Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe that 2008 is almost over already. Time moves inexorably forward – through good times and bad. 2008 will be remembered in history books. Gas prices rose and fell, the stock market crashed and our first African-American President was elected. What a rollercoaster!

Now the holidays are coming and it seems that the current economic crisis has forceably reminded us of one thing: Christmas is not about presents. It’s about enjoying the present… appreciating what you have now. Take a few minutes this holiday season to let others know how much you care about and appreciate them. Your love is the best

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gift you can give.

It’s been a lot of fun blogging this semester. I’m going to miss it.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Fantastic Festivus, etc. :)

New job, new school, new horizons

It’s hard to believe the semester is almost over!  I’ve really enjoyed my time here at MCC.  I feel like a part of the family here.  I’m sad to be leaving.

But I’m excited too.  Next year I’ll be at USF Sarasota through the 2+2 MCC/USF program. I know I want to be a teacher but I’m still deciding whether I want to get my BA in English Literature or Education.  Either way the journey will be worth it.

I’m also excited about a new online job that I’m training for.  I’m going to be working for EQEnglish, helping Chinese students learn to speak English fluently.  I’m so thrilled to have this opportunity.  I’ve always enjoyed working with ESL students in the communications lab.  Now I’ll have the chance to do it on a more permanent basis.

Changing to a new school and job is a little scary but both will be fun and well worth my time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

During this time of year, we reflect on what it is that we are thankful for. Some people are thankful for their position;

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they are glad to be a manager, or in school or just glad to have a job. Some are thankful for material things – like a house or a car.

I’m thankful for the people in my life. I have been so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful, inspiring people my whole life. My mom, who always made things work despite our hardships, taught me independence, discipline and the joys of teaching. My husband, who supports me and my dreams and loves me despite my many faults. My English professor, who has challenged me to strive for improvement, taught me the joys of literature and history and inspired me to become an English teacher. There are more, of course, who have shaped my life and have helped me in every conceivable way.

I’m also thankful for those who are no longer in my life. My father who taught me to think for myself. My grandfather who never had a harsh word. My friend Marsha who showed me how to laugh during hard times. I’m thankful that I had the privilege to have known them.

So tell those who have blessed you that you appreciate them. Life is so short. Love well.

Crunch time!

Argh! Things are always stressful near the end of the semester. Big papers are due, finals are coming up and it seems every day is a deadline for something.

My current stress is getting Elektraphrog ready for publication. Everything has to be proofread three times, all the links need to be checked and double checked… Everything must be perfect. As the managing editor it is my job to make sure that everything is done on time, and correctly. It is a lot of work, but it is going to look really great when it’s finished! It should be done by the time this blog posts on

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Thursday :)

This is the first semester that MCC will be having an course-based online magazine. Bradenton campus has had a printed magazine called the Pentangle for quite some time, but Elektraphrog is brand new. I feel special -being part of the class in its first season. The decisions our class made will set the standard for future editions.

If there are any of you who are interested in taking this class next semester, I have a link to it here. You can either take the full class for 3 credits, or just work on the magazine portion for 1 credit. Publishing a magazine looks great on your resume… especially if you are majoring in English, Journalism or Mass Communications.

Application time

It’s getting close to the end of the semester, which means that its time to apply for college!  I’ll be getting my AA in December, so I applied to several colleges.  I must say, applying to MCC was much easier than trying to jump through all the hoops that Universities give you. 

MCC lets you apply online here  which makes it very convenient.  You’ll need to provide proof of FL residency for tuition purposes, official high school/college transcripts, and test scores for the ACT/SAT.  Don’t worry if you haven’t taken those tests though (or didn’t do well on them).  MCC has an entry level placement test called the FCELPT that you can take. Once you’ve applied, you’ll probably want to apply for financial aid.  Many scholarships are based on financial need, which is determined by filling out your FAFSA.  You really want to do this as soon as possible regardless of which college you attend.  If you don’t qualify or want financial aid you can pay for your classes online with a credit card or by paying the registrar on campus. 

After you’ve applied, taken the placement test and submitted all documentation for proof of Florida residency you can register for Orientation.  While you are at Orientation, they will help you figure out how to register for classes.  Make sure you have a good idea of what classes you want to take when you go.  I recommend choosing at least one required class that you know you’ll dislike and one you know you’ll love each semester.  This way you’ll get those dreaded requirements out of the way at the beginning and will have at least one class that you’ll enjoy to motivate you to keep going.  This tactic worked very well for me.  So many students do only the classes they like first… then get stuck doing all required classes in the same semester. 

Also, if you haven’t decided on a major yet, I highly recommend taking ENC 1101 during the first semester. The career research paper due in this class has helped many students.

After Orientation you’ll want to print out your student detail schedule and check out the registration payment deadlines or pay online.  Then you can go to the Student Union to get your Parking Decal, Student ID and books.  The Parking Decal and Student ID are free… and very necessary.  The books can be paid for with either cash, card or financial aid (which is why it’s important to apply for the FAFSA super early!)

Now you are ready for class!  Welcome to MCC!

Arts & Letters Day, Time to Vote!

Today is Election day, so get out and vote! Voting isn’t just our

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right and our privilege, its our duty as citizens!

Today is also Arts and Letters Day. MCC Venice is having Poetry readings throughout the day, live music, and an awesome piece of Public Art. The art is a gigantic statue of the word VOTE, covered with newspaper articles, Ads and whatever the public felt like putting up there. It’s really stunning!

During the Poetry readings Swamp Scribes will be collecting money for the Books for Kids Foundation. “The mission of the Books

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for Kids Foundation is to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.” More information can be found at

What do I want to do with my life?

When I first came to MCC, I declared myself as a business major because that was “the smart thing to do”. However, I wasn’t really coming to school to learn business. I started college because I was bored with my life and wanted to learn something new. Just like many kids right out of high school, I had no idea what career path to pursue. MCC really helped me!

My first semester, I decided to take one Math and one English course. In my ENC 1101 course one of the assignments was to do a career research paper. The instructor strongly encouraged us to make use of the Career Resource Center (CRC) for our research. I’m very glad I did.

When it came to choosing a career to write about I had no idea where to start. Fortunately, the CRC has this program that finds possible career areas for you based on your personality and work habits. At first I figured “I’ve taken all those stupid personality tests before, they don’t really help.” But this one was different. It was really thorough. Most of the suggested jobs intrigued me.

Yet, this program helps you take it a step further. As important as it is to pursue a career in a field you enjoy other factors, like salary, are important too. This program allows you to really research what it is like to be in one of these careers including expected salary, hours, amount of travel and degree required. In addition the career counselor was a great help with all my questions and even offered to help me look for a job/internship.

After much research I decided to do my paper on technical writing. At the time this career made the most sense because it involved writing, which I love, and instructing, which I also love. I changed my major to English and have never looked back. Language is my passion!

That isn’t to say, however, that I haven’t changed

my mind about my career path. College is a time of discovery and trying new things. Becoming an English major was a great first step but it still has such a broad range of careers. There wasn’t enough creativity in technical writing for me so I decided to be a novelist. Writing a novel is a lot of work, without a steady income, so I decided to become an book editor. Editing didn’t give me the human contact I crave so I finally decided to be an English teacher. Being a teacher allows me to do all of the things I enjoy: instruct others, edit papers, write instructions (coursework) and help people… all while being immersed in the subject I love. Plus, I

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can still write novels on the side. :)

I still have decisions to make though. Do I want to teach preschool or college? Should I teach only English or become a linguist and teach several languages? Do I want to teach at a public or private school? Should I get my Doctorate or a teaching certification? Or both? I’m sure these questions will be answered as I pursue my Bachelor’s at MCC. I’m just relieved to know that I’m heading in the right direction thanks to the Career Resource Center.


The beauty of a community college is that you can take classes without having to move to an expensive new dorm room or quitting your job. However, balancing work and school can be a lot like juggling. Personally my schedule is crazy. I have three part time jobs (because none of them can afford to hire me full time) plus classes and clubs. I sometimes feel like I live-eat-breathe school and work. My schedule consists of: MWF – go to job 1 in the morning, grab lunch and eat while driving to job 2, then go to job 3, eat dinner at 10pm, do homework, go to sleep. Tues/Thurs – go to

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job 1, go to class, eat, next class, homework and club stuff, then back to job 1. I work weekends too. Fortunately, one of my jobs is at MCC and allows me to do school work during the slow periods. That’s been a lifesaver for me more than once.

Thankfully my husband is very understanding of my workload. Finding the balance between work, school and marriage has been difficult for me but very rewarding. I’ll be getting my AA this semester and so far I’ve managed to keep up my GPA. I’ll be starting next semester at USF. I’m really excited about moving on to a University but I’m sad that I’ll be leaving here. I love MCC!

Helping people is thrilling.

MCC Venice is having a thrilling event next Saturday at 2pm(Oct. 25th), sponsored by the Pop Culture club. A large group of students are gathering together, dressed as zombies, to participate in the worldwide event “Thrill the World.” The goal is to help break the current world record of 1,722 people dancing to “Thriller” at the same time. Proceeds from the event will go to the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center in Sarasota, which helps domestic violence and rape victims.

For more information, check out and

This is going to be so fun! This is a great

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example of how club events are both fun and help people at the same time. SPARCC is a great cause. It was an organization similar to SPARCC that helped my mom and I through tough times when we were victims of domestic violence.

I encourage everyone to go out and participate in dance fest. It’s going to be a blast!

Update: The Thrill the World event was a blast!

Check out a video of it at

Get involved!

In order to really have the MCC experience, you have to be involved in a club.  Clubs are a great way to get to know new people, learn leadership skills and participate in campus and community activities.  It’s also a great way to be able to explore new interests -without being graded on your progress.

For example, last year a professor encouraged me to join the Progressive Club.  I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know much about politics but I decided to join anyway.  As a member the first year my knowledge and interest grew.  Now I’m the president of the club!  I never would have imagined that I could come so far.  Now I have a real sense of accomplishment for all the things we’ve done as a club.  Plus being a club member looks good on your resume (and being president looks great) :)  I think that my active involvement had a lot to do with being accepted into several honors programs at private Universities. 

This year is very important for the Progressive Club because it is an election year. We are on a mission to educate students about the issues and encourage them to vote. 

On October 16th, the Progressive and Philosophy clubs will be hosting the movie “Freeheld,” which addresses Amendment 2 on the upcoming ballot.  This will be in the Selby room, 800 building, Venice campus at 7pm.  On the Bradenton Campus “Freeheld” will be shown in the Neel Performing Arts Center at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21st.  These screenings are open to the public.  We encourage everyone to attend, regardless of where you stand on the “Marriage Protection Act” issue.

Of course not all the clubs on MCC are political.  We have a broad variety ranging from academic and business to the Kendo and Pop Culture clubs.  For a complete list of clubs, please check out  Links to the clubs will be on the left hand side.