3 Things To Learn The Summer Before College

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There are so many things to do the summer before you begin college!  Assuming you have already been accepted and know where you will attend, your attention may shift from submitting documents and meeting deadlines to accomplishing something on your bucket list or learning practical life skills.  Continue reading

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Book suggestions for the non-reader, the bookworm, and everyone in between

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Are you still working on your reading list for this year? 

Sometimes, trying to decide what to read is half the battle.  If you are not much of a reader, you may be hesitant to pick up a title without a solid recommendation.  On the other hand, if you are an avid reader, you may have such a long list of want-to-reads that you can’t make up your mind what to start next!  So many books; so little time.

In an attempt to eliminate some of the guesswork for you, we assembled a short list of titles to share below.  This list includes a variety of genres ranging from classic novels to Christian living, and most of them are fairly easy reads as well. 

We asked around and got input from our English department, our Administration, and even the students!  You may have already read many of these – or maybe not.  Either way, we hope you find something that sparks your interest.

Most of these titles can be found in digital and audio formats as well.  This makes it even more convenient for you!  Especially the audio format – you can listen while you walk to class, work out, or clean your dorm room! (Yes, that was a hint in case you were wondering.)

Leadership/Personal Growth:

  • How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
  • The Making of A Leader by Dr. J. Robert Clinton
  • Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
  • The One Thing by Gary Keller
  • Grit by Angela Duckworth

Inspirational/Devotional:

  • You Version Bible App Devotional Plans
  • New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp
  • My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  • The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin;
  • Knowing God by J.I. Packer
  • None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin

Biography/Autobiography:

  • Jonathan Edwards by Lain Murray
  • Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Contemporary Fiction:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Trevorode the Defender by Holly Bebernitz (former TBC professor)

Classics Everyone Should Read:

  • The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Do you have any more suggestions to add?  What other titles are on your reading list? 

 

*Note: TBC does not necessarily endorse the entire content of these books or other writings by these authors.  This list is provided as a starting reference to assist you in finding material that is helpful and/or of interest to you.

The public library: a whole new world

Have you heard? Libraries are cool again!

When was the last time you set foot in your library?  Or checked out their website? Or their app? 

If you think the library is an out-of-date concept – think again! 

For starters: free Wi-Fi and gobs of downloadable digital content.

Yes, of course, libraries do still have all the old-school stuff like physical books (much to the book-lover’s delight) narrated books on CD, and films on DVD.  However, these days, their content has expanded and morphed to remain accessible, useful, and convenient to new generations of curious minds.  

Here are a few examples of what you can find at a public library:

Digital Content: With the help of apps like Hoopla, and OverDrive (among others) libraries now offer an ever-expanding selection of digital content, and you can borrow all of it for free! From movies and books to periodicals and music. You download the app, select the content you want, and get on with it!  This means you don’t even have to make it down to the library to check out a book – and you don’t have to worry about returning it on time because it simply disappears from your device on the date it is due back!

Tutoring: Need help with a certain subject?  Check out their tutoring schedule.  In some cases, you can even fill out a request form and they will contact you if a tutor is available.

Meeting spaces: Libraries have rooms available for you to use – for meetings, for study groups, for tutoring, etc.  Some rooms are even equipped with projectors, laptop connections, etc.  The smaller rooms are typically first-come, first-served, while the larger meetings rooms require reservations.

Free Courses: Check out their calendar of events.  Here in Jacksonville you can find everything from beginner guitar lessons to digital photography, ESL, Yoga, and basic coding!  (Each branch offers different things, so make sure you are looking at the right location!)

Copy/Print/Scan: Public computers are available to library card holders and guest passes (“guests” being those who do not have a library card) are available for a nominal fee.  Printers and copiers are accessible to library card-holders for a small fee to cover supplies (check pricing at your branch).  Some locations even offer mobile printing and 3D printing! Yes, that kind of 3-printing where you can actually create a three dimensional object!  

Fine Arts: Some locations occasionally offer free concerts, presentations, galleries, exhibitions, craft fairs, and debates.  The Jacksonville Main library features a Lunch @ the Lounge concert on a monthly basis, where you can bring your lunch, grab a table, and enjoy live guitar music.  They also feature a monthly Music @ Main Sunday Intermezzo.

Work space: Of course, libraries also have lots of space to sit and read or study. Coffee shops may be a popular place to go do some homework, but libraries are much more spacious and less chaotic. Plus, you don’t have to make a purchase in order to hang out at a table for three hours. So, if blowing your budget on coffee and pastries is an issue for you, the library is an ideal alternative!

Variety and personality: Some public library buildings are massive works of art with beautiful design and architecture; others are tiny and quaint.  The Jacksonville Main Library is a good example of a large and beautiful building.  It even has murals and a roof-top patio complete with potted trees and a fountain!  Others locations have cozy indoor spaces, craft rooms, and tiny theaters.  The branch closest to our TBC campus (West Branch) offers a quiet space with comfy seating, charging stations, and a fireplace!  The Willowbranch location is housed in a gorgeous building next to a public park and across the street from a community garden – a beautiful setting to sit and read!

When all is said and done, the public library is pretty much the perfect place to start if you are interested in what you can do, learn, enjoy, and use for FREE in your area!  Practically the only prerequisite for accessing it all is having a (free) library card.

Keep in mind that every library in every city will have different things available.  Much of it depends on the size of the city, but even small-town libraries can have some great perks!  Sign up for their newsletter – it will give you a run-down of community happenings and any new things coming to your library. Bottom line: it is ALWAYS a good idea to try the library first – you never know what you will find!

Three ways to maximize your study sessions.

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At this point in your life you are very familiar with classwork, exams, and, of course, studying.  If you’re in college, no doubt you are studying.  At least a little!  The question is, are you studying effectively?  Continue reading

Creating Opportunities for Real-World Experience

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Over the past several years, Trinity Baptist College has developed a strong relationship with nearby Crystal Springs Elementary (CSE).  Through the Federal Work Study Program and in collaboration with CSE, Trinity Baptist College was able to create a student employee position which simultaneously addresses tutoring needs in CSE and provides additional financial aid for a college student in the FWS program.

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Tiffani Edwards

Through this program, current TBC senior, Tiffani Edwards, tutored reading and math at CSE during the 2017-2018 school year.  Tiffani is an Elementary Education major and her dream is to work in the public school sector.  Talking about her experience at CSE, Tiffani smiled and said,

“I’ve had experience helping kids with homework before. But I feel like this really gave me a different perspective.  This is a bigger deal – the kids are being tested on this material.  Some of them are behind in certain areas and I had to figure out ways to fill in the gaps.”

Typically, she would tutor 4-6 students at a time.

“It wasn’t really the whole classroom concept of being a teacher yet, but it’s one step closer to that.”

The assistant principal at CSE was very pleased with Tiffani’s work and has requested more TBC students to fill tutoring positions.  Sashuas Rodriguez, an Elementary Special Education major at TBC, has accepted the tutoring position for the current (2018-2019) school year.

TBC Financial Aid Director Mark Elkins explains how this work study arrangement is of benefit to everyone involved.

The U.S. Department of Education indicates that a portion of TBC’s annual funding allocation in the Federal Work Study program must be dedicated to a wage match for a student(s) employed in a public service capacity involving reading and math tutoring.  So, this is really a win-win-win-win effort. CSE students receive one-on-one help with reading and math, CSE Administration have a dedicated reading and math tutor at no cost, a TBC student gains valuable hands-on experience as well as additional financial aid, and TBC is able to give back to the community.

We are privileged to be in the position to invest in our local Jacksonville community by providing quality tutors who can help young people grow academically.  In return, participating TBC students receive valuable real-world experience in their chosen area of study.  This kind of practical involvement paves the way for our education majors to graduate with qualifying resume credentials as well as a passion for education.

Dealing With Goodbye

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People get weird when it’s time to say goodbye.  Especially when it is a long-term goodbye.  Yes, even adults.

Maybe you can identify yourself in one of the following examples:

  • You get hyper and say ridiculous things that are completely immature or flat out make no sense. But you continue to jabber on and on and on, following no particular train of thought, anxious to plow through becauseyoucan’thandlethestressandwantitobeoveralready.
  • You get super sensitive and cry about every look, feeling, or slight inconvenience.  Why did she look at me like that?  *sniff*  He really said that?  *tear trickles down cheek*   Why won’t this suitcase just zip up already?  *full-on river of tears floods face*
  • You go waaaaaay off the charts in the opposite direction and distance yourself emotionally. Your stoic expression rivals George Washington’s likeness on the one dollar bill.

What is it about saying goodbye that throws people into a tailspin?  It’s like we morph into overgrown toddlers hiding behind our parents on the first day of preschool.  Here’s the good news: getting weird about goodbyes is actually pretty normal.

The simple answer?  Goodbyes are hard.  You cope by pulling out whatever internal armor you have at your disposal.  And while that might get you through the moment, it may cause you to miss out on the positives to be found in the circumstances or, worse, cause the goodbye to end on a negative note.

As you approach THE goodbye that is dropping off your child at college, you may be wondering how you will handle the scenario.  In your mind’s eye this young adult is still eight years old and needs help combing his/her hair.  (There are so many moving parts, memories, mixed feelings, and uncertainties about this transition that it is easy to dwell on the negatives and become overwhelmed.)  Instead, try to focus on the positives!

If you need some help coming up with those positives, maybe these will help get you started:

  • The simple fact that they have reached this milestone means they are growing, learning, and taking strides toward adulthood.
  • They are here largely because of YOU and your support, guidance, and advice.
  • Hopefully, this season of their life will help them continue to mature and impact the world around them in amazing ways.
  • They are confident enough to take this step and venture out on their own.
  • ______________________ (Your turn! Fill in the blank!)

Here’s to a successful shift from high school to college… make it memorable! (In a positive way!)

Keyboard shortcuts every college student should know

We humans are funny.  No matter how easy something is, we are always looking for a shortcut.  This could stem from a genuine desire to be as effective as possible… but then again, it could come from laziness.  You may have heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  But swapping the word “necessity” for “laziness” sounds more accurate. Continue reading

5 Things To Learn Before Moving Out

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Many times, going to college means “moving out.”  Moving out is exciting!  It means you’ve reached a new level of independence and maturity.  If that is where you find yourself today, congratulations!

You’ll find that independence and maturity don’t happen magically – they require responsibility.  And responsibility itself is a learning process!  Have you learned the basics of living on your own?  There’s a lot to learn!  But don’t worry – no one expects you to know it all right away.  Since we could never cover everything here, we have chosen five basic life skills that are a good idea to master before moving out on your own.   Not only will these skills make your life easier, but they also have the potential to make you a better roommate and a more capable adult!

  • Learn how to clean a bathroom. Traditionally, the bathroom is the room where we get clean.  But in order to be able to get yourself clean, the bathroom itself must first be clean.  Otherwise, it’s like washing a white shirt in the swamp.  Pointless and gross.  Showers, sinks, counters, mirrors, and floors – they all get nasty if you don’t clean them.  And toilets… well, let’s just say that toilets need to be cleaned regularly (trust me!).  And before you make excuses about not having time to clean… in reality, it only takes 3-4 minutes to clean any one area of the bathroom (provided you do it regularly and you don’t have to chisel 2 inches of grime off the tiles.)

If you’ve never cleaned a bathroom and feel the need for guidance, you don’t even have to ask your mom to teach you – you can look it up on Youtube!  This one shows you how to clean a toilet in less than 3 minutes.

  • Learn how to make an appointment (and keep it). No, this isn’t a joke! Have you ever made an appointment on your own?  Making an appointment is simple enough, but you’ll need to know several things before making that call.  For example: you’ll need to know what days/times you’re available (take into account the time it takes to get there and back), how long the appointment may last, and what kind of transportation is available to you.  This applies to everything from a meeting with your professor to a job interview or doctor’s appointment.  If it is a doctor’s appointment, you will likely need to have cash or a card on hand to make a payment.  If you don’t make your appointment on time, the office or individual waiting for you has every right to move on. When that happens, you’ll have to reschedule, which is a big pain.  Also, be aware that most medical offices charge a no-show fee.  That’s an even bigger pain.  Biggest lesson here: plan ahead.  Do what it takes to make it there. If you don’t think you can make it, call ahead to cancel or re-schedule.

Speaking of doctors…

  • Learn how to use your insurance. Let’s just be honest for a moment: health insurance is a royal pain.  No one is denying that or expecting you to know all the details of your particular plan.  That being said, it is highly recommended that you know your provider (name of the insurance company) and carry proof of insurance in your wallet (usually a credit-card sized card that lists all the basic information and numbers to call with questions).   Do you know how to find a doctor in your insurance plan?  Do you know if your plan requires a co-pay?  Or is it a high-deductible plan (you pay a bit more out of pocket)?  These are all things you’ll need to know when making a doctor’s appointment.
  • Learn when to go to bed and the importance of getting up on time.   Make yourself get up on time.  You’ll be less likely to forget what you need and more likely to make a good impression (either in a class presentation or in that chance encounter with your crush).  And if you budget your time well, you’ll find there is also time to goof off and have fun!
  • Learn to memorize. Your social security number.  Your pin number.  Your bank account number. Your license plate number. Important phone numbers.    Phone numbers.  Think parents, siblings, and close friends. These days there is little need to commit contact numbers and addresses to memory since we can just look them up on our phones!  But what if you drop your phone in the toilet?  (Go ahead and laugh – you know it happens!)  What if you lose it on a hiking trip or you drop it trying to take that perfect selfie at the pool and it sinks under six feet of chlorinated water?  What is your backup plan for contacting family if you can’t access your phone? Knowing one person’s phone number can be a lifesaver.

Don’t let life catch you by surprise!  Do your best to plan in advance so you can enjoy your independence confidently!  On the other hand, try not to be intimidated by what you don’t know.  Be willing to ask for help.  Everyone needs help at some point.  One day, you’ll be the one helping a freshman figure out their insurance card!