Are You a Workplace Quitter?

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, quote from the King)

The message in Lewis Carroll’s quote is not to stop until you come to the end. If you stop before the end then you will have quit.

The first time I lost Chutes and Ladders to my little brother I told my mother I would never play the game again. Needless to say she made me sit down and play three more games with that “little brat”, my brother. She told me “one should never quit”. After four games with the “little brat” the end result was a two-two tie.

Unfortunately, I was not happy with a tie, therefore, I urged my brother into a couple games of Trouble, where I constantly kicked my brother’s “little behind”. A couple years later when we both progressed to the game Battleship he kicked my behind. I have to admit he was quite good at Battleship so I continued to lose but never quit. (Years later he ended up at the Coast Guard Academy so it was not a surprise I lost!)

But my story is not about the games we played but what we learned. We both learned not to be quitters. We were taught not to be over aggressive, but to be persistent and not to give up. I think this was a very important lesson because it has helped me today in my career. I try to communicate this lesson to those on my staff and young people entering the workforce.

I cannot tolerate people who are self made victims or quitters. I could not tolerate them in the schoolroom or the playground when I was young. I cannot tolerate them in sports or in life and I cannot tolerate them in the workplace.

Today, a 45-year-old male employee walked into my office and quit his job after only 4 months on the job. It really irritated me. It did not irritate me that he quit; it was the “why” he quit that irritated me.

There are times when we choose to move on from our jobs. When we feel that we have made our contribution and there is no more to contribute than its OK to move on.  If we believe the match to the job is not right for us, or if we get a better opportunity after a certain amount of time, then certainly under those circumstances choosing to move on is not quitting. Quitting is when we choose to move on because the job is difficult, we need to work a little harder, we may need to struggle a little before we get the momentum we want or we just do not have the patience or persistence to do the job.  This is what this man did; he quit because he did not want to invest the time and energy into getting his momentum going. He felt he was not as immediately successful as he wanted to be therefore he was moving on in order to seek an easier path.  We are not always immediately successful in what we do, but if we do not try we will never see the outcome.

Quitters in the workplace should take some lessons from athletes.  Good athletes experience many failures along the way to success.  They know how be patient, they know how to work towards goals, they are persistent and they do not quit.

In these economically difficult times we have to learn to be patient and persistent.  We need to find ways to succeed because success will not be handed to us on a silver platter. Employees need to remember not to become self-made victims and managers have to face up to their responsibilities and encourage and coach their employees.  We need to remember not to give up after our first attempt, or we will never become a winner, only a quitter.

Learn How to Listen Effectively

Lectures can be dreadful, when not prepared and with a poor lecturer. But lectures can also be of much help for the students if they know how to listen effectively and if they are prepared. Here are some facts about how to listen effectively.

At university, a lot of information will be passed from the teacher to the students. Some information is more important than other information. Taking notes on what is really important is a vital learning technique that will help you to get through classes. 

Be prepared
Let other worries be at rest when entering class. Keep a ”here-and-now”-perspective and focus on the teacher at all times. Social interaction can take place on other times. Get to class on time and be prepared for the lecture of the day. If you have studied the literature you are supposed to, you will find it much easier to pick up the important parts of the lecture. 

Open mind and engagement
Keep an open mind during class. If there is something you do not understand, do not be afraid of asking questions. The things you understand, you can also remember. Active listening is all about asking questions and participating in any discussions started. Do it in a positive way, and search for understanding. 

Do not be afraid or worried. That will only cloud your mind. The same goes with prejudgements. Try to leave those outside the classroom. Review what you know on the subject before entering class.

Interested
It is much easier to listen and remember what has been said when the topic is interesting. In order to get interested, you can use some easy mental training. You decide what you feel is interesting. It is your choice. 

Keep the mind focused and get yourself set on the aim of the course. Do not hang around people telling you a teacher is boring or a class is boring. That will only influence your mindset negatively. Connect with people who think that the class is interesting to keep your motivation. 

Look for meaning
It is no use trying to figure out certain words from the teacher. Instead, a good listener searches for meaning of the spoken words. Listeners often look for facts. That is not the deal with good listeners. Good listeners focus on the main ideas, the concepts and the vital issues. Facts are just details at university lectures, ideas and concepts the core of knowledge. 

Adjust the note taking
The note taking of the class depends on the topic discussed, on the teacher and on your pre-knowledge of the subject. If you are new to a subject, more substantial notes have to be taken than if you know a subject well. List what is important for your understanding, and try to grasp the concepts of the lecture.

Exam Study and Preparation

When studying for an exam, only study the parts you don´t know already. Start studying for your exam early, so that you can ask your teacher or TA if you have any problems. Take advantage of all the things your teacher might provide before the exam.

When studying for an exam, remember that not everything that has been covered in class will be tested. Ask your teacher questions that will help you figure out what will be covered on the exam. Don´t study anything that is unlikely to appear on the exam.

When studying, it could be good to write down the questions you think might be relevant for exam. Put them all on separate index cards or papers. Then, as you read, make notes that answer each question.

Start by reading through the chapters in a fast pace, that way you will become familiar with all the material. If you come across an answer to one of your question, put a mark next to the text, or note the page number and the paragraph on a separate paper. That way you will easily find the important information later on.

After you´ve done that, read through the chapters again, and if the first paragraph doesn´t have anything to do with your exam, ignore it.

Highlight everything you don´t know while reading, and focus on studying these particular aspects.

Figure out which way to learn the material works best for you. You can use flash cards for definitions of important words, just make sure that you get the definition right. Maybe you learn better by writing everything down as a kind of essay, or by just scribbling down notes as you read.

When studying for a test, time management and your study environment are essential. You have to make sure that you have enough time to learn all the material before your exam. Be aware of your surroundings. Don´t study somewhere where you can be easily distracted.

Look through your material at an early stage before the exam. That way, should you have any questions, you can ask your professor or TA. They are there to help you. If you put off studying until the last few days, and you come across a problem, it will be too late. Take advantage of the study sessions on offer.

If your teacher hands out study sheets, you should of course look at it, but do not rely too much on it. The best way to use it is to study for your exam and then looking at it, that way you can make sure that you´ve studied everything that it´s on it. Sometimes you will also get exam questions. It´s important that you answer all the questions. If you get a copy of an old exam, have a look at it, and make sure that you know the correct answers to all the questions.

Prepare Yourself for Class

When preparing for class, make sure you buy everything you know you will need. Don´t buy any books until after the first class though, because a class might be canceled or the list of literature can change. Arrive early for class since it might be difficult to hear if you sit too far back in a large classroom.

By preparing before class, you will make a good impression on your teacher, as well as feeling more at ease. There are many different ways you can prepare for class. The first thing that will help you to prepare for class is to buy the books you will need for  the class. Don´t do this before the first lecture though, as classes can be canceled or the list of literature can be changed.

You should bring enough materials for it to be sufficient for pop quizes or essays that your teacher hasn´t announced. Also be sure that you have finished all the reading at least the day before it´s due. Check your syllabus and manage your time. Make sure that before classes start, you should have bought everything you might need. This includes pens and pencils in different colors, rulers, different types of papers and post-its. It could also be helpful to have one folder or binder for each class to keep your papers apart.

Before class prepare any questions you might have so that you can ask your teacher about them. An alternative is to form a study group where you can prepare for class together.

It is important to also prepare yourself mentally. This will help you stay focused and make sure that you´re able to actively participate in the discussions that are bound to take place. While in class it is very important to pay attention, and therefore you should come to class well rested. Another way to prepare mentally is to tell yourself why you´re taking the class. If you do well, the chances are greater that your teacher will remember you after you graduate. Contacts like that will be valuable for when you´re looking for a job after graduation.

It is good to arrive early, and to sit somewhere in the front as it can be difficult to hear what´s being said in large classrooms. Sitting in the front is also a good way to let your professor know that you´re paying attention. Try, as much as possible, to sign up for classes that suit you as a person. If you´re a night owl, it might be a good idea to not sign up for classes that start early in the morning.

Speed Reading Tips: Environment

Ever try reading in the dark? Okay, you can’t read in the dark, obviously. But I think you get my point. How fast you read, regardless of what course you take, is going to be directly affected by your reading conditions.  It’s obvious that better conditions make for faster reading.

Key things that you ought to do in order to make the most of your reading conditions are as follows:

Proper Lighting

This is probably one of the biggest statement in the history of reading. But do you REALLY know what proper lighting is? Do you know where to place your lighting? Truth is, light in the wrong place can make reading a total nightmare.

Lighting should be placed at an angle so that there is NO glare on the actual reading material. You don’t want a light that is too bright. A standard 120-watt bulb in a properly placed lamp, usually just off to the left or right of you, should be more than enough.

Never try reading in a dark room. That’s a great way to not only slow up your reading speed but kill your eyes in the process.

Proper Seating

Ever try reading when you’re not comfortable? It’s not fun. And believe it or not, sitting in an uncomfortable chair or in an awkward position WILL slow up your reading speed. Comfort is going to be different for each individual so I can’t give any specific tips on seats, positions, etc. When you sit down to read, you WILL know whether or not you’re comfortable because eventually, if you’re not, your neck will begin to hurt or get stiff, not to mention other body parts as well.

It might not seem like a big deal, but the more comfortable you are when reading, the faster you will read.

Proper Temperature

If you’re scratching your head wondering what temperature has to do with reading speed, you might want to read this section very carefully.

Did you ever try reading in a very hot place? What usually happens? You begin to sweat. The pages of your book start to stick together. Your hands are so sweaty that you have trouble turning the pages.

What about when you try reading in a cold place? Your fingers start to get numb. You can’t grip the pages properly. And I haven’t even touched on what happens to your eyes when it’s too hot. Sweat starts to pour into them. Suddenly, you’re spending more time wiping your eyes than reading.

It may not seem like a big deal, but reading at temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees are most ideal for reading speed.

Try reading in a sauna and you’ll see what I mean. These 3 simple environmental tips should greatly increase your reading speed.

Things to Do in Italy

Discover Le Marche during your Italian Vacations

There are many exciting things to do in Italy. Discover Le Marche region for your best Italian vacations off the beaten path.

Le Marche is truly Italy in one region, this region is like a resume of the different Italian scenery and climates. In our region, there are lovely beaches, high mountains, hills, lakes and natural parks.Le Marche, known as the Marches in English, takes its name from the German mark, meaning frontier. This plural name fits well this region that has many souls and offers an exceptional variety of landscapes and a variety of exciting activities to the visitor.

We have a record number of historical theaters, some of the most beautiful Italian villages and many blue flag beaches.

Many celebrities were born here: Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori schools, Giacomo Leopardi, the great Italian poet and musicians like Gioacchino Rossini.

On this page you’ll find many suggestions about fun things to do in Italy and Le Marche to experience a unique Italian vacation.

Experience a medieval feast in the magical atmospheres of a summer night in Le Marche.

Our region must have a record of historical reenactments with a multitude of jousting contests, medieval feasts, and celebration in the wonderful setting of our historical town and villages.

The costumes of the reenactors are always fastidiously recreated, the settings are spectacular with entertaining shows and contests, the food is often delicious local specialties.

Enjoy skiing and ice skating.

The Central Italy Ski Resorts of Sarnano and Frontignano are located in the beautiful Monti Sibillini Park, they offer the facilities for alpine and nordic skiing, snowboard and a snow park.

Ussita, on the way to Frontignano, is the place to go if you like ice skating. The Palaghiaccio is a covered ice skating rink built to host Olympic competitions.

Discover Italian food culture in Le Marche.

Our region has a tradition of excellence for meat dishes in the inland and delicious fish recipes on the coast. The wines are famous since the Roman times and Venetian merchants in the 13th century were prepared to pay premium prices for our high-quality olive oil.

Ways To Decide If Homeschooling Is The Best Choice

You may be a parent who isn’t happy with how your children are being taught in a traditional school and have wondered if homeschooling is for you. Homeschooling does not need to be overwhelming; the key is in arming yourself with the right knowledge. These tips will assist you with beginning your journey through homeschooling.

Don’t just use textbooks. Kids should be encouraged to read everything they can, even comic books! The daily newspaper is full of current events that can provide for great lessons. Discussing and analyzing these events will teach them lifelong analytical skills.

You need to contact the homeschool association within your state to research the laws. You may have to register your homeschooling as private, but it’s possible you’ll only have to test your children using standardized methods. Also, contact your local school district to be sure they are aware of your homeschooling status to avoid truancy charges.

Make sure you understand your state’s homeschooling regulations. Homeschool laws differ with each state, which is why you need to know what your specific state requires. Some area requires testing, but others are a bit laxer. Some states might require you to register your name as the owner of a private school before you can homeschool your kids.

Do not become a shut-in when you are homeschooling. A local network could help parents and homeschooled children. Look for support groups that are local, meet with other homeschooling parents and join online forums to begin developing a network. Building your contact list can be very beneficial for you and your child.

Get your kids to do some housework, or thinking about hiring someone to help. It will be challenging to accomplish it all yourself. Between everyday household chores and attending to homeschooling, your energy reserves will be taxed. Say yes to some help whenever it is offered, and do not be afraid to hire someone if your budget allows.

Nature is a great tool to teach your children valuable lessons. There are many strategies for how to learn on a walk. Smaller children could collect leaves and identify them by shape and color. Have them identify different colors and shapes around them. Let older children research each species. Bring a camera along to avoid disturbing any habitats.

There is so much to think about where homeschooling is concerned, so don’t take the decision lightly. A lot of information is available on the web to help you determine if homeschooling is the right decision for you and your children. Don’t romanticize the decision; it is important to recognize the time, energy, and money that are required to homeschool a child.

Your child’s interests and strengths should serve as a starting point in the development of the curriculum and teaching approaches. Let them suggest ideas which they’d like to explore. When they are a part of their education, they will actually have fun. Your kids can bring new excitement into planning and by involving them in the process, they will be more motivated.