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 Homeschooling Teen wishes you and your family a Happy New Year!



January 2013


Welcome... Homeschooling Teen is a free e-zine for homeschooled high schoolers and young adult alumni. Published once a month, much of the content is written by our 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 other articles of interest. Additionally, in each issue we feature a profile of a Homeschooling Teen and a Homeschool Friendly College. Write to us at mail@homeschoolingteen.com 




College Bound  

Preparing For College - ACT & SAT Information 

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.   




Sylvan SAT/ACT® Prep can help you prepare.  
Find a participating Sylvan by clicking
or visit
to find a center near you.   




Homeschooling Teen Profile: Sarah Fowler


College-Bound: Nipissing University


Career-of-the-Month: Neurologist


Homeschooling High School: The Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities for Home-Schooled Teens, by Maggie


College Life: SEM Twitter Tips for College Students, by Jason Bayless


Stepping Stones: A Monthly Devotional by Michaela


The World Around Us: by Eleanor Frances


The Razor's Edge: by Madeleine


Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author: Starring Me


Book Review: 3 Young Adult Books You Won't Want to Miss


Game Review: by Emily


Anime Review: by Xbolt


E-Mail Etiquette: Tip-of-the-Month


And much more!!!


Visit Homeschooling Teen Magazine online at www.HomeschoolingTeen.com !




15 Wilson Bentley Took the First Snowflake Photograph (1885)

17 Benjamin Franklin's Birthday (1706)

18 A.A. Milne's Birthday (1882)

19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

20 Presidential Inauguration Day

22 National Compliment Day

23 National Handwriting Day

25 Apple Macintosh Computer Anniversary (1984)

27 Mozart's Birthday (1756)

28 Blueberry Pancake Day

29 National Puzzle Day

Click here for more January days:




Be Somebody...Be Yourself 








Locum [loh-kuhm] noun - Locum, short for the Latin phrase locum tenens (literally "place holder") is a person who temporarily fulfills the duties of another. For example, a locum doctor is a doctor who works in the place of the regular doctor when that doctor is absent, or when a hospital/practice is short-staffed.


See if you can find the word "locum" used elsewhere in this issue!







MOVIE QUOTE- Can you guess what movie this quote came from?


"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love."


(Answer: The Hobbit)


E-mail Etiquette Tip of the Month


It should go without saying that sending e-mail with extremely foul, threatening or abusive language is crude.  Unfortunately, I see this type of behavior all too often.  People being nasty for no other reason than they can.


No matter how rude someone may be to you, or how offended you may be by another's opinion, don't lower yourself to their level by stooping to obscenities, threats or claims of self-importance.


Always state your opinion clearly and concisely, without personalizing an issue or resorting to name-calling. On the same note, be very careful to not read anything into an e-mail that isn't there.

Take folks at their word.


There are many heated discussions online because some will imply what others did not state or mean.  Hold your head high and communicate as an adult, share your opinions and point of view in a mature manner and you'll gain the respect of those who see your communications.


This E-mail Etiquette Tip is provided as a courtesy by: www.NetManners.com 





"You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change." ~Les Brown




Sparkle Diamonds, Sparkle


Sparkle diamonds, sparkle,

As you lay about the light.

Shine in the moon and stars

As they rise above at night.


Then when the sun begins to yawn,

And the moon fades away,

May you twinkle once again

All throughout the day.


Sparkle diamonds, sparkle,

As you reign on top the mountain.

And may your glorious Maker

Never be forgotten!


~by Kayla in South Dakota


(from our January 2009 issue)






Stepping Stones:  

A Monthly Devotional, by Michaela Popielski


Well, when you read this it will officially be 2013! I hope 2012 was a good year for everyone. It was good for me. God has showed me his faithfulness in so many ways. Well, this article I think will be on the fear of God. When we think of fear, most of us probably think of terror. Proverbs is an excellent source of verses pertaining to this subject. Below are a few examples.


(*Most if not all of the examples for reference are from the Bible site www.sermonnotebook.org since I don't know everything and I don't want to lead anyone the wrong way.)


*A Definition of the Fear of the Lord


What does the phrase "the fear of the LORD" refer to? When we think of fear, we associate the word with terror. Webster's Dictionary defines fear as "a feeling of anxiety and agitation produced by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc." For many, this would describe the feeling you get when you see a snake, go to the doctor or dentist, or when you find yourself in a time of extreme danger. It is dread of the unknown. Surely, this is not the sensation the writer of Proverbs is referring to.


In our modern vernacular, the word fear, in the context in which it is used by Solomon, has been replaced with reverence, awe, great respect. What the writer of this book is saying is that we are to have a deep reverence and respect for the Lord. Literally, we are to be awed and humbled by His presence.


My Pastor spoke on this subject and it really interested me. I knew the "Fear of the Lord" but the example above and my Pastor's sermon really gave me a good insight on this subject. Fear of the Lord Gives us reverence and a desire to respect him. Such as when a child disobeys his parents, He fears the consequences of his disobedience. In not wanting to hurt or upset his parent's by them punishing him he has a deep respect for them strives to please them, just as we should have for God.


God doesn't want us to serve Him out of fear of being struck by lightning. He wants us to serve and respect Him as a loving God and Father and be humbled by Him.


*Genuine fear of the Lord is always seen in obedience to the Word of God (Proverbs 8:13). People who do not walk in line with God's Word do not fear the Lord, regardless of what they profess with their lips. Therefore, when we fear the Lord, there is an element of dread at what His wrath can do, but there is also such a respect for Him and for His will that nothing else matters but doing that which pleases the Lord.


"The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else." -Oswald Chambers


Would you describe your life as one lived in the fear of God? Does the dread of His wrath prompt you to holiness? Does respect for Him and for His will propel you toward obedience and godliness? We need to fear of the Lord in our lives!


There you go, the meaning of "The Fear of the Lord" in a nutshell. I hope this article was interesting to you. Have a good January! ~ Michaela


Jan. 1 Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 1:7; Ps. 8

Jan. 2. Isa. 37:21-35

Jan. 3. Ez. 37:15-28

Jan. 4. Ez. 40:1-16

Jan. 5. Ez. 40:17-23

Jan. 6. Ez. 40:24-37

Jan. 7. Ez. 40:38-46

Jan. 8. Ez.40:47-49

Jan. 9. Isa. 38:1-8

Jan. 10. Isa. 38:9-21

Jan. 11. Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 10:26-31

Jan. 12. Micah 6:1-8

Jan. 13. Micah 6:9-16

Jan. 14. Philippians 2:12-16; Rev. 1:9-20

Jan. 15. Ps.86

Jan. 16. Ps.81

Jan. 17. Daniel 7:1-14

Jan. 18. Ps.2:1-9

Jan. 19. Isa. 39

Jan. 20. Prov. 10:27; Prov. 12:25; Ps. 1

Jan. 21. Rev. 11:11.

Jan. 22. Gen.22:11-13; Ex. 1:16-18

Jan. 23. Isa. 40:1-14

Jan. 24. Isa. 40:15-31

Jan. 25. Matt. 18:15-20; Eph. 5:18-21

Jan. 26. Luke 12:4-12

Jan. 27. Eph. 3:8-13

Jan. 28. Eph. 3:14-21

Jan. 29. 2 Kings 17:37-39; Ps. 111:10

Jan. 30. 1 Tim. 1:12-17; Prov. 2:1-6

Jan. 31. Heb. 1:1-14





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Please share your story! 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: mail@homeschoolingteen.com






Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue! mail@homeschoolingteen.com  



Send your book reviews to: mail@homeschoolingteen.com 


Interesting School Tour Possibilities for Older Students


This article looks at the possible school tour options available to teachers of older students who are looking for educational development and inspiring travel options. It focuses on some of the more unusual and exciting options on offer.

The changing world of school travel

Once upon a time, the school trip was a fairly local and low-key event. Younger children went to a town museum, to the local nature reserve and occasionally travelled to the nearby city or country capital to visit a large attraction. Older students went on foreign language exchanges or school cultural exchanges, particularly those with a sporting bent. There was a period where school and educational travel seemed to be curtailed, as educators got to grips with the challenges of burgeoning legislations, personal claims litigation and the stress and worry of managing health and safety and other provisions to the correct standard. However, the rise of professional events and travel companies who deal specifically with the education and youth sector has meant that educators can now focus on teaching and let the travel organization manage the finer points of the trip's administration!

Possible destinations

Nowadays, there is a wealth of choices for schools and educators looking to extend their learners' fields and stimulate their thinking.School trips to Washington DChave long been popular with the American market, but are now also popular with UK and European audiences too, thanks to the accessibility of travel, competitive pricing and the value of these trips to students studying politics, humanities, public administration, law, government or an array of other linked subjects. Volunteering travel is becoming very popular with older students, who might elect to research turtle populations in India, teach English as a foreign language in Japan, help build wells in rural Africa, or assist with orphans in a Thai orphanage. These types of travel tours can be hugely important to young people considering their future options and challenge them to look at the world in a new way before they commit to a certain career path. Volunteering travel is also noted for developing self-reliance, persistence, compassion, organization and myriad other skills that are hugely transferable in later life. Other types of cultural exchange include music trips and exchanges and even tours where schools go to play, sing or generally perform at large events across the world, joining other international students in a trip that they'll never forget.

The value of professional organization

Whether you're thinking of taking your student group on a volunteering trip to Scotland, where they'll learn about recording and preserving a nature colony, or considering the value of school trips to Washington DC for a politics class, it can be well worth while to invest in professional organization. The right travel partner will allow you to focus on preparing your students educationally for the trip and ensuring that the tour ties in with learning objectives. Meanwhile, the travel company can deal with practical bookings and arrangements, visas, insurances and other requirements that can be so time-consuming and easy to get wrong for those who don't work in the profession.

In conclusion, travel tours are a valuable way of bringing the curriculum to life and broadening the horizons of young people and there is now a vast range of options to suit all interests, objectives, ages and budget. A professional travel company can act as a partner to organize the travel and allow the educator to focus on the learning objectives associated with the trip, rather than getting lost in the administration involved in group travel!

AUTHOR BIO: Jennifer Doherty has long been a proponent of
voluntary work abroad. When she's not teaching, she writes regularly for websites and publications targeted to the educational sector.




Homeschool Graduate Elected to State Board of Education

Sarah Fowler


Sarah Fowler, a 23-year-old homeschool graduate and farm girl from Rock Creek, Ohio, beat an education law attorney and a chemist to win a seat on the Ohio State Board of Education. "Neither of them was willing to represent the entire field of academic options in Ohio," Fowler said in explaining why she chose to add her name to the ballot just two days before the filing deadline and 92 days before the election. Few expected her to do well, let alone win, and yet Fowler won by a landslide, receiving 60 percent of the vote and even defeating the teacher's union-endorsed candidate by a wide margin.


To reach potential voters, Fowler used her skills in communication, sales, marketing, and graphic design which she had developed as proprietor of her own small business and while working at her parents' seed distribution company. In addition to creating a campaign website and Facebook page, Sarah and her crew (about a half-dozen friends and family) handed out nearly 60,000 copies of campaign literature at county fairs, festivals, and candidate forums across northeast Ohio. "I personally went to over 80 events in the 92 days I was in the race," said Fowler. "I had volunteers who went to dozens more." Sarah traveled 5,000 miles and spent about $6,000 on her campaign.


The first homeschool graduate to be elected to the Ohio State Board of Education, Fowler was officially sworn into office by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Conner on December 26, 2012 at Park Elementary School Auditorium in Chardon, Ohio. She will serve the remaining two years of a four-year term vacated by Bryan Williams due to redistricting. The 19-member Ohio State Board of Education reviews candidates for state superintendent, recommends policy reforms to the legislature, and sets administrative policy regulations. Every five years, the board reviews the state's homeschool laws-a review that is next scheduled to come up this summer.


"Most people don't realize the state board of education also affects homeschoolers, and sets the policies for home school regulations," Sarah said. "It would be beneficial for the state board of education, when they are reviewing home schooling regulations, to have a person on the board that has actually been home educated. I am the only candidate in Ohio that has the asset of being homeschooled." Sarah certainly brings unique qualifications to the discussions of school choice and parental involvement.


When asked "What makes you the best candidate?" Sarah answered, "I believe parents have the God-given right and responsibility to give direction to the education of their children. I am passionate about protecting our constitutional rights and would stand against bureaucratic regulation. I desire to preserve educational freedom for my future children and grandchildren and would bring conviction, passion, energy and enthusiasm to this important position." She based her campaign on five main positions:


1.) Parental involvement and parental rights. "I am concerned about government infringement on parental rights. Parents have the God-given right and responsibility to direct their children's education. I desire to protect their right to choose whatever educational opportunity they deem best for their children. I desire to preserve educational freedom for future generations."


2.) Local control of schools. "Bureaucratic control over education is not conducive to caring, effective instruction for our children... Parents and teachers have a greater ability than unconnected politicians to determine the needs of their particular children or students and address them appropriately."


3.) Curriculum that teaches accurate, contextual history including who historical figures were, as well as why they believed or acted as they did. Fowler is especially concerned that American history in most Ohio public schools starts at the Civil War, omitting lessons on the people and documents that founded the United States (i.e. the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers). "If we don't teach how our nation began, and about the people who founded our nation, than how can we expect children to appreciate the sacrifices of the people who fought for our freedom?"


4.) Standardized testing. "I agree with teachers and parents who have expressed concern regarding the effectiveness of standardized tests...The 'one-size-fits-all' approach is ineffective; it doesn't allow for individual differences."


5.) Replacing property tax funding of education with a broad-based system. "I believe unconstitutional property tax funding must be replaced with a fair, broad-based system that will not continue placing financial hardships on seniors, farmers and land owners."


Fowler is the oldest of seven children, all of whom have been or are being homeschooled by their parents, Kevin and Laura Fowler. She said her parents began teaching her from the day she was born and she continues to learn from them. Fowler said homeschooling gave her the freedom to learn about the things that really interested her and study them in depth - including subjects such as alternate medicine, food, literature, and graphic design.


Sarah has tutored some of her siblings in basic math and computer skills. She has also taught small classes of children, teenagers, and adults about sewing and food preservation skills such as canning and freezing. Fowler received her homeschool high school diploma in 2007. While she did not go to college, for 13 years the young woman operated her own business, "Sarah's Eggs," a boutique agribusiness she owned for 13 years before selling it in 2011 due to the rising cost of the commodities that go into producing free-range eggs.


In 2010 and 2011, Sarah coordinated Samaritan's Purse "Operation Christmas Child" gift wrapping/sending parties at her church. She served as a poll worker for several years and has been active in petition drives such as the Ohio Marriage Amendment (2004); People's Constitution Coalition of Ohio's State Sovereignty Amendment (2010); Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment (2011); and the Ohio Personhood Amendment (2012).


In the past two months, Fowler has been researching and learning all she can about issues facing the school board. She plans to be just as prepared as the board members who hold master's and doctorates. "It does not intimidate me being around people with degrees. I know they spent a lot of time in college, and a lot of money," said Fowler, who likes to learn through experiences, reading and being around smart people.


Nancy McArthur, Chardon City Councilwoman, wrote: "Sarah is a breath of fresh air and a very hard worker. During the course of our campaigns, I got to know her and her hard-working family. She will serve the district well. We need more young people like Sarah who are intelligent, Constitutionally-principled, grounded, and critical thinkers who are willing to challenge the status quo and try new things. I look forward to her representing us in Columbus! Congrats to her and all her supporters for a job well done. Now the real work begins."


















Please share your story! 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: mail@homeschoolingteen.com




College Bound:

Homeschool Friendly Colleges


Nipissing University   


Nipissing University is a public liberal arts university located in Northern Ontario, Canada, on a 720-acre site overlooking scenic Lake Nipissing. (The name means "big water" in the Algonquin language.) The university's faculty of education is notable for its superior teacher education program, reputation for excellence in education, and strong emphasis on integrating technology in the classroom, as well as its approach to alternative learning. (Carlo Ricci, Ph.D., professor of alternative learning at Nipissing University, is an advocate of self-directed learning and editor of The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning.) The university is also widely known for its portrayal in Lynn Johnston's comic strip For Better or For Worse, in which the character Elizabeth Patterson was an education student at Nipissing from 1999-2004.


In addition to its education programs, Nipissing University offers a variety of degree programs in Arts and Science (Humanities, Sciences, Fine Arts and Social Sciences) as well as Applied and Professional Studies (Criminal Justice, Business, Nursing, Social Work and Family Studies). Nipissing does not have an official homeschool admission policy, but they do offer "Exceptions to Normal Admission Requirements" for applicants who, in its opinion, deserve special consideration. According to Andrea Robinson, Associate Registrar of Admissions, "Nipissing welcomes inquiries from home-schooled students and we assess each applicant on an individual basis. We have had great experience with the small number of home-schooled students who have shown an interest in Nipissing in the past."


The Benefits of Small Class Sizes at Nipissing University, by Paul Stephen 


Small class size, something that Nipissing University is well known for, is extremely important in relation to certain factors of a student's academic experience.


One of the toughest but most rewarding challenges new university students face is gaining confidence in one's own intellectual voice, which includes voicing questions as well as answers. Often, at university, students are swimming in vast classrooms or lecture halls, where it is acoustically impractical to speak up-not to mention intimidating. The professor can hardly hear you, and neither can the other students-one would almost need a microphone.


However, at Nipissing University, the small class size allows for a more comfortable personal interaction between faculty and students, as well as students and other students. This small class size-not in an overwhelming lecture hall for three-hundred people-fosters an atmosphere for speaking up and vocalizing questions, opinions, and observations. This is much needed in gaining a sense of what one has to offer to one's field of study, a sensibility that, once developed, can serve one not just in university, but also in one's career, and for the rest of one's life. At Nipissing University, we care about the quality of this experience, and this is one of the reasons for small class sizes.


Whatever the subject you choose to major in academically, as a student you are going to need to learn to think critically, look around you at the world, communicate your observations, read material closely from text books and other sources, and interact with colleagues in your field. The class size of the average class at Nipissing University takes into account these challenges and exciting features of your education.


When a student begins his or her first year away at university, one of the first challenges-other than absorbing a large amount of information (much more than any high school curriculum demands)-is gaining confidence in one's questions as well as other intellectual ideas. It is perhaps a strange thought to put forward that one must gain confidence in one's questions, but this is also one of the most important aspects of any field of research. It is often what we don't yet know that drives us to new discoveries. As scientist and writer David Bohm writes, it is not certainty in our knowledge or experience that is the norm, but rather an underlying sense of uncertainty.


Small class sizes allow for discussions around questions, so that problems and issues are not glossed over and lost, but delved into and explored. This opportunity for dialogue creates an intellectual community at Nipissing that offers a strong base for learning to think and communicate and wonder-which is the whole point of a solid education. Gaining confidence, therefore, is about learning to express what we don't know yet, just as much as it is about what we do know. As students, and as people in the intellectual field dedicated to a life of learning, we must interact with one another and continue questioning. This is much more possible in a class of a smaller size, like those at Nipissing, than in a large lecture hall full of hundreds of students.      


Also, intimate classroom settings give students the opportunity to be heard multiple times during a class-not just once, or even once all term. A student can therefore become more comfortable with the class over the time span of the term, and gain confidence in his or her intellectual voice. This is an advantage for shy students, in particular, or those who usually slip through the cracks in the system, or get lost in a crowd. It is also a good opportunity for those students who are natural leaders, too, since they will have to develop interpersonal skills when dealing with other students who are unlike them-and have different styles of learning and understanding. Everyone, in a smaller class size, gets a feel for other types of people and intellectual sensibilities. All in all, whether a student is naturally quieter or more outspoken, everyone gets a chance to speak more and listen to each other more in classes that are smaller.


Small class sizes at Nipissing also offer a support network, both personal and academic. Human beings were meant to live in communities in which others know them personally-strengths, weakness, even their likes and dislikes. Each student has a unique mind and a particular way of expressing his or her ideas. At Nipissing, the professors can much more easily get to know students individually, because of the small class size and the general atmosphere of the university, which focuses on students and their individual needs, first.


Paul Stephen is from the highly respected Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. A Bachelor of Education degree, or advanced degree, provides the foundation and training that can lead you to many different careers.







Tell us about your favorite homeschool-friendly college, and we will feature it in an upcoming issue! mail@homeschoolingteen.com   




High School: Helpful Tips


The Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities for Home-Schooled Teens, by Maggie


It's easy enough to gain knowledge and learn academic skills as a home schooled teen. What you may lack, however, is the opportunities to gain social skills and general life skills. This is where your extra-curricular activities come in - they can give you the chance to meet with other teens, home-schooled or otherwise, with similar interests.


Not only is this an excellent opportunity to make friends, but also to hone social skills and improve your effectiveness in working with others. For example, you could develop communication and leadership skills. The sorts of skills you develop do, to some extent, depend on the types of activity you choose to participate in. For example, if you joined a musical theatre group, your self-confidence and presentation skills would probably benefit most, whereas if you play sports, you will mainly learn about teamwork and communication.


These skills may not seem too important to you now, and you may feel that you already have the skills required to get on in life. However, being a thoroughly well rounded individual will definitely improve your prospects, particularly when it comes to your career. In a job interview, for example, you will often be asked to prove that you have certain skills, and you will need to provide anecdotal evidence as proof. Much of this evidence will come from participation in extra-curricular activities.


It's not just your social and personal skills that will grow as a result of your extra-curricular activities though. In high school, you would benefit from having gym, music and language teachers who specialize in their subject. While there are many benefits of being home schooled, there is the fact that it's simply not possible to play team sports with your tutor, and that you probably don't have basketball courts, football pitches, a swimming pool and other facilities - unless you are exceedingly lucky.


If all of this doesn't convince you, then there is one final thing to be aware of when it comes to extra-curricular activities: teens who explore such interests outside of academia actually achieve better in their academic work. This has been proven by a number of studies, and it is believed that extra-curricular activities aid academic performance not just because of the skills acquired, but also because of the importance of letting off steam and having some down time.


Maggie is a blogger working alongside an education company (tutorsville.net).






College Life:


SEM Twitter Tips for College Students, by Jason Bayless


College students seeking to make a name for themselves know that being engaged online socially can prove advantageous, especially when looking for a job. You can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Digg and other sites to advance what you do, with Twitter quite possibly holding an advantage for you despite its propensity to being overused or misused. The same techniques used by search engine marketing (SEM) professionals can be used by you as you send out your tweets.


The Link


The connection between what an SEM guru does and what the college student wants to do with Twitter may not be obvious at first. But, because SEM means optimizing websites for marketing purposes, you can also optimize your Twitter experience to achieve the same.




College students using Twitter should take a serious approach to this vital social media platform even if other users do not. This means setting up your account accordingly, creating a profile that describes who you are and what you do. On some other platforms you may want to remain anonymous, but on Twitter your public face should be made known. 


Develop your biography carefully and learn how other people in your field write their own. Use a handle, or name, that is simple  and one that reflects your name or what you do such as aspiring-teacher.


Your School


Know what your school's policy on Internet usage is, an important factor if you use Twitter and other social media websites on college computers. This is important to know because if you violate your school's social media policies, you could find yourself in trouble. Take care before you send out your first tweet!


Tweeting Consistency


With Twitter, you are know by several things including your handle, who you connect with and how often your tweet. It is so easy to sign up for any social media site and simply neglect it soon thereafter. 


Tell yourself that you will send out regular tweets, perhaps two or three times per day. Use a social media application platform such as Tweetdeck to schedule your tweets, enabling you to send out your thoughts even when you are not around.


Sharing Matters


Quite easily, you can post or tweet anything on Twitter.  And that is where some people get into trouble. You are not on Twitter to make a name for yourself, or at least a name that is known for tweeting highly controversial if not polarizing messages. 


Marketers understand that their tweets are being directed at a certain audience and you should understand that too. Give everyone your best tweets and know that the information you share can be read by millions of users including potential employers.


Pick and Choose


Some people offer an endless stream of online babble with Twitter, messages that tend to get lost in a sea of tweets. Typically, when people use Twitter too much, other users tend to shun them except spammers themselves. 


Be original when using Twitter, check your spelling, be careful with your grammar and serve up information this is interesting, informative and relevant. You can archive your tweets too by using a service such as Backupify to save your tweets to the cloud. Why would you want to save your tweets? You may need them to verify a comment that you allegedly said.


Brand Yourself


Every person that uses Twitter is an individual. Some people are also a brand. What this means is that their tweets are so valued that they have created a loyal following and can be counted on to share their tips or advice on a regular basis.


As a college student, you may wonder how search engine marketing or branding can apply to you. That is quite easy, actually. For instance, if you are an engineering student, you can offer comments about various news events or share a professor's findings. Provide a link to a related site and a related picture too. Make good use of hashtags and reshare or retweet messages that benefit your followers.


Work Together


Twitter offers a great platform to help people learn to work together. Team skills are valued by companies as these attributes demonstrate that you are able to work with others and are not a solitary commodity. 


It is more difficult to work as a team then going it alone, but your camaraderie online can set you apart and make you a valuable prospect for a new job. Demonstrate leadership, but also show that you can follow too. Ask for advice and respond to comments.


College Connections


Most certainly, connect with people at your college -- professors, staff and other students. Your connections are people that can help you best and are individuals you are more likely to meet in person. 


Your college connections can stay with you for years beyond your academic stint. Strong colleges and universities are not merely identified by their educational prowess, but also by the strength of their alumnae. Use Twitter to help you stay connected and to market yourself online.


Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized SEO Company comparison website.






The Razor's Edge,by Madeleine Richey


New Year's Resolutions


The Holiday season just ended, family and friends have gone home, you've returned from your travels, and your pants still don't fit quite right because you just had to eat that third serving of turkey. Happy New Year!!!


After the Christmas season the last thing we want to do is face ourselves. For most of us this probably means looking in the mirror, or back on the days that have just gone by. We don't like to see the fat on our bodies, the breakouts, the awkwardness, and we don't like to look back and see all the times we failed to be kind, stayed out of the party because we were too shy, or found that we have shortcomings in all manner of things: schoolwork, relationships, art, or music. But looking at ourselves is an important part in making a New Year's Resolution. Whether we like it or not, if we want to make ourselves better we first have to identify a problem, no matter how hard we've worked to ignore it in the first place.


This process starts by asking ourselves if we are happy with who we are, and if we want to be better next year. Who do you want to be a year from now and how are they different from who you are today?


Everyone is welcome to make their resolution in whatever way they like: it can be big or little, hard or easy, noticeable, or something only you will see. It's an opportunity to make yourself a better person and start fresh with a new year.


That being said, I think I might have found the wrong way to go about making a New Year's Resolution. An acquaintance of mine, a year or so back, instead of making a New Year's Resolution, decided that he was going to make a list of things he wanted to own by the end of the year, most of them expensive electronics and high tech gadgets that we all want, but don't necessarily get. Not to say that he is a bad person or that it is wrong for someone to want all the latest technology, but I think that he missed the point of a New Year's Resolution. The point is to make yourself better, not to add more gadgets to your collection.


If your resolution will make you a better person, it fits the bill, and if you keep it, congratulations. One study (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year's_resolution --sadly, I must admit that for this article, I did use Wikipedia) showed that only about 12 percent succeed. But that is no reason to keep from trying. Even if you don't complete the entire goal, each small change you make for the better makes a big difference in the long run.


Happy New Year!


Madeleine, 16, says: "I want to help people and I want to tell stories, especially the stories of people who don't have a voice of their own."






The World Around Us


Contraceptives in the Rain, by Eleanor Frances




A British economist recently published an article in Forbes proposing that women on birth control should pay a higher tax than other people. Citing the pollution costs calculated by the European Union for household or residential water pollution, Tim Worstall proposed what economists call a Pigou Tax, or a tax intended to offset a negative social impact such as an oil spill resulting in water pollution. He explains that such a tax is the "inevitable outcome of the standard logic that the polluter should pay" (Worstall). Actually, that logic has been behind the clean-up fines, for instance, paid by British Petroleum for recent oil spills.


Others argue that pesticides, such as Atrazine, can cause endocrine disruption as well.  Hormones used in agriculture and found in animal wastes are an alternate source of endocrine disruptors. Other sources include chemicals used in manufacturing and cosmetic products. However, the specific tax proposed by Tim Worstall is based on a calculation for household sources of the estrogen contaminant (Worstall).  


While still others point out there are young women with medical conditions and older women who experience severe symptoms as part of their menopause, these could still be prescribed.  The environmental build-up of estrogen would be beneficially reduced by a ban on oral contraceptive use. Even trace amounts of the particular estrogen coming from the pill is problematic, and  85% of the estrogen in birth control pills gets excreted in urine and goes to the waste treatment facility  (Alter). The detrimental environmental effect related to the oral contraceptive pill derives from the estrogen hormones used in the pill to fool the woman's body into thinking it's pregnant. As a result of the hormones, her body will "turn off" its fertility. Well, this same function has been repeatedly observed in field research by scientists studying fish and frog populations.


Asbestos, tobacco, and Thalidomide are examples of toxins that were initially thought to benefit humans but were later banned for their harmful effects. Estrogen from birth control pills enters municipal water supplies and cannot be filtered out by the existing water treatment systems.  Science has shown detrimental effects on animal (intersex fish-or gender changed fish) and human health (prostate cancer and infertility).  


What will it take before people generally call for a ban on oral contraceptives?  The potential collapse of fish stocks in Europe is serious as it possibly affects food security for all human beings. Maybe people would act quickly to ban the oral contraceptive pill if there was some immediate after taste to the water, such as that detected by Captain Jack Harkness in the first episode of the Dr. Who spin-off, "Torchwood." In that episode, he stands in the drizzling rain, head tilted back, commenting: "I can taste it. Estrogen."  Even though it's virtually impossible for estrogen to be in the rain, it is very astute of the main character to reflect on the relationship between oral contraceptives and the environment. Imagine if we all had that same acuity.


Alter, Lloyd. "Drugs Are in Our Water! Should I Switch to Bottled?" Tree Hugger. 11 March  2008 http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/drugs-are-in-our-water-should-i-switch-to-bottled.html


Davies, Russel. Torchwood.  Season 1. Episode 1 "Everything Changes." NetFlix. 2006.


Margel, David, Neil E Fleshner. "Oral Contraceptive Use Is Associated with Prostate Cancer: An Ecological Study."  British Medical Journal.  14 Nov. 2011 http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/1/2/e000311.full


McKie, Robin. "£30bn Bill to Purify Water System After Toxic Impact of Contraceptive Pill." The Observer.  2 June 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/02/water-system-toxic-contraceptive-pill


Worstall, Tim. "Women on Contraceptive Pill Should Pay $1,500 a Year More Tax." Forbes.  3 June 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/06/03/women-on-contraceptive-pill-should-pay-1500-a-year-more-tax/





The Sports Report, by Caela


Sport Events in January


NFL: The NFL playoffs start on January 5. There are 11 playoff games in January.


NHL: The NHL has canceled games until January 14. For a total of 625 regular season games canceled which is 50.8 percent of the season.


NBA: There are 226 games in the month of January.


PGA Golf Tour: The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is from Jan 4to Jan 7.The Sony Open in Hawaii is from Jan 10 to Jan 13. The Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation is from Jan 17 to Jan 20. The Farmers Insurance Open is from Jan 24 to Jan 27. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is from Jan 31 to Feb 3.


European Golf Tour: The Volvo Golf Champions is from Jan 10 to Jan 13. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is from Jan 17 to Jan 20. The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters is from Jan 23 to Jan 26. The Omega Dubai Desert Classic is from Jan 31 to Feb 3.


Men's Tennis: The ATP Heineken Open and the ATP Apia International Sydney are from Jan 7 to Jan 12. The Australian Open is from Jan 14 to Jan 27.


Women's Tennis: The WTA Apia International Sydney is from Jan 6 to Jan 11. The WTA Moorilla Hobart International is from Jan 6 to Jan 12. The Australian Open is from Jan 14 to Jan 27. The WTA Open GDF SUEZ and the WTA PTT Pattaya Women's Open are from Jan 28 to Feb 3.


Christmas Day Basketball


There were five games on Christmas day. The first game was between New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers, the second game was between Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat, the third game was between the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls, the fourth game was between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers, the fifth game was between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets. The first game was won be the Lakers. In the first quarter the Knicks scored 23 points and the Lakers scored 25 points for the lead at the end of the first quarter. The Knicks scored 26 points and the Lakers scored 26 points also in the second quarter to make the game 49-51 Lakers lead. The Knicks scored 29 points and the Lakers scored 26 points in the third quarter to make the game 78-77 lead to the Knicks. In the fourth quarter the Knicks scored 16 points and the Lakers scored 23 points to make the final score 94-100 Lakers win. The second game was won by the Heat. In the first quarter the Thunder scored 24 points and the Heat scored 27 points to have the lead at the end of the first quarter. The Thunder scored 24 points and the Heat scored 27 points to make the game 48-54 Heats lead at the end of the second quarter. The Thunder scored 24 points and the Heat scored 20 points to make the game 72-74 Heat in the lead at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Thunder scored 25 points and the Heat scored 29 points to make the final score 103-97 the Heat wins. The third game was won by the Rockets. In the first quarter the Rockets scored 27 points and the Bulls scored 22 points so the Rockets had the lead at the end of the first quarter. The Rockets scored 31 points and the Bulls scored 19 points to make the game 58-41 Rockets lead at the end of the second quarter. The Rockets scored 36 point and Bulls scored 27 points to make the game 94-68 Rockets lead at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Rockets scored 26 points and the Bulls scored 29 points to make the final score was 120-97 Rockets win. The fourth game was won by Clippers. In the first quarter the Nuggets 26 points and the Clippers scored 25 points Nuggets lead. The Nuggets scored 22 points and the Clippers scored 42 points to take the lead at 48-67 at the end of the second quarter. The Nuggets scored 28 points and the Clippers scored 26 points to make the game 76-93 Clippers lead at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Nuggets scored 24 points and the Clippers scored 19 points to make the final score 100-112 the Clippers win. The fifth game was won by the Celtics. In the first quarter the Celtics scored 22 points and the Nets scored 24 points for a Nets lead at the end of the quarter. The Celtics scored 34 points and the Nets scored 18 points to make the game 56-42 Celtics lead at the end of the second quarter. The Celtics scored 17 points and the Nets scored 16 points to make the game 73-58 Celtics lead at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Celtics scored 20 points and the Nets scored 18 points to make the final score 93-76 Celtics win. Congrats to the Lakers, Heat, Rockets, Clippers, and the Celtics on their Christmas day wins, and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!


Caela's byline: I am the oldest of six children. I am a Christian. I love watching movies, playing on my computer, and I love watching sports. I want to go to Syracuse University, and eventually become a sports journalist. My favorite sports are hockey, football (soccer), and golf.








What to Expect From a Career as a Neurologist

By J. Cutler


Neurologists encounter many different tasks from day to day. Depending on the specialization of each physician and his or her particular caseload, many treatments and tests can comprise an average day. For example, a neurologist might diagnose a patient's sleep disorder symptoms using special tests that involve brain wave mapping, eye tracking, or breathing data. A neurologist might also use an MRI to study the brain patterns of an individual injured in an accident. For older patients, a neurologist might administer reflex exams to determine whether a patient's nervous system has been damaged. Neurologists perform examinations of the nerves in the head and neck, test for muscle strength and movement, balance, ambulation and reflexes, and check things such as memory, speech, language, and other cognitive abilities. Some diagnostic tests that are commonly used include a CAT (computed axial tomography) scan, a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), and an EMG/NCV (electromyography/nerve conduction velocity). All this makes for an extremely interesting career.


The human nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, and a huge network of nerves that form electrical connections throughout your body. Neurologists treat and diagnose any problems that arise within the nervous system. As mentioned above, these problems can arise due to accident, aging, or disease. Some of the personal qualities usually associated with neurologists include being highly observant, empathetic, and analytical. These traits are needed in order to properly gauge the condition of the patient and then analyze the situation appropriately to provide adequate care. In addition to examining and diagnosing a patient, the neurologist may also need to coordinate neurological services with other health care teams, communicate the findings of any tests with other healthcare professionals, or even make the difficult determination that brain death has occurred. For this reason, empathy is an important quality for a neurologist. In many cases, the physician will also need to inform patients or families of neurological diagnoses and prognoses, along with the benefits, drawbacks, and costs for each suggested course of treatment.


The job outlook for neurologists is excellent. Between the years of 2012 and 2020, the projected job growth is much faster than average - 21% or more each year! That fact, combined with the annual median salary of $206,000 translates into a stable career path with high earning potential.

A general neurologist might have a schedule such that most patients are seen in the general office. Two weeks out of every 8 could be spent "on call" for the emergency room (to treat patients needing emergency care who require the specialization of a neurologist in particular). The general neurologist might also squeeze the teaching of medical residents and physician assistants into this schedule, along with the supervision of their work. Research time is also allocated, so that the physician can pursue and publish on unique solutions to medical problems. For these individuals, there is nothing quite so challenging and interesting as the human brain and nervous system. Many doctors find the complex problems with which they are presented to be a challenge that brings reward when the correct diagnosis is reached. For many, finding a position that combines clinical experience, teaching, and some research is the ideal. This combination allows for interaction with patients while at the same time providing exposure to (and a hand in) exciting new breakthroughs in the field.

For great neurology jobs, visit Physicians Employment. You can view permanent or locum neurology jobs. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J._Cutler






Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author, by Emily Russell


Starring Me, by Krista McGee  

Starring Me, by Krista McGee



Kara McKormick is told she's auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. It's what she isn't told that could change her life.

Kara McKormick is a normal American teenager... well, except that she's been in a reality television show competing for a date with the First Son. This happened in McGee's First Date, for which this book is a sequel. Now, in Starring Me, Kara is aiming for the role of co-host in a new teen variety show.

Only the readers know who the main host of this show will be. Chad Beacon is a famous teen singer looking to use his talents in other areas, including this new television show.  He and his family are strong Christians, and they're determined to have a strong Christian co-host, so they compromise with the show's producers and decide that the producers will choose ten girls from the first auditions. These ten girls with live with the Beacons' housekeeper-turned-housemother for a month, after which the housemother will choose the girl to get the part.

It's obvious to the readers and the housemother who that girl will be, but despite the Christian friends and influences around her, Kara is not a Christian - and therefore not acceptable to the Beacons. Watching how God brings things together for Chad and Kara and their families - seeing how He miraculously works out the obstacles - is the real plot in this book.

I loved Starring Me. I read the first two chapters before switching to a different book.  When that one was finished, I returned to Starring Me and literally didn't put it down again until I reached the end.  I have yet to read First Date, but this book works perfectly without it.  While it does give away the ending of First Date, that first book was based on the story of Esther, so it's not like the ending was a mystery anyway.

I loved Kara. Spunky redhead who is neither Christian nor Bible-basher, who loves her family? Oh yes. And I loved Chad. Girl readers know how easy it is to get a crush on a character and how you visualize him as if he were someone you'd actually seen in a movie.  I never had a crush on Chad, but I can say that I could visualize him even more easily than usual. He was so real to me! I've read books with realistic characters, but Chad was beyond that. Just wow.

Kara's best friend Abby, on the other hand? Well, she was a great girl, but I felt like she was a sort of weak character. I think it's probably because her personality is so contrasted to all the others - Chad, Kara, and many other characters are lively and vibrant while Abby is quiet and soft. It would work great for the Esther character she was in First Date, I'm sure, but seemed like an odd choice for Kara's best friend. (Not to mention that Abby is shown as a mature Christian, but we Christian teens are taught countless times not to be super-close friends with non-Christians.What's up with that?)

Also, the plot was a bit odd. I mean, Chad and Kara only met once before the end of the book!  I know now that this book was based on the story of Isaac and Rebekah, but still.  While the writing style and wow-factor main characters beg a five-star rating, the not-quite-romantic plot and lackluster best friend bring this down a star.

I highly recommend this for teenagers - girls and guys! After all, half the book is written from a guy's perspective! Just because there's a girl on the cover doesn't mean you won't enjoy this story and connect with the characters like I did.

I received this book for free through BookSneeze in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.


Emily Rachelle is a homeschooled junior in love with Jesus and the world of words. You can read more book reviews, as well as poetry, opinions, and everyday chatter at her blog, Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author, http://maybeteenauthor.blogspot.com/.







3 Young Adult Books You Won't Want to Miss, by Katty


January is going to be very exciting for young adult book readers as many interesting books are coming true for them. These young adult books will take you to the peak of excitement and entertainment. Here are top 3 young adult books that you would love to read.


All The Broken Pieces  


Title: All The Broken Pieces

Author: Cindi Madsen


Overview of book: It's a story of young girl Liv who lost her memory in a car accident. Only thing she has from her past is two distinct warning voices inside her mind. Then she starts hanging around with Spencer who's own past is very mysterious and she started to live a complete life. But those warning voices always discompose her life. Liv and Spenser started to find the the answers. Does she get succeed in rebuilding the pieces of her broken past? This book is all about it.


Deadly Little Lessons  


Title: Deadly Little Lessons

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz


Overview of Book: This is a story of high school girl Camelia Hammond who throws her self into her artwork after knowing a mournful truth about her family. At art school she got stuck in the case of a missing girl. Then she started her own investigation to find the missing girl and she got many clues that helps her in finding the girl. Does she get succeed in finding the girl? How her past life experiences helped her in her investigation? You should read this book to know more about it.


Never Let You Go  


Title: Never Let You Go

Author: Emma Carlson Berne


Overview of Book: It's a story of two best friends, Anna and Megan. Megan's one mistake creates some differences between their friendship but after some time everything becomes normal for them when Anna invites Megan to spend summer on her uncle's farm. On farm, Megan and Jordan came close to each other  to, but Anna doesn't like this and she felt that Megan betrayed her once again. Now what happened next with them on their vacation, read the book to know it.


About the Author: Katty Gomes is a professional content writer and also loves to read books and novels. Here she is sharing her reviews on top 3 books for young adults. 




Game Review, by Emily

Ultimate Games For Boys: The Best Individual Player Computer Games


Playing computer games will be near the top of any teen or pre-teen boy's list of favorite pastimes. There is something for everyone, whatever their skills or hobbies, whether they play with friends or alone. From car racing and football to puzzle solving and action-packed adventuring, there is virtually no limit to the fun. Whatever their ability, there is a game to suit, many of them featuring their favorite characters. They can play games with their friends, as either team-mates or enemies, but some of the best games are for individual players, just you and an epic battle against the computer. Here is a rundown of the seven best individual player games.

 Ben 10


1. Ben 10

Everyone's favorite alien, Ben 10 has spawned a whole variety of hugely exciting games for boys. Mixing aliens and adventure along with some cool gadgets and a host of great characters, this popular series has everything you could wish for.

2. Mucha Lucha: Lucha Caliente
Mucha Lucha follows the adventures of three pupils at the Foremost World-Renowned International School of Lucha, where they attempt to succeed in the incredible world of Mexican wrestling. One of the most entertaining computer games for boys, in Lucha Caliente you must master the signature moves and face a challenger in the ring to pass the Luchador final exam. Fast, furious fun.   

 Mucha Lucha: Lucha Caliente  


3. Samurai Jack

Based on the popular cartoon, there are a series of great games featuring cult hero Samurai Jack. Banished to the future he is on an eternal quest to find his way back to his own time and face his nemesis, the evil sorcerer Aku. Great graphics and great fun.



4. Adventure Time: Rhythm Heroes 

Join Finn and Jake on an incredible adventure that will test your musical skills to the limit. Face a fearsome selection of villains, including candy zombies and the wicked Ice King, using your rhythm to jump, sing and dance in time. To succeed in this rhythm action game your moves will need to be perfectly choreographed to the music so get practicing!

Codename Kids Next Door: Code Breaker  


5. Codename Kids Next Door: Code Breaker

This team of wacky secret agents are always on the lookout for a new mission. In Code Breaker, your brain will be put to the test as you try to stop Stickybeard from entering the den. Memorize the codes to secure the doors in this tough challenge.

6. Scooby Doo: Attack of the Vampire Pumpkin Heads

Scooby Doo faces his creepiest villain yet in this exciting adventure. Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma have been kidnapped and it is up to our canine hero to rescue them from the evil enemy's clutches. Well-loved characters and spooky goings-on make this a classic.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars  


7. Star Wars: The Clone Wars

There are several thrilling Clone Wars games, bringing the epic excitement of the Star Wars films to the computer screen. One of the best-loved characters shows exactly what he is made of in Yoda Battle Slash. Using his light-sabre, the most powerful Jedi Master in the universe must defeat the droids in this exhilarating game.

With so many exciting games to choose from, there really is something for everyone. Lovable characters, thrilling adventures and tricky challenges make these games the ultimate experience.  

Author Bio: Emily writes for a variety of lifestyle websites and blogs. A keen gamer, she enjoys action games with a puzzle-solving twist .She has good experience on writing reviews on games for boys as well as girls. 






Anime Review, by Xbolt


  Interstella 5555


Interstella 5555

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem is a feature-length visual representation of Daft Punk's album, Discovery. The animated musical film was produced by Daft Punk along with Toei Animation, under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto - creator of several anime and manga series, space operas in particular.


If you don't know about Daft Punk, they are a French electronic music duo. They are responsible for "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", which you have already heard, provided you know your Internets. They also composed the score of the film Tron: Legacy. So, being a fan of electronic music, and Daft Punk being kings in the world of electronic music, it would be a crime for me to not watch this movie.


Interstella 5555 tells the story of a popular alien band that is kidnapped by an evil record company executive in order to make his label the biggest. Their memories are erased, their skin color changed, and they become "The Crescendolls," Earth's newest pop stars. Meanwhile, Shep, a fan of theirs from their home planet, sets out to rescue them.


The visuals are top-notch. The music obviously is as well. There's no spoken dialogue in the film, and minimal sound effects. The music carries the whole thing. Despite that, the characters come across amazingly well. When was the last time you cared about characters in an MTV music video, huh?


Is Interstella 5555 cool? You bet it is. So if you are an electronic music fan, a Daft Punk fan, an anime/manga fan - or just a fan of things different or cool - then get a copy of this today!

Visit Xbolt's blog: http://blog.xboltz.net



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