Archive for February, 2009

The Erik Method

Coursework, Work/Play Balance No Comments »

Dear [soon-to-be] College Student,

I am sitting on the couch watching Fresh Prince of Bell-Air episodes for the 137th time, when suddenly I remember that I have homework due. As I drag myself with excitement for this imminent task, I have a brilliant idea:

“Why don’t I just do my homework during the commercials? Therefore I do not have to choose between television and my homework.” I thought.The plan worked so flawlessly (I’ll tap myself on the back), that I decided to name it. So I called it “The Erik Method”.

Studies show that for every hour that a student spends in the classroom, they should be reviewing three hours at home. These are the habits of highly-successful college students. Even just a glance at the notes you took at school will help… anything to simply refresh your memory with the information that you have written down. Now every time commercials come on TV, I’m not so discouraged because I can be efficient and do homework while all the silly advertisements are muted.

There is, however, a drawback to the “Erik Method”. You should not try this form of efficient time-management for studying for exams. This is due to the fact that studying requires intense retention of the materials which will be very difficult to accomplish in 3 minute intervals of time (between commercials). Other than that, doing small tasks and reviewing for your own personal benefit is fair game. Hope all of this helps.

Your friend,

Erik J. Arroyo

Need a good laugh?

Uncategorized No Comments »

Does school or work have you stressed out? If so then you’re in need of a good laugh. Make sure you get your tickets to the Comedy Jam presented by the Bradenton Rotary. Tickets are $ 25.00. It starts at 7:30pm, Friday March 6th. Doors open at 7:00pm and it is located at the Neel Performing Arts Center at Manatee Community College, Bradenton Campus 5840 26th St. W. Bradenton, FL. 34207. This event is also sponsored by: Hamrick, Perrey & Quinlan, P.A., Bradenton Herald, Bradenton Insurance, Bradenton Rotary Club, Confluent Creative, CPA Associates, Fawley Bryant Architects, Lee VanDegrift, MCC and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The proceeds benefit MCC & USF Scholarships and the Bradenton Rotary Foundation.

The Comedians performing are Maria Bamford

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star of the hit FOX series Sit Down, Shut Up. Doug Benson, The Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central. Traci Kaanan The Princess of Paradies our M.C. and Graham Elwood of Live from Afghanistan. So if you want something fun to do then make sure to get your tickets. I would love to be able to go but unfortunately I have to work so enjoy a few laughs for me!

Looking for a job?

Career No Comments »

I’m sure there are at least a few people out there that are looking for a job. A great resource is right on MCC’s website.

Go to current students then scroll down until you see student employment on the left hand side. Click on student employment and you will see links to job search websites, job success skills, jobs off-campus and websites for minorities. Again these options are on the left hand side of the page. In the middle of the page you will find a box that says “Click here for the Online Career Office to view full-time and part-time jobs”!! When you click on this link you will be brought to a page where you can search for

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part-time and full-time jobs in and around the area. You will also find resume help, info on internships and job shadowing. You can also post your resume on this page for employers to view. This page is very user friendly and easy to navigate.

Another nice thing is that a lot of the employers are flexible with student schedules.

On the first page of the student employment link you will find another link for on-campus recruitment. You can also go to the career resource center for assistance. The career resource center has two locations. On the Bradenton campus it is in the student services building 1 room 207. They are open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm the phone number is 941-752-5325. On the Venice campus it is located in the student service center building 100 room 170 and they are open Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm and on Tuesday’s until 7:00pm. The phone number there is 941-408-1436.

I have found these links and resources to be very helpful. So check them out and hopefully they will help you too. Good luck!

Two Birds

Career, Classes, College Basics, What can you do now? (for high school students), Work/Play Balance No Comments »

Perhaps the biggest mistake I have made during my stay at MCC is not having a plan. As most of us do, I started attending MCC with plans to earn my Associates. Once I accomplished this, I would transfer to a four year university and life would be great… I soon learned that I was wrong.

All I was concerned with was meeting the requirements for my degree at MCC; being completely oblivious to the fact that the university that I planned to transfer to also had its own set of prerequisite classes. Due to my lack of planning skills I now have to take extra classes during the summer in order to transfer into the business program at the university I plan to attend. The reason for posting this is so you can learn from my mistakes.

Each college will have a set of classes they want you to take so that you can transfer into their program. My suggestion is this: take those classes required by the university that also fit into the requirements for MCC. When you synchronize like this, you will kill two birds with one stone and have an extra summer vacation to travel or relax…guess I’ll have to wait till next year.

Finding Inspiration

Career, What can you do now? (for high school students) No Comments »

     I love coffee.  I find a perfect brew (hint: it’s not brewed at my house because that tastes like water) and I dream about it.  I don’t understand how people show up to class tired and tell me they don’t drink coffee.  Coffee is like getting dressed in the morning; you must do it!  It’s the feeling coursing through you that says, “let’s clean, let’s go for a walk, let’s get things done!”
     Yet I also feel more creative when I’m tired.  At One AM.  Maybe that’s why people do their essays and homework last minute (among other reasons).  That is the general time that ideas spark in my brain and I must sit down at write.  Some people prefer music when studying or even exercise to stimulate thinking.
     What is it that you love to do?  What inspires you to be creative or accomplish what you need and want to do?  These could be two separate things or maybe they overlap (like coffee).  I encourage you to think about the things that inspire you in order to be a more focused student.  I also stir you to think about those things that you absolutely adore, especially if you’re still confused about your career path or major.  When I started at MCC I was going to be a Computer Science major.  Then I took a computer class and realized that even though I like computers, I love to write.  It may not be so easy for you, and trust me, it wasn’t as simple for me.  But through your life experiences so far there has to be something in there… some activity you fell in love with.  And if not yet, then you will find one—be looking!


Classes, Coursework No Comments »

This semester for my applied psychology class, one of the requirements is to volunteer at a place of your choice. I chose Manatee Glens since my major is Clinical Psychology and I will be working in the mental health field. I have never really been involved in volunteering anywhere besides a couple of small events with clubs in high school so I am very excited about this opportunity and I am looking forward to learning from this experience and hopefully making a difference.

I am happy that this is one of the requirements for this class and I look forward to writing my journal entries and being able to refer back to them as I continue to go through school and continue to volunteer. Even though I just started I already feel a great sense of satisfaction and I look forward to getting a lot out of it. I encourage others to find places to volunteer. A lot of places are in need especially in today’s economy! I hope to be able to continue to volunteer even once this class is over and I’m also considering volunteering at hospice because I believe in their purpose and mission and they have impacted my family in a huge way. I would love to give back. I’m sure I will continue to talk about my volunteer experience and I also hope that someone else out there also gets inspired to help out.

I also wanted to give an update on how my math class is going, I got a 93 on my first test which is an absolute miracle and everything else seems to be going really well so far too!

Questions or comments?


What can you do now? (for high school students) No Comments »

If you approached me in the middle of my senior year in High School and asked what college I would have liked to attend, I would not have been able to give you an answer. In the midst of SATs, exams, transcripts, homecoming, prom, scholarships, college applications and community service we realize “wow… everything is not spoon-fed to me now”. Once you have made this realization, you are in the real world… welcome to the club. 

I chose Manatee Community College because it offers a smooth transition into college life. It is admirable how diverse the population who attends MCC is. There are multitudes of religions, races, ages, languages, interests and talents all brought together into one place with one common goal: to be educated.There are many reasons why you may want to attend MCC… maybe you want a more affordable education or maybe you’d prefer to stay home for a couple of years while attending college. Whatever the reason I have devised a few simple steps to prepare you for the road ahead. 

Step 1—Apply to MCC – You will find it really hard to get accepted if you don’t apply first. All that is required to apply is a High School Diploma (or equivalent) and you can submit an application. You can reach the application page from the main website (

Step 2—Apply for the Financial Aid—Everyone could use financial aid when attending college. The price for a semester of books could very easily exceed 500$, so be smart and plan ahead. You can apply for the Bright Futures scholarship( or to the FAFSA (Federal Financial Aid– It is never too early to start applying and once you receive the aid it will all be worth it.

Step 3—Schedule a Campus Tour— Contact the school and ask for a campus tour. It is a great way to get to know the campus and experience a typical day at MCC. You will make new friends and I guarantee you will find something you like.

Bottom line is this: It is never too early to visit a school campus and get a feel for the college. It is also never too early to start planning and applying for financial aid. Once you experience the transition into college from high school,you will feel much more mature and aware of the tasks ahead… welcome to the club.

MCC Open House

Applying to SCF, Campus Activities, Clubs No Comments »

     There’s a very exciting event coming up that will interest future MCC students, as well as current students.  Both MCC Venice and Bradenton are holding an Open House!  There will be information available for future students to learn about the courses and programs at Manatee, as well as how to get enrolled.  Highlights on scholarships, grants and loans for students who qualify will also be accessible.
     The different clubs offered to students on each campus will also be there…clubs like creative writing, multi-cultural club or the progressive club.  These extra curricular actitivities are exciting ways for new students to meet others.  I didn’t get into a club on campus for a couple semesters because I feared I didn’t have the time to commit to one.  When in actuality, you don’t need to attend each and every meeting to remain a club member and participate in their events.  Plus, clubs are an excellent addition to resumes for your future University as well as an activity specified to your tastes.
     The Open House at MCC Venice is March third from 5-7pm in the Selby Room (bottom floor building 800).  The one at MCC Bradenton is February 24 from 5-7pm in the Student Union (building 14).

Second Chance

Making the most of your visit, On-campus food No Comments »

If you’re like me and the other 99% of the world population there are often times when you get hungry. My high school graduation was a great moment since I told myself I would never try High School food again. Needless to say, High School left me with a negative outlook on school food. However, once I discovered the Lancer Café at MCC, my perspective on the matter changed drastically. I can actually remember the first time I approached the cafe lady. 

“Well hello there, young man! How can I assist you today?” She asked.                    

“W-well, I’m sort of new and I don’t know where the line starts…” I spat out nervously, realizing how novice I sounded. 

“Well you order here, and then get rung up over there. Our specials are: this, this, and this. I would recommend…..THIS, made by yours truly.” she said with a big warm smile. 

“Then I’ll have that!” I said. 

She was very helpful and made me feel right at home. Moments later, after being rung up an the register, I took my first bite of what was then “The Meal of the Day”. All of a sudden, I could taste a gallimaufry of flavors, seasonings and spices that I had never experienced in school… maybe Carrabba’s, but never school. So if you feel that school food deserves a second chance, I would highly recommend trying the Lancer Café located in Buildings 14 and 500, The Student Union. Since then, I have become a frequent client there. If you’re lucky, you might even meet my favorite lunch lady (who’s name I cannot disclose for privacy issues), but one thing is for sure, it’s hard to eat only once.

Power of a Student Development Advisor

Applying to SCF, Classes, Graduation, Semester schedule No Comments »

     I remember my first semester at MCC.  I’d selected four classes and felt a little in the dark over which ones I needed for my degree.  At the end of the semester I went to see a Student Development Advisor to ask for help on classes for the following semester.  I came to find out that most of the classes I took I didn’t need to take!  Granted, I did change my degree after semester two… but I should’ve gone to visit the Advisor before I started my first semester.
      The Advisors are located in buildings 1 and 100 - the same place you go to register as a student.  They help you with choosing your classes in order to graduate in your major.  They also help you to choose your major when you’re unsure, as well as electives you may enjoy even if you’re fulfilling a liberal arts degree.  Another extremely helpful thing is that they can look into the University you plan to attend next and make sure you take the proper classes for a smooth transfer!
     One last word of advice on the subject is that you need to visit the Advisor every  semester!  You can even visit them now to plan for next fall or summer courses.  They may be quietly stashed away in the Student Services Buildings but they can do so many things for your future career.