Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scholarship Tips

I recently bowed out of a scholarship review committee I'd been a part of four about five years. Each year, the committee members individually review 20 to 30 scholarship applications using rubrics and then get together to finalize our decisions. It's a very tedious process, and the competition is steep/ when 30 kids all have excellent grade point averages, it somes down to the details. I thought I would share some advice for hopeful scholarship applicants. One would think these tips are no-brainers, but you'd be surprised at how many kids make mistakes:

*If asked to write an essay, write an essay. And here's a tip: Follow essay format--Use paragraphs. As a reviewer, when I see a page-long block of text without paragraphs, I groan. Show respect for your reader; follow the basic rules of paragraph writing. If you don't know what those are, Google it; not doing so says you're lazy.

*If asked to answer a specific question in your essay, answer the question. Don't just ramble on, don't simply recycle your essay from the last scholarship you applied for. If the question asks, "What is the most memorable experience" or "Which high school experience had the most impact...." then give one, write about one; show that you can follow directions. If you're lucky enough to have more than one answer to choose from, I recommend choosing the one you don't think the previous twenty other candidates wrote about, especially if you're not a great writer. It's bad enough that I have to read ten essays on a trip to Costa Rica or a band trip; if it's poorly written, too, it's just going to push your application further to the bottom.

*Not a great writer? Ask a good writer to read your essay and give you feedback.

*Thank the scholarship committee for the opportunity; it will set you apart, trust me. You don't need to write a paragraph or anything; just say thanks at the end of your essay.

*If invited to write a letter of need, write one, even if you don't think your need isn't as compelling as some might be; it gives you an opportunity to share more information that may help sway the reviewer.

*Before submitting your application, check and double check that you have followed the instructions. When I have 30 applications to rank, the first thing I do is eliminate the ones that didn't follow the directions.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Friday Fragments: Episode #337

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Boy, I know how to multi-task with the best of them,
as evidenced by the 17 tabs I currently have open on my computer.
However, everyone needs to simply now and then. That's why I love Friday Fragments;
I can unload some of the bits and pieces of post fragments that are flying around in my head.
Thanks for joining me!

***Kyle has a job interview tomorrow; please send hiring vibes his way, thanks.

***WOOT! I received $125 today from Google, I assume for my YouTube videos (two of my how-to videos have a lot of views). I'll take it!

***Mr.4444 is going to be globally recognized by the German company he works for, 
for his exceptional contributions to its growth and success in the past year! He so deserves it!

***I cannot say enough about the excellent experience I've had with Warby Parker recently. They have an online service that lets you pick out five frames and try them on for free at home. After ordering mine (with progressive lenses, btw), I wore them several times and realized that while I adored the frame, it just wasn't right for my face (not comfortable on my nose bridge). I was able to contact a wonderful customer service rep and am 100% happy with the results. I'll show you a photo one of these days, but trust me; my new frames are awesome. I highly recommend Warby Parker, and they did not give me a single thing to say that!

***Some time this weekend, I plan to finish a post about applying for scholarships. I think it'll be very helpful, so if you're interested, stay tuned!

Okay, I'm de-fragged for the time being. How about you? Got fragments? Feel free to link up below!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shaking Off Our Packers' Loss

Yes, our Packers lost in the playoffs yesterday; 
to say that we were bummed last night would be a major understatement. 
This video, which is certainly making its rounds on the Internet, 
is perfect for my attitude today.


Have a Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Friday Fragments: Episode #336

Half-Past Kissin' Time

You know how nice it feels to tie up loose ends, right? Well, Friday Fragments allow you to just that; tie up the random bits of your week that didn't make it into posts and share them here. Then kick back and relax; it's the weekend! (well, close enough)

***My Christmas tree is still up; it's taking water every couple of days and looks great,
so I figure it can't hurt to let it run its course.

***I started drinking loose tea a couple of months ago, so imagine the thrill I had to receive this Teavana gift set a couple of days ago, a belated Christmas gift from a student's very generous and appreciative mom:

I am also head-over-heels in love with a homemade tea concoction created by my sister-in-law, who is a gourmet cook. She calls it Honeybush Chai. Simple pleasures...

***Kendall is heading back to college on Saturday. This week, she' been enjoying her last relaxing days by making a braided rug from her old high school t-shirts. It's a little less than three feet in diameter and gorgeous!


***I miss Kyle, who recently put this photo up as his profile pic on Facebook.


Love that kid...I'm looking forward to seeing him (and Alayna) 
for Sunday's annual City Chicken Feast!

***I found out this week that the school district in which I work is going to referendum in April to request funding for technology. If it goes through, our students will each have ipads,
and teachers will therefore need Macs. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I have heard that "Once you go Mac, you never go back!" Hm.

***A friendly fragmenter for a long time, Laurie Matherne (Honduras Gumbo), has moved on to new digs and won't be fragging this week but would love to host visitors, I'm sure. You can check out her new blog and say hi here.

***The Green Bay Packers play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Playoffs on Sunday. I'm seriously considering buying some of these chedlocks:


GO PACK GO!

Okay, that's enough of my blabbing on...How about you? Got fragments? Link them up *here:

*Posts not following the Friday Fragments guidelines (see tab above) will be deleted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Checking In

Wondering where I've been lately? Here are some photos to share what I've been up to:

I've written three IEPs in the past week, 
with this little cutie by my side.


I've been enjoying having Kendall home from college.
(She's heading back Saturday.)


I cleaned up a big mess in the basement.



and I finished my son Kyle's journal/book, 
to which I recently added this photo from a summer long ago.


I slept outside with Mr.4444 one night
(You should have seen his face when I said yes.)
Sorry I have no photo; just picture a moonlit sky and lots of stars.

I also took a cute video that shows who's the boss of Steve:


How about you? What have you been up to?