Monday, October 31, 2011

6 ways to turn your children's talents into triumphs

For parents, it's easy to see your child as unique. But it's not always so easy to recognize how unique.

Children can sometimes be shy, and hide their gifts and talents from adults. For instance, your child might feel too self-conscious to sing in front of you, but she might have a great voice that could eventually land her solos in her school chorus and take her around the country in singing competitions.

Other times, children might not be able to discover their aptitudes if they aren't given the opportunity and tools to do so. A budding star quarterback, for instance, wouldn't know he has a golden arm if he never hits the field or holds a football.

By figuring out your children's inner gifts and talents, you can better help them develop those gifts and talents, and become more fulfilled and satisfied children -- and adults. You can also help them use their gifts and talents to their advantage, whether it be as a hobby that provides joy, or as a foundation from which they can build a future career.

Here are six ways to recognize and nurture your children's unique talents, and help them blossom into stars. Many of these tips are also useful for teachers in helping them identify and develop their students' gifts and talents, too.

1. Observe what your child chooses to do when you're not around. Is she kicking a ball or banging on drums? Is he building towers out of blocks or reading books by flashlight under the covers at night? Children's own choices give us big clues into what makes them tick. 

2. Identify what absorbs your child. Look for those times when your child is so engaged in something, she seems to happily lose track of time. It can happen on a rainy day at home, or during independent study time in school. When we're using our gifts and talents, we often get so absorbed we forget the time. Psychology professor Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi calls this joyful state of absorption "flow." This is a good sign that you are noticing your child doing something that is tapping a deep, internal well.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Adult learner reveals his secret to succeeding in online classes

Online MBA student Charles Stott
Some colleagues of mine were recently at a Partners in Education event with peers from around the higher education sector. One of the folks there was Charles Stott, an admissions representative at Berkeley College who's also one of our online MBA degree program students. His concentration is in Leadership.

Charles came up to a couple of us from Post University at one point during the event, and shared some glowing remarks about his experience in our Online MBA Degree Program. They said it was gratifying to hear them, and a pleasure to talk with Charles face-to-face about the difference his Post University education is making in his life.

But what was even more delightful was to see this email he sent us after the event. Read on and you'll see what I mean. Be sure to read it 'til the end to learn Charles' secret to succeeding in his online classes. His email follows, exactly as he wrote it.
I am a busy adult who works in college admissions for a prominent private institution in New York. When looking for a college to assist me in reaching my goals, I chose to pursue my Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership, at Post University by means of their Online Degree Program. The reasons are many, as a busy adult, flexibility, time, and a quality education are all very important to me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What it's like to be named funniest of them all

Now that we've announced the lucky winners of our recent cartoon caption contest, we wanted to share a glimpse into their reactions to being named the funniest of them all! We also thought you'd enjoy learning a little bit about who they are.

Grand prize winner: Ray Odiorne

Ray's cartoon print
Ray is an adjunct instructor at Post University. You might have taken a class with him, or his wife, Bonnie, who is the Director of the Writing Center. Ray wins:
  • An original 8.5" x 11" print of the cartoon with his winning caption, autographed by our contributed cartoonist and judge, Dave Blazek
  • Custom T-shirt printed with the cartoon and his winning caption
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
Ray's new T-shirt
Ray's reaction to winning:

"I am stunned that I won. Bonnie had forwarded the material on to me and I entered on a whim ... I simply came up with all the lines I could think of (I am an inveterate jokester) and sent them in! So it was a surprise to learn that one of those bits of humorous ephemera won the day! What will I do with the T-shirt? Wear it, of course, and proudly put up with the many people who want me to stand still so they can read my chest."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Post University community, this one's for you

Being a part of Post University -- whether as a student, parent, member of our faculty and staff, or local community partner -- is exciting and rewarding during any time. But the experience is even more memorable when you're involved during the time of a milestone or important accomplishment.

It's like going to see your favorite sports team play. It's always fun and exciting during the regular season. But when you go to the World Series, it's even more thrilling. (Rangers and Cardinals fans, you know what I'm talking about! We can only continue to think fondly of our Sox, Yankees, and Phillies ... next year?)

Right now is one of those times for Post University. We've had a lot going on lately, and just this past Tuesday it hit me that all the excitement, energy, and passion around campus makes it feel like playoff atmosphere. It happened when former Conn. Gov. John Rowland and Pastor Will Marotti were interviewing me on their CBS radio show, "State and Church."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And the winners of our cartoon caption contest are ...

A couple of weeks back we ran our first cartoon caption contest on Post University's blog. We challenged you to come up with the best caption for one of my original cartoons. Here it is, for a refresher.

Well, the entries are in and deadline is up. We received almost 200 submissions. I've poured over them all, and have come to a decision. But before I spill the beans, I thought I'd give you a glimpse inside what went into my very sophisticated judging process.

And you thought cartooning was easy! Well, I have to tell you, this was a tough choice, but a lot of fun. As a cartoonist, you sometimes get blinders on and forget how many directions a drawing can take you. So how did I ultimately pick the winners?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Debating the value of political debates

As part of its commitment to being an active and engaged member of the Waterbury, Conn., community, Post University has signed on as the Gold Sponsor of tomorrow's 2011 Waterbury Mayoral Debate.

The debate offers an up-close-and-personal opportunity for the public to assess its choices before voting on Nov. 8. This year's debate will pit candidates Michael J. Jarjura (R), Neil O'Leary (D), and Larry De Pillo (I) against one another.

Our sponsorship helps support an age-old part of the political process that is driven by the notion that an educated electorate is a better electorate. But some might ask the question, Do such debates make a difference, and should you pay attention to them?

In a word, yes. Here's why.