IN THIS ISSUE:
Homeschooling Teen Profile: Jaime Herrera Beutler
Homeschool Friendly College: Hillsdale College
Readers Write: "There's Life After Home-school!" by Tianna Peters
Readers Write: "One Thing," by Melissa Maynard
NEW COLUMN! The Bookshelf, by Rebekah
Parallels: by Carly
Anime Reviews: by Xbolt
Career-of-the-Month: Hotel Desk Clerk
Homeschooling High School: Extra-curricular Activities
E-Mail Etiquette: Tip-of-the-Month
Plus a whole lot more!!!
If your favorite column is missing, watch for it next month. Some of our writers have been away on winter break.
Be Somebody...Be Yourself
Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information
Another school year has started for some, and now is the time for high school juniors - especially if they dream of attending a highly selective college - to start thinking about taking the SAT and/or ACT. Besides good transcripts and letters of recommendation, entrance exams are an important part of the admission process. While some colleges have waived these tests as a requirement, many colleges and universities still rely heavily on SAT and ACT scores to help in admissions decisions. A typical applicant to a competitive college might boast section scores in the upper 20s for the ACT and above 600 for the SAT.
Read more by clicking
Sponsored in part by
Sylvan SAT/ACT® Prep can help you prepare.
Find a participating Sylvan below
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE
SAT WORD OF THE MONTH
SANGUINE (SANG gwin) adjective - cheerful; optimistic; hopeful
E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month
When signing up for an e-mail newsletter or Web site service, you will most likely see "Double Opt-In." This means that once you sign up, an e-mail will be sent to you at the address you provided for confirmation.
This prevents someone else from signing up your e-mail address for e-mails or services you do not want. If you do not click on the link in the confirmation e-mail, your subscription or membership will not be activated.
As soon as you sign up, make a point, right then and there to add the domain or e-mail address of the service or site you are signing up for to your address book, approved or whitelist.
This ensures their confirmation e-mail makes it through any spam filtering software or programs you or your ISP may have in place.
This E-mail Etiquette Tip is provided as a courtesy by: http://www.NetManners.com
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Bread Machine Baking Month
Get Organized Month
National Hobby Month
National Soup Month
National Candy Month
National Hot Tea Month
National Meat Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month
National Slow Cooker Month
National Wheat Bread Month
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18
19 National Popcorn Day
Camcorder Anniversary, Jan. 20 (1982)
National Compliment Day, Jan. 22
National Handwriting Day, Jan. 23
Apple Macintosh Computer Anniversary, Jan. 25 (1984)
Chocolate Cake Day, Jan. 27
Blueberry Pancake Day, Jan. 28
Click here for more January holidays:
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"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." ~Benjamin Franklin
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Career-of-the-Month: Hotel Desk Clerk
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks are the first line of customer service for a lodging property. They register arriving guests, assign rooms, and answer guests' questions on hotel services and other matters. At other times, they check out guests and report problems with guest rooms or public areas to the housekeeping or maintenance staff.
Most hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks learn their job through short-term on-the-job training, which describes their job duties, familiarizes them with the hotel's facilities, and provides instruction on how to use the computerized reservation, room assignment, and billing systems.
A concierge is a hotel employee who attends to the wishes of hotel guests. A concierge assists guests with various tasks like recommending restaurants, making dinner reservations, arranging for spa services, renting cars, procuring tickets to special events, assisting with travel arrangements, and booking local tours.
Postsecondary education is not required for this job, but some background or coursework in hospitality is helpful. Most importantly, employers look for people who are friendly and customer-service oriented, well groomed, and display maturity and good judgment. Night and weekend work is common, and approximately 1 in 4 desk clerks work part time.
Customer service representative
MOVIE QUOTE - Can you guess what movie this quote came from?
Doc: In the future, we don't need horses. We have motorized carriages called automobiles.
Saloon Old Timer: If everybody's got one of these auto-whatsits, does anybody walk or run anymore?
Doc: Of course we run. But for recreation. For fun.
Saloon Old Timer: Run for fun? What kind of fun is that?
(Answer: Back to the Future 3)
Homeschool Art Contest Now Accepting Entries
HSLDA's 2011 Student Art Contest is accepting entries through February 1. There are three themes corresponding to three age groups: 7-10, 11-14, 15-19., each with prizes. Students must submit a piece of artwork which, through the art, defines the word that coincides with their age group. Prizes range from $25-200. Entry fees benefit fellow homeschoolers through the Home School Foundation. For complete details and contest rules, see: http://www.hslda.org/Contests/Art/2011/2011rules.asp
Montaigne Scholars Competition: Shimer College Scholarships
In the August 2009 issue of Homeschooling Teen, we featured a profile of Shimer: The Great Books College of Chicago ( http://homeschoolingteen.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/shimer-the-great-books-college-of-chicago/ ). Shimer is a four-year liberal arts school known for its small class sizes and Great Books curriculum. The college is recommended for students who love to read, like to think, don't want to sit in a lecture hall, and want to be part of a small college in which they engage in a mutual learning process with their professors, called "facilitators."
Shimer College is offering a scholarship competition for full and half-tuition scholarships. The scholarship honors Michel de Montaigne, the French Renaissance author and essayist. The Michel de Montaigne Scholarship will be awarded to students new to Shimer on the basis of students' merit in writing and discussion - the kind that Shimer students undertake every day.
Applicants must attend the competition event at Shimer College in Chicago on Saturday, February 19 or Sunday, February 20. Students will be given a piece by Michel de Montaigne to read, then write about it and discuss it. This represents the typical student day at Shimer, and the school is looking for students who will fit well with their model.
For more information, and a copy of the reading "On Repentance," see: http://www.shimer.edu/montaigne
Parallels by Carly Anspaugh
For hours they had been crouching in the cold, damp marsh waiting to hear one word from their captain. As they were waiting the sun came up over the hill and shone brightly on the river below. There was the bridge, just wide enough for two horsemen abreast, and on it were hundreds of armed knights. The Earl of Surrey was commanding a troop of over 60,000 men and they all had to fit across the river on that bridge. Surrey had been advised to cross at another point where more than 60 horsemen could cross, but knowing the small band of outlaws he was against, he decided not to waste time. But this was not the same band of poorly fed and disorderly men he had dealt with before. These were passionate and disciplined troops who had been drilled and drilled all winter in preparation for this very moment. Suddenly the hillside exploded with activity as thousands of men rushed down the steep, wet, terrain to face the English who had made it to this side of the river. These men were fighting more than for the sake of fighting, they had homes and farms to protect too, but they were truly fighting for their freedom. As the Scotts swarmed down to the river the English found they had nowhere to go. It was impossible for them to return on the bridge for it was much to narrow. William Wallace, captain of the freedom loving and courageous Scotsmen called out orders and his men who adored him eagerly carried them out. He was a giant of a man at 6' 7" when the average height in 1298 was five foot for a full-grown man. He was using his massive size to his advantage now as he attacked the British with terrifying ferocity.
William Wallace was born in Scotland around the year 1272. He was the second of three sons born to Malcolm and Margaret de Crauford. Malcolm was knighted by Scotland's King Alexander III, who was good to the Scottish people. When the king died in accident where he rode off the edge of a cliff in a storm 13 people came forward and declared the throne rightfully theirs. He had no children so the Scottish council of Nobles held a meeting and decided that Alfred's four-year-old granddaughter Margaret would be Queen when she came of age. The council would rein until then. Now, King Edward I of England saw this and thought now would be the time to pounce and conquer the long coveted Scotland. So he called up the Scottish council and proposed a deal. He would engage his son to the child Margaret and in exchange they kept Scotland as an independently recognized nation. Little Margaret was 8 years old when she left Norway where she was living to come to England, when as they were crossing the cold and snowy mountains she became ill and died. King Edward stepped forward and made his move. The English invaded Scotland and persecuted the Scots until William Wallace led a series of revolts in an attempt to free Scotland from the greedy hand of Edward.
The Battle of Sterling Bridge had the possibility to end the English harassment once and for all. And William knew it. He led his men who were gravely outnumbered to fight hand to hand against some of the most trained and able forces in Europe. As he encouraged his men to force their way onto the bridge and across the river the Earl of Surrey was regretting the risky decision he had made and realized the other bridge would have been wiser. His men were panicking all around him and he too, had lost all sense of logic and reasoning. He had more than enough men to rally and defeat the rebellious Outlaws but his panic caused him to order the bridge destroyed and a full retreat. The Scots cheered as they saw them turn and gallop off into the woods in terror. They, a group of ordinary men had triumphed over England.
William Wallace saw the need of his country, freedom, and risked his life to achieve that. William was a stunning combination of many ancient heroes, Robin Hood, Richard The Lion Heart, George Washington, John Paul Jones and more. Compare to him to our modern day politicians, who constantly scramble for scraps of success and he is the picture of dignity. Unlike George Washington, he was later captured by the English, who had him executed for treason. His response was: "How could I have committed treason to Edward when he is not my king?" He was taken out to the street and was hanged, drawn and quartered as a result for his heroism and bravery. Winston Churchill says: "Wallace had behind him the spirit of a race as stern and resolute as any among men. He added military gifts of a high order. Out of an unorganized mass of valiant fighting men he forged, in spite of cruel poverty and primitive administration, a stubborn, indomitable army, ready to fight at any odds and mock defeat."
I respect someone who, from nothing, creates a force that will do the right thing against all odds. He had the courage to stand up and say no, and think about the reasons why he was saying that. He questioned the government and asked himself is this best for the people? Is this best for trade and growth and prosperity for our country? How will this effect future generations? These are all questions that we need to be asking and answering.
~Carly, 16, has been homeschooling her whole life, and has two younger siblings. She has a summer catering business, a custom greeting card line, and she enjoys dancing - Ballet, Pointe, Ballroom and Celtic.
Meet Our Newest Columnist!
My name is Rebekah Hall and I am eighteen years old. I am a homeschooled senior in high school and have been homeschooled all my life, with the only exception being a few extra-curricular courses through the local public school's virtual school. For the past year and a half, I've been writing a book review column for the young women's magazine "Ink and Fairydust," as well as contributed a featured article. I've also recently started a review blog called "And a Sweet Sound it Made." For several years now, I've wanted to be a writer, and it is a future career aim of mine. Writing has always been one of the things that I love to do in my spare time, and reading other people's opinions, insights, or even just their rhetoric, is something that I enjoy doing. With my book reviews (or any reviews that I write, for that matter), I have two main goals; first, to simply help people find good books to read, and second, more importantly, to get people to think about what they're reading.
The Bookshelf, by Rebekah Hall
When asked about his book, Airborn, Kenneth Oppel replied:
"I've long been fascinated by airships. To me, they seem almost miraculous. A luxurious passenger vessel bigger than the Titanic, yet lighter than air. They were the biggest objects ever to fly. What if airplanes hadn't been invented? In the world of AIRBORN, airships rule the skies."
Airships are one of those few things in the world that are self-explanatory: they're ships in the air. Instead of sea, they ride on wind, air currents and, in Oppel's world, a lighter-than-helium gas called "hydrium". Just like ships, they have crews, with all the usual ranks, such as cabin boy, officer, captain, etc.; even the men who repair the canvas covering the airship are called "sailmakers".
In Airborn, the airships are the best of the sea and air worlds; carrying cargo and people both, they serve any purpose that the mind can think of. Naturally, of course, the more popular use for them is cruise liner-variety passenger-ships such as the Aurora; sure, their travel-time can be seven times slower than the rate of a modern airplane, but they do it with such style and convenience that nobody would care.
I may not fly often enough to be earning Skymiles, but I've flown enough to know that planes are cramped, uncomfortable, and a pain in more places than one. In fact, the talk of airships actually begins to make you wonder not "what if", but "why". The answer is painfully simple: the USS Akron and the Hindenburg. Their tragedies forever decided the fate of airships, reducing them to what we know today as blimps and zeppelins; and revealing the note of accuracy behind Oppel's ironic comparison of airships and the Titanic. In hat tip to this, Airborn is haunted from beginning to end by the death of a sailmaker who was blown away in a storm.
The sail maker was the father of a cabin boy named Matthew Cruse. Matt was offered the cabin boy position after his father died, and accepted it gladly because it would be on his late father's ship, the Aurora. He would be rubbing elbows with the men who worked side-by-side with his father and under the captain his father so admired. He would be the Mr. Cruse of the Aurora.
Cruse was a hardworking and good father, but being a sailmaker he was hardly ever at home. So Matt did the natural thing for a young boy to do; he idolized him. He dreams of airships because his father works on one, and when he's offered a position, he jumps at it, even if it's the ship his father died on; for Matt, the idea that his father died doesn't even compute.
Even the fact that his father is no longer living and breathing isn't enough to convince him that his father is dead; and it's a contradiction that Matt is willing to live with. However, to support the contradiction, he concocts an idea that even he knows is ridiculous: his father didn't fall, he flew, and his spirit continues to fly and follow the Aurora wherever it goes.
If he's really going to believe it, though, he's going to have to make it seem like a reality; even if it means convincing himself that he, too, can fly. He does such a thorough job that when the captain asks him to dangle on a giant hook off the ship to rescue a failing air balloon, he does so fearlessly.
Matt doesn't completely live in his father's shadow, of course; he has his own ambitions. He wants to be a captain someday, but sailmaker comes first. The awaited opportunity comes a year after the air balloon incident, and disappears as quickly as it appeared. The captain is apologetic, but there's nothing he can do. Mr. Lunardi owns the airship, and if he wants his son Bruce to be the next sailmaker on the Aurora, then that's how it is. The captain even offers to refer Matt to other captains needing new sailmakers, but Matt refuses (somewhat selfishly, since he's supporting his mother and two sisters).
When he rescued the air balloon the year before, there had been old man in the basket who had died shortly afterward. Fate would have it that now in his hour of ultimate self-pity, Matt runs into the man's granddaughter, who has inherited every spark of the spunk and audacity that lead her grandfather to try and sail around the world in an air balloon. She has the journal of his travels, and is determined to discover the previously unknown winged mammal he claimed to see. They're en route to the sighting spot, she says, but she needs a crew member to look at the charts and tell her exactly when it will be; Matt reluctantly agrees.
If ships are going to start sailing the skies, then it's just a matter of fact that pirates are going follow them there. Wealthy cruise-liners like the Aurora would also be among their first targets. All they want is the riches that the passengers would inevitably have, but as they leave, their own ship's propellers are caught in the canvas of the Aurora, marooning her to the island down below.
Following the trend of first-person young adult books, this is actually one the better examples out there. It helps that Matt-aside from his father's death-starts out the story significantly more mature than the average YA hero, but writing also contains subtleties that most YA authors wouldn't bother with, for fear that the aimed audience wouldn't appreciate them. Things such as Matt's use of "for" instead of "because", or his describing what would be an everyday sight for him, like ornithopters, in passing rather than in detail, as if he assumes that the reader also lives in his world.
In fact, the parallel world that his story resides in is very much like the increasingly popular Girl Genius comics: Edwardian culture combined with close-to-modern technology.
Oppel himself doesn't forget for a second who's reading his book, and he occasionally milks the time period for modern laughs; there's a scene in which Matt is scandalized by a young woman wearing a skirt that stops right below the knee. However, Oppel is smart enough to not belittle his hero's world; there are values that, even if modern readers doesn't share them, are taken dead serious. It's no joking matter when Matt is firmly scolded for flirting with the air-balloonist granddaughter; the reason, which he accepts without question, is that he's unable to marry her at the moment. It's an interesting breath of fresh air from the usual crass atmosphere of most YA fiction.
There are occasionally bits that make you wonder where the editor was, like Matt's penchant for repeating himself a little too often or, more glaring, his sister's name changing back and forth from "Sylvia" to "Emilie". The book doesn't ask you to inspect it that closely, however, since the characters run from one unlikely situation to the next. Airborn is, in its most basic form, a "high seas" adventure story that lauds the lost dream of airships; and, left to that, it works.
Rebekah is a senior in high school who loves reading, writing, or anything that contains a story and a puzzle. She runs the review blog "And a Sweet Sound it Made" - http://www.andasweetsound.blogspot.com/
Send your book reviews to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to view Homeschooling Teen Magazine. We hope that you and your homeschooler enjoyed reading with us. That is our goal, after all! It is also our goal to provide homeschooled teens a place of their own, to highlight their accomplishments, talents and thoughts. Here at Homeschooling Teen Magazine, our articles and information are written exclusively by homeschoolers, for homeschoolers. We strive to make this a safe place for your teens to join in and express themselves in accordance with Philippians 4:8. We will never share or sell your information with any third party. Content is a top priority for us and articles will always be age appropriate. Our magazine will only allow sponsorship logos and links that are family friendly. However, the opinions expressed in our magazine are not necessarily those of Homeschooling Teen Magazine and we cannot be held responsible for any information listed or actions from our sponsors. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
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Copyright 2011 Homeschooling Teen Magazine
Welcome... Homeschooling Teen is a free e-zine for homeschooled high schoolers and young adult alumni. Published once a month, each issue is full of fellowship and fun, human interest and humor. Much of the content is written by other subscribers, and there are many opportunities for readers to participate - whether it's writing book or movie reviews, sending in original short stories and poems, or submitting favorite websites for the links section. Additionally, in each issue we feature a profile of a different Homeschooling Teen subscriber and/or a famous homeschooled teen. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Homeschooling High School: Helpful Tips
Colleges and universities of all types - private and public, secular and religious, large and small - ask applicants to list their participation in extra-curricular activities during the high school years. They are looking for students with strong community involvement. This could include volunteer service, work experience, after-school projects, and individual endeavors in whatever the homeschooled applicant is passionate about.
Dusty Di Santo, Admissions Counselor at Taylor University, explains: "These activities show the applicant's ability to build relationships with all kinds of people. To flourish in college life means having the ability to work together with groups, with teachers, other students, roommates, and in campus activities. Future employers also look for students to have the ability to work well with a variety of people."
This is true for all applicants, not just homeschooled applicants. However, it does give homeschoolers a chance to show that they are more than just good students, that they have a life outside of the house, and that they have good interpersonal skills and abilities. In addition, participation in outside activities will enable the homeschooled student to ask another adult besides a parent to write an informed recommendation letter for them.
Extra-curricular activities are especially important if you expect to apply for any scholarships. Besides, it's a great way to meet people and develop friendships. The following list contains examples of community participation that can be easily accomplished while homeschooling. You will probably want to include a variety of them over the coming years. Make it your New Year's resolution to get started doing one or more of these activities!
Speech and debate
Music performance (choir, band, orchestra)
Student newspaper or literary magazine
Design web pages
Regular part-time job
Full-time job in summer
Scouts, FFA, 4-H, etc.
Adopt a trail with the Forest Service
Civic improvement project
Food or clothing drive
Volunteer at an animal shelter, food bank, soup kitchen, etc.
Exhibit a work of art
Publish an article, poem, story, etc.
Government or political involvement
Special interest groups
Join or start a club - chess, astronomy, computer, etc.
Volunteer at a local hospital, library, museum, etc.
Start your own business selling goods or services
Religious activity or organization
Teach in church or Sunday School
Volunteer for your homeschool group
Help out at a local child care center
Work with physically or emotionally handicapped
Moderate or administer an internet forum
Hold a leadership or supervisory position
Contributing to Homeschooling Teen will look great on a college application or resume! We're always looking for talented new writers, reporters, and columnists. Send us your ideas for topics you would like to cover! Artists, photographers, and graphic designers are welcome to submit their work. We are also seeking a cartoonist and a forum administrator. How about an internship in advertising/marketing? All positions are unpaid but provide valuable experience. Please contact: email@example.com
Homeschooling Teen Profile:
Jaime Herrera Beutler
The 112th Congress that began on January 5, 2011, includes a huge class of freshman. Few of the incoming freshmen know Capitol Hill better than Jaime Herrera (R-WA). Jaime was one of the female Republican candidates who rose to prominence in 2010, and she was highlighted by Time Magazine as one of the 40 leaders under 40 who are "rising stars of American politics." Jaime will also be the first homeschooled member of the United States Congress in recent history.
Jaime was born on November 3, 1978, in Glendale, California. She grew up in Southwest Washington where she participated in activities like 4-H, fishing at Battle Ground Lake, swimming in the Lewis River, climbing Mt. St. Helens, and helping with local political campaigns. Jaime was homeschooled through ninth grade. She graduated from Prairie High School where she played on the girls' basketball team. Before starting college she performed 2,000 hours of community service at ground zero in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Jaime received an associate's degree from Bellevue Community College in 2003, and earned a B.A. degree in communications and political science from the University of Washington in 2004.
Jaime launched her political career in the same year she graduated from UW. She won a White House internship with the Bush administration, arriving at the tail end of the presidential campaign. As a college student, she had the opportunity to intern in both the Washington State Senate and in Washington, D.C. at the White House Office of Political Affairs. From 2005-2007, Jaime worked in Washington, D.C. as Senior Legislative Aide for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane). She was the Congresswoman's lead advisor on health care policy, education, veterans' and women's issues. She also helped draft proposals, including a health information technology bill and an education-based competitiveness bill. Both measures passed the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly.
In 2007, Herrera was appointed to fill a vacancy in Washington State's 18th Legislative District. After serving in the 2008 legislative session she ran for election and 60% of the voters in her district cast their vote for Herrera to continue her post as State Representative. During her time in the Legislature, Jaime served on the Health Care and Wellness Committee, the Human Services Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Representative Herrera's first bill, a bipartisan proposal to give tax relief to business owners serving in the military, was signed into law on March 27, 2008.
Herrera's congressional campaign was one of the high-profile races that national observers were watching in hopes of tipping the balance of the House. Jaime is a fiscal conservative who ran on a small-government platform. "I do believe in smaller government, less government at every possible turn," she said. She is a supporter of the U.S. Constitution and works to uphold our freedoms and liberties. She aims to bring a fresh voice to Congress and restore commonsense leadership in order to get the economy back on track. "My parents taught me God first, family second, and service to community a close third," Jaime said. "Those were the values of our region, too: personal responsibility, [and] a strong work ethic," she added.
Jaime has class, character, and decent social and moral values. One of Jaime's political heroes is Abigail Adams, who was one of our country's most influential "founding mothers," as well as the homeschooling mom of John Quincy. Jaime said that she decided she was a Republican after leaving home and reflecting on the values she'd learned from her own family. In 2006, through their church, they became involved in gang prevention. Jaime's parents, Armando and Candice Herrera, adopted his brother's three children to rescue them from the influence of drugs and gangs in Southern California.
Jaime says, "I am not opposed to safety nets. They are a part of our communities and our society. I'm the first to say when it comes to our most vulnerable citizens - children, seniors, folks fighting disability - we have a safety net for a reason. I think protecting our most vulnerable is actually a conservative principle." However, Jaime believes that the government is becoming disconnected from the people it represents. "I think government has gotten a little too big for its britches... It is taking more and more ability from individuals and families to decide how they're going to spend their money... I think we are at a point as a country when we are going to have to decide: Are we going to be in charge of our democratic republic, or is it the other way around?"
As a Congresswoman, Jaime says she will support an amendment that would require a balanced federal budget, emphasizing that the government needs to cut its spending to resolve the federal deficit. She thinks that Congress should "live within its means just like families, businesses and individuals do." Jaime feels that the stimulus plan was misguided and that the stimulus money would have been more effective circulating in the economy. "We just need to get government out of the way and let small business do what they do best, which is create jobs," she explains. The federal government should likewise eliminate regulations that stifle competition, she argues.
In a similar manner, Jaime said the federal health care bill should be repealed. She proposed small businesses be allowed to band together, even across state lines, in providing health care to their employees at lower cost. Jaime opposes abortion rights and opposes extending legal partnerships to same-sex couples. Jaime believes the federal government should take a smaller role in education and cede to local control of schools. On the issue of illegal immigration, the Hispanic young lady says, "We need to prove to the American people that the government can secure the border. I don't support amnesty. People do need to learn English."
Jaime revels in the excitement of belonging to the biggest group of House newbies in decades, and she is eager to get started because there is a lot of work to do. As she sees it, voters elected her to slim and streamline the government - and have given her two years to get the job done. "The fact that they chose me to be their voice here is an honor," Herrera said. "You want to live up to that promise." Jaime states her purpose very clearly: "I will be a member of Congress more concerned with saving your money than spending your money."
Herrera admits to being ambitious but also conflicted. "I do believe that the American dream, which is to pass on a better life to our children, is in danger." Eventually, she and her husband Dan (who she married in August 2008) want a family, but they will have to "put our lives on hold," she admits a bit wistfully. Nevertheless, Jaime declared, "Every step I have taken since high school has been preparing me for this. There is not a job in the world I would rather have.... I have this amazing, tremendous responsibility and it is not something everyone gets a chance to do."
There's Life After Home-school!
By Tianna Peters
Because I'm a dancer/model with a schedule so intense it's wacky, I asked to be home-schooled from 7th grade through high school. I loved setting my own pace, project-based learning - and getting enough rest. I worked, trained, and socialized with friends my age, so I didn't miss the high school experience at all. As a Senior, I wondered what life would be like after home-school.
I took a one-year post-graduation academic break. With no syllabus, I mainly read lightweight books and enjoyed my "time out." My mom and I moved to New York for awhile. I trained & performed as a dancer, did magazine shoots, walked runways for Fashion Week - and loved the Big Apple. Navigating the streets of Manhattan, learning the subway system, and seeing live theatre and dance nearly every weekend was a treat.
Midway through my East Coast adventure, a New Zealand modeling agency invited me to work in Auckland, N.Z. for three months. My mom is my manager and travel buddy; we flew to another hemisphere. That's where I shot my first magazine cover, got to know the Maori indigenous people, as well as their history - and fell in love for the first time. I was with my beau so much that my mom finished a book of short stories, some of them written there, down in the South Pacific.
When I wasn't shooting, my boyfriend gave me an insider's tour of his beloved Auckland and lush surrounding areas. At a gorgeous black sand beach, I felt like we were on another planet. We visited islands that were like paradise and great museums. To work and live there was a peak life experience. We went home for the holidays, then returned to New York City. My N.Z. beau visited me here, but we decided to just be friends.
Manhattan earns its reputation as, "The city that never sleeps." Restaurants, stores, and cafes don't close! I walked at dusk in Central Park and saw the city by night with friends. It was great to spend time with my Brooklyn grandma. For the last few weeks of our stay East we stayed in her brownstone - cozy and warm in the freezing winter.
We missed my dad and our poodle despite many visits, and I wanted to begin serious acting training at Playhouse West in L.A. We came home, where Ford had far more calls for me, now that I'd modeled in New York and internationally and developed a big portfolio. I juggled castings/bookings and dance classes/concerts, with acting training.
Even with a jam-packed schedule, I missed learning daily - in areas unrelated to work. I read about online college in a local paper. A week later, I enrolled and loved it; I'm now a sophomore. I have a curriculum, but choose which days/nights/hours to devote to studies. In so many ways, online college reminds me of home-schooling. I write papers or do readings/assignments in cafes, backstage, or in dance studios. It's exciting to go for a degree. I love internet literary discussions, and getting to "know" my classmates online.
People [including family members!] weren't thrilled that, as a teen, I planned to defer college in order to pursue my career. Online college is a perfect way to work in fields you love while getting a higher education. My life is full home-school fully prepared me for college distance learning. As a teen, I did college prep classes and worked. Now, I'm a model/dancer, as well as a fulltime college-and-acting student. My days and evenings couldn't be fuller, but I love it. There's a fascinating world out there. Home-school paved the way for me to be up to the challenges of higher education. So I just wanted to let home-schooling students and parents know that there IS life after home-school - and it's sweet!
We want to hear from you! If you are involved with an amazing project, volunteer in your community, have a special interest that you're passionate about, possess a unique skill, talent or ability, or have accomplished something positive and extraordinary for a person your age or in your situation - be sure to tell us about it and we will feature you in our magazine! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anime Reviews by Xbolt
Hayao Miyazaki. If you know anything about the Japanese film industry, you almost certainly know the name Hayao Miyazaki. He is widely hailed as one of the greatest animators living today.
"Spirited Away" is his most famous work. Since it was released in 2001, it became not just the highest grossing animated film in Japanese history, but the highest grossing film. Now that's something. But despite being so famous, I never watched any Miyazaki films before now. But since I got the DVD of "Spirited Away" for Christmas, I have rectified that negligence.
The film starts out normal enough. A young girl named Chihiro is moving to a new town, and is none too happy about it. Her dad misses the turn, though, and winds up on a dirt road going through the forest. Despite objections from his wife and Chihiro, he charges forward. (Dads. Sheesh.) The road ends at what appears to be an old abandoned amusement park. The parents go on in and take a look around, but Chihiro would much rather be elsewhere.
They find a place that has a lot of fresh food. However, nobody is to be seen. The parents start chowing away, but little Chihiro seems to have a lot more sense than they do. She doesn't eat anything, and wanders around, looking at things.
Now this is where the real stuff happens. Suddenly, Chihiro starts seeing all these strange creatures. She meets a boy, Haku, who tells her to get her parents and leave quickly, as they are in grave danger. But too late. Her parents have been turned into pigs by a spell! She meets Haku again, and he tells her to get a job in the bathhouse run by Yubaba, to prevent something from happening to her as well. The bathhouse is for spirits and things to go get washed up.
I don't want to say too much about the story, so I'll leave it at that. Now let's talk about the visuals. It is clear that Miyazaki has a very active imagination. It certainly comes through in "Spirited Away." I've never seen anything quite like it in my life. The closest thing I can think of is "Alicein Wonderland." But this is different than that. A truly unique style. "Spirited Away" was very strange, and something even I'm not used to seeing, but I still liked the film a lot.
John Lasseter of Pixar fame is a close friend and admirer of Hayao Miyazaki. He was the executive producer on several of Miyazaki's films for their U.S. release, also overseeing the dubbing of their English language soundtracks. The gentle forest spirit Totoro from Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro" makes an appearance as a plush toy in "Toy Story 3."
Visit Xbolt's blog at: http://blog.xboltz.net
Economics in One Lesson: High School Seminar
(Sponsored by Tennessee Liberty Alliance)
February 11-11 2011
Here is a half-day seminar just for high-school students - with a particular focus on homeschoolers. There is no charge at all for this event. It provides an excellent introduction to the whole field of economics and why it matters to understand history and society and the ups and downs of civilization itself. Without economic understanding, we are left without a critical tool for understanding vast amounts of the social sciences. The high-school years are the perfect time to begin to introduce economic logic as a discipline. But too often, economics is presented as if it has nothing to do with real life. In fact, it is important to every area of life, as this seminar will show. Come join us to discover the theory and application of five critical concepts in economics: exchange, opportunity cost, the division of labor, entrepreneurship, and inflation.
To register, go here: http://mises.org/events/147
For a media archive of this event, go here: http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=category&ID=242
Melissa Maynard, a homeschool graduate and dear friend of ours, is leaving for Kansas City to do a six-month internship at the International House of Prayer. We're all very excited for her! She wrote the following letter which we are publishing with her permission:
The reason I am writing this letter is to let you know that I am going to Kansas City, January 12th, to the One Thing internship at the International House of Prayer. I am setting aside part of my life to prayer, worship, studying Gods word, and ministry. The best way to let you know what I will be doing is to show you my weekly schedule. My weekly schedule will look like this:
Prayer room team: Tuesday-Thursday
Prayer room: Tuesday-Sunday 8pm-midnight
Forerunner Christian fellowship church service: Sunday evening
Evangelism/outreach/family time: Sunday
Service work: Friday
Day of rest: Monday
On May 7, 1999, the International House of Prayer Missions Base was founded by Mike Bickle and twenty full-time "intercessory missionaries" cried out to God in prayer and worship for thirteen hours each day. Four months later, on September 19, 1999, prayer and worship extended to the full 24/7 schedule.
The International House of Prayer of Kansas City is an evangelical missions organization that is committed to praying for the release of the fullness of God's power and purpose, as they actively win the lost, heal the sick, feed the poor, make disciples, and impact the seven spheres of society-family, education, government, economy, arts, media, and religion. Their vision is to work in relationship with the larger Body of Christ to serve the Great Commission, as they seek to walk out the two great commandments to love God and people.
The One Thing Internship is about calling a generation into wholehearted pursuit of God. Seeking the Lord with consecrated lives of prayer and fasting, and being equipped to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a six-month residential program for single young adults, ages eighteen through twenty-five. One Thing Internship is a season for young adults to dedicate their hearts before the Lord, to know Him and pursue Him for the rest of their lives. The Holy Spirit is calling forth a generation abandoned in love and obedience to Jesus. Psalm 27 4 "One thing I have desired of the lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord".
This internship is just the beginning of what God has called me to do. I know He will provide all my needs. I already have half of what I need for the internship. Would you consider supporting me? If you can't give money, please support me in prayer?
[Editor's Note: If you would like to help support Melissa, please contact email@example.com and we'll forward your message to her. You can learn more about the One Thing Internship at Ihop.org.]
The Higher Education Bubble
Over the last several months, there have been a lot of reports and commentary on the "higher education bubble." According to the theory, while the cost of higher education is rising, the returns of a college degree are decreasing and the soundness of the student loan industry may be threatened by increasing default rates. Back in 1992, Congress raised the amount of money a student can borrow from the federal loan program. At the same time, the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act enabled easier access to college funding. Now we see student loans dominating the higher education industry and accounting for 50% of all financial aid packages. Student loans allow an 18-year-old to finance some or all of the next four years of his or her life, including living expenses. Morally, is it right for young people to start their lives immersed in debt?
A massive amount of speculation is being placed on these borrowers with no indication of them being able to afford repayment. Many find themselves with degrees of questionable worth, or worse, never finish the degree programs that they start but still owe tens of thousands of dollars for their forays into higher education. Although many educational institutions try to sell the notion that a great job awaits the student at the completion of his or her degree, this is not necessarily true. With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, many college graduates aren't finding jobs and are piling up debt. Even if they do get a job, statistics show that 80% of college grads end up working in a field unrelated to their major. College students who fail to find employment at the level needed to pay back their loans in a reasonable amount of time have been compared to the debtors under sub-prime mortgages whose home are worth less than what is owed to the bank.
According to the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, "Over the past few decades, college and graduate tuitions have climbed much faster than the rate of inflation and the growth of household income, with the difference being made up by debt taken on by students who assumed they'd have no trouble paying it off after graduation. Now students are graduating with big debts, but no jobs." It's often said that a process that cannot go on forever, won't. This seems just as unsustainable as the financial system that collapsed within the past few years. As shown in the accompanying chart, the housing bubble resulted from a 4-time increase in home prices between 1978 and 2006, while college tuition has increased by more than a factor of ten times! Also note that the tuition costs began their big upswing right around the time the feds made subsidized loans more readily available for college expenses. Since the students could get more government money, the colleges decided to raise their rates!
Some students, because they don't have prior experience with debt and loan amortization, don't understand how much their loans will cost them in the long run. Many borrowers take longer than 15 years to repay their student debt, and borrowers who default on those loans face significant personal and financial burdens. They become ineligible for additional federal aid, and they may have their wages and tax refunds seized by the government. Their negative credit records make it harder for them to obtain car loans, mortgages, credit cards, apartments, and even jobs. If they are able to get a loan, they pay higher interest rates. Unlike credit-card debt or sub-prime mortgages, student loan obligations can rarely be discharged in bankruptcy.
It's interesting to note that while community colleges serve many low income students, community college students tend to borrow less, and the number of defaulted loans of former community college students is smaller. On the other hand, students at for-profit colleges, which rely on federal financial-aid programs for as much as 90% of revenue, carry the biggest loans in higher education. Bachelor's degree recipients at for-profits have a median debt of $31,190 as compared to $17,040 at private nonprofit institutions and $7,960 at public colleges according to Education Trust, a Washington-based nonprofit research and student advocacy organization. Besides graduating with more debt than students at public or private nonprofit colleges, students at for-profit institutions have higher student loan default rates. When the government can't collect on those loans, taxpayers end up footing the bill for millions of dollars.
While the number of students enrolled in for-profit colleges has skyrocketed in the past decade, these for-profits still educate less than 10 percent of students. However, they accounted for 44 percent of defaults among borrowers who entered repayment in 2007, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit organization that advocates making higher education more affordable. To make matters worse, the Government Accountability Office released data in August 2010 regarding an undercover investigation of 15 for-profit colleges in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and the District of Columbia. Investigators posing as applicants found examples at every school of officials misrepresenting their programs, and four cases in which campus officials actually encouraged applicants to make fraudulent statements on financial aid applications to obtain more government funds.
How can students protect themselves? Students need to reconsider whether the four-year college model is worth the investment when you can spend much less on two years in community college and then transfer to a four-year school. Some universities have recently started partnering with community colleges to let students obtain their Bachelor's degree by taking three years at the community college and one year at the university granting the degree. Students should avoid going into debt if at all possible. Be especially wary of college officials who push the student loan paperwork on you even before discussing any other forms of financial aid such as grants and scholarships. Consider attending a college that refuses federal funds altogether, of which there are only a handful of colleges don't accept government money on principle. These include: Christendom College, Grove City College, Patrick Henry College, and Hillsdale College (featured in this issue). It should also be noted that these colleges have lower tuition rates than other schools of similar caliber.
In summary, as writer Elizabeth Dias stated in a Time Magazine article, "Government money, lightly supervised institutions, unchecked supervising bodies and debt-trapped students - it all sounds similar to the subprime-mortgage collapse that is still fresh in America's mind." Glen Reynolds of the Instapundit blog adds, "So my advice to students faced with choosing colleges (and graduate schools, and law schools) this coming year is simple: Don't go to colleges or schools that will require you to borrow a lot of money to attend. There's a good chance you'll find yourself deep in debt to no purpose. And maybe you should rethink college entirely."
College Bound: Homeschool Friendly Colleges
"Pursuing Truth and Defending Liberty Since 1844"
Hillsdale is America's premier college that teaches students and educates citizens about the blessings of liberty and about our nation's founding principles. Hillsdale's educational mission rests upon two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. Hillsdale College provides students with a well-rounded traditional liberal arts education that covers an important body of knowledge and timeless truths about the human condition. But unlike other liberal arts colleges, Hillsdale emphasizes what liberty means and the moral conditions of its preservation. Hillsdale College carries out its mission both in the classroom and nationwide through its extensive outreach programs.
Hillsdale was established in 1844 by Freewill Baptists, although the college has been officially non-denominational since its inception. Hillsdale's founders were determined to uphold the principles of civil and religious liberty articulated by the Founding Fathers of America who declared that "all men are created equal." Hillsdale was the first American college to prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, or religion in its charter. Black students were admitted from the beginning, and Hillsdale was the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women. Hillsdale College continues to value the merit of each unique individual rather than succumbing to the dehumanizing trends of "social justice" and "multicultural diversity," which judge people not as individuals but as members of a group competing against other groups in divisive power struggles.
The concepts of individual liberty, personal responsibility, free market economics, and limited government under the Constitution are no longer taught at many American colleges, so most students graduate with little or no understanding of what makes America unique, free, and prosperous. Today's college professors often openly denigrate America, teaching students to distrust free markets, fear religion, and be ashamed of patriotism. In contrast, Hillsdale is dedicated to training a new generation of leaders for America who understand the Constitution of the United States, and who will uphold and defend the principles of liberty upon which America was founded. Every Hillsdale student comes to understand how the Constitution is responsible for America becoming a beacon of liberty and prosperity for the world - what President Reagan liked to call "a shining city on a hill."
Hillsdale's mission statement reads: "The College considers itself a trustee of modern man's intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law." Hillsdale explains why America is exceptional in human history and teaches its students that: 1.) The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution are the greatest charters of liberty ever written, and are responsible for America quickly becoming the freest, most prosperous nation in human history. 2.) The free enterprise system is essential to American freedom and prosperity. 3.) The United States is a great nation - but a nation that is in danger because our national leaders have so little understanding of the principles of liberty and limited government that are the reason for its greatness. 4.) Faith in God, far from undermining liberty as the ACLU would claim, actually supports liberty. Thomas Jefferson wrote, "...can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?"
Hillsdale is a world-class college that can compete credibly with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and other prominent institutions of higher learning for the best professors and students. Hillsdale consistently ranks highly in U.S. News & World Report, while Forbes magazine ranks Hillsdale as one of the "Top 100 Colleges in America" today - ahead of three Ivy League colleges. Hillsdale's tuition is less than half the tuition at many equally prestigious schools, so Hillsdale is also listed among the Princeton Review's fifty "best value" private colleges - even though Hillsdale does not permit its students to bring federal financial aid to campus. Unlike nearly every other college and university in the country, Hillsdale does not accept any federal or state taxpayer subsidies - not even in the form of student grants and loans. The college does this because they don't want the government dictating who they must hire, who they must admit for enrollment, or what they are allowed to teach.
Hillsdale has built a national reputation on its principled refusal of government funding, ever since the 1970's when the college refused to alter its admissions policies for the sake of affirmative action. But Hillsdale does not want expense to be a barrier for any qualified student to attend, so the college offers competitive privately-funded financial aid packages. Need-based, athletic, fine arts, and academic awards are available. Scholarships include the William and Berniece Grewcock Scholarship for students who graduate from Nebraska Christian or parochial high schools or homeschoolers from Nebraska. Recipients of this scholarship must meet Hillsdale admissions standards, be of sound moral character and of proven leadership ability, maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, agree to community/campus service requirements and participate in campus Christian organizations.
More than 1,400 students - including about 90 homeschoolers - attend Hillsdale from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and eight foreign countries. The incoming freshman class averages a high school grade-point average of 3.73, a composite ACT score of 29, and a combined SAT score of 1970. In addition, 50% of incoming freshmen rank in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. Hillsdale is highly selective; only one applicant is accepted for every two applications received. The Office of Admissions considers the following: GPA, SAT/ACT scores, official academic transcripts, extra-curricular involvement (leadership and volunteerism are important), interview, essays, and letters of recommendation. Admission requirements for homeschoolers are the same as regular applicants, but their recommendations do not have to come from teachers, and a parent is asked to write a letter about the student's education.
Jeffrey Lantis, Director of Admissions, says, "We tend to look very favorably upon homeschoolers applying to our college. Homeschoolers are consistently among our top students." He offers the following advice for homeschool students interested in attending Hillsdale: "We look to extracurricular activities, and community involvement to see leadership development in our applicants. Volunteer work in outreach organizations, employment, community music groups, and sports teams all provide the opportunity for homeschooled students to show us the leadership skills they've gained." While Lantis finds homeschoolers to be strong students and good campus leaders, this admissions director has noticed that handling peer pressure is a weakness among homeschoolers at Hillsdale.
Located in rural southern Michiganat the bottom of the mitten near where the Ohio and Indiana borders meet, the 200-acre Hillsdale campus contains both historic and modern buildings. Facilities include multiple instructional and office buildings, subject-specific computer labs, thirteen residence halls, six fraternity and sorority houses, a state-of-the-art health education and sports complex, a music hall, arts center, and an arboretum. Adjacent to the campus is Hillsdale Academy, a private K-12 liberal arts school that emulates a one-room schoolhouse education. Their comprehensive downloadable Reference Guide is used in hundreds of schools and homeschools throughout the country.
Hillsdale College employs 116 full-time faculty members and maintains an ideal student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1. Hillsdale offers a variety of liberal arts majors including 34 traditional majors and eight interdisciplinary majors, as well as nine pre-professional programs, a teacher education program, and a journalism certificate program. Its maintenance of a classical core curriculum exemplifies the traditional liberal arts program. All students, regardless of major, are required to take courses in humanities, natural science, and social science during their first two years. A broad perspective is also encouraged through community volunteerism and opportunities for off-campus internships, overseas study programs, and adjunct seminars.
Hillsdale boasts one of the largest and most distinguished lecture programs in the country. Hillsdale's Center for Constructive Alternatives (CCA) has sponsored more than 1,100 speakers since 1971, including conservative luminaries such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Walter Williams. Students are required to attend two hours of CCA seminars in order to graduate. In addition, there are Mises Lectures in free-market economics, National Leadership Seminars, and seminars at the Charles R. and Kathleen K. Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence. Launched in June of 2001, the Center for Teacher Excellence expands the reach of Hillsdale's message of classical curricula for the advancement of liberty to a nationwide audience of teachers. Over 1,000 public, private and homeschool teachers from 38 states have participated in the seminar series in American civics education.
Hillsdale's new 16,000-square-foot Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. officially opened in December 2010. The renovated building, which dates to 1892, is located just a few minutes' walk from the Supreme Court building, Senate office buildings, and Union Station. It will serve as a headquarters for Hillsdale students who are serving as interns in government, the media, and think-tanks on Capital Hill. Additionally, the Kirby Center will hold educational programs and provide research on the Constitution and America's founding principles for elected officials and other policymakers. Besides educating our leaders to have a greater appreciation for America's heritage of liberty and limited government, the Center will educate American citizens on the vital importance of the Constitution.
Hillsdale College is also making its educational programs on liberty available to millions of Americans via "Constitution Town Hall" webcasts on the internet. More than 50,000 citizens from all fifty states have viewed "Reviving the Constitution," Hillsdale's first-ever online town hall which was originally held on January 30, 2010. The entire program of "Reviving the Constitution" is available for free online, courtesy of the Kirby Center. It features almost five hours of instructive content, including presentations on the Constitution, its framework for the protection of our liberties, and the assault waged upon that framework by the Progressive movement. This resource is also available as a two-disc DVD set for viewing at home, in classrooms, or with church groups and civic associations. The DVD is available for online purchase exclusively from the Hillsdale College bookstore.
Hillsdale's flagship publication IMPRIMIS (Latin for "in the first place") dates back to 1972 and has a current circulation of 1.9 million. Subscriptions are available to anyone free of charge. This always timely, always informative monthly digest of speeches delivered by conservative leaders from a variety of fields features commentary and analysis on national and international events concerning cultural, economic, political and educational issues of enduring significance. In early 2011 the Kirby Center will publish "The U.S. Constitution: A Reader," a collection of more than 100 primary source documents relating to America's founding, the Civil War, Progressivism, and American government today. "The Constitution is not just the domain of judges and lawyers," states Kirby Center Director Dr. David J. Bobb. "It's the responsibility of all Americans to understand and uphold it, and our aim...is to help equip citizens to do so."
For more information about all that Hillsdale has to offer, visit the following websites:
Hillsdale College - http://www.hillsdale.edu
Hillsdale Academy - http://www.hillsdale.edu/academy/academics/curriculum.asp
Center for Teacher Excellence - http://www.hillsdale.edu/seminars/oncampus/cte/default.asp
Kirby Center - http://www.hillsdale.edu/KirbyCenter
Constitution Town Hall - http://www.constitutiontownhall.com
IMPRIMIS - http://hillsdaleoffer.com
Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue!