are "with" the exercise pro who put the program together, though certainly no one is watching to see if I am doing it with proper form. I am told to check my reflection in the TV and compare it to the others doing the exercises. 

post #108 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

Well I dont agree.  Sure there is no "harm" as in, its just skiing after all....but inaccurate self grading is certainly detrmental to a skiers development and ultimatley enjoyment of the sport. 

 

Preaching to the choir. My recommendation is to not do this for just these reasons. I make the comments in order to have impact on what I view as inevitable. We hear lots of fitness horror stories about people trying to do exercises incorrectly (even under a pros's direction) and getting injured. Yet it's pretty hard to imagine the harm in a straight run either from doing it or from inaccurate self grading.  Well, most skiers would have a hard time imagining it.   Instructors should know that injuries resulting from a straight run attempt happen often enough to not be surprising and that not diagnosing alignment problems from a straight run misses out on an huge opportunity to enable performance improvements. Still, it's been my experience that more people get a light bulb moment from having trouble doing a one legged straight run than the number of people who suffer harm from attempting this drill. So since I believe these kinds of lists are inevitable, I'm going to try to skew them into things that will drive people to recognize that there are things they can't do without help. There a lot of people out there who are determined to get something for nothing (and end up spending more than what they paid for).

post #109 of 174
Define the audience, develop the product with photos, diagrams, video. Present the product professionally done. They will come.

Still waiting for Barnes' interactive TCEoS?... which would become an incredible resourse.
post #110 of 174
Thread Starter 

One last note on the inevitability of such lists. We recently bought a new to us house that was wired for sound but lacked the system to drive it. We consulted and got bids from the local "sound pros" -- the most staggering was for $16,000 -- but ultimately my husband figured out how to make a working system with all the capabilities we wanted it to have using forums on the Internet (including our sister site, Home Theater Forum) for a total cost of $1,600. My point is, there are probably audiophiles who would scoff at the system we have, but it works for us and we love it. Part of the satisfaction was doing it ourselves for a tenth of the "pro price."

 

The Internet set information free. We might as well embrace the future.  

post #111 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

One last note on the inevitability of such lists. We recently bought a new to us house that was wired for sound but lacked the system to drive it. We consulted and got bids from the local "sound pros" -- the most staggering was for $16,000 -- but ultimately my husband figured out how to make a working system with all the capabilities we wanted it to have using forums on the Internet (including our sister site, Home Theater Forum) for a total cost of $1,600. My point is, there are probably audiophiles who would scoff at the system we have, but it works for us and we love it. Part of the satisfaction was doing it ourselves for a tenth of the "pro price."

 

The Internet set information free. We might as well embrace the future.  

 

We do that now.  There is the whole site...called "Epicski", you might have heard of it. 

 

While everyone acknowledges it is not ideal, the way it works at Epicski is pretty good considering its all free.  See at Epicski, people with ski question or looking for tips to improve, come and provide some specific information about themselves, some even have a video or pictures....then pros provide specific advice and feedback...all for free.  The people looking to improve can interct with the pros, ask questions, get specific information about the various exercies all taylored to them.......What is being advocated here, is just throwing everything and the whole kitchen sink out there, and wondering if it is of value.  The fact is, these lists have been generated countless times, and can be found all over, nothing new here.  It has been proven over and over to generate extremely poor results.  Its far better to not know, and know it....then to not know, and think you do.

post #112 of 174

As a new instructor this coming season, I want to thank everyone who has participated in this thread.  While I expect to get some good training at Vail, I think preparing myself over the summer (by reading threads and other material like this) will help me pick things up more quickly this winter.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Define the audience, develop the product with photos, diagrams, video. Present the product professionally done. They will come.
Still waiting for Barnes' interactive TCEoS?... which would become an incredible resourse.

Agreed with Bud before reading his post that defining the audience is the key.  

 

If it is to be targeted to skiers interested in self coaching, then it is probably best to limit the list to drills and exercises that will likely be beneficial for most even if they are not performed perfectly.  This means leaving off drills that are likely to be incorrectly performed and hurt more than help.  Allusions could be made about other drills that should only be performed with a coaches/instructors supervision, but the details shouldn`t be provided.  This may be a win-win if the goals are to help the DIY crowd while hoping to convert some of them into ski school customers.

 

OTOH. if the goal is to help instructors (both new and those looking to expand/refresh their tool box), then a more complete list is in order.

 

Of course, it is possible to put both lists out there as the first is likely to just be a subset of the second.  Just my 2 cents. 

post #113 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

One last note on the inevitability of such lists. We recently bought a new to us house that was wired for sound but lacked the system to drive it.  

As an employee of a certain phone company I would be remiss if I passed on this opportunity.

 

We can hear you know!

 

Is it true that the little pink dot over Montana was the sound check for your sub-woofer?

post #114 of 174
Thread Starter 

We're streaming Pandora. How cool is that?

 

 

Quote:

If it is to be targeted to skiers interested in self coaching, then it is probably best to limit the list to drills and exercises that will likely be beneficial for most even if they are not performed perfectly.  This means leaving off drills that are likely to be incorrectly performed and hurt more than help.  Allusions could be made about other drills that should only be performed with a coaches/instructors supervision, but the details shouldn`t be provided.  This may be a win-win if the goals are to help the DIY crowd while hoping to convert some of them into ski school customers.

 

OTOH. if the goal is to help instructors (both new and those looking to expand/refresh their tool box), then a more complete list is in order.

 

Of course, it is possible to put both lists out there as the first is likely to just be a subset of the second.  Just my 2 cents. 

 

I don't understand the fear of sharing this knowledge with avid skiers. If it's fear of them getting hurt, I would argue for providing a model, preferably a video model, to avoid the danger of people misinterpreting a verbal description. If it's fear of giving away trade secrets, well, maybe if we gave away some of our music we could get them to the rock concert, eh? Are we afraid that our audience will mistake these drills for skiing? We're not talking about sharing this with callow newbies -- as though someone new to skiing might be remotely interested in doing pivot slip. We're  talking about sharing something that could be useful to the advanced skiers who are in the sweet spot of the EpicSki community's demographic, who perhaps by reading and participating in this forum, have become aware that they need some discipline for their skiing to be truly free. (I think I just found my new tagline!)

post #115 of 174

Someone said to me a few years ago that the aim of a truly great instructor was to put himself out of business. Sharing knowledge is in my opinion the hallmark of someone comfortable in his true expertise and protecting it is someone slightly unsure that he may have his cover blown. My 2 cents!!

post #116 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

While everyone acknowledges it is not ideal, the way it works at Epicski is pretty good considering its all free.  

 

Before Epic moved to the Huddler platform, the financial model of Epic was most reliant on voluntary memberships. Epic paid for the forum software like most of the forums on the Internet. The Huddler platform uses a partner model instead of a software vendor model. In addition to providing software, they also drive traffic to the forum. They get their money from the traffic. They get a lot more money than what Epic used to pay for forum software, but Epic now gets a lot more revenue from traffic. Huddler has made Epic a lot more aware of how to make Epic show up at the top of the list when people are searching the Internet for ski information. It's the combination of content and search engine optimization that makes it work. It's our job to generate the content that skiers are looking for. 

 

As a ski teacher, I find it frustrating when people come to Epic searching for the best drill, the one trick for skiing powder or another overly simplistic answer to their question. We know that what works for one person won't necessarily work for the next. But a lot of the success stories out there usually start out with "the one tip that changed everything". The odds of success in these situations is pretty low, but here we are day after day seeing a steady stream of these things.

 

When you're cruising down a mogul run and come across someone who is obviously over their head, do you:

a) Ignore them

b) Yell out "take a lesson schmuck" as you launch air right over the top of them

c) Ski by real close so they get a good demo for how to do it right

d) Stop and see what you can do to help them out

?

For option D, an experienced instructor can quickly determine the right option among call patrol, offer a quick tip or leave the skier alone. If you can give them a quick tip that can get them safely out of trouble, you've at least planted a seed that instruction could make skiing more fun for them. Epic is the online equivalent of meeting these people in the bar instead of on the slopes. We know we can't teach someone to mogul ski in a bar so why even try? I submit that there is a bar/online equivalent of option D available. The problem is getting the conversation started. Online they have to come to us. If we know what bread crumbs they are looking for, we can set those crumbs out leading them to Epic. As long as we don't sell these crumbs as a meal replacement I'm ok with it. This is just salesmanship. But that is the tricky part because "meal replacement" is exactly what many of these people are searching for.

 

Would you sell a pack of cigarettes to a smoker if you could slip something inside the package that could help them quit? There is no easy answer.

post #117 of 174

While I understand your sentiments Nolo, here's a story that will tell you what I think of internet advice.

My ex once read an article about fighting every traffic ticket. When she was ticketed for speeding (35 over the speed limit) she remembered that article and chose to avoid consulting a lawyer. In court she shared that generic internet advice and proceeded to tell the judge what that article suggested she should do. At first, the occasional snickers from the officers and judge were funny. As she stuck to her mis-guided advice, the judge and the rest of the courtroom erupted into constant laughter. The judge eventually gained control of the room and told her she had no case and scolded her for talking up the courts time. My point is a novice reading generic internet advice doesn't always lead them to seeking professional advice.

 

To bring this to the skiing world, I see more than my share of folks who quote advice they read here on the web. The dogmatic adoption of that advice is often exactly why they have not and will not improve. So we need to be very carelful here. Beyond that, I agree with others that we have volunteered our time to guide these folks to more meaningful advice based on discovering more about their individual needs, not on validating their self assessed prescriptions that are usually way off base.

post #118 of 174

I'd be interested to know where people who have reservations about misinterpreted advice stand on ski books?

post #119 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

 

Before Epic moved to the Huddler platform, the financial model of Epic was most reliant on voluntary memberships. Epic paid for the forum software like most of the forums on the Internet. The Huddler platform uses a partner model instead of a software vendor model. In addition to providing software, they also drive traffic to the forum. They get their money from the traffic. They get a lot more money than what Epic used to pay for forum software, but Epic now gets a lot more revenue from traffic. Huddler has made Epic a lot more aware of how to make Epic show up at the top of the list when people are searching the Internet for ski information. It's the combination of content and search engine optimization that makes it work. It's our job to generate the content that skiers are looking for. 

 

As a ski teacher, I find it frustrating when people come to Epic searching for the best drill, the one trick for skiing powder or another overly simplistic answer to their question. We know that what works for one person won't necessarily work for the next. But a lot of the success stories out there usually start out with "the one tip that changed everything". The odds of success in these situations is pretty low, but here we are day after day seeing a steady stream of these things.

 

When you're cruising down a mogul run and come across someone who is obviously over their head, do you:

a) Ignore them

b) Yell out "take a lesson schmuck" as you launch air right over the top of them

c) Ski by real close so they get a good demo for how to do it right

d) Stop and see what you can do to help them out

?

For option D, an experienced instructor can quickly determine the right option among call patrol, offer a quick tip or leave the skier alone. If you can give them a quick tip that can get them safely out of trouble, you've at least planted a seed that instruction could make skiing more fun for them. Epic is the online equivalent of meeting these people in the bar instead of on the slopes. We know we can't teach someone to mogul ski in a bar so why even try? I submit that there is a bar/online equivalent of option D available. The problem is getting the conversation started. Online they have to come to us. If we know what bread crumbs they are looking for, we can set those crumbs out leading them to Epic. As long as we don't sell these crumbs as a meal replacement I'm ok with it. This is just salesmanship. But that is the tricky part because "meal replacement" is exactly what many of these people are searching for.

 

Would you sell a pack of cigarettes to a smoker if you could slip something inside the package that could help them quit? There is no easy answer.

 

I have no idea what you are talking about.  But to answer the only part I did understand...for me its "D".  In places like Whistler it happens alot, a few minutes here or there I can usually get most people out of trouble with just a few minutes of my time.  I do this whether in uniform or not.  How I do it, is assess their needs (usually can be done in time it takes me ski up to them)....then i help as required. 

 

Never had a fear of giving away secrets, nor have I ever handed someone a list of exercieses, nor have I ever explained to them how Huddler worksth_dunno-1[1].gif


Edited by Skidude72 - 6/29/12 at 6:51pm
post #120 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adie View Post

I'd be interested to know where people who have reservations about misinterpreted advice stand on ski books?


I think ...(provided its a good ski book)...ski books area a great idea.  They present a well rounded, full picture of skiing.  For those who learn by "thinking", it presents an excellent tool that can aid their own improvement, especially if accompanied by some on hill coaching, or at least some video enabling the skier to do some self assessment or  post it here. 

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