Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Sex Education"

"Sex Education" by Jenny Davis is a book about two students taking high school biology. Their teacher has decided that the first half of the school year learning about sexual health, but it will not be limited to science and diagrams. She gives them assignments such as telling themselves they are beautiful and making another person's life better.

This book was published in 1988 and was banned or challenged due to presentation of sex education. While I understand what the author was trying to do, I did not enjoy this book. Nor do I think it is a good source of information for teenagers who are wanting to learn how to deal with sex. This book did not address the emotions of having sex or protection; in fact, little of this book had anything to do with sex at all. The only thing I learned from it is to not help people. On top of that, the ending did not seem at all realistic, and rather disturbing.

This is one of those books that is only ever read because it is banned, in my opinion at least. I would like to know what every one else thinks.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week

In honor of Banned Books Week (check out for more information) I will be writing reviews of commonly banned or challenged books all this week. My major focus will be on books that have been removed from school reading lists or public school libraries.

Has anyone ever had direct experience with book challenging? Do you ever think its ok to ban a book? For you future teachers, how would you deal with a controversial book that you wanted students to read?
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Friday, September 24, 2010

When Stuck on Homework

Steacie Science and Engineering Library at Yor...Image via Wikipedia
Every so often, (or perhaps daily) you will hit a wall while doing homework. Since doing the same thing will get you the same results, here's how to break through that wall:

1. Get some help. E-mail your teacher, ask a friend in the class or one who has already taken the class or others like it. Someone may be able to explain it in a way that makes sense.

2. Take a break. Clear your mind, get some exercise, or eat a snack. Go for something light and healthy, such as carrots or pretzels.

3. Change the scenery. It you're working in your room, try going to the library instead.

4. Try working on different homework and trying your current work later.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is Harvard Really the Best Choice?

A recent artice on confirmed what many have believed all along. Going to a top school is not an immediate ticket to the job of your dream. According to this article, corporations prefer hiring graduates from state schools over many Ivy leagues.

Part of this is for reasons stated in the article: graduates of Harvard and the like tend to go on to grad school or work at Wall Street, while graduates of state schools go into the workforce. Therefore, those students are better prepared for the workforce. But I think there may be other issues at work as well.

First off, the two stongest jobs that you can get in terms of job security are teacher and nurse. Neither of these pay a lot, but require quite a bit of schooling. Therefore, when choosing an undergrad school, students looking to go into that profession are going to consider price as a big issue.

Also, despite what the American dream tells us, most students at Ivy league schools come from well-off families. They have some form of fallback. Many students at state schools may have to get a job because otherwise, they will have no place to live.

Finally, state school graduates assume that the school on their diploma will not be enough to land themselves a good-paying job, so they compensate through activities and leadership roles. Graduates of Ivy league schools may assume that good grades from a prestigious school are enough and just don't try as hard when looking for a job or building their resume.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

"That's Not my Thing."

This week is my school's Formal Recruitment. That means that last week all of us affiliated with a national sorority were busy signing girls up to meet with all of our campus' sororities. I didn't think it would be all that difficult; all you have to do is sit at a table and ask girls if they want to sign up. If they have any questions, answer them.

However, it felt a little like pulling teeth. Girls who stopped to talk about it had to be convinced that it would be fun and even then a lot of them did not put their names down. The most common reason I heard? "That's not my thing."

As a proud sorority chick myself I found that statement oddly offensive. Many of these girls were freshmen so they had no idea what Greek life at this university is even like. The whole purpose of something like formal recruitment is to find out if this is for you. I know many girls who never saw themselves as members of a sorority but now hold major offices, and consider their membership an important part of who they are.

This post is not meant to be a rant about how everyone stereotypes Greek. College is about trying new things, whether that means going to an interest meeting for a Greek organization or taking a class on Finance even though you want to teach kindergarten. It gives you chance to not only learn new things but to learn something about yourself.

My freshman year one of my friends convinced me to join my school's Philosophy Club. I hated it, and only stayed for one semester. But you know what? I'm still glad I did it. I had never read any philosophy books up to that point, so I had very little knowledge of it. Now, I am better informed, had the chance to meet a professor who turned out to be one of my favorite teachers, and met other students I would not have otherwise.

So rather than turning something down just because you don't think its for you, jump in and try something you never thought you would, as long as it is not dangerous. You have nothing to loose, but so much to gain.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Today's featured comment is from the post The Military:

"I have a friend that joined the Marines right out of college. He went to serve in Afghanistan shortly after. Because of this, you never know what will happen once you join or where they'll send you. I plan to join the Air Force AFTER I graduate college, that way I'll have some educational background and hopefully have an upper hand in what career choice I want to choose while serving the country. "

Keep the comments coming!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Parents' Role in Students' Lives

College is when most students are away from their parents for the longest time ever. And because parents and their children are often very close, or at least in some way reliant on each other, parents are entering a new stage of life along with their children. Because of this, colleges are adapting to serve parents and deal with their concerns as well. This may be done by including parents in presentations about financial aid or alcohol.

Some parents have trouble letting go. Were your parents this way? The best thing to do is to not let them linger. Once you are done packing, thank them and say good bye. If necessary, tell them you have a required orientation even to go to, one where parents are not allowed.

During the year, when your parents start asking too many questions, suggest that they sign up for the school newsletter or join the Parents' Club. Limit phone calls to no more than twice a week, unless calling for a specific reason (Like sorting out loan information, not they have local gossip.)

College is a time for independence, and no matter how difficult it is for your parents to let go, it needs to happen.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Strange Scholarships

Everyone's heard of those mystical scholarships that you can get for being tall or left-handed. But where are they hiding? Since Fastweb doesn't ask question that will direct you to such opportunities for free money, here they are:

If you qualify for any of them, consider entering. Why not take advantage?

Do you know of any other strange scholarships? If so, please post the link.
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Friday, September 3, 2010


Grilled Ham and Cheese SandwichImage via Wikipedia
As a student who pays boarding fees, I mostly eat in the cafeteria. It works out pretty convientently, and the food is alright. Of course, there are plenty of problems with it. For one, the vegetarian options are limited. When I have tried to eat meat free, I usually end up eating cheese pizza or grilled cheese with tomato and lettuce (delicious, but not always filling).

On top of the vegetarian issue, I'm not sure the cafeteria is the healthiest place to eat anyways, and certainly not the most environmentally friendly. At the beginning of this semester we made the change to trayless, but there has been some resistance, including a request for our Student Government to change it back.
Anyways, this brings me to the topic of today's blog: a woman, known on the internet as Mrs. Q, has just spent a year experiencing school lunches. Understandably, she has a lot of concerns. View her blog here.

The blog made me think: in college, our parents are a lot less involved with school than they once were. As such, they hardly ever serve as advocates for us any more. But what if a parent were so fed up with college cafeteria food that they decided to do the same experiment that Mrs. Q did? Would they be happy with your school's food? What would bug them the most?

Of course, as adults, we are now responsible for our own health and happiness. That is one of the biggest differences between high school and college in my opinion.

What do you think are the biggest issues with college lunches today? Please leave your comments.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Apparently, the library should be a crucial issue when choosing a college. What do you think? Did you take the library into consideration when you choose your school? How big of a part of the tour was it? And how often do you use the library's resources?

Also, are books in libraries going away?