We are Ray and Kelli, counselors at City. Happy New Year! Open Classes. Scholarships. Stephanie Kwolek -- inventor.

The veterans page: Civilian rescue. 89-year-old vet receives life-affirming gift. 90-year-old vet runs across the nation for a cause. William Kyle Carpenter -- hero. Retirement system overhaul? GI Bill helps veterans.

Words to the wise from Live & Learn & Pass It On: "I've learned that I cannot expect others to solve my problems." -- age 54.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


pic by Revisorweb

San Diego Foundation scholarships are open until Feb. 4th, 2015.

The San Diego Foundation 2015-2016 Common Scholarship Application is due
in less than a month
We’re seeking the following applicants:

          • African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, studying health care,
teaching or other areas of study

          • Foster youth or those who’ve previously been in the foster care system

          • Community college students and students attending career/technical schools

          • Athletes, including runners, swimmers, wrestlers, sailors and students in
other varsity sports

          • Adults going back to pursue educational goals

          • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors

Please spread the word to students you know who meet any of these criteria.
The application can be accessed at www.sdfoundation.org/CSA.
For questions, email 
scholarships@sdfoundation.org or call 619-814-1343.

The deadline to complete the Common Scholarship Application is Wednesday,
February 4, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

The Friends of Downtown Scholarship is open until Feb. 6th
or when they have 28 qualified applicants.

AWARDS: Approximately 30 scholarships of $500 each
will be awarded

1. Must be currently enrolled in at least 9 units at SDCC,
with plans to continue next semester.
2. Must have already completed 18 units of college, to be verified
by SDCC.
3. Must have a 3.0 or higher GPA, to be verified by SDCC.
4.. Must be a U.S. Citizen or a resident alien.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Spring Schedule

Pic by Alan Cleaver
The Spring class schedule is online and students can register on Reg-E. There are still some classes open, so register soon. Classes start the week of January 26th.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Photo Tells a Tragic Story

Mimo Khair captured a haunting image of a young Syrian girl at a refugee camp in Lebanon. The girl had lost her family only days before the picture. This picture/article was shown on "Yahoo" on 9-6-14.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Forgiving Murder

Author's Note: Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix appeared at San Diego City College's "Passport to Life" recently. This article first appeared in Asian Fortune in 2010.

Foundation of Forgiveness 
pic by Bangin
Imagine the devastation of losing a son. On January 21, 1995, Azim Khamisa came face to face with this reality. His twenty-year-old son, Tariq, was murdered in a gang-related robbery over two pizzas worth $27.24. Tariq worked for DeMille’s Italian Restaurant in San Diego and went on a delivery to a North Park apartment. Four members of a youth gang known as “The Black Mob” had staged a phony call to steal pizza from a delivery driver.
Tariq refused to comply and attempted to drive away from his assailants. The gang leader ordered a fourteen-year-old named Tony Hicks to shoot the delivery driver. Hicks pulled the trigger of a stolen 9mm semiautomatic handgun and killed Tariq Khamisa.
Tariq was Azim Khamisa’s only son. He was a San Diego State University student who planned to marry a young woman named Jennifer Patchen. They shared a passion for art and thought of moving to New York together. They had been going out for a year and engaged for two months. They were in love.
When Tariq was a child, Azim worked as an international investment banker and spent a lot of time away on business travels. Then Azim and his wife divorced and he was absent from his son’s life. As adults, father and son were learning to reconnect. They frequented a neighborhood restaurant called the Hobnob for breakfasts of steak and eggs or corned beef hash. They reminisced, told stories, and discussed Tariq’s future. Azim wanted his son to go into business. Tariq was interested in photography. Three months before he died, Tariq wrote a letter to his father. The following excerpt from that letter was published in Azim Khamisa’s book, Azim’s Bardo: From Murder to Forgiveness:

Does College Choice Matter?

pic by Fastily
Before you apply to that elite university, check out this U-T op-ed about whether college choice really affects your earnings and job satisfaction. Will Your Choice of College Affect Job Prospects? appeared in the U-T San Diego on April 14, 2014. The article was forwarded by Steve Schommer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Open Registration (or: How to Crash Classes) by Kelli Turpin

pic by Jefferson Liffey
Note: This article was written for Fall 2014 registration, but the information applies to Spring 2015 students as well.

Open Registration in the San Diego Community College District has begun.  That means that all of the continuing students have enrolled (or should have enrolled), the new students who applied before the July 1st deadline have enrolled and it’s now time for the new students who applied late to attempt to enroll.  If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I think that English is a foundational skill for college – if you don’t at least read at a college level before you go into other college-level courses, you may have to spend more time reading your textbook than you would like.

At this point in the registration process, there are very few (if any) English courses still available at City.  Those that are still available (as of 2:30 on 8/4) are a) college level or higher; b) part of learning communities that are actually closed; or c) designed for ESOL students.  If you’re ready for college-level English, go for it.  If you’re not, consider seriously waiting until next semester to start anything more strenuous that an Exercise Science (formerly Physical Education) or a Basic Computer Skills class (usually in the Computer Business Technology department) class.  Why?

1)   For Spring 2015 registration, you’ve met the application deadline.  That means that you’ll be registering at least a week earlier (possibly more if you complete the matriculation requirements below before the deadline).  In turn, that means that you have a significantly better chance of getting an English class.

2)   You have time to get your Matriculation done: Orientation, Assessment, and Initial Ed Plan, at least; possibly even a Comprehensive Ed Plan during a 1-hour appointment during Fall semester (assuming you know exactly what your major will be, where you want to transfer to, and how much time you really have).  This will improve your registration date.

3)   You have time to get all of your Financial Aid stuff ready to go.  (My assumption: if you applied for the college after July 1st, you probably didn’t apply for FAFSA until after July 1st.  That means your file might not be complete yet.  In turn, that means that you may be starting Fall semester without money for books, thus starting off with a second deficit.

pic by NazWeb

After all of that, if you’re still determined to start classes in Fall, here are some tips:

1)   Choose classes you’re already interested in – that way you won’t resent the extra time you have to spend reading and writing because your English skills aren’t up to par.

2)   Use the waitlists – and check your status on them at least twice a week on Reg-e.  Once you’re able to register, do so.  Then pay your fees.

3)   If you make it into a class, show up on the first day.  Because…

4)    …If you don’t make it into a class, show up on the first day.  If you’re #2 on the waiting list and 2 people don’t show up for class, the instructor may give you their spot.  (They are not required to do so.)

5)   If you don’t get on a waiting list, show up for the class anyway.  Some instructors are willing to take extra students above and beyond the waiting list.  (This is highly unlikely for classes that include labs or English writing classes).

6)   Don’t stress about getting to full-time for Financial Aid purposes.  As long as you’re enrolled in at least 6 units (half-time), you’ll still receive half of your Pell Grant award – enough for books and supplies for the classes you’re enrolled in – and you’ll be a continuing student next semester.  There’s a limit to how much money you can receive from the Pell Grant over your lifetime.  Don’t waste it on classes you’re taking just to get your foot in the door.

7)   Once you’re in a class, use the add code promptly and pay your fees immediately.  Then, go buy your books.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scholarship for K-12 Math, Engineering, Science Teachers!

What is the LMU Noyce Scholarship?
It is a scholarship for talented math and science majors who want to pursue a career in K-12 Teaching.

How much is the award?
$20,000 per year

Who is eligible?
Junior and Senior Mathematics, Science and Engineering majors with a GPA of 3.0 or better in their major and an overall GPA of 2.8 or higher

What are the requirements?
• Scholars must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
• Scholars must complete two years of service as a mathematics or science teacher in a high-need school for each year of scholarship support received.
• Scholars must obtain a preliminary teaching credential within two years of completing their Bachelors degree.
• Scholars must participate in the Noyce Urban Teachers Learning Seminars during their first year of teaching.
• Scholars must provide annual certification of employment, up-to-date contact information and participate in program surveys and research studies.

How many scholarships will be awarded for the 2015-2016 academic year?

What is the deadline? 
Feb 16, 2015.

Who do I contact for more info? 
Dr. Carolyn Viviano at NOYCE@lmu.edu 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reducing Stress 3

pic by Lennyostrovitz

The following stress info from J. David Forbes, MD, an expert in stress management operating out of Nashville, TN, was forwarded by Emily Bartel:

Get emotional support. Adjusting to college can be difficult, and venting your frustrations to a trusted friend can go a long way in fighting stress. “It’s a way to empty out tensions and make them lower,” Forbes says. Choose a friend or family member who won’t be judgmental or try to give lots of advice. Or seek the help of a professional counselor or psychologist. To find a trusted practitioner, check with your student health center for recommendations. (Note: At City, we have mental health counseling available for students in A-221, 619-388-3539).

        Don’t give up your passions. Your schedule may be filled with lectures and study groups, but try to find at least a couple of hours each week to pursue a hobby or other activity that you enjoy. “Do something that feeds the peace of your soul in some way and stay connected with it,” Forbes says. “It promotes the anti-stress physiology of your body.” 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Inventor Saved Lives

Stephanie Kwolek from Chemical Heritage Foundation

You might not have heard of Stephanie Kwolek, but this inventor saved countless lives. Kevlar Inventor Stephanie Kwolek Dead at 90 was published on "Yahoo News." If  you are a college student thinking of going into math/sciences, this is a story of how one woman who loved chemistry made a difference. Strive to make a positive impact with your education. Isn't that why we go to school?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Reducing Stress 2

pic by Earl McGehee

The following stress info from J. David Forbes, MD, an expert in stress management operating out of Nashville, TN, was forwarded by Emily Bartel:

Exercise. When you’re stressed, moving around may be the last thing you feel like doing. But as little as 20 minutes a day of physical activity can reduce stress levels. Forbes says just three or four half-hour sessions can lighten stress considerably. As for what type of exercise, try something that you enjoy doing, like swimming or yoga. “You’re not going to continue something you don’t like,” Forbes notes.

Avoid unnatural energy boosters. Artificial stimulants like caffeine pills or prescription meds may help you stay awake for that all-night study session, but putting off your body’s need to sleep will ultimately result in an energy crash, resulting again in a greater susceptibility to stress. “It’s like clipping the wires to your fire alarm while the house burns down,” Forbes says. “Just because you didn’t hear it doesn’t mean the house didn’t burn.”

Friday, April 25, 2014

Reducing Stress

The following stress info from J. David Forbes, MD, an expert in stress management operating out of Nashville, TN, was forwarded by Emily Bartel:

No one is immune from stress, but those entering the ivory towers of college are particularly vulnerable to it.
“When you get to college, it’s usually a fairly sizable life change,” says J. David Forbes, MD, a Nashville, Tenn., physician specializing in stress management. “It’s the first time you’re off on your own. You’re out from any kind of adult jurisdiction. That can bring an overwhelming number of choices.”
Stress occurs when your tension level exceeds your energy level, resulting in an overloaded feeling. “As long as our available energy exceeds our tension level, then we’re in an okay state,” Dr. Forbes says. “But if energy is low and tensions are higher, then that can result in a state of anxiety, depression, and feeling overwhelmed.”
College: Stress Management
If you feel like your brain is melting under the crush of books, classes, and papers, don’t freak out. Follow our stress-management tips to help relieve the pressure.
1.    Get enough sleep. It may be tempting to hit the hay at 4 a.m. and then attend an 8 a.m. class, but shortchanging yourself on rest can increase your stress level. “Winging it on not much sleep has a profound effect on how we experience the stressors of the day,” Forbes says. Plus, insufficient sleep can put you at risk for serious illnesses, such as diabetes, obesity, and depression. Adults typically need seven to nine hours of sleep a night for best health. Forbes also recommends that you align your sleep schedule with normal resting hours by getting to bed before midnight, rather than staying up until dawn and sleeping until mid-afternoon. “The more that our internal clock is closely aligned with the clock of the sun, the better it is,” Forbes says.

2.    Eat well. A steady diet of pizza and vending-machine fare can decrease energy levels in the body, leading to a lower threshold for stress. “You end up feeling very tired and looking for the same [junk food] to kick you back up,” Forbes says. “It’s a lousy cycle of hunting for short-term comfort food or sugar highs that actually keep you feeling worse.” Follow a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

To be continued . . . 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

SDSU Initiates Student Fee Increase

pic by Nehrams2020

Get ready to pay $50 more for your classes at SDSU in the fall. The university will charge students a "student success fee" to hire faculty and offer more classes. SDSU Will Impose New Fee was published in the U-T San Diego on March 15, 2014.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Give and Take

Are you a "giver," a "taker," or a "matcher?" According to author and professor, Adam Grant, "givers" try to help others. "Takers" want a bigger piece of the pie for themselves, and "matchers" try to make sure one hand washes the other. In his fascinating book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Grant shows that "givers" prosper in business and success, and that "nice guys" can finish first. If you're in business or you want to be successful in life, check out this book. It's backed with extensive research and examples of people who have gotten ahead by helping others succeed. Find out more by going to www.giveandtake.com.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Educating Students About Breaking a Barrier to Education

You might not have heard the name "Carlotta Walls LaNier," but she is an important and courageous figure in our country's history. In 1957, she was one of nine people to become the first black students to stand up to angry mobs and National Guard troops to attend Little Rock's Central High School in Arkansas. LaNier is now 71, and she is helping City College and other students to appreciate the Civil Rights movement and what it stood for. "My intent is for them to understand why they sit in a classroom with other people who don't look like them, to understand some of the historical piece that they don't necessarily get from their history class or civics class . . ." she said.

Woman Shares Insights As Little Rock Nine Figure appeared in the U-T San Diego on March 7, 2014. The info was forwarded by Heidi Bunkowske.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Student Clubs!

pic by ProtoplasmaKid

Interested in joining a club on campus? Here is a list of clubs at City. Want more info on clubs? Here are some other clubs/organizations to check out at City. This info was provided by Alma Nava.

Former Gang Member Makes A Difference

Former gang member is studying to be a substance abuse counselor at San Diego City College. Ex-Gang Member Earns National Honor was published in the U-T San Diego on Feb. 25, 2014. The article was forwarded by John Gradilla.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UCSD and Peace Corps

pic by Amcaja
UCSD is among the top colleges in the nation in students who volunteer for the Peace Corps. UC San Diego No. 12 on Peace Corps List appeared in the U-T San Diego on Feb. 12, 2014. "UC San Diego continues ... producing volunteers who embrace the call to make a difference in communities overseas," said Janet Allen, West Coast regional manager for the Peace Corps.

See the top colleges for peace corps volunteers for 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Social Work

The following info was forwarded by counselor, Roberta Krauss:

What Can I Do With A Degree In Social Work?
Career Opportunities in Social Work include:

Elementary, Middle and High Schools
Public Health Agencies
Family Service Agencies
Community Action Agencies
Child and Adult Care Centers
Private Clinical Practices
Armed Forces
Policy Making Organizations
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Corporate Employee Assistance Programs
Disaster Relief Organizations
Veterans Services
Local, State and National Government
Domestic Violence Shelters
Child Welfare Agencies
Psychiatric Facilities
Rehabilitation Facilities
Emergency Assistance Organizations
Drug Treatment Clinics
Home Care Agencies
Community Mental Health Centers
Senior Citizen Centers
Developmental Disabilities Centers
Youth Development Programs
Jails and Prisons
Colleges and Universities
Career Centers
Legal Service Agencies
Homeless Shelters
Hospices and Nursing Homes

Counsels other less experienced social workers, as well as other people involved in some aspect of social work without previous training.

Alleviates the stress that hospitalization causes for young children and their families through play therapy and other forms of counseling. Acts as an advocate for the child in dealings with the health care team.

pic Army Medicine
Offers psychotherapy or counseling services in public agencies, clinics, and private practice. Requires a master's degree.

Identifies needs in the community, writes proposals to address them and evaluates whether these needs were met. Community organizers are usually supported by state, federal and private funding grants.

CASA workers are appointed by juvenile or family court judges to advocate on behalf of the children who are brought before the court. Meets with those involved in the child's life, gathers information to determine the child's best interests, and recommends a course of action to the court. Most often CASA workers are assigned to cases in which a child has been removed from the care of parents.