OK, Here’s the Deal About My Future at CCP and Beyond

While I’ve seemed committed to Biology as a major over the years, this may have been quite rash.  The truth is that I must weigh it out as one among several CCP majors.  This fall, I take Biology I and Chemistry I (both in the sequence for majors), as well as public speaking.  Until spring 2017 registration, I will most likely remain in the liberal arts crowd  As you may know, we take two courses this summer:  Global History I (May-June) and a computer course (July-August)

This is important, since in reality, while I’ve read much material at the college level on biology (and other sciences), I have little or no biology lab experience.  This is mostly due to the special education environment of most of my high school classes.  In college courses, the textbook isn’t everything.  The professor’s job is to explain and relate concepts mentioned in the text (and possibly other readings) in different ways.  No wonder why I’ve rarely (if ever) read a college textbook cover to cover!

In chemistry on the other hand, I have had more than enough experience for preparation.  Believe it or not, it was never taken in high school (except by simply reading the text, but that didn’t help much.)  And I have attempted public speaking at my first community college (Bucks County), but was dropped due to poor speech at the time.  I’ve even been in the major’s chemistry sequence twice, but for personal reasons have withdrawn.  But by now, I’m ready!

So, while I am confident on my fall courses, Biology is a subject that must be tried and tested to see if that is an appropriate path.  If it’s for me, I would definitely transfer it over as planned, otherwise other majors like the all-new Chemistry (which is great for transfer to Chemistry as well as many other physical sciences at universities) as well as Chemical Technology (more geared toward employment upon graduation from CCP, particularly as a chemical technician.)  The latter allows allows other sciences (i.e., Biology, Physics) alongside its many chemistry courses.

We’ll see what seems more on-target.  Remember, you typically don’t know what you like unless you try.

Remember Prov 16:9: a man plans, but God directs!

Examples of Focusing on the Main Points

While all facts are true (or at least should be), not all are relevant to all people.  Everyone has different emphases on what’s important to them.  Here are several examples:

  •  A very common example is emphasis of different details in a news story.  For instance, one may discuss a story with a friend about a crime near where they live.  One person may remember the exact location (for it is nearby a store he patronizes), the other may focus on the time (since it may have woken him up, given it was overnight.)  Both perspectives emphasize different elements, but the same core story.
  • Non-fiction books I read, including certain scientific (and other) books, e.g., the Scientific American Library series, have details that stand out from the rest of the content.  What these actually are depends on the individual.  These things are more worth keeping in mind, and therefore more likely to stick.  Depending on individual interest, understanding, etc., this can vary from person to person.
  • A little adaptation of this principle concerns fiction works, wherein all details can be eventually be rolled up into a main plot.

Also, one thing I resolve to do now is not to try to pick up all details when reading non-fiction.  After all, since when do people really want to “cram” things (except maybe before a test)?  Again, a book may very well serve its purpose in what it communicates, to any level of detail, as well as to many different audiences.

For example, recently, I bought a geomorphology text through Amazon.  While an interesting subject, certain topics, especially math-intensive ones, seemed quite specialized and not relevant (at least right now).  Textbooks of any kind work best under a professor’s instruction anyway.  The book was geared toward juniors and seniors in college, as well as graduate students, so it would have little relevance to me anyway right now.  (I did sell it, by the way, at a local used bookstore, probably with the best revenue ever).  Also, if possible, I might add a double major at the university (one year into enrollment) of geology to the primary biology major, but we’ll take it a step at a time.  Let’s just concentrate on finishing CCP first.  I have our finals for both courses this Monday.

You’re not a camera, so don’t strive for a photographic memory!

Judging the Relevance of Previously Learned Knowledge

Sometimes I get so preoccupied with what I know or wish to learn about, sometimes to the point of arrogance.  The truth is, while knowledge previously learned has found application long after it was learned, sometimes it’s best just to research it at the moment when it’s relevant.

Some things are just common sense situations, as much of say, psychology or history, is.  Coursework just adds jargon and other added insight to it.  But in the natural sciences (the area where I have overall leaned toward), little day-to-day relevance tends to be seen.  In some disciplines, like chemistry, if you were a cook wondering about why certain things behave the way they do (e.g., why oil and water don’t mix), it may make more sense to understand that area of chemistry.  Countless other examples abound in many branches of science.  But scientific knowledge is often seldom relevant (and thus forgettable) until something warrants learning about it.

Keep in mind, our days are becoming more and more “numbered” (cf. Ps. 90), and we shouldn’t pile ourselves with unnecessary baggage, in this case, knowledge that you’ll never use.  This is similar to senior citizens ridding themselves of their material things, even though that is deliberate.  In the case of knowledge, even though unintended, people retaining less of it as they age shows an internal, yet analogous process of removing “clutter.”

Any collection, aside from those created by hobbyists, has an intended purpose.  Here’s an analogy.  Food and clothing aren’t worth anything unless you eat and wear it.  Concerning weapons, an arsenal is useless unless the weapons are to be used.  Considering collections of records, CDs, or cassettes, they aren’t worth anything unless you play them.  Considering calories in your diet, if you don’t burn them, you’ll get fat.  And so on and so forth.  Accruing anything is not worth anything unless you use it.  The same is true with knowledge.  Fortunately, if knowledge isn’t used, chances are you’ll lose it!  At least here there are checks and balances!  I personally think the Lord is directing a person in a certain way when some knowledge bonds more than others.  It works just like a colander, strainer, sieve, etc.; keep what you need, dump what you don’t.

This is a natural process, and indeed apparently supernaturally directed.  You don’t truly know anything for its genuine purpose unless you have faith in God (Prov. 1:7)  Moreover, unlike wisdom from God, worldly wisdom will not solve any problems in everyday life.  (cf. 1 Cor 1:18-31).

Solomon was also right about the ever complicating process of the acquisition of knowledge.  “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Eccl. 12:12).  There is no need to hold allegiance to all the facts in a book, course, or other source of knowledge.  Once you finish, you can move on.  After all, your knowledge base is meant to be retrieved from when necessary, not dwelt on.  In fact, excessively trying to salvage knowledge can be a form of idolatry, as it may not only take priority over its normal use, but also displace devotion to God.  As for the first clause of the Eccl. 12:12 passage, look no further than Google to prove that.

As a college student, both general education and major courses are designed as a foundation that directs the path for working adult life.  They are not meant for their own sake, as much of what I’ve learned so far up to now (from both college courses and elsewhere) can be a blur sometimes.  Often, only one or a few courses in the degree provide substantial impact on one’s career, the rest can be laid aside.

So, since life here on earth is short, and we shouldn’t waste our time dabbling into pursuits that are typically intended to lead to others.  Our learning should be modest, and we should come to terms with what is and isn’t important.  Quite often the most exhilarating learning just comes spontaneously.  And as far as jobs, sometimes the training received therein is more important than the source background.

Finally, “fuzzy” knowledge from years past, when applied to a current situation, may themselves lead to a learning experience itself.

Well, keep your eye out for the garbage truck headed for the “Learning Landfill!”

College Update

This afternoon, a few months after submitting an application to Lock Haven University, one of the Pennsylvania “state schools” in the northern part of the state, I returned a call from an admissions director, and I was accepted!  Due to some misconduct over the past few years, sparing the gory details of such, I cannot live on campus.  Nonetheless, I can definitely live in the neighboring town (namely, you guessed it, Lock Haven, PA) and commute to school on time.

While I applied to the University for spring 2017, I probably won’t go until the fall of 2017 or more likely, 2018.  (Spring 2017 was the latest option on the application, so I selected that.)

The other major update is that after a year or so of study at Lock Haven, I may, in addition to my Biology program into which I have already been accepted, may add a “double major,” perhaps in geology.  Just as with biology (if not more so), when studying the subject, as a young-earth creationist myself, I would thinking against what I would typically believe.  Yet I have good resources, such as journals and personal mentors, that can keep me on track.  After all, the majority of scientists (of any kind) that follow creationism have had to take old-earth scholastic routes to get there.

As for my West Chester plan, I felt the double major of Biology and Geology had a better overlap of courses at Lock Haven, so I think I’ll go for Lock Haven instead, even though it’s MUCH further (that is, 4 hours or so from Philadelphia).

So, while I feel headed for “the Haven”, for now let’s just concentrate on getting through its “gateway,” that is, CCP.

Choosing an HDMI Cable (Using Simple Electrical Laws)

HDMI Cable

I obtained an HDMI cable form Amazon to connect my DVD player to the TV, and recognized that the shorter the cable, the better it will conduct electricity.

In fact, this applies to any electrical wire.  Consider a simple electrical law, Ohm’s law, or the current delivered times the resistance to current equals the voltage.  Voltage is the electrical potential energy difference between either end, so in this case, given voltage is constant, the more it resists electricity the less current it will bring.

Resistance is based on three factors:  the area of the wire, its length, and a intrinsic property of the conductor used, known as the resistivity.  The resistance increases with resistivity and length, but decreases (i.e., conducts better) with area.  Assuming the resistivity and area are constant (at least when choosing among cables of a particular brand, etc.) one should observe the length of the cable should be as short as possible to optimize quality for any electrical need.  (That is, if you have a choice.)

As long as it will stretch the distance you need, in short, grab the shortest cable possible!

Which Major is Right for You?

Useful advice in case you’re a college student ever confused about what direction to go in college.  In my case, prayer and trust in God are key factors, as “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Prov. 16:9, ESV).  And of course, as per the first point, while parents, other adults, and peers of the student can supply their suggestions, it is ultimately up to the student in case to make a choice, and autonomy should be respected.

For the original post (and source blog), click the link below.

There are SO MANY different majors out there. How do you know which one is right for you? Steps to finding your major: Don’t let anybody choose your major for you. Go through all the studies …

Source: Which Major is Right for You?