Thursday, April 30, 2015
There are books that serve all different sorts of purposes - books for education, books for entertainment, books for history, and even books that are a mixture of all these. But there are few books that are as powerful, as gripping, or as important as Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried." This is not only a great book for you to check out - regardless of the sorts of books you normally read - but it is, in fact, a vital book. This goes for everyone from parents to teachers to teenagers - and if you happen to be a parent or a teacher, you should make sure your teenagers read this book. "The Things They Carried" is a book about the Vietnam War - just like Tim O'Brien's "Going After Cacciato," which was the winner of the National Book Award. As O'Brien fought in the Vietnam War himself, he is a recognized expert on the war - but even more than that, he is the one writer who can bring the Vietnam war alive, in all its gruesome honesty. "The Things They Carried" is a book of short stories; unlike most books of short stories, however, O'Brien uses the same characters in all the stories throughout the book. In this way, the book has a cohesive narrative that is similar to a novel, in that you want to know what happens to the characters next. But the characters and the stories in "The Things They Carried" are all the more poignant for the fact that they are real. Throughout the book, O'Brien reminds the reader over and over again that the stories he is telling may or may not be true stories. But the point is not whether the specifics of each story actually happened, but is in fact whether the core of these stories happened. And as you read the stories O'Brien paints - stories that range from funny to beautiful to tragic to heartbreaking - you realize that all of the stories are true, even the ones that are not. If you have ever wanted to learn about war, or about humanity, or about life in general, "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien is a must read.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Some people have a tendency to complain about their understanding that the United States educational system is not up to par, while others instead try to find a solution to this supposed "problem" on their own - and when people go about finding a solution to this problem, they often discover that the problem lies less in what is being taught, and more in the manner in which students are allowed to skate by in class. Regardless of whether you are a high school or college student (or the parent of a high school or college student), there are plenty of things that can be done in order to help you get the most out of school - and if you are taking classes this summer, you will be able to start practicing now in your efforts to put these tips into action. One of the big mistakes people make when it comes to school (especially for college students) is that classes come to feel like "something to do," rather than something they are supposed to participate in; because of this, they often go to class tired, and this leaves them in a position where it is difficult for them to gain what they should out of class. Not only should you make sure you are feeling awake when you go to class, but you should also make sure you are engaged; this means that you should be taking notes and actively listening, rather than simply watching the clock and waiting for the class to end. And being willing to work will be one of the most important things of all when you want to get the most out of school; you must be ready to put in the extra effort necessary to learn, or you will never get as much out of school as you should! It is one thing to simply try to do enough in school to get good grades, but it is another thing altogether to go through school with a desire to learn; when you take this approach to school, you can gain knowledge that will help you in your future, rather than just getting a grade that will mean nothing down the road!
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
When it comes to getting ahead in business, networking is one of the most important things you can do, but in many circles these days, "networking" has gotten a bad name - and of course, the reason why it has gotten a bad name is because people have gone about networking the wrong way! If you want to increase your opportunities and prospects in business through networking, you not only need to know what it takes to network; you also need to know what it takes to network the right way. One thing that has caused networking to get a bad name lately is the bad name that has been created by salespeople; rather than being seen as people who truly believe in their products and want to help others, salespeople are seen as people who will do anything to convince others to buy something so they can make a quick buck. Many genuine people in sales now have a difficult time convincing people that they are, in fact, genuine because of this perception, and networking has followed suit; most people - rather than networking in order to get to know others who they can help, and who can also help them - end up networking with only one idea in mind: "How can these people help me get ahead?" This leads people to immediately put up their guard when they perceive that someone is "networking" with them, as they do not want to feel as though they are being "used" by someone else. If you are hoping to network the right way, you will need to come to a point where you honestly and genuinely care about the people you are coming in contact with - a point where you are not only hoping that these people can help you get ahead, but where you are also hoping you can help these people in turn! Your true intentions will shine through when you approach networking in this manner, and rather than putting up their walls when you try to approach these people, they will greet you with open arms, ready and willing to help you succeed!
Monday, April 27, 2015
When you are a parent, one thing you will have a lot of fun with is being involved with the things your children enjoy; if you end up finding that you and your children share many of the same interests, it will be quite easy to share these things with them – but if you and your child have slightly different interests, it is important that you take the time and make the effort to learn how to share these things with them. If you grew up as a big fan of watching and playing basketball, it will be quite easy and natural for you to help your child learn how to play basketball should they show an interest in the sport; but if you were never big on basketball yourself, and yet you have found that your child enjoys basketball, here are some things to keep in mind for sharing interests with them by helping them learn how to shoot a basketball. When it comes to the question of the “perfect form” for shooting a basketball, there are a lot of different theories, but truly, the best form for shooting a basketball is simply whatever feels most comfortable and natural for the person shooting; as you help your child learn how to shoot a basketball, focus on helping them find a shot that feels comfortable to them, and that they can replicate over and over again. Many people fail to realize that they actually will use their legs even more than their arms when they are shooting a basketball (which is a natural mistake to make, as most people only notice that they use their arms!); help your child understand that they will be far more successful with their shot when they learn how to use their legs, and this will help them a great deal in the long run. And as is the case with so many other things, practice is the most important aspect of all when it comes to shooting a basketball, as your body will build up “muscle memory” that will help it make the shot it needs to make no matter where you are shooting from!