Summer Online Courses

By: Sandra Neri

Thinking of taking an online course this summer? Make sure you have the right stuff first!

Online courses are a great opportunity to get some of your college credits out of the way, at your own pace, and around your hectic schedule. Before you sign up for a course, you need to take a few things into consideration first.

#1. The most important thing – The first thing you need to do is ask yourself “Can I manage my time well?” . Now answer that question very honestly, because you are going to have to commit to so many hours of reading, and studying.

#2. Make sure you have reliable access to internet – Whether you are using your computer or laptop, a friend (or family members), or the libraries computer, make sure it is reliable and available often (you will need it). The computer you are using must have internet access of course, sometimes it is necessary to have Windows Vista or a more recent edition to work on. Some courses may suggest you use Mozilla or Internet Explorer as your browser, and request you have certain programs such as Flash Player, or Shockwave player installed (these are free downloads).

#3. Choose your course wisely – Choose a course you are already comfortable with, and that you will not have a problem studying. While you will have an instructor to contact for questions, you are basically doing what the instructor assigns, and taking quizzes. This may include reading several chapters, doing chapter exercises and or lab activities, online quizzes, and then a test. You may have to come onto Triton campus to take your tests, which means you have to come on campus a few times during the online course. If there is a subject you struggle with, hate, or just don’t understand well…do not take it online.

#4. Read all instructions carefully –  When you sign up for an online class at Triton College, you will need to login to Blackboard, which is accessible  from the Triton College website home page under “Quicklinks”. Many online courses require that you purchase an access code from the Triton bookstore, along with any text books, workbooks or study guides the instructor has listed as required for the course. Always look at the syllabus right away, and read everything the instructor has prepared for you.

#5. Stay organized – I am not much for writing in planners or organizers, but I did keep a calendar near my computer with all my deadlines written in red ink. I also put post-its up near my desk, because I knew I would not always look at my wall calendar.

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The ‘Hunger Games’

By Sandra Neri

As some of you may have noticed, a little movie called ‘Hunger Games’ was released on March 23rd to some staggering ticket sales (152+ Million). But is it for you?

The movie ‘Hunger Games’ is based on the book ‘Hunger Games’ written by Suzanne Collins, and the screenplay for the film was written by Collins and the movie’s director Gary Ross (writer, director, producer). The movies main character is Catniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence). The acting is executed brilliantly, and I would just like to thank Hollywood for their recent practice of not putting the same young, hot, actress in every movie that comes out! The new talent on screen in ‘Hunger Games’, really helps you get lost in the movie, and this also gives other actors a chance to shine. There are some seasoned acting veterans making smaller appearances , and I really enjoyed seeing Woody Harrelson, Stanly Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland again.  The movie takes place in a very altered, post-apocalyptic future society, where the people in charge (some governing  board) has divided people into districts.  While there is one wealthy district, there are 11 poorer districts. As punishment for previous rebellion, the Hunger Games were invented by the Capitol as punishment in which 24 young people are placed in a setting with certain provisions, and are forced to kill or be killed. The last one standing is the winner.  When children reach the age of 12, their name is placed in a lottery, which is used during the “reaping” ceremony once a year ,in which two names are pulled for each district. One boy and one girl is selected at random to participate in the Hunger Games and to represent their district.  Those chosen are called “tributes”, and will be escorted to a facility for preparation so they can fight to the death against other “tributes” selected from other districts. Catniss Everdeen  is from district 12, and is just trying to keep her and her family fed by hunting small game. When Catniss’ younger sister  is picked during a “reaping” ceremony, Catniss volunteers to take her place. While Catniss has no problem surviving against nature, she learns a lot on how to survive against people.  Catniss learns how to improve the things she is weak at, play to her strengths, and stay true to herself in the process. There are numerous underlying messages  and lessons that relate to the world we live in now, but I couldn’t help but think I am grateful I will not live long enough to experience the (possible)fashions of the future.  While the sets, wardrobe, and sound are all superior, I only had a problem with a few scenes that were shot with shaky camera moves.  In recent years, directors have chosen to use these shots to help the audience feel they are in the action, and promote feelings of confusion or a frenzied, nervous, edge-of-your-seat energy.  The book ‘Hunger Games’ is actually the first in a three book series, and I enjoyed the movie so much, I think I will give the book a try, as they are usually better than the movie.  The next books, which(I believe) will also be made into movies are: ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mocking Jay’.  I can’t help but notice, or mention, that some books have made excellent movies (The Harry Potter Trilogy, The Twilight series). While bookstores may be on the endangered species list, it’s very obvious we still need novels.  If you like action, drama and suspense, you will like ‘The Hunger Games’. One of the movie’s messages  I got:  if you don’t like the rules of the game, maybe you can find a way to  get “them” to change the rules.

 

Plenty of Info at Veteran’s Resource Fair

By Sandra Neri:

Triton College hosted a Veteran’s Resource Fair on April 19th in the schools’ cafeteria.  Several booths were supplied with valuable information about scholarships, career opportunities, and medical benefits offered by V.A. Hospitals for those who have served in the armed forces.  One booth at the resource fair provided information aboutcareers in the health care profession offered right here at Triton College, its called The Triton College School of Continuing Education Center for Health Professionals. They offer  many programs in such areas as Physical Therapy Aide, Dental Assisting, EKG Technician, Dialysis, Phlebotomy, just to name a few.

You can find more information on all this center has to offer at www.triton.edu/continuing.

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital was also available at the resource fair. I stopped by and spoke to the two very friendly women who were sitting at their table of information for vets, and they mentioned the programs that Edward Hines Jr. has for vets.  Among many valuable services, Edward Hines VA has: Health Care Benefits, Disability Compensation, Pension, GI Bill, Survivor Benefits, and mental health evaluations. For more information on all their programs, go to www.hines.va.gov.  Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital is located at 5000 S.5th Ave, Hines,IL.60141. They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM-4:30PM, and their hotline is (708) 202-8838.

While I was at the resource fair, I also had the opportunity to speak to Joseph Kilikevice, he is the Director of the Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality. The Shem Center is located in Oak Park, IL, and does not focus on the beliefs and practices of one faith,  but concentrates on the human spirit. To quote right from their leaflet “The diversity that is coded into the story of the universe is finding a home within the human heart. A hospitable heart that welcomes the religious and spiritual traditions of the peoples of the world sees them as part of this diversity. In seeking to heal wounds of discord, separation and exclusion, Shem Center includes in its programs spiritual practices from these many traditions”. While I spoke to Joe, he agreed with me when I pointed out to him that while many things going on in the world are out of our individual control, how we respond to these events (even as small as being treated rudely in public) is in our control. We need to accept one another for our differences, and respect each other. The Shem Center also has retreats, and has one for men only called “The Male Spirit”, which will take place from November 2-5, 2012. The Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality is at 708 Harvey Ave., Oak Park, IL. 60302, 708.848.1095. Email address is: shemcenter@comcast.net, and the web address is: www.shemcenter.org.

Another participant who provided information for veterans was The Vet Center, also located in Oak Park, although they do have several other locations. Brian McLaughlin, Psy.D.,was available at the fair to explain all of the services provided by  The Vet Center, and is a marriage and family therapist there. Some services offered at The Vet Center are: Individual Counseling, Group Counseling, Couple/Family Counseling, Sexual Trauma Counseling, and Benefits just to name a few . The Vet Center is located at 155 S.Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL.60302, and the number is (708)383-3225.

Among attendants at the Veteran’s Resource Fair was veteran Cory Williams of Bensenville, IL., a student here at Triton College. Williams was kind enough to sit with me for a little while, and speak about his time in the Navy, and his Triton College experience.Williams is in his second semester of the nursing program, and speaks fondly of Triton as he told me he “really likes the school”, and has “really good teachers”.Williams is an 8 year U.S. Navy veteran, and is on non-active reserve at the moment.  A graduate of Collins High School, Williams was on the wrestling team his four years there.When asked if any members of his family are in the service, Williams mentions an older brother and uncle in the Army, also his Godfather and God brother who served in the Navy.I asked about his first deployment to Iraq, which took “a few days to adjust” to the time zone, and there was also a bit of “culture shock” which took a few weeks to get used to. The weather was also something to adjust to, as summer brought days of 140°, and the nights only came down to 95°. The soldiers were always well equipped with water, and other daily necessities. They were taken good care of.  Williams really enjoyed his time in the Navy, and “bonded” withthose he served alongside, and made some very close friends he is still in close contact with.He was asked to be the best man for one of his Navy buddies, and Godfather to his child.  While deployed, and far from home, Williams’ mother, who works in a bar, sent him care packages.  Friendly customers who know Williams through his mother often gave her things to send to himin her care packages to him. No matter how small the contribution, to Williams it always felt good to be thought of, and he greatly appreciated the gestures. His mother also threw him a welcome home party at the bar she works for when he ended his last deployment, which he really enjoyed.  While speaking with Williams, he brought up a very interesting statistic, “Only 1%, maybe 2% of the country is in the military”. That is shockingly low. While on non-active reserve, Williams can be called into active duty at any time.  I asked Williams what the troops may enjoy in a care package, “Good books, magazines, board games, socks, underwear, and snacks”. I also asked what he would say to someone thinking of joining the military, “Make sure you know it’s what you want to do, it’s an experience unlike any other…an awesome experience”.  I can’t remember if I thanked Mr. Williams for serving our country, but I want to thank him now.  Thank you to the other members of the Williams family who have also served.  Also, thank you to all those reading who have served or are currently serving our country.

Summer Online Courses

 

By: Sandra Neri

Thinking of taking an online course this summer? Make sure you got the right stuff first!

Online courses are a great opportunity to get some of your college credits out of the way, at your own pace, and around your hectic schedule. Before you sign up for a course, you need to take a few things into consideration first.

#1. The most important thing – The first thing you need to do is ask yourself “Can I manage my time well?” . Now answer that question very honestly, because you are going to have to commit to so many hours of reading, and studying.

#2. Make sure you have reliable access to internet – Whether you are using your computer or laptop, a friend (or family members), or the libraries computer, make sure it is reliable and available often (you will need it). The computer you are using must have internet access of course, sometimes it is necessary to have Windows Vista or a more recent edition to work on. Some courses may suggest you use Mozilla or Internet Explorer as your browser, and request you have certain programs such as Flash Player, or Shockwave player installed (these are free downloads).

#3. Choose your course wisely – Choose a course you are already comfortable with, and that you will not have a problem studying. While you will have an instructor to contact for questions, you are basically doing what the instructor assigns, and taking quizzes. This may include reading several chapters, doing chapter exercises and or lab activities, online quizzes, and then a test. You may have to come onto Triton campus to take your tests, which means you have to come on campus a few times during the online course. If there is a subject you struggle with, hate, or just don’t understand well…do not take it online.

#4. Read all instructions carefully –  When you sign up for an online class at Triton College, you will need to login to Blackboard, which is accessible  from the Triton College website home page under “Quicklinks”. Many online courses require that you purchase an access code from the Triton bookstore, along with any text books, workbooks or study guides the instructor has listed as required for the course. Always look at the syllabus right away, and read everything the instructor has prepared for you.

#5. Stay organized – I am not much for writing in planners or organizers, but I did keep a calendar near my computer with all my deadlines written in red ink. I also put post-its up near my desk, because I knew I would not always look at my wall calendar.

#6. Try to keep up – I know you got a lot going on in your life, and you think to yourself “Hey, I’ll just do twice the work next week”. Bad idea , especially with the summer online courses because they are shorter. Triton has three summer sessions: The first five-week session is May 29-June 29, the eight-week session is June 11-Aug 3, and the second five-week session is July 2- Aug 3.

#7. Last minute is a big risk– Most quizzes and tests will only be available up until a set day and time, so give yourself enough time to take the quiz, but also allow for unforeseen occurrences. Things to be prepared for: power outages, internet connection interruptions, computer viruses, etc.

Online courses are great, if you are prepared, and stay on a steady work schedule. You can do it!

Triton Baseball Team Opens Region IV Tournament Play Friday

By Tim McKinney

After a strong 35-16 record in the regular season, the Triton College baseball team looks to win their first regional crown since 2009 when they compete in the Region IV Division I Tournament May 11-13 at South Suburban College in South Holland.

The Trojans are the #2 seed in the four-team double-elimination tournament. Triton will face #3 seed Kishwaukee College at 3 p.m. Friday, May 11. The Kougars (23-19) lost to the Trojans 9-1 March 30 at Symonds-Puckett Field in their only regular season meeting.

The Triton/Kishwaukee winner will play the winner of the game between top seeded South Suburban and #4 seed Olive-Harvey College at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12. The Triton/Kishwaukee loser will play the 10 a.m. game May 12 against the South Suburban/Olive-Harvey loser.

The rest of the tournament schedule is at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12 and then the championship round will be played at noon Sunday, May 13, and if necessary, a decisive game will be played at 3 p.m.

The Trojans enter postseason play on a four-game winning streak after an 11-10 home win over McHenry County College on May 3 to end the regular campaign. Triton took advantage of the mid-80 temperatures by pounding out 19 hits.

The entire Trojan lineup had at least one base hit led by Justin Bard (North Broward, FL) who had a pair of hits, including a two-run home run to put Triton on the board in the first inning. Mike Krueger (Mt. Carmel) had two hits as well, including a three-run blast in the sixth that gave the Trojans a 9-5 lead.