Remember What You Read? Write to Remember

Reading and Memory

(Photo Credit: Blavity)

Although you may think you have the best memory, and maybe you do, after reading so many pieces, you need a strategy to aid your memory about the pieces read. One of the most important strategies for helping you to recall what you read, including remembering some sophisticated analyses and observations made, is to write a summary and/or critical review of each text read. Write the summary or critical review immediately after reading a text. This type of focused writing strategy benefits all readers.

Yes, taking notes about the works one reads is a traditional method that is useful in aiding your recollection. Taking notes, however, does not involve the serious level of focus and engagement that writing summaries and critical reviews necessitates. This greater level of focus and engagement will not only ameliorate your ability to recall what you read but also significantly enhance your comprehension.

You can compose your summaries and critical reviews in a regular notebook or journal, but you might find it more fun to capture your summaries and critical reviews through blogging. By using blogging as your method of penning your summaries and critical reviews, you are able to share your writing with the world and engage and receive feedback from a global audience.

Blogger, Weebly, and WordPress are three excellent blogging platforms that you might consider using to blog your summaries and critical reviews of the pieces you read.

Most of us live busy lives. When you’ve invested your time and energy in reading a work, especially a long book or lengthy essay, do you really want to forget most or everything about the book or essay 6 months or a year after reading the book or essay? Let your summaries and critical reviews of those books and essays support your memory.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison       

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The Way to God by Dwight L. Moody: A Book Review

The Way to God Dwight L. Moody

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

Dwight L. Moody’s The Way to God offers a strong understanding of God’s agapic love and how that agapic love can transform the lives of all people willing to receive Him into their hearts. Recognizing that Christ is soon to return, Moody challenges people to answer His call to salvation, allowing them to enter into the joy of the Lord. The book primarily centers on several sermons he delivered across England and the United States, although he added more material in this work. His chief desire is for the reader to “be strengthened, established, and settled in the faith of Christ” (vii).

One of the most important elements of the book is Moody’s emphasis on sharing the message of God’s love with everyone, especially with the unsaved. For Moody, those sharing the message of God’s love need to have a deep knowledge and understanding of this love. The author is convinced that the more we help people know and experience God’s love, the many more souls that will be rescued from a burning Hell. Salvation, though, isn’t simply a “fire insurance plan”; it’s about possessing an intimate relationship with God and experiencing a victorious life in Christ.

Moody contends that Christ’s greatest and most vivid example of His love for all is the work He did at Calvary for us: dying on the Cross to give all who believe in and receive Him in their hearts eternal victory over sin. Without Jesus dying on the Cross, humanity faced eternal damnation in Hell. Christ demonstrated His divine love for us by suffering the most brutal beating and death ever at Calvary. Therefore, as the writer asserts, if one longs to see what divine love looks like in public, simply see the Cross and observe our Savior’s blood shed for us “while we were yet sinners.”

The author divulges that when a person receives Christ’s salvation, the Holy Spirit comes into his or her life and aids him or her in living a life that pleases Him, a life empowered to escape the temptations Satan will attempt to present him or her daily. Satan’s agenda is “to steal, kill, and destroy,” but the power of the Holy Spirit working in us enables us to conquer everything Satan tries to throw at us.

This is an important book, especially for unbelievers. I encourage every true believer to purchase at least two copies of this book: one for himself or herself to read and one for an unbeliever to read. Although passing out tracts is okay, we need to modernize our evangelistic efforts; giving a book like this one to a lost soul is a more modern evangelistic effort.

Again, read this book and share a copy with an unbeliever.

I received a copy of this book from Aneko Press to compose this honest review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison  

How to Make Online Schooling a Smooth Process

Online Universities

Today’s typical college student has changed dramatically in the past few decades. The traditional university student used to be the fresh high school graduate with no obligations to interfere with a full course load, but thanks to the advent of online university and college programs, current college attendees are more likely to work full-time and have family obligations competing with their class time.

Online programs offer flexibility to these students, allowing them to attend classes asynchronously from their homes at whatever time is most convenient. Despite the advances in distance education, new students still need to make adjustments to prepare for the challenges unique to working adult learners. This article strives to help make the process of beginning higher education smoother and more enjoyable.

Prepare for Virtual Interaction and Self-Guided Study

Most online courses are learner-centered, which means that the learner carries more responsibility for meeting course objectives and requirements than the instructor. The instructor is still present in an online university course, but he or she will take more of a mentor or facilitator role, while the learner will rely mostly on assigned readings, research, and interaction with fellow students and the instructor via guided discussion.

Many programs include both synchronous and asynchronous communication to make this work. Discussion boards, shared websites, wikis, and email are forms of asynchronous contact where the individuals can communicate in different places at different times.

A web chat room or video conference enables students and instructors to interact synchronously, where they are all together at the same time despite being in different locations. Learners who are not used to this new environment often adjust readily during the first week of class when the assignments are focused on orienting students and encouraging them to introduce themselves and interact using the discussion methods outlined for the course.

Explore the Classroom Environment

Students in online university programs need to be familiar with the user interfaces for their online classroom environments and virtual tools provided to students by the institution. The best programs offer learners access to vast digital libraries and web resources to use for research instead of brick and mortar libraries accessible to the traditional students. The online classroom environments differ between colleges, but quality programs will provide tutorials for students before the beginning of a term.

The best way to become proficient with the user interfaces is to explore them during one’s free time and begin interacting with other students as soon as possible. Again, most courses are designed with primary activities to aid new students in adjusting to the environment.

Check Hardware, Software, and Internet Capabilities

The online university website and student handbook should provide a list of technology requirements that students are expected to meet before starting the program. This list will include the minimum hardware specifications for computers and mobile devices as well as a minimum speed for the Internet.

Students are responsible for meeting these requirements, and most instructors will expect learners to have alternatives plans in case their home Internet is not working. This could include a local cafe or library that extends access to public Internet service. Students should always obtain email and telephone contact information from their instructors to maintain contact if they do run into problems with these services.

The recent growth of online degree programs has brought unprecedented opportunities to busy working adults and parents. However, one should be prepared for the change from instructor-led to learner-centered curricula. Furthermore, new online students will want to learn how to access and use their virtual school and study tools before starting their programs.

Resources Consulted

WGU

U.S. News

KQED News

eLearning Industry

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

What Does It Take to Get Ahead in the Workplace?

 

black business men

(Photo Credit: My Fredo)

With the competition in today’s workplace growing more fierce than ever, employees need to take advantage of every opportunity they have to get ahead in their jobs. Whether it’s gaining additional education, taking on leadership roles for company projects, or going above and beyond the call of duty when providing customer service, it often takes all this and more to secure that promotion and raise you’ve always wanted. If you’re ready to take your place among the elite within your company, here are some proven ways you’ll be able to get ahead at your company.

Always Find Something to Do

For many workers who complete their tasks and have some downtime, they can’t wait to pull out their smartphone or take a break at the water cooler. However, if you want to get ahead, always be the person who finds something to do. Whether it’s simply cleaning your work area or completing some additional training, chances are your supervisor will notice your productive efforts.

Earn Additional Education

If you’re looking to move into a management position, you’ll probably not only need on-the-job experience but some additional education as well. For example, if you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree, consider pursuing a master’s degree to help you stay ahead of your competitors. By doing so, you’ll be demonstrating initiative and a desire to improve yourself, something that will not go unnoticed by your supervisor.

Create Positive Relationships

From the top executives in your company to the custodian who cleans your office, develop positive relationships with everyone. By doing so, you’ll be able to establish a reputation as a friendly person who knows how to work well with people of various backgrounds, which is necessary for promotion.

Become a Leader

When an important project comes up, don’t be afraid to ask for a leadership role. If you can become the go-to person who can solve a crisis, you’ll be demonstrating skills that will serve you well as a manager or executive. By speaking up during meetings and presenting ideas that prove to be useful and result in success, those in charge of promotions will surely think of you the next time there’s an opening.

Show Up for Work

While this sounds simple enough, plenty of employees gain reputations for being “sick” far more often than other workers. Therefore, if you want to get ahead at your company, show up for work as often as possible. If you do, your supervisor will look at you as a reliable person, making you a go-to person time and time again.

Learn from the Top Employees

In any company, some employees seem to be able to do their jobs in an almost perfect manner. If you’re smart, you’ll connect with these people and learn the secrets to their success. By being around these people as much as possible, asking questions of them, and watching what they do and how they do it, you’ll learn skills that will put you in the fast lane to promotion. If possible, ask one of them to be your mentor. Mentorship is crucial to experiencing the highest level of success possible.

By keeping these tips in mind and implementing them, you can put yourself on a great career path. From gaining a mentor to always showing up to work when possible, your supervisor will undoubtedly realize you’re the perfect choice for a promotion.

Resources Consulted:

Heading Back to College

Importance of Being On Time

Building Great Work Relationships

WGU Master of Business Administration

Ways to Stay Busy on a Slow Work Day

Becoming a Leader at Work

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wheels of Wisdom by Tim and Debbie Bishop: A Book Review

Wheels of Wisdom Book

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

Although Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit masterfully penned by Tim and Debbie Bishop is avowedly not a theological book, the inspiration one gains from reading it will allow him or her to experience the wondrous presence of God. Tim and Debbie Bishop, after remaining single until 52, married one another. For their honeymoon, they embarked on three fascinating bicycle tours across the nation—totaling over 10,000 miles. The valuable lessons they learned about God, life, nature, and humanity (including themselves) are detailed in this work.

Instead of traditional chapters, the authors composed 52 “lessons,” with 3 “personal reflection” questions at the end of each “lesson.” The “personal reflection” questions enable the reader to delve deeper into the ideas engaged by each lesson. At the beginning of each lesson, the writers provide powerful words of inspiration to engender an alluring context. As I was reading the book, I found myself constantly highlighting the beginning inspirational words, and these words offer some of the most rewarding takeaways.

Debbie Bishop offers excellent advice for those needing to discover their vocation or remain committed to their calling. She encourages readers to endure the hardships that will inevitably emerge as they walk in their callings, understanding that these hardships are “part of the process” (p. 9).

One feature of their unconventional—to say the least—honeymoon I appreciate the most is how it exposed to them how much they have to be thankful for, especially how blessed they are to have found one another at this late stage of their lives. An enthralling romanticism surfaces as the intense connection between Debbie and Tim becomes more and more clear through what these bicycle tours teach them about their embryonic marriage and the possibilities available to them through their marriage.

For those contemplating marriage, they should read this book to observe how a lasting intimacy, as the one the Bishops possess, requires more than what’s physical; an immutable intimacy reveals a profound spiritual bond. Unfortunately, too often, couples thinking about marrying or newly married overlook unearthing the spiritual imperatives of a healthy, fulfilling marriage. The Bishops, however, challenge these couples to create more mature visions of their own unions.

Both authors emphasize the significance of a willingness to change as critical to a successful marriage. In any relationship, individuals must demonstrate a willingness to change for it to remain satisfying and productive. Tim and Debbie employ their differences as vehicles for loving and appreciating one another more. This lesson about honoring differences is timely for our nation, considering Americans are increasingly become more hostile, even bloodthirsty, over their differences. Our differences should unite us—just as they unite the beautiful couple, Tim and Debbie Bishop.

In short, I highly recommend this fascinating book. Tim and Debbie Bishop and their uncommon honeymoon experiences extend to us a hope of what’s possible when we refuse to lose hope, when we devote ourselves to love, giving it and receiving it, and when we invite God into our lives as our supreme guide and comforter.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Are You Eligible to Work?

Business Employment

Businesses need to understand specific laws to avoid serious legal repercussions. For starters, they should check the eligibility of their employees. After reviewing the eligibility of the workers, employees are to complete an I-9 employment verification form. A business may face various legal penalties for hiring someone without properly assessing their legal documents. This piece investigates the I-9 employment verification form and the legal consequences of failing to follow employment eligibility and verification laws.

I-9 Employment Form

Who should complete the form? The I-9 employment verification form is to be executed by both the employee and the employer. The employee responds to the first section and the employer fills in the second section. What is its importance? The form is necessary for employer verification of workers hired after November 1986.

Legal Repercussions

American employment laws make it illegal to hire unauthorized workers knowingly. On the first day the employee arrives, business owners are required to check his or her documents to ensure the individual is legally allowed to work in the United States. Business owners can give workers up to 3 days from the day they started working to bring proper identification or proof their eligibility to work.

After checking the eligibility of employees, business owners are mandated to finish the I-9 employment verification form, regardless of each employee’s nationality. When businesses fail to perform these measures, they violate federal immigration laws. Each violation calls for paying a fine between $110 -$1,100. Although this fine may not seem much to medium-sized and large businesses, they can prove costly for most small businesses. 

Documents that Show You Are Eligible to Work in the United States

For an employer to hire you and finalize the I-9 employment verification form for you, you need to have specific items. The following is a list of some of the items required:

  • Unexpired temporary resident card
  • Unexpired employment authorization card
  • Unexpired reentry permit
  • Unexpired refugee travel document
  • Expired or unexpired US passport
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Unexpired foreign passport with form I-94 showing that your employment authorization is not expired
  • Alien registration receipt card having a photograph
  • Driver’s license/voter registration card

In short, for you to work legally in the United States, you must meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements. After achieving the eligibility requirements, the employee and employer complete the I-9 employment verification form. As previously mentioned, hiring workers without filling in the I-9 employment verification form may bring business owners grave legal repercussions, including a fine of up to $1,100 for each offense.

Resources Consulted

Verify Protect

JDP

LinkedIn

The Balance

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Do Teachers’ Unions Contribute to a Decline in Public Education?

classroom-2093744_640

Being a teacher can be an exciting job. For starters, you have an opportunity to work with diverse children and teenagers. You can enjoy summers off. However, you’re also in the public eye. For example, your students and their parents can readily recognize you around town. As a government employee, your salary is a matter of public record. Perhaps, most importantly, everybody seems to think he or she can do your job. Thankfully, teachers’ unions help both teachers and the public manage these realities and keep public education from declining. Learn more below. 

What is a Teachers’ Union?

A teachers’ union is a group of employees with collective bargaining power. Essentially, this means a school district hires the union to run its schools. Through using a contract, the rights of the school district and the rights of the teachers are protected. In other words, you can think of a teachers’ union in the same way you think about your power company or cable company.

How Did Teachers’ Unions Begin?

Many people mistakenly believe teachers’ unions formed out of greed. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. Teachers’ unions allow teachers to be treated as professionals and earn a fair salary. However, teachers’ unions also protect the rights of the community. To put this in proper perspective, remember that teachers are public employees of a town or city. Without a union, a new mayor or school board could fire all teachers upon election. The teachers could then be replaced with friends of the new government and earn generous salaries as political kickbacks. The new mayor or school board could also fire all teachers with a particular political viewpoint and replace them with all conservative or liberal teachers. Teachers’ unions prevent such shenanigans from happening.

Teachers and students from California de

(Photo Credit: Politico)

Tenure and Teachers’ Unions

Many people wonder about tenure and teachers’ unions. For example, people often wonder if tenure from a teachers’ union keeps terrible teachers in the classroom. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. Tenure just means teachers have due process before termination. This prevents teachers from being fired because they supported suspending the mayor’s child or because they obtained their education degree and certification from an online higher education institution instead of an education degree and certification from the mayor’s favorite brick-and-mortar higher education institution. Tenure prevents teachers from being fired for supporting a Republican or Democratic candidate. However, it is possible to fire a tenured teacher. All tenure does is make sure that firing is done correctly to prevent local governments from removing teachers unfairly.

Do Teachers’ Unions Contribute to a Decline in Public Education?

All of the above questions can help us find an answer to this tricky question. After understanding what teachers’ unions do and why they were formed, we can see that they certainly help protect public education. For example, teachers’ unions make sure teachers are treated as professionals. They also supply educational consistency in a community by making sure all teachers aren’t fired and replaced each election. Teachers’ unions keep the schools running smoothly through contracts that set clear expectations. In short, it’s easy to see how teachers’ unions have been elevating public education through budget cuts and difficult political climates.

After people realize teachers’ unions aren’t as terrible as some people say, honest questions do arise regarding how these unions can be ameliorated. For starters, teachers’ unions can make the standards for joining them more rigorous. Improving these standards can strengthen teacher quality and the effectiveness of teachers’ unions. If teachers’ unions improve in these areas, they will be able to aid in serving and protecting students even more than they do today.

Works Consulted 

https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/06/11/does-tenure-protect-bad-teachers-or-good-schools/tenure-is-a-guarantee-of-due-process-to-prevent-capricious-firings
https://www.wgu.edu/education/online_teaching_degree
https://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/well-paid-teachers-im-on-board/

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison