Quick Note About Writing

I’m happy to announce that my essay “In Search of E.B.” (as in E.B. White) was listed as a Notable Essay of 2012 by the editors of The Best American Essays 2013! And who says googling yourself is a waste of time? (Click here to see the listing. To read the full essay, click here.)

Well, this will help me stay motivated as I continue banging away at my novel…

Ways to Keep Your Parents Sane While You’re Studying Abroad

By Lee Reyes-Fournier

The idea of you studying abroad may be scary for your parents, but the benefits are huge. According to the University of California at Merced, 97 percent of students that study abroad find employment within 12 months of graduation, and 25 percent of those make around $7,000 more annually than those that only study domestically.

Instead of being discouraged from learning abroad, create ways to keep your parents sane and connected with you.

graduation student  open arms to welcome the worldwide job

Keep a Rigid Schedule

The best way to keep your parents from freaking out is to communicate on a regular basis. Know the time difference between countries, and set a good time to talk before you leave.

Of course, this can become difficult if you don’t have telephone or Internet service. However, most large, industrialized cities have available Wi-Fi in Internet cafes, restaurants or stores.

Furthermore, instead of trying to rely on cell phone towers, use Internet platforms like Skype and Google Voice. In rural areas, you may need to be your own hotspot, so try hotspot apps like Cellular Abroad’s MiFi, which has service in 33 countries. Most of the packages are under $100 per month.

Share Your Trip

Your parents want to know that this educational trip is worth the time, money and worry. Sharing your trip pics is a good way to keep them in the loop without needing to call and explain every moment of your travels. Use Dropbox or a similar cloud storage service so that your parents can access photos whenever they want. This allows them to easily see that you are safe as well as all of the cultural, historical, educational and fun things you are experiencing.

Geolocation Tracking

Since the day you were born, your parents always want to know where you are, what you are doing, who you are with and that you are safe. This parental instinct does not change just because you are 21 and no longer live at home.

To help combat your parents’ fears, try a geolocation tracking app like Life360, which can tell you where your family member is within 32 feet. This application works with the GPS and texting systems of the cellphone, allowing you to see where everyone in your network is located. It also has emergency functions, which allow you to send an alert to everyone in the family grid with a push of a button.

Get Names And Numbers

There is nothing more reassuring than a person that will pick up the telephone. No news is not good news for parents, so the University of Northern Iowa’s Study Abroad Center recommends getting contact names, phone numbers and emails for your school, home, embassy and any other important people abroad. Furthermore, it may help your parents relax if they can talk to any of these people before you leave.

Also, register with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan to stay informed with any potentially dangerous situations.

Lee Reyes-Fournier is a psychotherapist with 25 years of experience. She is the award-winning co-author of CoupleDumb.com, which is ranked within the top 1% of all relationship sites. She also co-wrote the book “Dysaffirmations” and is co-host of “Relationship Rehab,” a relationship web series – Science!!


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A Brief History of Education

What kind of education would you have received if you had lived in a different time? Interesting to think about.

Before Modern Education
Source: BestDegreePrograms.org


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How Does Life Change In Your Twenties?

By Selena Jones

So, you’ve graduated. Congratulations! You’re quite possibly in your twenties – now what? You may already be noticing some changes. While half your friends are still getting drunk every night, you’re wondering if you can even hack one night of birthday drinks and cursing those hangovers. Midweek cocktails are firmly out of the question for you! Or perhaps your friends are having babies and the appropriate response is no longer to panic and ask “what on earth are you going to do?!” – they’re actually happy about it, and you are, too.

Your twenties are a definitive decade.

Your twenties are arguably a definitive decade. You’re still young enough to experiment, make mistakes, and yet you are starting to get some real responsibilities, too. Now, nobody’s saying you have to settle down, make compromises, whatever. But you’re learning that sometimes you have the choice to, and that’s okay. It’s an exciting time, one where you have the world at your feet, your career is dawning and you’re most likely mixing with a different set of people, perhaps in a new place. Suddenly, getting a house, starting a family and all of these ‘grown up’ things don’t seem so ‘forever never’ – they’re suddenly potentially your daily reality. Of course some things will be hard to adjust to, others will be easier. Everyone is different, but that’s part of living.

So, what do these different stages in your life actually mean? I’ve touched on families – you’re possibly thinking about starting your own. With today’s mounting debts and rising costs pricing a lot of people out of any huge milestones, it’s often advisable for a lot of people in this situation to put their career first. But you’re also probably learning that sometimes, things just happen the way they happen, and that’s fine as well.

What about travel? So many Americans don’t even own a passport, and yet there are literally hundreds of countries out there, waiting to be explored. Travel no longer has to mean road tripping down to Miami for WOOHOO Spring Break, because sadly, not many of us in a 9-5 are afforded that privilege anymore! But there are plenty of other options, from taking time out to commit to backpack, or learning a new language or culture by actually working abroad. The lucky few, perhaps those already settled in a two income household, may even consider investing in a holiday home on a Spanish island somewhere, like in Tenerife, which is cheaper than you’d think, or perhaps a luxury property in Dubai! The world is your oyster.

Of course, money doesn’t totally make the world go round. There are loads of things you’ll likely change in your twenties – some people calm down more, while others decide to throw caution into the wind! No matter who you are, what you’re doing or how old – or young – you feel, different areas alter in your mind over the years. So, even though you’re a grown up, you never have to stop chasing your dreams – you just have to adapt them!


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Get Into These 4 Healthy Habits as You Head off to College

By K.C. Dermody

For most college students, going off to school brings the first real sense of independence and freedom. You’ll experience an abundance of unfamiliarity as you’re exposed to a new learning environment and living arrangements filled with different types of people. With this new environment and people comes a host of germs and viruses that can easily be passed around, potentially keeping you from your studies and threatening to impact your grades. In fact, 68 percent of college students stated that they missed class due to illness, according to a survey conducted on behalf of global hygiene company SCA.

You’ll probably make every effort to look your best by taking frequent showers and wearing the latest fashions, but there are many aspects of hygiene that college students commonly overlook. Ensure you’re taking the proper steps for good health this semester with these four tips:

1. Wash your hands often

Mom probably reminded you every single day to wash your hands, but now that you’re out on your own, it’s easy to forget. Good hand hygiene habits are crucial for preventing the spread of cold and flu viruses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers these startling facts about hand washing:

  • It is estimated that washing hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50 percent.
  • More than 50 percent of healthy people have Staphylococcus aureus living in or on their nasal passages, throats, hair, or skin.
  • Hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent.

Germs are commonly passed along when shaking someone’s hand, touching a stair railing or door knob, and handling money among many other common activities. Protect yourself by washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 to 30 seconds.

washing hands

2. Take care of your contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses, you should know that they carry a risk of eye infection, particularly if good hygiene practices aren’t followed. Be sure to carefully follow the lens care guidelines your optician or ophthalmologist prescribed, and replace contact lenses frequently in order to reduce the risk of infection. Save money by ordering them online from a company like VisionDirect.

3. Maintain good oral health

Taking good care of your mouth and teeth helps to ensure that you have a healthy, attractive smile in addition to eliminating bacteria that can cause bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. Brush at least twice a day, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If you notice the bristles becoming frayed, it’s time to get a new one. Proper daily flossing is also a must. Floss one tooth at a time by sliding the floss in the space between your tooth and gum, gently rubbing the side of the tooth in and up and down motion.

4. Launder bed linens frequently

Laundry may be inconvenient with your new packed schedule and your living accommodations, but make every effort to wash your pillow cases, comforters and sheets in hot water and detergent at least once a week. Dust mites are drawn to the dark, moist environment of a mattress, and mite infestations are known to cause allergies and rashes as well as exacerbating asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

 

About the author: K.C. Dermody is a freelance writer who has published work on numerous sites and in printed publications, including Yahoo Travel, Sports & News, RunLiveLearn and The Sherpa Report.


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What Is CBE (Competency-Based Education) And Is It Right For You?

By Monica Wells of http://www.bizdb.co.uk/

Competency-based Education (CBE) is the talk of the town in the American education sector – CBE programs are increasingly popular and academic institutions respond to this growing need for affordable and skill-oriented education by creating online programs and courses that follow the pragmatic approach to learning fostered by CBE.

Before deciding whether you’d like to try this relatively novel learning methodology, you should know what CBE actually is, how it differs from traditional high school or college learning programs, and what are its main advantages in the learning process. Here are some essential things everyone interested in their education should know about CBE.

Is CBE right for you?

Is CBE right for you?

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