November 3, 2016 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

03 November 2016

Happy End of the 1st Quarter!


1.    Retirement Articles

2.    Online Professional Development Resource

3.    ASPEN

4.    Delay in RAT Reimbursements

5.    Service Desk Requests

6.    Strange Scholarships

7.    A Little Humor

8.    Quote for the Week



1.    Retirement Articles:

2017 Thrift Savings Plan Contribution Limits Announced by IRS


OPM Launches 'Federal Annuitant Benefits Survey'


2017 Federal Holidays


Federal Retirement Planning Checklist: 5-10 Years Prior



Get a Free Subscription to the My Federal Retirement Email Newsletter


2.    Online Professional Development Resource: Professional Development Institute. Below is a website for online professional development, offering graduate credit through the University of California San Diego. (As always, if you have questions as to whether or not a course will count towards your recertification requirement, I recommend that you send the information to the certification office at DoDEA Washington for their approval before registering for the course.) Finally, this does not signify FEA's endorsement of this program---just sharing information.



3.    ASPEN and the End of the Quarter: We know that many of our teachers have been affected by the slowness of ASPEN this week and that it is especially troublesome at the end of the quarter.  We have sent your concerns up to our Washington office and they have made DoDEA HQ aware of the problems this is creating for our teachers.  Hopefully, by the time you receive this update, the problems with ASPEN will have been resolved, but if you continue to have trouble accessing ASPEN, please let your FRS know so that it can be elevated up the chain of command.



4.    RAT Reimbursements: It was brought to my attention this week that some of you are experiencing delays with received your reimbursement for RAT this past summer.  Please contact your FRS and ask this to be elevated up to your Division Representative and/or Area Director.


5.    Computer Service Desk Requests:  Please remember to file Service Desk Requests with your IT office (icon is on your desktop) when you need computer service.  Our allotment of IT help is directly related to the number of service desk requests received. We need to make sure we are documenting the help we need in order to insure that our services are not reduced.


6.    Strange Scholarships:  Do you know a college-bound student who needs financial aid?  See if they qualify for one of these unusual scholarships. 


Tall Clubs International Scholarship:  Males 6'2" or taller and females 5'10" or taller just may qualify for this $1,000 scholarship. Students need to write an essay entitled "What Being Tall Means to Me."


Carnegie Mellon University Bagpipe Scholarship:  This highly uncompetitive scholarship offers $7,000 yearly to bagpipe major students.

TEACHERS Jokes, Quotes, and Anecdotes 2016 Calendar


60 of the weirdest college scholarships:


7.    A Little Humor for the Week:  Three small boys are sitting on the curb when they see a fire engine zoom past. Sitting by the driver is a Dalmatian, and the boys discuss what it might be doing there. "They use him to keep crowds back," says one boy. "He's just for good luck," says the second boy. The third boy brings the argument to a close. "They use him to find the fire hydrants."


8.    Quote for the Week:  During a seventh-grade math lesson on proportional reasoning, a student was confused on the method I had used to solve a problem at the board. As he was trying to explain his question and his thought process, I turned to the board to follow his reasoning. He was using numbers that weren't on the board and I couldn't follow him at all.  Still facing the board, I gestured to the problem and said, "Where are you?" There was a pause, and then he said, "I'm behind you, to your left."

---Bobbie Brown,


Have a GREAT weekend!


Lisa Ali

FEA Europe West Area Director

Isles, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Cuba