Posted in 9th Grade, Business 1

B1L150 – Procrastination Kills

               We all do it.  Whether we’re avoiding a school essay, a tough job, or spending time on other people, procrastination is a principal part of everyday life.  However, procrastination has its cost, like everything else.  The essay could become late and get a bad grade, the job is lost, and people grow apart.  But in starting a business, procrastination is one of the worst possible mistakes to make.  By not starting as soon as possible, in starting any business, procrastination makes people forget ideas, lose creativity, become bored.  Once the would-be entrepreneur forgets the design or becomes bored with it, the idea is abandoned and lost to time.  And that is why the cliche is given around: “Procrastination kills.” 

It kills time, money, ideas, and sometimes other things gained by ideas and money.  This is so true that procrastination is just a synonym for one of the seven deadly sins: Sloth, AKA laziness.  But let’s think through this logically.

               First, a term needs to be defined.  Opportunity cost is the concept that by choosing one action, it costs that same person some other activity.  Basically, by choosing to go to, say, a Boy Scout meeting instead of swim practice when they occupy the same time.

               Okay, so the basis of “procrastination kills” is opportunity cost. As defined up above, it is the idea that choosing one action costs another.  This can be applied to a kid in public school.  Say he has an English essay due on Monday, and the current day is Friday. – Friday, he says, “Ehh, whatever. I’ll do it Saturday.” Then he runs off to play with his friends. Then, Saturday, he says, “I’ll do it tomorrow; I’m not in the mood today.” Later on Sunday, he says, “I should probably do it today, but I don’t want to, so I won’t.”  Then, on Monday, he realizes that he goofed up and tries to write the essay during Chemistry class.  He manages to get the piece done, but he gets an F because the article is horrible.  Thus, procrastination killed his grade, and he will probably get into trouble with his parents.

               Another example could be a kid in swim doesn’t want to practice, so he screws around in the pool during practice time.  When the meet rolls around, the kid’s time is destroyed, and he doesn’t win any heats.  In this case, procrastination does not want to practice, so the kid loses strength, so the kid’s times suffer.  This applies to other sports, too.

               In real terms, the procrastination is in itself a choice. And by the laws of Opportunity Cost, one option usually costs others. So by procrastinating, a person loses opportunities, doesn’t meet new friends, doesn’t gain the results of not delaying, and even loses what they had before! This is why the cliche is very right: “Procrastination kills.”

Posted in 9th Grade, English 1

E1L175 – “So What?”

Autobiographies consist of text. Whether it’s good text or bad text depends upon the organization, writing style, the Six W’s, the technique, the captivity; the list goes on. Everything else is insignificant, however, in the face of the question, “So What?”. There are three reasons justifying this: it allows inference of how and why, it manages credibility, and it holds the reader’s attention.

If the writer doesn’t want to specifically mention the how and why of a certain item, he can add a sentence or two focusing on the “So What.” For instance, a writer could add a sentence similar to this:

          “The petitions were necessary because [person] was doing something wrong, and the petitions were the best way to stop it legally.”

From that sentence, a reader could deduce that how he did it was by writing a letter (or two) to a justice official, and the why was the writer’s sense of justice and wish to be a law-abiding citizen. How and why are skippable, if “So What” is provided.

Another thing that “So What” does is control credibility. If an action isn’t verified by “So What,” then the action may seem a little bit vague. If the action seems vague, the reader doesn’t trust that it’s true. If the reader doesn’t trust that it’s true, then the reader no longer trusts the book. If the reader doesn’t trust the book, they won’t recommend it. If they don’t recommend it, the reviewer won’t either. If the reviewer won’t recommend it, the book’s sales drop. Thus, with this chain of deductive reasoning, if the actions aren’t verified by “So What”, the book’s sales drop.

“So What” also captures the reader’s attention when combined with a bit of foreshadowing. For instance:

      “The petitions were necessary because [person] was doing something wrong, and the petitions were the best way to stop it legally.  I was unsure of whether the petitions would be accepted…”

With this small addition, the “So What” became a hook. A reader would ask themselves, “Which way did it go? I’ll keep reading to find out.” And just like that, the reader is corralled into reading more of the book; therefore, the “So What” is a great spot to hide an “Attention thief.”

In conclusion, the “So What?” is critical in any autobiography. It holds the reader’s attention, manages credibility, and infers How and Why, if necessary. That is why the question “So What?” is of the highest priority in writing an autobiography.

Posted in 9th Grade, English 1

E1 L165 – Better Notes for an Autobiography

                In my English class, I’ve recently been reading a ton of slave narratives.  I noticed in those books that they’re incredibly detailed, even way back into their early childhood.  How they remember that far back is mysterious, but I know that I can help my future self and take notes on my life now.  That way, if I write an autobiography in the future, I will have the materials necessary to do so, way back to age 14.  That isn’t as far back as the slave autobiographies go, but it’s better than starting at age 20 and going forward.  There are some things that I can do while taking notes that would help even more, such as describing the scene, paying much attention to the many details of the more significant events.

                Describing the scene of the event is critical in any autobiography.  For instance, if someone told a tall tale without scenery, it would be impossible to understand.  Little Red Riding Hood with no woods or Grandma’s house would be confusing. And tall Native American tales would be nonsense. Under the same principle, writing an autobiography without a background would be even worse, especially if the writer moved around a lot.  So taking notes on what’s the scene is especially useful. 

                But there are still five questions: Who, What, Why, When, and How. The “Where” is taken care of by the scenery.  “Who” is not very necessary, beyond the intro.  “What” is probably the next most critical thing, past “Where.”  And that’s also the body of an autobiography.  The “What” is all the adventures, the possibilities, the storyline itself.  If there is no “What” then there is no story.  All that’s left is an intro of the character and the scenes.  There is no action.  Think of the “What” as the acting in a play.  Without it, there is just an intro of the characters, an empty stage covered in a bunch of props, maybe some music, occasional curtain drops, and some more props.  Without any “What,” there is nothing! The character intro is useless because the characters never appear beyond that; the accessories are worthless because there are no characters to use the props and stage.  The music is just annoying because there is no suspense, or heartbreak, or joy, or anything else associated with a good play.  That is what should get the most attention: the necessary information.  The plot, in short. 

    Also, if the details are scarce, it’s a problem of believability. Without minute details, the story seems vague, possibly made up.  And the first time the reviewers decide that it’s fake, the book is doomed to fail.  But don’t put too many details in, like Henry David Thoreau.  He filled two single-spaced pages – describing a tree!  If the details are too numerous, the book becomes longer, the blocks of descriptions look menacing, and the reader is effectively scared away.  It’s a balance – not too much detail, and not too little.

                “When” is also a key element.  A time range is necessary if the exact date is unsupplied.  If the year is missing, the reader has no idea when the story happened, and that can, again, raise a believability issue.  No date equals no proof, no proof equals no trustworthiness, and no sincerity means the book is back in the library.

                Everything else is relatively simple—the How and Why are to be figured out by the reader once the book is published.  Those are inferred from the scene and actions of the characters.  In other words, the writer doesn’t have to deal with them because he can’t control them.  Only the readers can do that.

                So each of the Five W’s and the believability is solved by taking meticulous notes, which can turn into a good autobiography.  The fundamentals are:

                ~ Where,

                ~ What,

                ~ When, and

                ~ Details!

And that’s all anybody needs to make a biography or autobiography, even the ex-slave writers of the 19th century.

Posted in 9th Grade, Business 1

B1 L130 – USPs of RPC

By Rosser Reeves’ definition of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which is “the most important point in an ad,” there can be more than one possible USP for an ad. Take, for example, the Ron Paul Curriculum. There are a ton of possible USPs, any of the 30+ reasons stated in my essays on the topic [(1)&(2)], and Mr. North’s landing page.  

One of those could be the fact that the course is “98% self-taught after grade 3.” In those first three grades, the student learns the integrity and work ethic to get the work done; then, the parent can altogether drop out and grade the essays occasionally. Even coming from public school, that’s pretty good. It is somewhat expensive, but it’s worth it. Besides, the parent can tell a kid, “Go do your school” and leave them to it in another room. That way, the parent doesn’t have to see the kid for a portion of the day.  

Another USP could be the fact that the curriculum is video-based. This idea is one-of-a-kind. Most homeschool curriculums are book/audio-based, and we all know textbooks are dry as a desert, whether written for a public school or not. They were written for committees and read as such. However, the Ron Paul Curriculum is video-based, so there are slides and a voiceover. This genius notion encourages even better learning. A video can be rewound and watched again as many times as necessary and doesn’t get bored or tired of being played over and over again. A teacher does, however.  

Speaking of textbooks, that’s another one. The Ron Paul Curriculum does not use textbooks. Everything that isn’t a free PDF on the site is a literature book that can be obtained pretty cheaply on Amazon. And none of the PDFs are textbooks either, except maybe a page that explains something exceptionally well. In my three years on RPC, I have only seen one page of a book in a PDF.  

Another plus-one is that the Ron Paul Curriculum is NOT Common-Core based. In short, it doesn’t follow the public school procedures. It follows three different tracks: Maths/Science, Business, and Government. Each of those is a category of classes; for instance, under math/science, there’s all the math courses, chemistry courses, active science, biology, and all that good stuff. Business includes the Business I and II courses, which teach how to start a business, write advertisements, and explain everything necessary to make it successful. 

In conclusion, all of these are possible USPs for the RPC. Self-taught, video-based, no textbooks, and no common-core! Sounds pretty good to me. If you’re still not hooked, there are some more reasons here, here, and here. And to order now, go here! 

Posted in 9th Grade, Business 1

B1 L125 – Nothing beats this amazing curriculum!

Do you spend hours forcing the kids to do school? Is your kid bullied in public school? Id he bored of his current curriculum? Does a non-common-core curriculum interest you or your kid? If the answer to any of the above is “Yes,” the Ron Paul Curriculum is here to save you time, effort, and possibly even money!  It’s a common-core free curriculum, with NO TEXTBOOKS OR MP3s! Instead, it employs a UNIQUE METHOD — Video lessons. The advantages: Teachers can’t rewind, Textbooks are boring as nothing else on earth, and MP3s are challenging to focus on. Videos take the pros from all three: audio for disabled readers, text for read-learners, and rewindability for both. Also, the courses are pay-by-course, and there’s a 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! That way, if the kid thinks it’s too easy, he can swap to a more challenging course AT NO EXTRA COST. Plus, that $500 decreases per kid with more kids in the family. As a bonus, the Ron Paul Curriculum has some other unique features, such as Government I & II, Business I & II, Western Civilization & Literature, and a Public Speaking course.  The Western studies parallel each other for higher retention, and the other classes can be turned into life skills, such as the ability to speak in public, start a home business, and tell what’s what in politics. Plus, there are forums for each class if a kid’s stuck, and a discussion forum for everything else. The teachers aren’t always available, but the students help each other out if they can. And bullies can get kicked off the forums, kicked off the curriculum, or even blocked from rebuying, so no worries there. And to paraphrase Ron Popeil, “But Wait, there’s a LOT more!” If all that isn’t enough, check out more reasons from a student’s point of view here. AND TO ORDER NOW, CLICK -> HERE <-!

Posted in 9th Grade, English 1

E1 L160 – Effective Events

The most recent book I’ve read for English is Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, and I noticed that learning to read had a massive effect on the rest of his life. For instance, he learned the meaning of certain words, which changed the way he thought, such as abolition, freedom, Canada, North, friends, and many more. It also taught him the ability to write, which allowed him to spread his story and, thus, another compelling argument against slavery. He surely wasn’t the only one to have such breakthrough changes, but am I in that category? I honestly don’t think so, because nothing in my life has done that for me. At least, not one event all by itself.  

There have certainly been ones that come close, such as my learning to read at age three, the death of Pop on Dad’s side, and the advent of swimming, but no single event did that. However, there was a very long string of events, induced by my want to do whatever I wanted, that did it. If you aren’t acquainted with my Years of Terror yet, here’s the story.  

 It all started seven years ago when Aden and I got our very first computers. Two E-machines, running Linux, that were already old at the time we got them. Then one day, we discovered that we could play a simple game called SuperTux, which was incredibly similar to Super Mario, except the main character was a penguin. I found it first and played it whenever Mom wasn’t in the room. Then my brother caught me playing and got it on his computer too. Then, one night, we both got up at around 2 AM, turned on our computers, muted the volume, and played the game on our respective computers. The machines were old, and the keys clacked like chalkboard erasers, but we tried to play silently. About two hours later, Dad woke up and came upstairs to shave his beard in the upstairs sink, and he heard keys clacking from the schoolroom. We had slowly forgotten to play quietly and were hitting the keys as hard as we could with our reflexes on twitch mode. Dad peeked into the schoolroom, and both of us, five and six years old, sitting in our underwear, playing videogames at 4 AM, were there. He then walked in, gave us both a spanking and a lecture, and sent us to bed again. That was the beginning of the Years of Terror.  

 Five years after that incident, and many times caught, I was the only remaining sneak. Aden had decided pretty early on that it wasn’t worth it and stopped playing and sneaking. Pop had given up the ghost, and there was a Vizio TV in the room. The TV was a smart TV with the YouTube app installed, so I got up that night after I was sure Mom and Dad had gone to sleep, grabbed the baby monitor that they had placed pointing at them, and turned on the TV. A few hours later, I missed Mom getting up from the bed. I heard her in the hallway and managed to deactivate the baby monitor and shove it somewhere before she walked in. She took one look at me, her eyes went to the Tv, then to the remote in my hands, then her face turned purple, and I almost got strangled on the wall.  

 Fast forward two more years, and it’s 11 o’clock, and I’m under the covers with the Wii U gamepad playing MarioKart. Twenty-eight minutes later, Dad storms into the room, uttering a curse and rips the blankets off me and the game. I quickly shove the gamePad under the pillow, but not before Dad sees it. He yanks it back out, grabs me by the ankle, and drags me yelling out of the bed. Two seconds later, I’m pinned against the wall with Dad’s forearm on my neck, losing air. By the time I’m tomato red, Mom comes up. Luckily, she doesn’t quite know what’s happening, though she has a general idea. She stops Dad from strangling me, though I’m turning blue by that time. I ended up just getting my rear beat up and down the hallway until my entire rump is black and blue, and a good portion of my thighs and lower back too. I couldn’t sit down for the next two weeks, and my near-death experience made me stop for about two years. I still do it every so often, and they always trust me at about the level of nil. So it had a pretty significant effect upon my life.

However, I don’t think it had as much of an effect as Douglass’s learning to read did. The reasons for this are because I haven’t lived under such extreme conditions as him until the event happened. My case is precisely the opposite of his – I was fine, then the incidents occurred, then I lived in some pretty miserable conditions – at least for me. And it still wasn’t as extreme as his circumstances were. He had to face hunger, torture, whipping, brutality, animal treatment, and death. I only had to face constant trouble, a lot of mistrust, and a ton of envy at my brother, who walked free and got away with a lot of non-allowed things, while I had to do my work by hand because they were so focused on patrolling me that they ignored Aden’s sneaks. Also, my time was significantly shorter. He held up against years of his conditions, while I only had to face three years of almost straight Blackout. (For those of you who don’t know, Blackout is a punishment that involves no electronics, toys, fun, games, or anything good except clothing and food. Basically: all work, no play, and if sneaky, add more time. At one point, I had one straight year, four weeks, and five days of Blackout ahead.) I still mess up occasionally, but I’ve been trying to take it down to the bottom notch and then stop altogether.  

In conclusion, I had it pretty bad; Douglass had it worse. My trigger was not a single event; Douglass was. My case was the opposite of Douglass’s, in that I ended up worse after than before. And my story did not have as much of an impact on my life as Douglass did.