Tag Archives: Books

Back To School Basics

Back To School Basics

 

(Paper – College Ruled, Pens – G2 Ballpoint, Pencils – Mechanical BiC pencils, Binder – Organizing Folders, Backpack – Classic JanSport, Notebooks – Mead Spiral Notebooks)

Summertime Sadness (Sorta)

Well it’s that time of the year again. Near the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. Take a trip to your local Target or Walmart and you’ll see signs that Summer is nearly over. And I’m not speaking metaphorically – you will literally see signs marking sections that are specific to “Back to School” items.

For all you parents out there “Back to School” is the start of the daily routine of dropping the kids off and picking them up several hours later and possibly attending PTA meetings every few weeks – just another list of things to add into your already busy schedule. But if you are a kid or even a young teenager, school is most likely at the center of what you do. It forms the basis of your social life, teaches things you may or may not find useful in the future, and hopefully opens your mind up to the possibilities around you. We’ve all been there and whether you love it or you hate it, school forms the basis of our formative years. For those of us lucky enough to have the motivation and means to pursue a higher education, schooling becomes even more important. In college almost everything you do will involve school and I’m not just referring to studies and homework. The people you hang out with will more than likely be classmates, roommates, or people in your dorm. You may find yourself working one or two jobs at a time to pay off those pesky student loans, to keep up with housing payments, to afford school books, or even to buy groceries. Basically school becomes your main focus (hopefully) and for good reason: it’s a springboard to future career tracks as well as a realm of various possibilities even if you think that the material you are learning is “useless”.

If you’ve managed to read this far without getting bored, you’re probably wondering what that rant had to do with “back to school” stuff. Well the answer is simple: Since schooling is so important (as previously indicated), it makes sense to be prepared from Day One. All of the items on this list are oriented to college students, with a focus on practical, inexpensive, and light weight items.

The first thing that you need obviously is something to hold your books, supplies, and if you have one, a laptop. A rugged yet lightweight backpack is ideal and if you’ve got a tight budget, I’d recommend the Classic JanSport backpack. It’s really the basic backpack that both looks the part for a college student and is durable enough to last the year.

So backpack, check. Now for items useful in classes, you’re obviously going to need something to take notes with and on. Mead Spiral Notebooks are great to take to class because they don’t take up space in your bag and because they can serve as both your notebook and your source of lined paper for written assignments or essays. If you’re not the person that likes to keep different notebooks for different classes, then you can keep all your notes together in one big Binder. All your assignments and notes will be organized and available in one place. Of course if you don’t buy a spiral notebook, you will need to stock up on a lot of college ruled paper. As for writing tools, I prefer G2 ballpoint pens simply because they are relatively inexpensive and are very smooth to write with. I would however advise buying a few cases of these pens as they may get lost or broken frequently. If you need a pencil, say for some sort of math class, I would recommend buying Mechanical BiC Pencils in bulk. These pencils are very convenient as you don’t need to sharpen them, they’re almost always ready to use, and they use number 2 pencil lead (the type that most scan-tron tests need).

These are of course just the basics of what a college student will need for classes, but other than course-specific books or materials like calculators, they really are the only items that every class requires.

Speaking of books, many college students complain about how expensive their textbooks are at the college bookstore. Well in case you don’t know, Amazon has a special offer for college students that sign up for student memberships, with discounted shipping and other great benefits to help you save some money. For some text books, they even have a “rent” option that allows you to order a book for the semester at only a fraction of the normal cost.

While summer is coming to an end and you are making all your preparations for the coming Fall season, don’t forget to enjoy yourself the last few weeks of vacation. After all, Summer’s not over just yet.

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Diving In

Scuba Diving BookDiving Places Book Diving Safety Book  Diving Fins & Gear Diving Wetsuit

 

 

(Diving Gear – Wetsuit, Diving Gear – Snorkel & Fins, Diving Book – Scuba Diving, Diving Book – Places to See, Diving Book – Safety!)

Rollin in the Deep 

I have a few hobbies and favorite past-times and most of them involve winter sports like skating, skiing, or hockey and as far as summertime hobbies go, its mostly just soccer and the occasional trip to the beach. However, the one activity that I wish I could make into a hobby is scuba diving. Its simply one of the funnest experiences I have ever had. The first time I went diving was off the coast of the North Shore beach on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu a few years ago. The crystal clear waters and vibrant sea life were a sight to behold and the thought of being able to get out and explore the underwater locale was exhilarating. I immediately knew I wanted to make this a hobby. Well unfortunately for me, I haven’t had much occasion to make scuba diving a regular thing for me. Keep in mind that going out and diving requires both time and money, and even though I live in the Bay Area time and money aren’t always readily available so most attempts to go out and make this a regular thing have been put off. BUT I’m hoping that will change soon, and so in preparation for diving to be a thing, I decided to write a little about it.

Now if you’re new to the whole concept of Scuba diving actually being a hobby, then you might want to read up on it. This intro book into the scuba diving experience goes into a little detail about the mechanics of diving, safety details, and other interesting information that can get you on-the-level with basic diving techniques. This is probably at the stage I’m at – I know a bit about diving in general and have a very keen interest in pursuing this as a hobby. But of course the question is now, “Where are some some good or interesting diving locations?” Well as it turns out, people have written quite a few books on some of the best diving locations in the world. It provides details about some of the most interesting and beautiful diving locales, and provides glimpses of those dive sites – just enough to peak your interest.

Safety is always an issue when doing any sort of hobby, and as it turns out, diving can actually be pretty dangerous! Running out of oxygen, running into hostile sea life, pressure sickness, and even getting lost are all real possibilities when diving and can be very dangerous if ignored. Fortunately many of these dangers can be avoided with a little preparation. The safety diving book provides information on various diving mishaps and useful advice on how to prepare for a diving trip and tips on how to take preventative measures against accidents.

When you eventually decide to take a diving trip and when you eventually decide to make it a hobby, you would be in a position to invest in some of your own gear. Personally, I haven’t gone diving nearly enough to purchase my own equipment, but like I keep telling myself, eventually I’m going to reach that point, and I might need a few things. A wetsuit of course is an important part of diving gear. It provides the necessary protection against the cold temperatures of deep water. Fins allow you to get around quickly and cover more distance on a tank of oxygen. Goggles are obviously necessary, unless you want to miss the scenery while you’re diving. And finally a snorkel to save on your oxygen tank when swimming in shallow waters.

Like all things, scuba diving requires practice. You have to learn to monitor your air, learn to breathe properly and conserve your tank, and remember your diving routes. Once you build up experiencer though, you can go on more challenging and interesting dives enhancing the experience even more.

So if you want to really beat the summer heat, look into scuba diving. It can be a bit of a challenge, but promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Summer Reads

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I’m not usually the type of person who could be found at home engulfed in a novel, but these summer reads have taken me on multiple adventures. If you’re in the market for a new book, check out one of these six books, I promise you’ll be just as hooked as I was.

The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson is set in 1727. Hodgson takes you on a wild journey through Tom Hawkins life. Tom refuses to follow his father’s footsteps and become a country parson, as he loves a life full of wine, beautiful women, and gambling. His interests soon get him in trouble with London’s debtors’ prison and a murder mystery unfolds. Although this book is not my typical read, it is a summer must.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris is a thoughtful novel about the mysteries of modern life. It follows the story of Paul O’Rourke, who is addicted to technology. When he encounters a fake website, Facebook page, and Twitter account created in his name, he finds that this online impersonation of him might actually be better than the real thing. Just like a little Catfish story!

Sara Shepard is the same bestselling author as the series Pretty Little Liars. Her novel, The Heiresses, has the same mysterious plot line. The Saybrooks are a beautiful and wealthy family but are troubled with many mysterious deaths. I won’t say any more about this thrilling mystery, just find out for yourself what is happening in this twisted story.

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith is her first published piece, but nothing short of a rich novel. Smith’s story takes place in Utina, Flordia. The small town has failed to see any economic growth in years. She takes you on a journey with the Bravo’s, a wild family that encompasses the love of the town.

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is about the death of printed material and the power of the Internet. The main character, Anana Johnson works with her father at a dictionary producer, but when her father goes missing, her journey goes well beyond her control. It may be a metaphor for what is happening in the world, but you tell me.

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende is a suspense novel featured in the New York Times. It is a coming of age story about Maya Vidal, who was abandoned by her mother. Her grandmother raised her in Berkeley, California. When tragedy strikes, Maya turns towards illegal substances and crime. Her wild life leads her to a remote island off the coast of Chile…but you’ll have to read more to find out what happens next!

Whether you enjoy reading or not, these books will all take you on a journey. Give them a try or research other books you might enjoy!

 

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