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Creating a legacy and leading by example may be concepts that some of us keep in the back of our minds, especially if we have children or grandchildren. Instinctively, we want their lives to be fuller, richer, maybe even easier. And trying to set a good example as parents is no easy feat — it can cause us to feel disappointment in ourselves if things don’t work out the way we planned. But there is at least one area where our hard work, even our setbacks and how we handle them can leave a lasting, positive effect on our peers and on younger generations —pursuing higher education. There are many benefits to being life-long learners, as successful people can attest. There are tangible rewards such as good salaries and benefits that help families stay healthy and happy. Adults who thrive can help create viable com-munities with options for the future and time for creativity and recreation. Important, too, are the less tangible rewards of interesting careers... read more

What do an old American blues song and adult education have in common? Listen to the lyrics in J. B. Lenoir’s, “Mama, What About Your Daughter?” and it’s pretty clear that it’s about her behavior. She’s an uncooperative woman. The singer, a man, implores her mother to recommend him as a suitor. In 1956, Chicago native Lenoir recorded the tune with a folk/ rhythm and blues fusion feel. The Checker Record Co. label released it as a single (that’s vinyl for you youngsters). Despite the limited audio technology of the recording, the plaintive message is timeless. Over the next decade, Lenoir performed it solo as a blues tune, with acoustic guitar and with electric pickup; he also played a mean harmonica. Later, the addition of saxophone transformed the song into a jazz classic. Sadly, Lenoir died in the late 1960s before he saw what his versatile creation would become. In the 1960s, rock and roll music arrived with a crash. British musicians... read more

Effective tutoring for writing focuses on global issues such as organization and development, and on problem areas with clear explanations for the student. These tasks, performed correctly, will enable the student to become independent--able to proofread their work on their own more effectively each time.   As we all know, editing our own work can be the toughest part of writing; often we just don't see our mistakes. So the role of the tutor is not to "correct" the student's work and make it perfect--that is the teacher's job.   The tutor's role is to ask questions, to have the student express their thoughts orally and see how those thoughts transition to the writing, and to help the student use their resources (their notes, dictionaries and other books, online help, teachers) so that, at some point, they don't need the tutor!

Accept an invitation to a focus on the arts: the mysterious and delightful endeavors of expression. Whether it is cinema, dance, music, visual art, handmade crafts or writing, the creative arts are unsurpassed in their ability to help us connect with each other. Art can be a symbol of passion, of unity, of faith, hope or even despair, reinforcing the bonds with our fellow human beings. Creativity is a constant, enchanting reminder of our amazing existence on earth. Through art, we can view the world as our neighbors see it, which brings us closer together. The practice of any art form teaches patience, humility, confidence and joy. At first, we practice the patterns of those who have come before, such as Michelangelo, Austen, Mozart and Balanchine. While exploring the techniques of the masters and channeling their vision, there comes a flash of inspiration (the breath of creativity). At once, we ourselves become pioneers and creators. Unlike work that... read more

Camellias bloom annually and many specimens are decades old. Despite their fragile appearance, they are extremely hardy perennial shrubs. But most years, the outstanding plant’s potential as a flowering ornamental fails because of that double-edged sword: Pacific Northwest rain. The camellia blooms in a few saturated colors: red, pink, white, peppermint stripe, even yellow. Undaunted by the area’s occasionally fierce winters and scorching summer heat, the huge buds reliably produce flowers that resemble roses, scentless but stunning. What it lacks in showiness, the tough camellia makes up in vigor. Every year, perfect flowers arrive early, sometimes blooming through the snow or a silver thaw. Inevitably, the combination of strong sunlight and spring rains destroys the flowers when they are at the height of their bloom; the once-glorious petals turn brown and fall, foiled by the early rainy season that suits the foliage. Waxy evergreen leaves enable camellias to... read more

What is the tutor's job? Students sometimes think that the tutor's job is to give information-- to provide the answers. To a certain extent, this is true: the tutor knows the answer or knows how to find it, but access to the PROCESS is what the tutor is actually providing. A tutor's job is to help the student become successful by showing him or her the steps, to provide academic resources and to tailor the lesson to the student's learning style. If a tutor merely provides answers, the student will not learn. Students become confident by succeeding in a lesson, and then by being shown how to apply what they have learned to the next lesson. Perhaps this next lesson is similar, and they need to use part of what they have just learned plus something from a previous page, or perhaps they need to rearrange the components in a new way. This natural creativity, and the tutor's patience and insight in helping the student to realize their creativity, is key to academic... read more

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