Archive for the 'Coursework' Category

SCF Databases

College Basics, Coursework No Comments »

Ok, it’s been way too long since I made a new post, but my brain has been in “school’s almost out” mode. Today, I’m going to briefly overview the SCF databases.

The SCF databases are basically online libraries filled with information from articles, journals, books and much more. They really come in handy when you are doing research papers or speeches. All the sources on the databases are legitimate and you can find tons of useful information. The best thing about them is that they are completely free to use for SCF students.

To use the databases, you must first go to the SCF

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main page. Then, you click on library. Once you are on the library page, you can click on one of two things “Databases A-Z” or “Databases by Subject.” I tend to prefer the alphabetical style, but whatever floats your boat. Once you click on either one of those links, you will be asked to log in. Your username is going to be your G00 number, and your password will be the last four digits of your G00 number. After being logged in, you will be able to see the wonderful array of databases at you disposal. You can explore them and see which one you find most useful. The ones I tend to favor are Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) and Virtual Reference Library (Gale). I also like using CQ Researche Plus Archive if I’m looking for more specific articles.

After picking a database, you can type your topic and/or any keywords into the search engine and a list of different articles and texts will appear. Some articles are not full text, and they only have a summarized version on the databases. Most databases give you the choice of looking at only full text articles.

I personally love using the SCF databases for research projects. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely worth looking into. They’re very convenient and there’s SO much information on them. Anyway, I’m off! Hope you all are having a nice day :) .

The SCF Choir

Campus Activities, Classes, Coursework No Comments »

This semester I took

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Music Appreciation. I needed a break from the science and letter courses I took in the Fall semester. So far, I have learned so many different things, and I see music differently. In the course, I am required to attend three concerts and write a

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report about them.

Today I attended a performance by the SCF choir, and it was amazing. The performance was very well

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put together. The sound, lights, and positions of the performers all came together to create a great atmosphere. There was a visual presentation above that displayed images of the earth and the universe. The lighting changed according to the songs. The performers would move around the auditorium to give a different feel to the music. At many points, I felt as if the music was surrounding the audience.

The choir itself was great. The high and low voices came together beautifully. There were almost

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no moments where the music did not sound harmonious. The emotion for each song were expressed through the voices of the performers. I loved the solo performances as well. The lone voices contrasted wonderfully with the unified sound of the rest of the choir. It was noticeable that the choir had been practicing a lot before giving this performance.

Although I’m not a music expert (and I will never claim to be so), I thought this concert was amazing. I’m not saying the performance was perfect, but it was still fantastic. I would definitely pay to hear the SCF choir again, and I recommend their concerts to anyone who enjoys listening to peaceful music.

Speaking To Your Audience

Classes, College Basics, Coursework, Uncategorized No Comments »

This semester I elected to take SPC1608. For those of you that don’t know, SPC 1608 is a speech class. Most of the students in the course are taking it simply because they need to fulfill the General Education requirements for the AA Degree–but there are some students that chose to improve upon their public speaking skills on their own.

Regardless of the reason for taking the course, all students have one thing in common. We must all get in front of the class, and speak. Multiple times!

After discussing this with my classmates I came to the conclusion that not only myself, but everyone was nervous about this. We have no problem giving a speech to a family member or a friend, but when a group of fellow classmates is in front of us we freak! My professor has spent the first 4 weeks of this semester preparing us for the dreaded moment, and it seems as though it’s not really all that bad after all.

After coming up with my own presentation, making the slide show, rehearsing it, and stressing the entire time, I can speak from experience when saying “You can do it.” Last week I nervously gave my first speech in college, and it was actually quite fun! I will admit, I was very nervous, and I will probably be nervous when the next speech comes around… But it was a great learning experience and I think it is something everyone should try.

The first thing I learned would be practice. I rehearsed several dozen times, and I swore I knew my speech by heart.. (and I did.) When you get up in front of those folks and try to focus, it’s easy to get off topic and forget what you were supposed to say. Luckily, I have experience making powerpoints (or slide shows, if you will) so I was able to use that as a crutch to keep myself on track.

The second (and most significant) thing I learned when presenting to the class, is to bring water! I thought a

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bottle of water would be enough to get me through a 10-15 minute speech.. I was wrong. The bottle I had brought with me was gone before it was even time for me to start speaking! The reason you get to be so thirsty when it’s time to present, is because of adrenaline. Your body takes different priorities when your adrenaline is pumping, and keeping your mouth moist is at the bottom of the list. (This is related to the “Fight, flight, or freeze” theory, of which I can vouch is 100% accurate.) So, bring LOTS of water and be sure to drink it when you need to. It helps keep one less thing off of your mind while you are presenting, and it helps the audience understand you better when your tongue isn’t sticking to the roof of your mouth.

The third thing I learned about speaking publicly is that I’m not the only one who’s nervous. The audience knows just how

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I’m feeling when I’m in front of them, and informing them about a given topic. They aren’t there to try to embarrass me, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your classmates are your friends, and they all want you to do

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well. So, you really don’t need to be worried in the first place. It’s not like they are all judges on American Idol, and your speech will determine whether you go to Los Angeles or not. Granted, you are being graded on your speech and overall performance, but it’s not something you will be judged on by thousands of people!!

The semester is quickly passing us by, and every day I am learning something new. The everyday experiences we have continue to teach us many things. I know now that my next speech will be a lot easier than the first one, and I believe that the more we are in front of people the better our experiences will be.

What are your experiences with Public Speaking? Drop me a line and tell me your story by emailing me at studentblog@scf.edu

Labor Day

College Basics, Coursework, Uncategorized, Work/Play Balance No Comments »

Ah Labor Day. We all know it, and love it. It marks both the end of the precious freedom summer vacation brings, and the beginning of another year at school. Although we are already entering our third week of school this semester, there are a large number of students who have begun school today.

Personally, my summer break was well needed. I do hold a job, so it was not much of a ‘vacation’ per se, but it did give my brain a chance to recoup. I am now refreshed, and ready to learn. In fact, I have already learned quite a bit in only the first few classes.

The first few weeks can be extremely tough. Forcing ourselves back into the daily grind can be difficult, but it is possible. Thankfully, most students are able to make the transition quite well. Some tips to help get you back into the swing of things are:

  • Questions, Questions, Questions! It may seem obvious, but asking questions is another way to get back into the swing of things. You may initially feel that questions make you look inferior, but it’s quite the opposite. Your fellow students will appreciate your drive, and it lets the professor know you are interested in the subject. Answering the questions asked by your professor is also a great way to learn. You may get stumped, it may be difficult, but it is one of the best ways to show your interest for the class.

These tips are pretty simple, and pretty easy to follow. Once you get into the groove, you’ll be back on track, learning, and loving every second of it! To be motivated will not only help yourself, but will also help other students understand and enjoy the material covered in class.

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tips do you have for succeeding in school? Shoot me an email with them, and I will include them in my next blog!

studentblog@scf.edu

Preparing for Finals

Classes, College Basics, Coursework, Deadlines, Thoughts, Work/Play Balance No Comments »

Well, it’s that time again. Just about every 16 weeks we experience it. That’s right. Finals week. They can be extremely stressful and sometimes you may

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Fear not! I have some suggestions that may help you get through this week, and prepare for your finals.

1. Get organized. Use your student planner to your advantage.

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Plan your study times ahead of schedule. I find that after a weekend of review for all subjects, studying 2 days before your exam for your specific class can really help. This is not to be confused with cramming… Assuming you know the material, and have been reviewing ahead of time, a quick recap the 2 days before is ideal. It lets you review those items you didn’t really do so well on before, and if you have any last minute questions, you will probably have enough time to get them squared away.

2. Generalize. Take a look at your previous tests and quizzes for your class. What questions are asked more often than others? Is there anything you went over extensively in class? These are all hints to what you will find on the final exam. Don’t try and study every single thing you went over in class during the last 16 weeks. Summarize the most important things in your own words, and review your summaries. I find it helps extremely well, because not only do you retain information you have written down better, but you also have to think about how you will rewrite the given material into your own words. Having things in your own lingo will stick better than bland textbook material, even if it covers the same topic!

3. FLASHCARDS! This is almost the same as generalizing, but it helps with the more specific generalizations. (Oxymoron.. I know.) What i mean by this is, items you may have struggled with in your overview! Put those suckers on flashcards, and have at it! Bring them with you. A trick I use is, whenever I want to turn on or off a light, or change the channel on the tv, I have to recite something on one of my flashcards before I do it. You’d be surprised how fast you learn the material that way. :)

4. SLEEP!!! My personal favorite, and possibly the most important of them all, is getting enough sleep the night before. It doesn’t matter how much you study or think you know the material. Fail to get enough sleep the night before, and you will be only hurting yourself on the exam! Think of it like this. If you don’t get enough sleep the night before, (you shouldn’t have been cramming, since you planned ahead and scheduled study time anyway!) you will be a walking zombie at the worst possible time to be one. (Halloween is the only good time to be a zombie.) So, the day before your exam (I said DAY!!) get some exercise. Play with your pets, go for a run, bike ride, whatever

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you do. Wear yourself out. But not right before bed! If you exercise right before bed you will not be tired. In fact, you’ll be roaring to go. Not exactly the ideal scenario when you have an exam at 7:30 in the morning!!!

Relax. You’ve studied your behind off, and now you sit at your desk staring at that dreaded test. Don’t stress! You did well. Not only did you study ahead of time, but you also took care of any other questions you had, and you got a good nights sleep, along with a healthy and hearty breakfast. Take your time, and most importantly take your test! :D

I know it’s easy to do, but stressing is unhealthy. Try as hard as you can not to over stress yourself. Some anxiety is normal, but you shouldn’t get so worked up you turn purple during the exam. Take a breath, count to 10, think of a cute little puppy, or a kitten, frolicking in a beautiful meadow, and then resume your test. You can do

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Question of the day: What do you do to maximize your studying time? It would be interesting to see how others study, and see how not only myself, but everyone might be able to improve their strategies. studentblog@scf.edu

Don’t worry, we’re almost there!

College Basics, Coursework, Uncategorized No Comments »

This week has been one of the most stressful weeks of the entire Spring 2012 semester. It is just part of schooling though.. I personally have a lot going on in each of my classes. It seems that since school is coming to a close, all of the classes have projects to complete or exams to study for all at the same time! UGH!!!
I know it can be stressful.. But think of it like the storm before the

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calm! (I know it’s normally said the other way around, but hey.. I make it work!) We have all of this work to do, exam after exam, and next week this time, most of us will be done with school. I know I am SOOO looking forward to this well needed break. I still will be working, but hey, it’s a break for my brain, and it sure does need it.

In the meantime however, I personally have:

1 Poetic Literary Analysis Paper to write for English, and a project in English to do too.

A Chemistry Lab Practical, a Chemistry Lecture Final exam, both of which I am going to be heavily studying for.

Test number 4 in my Precalc Algebra class, then after that, comes the Final!

2 Projects for my computer class.

What does all this add up to? Stress. Haha. I am not the only one in this boat. In fact, it seems as though there are so many other people in the same boat that the boat is starting to sink! (Oh no! Not another Titanic! So close to the anniversary too.. :( )

I am going to spend this weekend studying. I have even requested a day off of work in order to make sure I am fully prepared to take all of these tests, finals, and practicals, as well as get all of my projects done that need to be completed.

So what are your final couple of weeks looking like? Are they as stressful as mine? More so? Maybe you have the same classes I have? If that’s the case, shoot me an email, and we can prepare together! :) studentblog@scf.edu

Almost there!

Career, Classes, Coursework, Work/Play Balance No Comments »

As we progress through this lovely Spring Semester of 2012, we constantly make positive choices that will echo throughout not only the campus, but our personal lives. I have personally experienced this and to be honest, I am not so sure I am enjoying the changes it brings.

For me personally, being positive is not only extremely important, but extremely helpful. I have my schedule maxed out as of late, and it is extremely tiring. If

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I do not maintain a positive outlook on everything, I think I would surely lose my sanity. (What little I may, or may not have left. LOL!) Having two jobs, and being a full-time student is not a lighthearted task, especially when taking on the challenge of maintaining a high GPA. These are all goals I have set for myself, and thus far into my “journey” I have done just that. However, things seem to be changing in my life, and it is a result of the choices I have made.

The changes I am discussing are in no way negative. Just the opposite in fact! Things are changing ever slowly, but constantly in our lives, and thankfully I have made the correct choices over the course of this academic year, which causes the changes to respond in kind. I can say with confidence that I would not

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be where I am today had those choices not been made.

However..

I am not the kind who takes changes in stride. They are not my forte. (For lack of a better term.) I think most people can at the very least relate to how I am currently feeling. It is becoming apparent that my first academic year at

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SCF is coming to a close. We are slowly winding down. New material seems to be coming to a halt. (If it has not yet stopped for you, don’t worry, you’re almost there!) In what seems like no time at all, we will be finished with final examinations, and enjoying summer. (I will at least!)

I recently heard a commercial on 106.5 CTQ that I didn’t really think about much initially, but I find myself reminded by it from writing this blog. The opener was something along the lines of “Blink your eyes twice. Now your lunch break is over, and you’re back to work.” It then went on and on about how their restaurant is so quick, that you won’t miss much of what little time you get for lunch. On the surface, it just seems like good advertising, but I think it is almost true for day-to-day life.

As stressful as school, or work may be, (or even a combination thereof..) try to enjoy it as much as you can. Take a moment to reflect on why you are here, and what goals you have set for yourself. If you can say to yourself “Man.. It’s been difficult, but it’s worth it.” then you are on the right track! Life may not be easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth that struggle.

I have been doing a lot of reflection lately. Looking at the tasks I have overcome, and the odds I have beaten. I am glad for them, because they are what made me who I am. I have recently come to a curve in the road. I have taken some classes at SCF that not only taught me about a given subject, but something so much more important. What you enjoy doing in life. At the beginning of this semester, had I been asked what I planned on doing for a career, I would have told you I wanted to be a Veterinarian. Now that this semester is coming to a close, I can say with confidence that it is not what I was meant to do. Chemistry is a great course, it is just not for me. That is something taking Intro to Chem has taught me, that is more important than balancing equations, or even stoichiometric equations.. Eliminating extraneous solutions. (Yes, I am a math junkie!) That is what I have done this semester, on top of other things too of course. Now that I have eliminated an extraneous solution, I will look into plugging other answers in, and seeing what the final answer turns out to be. I am just kind of nervous about it. It had made me realize that I am very quickly growing up, and soon I will be a successful <Enter whatever I end up being here>. Until then, it’s a mystery! I am just going to do what I can to get there in one piece, take my time, and enjoy the ride! :)

Have you learned anything from your classes that wasn’t necessarily in the class description? I’ve explained my experiences, and am curious to hear about others’ choices and career goals. Feel free to email me at studentblog@scf.edu

You can tell it’s Monday

College Basics, Coursework, Uncategorized, Work/Play Balance No Comments »

Well good afternoon/evening/night/morning! (Depending on when you might be reading this, I want to be sure to greet you in the correct manner, so I made sure to say them all!) Hopefully you had a good weekstart!

You may be saying.. “Steve.. what is this “weekstart” thing that you speak of?” Well, to that I answer this: It is what I call my weekends! I would rather think of the week starting off with a couple of days free of work or school, rather than ending with them. It helps me get through the week without losing too much of what little sanity I may or may not have left. ;)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who can tell when it’s Monday. Things seem to want to be as difficult as they can. Buttons not wanting to be pushed, phones not wanting to ring, cars not wanting to start, you get the picture. It’s funny how that works isn’t it? Not always a bad thing.. After all.. We wouldn’t really have Fridays if we didn’t have Mondays right? I always try to look towards the “full” side of the glass, whether or not is a large or small one!

With me personally, getting up for those lovely 8AM classes is always sort of a struggle, especially on Mondays. My mind says to my legs “Hey! No! Don’t move! If you don’t, then I don’t have to

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leave! So Stay HERE!!!” However, the alarm clock always seems to drown out my brain, and I get up regardless… eventually.. (lol)

Most of the time, I tend to have a hard time being able to focus in class when it’s Monday. I just want to go home! Hahaha. After about 20 or 30 minutes though, I tend to realize that no matter how much I want to leave, I need to stay to better myself. Soon, I am back into the swing of things, and am studying and doing homework after the class is over, like normal.

What do you struggle with the most after your weekstart is over? Like I said above, mine is surely having the mental mindset of being at home, brain numb to any learning-(heck.. anything at all! haha!) How do you cope with the week starting, and resuming classes like normal? A large mocha? Some 5 hour energy? A Monster? On my way to school I normally listen to my country music and sing along. (Very poorly I might add.) But that’s ok, nobody else can hear me, so it is nothing but practice! >:)

Let me know how you get your week started. Who knows, maybe I will try your technique and see if it will help me improve my weekend mindset. studentblog@scf.edu

Powerpoint Presentations

College Basics, Coursework No Comments »

For my final presentations in my senior year of high school, I had to do two forty-five minute presentations (each was in a group of three, so really only fifteen minutes of talking time per person). I’m SO GLAD to have been put through this! Besides the fact that the presentations themselves were unusually long for a high school assignment, one of them was presented under the ultimate task-mistress of powerpoints. If you did not do your powerpoint correctly, you lost a lot of points. She explained it to us and that was that. Her way or fail.

This probably sounds overly harsh, especially considering that as long as the powerpoint looks good, who cares how its put together? Well, either way, her methods have gotten me through many presentations since and I’ve gotten an A on every one of them. So I’d like to share her guides with all of you!

And thats pretty much the basics! If you have any questions on how to use powerpoint, remember that the program has a great help section. Microsoft’s website also has a whole section dedicated to how-tos on using their programs. If you have any questions about designing a powerpoint, feel free to drop me an email at studentblog@scf.edu!

Exams, and Snowbirds!

Classes, Coursework, Thoughts No Comments »

Only a few more weeks left of the Spring 2012 Semester! I know I have said this several times but seriously.. Where has the time gone? It’s astonishing to me.

One thing I have noticed that says “Summer is here” more than anything, is the vast majority of out-of-state drivers that have flocked here recently. That will always be a great indicator of the season– Weather

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it’s hot or not. (haha, see what I did there?!)

It has gotten so bad on I-75, that I don’t even use the interstate to get to/from work/school/home anymore.. I just take the back roads. It may take longer than usual, but compared to the large number of wrecks and slow drivers out there right now, I would say it is the fastest possible way to get around!

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know one thing for sure, exams are here again. (For me at least.) It seems like we just took mid-terms! Goodness! I am spending most of my time trying to study for my Chemistry class. It is by far the hardest class I have, and I am struggling the most with it. It is fun at times, but it is also challenging.

What is your favorite class? I would have to say mine is “Math.” Not really a specific course, but I do very well with math and I enjoy it. Hit me up. studentblog@scf.edu