Monday, September 26, 2016

The Truth About Taking Online Classes

This semester I couldn’t fit all the classes I wanted in my schedule. The obvious fix? Take online classes. So I signed up for both Children’s Literature and Walk to Fitness.
On the first day of the semester I went online to check it out.

The First Day

At first, I admit, it was very confusing. There was so much reading to get through just for the teacher to explain everything. It took me a full day just to read the many, many posts that were required to even start the class. It made me realize just how much information you learn on the first day of class. What could be shared during a half hour conversation was now big blocks of texts spread out over five posts.

I can take a look at my class
anywhere, anytime!
Pic from Unspash
After reading all there was to be read, next was the assignment.


That’s when I started liking my classes.
A class discussion in a classroom is very different from a class discussion online. While everyone is expected to participate in class, that usually isn’t the case. It’s always the same five students talking while the rest of the class listens or, when called upon, mutters a couple sentences in order to get that participation grade up to passing.

When you’re online everyone has to participate. The professor can tell who has posted and when they posted it. They’ll see if anyone is putting off the assignment to the last minute or who hasn’t participated at all.

But you also get time to think. There’s no teacher putting you on the spot because you’ve been quiet for a while. I could take the time to write a post about what I really thought. Just that alone took so much of the stress out of the class.


However, the best part when it comes to classes online is the grading. In Children’s Literature I received all my posts back the to me the day they were due, fully graded. I know exactly how I’m doing, which posts I did well on, and what I didn’t do so well on. That’s not something that happens in even the best of classrooms. No teacher can grade every idea that comes out of your mouth. But with everything online I have everything written out for me.

I admit that when I decided to sign up for online courses it was in the hope that there would be less work to do than in a classroom. That’s definitely not the case. I have more assignments and readings to do for my online courses than for any classes I have to go in for. But I also have so much extra time to do them. What I would have had to write out in class is now a small homework assignment I can take a whole day to do. A class I would’ve had to wake up at seven to take is now available to me whenever I want it.

The Truth?

So there’s a little bit of bad and a little bit of good.

If you’re someone who needs a teacher guiding them (completely understandable) stick to your classrooms. But, if you’re a student who is good at managing their time and motivating themselves to get their work done, online classes are one hundred percent your thing.
My new classroom
Picture from Unsplash

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Don't Want To Be Poor? Say No More!

Some of you may have spent your summer working jobs here and there, maybe you got your family to lend you some cash, or maybe you managed both. Problem is, cash never lasts, and who doesn't wish they had more? Here are some frugal tips and other stuff that could help keep your wallet feeling a little more full.
Source: Naruto

Cook your own meals. Ok, this may not be an option for everyone, and there's no shame in getting quick good food every now and then. Though you don't always have to go out to eat or eat ramen and hot pockets everyday. When you know what you're putting in your food, it's way healthier, and you can make enough servings to last you for a while. It's more cost effective in the long run, and a useful skill.

Even while you're in college, you can still find scholarships. Sure, the ones for only high school students are eliminated, but there are still plenty left. Some scholarships have so few entries, even if you don't meet their requirements, you still have a chance to win it anyway.

Use college resources. Obvious, but 2+ years of saving by using free gym access, free tutoring, free career counseling, free counseling, free computer access, etc. In any emergency, you can consult the Connection Center on campus and they'll help you stay in college too. How could you pass that up? 

Compare prices & have patience. Don't buy things right away. You might find what you're looking for at a lower price or a better alternative, and you'll be hitting yourself if it turned out you could've gotten that product for a lot cheaper if you had just waited. Or worse, not really needing it at all.

Use the internet. You're already using the internet to see this post, so use it to your advantage more! I honestly have gotten all of my tips from there, and there are vast oceans of advice to dive into. Much like our oceans, there's still a lot to discover, so check back every now and then. If I had the time to write them all, I'd practically be a zombie.
Alternate realities are scary. (Cropped from 
On the topic of the internet - Student discounts galore! Since you have an .edu address, you're basically set. And if you're transferring to another college, you can use another .edu address to get the same stuff again. Some examples:
Amazon Prime - free six months, and half the price of regular Prime when it expires.

Spotify - 50% of a subscription. Apple Music has monthly discounts.

Autodesk's collection of free software.

YouNeedABudget, free software for making a budget and managing debts.

This isn't a discount, but my personal favorite for earning free "money" - Bing Rewards, now Microsoft Rewards. There are many ways to earn money online, although they're too time consuming for my tastes. With Microsoft rewards all you need is a Microsoft email, and search for stuff using Bing. When you earn enough points, you can "purchase" Microsoft items, gift cards for Amazon/Starbucks/etc., or simply an entry in a sweepstakes. More info. Feel free to mention your very own tips, if you have any.

That is all,


Bella Sophia Sugar Crafts

Tall windows that let light dance in and a calming atmosphere for sweets to do their usual french seduction. Pastries jailed behind glass containers, a select few on high shelves with the icing in a Fibonacci spiral. Opening the golden notched door, I turn my head left to the hanging chalk board menu almost as if written by a scribe. Coffee written boldly; the imagery of how chic they could be! 

Indulging this Eden, I see on the right side a family speaking with one of the owners. I explain to the  counter man that I am a blogger for RCC and would like to take some pictures. In my ballad of photos, I meet the pâtissière (the pastry chef feminine french), her husband, and the employees who are all related. Bella Sophia employees all have a welcoming radiance and great customer service. In the midst of a conversation with a worker, I see an exit door with a huge window. I see a glimpse of suspended leaves and beautiful noire(black) high and low table sets; almost like a painted scene through the window. Pushing the door open, my running shoes press on a bumpy brick floor, and my head tilts up to a slanted tree that seems to be in an endless hug with itself past the roof.
The tree, the unique tables, and the lights make everything fuse artistically. The pâtissière name is Eva Rivera, and her store Bella Sophia Sugar Crafts is located at 2 Main Street Suite #2 in Haverstraw, NY behind Care RX. The store is open Thursday through Sunday, hours may vary. Go & Enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Do You Want To Succeed In Math?

Of all the classes that I have taken in RCC, I never had to focus in any class as much as in math class. In most classes, I can get by by only partly listening. Now, I am not promoting the idea of not paying attention in class, but I am stressing the importance of paying attention when taking a math class. Math is very much a study which builds upon itself. If you miss a concept or you are rusty with a certain aspect, you will find that as you progress through higher level math, you will struggle. Here are a few tips that you can utilize to maximize your math learning experience.

1. Do Your Homework!
There is nothing worse than not doing your math homework. Math homework can be boring and monotonous, but the only way to remember formulas and math is by doing it over and over until it is drilled into your brain. By doing the homework, you are applying the rules and concepts you have learned to a multitude of slightly varying questions. It will help you recognize the steps needed to handle a problem presented to you on future tests.

2. Office Hours
Your teacher has mandatory office hours. Professors are required to be available to help their students. They are waiting for you to come and ask questions! Do not pass up that opportunity! Take your questions from your homework and ask your teacher to walk you through them. It’s free and tremendously helpful!

3. Tutoring Center
Your teachers are busy people. They have a life outside of school (usually) and they have multiple responsibilities within school. While they want to help and do a good job of it, they do not always have time. Fortunately for you, all hope is not lost. On the third floor of the Technology Center, Room 8340, there is The Tutoring Center. There you will find tutors who are waiting to help you with any subject you need. They even have free private tutoring by appointment. RCC provides you with fantastic opportunities to help you succeed so take advantage of them!

3. Formulas
Something that I have found to be invaluable is making a formula sheet. In math, you are given many different problems that can be easily solved if you apply the correct formula. There are many formulas and it can be difficult to remember all of them. That is why you need to compile all the formulas on a paper and use that to help you in class and with homework. You will eventually remember the formulas without the need to keep referring to the sheet.

See you later! I have math homework to do!

Friday, September 23, 2016

MUST WATCH: Stranger Things

I have always been a big Netflix fan, and my love grew even stronger this weekend. If you have not watched or heard of Stranger Things the new original Netflix show, I am introducing you to something that will change your life!

With only one season so far, Stranger Things brings you eight episodes of incredible acting, constant excitement, anxiety and mystery. Without giving too much away Stranger Things is set in a small town in Indiana in the 1980s. Not only does this mean that the outfits the characters wear are amazing, but their hairstyles should be a reason in itself to tune in.  The story centers on a community who are searching for a young boy who goes missing. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, you will find you have completed the season in one day. All I want to do is talk over and over about what happened, I found myself screaming at my laptop screen when I finished the eighth episode because now I have to wait until next year!!

If you are a fan of Steven King, really enjoyed the movie ET and want a good excuse to take a 45-minute break from studying then I highly encourage you to start Stranger Things. Once you have done that, or if you have already watched it, track me down so we can talk about it for hours!!

I finished Stranger Things on Friday night and on Saturday morning I woke up in mourning.

I now need to find a new TV series to keep me occupied until October. This is the time of year that a lot of the TV series we have all had to wait for since March are coming back! Specifically, I am referring to Quantico, which had me hooked from the first episode. I am still on the search and will let you know if I find anything good.

It is now Sunday and I am sitting watching the JETS play their first football game of the season, which means chicken wings; chips and burgers are calling my name.... Until next time go and watch Stranger Things!!! 

Lights, Camera, Action!

You are lying on the floor with your eyes closed and imagining you are on a beach. The cool water waves are crashing over you, the warm sand beneath you, and the sunlight behind your eyelids.
Sounds like a guided meditation you might do in a yoga or pilates class on campus. But actually, I was in my Acting for Film class. The third class we moved on from introducing ourselves and now we are onto the action!
It is really interesting how not all my classmates want to be actors. One young lady wants to go to law school and another young man is just doing it for fun. The lively teacher, Christina Schaudel does an amazing job of making us all feel welcome and comfortable, actor or not. She even let us know acting can be used for many applications. An actor she knows gets paid full salary to go and teach corporate office workers how to smile, give eye contact, and interact; instead of the usual cubicle hermitry.


(If you are unable to view the video, click on the following link: Body Language

We learned about body language today. With no words, how a person walks into the room and even where they look can tell a million stories. Here for example. What do you see? Am I really upset or just smelling something bad? You be the judge.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Expectations Vs. Reality

As a new student to RCC, its been a blast to venture around campus til' my feet were aching, meet the professors, see the people, and just see all the little things the college has. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Source: Gemphotography, iStock by Getty Images

I have semi-long days, semi-long waits for public transportation, and I even go here on Saturdays, but I hardly mind that. The first dip into the reality of college life felt pretty sweet, and it wasn't as mundane as I had expected. Whether you're a new or returning student, staff member, family of a student or visitor, we've all had our expectations on a lot of things, including college. Some of them met, some of them not.
For me, it mostly wasn't - and I mean that in the best possible way.

Here are some expectations I had before rummaging RCC's website and overloading my browser with tabs - and during my first days coming here.

Expectation: Well, they probably don't have much in variety for classes besides the usual gen eds and associate's degrees.
Reality: They have a Zumba class, a class for private music lessons in voice and instruments, a debate class, etc. plenty of classes for leisure and valuable learning. Even gen eds, like English 101 are more educational than you think. I learned a lot of writing tips in just one hour of class.

Expectation: Now that it's September it'll finally start to cool down.
Oh hi, didn't see you there. (Source: Spongebob Squarepants)
Reality: Thanks for the reminder, Sun.

Expectation: RCC has a game room? Probably only a few game tables and more seating.
Reality: It has an arcade machine!! You have to pay to play (only 50c), but there's also a wide screen TV playing movies, and great graffiti art on the walls.

Expectation: There's lots of free food? At club fests, sure.
Reality: They were not kidding when they said that. Even the food in the cafeteria is good, unlike my high school's. (not that it was bad, per se)

Expectation: Campus seems pretty plain looking.
Reality: Lots of interesting sculptures and paintings around to look at. All the plants are beautiful scenery, too. You won't get bored walking around campus, at least, I don't.

Expectation: Nothing out of the ordinary ever happens here.
Reality: Is that a...-Did a groundhog just walk past me out of nowhere?
For the sake of your safety and theirs, ***do not*** approach, follow, or disturb animals if you spot any.

 (If you are unable to view the video, click on the following link: Groundhog at RCC

Yes. Yes it did.

I could go on and on. Whatever expectations you have, whatever they may be, do keep an open mind! There'll be a lot of pleasant surprises out there. And please, do take advantage of all the free stuff and events this place has. There's something out there for everyone, and always something you can learn from.