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Archive for January, 2008

Booklessness

Monday, January 28th, 2008

I read here one in four adults did not read any book at all last year. The average number of books read was a paltry four per person. (I obviously have read more than my share.) According to the article, the 27% that did not read a book…..”Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.” However, the publishing industry enjoyed $35.7 in global sales.  The Bible and other religious texts were cited as highly popular reading material.

It is very hard for me to imagine booklessness. We have hundreds?thousands? of books. A number are college textbooks, of course, but we have many other types. Husband loves to read and he is always working on an interesting book. My mother was an avid reader, and we spent many days in the public library. Our first library was the Kuethe Library on Crain Highway in my home town: a dusty, booky-smelling place full of old and new books. When they built the new library it was a real treat with meeting rooms and lots of open spaces. That library on Ritchie Highway is still servicing the community. We went to the library at least once a week clutching a precious paper library card. And of course, I wanted to grow up to be the librarian. In my mind, what could be more exciting?

I am having trouble imagining booklessness. I love to stop by the Pamunkey Library (yes, that is its name) or the local Barnes & Noble. Reading is part of who I am. In this house, we “own” the book we are reading, and say things like, “where’s my book?” or “hey, I was reading that.” We get the newspaper every day and Husband reads every word (I think). One in four adults did not read a book last year; I hope that poor bookless soul is not in my family.

Thinking About the GED?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

It’s still January so if you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet, perhaps I can make a suggestion. If you don’t have a high school diploma, make it your goal to get your GED in 2008. Here are some free resources to help you with test prep exams:

http://steckvaughn.harcourtachieve.com/en-US/gedpractice

http://www.testprepreview.com/ged_practice.htm

http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0809222329/student_view0/ged_practice_test.html

http://www.4tests.com/exams/examdetail.asp?eid=38

http://litlink.ket.org/

Other great resources include test prep manuals. Amazon has a whole page of them:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-8634315-1160852?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ged

or, you can usually find them at a used book store.

Getting your GED will be a decision that opens career and education doors. So, if you are thinking about the GED, make it your goal in 2008!

MGT5001 Assignment 3 Graded

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

I received my graded assignment 3 Demand Analysis and scored a 99%. I had just a grammatical error or two and a point was deducted. Ouch! Dr. P. continued to complement me on my clear writing style and made some comments in the margin that let me know that I was on track. She liked the examples that I gave and commented on Ben Bernanke’s quoted observation:

“In coming decades, many forces will shape our economy and our society, but in all likelihood no single factor will have as pervasive an effect as the aging of our population.”

To illustrate elasticity of demand, I discussed the Forever Stamp and hunting license fees in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I observed that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) did not have good information when the decision was made to increase licenses by $5 in 2006. They sold just 316 licenses less than the previous year and revenue increased by $5.4MM. However, since quantity demanded was inelastic and raising the price by 4.2% only meant a .02% reduction in number sold, the VDGIF apparently needs to take an ECON101 class.  They left money on the table when increasing licenses by $5; they could have increased the price by twice that.

 The next assignment is on Production and Cost Analysis, chapters 8- 10 in the Thomas and Maurice text. The Discussion Question involves whether or not tolls would decrease congestion on highways. The paper is a comparison between production and cost in the short term and production and cost in the long term.

I am almost through the chapters and should start on the writing later today.

Snow in Richmond

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

It snowed today and Husband took some photos:

Richmond Snow 01-17-08

Tuition Increase

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

NCU has increased doctoral program tuition costs from $495 to $525 per credit hour as of Jan 1. A 3-hour course is now $1470 per course. I am lucky to have my tuition locked in until 06/30/09. Even with the increase, NCU’s doctoral program costs about $30K compared to University of Phoenix ($45K), Argosy ($47K) and Capella ($43K).

I am convinced that I will recoup the costs of tuition by increasing my pay as an adjunct and in career advancement. I wish that I had gotten my MBA earlier in life and followed it with my PhD. Those opportunities were not available to me as a young person. If I were just starting out, I would get as much education as I possibly could to move my career along faster. I did not realize how important education would become to me later in life. The cost is great but the advantages are greater. A tuition increase is a small price to pay spread over many years.  

Multitasking – The Cost

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Multitasking allows us to be more productive and maximize time usage. However, it also creates burdens which may overshadow the advantages. We must understand what multitasking does to our concentration level and decide if the benefits outweigh the costs. I was asked today by a co-worker, “How do you get all this stuff done? Do you ever sleep?”

Yes, I sleep but not much and honestly, not well. I multitask in my sleep. I know, it sounds funny, but I often find myself working through complex problems or making lists, or even constructing outlines for papers in my head while I am supposed to be asleep in bed. My clearest concentration times are in the morning, just after waking. I can multitask and be productive at the same time. However, in the evening I am not a successful multitasker; I am just too tired. Actually, I can multitask without even thinking about it. Like when I fall asleep while writing a paper…..!

MGT5001 Assignment 2 – whew

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

I completed assignment 2 for MGT5001 Economics and the Modern Manager and turned that baby in yesterday. Whew! It took me more days than I thought it would to get it good enough to turn in. The next assignment also looks like a doozey. Well, maybe the assignment is not difficult, but understanding how the text applies to the questions is! The questions are applications of the information from the chapter readings. At first glance, the questions do not appear to be difficult, but it takes a good bit of explaining the theory and then applying the theory to pull together the answers in a credible, understandable paper.

 We stayed up late last night watching Braveheart on HBO. We have seen that movie about a million times, but it is still a good movie. Then I dreamed about economic marginal analysis all night (the subject of assignment 2) and woke up early, after about 4 hours of sleep. I started reading chapters 5-7 in the text preparing for assignment 3. There is so much in the text so I read, and then re-read to make sure that I have it figured out. It takes me a long time to read the text chapters and pull together my papers. This class finishes up Feb 23 and there are 6 assignments. Assignment 6 is very long, with 8 discussion questions. Ugh. Back to reading chapters…..!