Tuesday, August 27, 2013 3:04:00 PM
I get sappy when I think about some of my teachers from grade school. They gave their hearts to the cause of educating my classmates and me. They didn't hold back from timely encouragement when I was down. They stood by my side and supported me against higher authority. They contributed to my growth in ways that went beyond what they had to. And they often did it on their own time or with their own money.
One of those teachers had the perfect name: Mrs. Love. She was delightful. Walking into her sixth-grade classroom, I always knew to expect a great day full of challenging ideas, imaginative storytelling, and patient instruction. We all had kid crushes on her.
Friday, August 16, 2013 7:52:00 AM
I can't say I have too many memories from when I was very young, but there is one that is still crystal clear for me. It was the day I actually learned to read. The day something "clicked" in my brain and the foreign squiggles on a page all came together and magically transformed into words that I could understand. I was in my grandmother's living room, and the book was Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.
I remember being so incredibly excited. It was like I'd just unlocked a whole new world. And I had. Since that very day, reading has been a huge part of my life, and hardly a day goes by where I don't spend at least a few minutes reading.
However, whether you are a bookworm or not, there are some books that I would highly recommend for those entering their first year of college.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 7:37:00 AM
September is fast approaching, and if you are one of the thousands of women across the country who will be entering freshman year of college, the time has come to start thinking about packing up your life to move into a college dorm and into the next chapter of your life.
The reason I am focusing on female freshmen is that most women are notoriously "heavy packers."
Hey, it's not our fault, it's just ingrained in us. I call it my need for "nesting." I can't even get into a car for a short drive without laying out and organizing a pile of essentials (a drink in the cup holder that is within the easiest reaching distance, my lip balm in the empty cup holder, my purse on the flat tray behind the cup holders, my iPod in the nook under the radio…you get the picture). And the last time I took a vacation, I packed a suitcase that rivals my own height, while my boyfriend was able to fit five days worth of clothes and travel supplies into one small backpack. My mind is still blown.
The problem for us packrats is that dorm rooms are notoriously small. Different colleges have different types of living arrangements for students. Some may have apartment-type living conveniences complete with private bathroom and kitchen facilities, but these tend to be rare (and expensive).
Friday, August 09, 2013 7:44:00 AM
Yes, it can be a good option. No, not everyone will agree. Many people go back to school in a bad economy and come away with new skills, a more advanced degree, and better job prospects. Other people aren't as fortunate. So you need to do it right.
Whether you're having trouble finding a job or just feel stuck in the one you already have, going back to school is one way to spark a much-needed renewal of self-confidence and opportunity. The more carefully you plan for it and follow through, the more likely it is that you'll end up applauding your decision later.
Here's how to get the most from returning to school in a down economy:
Figure Out What You Really Want and Make a Plan
It's OK to feel lost. It's even OK to wander for a little while. But sooner or later, you've got to start creating a map of where you've been and where you'd rather go.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:05:00 AM
I think my head just exploded. My body is at the keyboard writing this, but I'm detached from it, looking down and wondering if it's possible to feel any more disconnected.
I just read that the U.S. federal government may turn a profit of $51 billion on new and existing student loans this year.
But that's not what has me feeling so separated from reality. Nope. I mean, yeah, I think that fact is shocking if true. And my gut says it is. (I have more trust in Elizabeth Warren, the brave Democratic senator from Massachusetts who recently made that claim, than I do in most of her Congressional colleagues on the right who think she's overstating things.)
What made my head explode is all of the confusion and disagreement about what's actually true when it comes to the Department of Education's finances.
Friday, July 26, 2013 7:16:00 AM
Lately women have been getting all of the attention when it comes to careers. Movements like Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In have put the (valid and necessary) spotlight on women in the workforce and the unfair circumstances they are forced to deal with (like lesser pay than men for doing the exact same position).
While I fully endorse the philosophy of Lean In and am passionate about changing the way women are treated in the workforce, I don’t think men come out of this gender equality issue unscathed either. They may have an advantage when it comes to earning the pay they deserve, but they must face a different type of gender-bias in the form of being judged or ridiculed for choosing stereotypically "feminine" careers.
The sad truth is that often men feel they have to steer away from certain types of careers (even if their talent and interests are a perfect match) because they fear judgment and discrimination.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:37:00 PM
I recently came across an article in the Brown Spectator that got my hackles up. Way up!
I found the article to take somewhat of a scattered approach, but the intended main points seem to be:
- The number of rape and sexually-related crimes committed on college campuses isn't as high as people think. Additionally, the highly-publicized statistic that one in four college women will experience rape and/or attempted rape is false.
- The Safe Campuses for Women subsection of the Violence Against Women Act is too strict and was implemented based on "faulty" statistics collected by Mary Koss in 1985.
And maybe I'm overanalyzing, but I also seem to sense a hearty dose of thinly-veiled condescension toward "feminists" and Brown University events like Consent Day and SlutWalk (both intended to raise awareness of sexual violence).
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 1:40:00 PM
Every week, I read more about the growing demand for skilled tradespeople and find more reasons to consider learning a trade. (If I wasn't so far into my own career already, I might seriously contemplate training for a skilled trade. I often crave the feeling that so many people in the trades talk about: the tangible sense of connection to their work.)
I may not have any particular interest in working on cars, but I know many people who do. So this story stood out.
In another sign of General Motors' resurgence and profitability, the American automaker is partnering with a popular automotive training institute to develop a program geared specifically toward preparing students for jobs at the car company's many dealerships.
Thursday, July 11, 2013 2:11:00 PM
Nutrition for kids has been given close scrutiny over the past decade due to the fact that child obesity has become a serious problem, often even called an "epidemic." It's also been proven that one of the biggest causes is overconsumption of sugary junk food.
That's why Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia instituted a school-wide ban on sugar almost 15 years ago. And recent studies have shown that the benefits of this ban go way past smaller waistlines.
The school's statistics show that within six months of becoming sugar-free, incidents of discipline decreased by 23 percent, reading scores from standardized tests increased 15 percent, and the number of counseling referrals went down by 30 percent. And these positive trends have continued long-term with lowered truancy rates, continual improvement of test scores, and more.
Monday, July 08, 2013 1:09:00 PM
Have you ever read about an idea so good that you wonder why it hasn't been implemented for several decades already?
Pay-it-forward higher education is one of those ideas. Done right, it could prove to be a spark for the kind of meaningful change in our society that so many of us can visualize but have had difficulty manifesting.
(Interestingly, the basic idea has been around since the 1950s when famous economist Milton Friedman proposed it. It's also a model that has been used in Australia with success.)
Go to College Without the Financial Pressure
Imagine being able to go to college or university without worrying about what your future career earnings will be.
Imagine having all of your school tuition covered when you enroll—without having to sign up for student loans that require you to pay back a fixed amount plus interest and fees, regardless of how much you make.
The only catch is this: You will agree to contribute three percent of your income (whatever that is) for 24 years after you graduate to help fund the pay-it-forward program for future students like you. (So, even if you hit hard times, you'll be able to afford it.)
By 2015, students going to Oregon's public colleges and universities may be able to choose such an option.
Oregon's legislature recently passed a bill that helps pave the way for a pay-it-forward pilot program to get developed, funded, and considered again by the legislature in 2015.