Be Prepared: Covering the Cost of Higher Education

It won’t be long before springtime will be here. This is the time when the seeds that were planted into the tilled ground begin to produce a harvest and flowers begin to bloom.

It is also the time when, after some consideration, the decision was made that after your teen earned his high school diploma or GED, he goes to college. So think about college admissions and financial aid award letters.

Families who are not familiar with the terms used in financial aid documents may begin to feel overwhelmed and confused about what their child is receiving.  Well, this article is for you. I know, it isn’t Spring yet, but you better get organized in a timely manner. Spring will be here before you know!

First, we will start with some basic information.  Financial aid is basically aid that you’ll receive in the form of grants and/or loans to cover the college education costs. Parents need to submit an application in which they provide information about their assets and the availability of money.


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Voting– A Right or a Privilege?

Is It Truly Necessary To Vote? Does My Vote Even Make a Difference?

We just had the mid-terms and in under two years, we can vote again to see who will lead the nation further. I believe that the importance of voting depends on who you ask.

The bottom line is that it is a constitutional right for every American citizen, although it was not granted to everyone until the pioneers of the civil rights era fought, bled and died for everybody to have this right.  Unfortunately, this right is still being challenged today in 2018. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Just as there is a maturation process with eating, there should also be a similar progression in how we think, act and conduct ourselves.  In the eating process, we start out on milk, move to cereal in our milk, onto baby food and ultimately graduating to solid foods.


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Personal Development and Education Thanks To Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is a motivational guru and one of the top-ranking thinkers and writers. He influences the lives of many people who want to live better and are open to getting out of their comfort zone. I recently reviewed his book “How Good Can You Let It Get?” in my speech for GED students and this post is a summary of it.

These students now really have a great way to get ahead fast if the use the Bestgedclasses Prep Course.

GED students face many obstacles, they don’t have a high school diploma so they have to go back to school to earn their GED certificate. It may take them only 3 months to get all set, but often they first join a class with enthusiasm, but only to drop out half way or disappear for a while until they may show up again.

Reasons for that being lost interest, family commitment, a job, hard for them to attend a class on a regular basis due to money issues, transportation to class and more. It seems that most GED students come from a low-income world so these issues make sense. So getting the GED  really benefits them!


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My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to try out the My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbook program. This is awesome digital scrapbooking software and I’ve gotta say, I was, and still am, impressed. Whenever I’m not pressed for time and I’m in a store like Target or Michaels, I find myself going down the scrapbooking aisle just wishing I had the time and patience to take on a project.

Many reviewing websites rate My Memories Suite as the best in the market. The program is very affordable and fun to do, and it is also pretty easy. Regardless whether you are a well-seasoned digital scrapbooker or entirely new to this line of activities, My Memories Suite really is the easiest and maybe the best digital scrapbooking program around.

I know it would be next to impossible to lay out all my supplies and sit there with no interruptions or toddler interferences anyway so being able to do it all on the computer is right up my alley! No scissors, no glue, no toddlers touching everything! The software I’m talking about is MyMemories Suite version 8. After a couple of years now, I still love it. When I first downloaded it and starting messing around with it I didn’t think it actually offered much.


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Get off the Wall And Into Your Audience’s Head

Your responsibility on your creative journey is to share it with others. And care deeply about how to share it. You might as well slap your audience in the face if you’re going to just blow out some glass work, leave it on a shelf at a studio sale or gallery space and then secretly boil when no one cares. You are ultimately declaring, “I have something enormous to say. But I’m only going to show you the answer, not the question to the answer.

So screw you for not understanding it!” If they look at your glass bowl, they’re seeing an answer. An end product to your creative point-of-view. A response to something you experienced or saw for yourself on your epic journey. And intertwined with that form of expression is all of your other life choices and experiences rolled into that answer. Into that glass.

But they have no idea what your experiences are. Or why they should care.

A documentary can layout an entire journey. It can detail what you have to say. It can show someone else, word for word and still by still, why to care. But even if you create something so thorough and profound and just throw it on a shelf waiting for someone to discover it – you might as well say “Screw you. It’s not worth telling you why you should watch it” to the world. You need an epic title. A story. A glorious photo of your work.


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Life is unfair

Seattle, home to two of the nation’s three richest men and a staggering array of high-tech millionaires, is Ground Zero for inequity. One economist, trying to put Bill Gates’ wealth into everyday terms, calculated that in 1986, when Microsoft went public, Gates was earning enough that it was not worth his time to spend the four seconds necessary to retrieve a dropped $5 bill. By 1998, it wasn’t worth it for Gates to pick up $10,000.

Let me put all this another way. For a quarter-century, you’ve worked like a donkey to boost productivity — and almost all the benefits have gone to your boss and his investors.

Why have we let this happen? Princeton University political scientist Larry Bartels asked just this question and concluded that, basically, we’re dumb: 20 percent of those he polled were unaware of this trend entirely, 40 percent hadn’t thought much about it, and the rest either benefited or didn’t believe anything could be done.

We keep voting for politicians, funded by the upper crust, who have protected this growing inequality. And we do so at our peril. “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics,” the philosopher Plutarch said.


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Things haven’t changed

Well, work itself has. For several thousand years, work was really work, and everybody who was anybody sneered at it. A huge population of slaves, serfs and peasants used their muscles in grimy toil to support a tiny aristocracy of warriors, lords, and priests who devoted their lives to art, religion, small mercies to the poor, and killing each other.

This system was not particularly efficient. The game for a slave, who has no opportunity for pay or advancement, might be to do as little as possible. The same could be said of the minimum-wage “working poor” of today.

It was technology that began providing opportunities for a new middle class of entrepreneurs, and the Protestant Reformation that changed Western attitudes toward work. The leading philosopher was a French clergyman named John Calvin, one of those dead white guys you’ve scarcely heard of whose thinking nonetheless rules your life.

Calvin made work not just cool but obligatory. He believed certain people were predestined to go to heaven and others to be damned, and the only way to tell the Elect was to see who was working hard and had money, wealth itself being a sign of divine grace. He not only turned Catholic teaching about the perils of riches on its head, he contended that losers should blame themselves, not the system.


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The Changing Face of Work

THE ANCIENT GREEKS knew all about work. Their word for it was ponos, which meant not just toil but suffering. And pain. Work was for slaves. The role of free men, according to the thinkers, was to avoid work as much as possible so they’d have time for war, philosophy, and art.

Them were the days.

Nowadays, everybody works, even Bill Gates, richest man in the world. We’re supposed to (Protestant Work Ethic), most of us have to (Money) and in theory, we want to (Personal Fulfillment, or Meaning).

But wait. Financial author Phil Laut has defined work as “doing what you don’t want to do.”

Certainly, I know the difference between hard work (industrial painting and scrubbing pots and pans, which I did during high school and college) and head work (writing stories like this one). My manic-depressive editor will proclaim she has the best job in the world one moment and kvetch about it the next, but we all know there’s a big difference between daily dreariness and occasional discontent, and between working poor and working rich.


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Well-being self-assessment. The 12 Vital Signs

Maybe today’s a good day to take our well-being self-assessment. That’s a good thing to do right….check our vital signs every once in a while?

By the way, why do doctors take time to check our blood pressure, temperature, and reflexes when we go for a visit? It’s because they’re indicators of our physical well-being.  Turns out, the same principle applies to our spiritual health, only the vital signs differ.

So let’s take a moment to reflect on how we’re doing spiritually through this self-assessment exercise.  Rank yourself from 1-5 for each of these categories, one being lowest, and then we’ll reflect on the results.

Ready to get started?….ok, go ahead and turn your head and cough:)



How patient are you?  Do you have a short fuse, or become irritated easily?  Are you frequently in a bad mood?  Our temperament is often indicative of two things: our level of consciousness and degree of presence.  When we’re discontent with the present moment or in some form of self-loathing we become irritable and impatient.  To read more on our level of consciousness, check out a great article by Justin Mazza here. (more…)

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Don’t Get Bored…Get Busy! How to Make The Most Of Your Summer Vacation…For Teens


School’s out! You’re now faced with two to three months that you have to fill with something productive to do so that you don’t waste away in the house all day. There are a variety of options depending on what grade you are in and what your interest are:

1) Get Employed! One way to have a productive summer is to get a part-time summer job. Many people don’t want to work during the summer because they think that it may be boring. Work doesn’t have to be boring though. If you like kids, for example, there are summer camps that you can work at.

You can also try and find jobs with people who are working in careers that you are interested in, that way not only do you make money but you get to see if you really like the field.

Also as you get older, especially once you reach college, your back to school cost will get more expensive and parents may be less willing and or unable to help so having some extra money at the end of the summer is always a plus.

2) Internships. If you are in college, internships are another summer possibility. There are both paid and unpaid internships. Regardless of which type of internship you participate in, they can be very rewarding. Internships look great on resumes and sometimes can help land you a job post graduation. Networking and hands-on experience are key for being marketable after you graduate because employers like to see that you have experience in that specific field.


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