Tag Archives: academics

Three Year Anniversary! (featuring: me in heels)

After over 530,000 views, 400 posts, and 4,300 comments, I almost cannot believe today marks this blog’s three year anniversary. I feel guilty for not posting for so long and I need to throw in an incentive for people to still read this anyway like who actually reads this anymore so here’s a picture of me in heels from senior year:

I need to wear these more often - they really enhance your height. And your calves.

I need to wear these more often. They really enhance your height. And your calves.

I officially finished my finals – and my first semester of college – just yesterday. Continue reading

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Teaching Kids to Cry

At the age of eight, I knew more about math than I did about my mom. I could add numbers together, but I could never figure out why she would scream and shout for no apparent reason. Subtraction came easily, but knowing how to navigate the turbulent waters of my mother’s constant mood swings – and all of the emotional turmoil that it entailed? Definitely harder than taking apart a simple sentence or memorizing my multiplication tables. Continue reading

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How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

As someone possibly striving to become a teacher, I appreciated How Children Succeed. Paul Tough variegates his writing style enough to keep the book entertaining without losing track of the message he puts forth – one way he does this is by including various anecdotes. He does not just share stories about kids who have suffered in the current education system, but he reveals parts of his own journey, such as when he dropped out of Columbia University.

Tough connects these tales to psychology too, by examining several pertinent ideas like character, conscientiousness, and what it truly takes to succeed in an academic environment. Continue reading

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The Decision (College Post #3)

One of the many beautiful buildings at William and Mary! (image via businessweek.com)

One of the many beautiful buildings at William and Mary. (image via businessweek.com)

After a couple of difficult weeks, I’ve made my college decision. Starting in the fall, I will attend the most pulchritudinous university in the world (in my unbiased opinion, of course): The College of William and Mary! Continue reading

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Does This GPA Make My Ivy League Application Look Fat? (College Post #2)

AP Bio: the bane of my existence.

AP Bio: the bane of my existence.

An A- isn’t an A, just like failure isn’t success. If you can’t push yourself to manage family, extracurricular activities, and academics, you need to reevaluate your sense of self-worth. If you can’t resist the temptation of that romance novel five feet away from you, you do not deserve dinner today. These are some of my thoughts from the past few years, and if you’re a high school student, I can guess one of yours: if I don’t get into a good college, then I’m not smart. I’m not successful. I’ve failed. Continue reading

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Teaching, Money, and Making A Difference

One of my favorite essays I wrote freshman year about the film An Education. Writing it was one of the happiest moments in high school.

One of my favorite essays I wrote freshman year about the film An Education. Writing it was one of my happiest moments in high school.

It’s all about money.

That’s what my mom taught me. She’s taught me that if I can get an SAT score in the 99th percentile and a GPA that puts me in the top 10% of my class, I should be a doctor or a lawyer. She’s instructed me that success is measured by my income, the costliness of my car, and the economic value of my home. She’s told me that she will only be proud of me if I can surpass her and my father in the amount of money I make.

Here’s a secret: I feel safer at school than I feel at home. Continue reading

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Test Scores Over Touchdowns: When Sports Soil Our Education System

High School Football/slapstix55/CC/flickr

High School Football/slapstix55/CC/flickr

I have attended every book club meeting at my school. I’ve never missed a National Honor Society meeting, a Math Honor Society meeting, a Social Studies Honor Society meeting, or a Latin Honor Society meeting. But when I tell people that I’ve never attended a high school football game, I am always asked the same question: what’s wrong with you?

What’s wrong with me? Let’s take a look at what’s wrong with America’s schools first. Continue reading

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A is for Admission by Michele Hernandez

Cover via newlatina.net.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I finished this in four hours. I read it in August, as a rising senior with college applications waiting to be started – what I can I say?

While I can confidently say that I had a roughly accurate idea of how admissions worked, this book refined some of my beliefs and heightened others that I already held. The academic index and the finer details regarding parental involvement/guidance counselor/teacher recommendations were intriguing. It would help if all of those involved in the admissions process possessed a good grasp of the concepts presented in this guide.

I was worried that this book would focus too much on how to get high SAT or scores or how to superficially solidify my application. Continue reading

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Princeton Review’s Cracking the SAT, PR’s 11 Practice Tests, and Dr. John Chung’s SAT Math

This week I’m giving away all of my old SAT I study guides, so I thought I’d write a review for each of the ones I used to bring up my book count for 2012 share some insight on the helpfulness of certain ones. I used the 2011 version of Cracking the SAT by Princeton Review Publishing and the 2011 version of 11 Practice Tests for the SAT & PSAT, also by Princeton Review Publishing. In addition to those two, I read through Dr. John Chung’s SAT Math. Continue reading

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Should Students Be Paid To Get Good Grades?

This topic – whether students should receive payment for obtaining good grades – came up in my Psychology class a few months ago, and it got me thinking.

I’m not the brightest guy on the block, but when it comes to academics, I admit that I do decently. So if someone were to propose to me a plan in which I would receive money for my straight A’s and cash for my SAT score, why not? In this economy, any amount could go a long way. As a high school junior, college is coming up for me in a couple of years, and it’s not like the cost of tuition is becoming cheaper. But while one may be saving for future expenses by receiving money for their academic achievements, they could be losing something far more important in the process – their intrinsic motivation. Continue reading

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