We are Ray and Kelli, counselors at City. 21 tips from a professor. Summer schedule online. Peer mentor job openings. Padres help former pitcher. High school student makes a difference. Pianist helps patients. Scholarships. CUNY Program helps students earn degrees. Palomar offers bachelor's degree in nursing. AD-T for transfer.

The veterans page: Veterans Creative Writing Group. Niloofar Rahmani, the first female pilot in the Afghan military. 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 it's just as important to forget a wrong as it is to remember a kindness." -- age 72.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Professor's Advice About College Success

Pic by Bukulu Steven 

"For instance, the difference between 'Let's eat, grandma' and 'Let's eat grandma' is a dead grandma and my thinking you're a cannibal." From tip #5 below.

The following blog post by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead appeared on August 6, 2014 in the Huffington Post. It's practical advice for college students:

A Professor's Pointers for Success in College: 21 Easy-to-Follow Tips

It's about that time again. Sleepy college towns will begin to awaken, abuzz with an excitement that only college students can inspire. Young scholars will soon arrive on college and university campuses, ready, or not so ready, to take on the world of higher education.
I have been teaching college students for 13 years, and I've come to know a thing or two about what makes some students more successful than others. Whether you're beginning your first year or returning as a seasoned upperclass(wo)man, I hope I can provide some practical advice as you embark on a new academic year. You see, we professors want all of our students to succeed. We want you to learn and grow and thrive, both academically and socially.
So here's to ivy-covered buildings, critical thinking, independence, making friends for life, asking hard questions, becoming global citizens, and discovering who you really are.
pic by Andre Karwath
1. Don't be anonymous. Introduce yourself to your professors and speak up in class, especially if you attend a large university with huge class sizes. I'm not saying you have to sit in the front row, answer every question and bring the instructor chocolates (did I say chocolates? I meant apples). Just don't hide in the back of the room and be invisible. Moreover, don't hesitate to ask questions in class; if you're wondering about something, chances are that someone else is too. If you think of a question outside of class time, visit the professor during office hours (that's the purpose of office hours) or send an email (see #9).   
2. Read all of your syllabi carefully. The syllabus is your contract for the course. There's no excuse for not being aware of essential information that has been provided to you. In addition, check your email account daily; faculty and staff members will use email to communicate additional information to you.
3. Stay on top of your work. Try not to procrastinate. "Plan ahead" should be your mantra for your academic life. Nobody ever says "Oh ****, I started on that too early," but plenty of students regret waiting until the last minute to begin studying or working on a project. Avoid pulling all-nighters (see Dr. Pamela V. Thacher's study).

Summer Schedule Online

Picture by Peripitus

The SDCCD summer schedule is available. Plan your courses for summer and check on Reg-E on May 1st to see your day and time to register. New students need to apply to City by April 30th to receive a priority registration date/time for summer.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Peer Mentor Job Openings

Need a job? Want to make a difference? The First Year Experience program is hiring peer mentorsApplications will be accepted until April 24th. For info, go to the FYE site or contact Tamika Balderamos 619-388-3888 or e-mail: tbaldera@sdccd.edu.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Can A High School Senior Make a Difference?

Niki Mani: "I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that because he couldn't afford surgery he was going to go blind." Student's Nonprofit Offers Free Clinics to Save Diabetics' Vision was published in the U-T on March 17, 2015.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Playing Piano Helps Patients

How do you combine a love of music with helping people? Kevin Kim combines these two passions at Sharp Grossmont Hospital to soothe patients. Pianist Creates Oasis of Calm in Busy Hospital was published in the U-T San Diego on March 10, 2015.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Scholarship Info

The following scholarship sites are listed through the Student Affairs office at SD City. Applying for scholarships takes time and energy, but it can pay off in money to help fund your education.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NY Community College Helps Students Succeed

Pic by AWang (WMF)
How do we help students graduate? In New York, an innovative program is providing intensive counseling, tuition assistance, and transportation help, and students are completing their degrees. CUNY Program Raises Graduation Rates with Intensive Support was published on Feb 25, 2015 in School Book. The article was forwarded by Steve Schommer.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Palomar 4-Year Nursing Degree

Pic by OperaSmorg

Palomar College has teamed up with Point Loma Nazarene to develop a bachelor's degree that can be earned through the community college, similar to another agreement made with Grossmont College. Palomar to Offer 4-Year Nursing Degree was published in the U-T San Diego on Feb. 19, 2015.

Related article: Local Schools to Offer 4-Year Degrees was published in the U-T San Diego on Jan. 20, 2015.

Associate Degrees for Transfer

Pic by Stepheng3

More students are earning the Associate Degree for Transfer or AD-T at San Diego County Community Colleges, and these degrees are helping students transfer to California State Universities. College Transfer Program Sees Success was published in the U-T San Diego on Feb. 6, 2015.

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.

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.