Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Star Student

Having a 'Star Student' in the neighboring High School is a privilege. Knowing one is an honor. Being friends with one is a cool thing. Students graduate High School with varying degree of accomplishments. Some push it to the limit and excel in their field of choice, while others take it easy.

'Star Students' are those who accomplish a great deal, have outstanding credits and are high achievers. Good counsel, backing from parents, and blessings from above are vital when it comes to being a Start Student. Colleges throw their doors wide open to accommodate these "Stars." Any parent would dream of having these kids under their own roof.

King Solomon mentioned about such kids in Proverbs, at least on two occasions:
"The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother." ~ Proverbs 10:1
"Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother." ~ Proverbs 15:20
This past week, I read the story of such a 'Star Student', Kwasi Enin, who accomplished a rare feat of getting admitted into all 8 Ivy league colleges - Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, and Yale. He started his application process with a 2,250 score on SAT and a stellar academic record.

It is indeed a blessing to know such students and be associated with them.

Tap here to read the story of Kwasi Enin in WSJ blog.

Credits: WSJ

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


SAT is under a wave of change. College Board CEO David Coleman today announced in Austin, TX, that starting 2016, the test will have three sections - Reading & Writing, Math and an Essay. The test will be for three hours, with an additional 50 minutes for essay. The essay section will utilize print and computers (forget everything I said about improving handwriting for SAT essays). The score scale would slide back to 1600.

Starting in spring 2015, they are teaming up with Khan Academy to provide test preparation materials.

Some may call this ironic, as it comes after a major overhaul. Whether students will benefit from this change or not - we will have to wait and see. Regardless, the educators, coaches and publishing industry will see their profit margins soar as there will be an influx of panic stuck parents running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. For students, they have to study no matter what, and their attitude will be like, "whatever... yolo!!!"

Tap here to read the Wall Street Journal article.

Tap here to check out what New York Times has to say.

Tap here to read an article from Inside Higher Ed.

For those who have crossed the SAT bridge, they can sit back, relax and watch the fun!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

529 Plan for College Savings

In case you have a 529 plan to save for college tuitions, this WSJ article may be worth reading. If not, just skip it.

A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. It is named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code which created these types of savings plans in 1996.

As long as the plan satisfies a few basic requirements, the federal tax law provides special tax benefits to the plan participant.

The above article is based on a question, "What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to financing their kids’ college education?"


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Essays no longer a requirement

Harvard Business School is no longer seeking essays from applicants, starting 2014. Until now, HBS required applicants to submit two essays. Competitive students used to hire consultants to help them write these essays, to improve their chances getting admitted. Many universities still require an essay as part of their application package.

Here is the WSJ blog.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Certain College Majors

Many of the kids whom I know of, aspire of heading to the medical school - which is a good thing, and most of them want to specialize either as cardio or neurosurgeons. Then, along their path, some change tracks due to numerous reasons.

While choosing a college major, stay informed about both sides of the spectrum. If earning potential is your # 1 priority, then choose your major accordingly.  Click here to learn about some of the 'worst college majors for your career' - a list compiled by Kiplinger.

By no means are these jobs second to none - it's just that the pay scale is historically low and opportunities are limited. You have to be exceptionally well to succeed in these fields and challenges are many. Get into these tracks only if you are doing it for the sake of challenge or fun.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sharing links

"Sharing knowledge is the greatest of all callings. There’s nothing like it in the land” 
- by Satire of the Trades (written during the middle Kingdom, between 2025 and 1700 BC)

While applying to colleges, I remember searching for every possible resource, talking to scholarly guys, and pouring over tons of material. There were umpteen factors to consider including ranking, location, and not the least - $cholarship. Sitting on other side of the globe, it was hard to envision how things would be. We had to rely on the past experiences of our seniors and take the leap of faith. Those days, we used to share our knowledge with each other so that everybody grew (together). November 1 being the deadline for many early admissions, this is the season students are cramming hard to get their admission package in, and I can certainly feel that heat.

Today information is available at fingertips, literally. In this post, I am not sharing much about knowledge sharing, rather let's focus on couple of links that may come handy while college prep and admissions. I will keep adding more as we progress and label them under 'Education'.

The New York Times has an education section (link provided) with several resources listed which you may want to take a peek at.  If you are considering your options beyond GA Tech and Univ of GA, you probably will find that site useful.

Those aspiring to take SAT and ACT, start with 'The Choice' (link provided). This blog examines all facets of college admission process. The article that appeared today was, 'When Unfamiliar Universities Hint at a Full Ride, Who Am I to Refuse?' Further, there is a section that answers questions from readers like you and I.

For serious college hunters, and those tracking specific colleges, try out the section called 'Find News by College or University' where you can obtain pertinent and latest news about your dream college - all at a single location.

Remember: getting your foot in the door is just the beginning of a journey.  You all need to come out successfully as well.  One would think upon graduation, you can kiss goodbye to books and start counting cash. Before your high hopes are crushed, wait for the job search. The story goes on and on, and you can tell your story to your next generation and imagine how you feel when they consider you 'obsolete' and 'out of fashion'.

Let's come back to our present day and finish up those next set of tasks waiting to be completed, so that we can complete some more!  If you are already at a college, feel free to share the links that you come across. Sharing useful info, especially knowledge will makes you grow.

A word of caution: if you are reading/hearing news related to future education, current economy, job rate, etc., do not panic. Remember - this is an election year and people have their own (political) opinions about their beloved candidate and the media may broadcast selectively.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Your College Roadmap

Parents - if your child in middle school, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th and you still haven't started preparing him/her for SAT, then it's time you almost stepped up, and set aside some time for the dreaded SAT exam.  Here is a road map I came across at College Board. Sign up for a free membership and listen to what's happening in that world.

Middle school is important because your child is laying the foundation in a lot of subjects and forming study habits. Developing certain skills now will make it easier for your child to adjust to the challenges of high school and college later — and will lead to more college options. Here are some things you and your child can do to make the most of this time.

The earlier you embark on your journey, the better. Here are some tips they posted:

Help your child set goals for the year. Working toward specific goals will help your child stay motivated and focused.

Review the school calendar together. Note important dates and put them in a shared online calendar or in an easy-to-view place, such as a bulletin board in your kitchen.

Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child's tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team. Get homework tips for your child.

Talk about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school. Read more about the benefits of extracurriculars.
Discuss ways to take on challenges. Encourage your child to take the most-challenging courses that he or she can handle. Tackling tough courses can give your child confidence and prepare him or her for higher-level high school classes.

Come up with fun reading ideas. Look for magazines or newspapers your child may like and talk about the books you loved reading when you were your child’s age. If your family makes reading enjoyable, it can become a daily habit.

Visit a nearby college together. If you live near a college, look for upcoming events on campus that are open to the community or see if the college offers classes to local children and families. Just being on a campus may get your child interested in college.

Get the big picture on paying for college. It’s not too early to learn the basics of financial aid.

Credits: College Board

High Schools with Top SAT Scores and Rankings

Here is the list of top 10 High schools that scored well on SAT in 2012.

1. Northview High School (Fulton): 1769
2. Walton High School (Cobb): 1743
3. Johns Creek High School (Fulton): 1729
4. Milton High School (Fulton): 1681
5. Roswell High School (Fulton): 1677
6. Chattahoochee High School (Fulton): 1674
7. Alpharetta High School (Fulton): 1660
8. Pope High School (Cobb): 1645
9. Lassiter High School (Cobb): 1636
10.McIntosh High School (Fayette): 1633

Talking about school rankings, according to US News, here is the list of top 10 High schools in GA.

#1 Savannah Arts Academy

#2 Davidson Fine Arts
615 12TH ST, AUGUSTA, GA 30901

#3 Walton High School

#4 Northview High School
10625 PARSONS RD, DULUTH, GA 30097

#5 Riverwood International Charter School

#6 Columbus High School

#7 Lassiter High School

#8 Chamblee Charter High School

#9 Lakeside High School

#10 Duluth High School
3737 BROCK RD, DULUTH, GA 30096

The ranking/rating of a particular school depends upon it's students.  Here is my advice to you students: "Do well so that you as well as your school benefits from your hard work and good scores."

SAT Performance - 2012

According to College Board's SAT Benchmark, a record 1.6 Million students took the SAT in the class of 2012 and only 43% were categorized as 'College Ready.'

Here are the average scores for the SAT class of 2012:
Critical Reading: 496
Mathematics: 514
Writing: 488

These scores and just national average and will not get students into their chosen college and it's always better to score as high as you can. If you are not fully aware, click here to read Kathryn Juric's blog on CNN - 10 reasons the SAT matters. She adds, "Parents and students should keep in mind that colleges do not base admission decisions on test scores alone."

College Board also publishes The SAT Reports on College and Career Readiness. Click here to download a pdf copy. If you have not seen it in the past, this document provides a snapshot of the American Education.

SAT scores for GA climbed while the national average fell down a bit - Maureen Downey posted on her blog at AJC. Click here to read her blog.

Belos is some interesting statistics for the past 5 years. This year, 360 students scored a perfect 2400 out of 1,664,479 test takers.

Number of Students Who Achieved Highest Possible Score on the SAT
(by subsection and entire test)
Total SAT Takers
800 Critical Reading
800 Mathematics
800 Writing
Entire Test 2400
(0.022%) 360
(0.023%) 384
(0.024%) 384
(0.019%) 303
(0.019%) 297

Credits: College Board, AJC, CNN

Can U.S. Universities Stay on Top?

For many parents, education is a priority.  I know several parents - especially moms, who sacrifice and spend most of their time for the betterment of their children. To them their calendars and schedules revolve around their children's education. My family is not an exception - we consider it as epitome of future investment.

Here is an article I came across in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

At the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi—one of the best engineering academies in the country—we met Shriram, a 21-year-old man who ranked 19 out of 485,000 on the school's very demanding entrance exam. We call him Mr. Number 19.

Shriram can tell you the date and time when he found out his test results. The exam—and the preparation for it—dominated his teenage years. He was singled out as a "big talent" at an early age, with an aptitude for mathematics and science. To get ready for the IIT entrance exam, he enrolled at a private coaching institute that prepares students with aggressive drilling in the major testing areas—physics, chemistry and math. Over those two years, Shriram estimates that he studied 90 hours every week.

Interested - Click here to read further.

Credits: WSJ

Monday, March 26, 2012

Few words

Last year, various groups, for unknown reasons tried to find the 'most annoying' things people say. Below are the usual suspects.

Yada yada yada...
You know -
It is what it is!
At the end of the day...
Fairly unique!!
I personally...
At this moment in time...
With all due respect...
et cetera, et cetera...
It’s a nightmare!!
Let’s do lunch :-)
It’s not rocket science!!
Like -
So on and so forth....
Uh huh (slang for yes)
Ut uh (slang for no)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Phobias


Xanthophobia: Fear of the color yellow

Phobophobia: Fear of fear.

Ostraconophobia: Fear of shellfish.

Metrophobia: Fear of poetry.

Linonophobia: Fear of string.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: Fear of long words.

Genuphobia: Fear of knees.

Geliophobia: Fear of laughter.

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.

Aulophobia: Fear of flutes.

Credits: Readers Digest

List of Banished Words - 2012

Lake Superior State University’s 2012 List of Banished Words came out earlier this year.

Shared Sacrifice: “Usually used by a politician who wants other people to share in the sacrifice so he or she doesn’t have to.”

Ginormous: “No need to make a gigantic [idiot] out of yourself by trying to find an enormous word for big.”

Thank You in Advance: “A condescending and challenging way to say, ‘Since I already thanked you, you have to do this.’”

Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish): One who wears his shirttail outside his trousers.

Bakku-shan (Japanese): The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

Iktsuarpok (Inuit): That feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if he’s there yet.

Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

Tartle (Scottish): That moment of hesitation when you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t remember.

Pesamenteiro (Portuguese): Someone who joins a funeral party just for the refreshments.

Zeg (Georgian): The day after tomorrow.

Trickeration: A made-up word used by football analysts to describe a trick play. Sounds unintelligent. Perhaps they've had a few too many concussions in the football world to notice.

The New Normal:The phrase is often used to justify bad trends in society and to convince people that they are powerless to slow or to reverse those trends.

Man Cave: Overused by television home design and home buying shows, has trickled down to sitcoms, commercials, and now has to be endured during interactions with real estate people, neighbors and co-workers.

Blowback: Blowback is used by corporate (types) to mean 'reaction,' when the word 'reaction' would have been more than sufficient. Example: 'If we send out the press release, how should we handle the blowback from the community?'

Occupy: 'Occupy Wall Street' grew to become Occupy 'insert name of your city here' all over the country. It should be banished because of the media overuse and now people use it all the time, i.e. 'I guess we will occupy your office and have the meeting there.' 'We are headed to Grandma's house – Occupy Thanksgiving is under way.'

Baby Bump: It makes pregnancy sound like some fun and in-style thing to do, not a serious choice made by (at the very least) the woman carrying the child. Why can't we just use the old tried-and-true 'pregnant?' We've never heard anyone complain about that description.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The best and worst jobs in US

This is a list that was compiled by fortune magazine.

The BestThe Worst
1. Mathematician200. Lumberjack
2. Actuary199. Dairy Farmer
3. Statistician198. Taxi Driver
4. Biologist197. Seaman
5. Software Engineer196. EMT
6. Computer Systems Analyst195. Roofer
7. Historian194. Garbage Collector
8. Sociologist193. Welder
9. Industrial Designer192. Roustabout
10. Accountant191. Ironworker
11. Economist190. Construction Worker
12. Philosopher189. Mail Carrier
13. Physicist188. Sheet Metal Worker
14. Parole Officer187. Auto Mechanic
15. Meteorologist186. Butcher
16. Medical Laboratory Technician185. Nuclear Decontamination Tech
17. Paralegal Assistant184. Nurse (LN)
18. Computer Programmer183. Painter
19. Motion Picture Editor182. Child Care Worker
20. Astronomer181. Firefighter

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Students and social media

Students - you are not going to like this.  I am only sharing what I came across. 

Texas requires detailed plan for college degree

The state of Texas recently passed a law requiring students to complete their college degree in a timely manner by submitting a plan.  The law requires students to submit a plan detailing how they will achieve their degrees – and then obtain permission any time they choose to deviate from the plan. This law will be effective as of September 1, 2011.

Here is a link to the original legislature.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Korean textbooks going digital

Early this month, South Korea government made an announcement.

Thick textbooks weighing on students’ shoulders might disappear across South Korea in four years, as the government seeks to convert all paper textbooks into digital versions by 2015, the Education Ministry said.

Using smart phones, tablet PCs, and smart televisions, school students of all ages will be able to view the content of existing textbooks, ministry officials said.

Click here to read more....

Source: eSchool News

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


A homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Here are few for you to read.

How does a moose begin a letter to his cousin?
Dear deer

What is a complete opening in the ground?
A whole hole

What is a smelly chicken?
Foul fowl

What do you call a less expensive bird?
A cheaper cheeper

Who is married to Uncle Beetle?
Aunt Ant

What does a broken window feel?
A pain in the pane

What do you call a bucket that has seen a ghost?
A pale pail

What on your face is first aware of a good smell?
A nose knows

What is a large animal with thick fun but no clothes on?
A bare bear

What is perfume that is mailed?
Sent scent

What is a weird street of shops that sell incredible things?
bazaar bizarre

Two ran the race, but only . . .
One won.

What is a reddish-purple vegetable that is all worn out?
A beat beet

What will a foot doctor do for you?
He’ll heal your heel

If they are not here, where are they?
They’re there

What is a rabbit fur?
Hare hair

When two couples go to a restaurant together, they ask for a table . . .
For four

What are nervous little outdoor cloth houses?
Tense tents

What do you use to make blossom bread and petal pie?
Flower flour

If you don’t listen over there, where should you listen?
Hear here!

What does the man who looks at oceans do all day?
Sees seas

If a big rock is brave, what do you call one that’s even braver?
A bolder boulder

What is clam strength?
Mussel muscle

What is a string of jewels for someone with no neck?
A neckless necklace

What do you call the sharp, curved nails on a crab who is playing Santa?
Clause claws

What is a great accomplishment using the ends of your legs?
A feet feat

What does a female deer use for baking?
Doe dough

What is a sailor’s bellybutton?
A naval navel

How do you say, “Make that wool into a sweater, little insect!”
“Knit, nit!”

What is a good-looking, horse-drawn carriage?
A handsome hansom

Where do MD’s park their yachts?
A Doc dock


Friday, January 21, 2011

Atlanta - Best High Schools

The Atlanta Magazine listed Best High Schools in their recent article.

Here is the list of top all-round schools listed alphabetically:

Another article that caught my attention:

Like Minds: 5 Quirky Clubs.  Click here to read.


Saturday, May 1, 2010