Life Changing Book

The first book that changed my life forever, wasn’t an inspirational or motivational book.  The author is not a guru of any type.  The first book that changed my life forever, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

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I have dyslexia and the school I was attending used phonics to teach us to read.  I have nothing against phonics, but it is a horrible way to teach a child with dyslexia.  However, that information was not known at the time.

I also have a hearing disability that made it impossible for me to differentiate some of the vowel sounds.

What a combination?  It’s no wonder I struggled learning to read and lost the desire to even try.

I was in forth grade and the teacher decided to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the class.  Each day, she would read a couple of chapters.  I would close my eyes and picture the story in my mind.  It was my favorite part of the day.

When she finished reading the book, I felt lost.  I wanted to know more about Peter and his brother.  I went to the library and eventually read all the books they had by Judy Blume.  After I ran out of Judy Blume books, I started to read books by Beverly Cleary.  Next I was ready about Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew.

It was a struggle at first, but the more time I spent reading the better I got.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the most effective way to teach someone with my set of disabilities to read was through a method of repetitive sight reading.  Since I fell in love with stories, that is exactly what I was doing.

It was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that motivated me to develop my reading skills and gave me a love for books.  It changed my life forever.

Kids Can Benefit From Having a Dog

Dogs are amazing animals and wonderful pets.  Children that grow up with dogs, benefit from their companionship.

  • Having a pet teaches responsibility.  Children can help with taking care of the dog and learn new skills as they grow older.
  • Children also learn compassion and the importance of putting the needs of a loved one above their wants.  There will be times when the dog needs to go to the bathroom; however, the child is busy having fun.  This is an excellent way to teach the child about needs vs wants, putting others first, and compassion.
  • Dog training classes actually teach the owner how to teach the dog.  The child will learn concepts like behavior modification; positive reinforcement; as well as how to meet the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of the dog.
  • Having a dog can make science fun.  Here is one example:  The dog has about 200 million more olfactory receptors in the nose than a human.  However, that is only part of the reason why they have such a phenomenal sense of smell.  The design of their outer nose, allows more smells to enter the nasal cavity.  That small slit on the side of the dog’s nose, actually does serve a purpose.  The olfactory system in the brain of a dog is 40 times larger than that of a human.  This allows the dog to process and remember all those wonderful smells.
  • Children that grow up with dogs have a stronger immune system, because they are exposed to a wider variety of bacteria.  They also have a lower risk of developing allergies.
  • When a child has a dog, it opens up a whole new world for them.  They will interact with veterinarians, trainers, and groomers.  They will be able to visit dog parks.  They will learn how to play games that involve their furry friend.  Also, they will always have a best friend that loves them and wants to be their constant companion.

Fraud Alert

What are the most common types of fraud or scams?

  • Guarantee High Yield 
  • Ponzi or Pyramid 
  • Risky Oil and Gas Drilling  
  • Cryptocurrency 
  • IRS Scam
  • Jury Duty Scam
  • Catfish or Sweetheart Scam

How can you protect yourself? 

  • Find out if they are a licensed securities professional 
  • Check them out with the SEC 
  • Never verify information via e-mail
  • Seek help from people you trust 
  • Report fraud 
  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers 
  • Don’t interact with unknown callers, just hangup 
  • Don’t connect to free wi-fi
  • Don’t use the same password for everything 
  • Don’t create a document called “Passwords”
  • Don’t click on links that look strange 
  • Don’t allow strangers access to your devices

What are some red flags?

  • Guaranteed to double your money 
  • Limited time offer, must act fast
  • Little known loop hole 
  • Low risk and high reward

 

Source:  Nick Vonderau, Marketing Specialist, Alabama Securities Commission, Caregiver College Presentation, 21 June 2019

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Blogging Makes You Smarter

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I bought this t-shirt from Amazon, because I enjoy blogging and I agree with the message.  Blogging is a great way to develop new skills and it can even make you smarter.

  • Blogging increases creativity, since you are always on the look out for new material, stories, artwork, or photography to share with your followers.
  • Blogging improves your writing skills and each post must be edited for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Blogging requires a certain amount of computer skills.
  • Blogging also results in the need to conduct research and increases knowledge on various topics.

There are a lot of benefits to blogging.  If you have others to add to my list, let me know in the comment section.

The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

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My favorite quotes from The Wit & Wisdom of Mark Twain:

  • A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
  • It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist.
  • An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
  • I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
  • Experience is an author’s most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he writes.
  • Many a small thing has been made large by advertising.
  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
  • Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

1984 by George Orwell

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I’ve read “1984” by George Orwell several times.  There is a lot of material in the book that would make for an excellent topic of discussion.  However, in this blog post I want to talk about education.

The book describes how children are taught in the school system.  They are placed in scout type groups and taught the party doctrine.  They also learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, so they will be able to perform basic tasks in the workforce.  They are never taught historical facts, critical thinking skills, or anything that does not line up with party doctrine.  The children blindly accept that Big Brother is always right and one should never question Big Brother.

The entire education system is designed to allow the government to control the population.  Since the children have no access to information that contradicts what they are taught in the school system, they remain ignorant throughout their lives.

An ignorant population is easier to control.

Whatever you do in life, don’t allow yourself to be ignorant.  Spend your time reading and studying a wide variety of subjects, to include ideas that are different from what you currently believe.  It is also important to learn basic principles of logic and critical thinking skill.

We live in the information age.  We have access to a wide variety of information on the internet, at the local library, various bookstores, and  a host of other places.

There is no reason to allow yourself to remain ignorant in today’s world.