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How to Study for Math

Math has a language of its own, with its numbers, complex variables and symbols, charts, graphs, and all sorts of increasing and decreasing curves. Having some handy step-by-step tips can lead you to more success with learning math! Use these study and test taking tips to lead to greater mathematic success!

  1. Read math problems completely before answering the question. If you read a question too quickly, you may miss important information or hints that can help you understand the question better.
  2. Draw diagrams when necessary. Most students believe they have great visual skills, but keeping your math straight can be tough! Having a diagram visually in front of you can take out some confusion and point out answers more clearly.
  3. Make sure you are working in the same measurements. This can be especially true of problems involving distance, chemistry, or baking. Your answer may be correct, but just not in the right measurement, and that’s a sad way to lose points!
  4. Do not be thrown off by questions that are a multi-step process. There may be additional work that must be done before arriving at your complete answer.
  5. Know the functions and abilities of your calculator. Most math courses nowadays are pretty good at teaching students how to complete work by hand, and with a calculator. This can help you find answers quicker, or help you fix your calculator if you are not seeing the results you were expecting.
  6. Understand the concepts and processes of math, rather than memorizing symbols and formulas. The complaints of not understanding math start with the student; if the student wants to truly be successful, they should take it into their hands to understand why the process makes sense.
  7. Begin each class by reviewing notes. This will jog your memory and help you jump into your classwork immediately, giving you a better math exercise.
  8. Finally, do you math homework immediately after math class or your new lesson. This is when the math material is the most fresh and understandable to your mind, and the repetitive practice of what you have just learned will drill the concepts into your memory.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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Reading Up on Shakespeare

High school is riddled with Shakespeare writings and readings, as are most educations in the United States. But this Shakespearean reading is not the easiest to interpret as a high-schooler. It may be hard to interpret this writing, but its important to learn the values that Shakespeare has to offer, and different ways in which we might go about reading them.

As a high-schooler, you will come across many different reading levels; some people have meditated on Shakespeare as if it was their Bible. Others have grown up with parents that have educated them in the world of English and theater, helping students to better understand Shakespeare’s word choice. And finally, there are those who may have personal epiphanies while reading through Shakespeare that change the way that one views the world around them. Epiphanies can motivate someone to continue reading Shakespeare’s works in search of deeper meanings.


The impact of Shakespeare is his ability to reach such a grand span of audience, from those who were completely absolved by his writing and ate up every word, to those who were illiterate. His plays were watched, his poetry was listened to, and the acting was enjoyed. Shakespeare welcomed all people to enter a collective dream of beliefs about a new world. The imagination and fiction within Shakespeare was fruitful in itself for the encouragement of looking outside of the world directly in front of us.

The reason that so many people were denied the right to read in the past is because of new conflicting ideas that could be formed and the new realities that were presented. However, these new creativities have lead to bigger and better ideas and advanced our world to where we are today.


Based on the article by Frank Breslin for the Huffington Post. 


--Jessalyn Kieta

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Learning is a Choice, Not a Part of Growing Up

There are laws in place that require children under 18 to attend school, but going to school every day for years and years is not the same as learning. There is a difference between learning and education, and learning has been a choice that has been given to adolescents for decades.

Parents send their children off to school in hopes that they will learn more science, math, English, and history to apply to the world around them and their future education. However, it is only the child’s choice to listen and retain the information that is being taught. The truth is that education should be something enjoyable for the children because that is what will motivate them to continue to learn more and more. If you look at your own interests and hobbies, no one tells people to keep up with these interests; they simply do it on their own because they want to! Education is slowly backing away from having this kind of mentality, and we need to reintroduce a passion for knowing and learning more. A great way of turning education around is to make schooling become more of an interest rather than a chore; there are many learning requirements and expectations for learning in schools that makes it difficult for children to enjoy it!

Parents, teachers, and adults cannot continue to thrust information from a subject that a child does not want to learn. Hopefully, more interactive hands-on teaching and activities can spark adolescents’ interests in schooling for the future. Creativity in teaching through theater performance, art, ceramics, and music are also great subjects in school that need more attention and get the brain working.


It was best said by John Holt: “Learners make learning.” No parent or teacher can force someone to remember something that bores them or is not something they need to know to be successful. We all have made mistakes and learn from them, whether we receive a great education or not. In the end, learning is a choice we make based on our interests.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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Why Public Higher Education Should Be Kept Alive

Karen S. Haynes, Ph.D. is the president of California State University San Marcos (CMUSM), and she has a few things that she wanted to let us know about the value that should be given to public higher education. Not only is the value of degrees being questioned, but negative stereotypes that are associated with a public state school.

Haynes wrote an article for the Huffington Post spotlighting her argument for why her school and her students within it are becoming just as educated and just as deserving of attention and funding. Though her examples may be a bit specific to CSUSM, she makes some great points that are fighting for all public higher education as well.

Oftentimes, public higher education schools are the only four-year institutions in place to serve a large region of students. It is still possible to have smaller class sizes and build relationships between professors and students. Students have opportunities to become very involved in community service, new clubs, and giving back to the community around them. For example, Haynes mentions that almost 85% of her students at CSUSM remain in the area after they graduate, pouring their new collegiate education into improving the community surrounding the school. Haynes also mentions that serving the community around CSUSM has always been a big mission of theirs.

CSUSM has provide many benefits for their students and their community, as well as services provided veterans and minorities. With the advancements made at this school of public higher education and the services and education provided at other public education universities, there needs to be more funding given. The economic conditions and public investment is shrinking for public higher education, but there are so many ways that these schools are working to help their students achieve more without the help of the state’s money. 

There is too much diversity and opportunity in America’s higher education to kill it with lack of funding. It has played a critical role in providing more affordable and useful education to young adults, so that they may receive a college degree that can, in turn, benefit their community. In truth, public higher education is serving as a great equalizer of education—and we need that to stay in place.


Based on the article, "Public Higher Education--the Great Equalizer." 


--Jessalyn Kieta

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