How to Start a Club at Your High School

Whenever I’m talking to students about activities for college applications, we end up talking about clubs. (Usually because I ask about them.) First off, what school doesn’t have at least one club? Unfortunately I usually hear that club membership can be more of a formality than an actual activity. It is easy to go to Club Day and join a bunch of clubs. But to actually stay interested and involved throughout the year – that is the actual challenge. Why? Because lots of students join clubs just for the sake of joining.

So I want to propose an idea. Why not start your own club this year? You might be thinking, how do I start a club? Easy – all you need is a teacher to offer their room at lunch and a few friends to join. (Of course, you will need to talk to your school administration to fill out the proper forms and be sure you are ready for Club Day.) But once you get past those basics, you have the opportunity to create something you love! What is your passion? Puppies? Why not create a club where you and your friends can discuss, explore, learn about, and support all things puppies? (Ok, silly example- but seriously, who doesn’t love puppies?) Continue reading “How to Start a Club at Your High School”

Am I Making A Book?!

“Whaatttttt?” you may ask.

My thoughts exactly. Well, it is coming true. After 4 years of going back and forth on writing and stop writing, I am FINALLY on the road to getting it done.

It hasn’t always been my dream to be a published author. In fact, it was the last thing I ever thought I would being doing. I was very much into fashion and designing. I enjoyed looking a beautiful clothing, and creating my own outfits in my head. I went to school for fashion design. I then pursued a BA in fashion marketing and management. So to be throwing all that to the wind and saying “Hey let’s write a book”, it is a foreign idea for me as well. So what the hell, I just go…others may have started that way too, who knows…

The inspiration hit when I took two years off to focus on myself and recover from family tragedies. I spent most of those two years with journals by my side. I filled nearly 14 journals by the end. About a little bit later, I enrolled in a writing class at my college. It was a prerequisit, and didn’t think much about it. The professor turned out to be a publish author and was working on his next piece of literature. I enjoyed the class, and actually looked forward to the projects that were assigned.

Continue reading “Am I Making A Book?!”

Because I Said So

I had an interview yesterday, and I made the second interview. A few hours beforehand I was sitting in my flat with butterflies doing all kinds of gymnastics in my stomach. I knew it was a big deal. I was being interviewed for the largest marketing agency in US. When I read that, it certainly messed with my head slightly.

And I was expecting some hot-shot interviewers, who would intimidate me and expect me to know everything about marketing. And I expected them to shoot me down when I got something wrong. And I expected them to disregard my ideas, because what they say goes. Because they said so.

Continue reading “Because I Said So”

What is a Geek Dad

I came across this article by Matt Blum, which was recently reposted, about the annoying habits of a geeky spouse.  I read it and I find this to be spot on, and I am guilty of not only the 10 things in the post, but also of several accusations in the comments.  Yes, I have a lightsaber.  It was a Christmas gift.  We just can’t watch an Eddie Murphy or Bobcat Goldthwait stand-up, or Monty Python Movie without quoting 90% of it.  This annoys the children to no end, but it seems we have infected them as well.

One day, the whole bus, according to my daughter, broke out in the “campfire song song” (BOM BOM BOM), and began talking about selling chocolates.  In unison.   Repeatedly.  This was a bus full of high school students, not the grade school kids you’d think would be reciting this drivel.  She, and my lovely wife, use “frak” a little too much for my comfort.  I mean, that’s MY word.  They don’t even like Battlestar Galactica, in either incarnation, though I’ve gotten my wife to watch some Caprica. Continue reading “What is a Geek Dad”

Regrets, I Have A Few

What regrets do you have? I have quite a few. I know regretting things you have done or more importantly not done in your past is completely counterproductive but I can’t help thinking about them sometimes.

I love those movies where the protagonist says that they don’t have any regrets because everything they’ve done has brought them to that particular moment (or to the love of their life) or made them the person they are today.

That’s not me. I am happy with where I am in my life and feel very lucky to be here but I certainly have regrets; big ones, little ones, short ones, very long ones, trivial ones and life changing ones…basically many many regrets.

Continue reading “Regrets, I Have A Few”

Do You Believe in Magic? Dr. Offit and Alternative Medicine

…we need to focus on the quality of scientific studies. And where scientific studies don’t exist, we should insist they be performed. Dr. Paul Offit M.D., Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine.

I start this book review by saying I have used some sort of supplement through most phases of my adult life. Not a doctor prescribed medication, but instead things I assumed were inherently good.

In high school, I ate diet pills. It was pretty common amongst my peers, and I got them from my mother who was also a compulsive dieter, so I figured they were ok.

I’ve supplemented with caffeine pills, multivitamins, protein powder, any sort of B vitamin I could get my hands on, airborne, green tea, jack3d, amino acids, redmond clay, fish oil. I’ve had acupuncture and acupressure and massages to help in areas that home solutions simply didn’t help.

I’ve turned to holistic remedies to fix minor ailments – cooking myself in a bathtub full of Epsom salts, gargling salt water, dosing with excessive Vitamin C, Vick’s Vapor rubbing my whole body.

Continue reading “Do You Believe in Magic? Dr. Offit and Alternative Medicine”

Two Writers on Writing: J.K. Rowling vs Elizebeth Gilbert

I love reading blogs written by writers who are writing about writing. I said it like that because not all writers write about their own writing. They write about other people’s stuff. I don’t care what they’re writing about, if the title interests me and I spot it, I’ll generally pop over to read it. I don’t always leave comments; I’m a little shy about leaving comments…not much mind you, but just a little.

A couple of the blogs I’ve read this week led me to videos.

rowlingOne was a commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter Books. I’ve never read them so I have no opinion of them other than to say that lots of people of all ages seem to like them…hence the movies; which I also haven’t seen except in trailers and bits. She gave a lovely speech and I didn’t save the address because at the end I got booted out and had a virus to deal with. But I got to see and hear most of the speech and this is a part that I remember:

“By every usual standard I was the biggest failure that I knew…Failure meant the stripping away of the unessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else I might never have found the determination to succeed in the arena where I believed I truly belonged. I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized. I was still alive. And I still had a daughter whom I adored. And I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life…It is impossible to live without failure unless you live a life so cautiously that you may as well never have lived at all.” Continue reading “Two Writers on Writing: J.K. Rowling vs Elizebeth Gilbert”

8 Simple Rules For Engaging with Students For Better Results

I have recently worked with students who are getting ready for the HS exam, we were practicing the tests and many people were struggling with them, I was afraid that they will get demotivated and will give up the course like they dropped from the high school. So I wanted to engage them and it worked out. I need to say that I found one small website that help me to get them engaged in learning again, they use a lot modern technology and it keeps kids on the site. I don’t say this is the best one but a website with online prep like this one can work for you too.

So here are my tips for you on how to engage students for better results

1) Ask Questions
Opinions are like noses, everybody’s got one.
Give people a reason to share their opinions by asking them questions during the course. Don’t just broadcast your announcements. Make it a two-way conversation.

2) Pick A Side
Most rational people are capable of seeing both sides of an argument. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people stop being rational. The trick is to have a strong opinion and be able to stick to your guns, debating your subject without degenerating into the tit for tat name calling and flame wars that so many trolls live for. There are some hugely Outspoken People out there who have turned their talent for this into a veritable artform and you can learn a lot from observing how they handle themselves.
Continue reading “8 Simple Rules For Engaging with Students For Better Results”

50 college tips for freshmen

A few of my friends are nervous about starting school this upcoming year, and they asked me if I had any tips. After taking some time to think through my freshman year carefully, I came up with these 50 suggestions to help you make the most of college, both socially and academically:

  1. Keep an open mind to different lifestyles and viewpoints. People in college come from all different walks of life, don’t rule them out just because their hobbies and views are different than yours. Make friends of all different types.
  2. Live the way you want to. If you want to have Nerf gun fights in your dorm hallway, then do it! You live away from home now, and it’s up to you to dictate how you want to live. Go to bed when you want to. Get up at a time that works best. This extends to everything — including your academics.
  3. Take a few chances. College is the time to branch out and discover yourself. Take a few risks, do things that you normally wouldn’t, and watch as you have the time of your life.
  4. Adopt a ‘Yes Man‘ attitude. Start accepting opportunities as they come to you instead of making excuses not to do something. You’ll be amazed at how much more interesting your life will become.
  5. Don’t spend all of your free time alone in your room. Solitude is nice, but you’ll love college a lot more if you don’t spend all day watching TV or surfing the Internet. Keep yourself busy.
  6. Explore your hobbies and try new ones. Find clubs and teams for hobbies and sports you enjoy and get involved.
  7. 4296-college-freshman-meme-wallpaper-535x425 Continue reading “50 college tips for freshmen”

Should You Go To The Same College as Your Friends?

college-friends1I still remember getting my first acceptance letter from the first school I had applied too. My mom did the honors of reading the letter. The sound of her voice plays back in my head every time I think about it, “Congratulations! You have been accepted to Saint Mary’s College of California.” My parents were thrilled, that all these online programs helped me to get to the college, I was proud myself and my parents started to Tango in the living room, which was both embarrassing and awkward to watch even though no one else was around. I was pretty happy that a small, private liberal arts college near home had accepted me.

However, I wasn’t very excited about the fact that none of my friends had applied to (much less heard) of Saint Mary’s. I was scared that we would all go our separate ways and barely stay in contact.  I was scared it would be like a corny teen drama, where a group of friends go away to college only to return completely different individuals with nothing in common. Also, the thought of living with a complete stranger terrified me.   Continue reading “Should You Go To The Same College as Your Friends?”