Marshall Adult Education


February 17, 2006



1.  Payroll is due in the office by noon on Tuesday, February 21st.  Remember that Monday, February 20th is a holiday and the office will be closed.


2.  Exits/Update information - If you got a packet requesting this information and you haven't already turned it in, please be reminded that it should be in the office on Wednesday, February 22nd.


3.  Reminder for Marshall staff on a couple of policies regarding classroom interruptions:

    a.  Instructor and student cell phones should be turned off during class instruction

    b.  If a call comes in to the office, and your class is in session, we will ask the caller to leave a message

    c.  Staff, if at all possible, should not cause classroom interruptions by going into a class while it is in session and talking to students or staff.  Please see if your business with the student or staff can wait until the end of the class session.


4.  Programming Year - Please be reminded that our programming year will end on April 30, 2006.  Any students that are currently active in your class, and have not made a level change since May 1, 2005, should be given a CASAS post test before the April 30th date -- no matter the number of hours they have attended.  Check with Barb if you need to know who these students might be.

5.  New Instructional Material:  We have at the ABE Office the 2006 World Edition of Culture Grams.  The binder contains information on 96 countries.  We do have the rights to copy the material.  The binder is in Barb's office.



6.  To Staff:   The link below contains both the commendations and recommendations that the feds made after their visit this fall plus the plans the State ABE office has submitted to address the recommendations.   I would draw your attention to Recommendation 3.   The plan at this time would be going to a performance based funding system for federal monies in the 2007-08 fiscal year.  This future plan is the reason we have stressed meeting level completion target levels.    If you have any questions about this document please give me a call or send me an E-mail at



7.  Charles La Rue is an ESL instructor at Metro North and has posted some new health literacy materials on his website.  There are also other ESL materials there also.  We have a description of the new health literacy materails, as well as a description of the website in general posted on our website. There is also a link to the MCES website - check it out.

8. is one of a growing number of websites that allows the user to look up information in both English and Spanish.  This could become a useful feature as we attempt to better communication with our non English speaking families.


9.  WCCO-TV will air a half-hour special on spoiled children, "Affluenza," on March 4 at 10:30 a.m.  Read about this excellent program here.

10.  From the Trivia Department:   Compare prices before you buy.  At Price Grabber, you can get price quotes for practically anything from dozens of internet retailers.  Just type in a product - and compare.


11.  Thought for the week:  The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.  ~Moliere



Ever get this message:  “This program is not respondingIt may be busy, waiting for a response from you, or it may have stopped running.”


Or sometimes, you don’t get that message and your computer or a particular program just seems to stop running. 


These occur in all computers from time to time and they are due to memory of software conflicts.  Your CPU (central processing unit – the brain of your computer) gets an instruction and it doesn’t know how to carry it out, so it just stops – it doesn’t process anymore. 


The first thing you want to know is how to get the computer running again.  The first thing you want to do is to close the program that seems to be hanging up.  You can do this by holding down the CTRL and ALT key s and tapping the DELETE key.  That will open up the Task Manager.


You will see 5 tabs at the top (below the menu bar).  Click on the Applications Tab.  You will see all the programs that are open.  If there is a program that is frozen, you will see the words “Not Responding.”  Click on that program and press the End Task button.  Wait for a few moments (or minutes) and if you are in a soft lockup, the program will close.  You can then proceed using your computer.


If the frozen program does not close, then you are in a hard lockup.  That means, you may have to shut off the computer and restart.  To restart after a hard lockup, hold down the power button until the computer turns off.  It could take 7 or more seconds.  Then release it and press it again to turn the computer back on.


In Windows XP, hard lockups are rare because problem programs usually can be closed through the Task Manager.


Why do these lockups happen?  Here are the most common reasons that programs stop responding.  Hints and tips to solve these problems are below.

  • Not enough memory (RAM) to handle all the running programs. 
  • Too many programs open at the same time. 
  • A virus may have infected your computer. 
  • Your hard drive information is too scattered (fragmented)
  • Corrupt software
  • Problems with hardware or hardware drivers
  • Problems with screensavers or power management settings
  • Your computer’s operating temperature is too hot.

 Here are some common ways to cut down on freeze ups or solve lockups. 

  • Be sure your computer has plenty of RAM (memory).  This is the number one solution to solving program freeze-ups.  Adding memory to your computer is pretty cheap and it will get your computer running smoothly.
  • Close unnecessary programs.  This is particularly true of memory intensive programs.
  • If a particular application keeps freezing up, first uninstall it and then reinstall it
  • Run antivirus scans on your computer to clean it from all types of spyware and malware.  Good free anti-spy ware programs are
    Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware,
    Spy-Bot search and Destroy
    Microsoft’s Windows Defender
  • Defrag your hard drive.  To defrag, go to Start -> All Programs -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter.  You should defrag once a month.  It takes a couple hours, so do it when you have some time to spare – like at night when you’re sleeping.
  • If your freeze-ups seem to always be hard lock-ups, you probably have a hardware problem.  You could have defective memory chips or some other hardware problem that requires a service technician to look at. 
  • Check your power setting in the Power Options in your Control Panels.  Set the settings to Never.  In addition to this, shut off your screen saver.
  • Make sure your CPU fan and your power supply fan are working.  If your computer overheats, it will freeze up.

One last thing, do not assume that if a program seems to be frozen that it needs to be closed.  It may, in fact, be waiting for you to respond to a dialog box before it can proceed.  When I use Acrobat Reader 7.0, I frequently get a dialogue box which is asking me if I want to check for updated versions.  The problem occurs when the dialog box is under the other open windows and I can’t see it.  Before the program proceeds to opening the file I requested, I need to close that dialog box. So it actually appears the program has frozen, but it hasn’t.  When I minimize the other windows, I finally see the dialog box and I can close it and proceed with my computing.


Happy freeze-less computing.

Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education