Death Is The Inevitable Goal Of Our Lives – My Father And Me

We are all scared of death. Death implies loss of our life-long memories – sweet and sour. Death scares us as we will enter an unknown territory, after losing our sensual assets, and relations. We all have to die, but invariably everybody thinks he/she will live up to a ripe old age. God may have different plans, and some of us leave the world earlier. If we are ready to accept our death, as an integral part of our existence, we will have greater harmony and peace in life, as it exercises a check on all evils and sensual desires.

1989

1. My father, then 67, said, “I am getting older! Let me confide in you. 30 years of my life has been around, two dams; where I was employed – Bhakra Dam, and Pong Dam. It may be our last meeting! One is never sure of life. My wish is that my ashes are sprinkled over these dams.”

* I assured him,”Relax, daddy. It will be done”

2016

2. He is 94, still demands breakfast from our mother, now 88; who serves him with devotion and love, after 74 years of marriage. Now, I am 70, it’s my turn to talk to my sons.

* I am ready for His call; I have just one request to Him, “Let me die after my parents, as at this juncture of their lives, it will be too painful, to bear the loss of their son.”

* Late Khuswant Singh, a noted author, who lived till 99, said, “I believe, if a person dies after 70 years, we should see him/her off happily – singing, and dancing, without the customary condolences.”

* I admire Late Jyoti Basu – who served as Chief Minister of Bengal state in India for 21 years – for donating his body to a medical college for study by budding doctors, and any usable organ to needy persons. The present rituals, are cumbersome, and enforced by religious compulsions. I would like to follow the footprints of Jyoti Basu, subject to approval of my spouse and children.

Back to my father

An ordinary man, who loved his family – we all do – and lived for his family. A devoted employee – a civil engineering diploma holder from the oldest polytechnic in Rasul, Panjab, now in Pakistan, and completed degree by distance education.

* He was and still is: an extreme case in honesty, dedicated to his profession, who devoted his time to teach his children, and lived a frugal life with two half-shirts and pants, washed and ironed every alternate day. He looked after his ‘not very well to do’ sisters, within his resources. He is an imperfect man, like we all are: unable to control anger, attached to his late mother, brothers, and family, lived a selfless life, and sacrificed his sensual desires, other than good home-made food, and fruits, due to financial constraints.

We don’t know, how long we have!

His journey of life has taken him from Chaklala, now in Pakistan, India, Iraq, and now in Corona, California; where he is cheerfully confined in a room due to: knee arthritis, fitted with catheter for urinary blockage, and slightly affected by dementia, in that, at times, he says, “Who is the lady sleeping here? She was tickling me at night!”

Thank you God, for our parents.

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Is Technology Changing Our Brain Formatting – Should We Change Our Educational System To Match?

Not long ago, I was discussing with our think tank some of the challenges with all this new technology and all the information known to mankind literally in the palm of every student lucky enough to have a parent who bought them a smartphone. When holding all this knowledge in their hands – it’s no wonder they feel it a wasteful effort to memorize anything – “why bother, I can just look it up!” Well, they are right, even if we know there are some things they do need to know (memorize) and think about to survive in this world. Let’s talk.

Yes, the digitizing of the world, creates a different reality, one for which our brains and bodies were not necessarily evolved for, therefore human-centric technology is the key, and we need that before we go too much further. On the plus side, and it is a big PLUS, we open our horizons when we become digitally connected in such abundance. And, it is not the technology that is the problem alone, it’s how it’s used. That is the real digital divide. One person may use the technology to send pictures of “cats” to friends on Facebook, another might use it to collaborate with Canine Researchers around the planet to save big cats from extinction. Now then, the latter is much better of course, but we must allow freedom to choose how one wishes to use the technology gift before them right?

I read an interesting article the other day; “We Were Promised Flying Cars, All We Got Was 140-Characters,” meaning that Twitter is worth $10s of Billions and for about $500 million we could have successful perfected VTOL personal flying machines. Humans vote with their dollars, the average person wanted to be amused by distracting text messages and self-validation since they were missing something in their lives, now they want more of that, why? Because, they are so busy using the technology they feel even more empty inside – but then again, their addictions to these technologies were a choice, who are we to argue with their freedom to choose? Hard to say, but yes, I tend to agree with you. I personally am not on Facebook, nor do I own a smart-phone for the very reasons most technologists have considered, but couldn’t do without.

How we teach our children in the midst of all this social media, information and technology will determine how they use it in the future. Our entire human civilization is at stake and god forbid if all that technology were to stop working one day?

My Kids Do Not Drive Me Crazy

As a homeschooler, when you see me in public you will likely see one to five of my children at my side. It doesn’t matter if it is 10:00am on a Wednesday at the grocery store, or 11:30am at a busy doctors office. The kids are always with me.

What baffles me is the reaction of the adults we come in contact with during our day.

Many are dumbfounded that I am wearing ironed clothes and have my hair styled. Most think I should be going crazy.

News Flash

My kids Do Not Drive Me Crazy.

(most of the time)

I always have 1-5 children (ages 8-20) at my side no matter where I go. They are my buddies. I am blessed beyond words!

I find my children to be amazing individuals. Unique, creative, and interesting.

I want to spend time with my boys. They are quirky, fun and entertaining.

I love being the one who gets to hear about all those crazy ‘imaginings of childhood’. Why should I be in the dark about what brings them joy?

I appreciate that my boys work side by side with me to manage our home. They understand that we are a team.

Family is the focal point of my children’s life.

My kids spend their time around people of different age groups and can readily relate to almost anyone. They are a joy to be around.

I spend so much time with my kids that they are not clingy and needy.

I do not feel like I am missing out on their childhood. I am there to witness the quality moments encapsulated in the quantity of time.

If my kids are hurting, they come to me. They know I can be trusted.

If my kids are afraid, they come to me. They know that I will reassure them.

My children do not question my desire to be a part of their lives.

I am “all in”.

Why Do Children Drive Their Parents Crazy?

They are not used to having their children around them; they are usually at school or daycare.

The heart of their kids life is lived out away from them.

During the school day, kids laugh, cry, and are amazed.

At the end of the day parents ask their kids, “What did you do today?”

The kids say, “Nothing.” They do not know how to relate to each other.

With working parents, public school, and extra-curricular activities. Families shuffle from one destination to the next, often marinated in tension because the kids cannot find their shoes, backpack, or sports equipment. Families are fuelled with anxiety.

Children capitalize on their parents time. They need attention. When parents and their kids live their lives away from each other all day, they try to squeeze in their quality time. You rarely get quality time without quantity time. While special moments can be created, spontaneous moments are missed.

They do not know their kids the same way that they would if they spent all their time together. This is a quantity thing. Best friends seek each other out. They invest their best in each other. Next to our spouses, our children should get the most of us.

School is the focal point of the child’s life.

Kids spend most of their time surrounded by kids their own age, so they do not readily relate to people of other age groups.

They believe “me time” is essential for daily living. (I believe “we time” is essential. So do my kids)

Bottom Line?

I think our society has been seriously misled. Our children should not be shuttled off to a classroom where they are surrounded by their peer group and force fed information that does not inspire them to learn more.

I know that homeschooling is not for everyone. Honestly, homeschooling is hard. Very hard.

Parents should do everything they can to refocus their kids so that family is the center, not school. This may mean turning off the tv, quitting sports, and renting a rv. I think that kids need to know their parents are “all in”. It may take some convincing, but our kids need this!

I think parents need a mindset reset.

  • It is good to be around your children.
  • It is OK to have many, many, many moments that are unstructured. That’s where quality time lives!!
  • It is good to snuggle and read together.
  • It is good to cook with, clean, and create with your children right by your side.
  • It is good to drag bring your kids to the store, to the doctor’s office, and to the zoo.
  • It is good for your kids to see you laugh.
  • Kids are entertaining.
  • Kids are a blessing.
  • Family time is more important than me time. Almost. Always.

You may be thinking, but you do not know my kids. They want nothing to do with me. You do not need to pull them out of public school necessarily, but your time is ticking. This is one of those mountains worth dying on. Your family is everything. Reclaim your family. It will take time and energy you do not think you have, but it is worth it.

If you know that you cannot homeschool your kids, you can still reclaim your family…

Turn off the TV at least one day a week.

I am not against television, I am just more into my children. The TV stops kids from building, creating, and talking. Its true your home is cleaner and quieter with the set on, but at what cost?

Start eating at the table. Re-establish family dinners. Have the kids help plan and prepare at least one meal a week (or month).

Clear the calendar and establish a Family Game Night.

Wake your kids up early and go watch the sunrise (once a month). Make sure you bring or pick up a yummy breakfast.

Let the kids stay up late and put a telescope in the yard. Sit outside and look a the stars with your kids.

Read aloud to your kids. No matter how old they are. Find a gripping story and stop at a hanging point. Let them enjoy a bowl of popcorn while you read. Need a few suggestions?

Learn to ask questions that cannot be answered with a yes or a no.

Learn to wait for kids to answer. We can be so busy that we do not have patience for our kids minds to form answers.

Teach your kids to do something hard: change a tire, use a weed-eater, unplug a drain, reprogram a computer, build a fence, ANYTHING. Make this a regular habit.

Expect your kids to help around the house. Kids need chores, but they are not slaves. Work alongside them. Put them in charge of background music (Maybe only once a week if you cannot quite stomach their choices).

Set boundaries. Kids need to know you will keep them safe. This means different things for each family. You are the parent. You set the standards.

TURN off YOUR smart phone, laptops, iPads or any screen that pulls your eyes away from your kids. Make it a policy that during your short time together, you will be “ALL IN”.

Turn off the house phone during the evening. Family time is sacred!

Read a Proverb every day to your kids. There are 31 Proverbs so you look a the calendar and read that Proverb. If you really want to reclaim your family, you need more of God. Period. Start where you are. Ask God to help you and start reading your Bible. Proverbs is a good place to begin because it is filled with incredible wisdom for your family. No it is not outdated.

Cut out any activities that do not strengthen your family. This can be REALLY hard. Be honest with yourself. There are no One Size Fits All families. What I need to cut in my family will absolutely be different for yours. Just be real.

Family time is precious.

Cut back expenses. This may seem obvious, but it is not. If you cut back your expenses you can carve out more and more time for your family. With some creative financing, maybe you can even afford to stay home!

Start Slowly.

  • Set your kids down and let them know you are reclaiming your family.
  • Implement one new habit at a time. If you have older kids, let them pick one thing to change first.
  • Be consistent.
  • Set a reminder in your calendar and re-evaluate your efforts at least once a month.

Which mom would you rather be?

The one who loves being around her children,

or the one who is driven crazy by them?

Make any changes necessary to make the right choice.

It may not be easy, but it is still worth it!

Home Schooling and How Cheap Your Child’s Work Is

Home Schooling is the wave of the future; it is how America will survive, or fail.

To understanding how important it is for you to home school your child one need merely look at the way children are taught today. For the purposes of this article I will choose one, and only one item. Believe me, there are dozens of items like this one. The item I will discuss is how cheap your child’s work is, and how this makes your child view his work, and therefore himself, as unimportant.

Your child is given a task. Maybe it is to write a report, maybe it is a page of math. Halfway through the task the bell rings, and the child is made to go play.

Yes, made to go play. The intent here is not to complete the work, but to order the child about, and make him/her amenable to social control and behavior modification.

If you were at work, had an important job to do, would your boss make you go play? And, more important, would you let yourself be made to go play? Negative. You would put your nose to the grindstone and pound away at that job for one simple reason: it is important.

But day after day your child is interrupted, made to go be ‘frivolous,’ and this tells him/her that the job is not important.

And, most interesting, the teacher says it is important.

So what is the solution? Well, here is an interesting alternative. You put work before you child, and you say, ‘You can take a food break if you wish, but you don’t get to play until it is done.

Now, how many of us, if the boss said, “You can work till five, but if the job is done early you can take off for the day,” would work our fingers to the bone?

Every last one of us. The job suddenly becomes extra important, and our lives literally hang upon it.

When I did this at my school the result was instant. Children ignored breaks, told other kids to be quiet, and became work maniacs.

Yes, sometimes I had to check the work, at least in the beginning, to make sure it wasn’t slipshod. But doing this at times during the day forestalls any nasty confrontations with one big checking at the end.

Yes, sometimes they wouldn’t get their school work done, and I would commiserate with them, and let them go. But if you plan the work out (with their input is helpful), then you can usually come up with a target that will get them an extra hour of play, and get you an extra hour’s worth of their work.

Most important, through this type of home schooling approach your child will develop a sense of self worth, and a very valuable work ethic.

ACT Test Prep: How To Study For The ACT Test

With so many ACT test prep solutions available, it is no wonder that so many parents and students alike get confused and ask me how to study for the ACT.

It’s not hard to know how to study for the ACT if you approach it strategically, like an athlete approaches a major event.

1) Know the Rules. The biggest “rule” with the test is that you are timed and have to learn how to answer questions quickly and accurately and pace yourself. When the clock runs out and you haven’t answered all the questions, you lose points.

Learn time management skills and how to answer questions quickly from a good ACT Test Prep course. Knowing how to take the test is every bit as important as knowing what is on the test. So don’t just study math and english and science and reading. Study how to answer questions and learn shortcuts and tips and tricks.

2) Begin with the end in mind. If you are a long distance runner, you don’t start off a race at a sprint. Rather, you start off with a pace that you know you can keep up. Studying for this test is no different.

Marathon study sessions may impress your parents, but they just wear you out and aren’t really effective. Study for shorter periods, like 20-30 minutes, and more frequently. You’ll remember a lot more of what you studied and you won’t burn yourself out.

Remember, the best ACT prep will teach you the test taking skills and the studying tips and tricks that will show you how to study for the ACT test quickly and efficiently.

Homeschooling Methods: From Charlotte Mason to Classical Education

Homeschooling? Unschooling? Charlotte Mason? Waldorf? Part-time? Full-time? The variations within homeschooling can be overwhelming. But don’t worry — it’s not as scary as it first seems.

Consider these common curriculums and educational philosophies used by homeschoolers. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but does cover many major programs and should help you feel more comfortable deciding what kind of homeschooler you are.

Unit Studies

In unit studies, one subject is intensely focused on at a time. This can teach the ability to both compartmentalize and synthesize information. Examples are doing an in-depth study of the presidents of the United States, or spending the month before a vacation to the ocean studying the sea and weather patterns. Unit studies can also use a child’s interests to study a broader subject; for example, studying fashion trends through the ages in order to see how major events in history affected day-to-day living.

Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason method is based on the work of British educator Charlotte Mason. She believed that “education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” She believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education, that cultivating good habits makes up another third, and that children should be taught living, practical ideas rather than dry facts.

Waldorf

Waldorf education aims to educate the whole child, “head, heart, and hands.” Waldorf tries to encourage a genuine love of learning in each child and incorporates arts and activities to create students who are able to create meaning in their lives without external help.

Montessori

The Montessori method focuses on student-directed learning that aims to support a child’s natural way of learning. Montessori involves one-on-one attention and teacher observation and emphasizes all five senses rather than just the visual and auditory senses used in reading, listening, and watching.

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple intelligences education is based on Dr. Howard Gardner’s eight areas of intelligence and learning styles: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. Each individual has strengths in one or more of these intelligences, and the multiple intelligences method involves discovering those strong areas and teaching through them (for example, a student strong in bodily-kinesthetic, or touch-related, knowledge will be most likely to learn by doing, whereas a linguistically-strong child will learn best through reading, writing, and playing with words).

Classical Education

Classical education utilizes three age groups or learning periods, called the “grammar period” (which focuses on the building blocks of education, memorization, and and rules of basic math, phonetics, etc.), the “logic stage” (when cause-and-effect relationships are explored and the child is challenged to ask “Why,” engage in critical thinking, and synthesize ideas), and the “rhetoric stage” (when the student learns to use language to clearly and powerful explain his/her ideas, and begins to focus on areas of knowledge that draw his/her interest; this stage can sometimes involve internships, apprenticeships, college courses, and other forms of higher/specialized education).

Thomas Jefferson Education

Thomas Jefferson Education, also known as “Leadership Education,” also follows three periods: the “foundational phases” (which focus on core values and love of learning), “educational phases” (which teach study skills and discipline; at this stage students engage in a mentor-guided program such as an internship or setting and reaching a personal goal), and “applicational phases” that exist after formal schooling and last the rest of the student’s life (during which the student focuses on contribution to community, and acts as a mentor or community leader). Thomas Jefferson education focuses heavily on love of learning, commitment to values, and seven keys to great teaching.

Accredited Curriculum/Long-Distance/Internet Schooling

This type of homeschool, sometimes referred to as “public school at home” is highly structured and uses state-approved curricula that mirror the curricula being used in public schools. The parent acts as teacher and there is usually a satellite teacher or mentor that the student reports to. Examples include K12.com, LUOnlineAcademy.com, and various university-affiliated high school programs such as Penn Foster High School and BYU Independent Study.

Delayed Schooling

This type of schooling follows the belief that children are not ready for formal schooling until the ages of 7-9. This approach encourages play and natural curiosity in the early years and moves toward more formal learning as the child reaches age 7 (with flexibility depending on the child). This philosophy, though sometimes challenged, is becoming commonly accepted even in some mainstream schools, particularly in the U.K., and is fairly common among unschoolers.

Principle Approach

The Principle Approach to education, which is based on the writing of Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, looks at all subjects and information through a Christian worldview. The Bible is used as a major textbook and the student creates notebooks that incorporate both school material and his/her thoughts and meditations. The Principle Approach uses “the 4 Rs,” Research (finding God’s word and identifying religious principles), Reasoning (discovering cause and effect relationships), Relate (applying information to the student), and Record (writing down or otherwise recording the student’s applications and impressions).

Faith-Based

Similar to the Principle Approach but more flexible and not specific to any belief system, faith-based homeschooling incorporates both secular and religious knowledge, and religious beliefs and the family’s values are worked freely into learning and discussions. Though this intermingling is a natural side effect of being homeschooled in a religious household, faith-based education more obviously connects academic knowledge to religion. Spiritual beliefs and experiences are considered as or more important to the child’s education as secular knowledge, and the parent actively seeks to incorporate religious beliefs into the student’s curriculum/educational experience.

Learning Centers

Though not often used full-time as a replacement for public or private school, many homeschoolers find it useful to supplement their curricula with courses and/or tutoring at learning centers such as Kumon, Sylvan, and Huntington. These centers can be especially useful as a student approaches college, as many of them offer ACT and SAT prep courses.

As always, homeschooling is a deeply individual individual matter that should be altered to fit your family. As long as your homeschooling method works for you, keep it, love it, change it as needed, and enjoy the adventure.

The Benefits of Home Learning

Do you remember going to school or college and just not being in the right frame of learning that particular day? Perhaps you found the classroom environment distracting and wished you could get your head down in peace and quite in the library instead!

If so, you might be a great candidate for home learning.

One of the best things about a home learning course is that you can work through the materials at your own pace. You can decide when, where and how you are going to do it, and if you are not in the mindset to do it today, you can schedule a time to focus on it tomorrow instead.

For those who have other commitments in life, such as another job, children or other activities you participate in, it means that you can focus on your learning at a time that fits in with you. Providing that you fulfil the expectations that are within the course, such as getting assignments completed on time, your tutors have no idea when or where the work took place. This also means that for those with limited resources such as a computer, you can use libraries or internet cafes and you limitations do not need to be an obstacle.

Home learning provides a great platform for personal and professional development too. Undertaking home learning for your own personal development means that you can increase your skills in a way that will have a positive impact upon many areas of your life. You may find that you develop new strategies for communicating or coaching others, or that you are able to bring a new mindset to old relationships. Sometimes, people enjoy their personal development so much that they weave it into their daily live and may even make a career from sharing their new skills with others. As we become more emotionally intelligent, personal development is a great area in which to learn via home learning methods.

Home learning can also provide a useful bolt on of more formal qualifications that can be used to stretch a person professionally. Some are reluctant to increase their professional skills in a home learning format, as they feel it is as if they are investing their own time into work or into a company that they do not own. They sometimes miss the important fact that the additional qualification may help them to demand a higher salary or provide them with more exciting professional challenges, either with the company that they currently work for, or with others who may employ them in the future.

Let’s be honest, committing to home learning is a huge commitment, whether it is being done for personal or professional reasons. But in both instances there are great rewards to reap. One of the best investments you can make is within yourself because you’re always going to be stuck with you! So consider how you’d like to be if you were completely happy with yourself and everything you have to offer,then begin researching the home learning course that will give you access to these skills.

If You Are Job Searching, You Must Manage Your Online Presence

The time when job seekers relied solely on the newspaper for job ads has passed and now jobs are often found through online sources such as job boards. The obvious benefit is the ability to find jobs on any given day or time of the week, along with information about potential employers. What job seekers must always keep in mind is that potential employers can also learn about them with a quick search using any search engine. What can be found is a digital footprint and that is what needs to be monitored on a regular basis. It is possible to sabotage your career potential if you don’t monitor your online presence and control how you interact with and participate in social networking websites. While this applies to many people in careers where their online presence is closely scrutinized, it is especially critical for those who are in the process of a job search.

Leaving Behind an Online Footprint

Have you considered that your interactions online, including what you post, can leave behind a digital footprint? Most people have a general idea of what this means, some people understand its significance fully, and others have learned its importance the hard way. What you post online may be found and viewed by more than the intended audience, which can include the companies that you hope to gain employment from in the future. An online footprint extends beyond social media as people post comments across multiple platforms. This is not meant to minimize the impact of what is posted on social media as many people are becoming very comfortable sharing a lot of personal details, views, opinions, and other details they would not typically share with an unknown person – someone they would pass by at a grocery store for example. Sharing personal photos is also a popular trend and can lend itself to establishing your online footprint.

Self-Assessment of Your Presence

If you are conducting a job search, or plan to in the near future, this is a good time to assess your existing online presence. If you are actively engaged in social networking websites you will need to devote enough time to conduct a thorough assessment, much more so than someone who occasionally interacts online. You can begin by itemizing the websites you visit and interact the most with over the past six months. Take time to reflect upon the types of interactions you have had, the blogs or articles you may have commented on, and the posts you have made (in general) through the use of social networking websites.

In addition, itemize the websites where you have uploaded and shared photos online. As you consider how you have engaged in online websites, and the types of interactions you have had through social networking, do you have any initial concerns? Do you follow a common pattern, such as posting highly emotional messages? What you want to determine is how this online presence represents you. You can check what is readily accessible by using a search engine and looking up your name. You may need to try a variety of combinations for your name and possibly narrow it down by location. The results may surprise you and/or serve as a call to action. What you find during your search is what a potential employer could find as well.

Tools to Manage and Be in Control

The following four tools will help you to develop a specific purpose for your online activity and create a positive representation of your career plan.

#1. Review, Clean Up, and Improve:

The first step to take in gaining control of your online presence is to conduct the self-assessment provided above. This means reviewing the comments, posts, and photos that you have shared online – either recently or those that are listed through the results of a search engine check. Ask yourself if any of those items are potentially questionable, inappropriate, or create a negative representation of who you are now as a potential job candidate. If so, remove any of those items that do not serve your best interests. Then once a month conduct a search again and utilize more than one search engine. After you have cleaned upon your online activity, it is time to work on improving your presence. LinkedIn is a very good resource as it serves as a virtual resume that can represent you in a positive manner – if you utilize its full potential. For example, you can join professional associations, request recommendations from colleagues and prior managers, receive skill endorsements, add projects and classes, and the list continues.

#2. Manage Your Brand

Both you and your name are a brand. Consider the brands that you are familiar with and what those brands or brand names stand for, such as quality, consistency, reliability, strong ethical values, etc. That is what you need to do with your name – treat it as a brand and associate it with a career field, subject matter expertise, contributions to a specialized field, etc. This will further demonstrate your interest in the field you would like to work in and help you gain the attention of potential employers. For example, if you have a project you’ve created you can list those within your LinkedIn profile. Google also offers a free platform that will allow you to develop an e-portfolio and this is another self-promotion tool if it is crafted in a purposeful manner.

#3. Manage Your Reputation

In conjunction with your brand you also need to manage your reputation. To accomplish this task you should consider what you want to be known for since words and photos represent you. Of course you are free to post anything you want to, within the limits imposed by the websites you visit, but will there be a potential for damaging your reputation and/or career? That is the question you want to be actively asking yourself as you interact online. This includes any affiliations or associations that you are a member of now as those memberships may appear in search engine results. What you want to do is to align your ethical standards to the goals you have established for yourself and your career overall.

#4. Develop an Online Presence Strategy

If you are unable to remove any posts, photos, comments, or anything else online that might be viewed in a negative manner, now is the time to develop an explanation and have it ready should you be asked during an interview. The best approach you can take is to acknowledge what you are asked about and then state what you have learned since that time and the plan you have created. From this point forward the question becomes – what is your purpose statement? If you want a place to post anything goes or to be less restricted, look for a social networking platform that is less public and allows you to establish strict controls. However, as a general rule you need to always monitor your privacy settings and determine if you do have control over what is viewable or visible to the public. For example, with Facebook you can limit who is able to post on your timeline, what is visible to the public, and who can share what you post. But again, maintain a watchful lookout for what can be found by potential employers and be intentional in what you post on all websites as part of your career strategy.

Now Become Proactive

The tools provided appear to involve a great deal of work and it will be – until you have fully implemented a well-developed career presence strategy. Your interactions and posts online may not all be easily found and viewed by others, and it is also possible you may not be able to completely eliminate your digital footprint. What you can do is take responsibility for what you have posted and now hold yourself accountable for what you post from this point forward. Make certain you have a career plan and align your online interactions with your goals. For example, if you are job searching and want to be viewed as a professional and ethical candidate, make sure your online presence matches it. The words and photos you choose to share online always hold a possibility of being seen by potential employers and it represents you, regardless of what you planned or intended to do. If you develop control of your online footprint it will likely improve your overall job search by presenting you as a positive potential candidate.

Continuing Professional Development For Real Estate Professionals

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

In an industry which constantly evolves real estate professionals must keep their skills and knowledge current in order to serve clients responsibly and also to achieve more success throughout their career.

Property professionals in New South Wales who have completed either the Certificate of Registration or the Real Estate Agents Licence are required by the NSW Office of Fair Trading to complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) subjects in order to renew their qualifications each year.

Here are some examples of the types of topics CPD students might choose from in order to make up the required 12 CPD points.

Ethical Behaviour

Occupational Health & Safety

Effective Communication

Accurate Appraisals

Auction Practices

Negotiations skills

How and where do I complete my CPD subjects?

Continuing Professional Development subjects must be delivered by a registered training organisation (RTO) and students may be able to select different modes of study depending on the organisation they choose. For example some training providers such as Smart Academy can provide flexible 1 day workshops, half day workshops or distance education. These flexible study options make it very easy for the busy property professional to complete their CPD units of study at a time or place that suits.

How are CPD subjects assessed?

Continuing Professional Development subjects are assessed based on demonstrated competency in the subject. After being assessed as competent the CPD student will receive a Certificate of Completion for that subject. Note that records of training must be kept by the student for a minimum of 3 years.

Let’s Abolish High School

This is the title of the article published by Robert Epstein in Education Week datelined April 4, 2007 to which a student Robert Zahari says, “Epstein for some reason seems to be nostalgic for the “good old days” of child labor when children worked 12-hour days under exploitative and dangerous conditions in impersonal factories, and seems to think that the protections we have now are unnecessary and counterproductive”. In my opinion Robert Zahari does not make a fair criticism of Epstein’s article. There may be merits and demerits in Epstein’s article that should have been evaluated and analyzed, but Zahari passes a hasty opinion on the article. On the contrary a fair reading of Epstein’s article shows that the author has no where favored child labor of the kind Zahari points out. On the contrary the overall thesis of Epstein’s article seems to be that age is no barrier to intellectual and emotional achievement. In other words, an adolescent of 15 could be as or more emotionally and intellectually advanced than an adult of 25 or 35 or more.

I agree with Epstein (2007) that age is an artificial barrier to making decisions like voting, or even doing works that adults do. He further argues, “After all, past puberty, technically speaking we’re not really children anymore, and presumably through most of human history we bore our young when we were quite young ourselves. It occurred to me that young people must be capable of functioning as competent adults, or the human race quite probably would not exist” (Epstein 2007). I agree that human beings are well developed past puberty at least physically. Also, there are prodigies that may have attained greater intellectual, emotional, and spiritual heights at quite a young age. However, those are the exceptions. The fact is that we continue to grow mentally all our life. Therefore, child-adolescent-adult is a continuum rather than well defined stages and hence age is an artificial barrier distinguishing childhood from adulthood. Consequently, for a large majority of mankind there are things a 25 year old can learn but not an adolescent of 15 because exceptionally brilliant children are exceptional. We must also admit that “we bore our young when we were quite young ourselves” is/was true in an age when science and environmental factors did not enrich human lives. The average longevity used to be 25 to 30 years. Today the average life span in the developed world is close to or past 80. Further, society and life style are evolutionary in nature. Hundred or more years down the line, it wouldn’t be surprising that a child would not attain the age of majority till 35 pr 40 with 150 or 200 years of average life span.

Epstein favors abolition of High Schools because they were designed or created under conditions like industrial revolution, great depression, or for reasons like safeguarding the limited number of jobs for those that needed the most. I cannot agree more with the author. However, Epstein (2007) merely states the obvious. While agreeing that the school system today are superfluous, I still hold that every age since time immemorial had some formal arrangement for education. Even today we are experimenting with home schooling, distance learning, online learning and several other forms of education. If Epstein is arguing, which he does not of course, for abolition of education altogether, I cannot see any more ridiculous idea because every age has unique repertoire of literary, social, and scientific know how and skills that must be passed down from generation to generation for growth unless we wish to descend to the dark ages of savagery.

The focus of Epstein’s essay is that adolescents are as capable or more capable than adults in several respects: “The research I conducted with my colleague Diane Dumas suggests that teenagers are as competent as adults across a wide range of adult abilities, and other research has long shown that they are actually superior to adults on tests of memory, intelligence, and perception” (Epstein 2007). Therefore, they should be given freedom to learn, to earn, and to do anything creative and worthwhile they need to do rather than chaining them down under hundreds of restrictions including compulsory education. I completely agree with the author here. However, Epstein does not provide us a concrete scheme of arrangement so that the young people can express themselves to the best of their talents. What would they do once they drop out of high schools? Should they be allowed to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex? Should they be allowed to remain delinquents or languish in institutions?

None the less, author identifies teenage turmoil in western culture and society. Therefore, the obvious solution that we have is to change the culture because there are hundreds of societies documented anthropologically that are free from teenage turmoil. I do not see merit in the logic because culture is a unilinear and irreversible growth not determined by an individual or even masses. Cultural growth is an outcome of several factors – known and unknown – that cannot be controlled. Several social scientists have evidenced that culture of a society progresses through stages from pre to post industrial stages.

I agree with the author that “Teenagers are inherently highly capable young adults; to undo the damage we have done; we need to establish competency-based systems that give these young people opportunities and incentives to join the adult world as rapidly as possible”. I agree that teenagers are highly competent. I also agree that we must have competency based systems. However, I can see that already taking place. Competent and meritorious students or teenagers are filtered quite early in life to take up sports or modeling, or television, or anything they excel at. However, a large majority still need technical or managerial or administrative or scientific and research skills that come with years of training.