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Graduates Celebrate a Rite of Passage

While it may be fashionable to see today’s younger generation as self-centered and money-minded, many of this year’s college graduates will prove the stereotype wrong. These young people are testaments to perseverance and have managed to retain a healthy dose of idealism. Now that’s what I would call a great New Year’s perspective.

‘I have always been extremely interested in how the world works,’ says Queens College graduate, Rivka Eisik. ‘That’s why I majored in biology. But in graduate school ‘I’m starting in September’ I’m going to major in biology and education. I would love to take the knowledge I’ve acquired about life and transfer it to kids.’

Eisik attended a Jewish parochial high school and started to learn about life in college. ‘More than anything else, I appreciated Queens College’s amazing diversity,’ she says. ‘It was like getting in touch with a whole new world.’

In turn, Eisik and her friend Yael Katz opened a whole new world to hundreds of younger children by starting a day camp, Camp H2O, in Spring Valley, NY, three years ago. ‘Our motto was ‘We guarantee to teach every kid how to swim,” she says. ‘And we did, too. We had close to 100 percent success rate. We figured it was an invaluable service, good business, and something that will help children learn something that’s really necessary at the same time.’

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Great ways to renew your character

“I can’t find time to sharpen my saw,” the man said emphatically. “Sawing keeps me too busy.” (Covey)

Sometimes we are so busy achieving a goal we forget to look for easier ways to achieve it.

According to Covey, there are four areas you need to focus on to ‘sharpen your saw’ or improve your character.

Why is it so hard to focus on improving your method or technique? Because you will often feel rushed to arrive at your destination and therefore forget to even look at the road you are traveling. Living with a constant sense of urgency creates the feeling that you have no time to improve your method of getting there.

Four dimensions to sharpen

Covey distinguishes four areas where you can develop your character and wellbeing to renew your character.

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Bill Gates and Unusual Summer Reading

Remember when you were a kid, and you set off from the last day of school with a summer reading list? Pages and pages of wonderful books, asking to be read. Library card in hand, you happily spend lazy summer afternoons with a book in one hand and an ice cream sandwich in the other.

Maybe that was just me. Bill Gates has his own ideas on which books to read over summer. Just check out this video:

So far, I have found that the worst part of being a working adult is summer. What do you mean I don’t get a summer vacation? What do you mean I have to spend the sunniest, laziest days sitting in a fluorescent chamber of boredom and deadlines? What do you mean I don’t get a summer reading list and hours of freedom to spend reading?

Well, this summer I decided to make my own reading list and spend as much time as possible on reading as much as possible. Summer is over now so let me tell you what I did. Instead of lazing on the couch watching mindless TV after work/dinner/housework, I was lazing on the couch reading one classic after another. That’s right, I was focusing on the classics. No fluffy novels about shopping or engagement ring for me this year!  Only the truly good stuff.

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Key and Peele Super Bowl

This is for folks who get so bored of the continuous straightforward commentaries of Super Bowl announcers Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. Those folks had another and much more eccentric option in February 2016.

Comedy duo Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key (aka Key & Peele) starred as Lee and Morris, a few outlandish and aspiring Atalanta sports commentary characters that they created for the 2016 Super Bowl Squarespace ad campaign.

The comedy duo also did a live and online commentary of the Super Bowl game broadcast but there was one major hitch: Neither the fictional characters or Squarespace had the rights to use or relate to any of the trademarks that were related to our nation’s Big Game two years ago.

That resulted in a few workarounds and entertaining dodges as the zany personalities were trying to carefully comment their way around the meticulously protected naming rights of the NFL. Squarespace, known for building websites, had released even a new teaser for their Super Bowl ad.

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Different paths lead to a degree

Many students get part-time jobs, take longer than 4 years to finish

Entering Michigan State University as a freshman, Joseph Montes assumed he would complete his degree in four years. Two majors, multiple part-time jobs, and three internships later, the 22-year-old, fifth-year senior from Lake Orion, Mich., isn’t necessarily disappointed that it didn’t turn out that way.

The journalism major picked up a second major in English so he could take special writing classes. He also has worked as an online tutor for GED prep BestGEDclasses.org website and for the campus newspaper and took a semester off to intern with a daily newspaper. He works 30 hours a week and will graduate without debt.

“You need to think about your school and the pathway you’re going to take,” Montes says. “There are so many different ways to get an education these days.”

Hundreds of thousands of high school seniors are surfing the Web and poring over catalogs to figure out where they’re going to college. But many will base the decision on some traditional assumptions that aren’t necessarily true.

Most 18- and 19-year-olds starting college will take more than four years to graduate and will work at least part-time while in college, and many will earn credit from more than one school. And they shouldn’t count on multiplying their first year’s expenses by four to approximate a final price tag.

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Every Grade is the Opportunity for a Fresh Start

The fist half of this school year is nearing the end and one of the greatest advantages that children have is the opportunity each September to begin again with a new teacher, a new set of classmates, and a new determination to make some positive changes and try some new experiences.

Unlike the often short-lived New Year’s resolutions we might make in January, plans for change made at the start of a new school year have much greater potential for success for a number of reasons. First, children and teens often experience a surge in growth both physically and socially over the summer. You can help encourage them to initiate changes by praising them on how much they’ve matured.

The beginning of the school year is a time that your children will receive many notices and information about school activities, community programs, auditions for musical groups, try-outs for sports groups, and more. Help your child keep track of all the programs that may be of interest. Now is the time to reevaluate whether to continue with former programs or try something new.

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