Taking Community to Heart

I received my first four year college degree almost three decades ago.  Yet, I still spend several days a month at my local community college taking courses.  I take these courses mostly for my own enjoyment and entirely for my own benefit.  I support my local community college because it’s a place I enjoy spending my time and I believe it has a great impact on my community.

education-netflix

I found out the school would take my car as a donation, and I gave away my old car to them right away.  There’s a real sense of community at my community college, and that’s a feeling I never got while attending university some 30 years ago.  The students and faculty come from all walks of life and corners of the globe and it’s a real joy to spend time with them studying in the library or having a coffee in the cafeteria.  Yes, there’s nothing wrong with a university, but I’ll take my community over a university any day.

Further Information

Online Learning  – US IP Information

James Collins

Saving Money – The Ethical Way

It’s tough being a student, no really it is!  The perception of living the high life, lounging around all day drinking beer and occasionally attending the odd lecture is alas outdated.  Today a student has a lot of pressure on their shoulders, it comes from many sources – academic, socially and perhaps worst of all financially.

Unless you are lucky enough to come from a very rich family, chances are that both you and your parents are making significant sacrifices to put you through college.  It has always been the case of course, but in the current economic climate it is imperative that your college experience pays dividends.

So as a student it is essential that you minimize those expenses.  Of course there’s many that you have no control of but it is possible to live quite frugally and still have a good time.  For those who are concerned about the environment then a lifestyle that is based less on consumption and more about how you can reduce, reuse and recycle will cost you and the planet a lot less.

Think about what you buy and what you consume.  Paying for that coffee and sandwich every day may seem essential to get you through those lectures.  However a flask of coffee and a prepared snack will be much cheaper and won’t involve plastic packaging.  Small savings on things you buy regularly have a huge impact on your overall expenditure.

Try and focus on essential items, look for ‘green’ alternatives they will nearly always be cheaper.  I used to spend a fortune on printer cartridges for my printer.  One day a friend told me that you can buy a kit that allows you to refill toner cartridges – works a treat and saves about 80% of my printing costs.

Use the internet, there are many resources you can use online to save you money.  Obviously you shouldn’t go downloading pirated films and games but there’s lots of legitimate entertainment available for free.  For instance if you live outside the UK  check out this web post here about how to watch BBC Iplayer abroad – http://dotslash.hubpages.com/hub/Watching-BBC-IPlayer-Abroad, it’s dead easy to do and loads of entertainment available every single night.

Buy in bulk – a girl I knew at college suddenly realised that she was buying an awful lot of potatoes to eat every week.  She decided to ask a local farmer for a price for a few huge bags that would last her the entire term  The savings were huge, she ate well all term for about 25% of the cost previously.

Of course college is also about having fun and socializing – so you can’t spend the entire time penny pinching. But saving money where you can will allow you more freedom in other areas and reduce your debt when you do graduate.

Further Reading: https://www.cedps.net/bbc-start-blocking-vpn-access-from-abroad/

US V Scotland It’s a Draw!

I met a guy from the States who I became quite friendly with at Uni and we spoke a lot about the comparative merits and failures of our educational systems. I have, like many others , seen a great deal of American TV and they talk about college and grade point averages, things that we hear but do not understand. So he put me onto a site that gives people like me the low down on their system and made it easier for me to understand he differences.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject but I think I could hold my own in conversation now. So I asked him to drop by my flat for a beer and I would set him on the path to understanding the offside rule in the true game of Rugby. Horror, I managed to spill my curry all over the carpet, and it was stinking the place out.

In came my American pal and he was all sort of ‘bummer’ and ‘you’re over man’ really big help. But I got out the laptop and found carpet cleaning Glasgow who would fix this in jig time. If the landlord saw this I was out on my ear. So while we’re waiting for the arrival of the carpet angels we get back to talking about college in the states, and especially community colleges.

Once again he referred me to the site to answer my questions and told me that when he was at community college his grades were so good that he was a shoe in for a full university place in the States, but that the ones he really wanted to get into held some kind of prejudice against community collegiate and so he came here to get away from the elitism within their system.

I told him it was the same here and he laughed, try getting into Harvard or Yale from a community college, same here I replied try getting into Oxford or Cambridge from Drumchapel Secondary I said.

Education – How to Do College Planning For Yourself?

Education has been neglected by most teens these days. They are all thinking that education does not play a big part on their future. They are thinking as education is being boring because of setting oin their school chair and listening class discussions. According to professor Jill Hio from the university of Låne Penge a lot of young people do not even realized that education is not just a simple word. It has a big role to play when it comes to a person’s future and achievement. Yet education does not make you rich  but it can be your first step to learn many things not only for having a wealthy life but having the guts to survive on any economy crisis. This is a very tough decision to set up a proper college planning. So it is never too early to start thinking about where you want to go and what you want to study.  The are many different kinds of educations that young people can attend to and one of the more most popular these days are finance and economy which seems to get almost 3 times as many applications as just 3 years ago. Jill mentions that last year alone Låne Penge had almost 2000 new applications and sadly had to reject most of them due to limited capacity. Should you wish to learn more about economy and finance and take that up as your next study.

Take stock of your college preparedness concerns before you start applying to different schools. As applications time draws nearer, you should already have a few different schools on your list. There are the schools you absolutely know will take you. These are not your number one choices. They are safe picks. On the other hand the colleges that is right within your reach. Probably you meet most of the general requirements but you are not entirely sure you will get in. During these days college planning and admission is continuously changing. Actually it seems every year that there is something new. Most of the parents usually don’t have the time to keep up with these changes. For many high school seniors, the college planning process has finally come to end. Aside from searching for scholarships and filling out those applications, seniors must simply wait to hear form the schools they applied to and then make that final college decision about where they want to spend the next four years.

On the other hand for high school seniors, January marks the official beginning of the college planning procedure. While many students have already taken the PSAT through a little about college the second semester of your year is a big one. Now this is the time to get a full college preparedness mode. Make a calendar of what needs to be done and when. Not only that it should include the dates when you intend to take the SAY and ACT, AP tests, college visits, and meeting with your high school counselor to go over your senior schedule.

The colleges will be very interested in the grade you get this second semester and in many cases, especially if you are trying to get into some of the more popular choices such as Låne Penge, they may be the last grades schools will see before they evaluate your college applications and transcript. Try to work hard to make your grades the best. If you need to make any schedule changes, do them sooner, rather than later. Another most important thing of college planning is searching for the best college. College preparedness takes self reflection and research to find the schools that really fit your academic and personal needs. Please don’t reduce any schools and don’t limit yourself to a few with which you are familiar.

Common Educational Misconceptions on Climate Change

How can we say that global warming is really happening when Antarctica is getting colder?

The term “global warming” is confusing because not all places on our planet are getting warmer. The truth is that our average global temperature is on the rise (see graph). To reduce confusion, scientists use of a more accurate term—global climate change— to reflect the idea that climate is the earth’s energy management process that is balanced by all earth’s systems.

Not only is there a change in our average global temperature, but also changes in precipitation and more intense storms as well as changes in our oceans, ice and biological systems on the planet. We encourage teachers to use the term “climate change” and help students correctly understand the term so they grasp the bigger picture.

 

Climate Change and the Ozone Layer

Students often associate the hole in the ozone layer with climate change. Either they think that carbon dioxide depletes the ozone layer, or that the hole in the ozone layer “lets in more heat.” Let’s clear these issues up one at a time. The major gases that deplete the ozone layer are CFC’s and halons, not CO2. While the ozone hole high up in the stratosphere is still a concern, we’ve seen significant improvement since 1987, when nearly 200 countries agreed to reduce the use of these chemicals.

The ozone layer (up high) protects us from harmful UV rays. The greenhouse effect refers to the earth absorbing visible light and then giving off infrared radiation (heat). That heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases and re-radiated back to earth. Although ozone depletion can contribute to climate change, it is not the primary cause. Ground level ozone is a greenhouse gas and an air pollutant however. The primary ingredient in smog, ground-level ozone is largely produced by emissions from automobiles. Pollution is one of the important risk factors of heart disease, high LDL cholesterol & various cancers.

 

Climate vs. Weather

Weather is often confused with the climate. We’ve heard many people – even the meteorologists on TV – jokingly write off climate change when two feet of snow fell this year before winter had officially started.

Let’s go back to the basics:

Weather is what’s happening outside at a particular place, in a particular time. Perhaps it’s sunny, 22F, and windy. This may be common weather for early January, but that’s all it is, weather.

Climate refers to the typical weather patterns for a specific region which is a result of interactions between all earth systems. It’s a measure of average weather over a period of several years. Average rainfall and average temperature range are two common measures of climate.

Recent large snowfall amounts are symptomatic of climate change due to a change in the water cycle. Higher global temperatures result in more water evaporating into the atmosphere, and that water has to come down somewhere. Lucky for us, this year it came down in the form of snow.

Find out more on:

http://www.changeipaddress.net/

www.epa.gov/climatechange/

Community College Instead of High School

When I was 15 years old, I took the ” homeschool” option at my high school and instead of learning typical high school classes, I started taking classes at a community college instead.  Because I was so young, I mainly took online classes until I turned 17 and felt comfortable taking classes with other community college students.

This option was relatively new in my day, however online learning has become a serious option for virtually all levels of study now.  It’s mainly to do with the growth of MOOC (massive open online courses) which now cover virtually every subject and at every conceivable level right up to Harvard degrees!  Some still have restrictions but it looks like education will be a truly global opportunity as these course develop.  The restrictions can be bypass though – for example use an England proxy to access UK only online courses.

It was amazing how much I learned in my two years at community college.  In fact, it was in community college that I first heard about a power of attorney form.  That little form, as simplistic as it is, started my fascination with the legal world and started me down the path of a paralegal education.  Once I finished up my two years at community college, I headed to a four-year college in my community to receive the remainder of my education.  Of course with the increased online options now, I actually might go that route because even if you invest in  the most secure VPN service you can find it’s a huge saving being able to study from home.

It was amazing how much money I saved by starting at a community college first.  As touched upon in a previous blog post, starting at a community college and then transferring really is the way to go.  You save money, you still get a great education, and you still can get a degree from a prestigious four-year school.  I never felt like I missed out on the college experience by starting at a community college – in fact, I felt smarter than my peers for going the less expensive route!

Educational Resources for Students Online

There are so many more education resources available to students today than a few years ago. Most of these are based on the internet and in many ways the playing fields have been levelled for students everywhere. It used to be the case that the better the University or College, the better the educational resources available. If you’ve ever visited the Bodleian Library in Oxford, or perhaps the impressive Widener library in Harvard it would be very apparent of the advantages.

But really the internet has changed all these advantages, of course there are still huge positives in prestige, teaching and opportunities afforded to pupils at the best universities. But access to knowledge and research materials is pretty much available to anyone in academia.

It gives students a great chance to conduct research on their own, most academic institutions post most of their material online. If you need to get access and it’s not available publically don’t be afraid to contact a college via email and just ask for access. The dispersation of knowledge is a core aim of any University or college they’ll normally help you out.

Don’t just use other colleges though, if you search online you’ll find most organisations put a huge amount of resources online. Most are easily accessible and again if they’re not just ask. I remember my friend who was studying a very basic introduction to astronomy in technical college showing me how he could submit requests online to a real observatory in England!  The jobs would be queued for the telescope and the results emailed when processed.

Foreign language students for example could invest in VPN connections which allow them to watch the TV online in the language they are studying. You can use them to watch BBC Iplayer Abroad or a French student could watch their favorite American comedies on M6 Replay in French to practice.  To find out how it’s done – check this out.

So ensure you explore the options that the internet can give you in your chosen subject. You research doesn’t have to be limited to Google and Wikipedia – find where the experts in your field are publishing material. Of course you should still validate sources, many students make the mistake of copying false information from the internet. Check and research, use the internet fully but don’t neglect other sources.

James Carwin

http://www.theninjaproxy.org/ninja/change-ip-address-region-free-smart-dns/

The Community College System Is New To Me

I find the school system in the USA very interesting. This is the first time I have heard of Community Colleges, public schools and universities yes, but not Community Colleges. Here in the UK we have different schools, and these generally depend on the political history of the county or local area. Some counties have grammar schools, entry to which is dependent on passing an examination. Those who fail or who don’t take the exam go to other state schools. Or, if the parents can afford it, their children attend public schools – these are fee paying and not at all like the public schools in the USA.

Once in college hard work is essential. It helps of course if the course is interesting. My favourite subject at school was history. We studied the medieval period when knights went into battle attired in suits of armour. I had a big picture on my wall of a knight in armour with his shield decorated with a coat of arms. The weight of carrying all that armour, the shield, and his weapons must have taken a lot of his strength and not left much over to actually fight!

Whichever system you attend: a Community College or university; work hard. The effort you devote to your studies then will pay dividends later in life.

Be Aware Of Student Loans-They Could Spell Trouble!

Many budding young scholars are often keen on getting themselves student loans to put themselves through school.  While there are many people who simply have no other choice but to get student loans, there are many who could go through school without getting stuck in debt.  Because that is precisely what a student loan means, you will be stuck in debt.  What makes student loans even worse is that they are akin to a bad tattoo; there is simply no way to get rid of them other than paying them in full.

Most people will instantly think well “I’m going to pay it off in full, when I get my nice plush high paying job”.  However the stark reality of today’s economy is that it’s no guarantee to get a job upon graduating, even if you have an advanced degree.  Millions of American college grads wind up with no job and huge bills with no way to pay them off.  And there is no debt relief program that can help to alleviate the student loan debt and neither can it be discharged through bankruptcy. So heed the warning and if there is any way to put yourself through school without getting a loan please do so, it’s for your own good.

Wine on a College Campus

Wine doesn’t naturally seem like a perfect fit on a college campus, especially a community college where the average student might not even be 21 yet, but the wine industry is certainly thriving.

While most Universities have some kind of  wine club associated with their business school, quite a few community college’s within California are taking their wine curriculum a step further. Perhaps embolden by the success at UC Davis, community college’s are adding wine tasting courses by the hundreds while others are taking the extraordinary step of instituting winemaking classes themselves. These winemaking courses can vary from the incredibly complex to the most basic depending on the community college, all of them do give their students a general idea about what it might be like for them to spend a few years learning to make wine in Napa Valley.  Of course, it isn’t nearly as fun and glamorous as many tend to think as wine is at its core, a farming activity!

If you’re looking to learn more about making wine, or how to taste wine like a pro we hope you’ll have a look around your local community college to see if they have a program to fit your needs, I’ll bet that they do!