Sometimes, You Just Have to Read the Whole Chapter

28 July 2014
Bernadette Rocha

I just finished my midterm for my advanced Spreadsheets class, and as much as I studied for this first half (the next portion is tomorrow) I got caught up on the simplest – and silliest – of roadblocks.

What was it? Formatting. It took me probably ten minutes to figure out that there was a typo on the midterm and that there is no such thing as a certain color combination that we were asked to do. If I had not been so stressed, I would have figured this problem out much sooner and probably would’ve been done a lot quicker.

Anyhow, now that this portion of the midterm is over, I can breathe. After class, I went to a computer on campus (there’s always a computer available somewhere to use) so that I could finish my Lesson Eight assignments. Figuring that I would get through the last two assignments quick enough and be off campus by twelve, I dived right in.

Everything was going well until it asked me to do a very specific task, one of which looked completely foreign to me. The only thought I had at that point was, “had I studied this?” This question prompted me to go back through the chapter and see if I may have missed something. I was a little surprised to find out that not only had I missed that exercise, but I apparently had not finished reading through the chapter! No wonder I was stuck.

I learned a very valuable lesson today: Always, always, always, read through the whole chapter. It might be good practice to flip through the chapter each day, simply to get a refresher of what you have learned as well as to make sure that, yes, you did go over that lesson the day before so that, yes, you will be able to complete this lesson without a hitch.

Anyways, food for thought!

Time for that NaNoWriMo Outline

25 July 2014
Bernadette Rocha

Holding my mouthwatering homemade bowl of glazed carrots, I sat down before my tablet, determined to watch the ending of the Korean film, The Pot. (I have been watching a lot of Korean and Japanese films lately).

As I was about to press play, I was suddenly struck with an awful thought. I forgot to work on my outline for this year’s NaNoWriMo contest!

Not only is this matter unbelievable, but it is also unacceptable. There is only one thing which can be done, and that is to remedy this problem once and for all.

This evening, after I finish the film, will be devoted to working on an outline for my November Novel-to-be. I had begun one earlier in the year, but I simply no longer have interest in that storyline.

I have an idea, and it vaguely reminds me of the style of many anime which I have watched in the past. Hmm, I like anime and the idea which I have is beginning to interest me more and more as I write this..

Advice:
Fellow NaNoWriMo’s and newbies, my suggestion to you is that you should work on creating your outline immediately. Trust me, trying to work on a novel from scratch without putting any real thought into it is difficult. Especially when you only have 30 days with which to write.

Take time to plan out your novel before hand, but remember, do not write the first sentence until November first!

This is your opportunity to create your world (for you sci-fi/fantasy writers), create maps (which are really helpful when you become stuck simply because you forgot if Town X was to the left of Town R or to the right of Town C), and also to work on character development.

Put as much thought into this world of yours ahead of time and your NaNoWriMo novel will take off instantaneously, you will hardly be able to catch up to it!

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Business Plan

As an assignment for my Introduction to Business class, I was given the task to create my very own Business Plan. I have chosen to create a non-profit Family Day Center/Hygiene Center which accepts Men and Women with children under the age of 18 (accompanying them – and yes, there will be background checks on all first-time clients). The type of center that I am creating in this model will be one that is empowering and fosters independence.

The idea to create a non-profit for my business plan stems from the fact that I currently work as an Intern at a Shelter on the weekends, which is run by a Day Center for Women and Children during the week. Throughout my time at these two centers, I have listened to the concerns of the clients and realized that the type of center that I am creating in my plan is one that the families would benefit from greatly.

Even though this was begun solely as a project for class, I think that it would be beneficial to keep it on file. If I do this, then I can spend time refining the model when new ideas come to light. As appealing as beginning, owning, and running a business sounds, at this time I do not think I am ready to make such a leap. It does not, however, mean that I must stop at this point. Having a complete plan or series of plans could come in handy one day when I feel as though I am ready to handle such a huge responsibility.

-Bernadette Rocha

Choosing the Right Path

Why is it that good ideas come naturally to some people, yet for others, they have to sift through the cosmic puzzle before finding the piece that fits?

Education is excellent for many reasons, but the one which continues to stand out is that it helps one to unlock unrealized potential.

Example:

Suppose your main goal in life is to become a Marine Biologist. You then begin taking courses to help you achieve that end. This is an excellent goal, however, suppose that once you begin taking these courses, you realize that they are either too difficult, or else you realized that this path is not for you.

What do you do now? You change direction. Rather than dropping out of College and settling for some random job at your local Cafe, why not stay in school and see what direction life takes you.

Just because you do not feel that being a Marine Biologist (or whatever floats your boat) is a right fit for you, doesn’t mean that you are doomed to failure. It also does not mean that you “wasted” your money (or someone else’s money if you received some kind of financial aid, grant, etc). It just means that you are receiving a “well-rounded” education. You know what? You may even be able to apply what you have learned in another situation, so not all is lost.

If you found that, after your educational (or applied) experience that you do not want to continue down your once desired path, create a new one. Take classes that sound interesting and work from there.

My Experience:

When I was in High School, I was deathly certain that I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I began to tailor my classes to suit entrance requirements into schools which had great Marine Science programs. I even took a Summer course in Marine Technology at an Occupational Skills Center. I was meeting graduation requirements as well as entrance requirements. Everything was going according to plan.

Then, it all came crashing down.

I realized how bad in math that I was (an still am). I failed the second semester of my Chemistry class (which is a HUGE requirement for Marine Sciences) and barely passed my last Algebra class. Once I graduated from High School, knowing that Math and Science are huge components of being a Marine Biologist, I set that dream aside.

The following Fall, I enrolled into a technical school for Medical Assisting, thinking that perhaps this was a better course for me to follow. By the time the program was over, I had achieved top grades, excelled in all of my classes, and landed an internship at a clinic for Internal Medicine.

By the time my Internship was successfully completed, I realized that this was NOT a field that I enjoyed at all. I gave up the idea of being a Medical Assistant and moved on.

Moving Forward:

These past several years, through past jobs, volunteer opportunities, and my current Internship at a family Shelter, I have learned a lot about myself. The biggest thing is that as long as I apply myself, I can do anything I set my mind to, even being a Marine Biologist if I really want to.

I enrolled at my local Community College for Spring Quarter and began taking classes in the area of Business. Currently, I am working towards trying to receive an Associate of Applied Science – Transfer Degree in Business Information Technology (BIT).

This is something that I would NEVER have done several months ago. I am not exactly sure what had happened, as Business never used to be something that I was interested in. Yet, I chose to gain an education in this area. Why?

The answer is simple. Having a basic understanding of the Business world is essential these days. You can apply the skills learned in this area to pretty much any workplace environment, including the Administrative aspects of Marine Sciences.

Is Marine Science really my end goal? This is a possibility, though it will have to be on the back-burner for now. Why? I have always had an interest in writing, so after I complete this A.A.S.-T. in BIT, I am planning on transferring to a University so that I can work towards completing a Bachelor’s in Communication, specifically Journalism.

As I write this, I realize that I can still implement Marine Sciences in my educational plan. As a Journalism Major, I can work towards continuing my education in Marine Sciences, while at the same time using my skills learned in the field of Communication as well as my skills learned in Business Information Technology to work on publications relating to the Marine Sciences, perhaps in the form of educational books for children, learning materials for the public, etc.

In the end, who knows where one will end up in their journey to higher learning. While it is important to stick to your current educational plan, it does not mean that it needs to be set in stone. Sometimes, change is for the best!

Best,

Bernadette Rocha

Glee

Surprisingly, I am starting to like the show, “Glee”. I never really cared for it before, so I never paid much attention to the storyline. However, my sister has been watching Season One on the computer as I am studying, so I have had no choice but to follow what is going on.

It is actually a pretty good show. The music is great, and the storyline draws you in, making you want to know what will happen next. I give a thumbs up to, “Glee”.

Being a Team Player

It is week two of Summer quarter. Outside, the blazing sun lights up the blue sky, showing off white clouds painted here and there.

“It’s so beautiful out there,” said my classmate. I smiled, nodding in agreement.

Pulling my eyes away from the window (and the attractive guys I saw exiting their vehicles from the downstairs parking lot) I focused on what our teacher was instructing us to do.

Each of us students had to stand and tell the class why we feel we would be an excellent team player. Afterwards, we were to choose our groups based on the characteristics which we shared. Luckily, one of the women in my class chose me and another woman whom I was hoping would also be in my group. Our instructor added a guy to our group and thus our team was formed.

Right away, I knew this group was going to work. I had already worked with one of the women last quarter, so I know she will do her best. The other woman was full of positive energy and seemed to really be doing her best in class.

As we got together, we were asked to create a Team Name, Mission Statement, and Team Policies. This is because we are to be in the same team until the end of the quarter. We immediately took each others’ contact information and thought about what we should be called.

At first, to get our creative juices flowing, I suggested we call ourselves the “Cool Cats”. We all laughed and continued to come up with other ideas. Eventually, we settled on calling ourselves, “Rebecca’s A-Team”. “Rebecca” being our teacher. Everyone was in agreed that this was the best name for us. It would help motivate us and make sure that we were on our “A-Game”.

Later on, my other class started. We were also to be placed into groups for this one as well. Right away, I knew something was wrong. One of the women in my group was planning on dropping the class, another student was always very quiet, and the last student in our group I didn’t know anything about since she was a week late.

As our instructor was talking to us about the project and getting together outside of class (it is a hybrid class, so we are only in class Tue and Thur) and she began to seriously ask if we were to have to do this outside of class. Immediately, I became worried. Last week, our teacher was telling us that the final grade of this project would depend upon everyone. She also said that everyone in the group would receive the same grade. This means that if some of us do all the work, those who didn’t do anything will get the same grade. I do not believe in rewarding people well for doing terrible work.

Hopefully, this team will pull through. So far, I have a perfect grade in each of the three classes I am taking, and I wish to keep it that way.

Even though I am worried about the final outcome for this last group, I think that as long as we come up with a good plan, and execute our jobs well, then it should hopefully work out. In the meantime, I will fake my enthusiasm until we achieve success. This way, I do not feel the motivation to do terribly myself.

Best,

Bernadette Rocha

College and Procrastination

I am currently at the end of my first week of Summer Quarter. This is my second quarter and I am excited to be back in school. I am taking three classes: BUS 177 – Spreadsheets (so that I can understand MS Excel 2013 more in depth), BUS 235 – Oral Communication in Business, and BUS& 101 – Introduction to Business. These are very useful classes which I can apply in a real-world setting. It helps also that I have some excellent instructors who make learning interesting.

All three of my classes are hybrid classes, which means that I must still turn in assignments on certain days online through the Canvas program, even though I am only in class for a couple of days. Canvas is the shell that my school uses for teachers to assign assignments and students to submit assignments. It is a very useful program which I am getting used to rather quickly.

It is only the end of the first week, and I have learned a valuable lesson. I must not procrastinate! I let one of my assignments get away from me, and I am regretting it. I had kept pushing it back further and further, and now it has caught up to me. Not only must I work on the one that got away, but I have to do it along with other work that is due in a couple of days. I have needlessly created more work for myself.

Today, I have decided that this problem ends here. I will not let procrastination get the best of me. I have to remind myself that I have a cumulative GPA of 3.93 and that I want to keep it high. I cannot keep it high if I do not do what needs to be done. I must get my act together so that my grades, and overall future, do not fall apart.

Procrastination has no place in a College Student’s life.

-Bernadette R.