Showing posts with label Tips for Students. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips for Students. Show all posts

Favorite Freebies on Amazon Part 2 of 2: Horror & Sci-Fi Edition

So last Friday, I talked a bit about my favorite ways of finding free ebooks on Amazon.  I saw that a lot of people visited the site and shared it with others (thank you!).  I hope part 2 is equally rewarding.  In particular, I've focused on Science-fiction, fantasy, and horror.  So enjoy and let me know what you may have found that I didn't know about!

A couple other places that I found that regular post free Kindle books include:

There is of course, the Free Book Collections site on Amazon itself.  There's also Freebook Sifter, which sorts books into categories for you to explore better than the Amazon interface.

There's also these Twitter accounts that are fairly prodigious in their outpouring:
EbooksAddict
FKBT Blog
Free eBooks Daily
Free Kindle Books
Free Kindle Ebooks
Free Kindle eBooks
Free Kindle Fiction
FreeKindleEBooks.com
Kindle Free Books
Hundred Zeros

And here are some more of my favorites "free" purchases that I've found on Amazon, including some very popular science-fiction, fantasy, and horror authors.

SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Sentiment, Inc.
Poul William Anderson
Poul William Anderson titles.

Looking Backward 2000-1887.
Edward Bellamy
Edward Bellamy titles.

The Dueling Machine.
Ben Bova
Ben Bova titles.

The Planet Savers.
Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Monster Men.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs titles.

Invaders from the Infinite.
John Wood Campbell
John Wood Campbell titles.

Let'Em Breathe Space.
Lester Del Rey
Lester Del Rey titles.

The Hanging Stranger.
Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick titles.

Northworld Trilogy.
David Drake
David Drake titles.

Rastignac the Devil.
Philip José Farmer

The Misplaced Battleship.
Harry Harrison
Harry Harrison titles.

Operation Haystack.
Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert titles.

Wool - Part One.
Hugh Howey

The Moon is Green.
Fritz Leiber
Fritz Leiber titles.

News from Nowhere, or, an Epoch of Rest : being some chapters from a utopian romance.
William Morris

The Time Traders.
Andre Norton
Andre Norton titles.

The Hated.
Frederik Pohl
Frederick Pohl titles.

Starman's Quest.
Robert Silverberg

Empire.
Clifford D. Simak
Clifton D. Simak titles.

The Big Trip Up Yonder.
Kurt Vonnegut

On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington).
David Weber
David Weber titles.

The Invisible Man.
H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells titles.



HORROR
Famous Modern Ghost Stories Anthology.
Various

The Book of Were-Wolves.
S. Baring-Gould
S. Baring-Gould titles.

The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 1.
Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Bierce titles.

The Wendigo.
Algernon Blackwood
Algernon Blackwood titles.

This Crowded Earth.
Robert Bloch

The Dark Star.
Robert W. Chambers
Robert W. Chambers titles.

The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories.
Lord Dunsany
Lord Dunsany titles.

The Screaming.
Jack Kilborn
Jack Kilborn (A.K.A. J. A. Konrath regularly has his titles for free on Amazon).

A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu titles.

The Great God Pan.
Arthur Machen
Arthur Machen titles.

Varney the Vampire Or the Feast of Blood.
Thomas Preskett Prest

Frankenstein.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Mary Shelley titles.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson titles.

Dracula.
Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker titles.

So what are some of the interesting treasures you've discovered on Amazon for free?




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Favorite Freebies on Amazon Part 1 of 2

So I have never bought the Amazon Kindle.  When it first came out, I was curious but dubious.  And I never found a full need for it in my life (this coming from someone trying to read 365 books this year).  However, when Amazon released the Kindle as an App for use on smartphones, tablets and even computers, I found myself signing up for it and beginning my journey down ebooks.  In the interim, I've bought over 850 ebooks on Amazon, but I have spent a total of $0.00.  You read that right.  I spent nothing, but now I have some 850+ books in my Kindle app (Note:  When I started this blog post, I had about 800 but over the course of researching, I added 50 more books).

Tips and Tricks to Searching Amazon

Freebies to be found on Amazon.
So how do you find these awesome books.  The simplest way is to go to Amazon itself.  Type an author into the search engine.  On the search results page, click "Books" (or "Kindle Store" if it shows up--it doesn't always depending on your search).  On the right screen, click the drop down menu "Sort By" and select "Price: Low to High."  Depending on the author, particularly if it is contemporary, it is likely to wield poor results.  If it is a work in the public domain, it's much more likely to be found on Amazon  for free.  This means practically all works written before 1923.  From 1923 and beyond, it gets a bit trickier but there are still lots of works to be found.  (A follow up post will show some science-fiction,  fantasy, and horror that is available from after 1923).  You can also search by genre name and title and then sort by low to high.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.  On most product pages on Amazon, there is a row of icons and products of "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..."  There can be anywhere between 1 to 16 subpages that you can scroll through.  I find this is also a good opportunity to move through related products since in addition to the product item, the price is also posted.

OneHundredFreeBooks.  This is one of the many sites and apps out there that will inform you of the latest free books on Amazon.  I like it because it has a webpage but also updates on its Facebook page several times a day.

Twitter Hashtags.  Twitter is also a great place to look for hashtags related to "free" "Amazon" and/or "Kindle" and you'll find daily numerous tweets of various free ebooks.




Below are listed some of the purchases that I've made over the last 2 years of book-buying on Amazon. I link to the product page but then also when relevant, a listing to the author's works sorted by price from low to high so you can see what else is offered by the author.  As of June 27, 2013, all the links work, but that's the other thing to consider is that some items come and go.  Enjoy and come back (or subscribe via email or RSS) to catch Part 2 of this listing wherein I cover a good amount of classic sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.  The categories below are Classic Literature, Cooking and Homestead, Fairy Tales, and Miscellaneous.

CLASSIC LITERATURE

Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum  free on Amazon Kindle.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
L. Frank Baum
L. Frank Baum titles.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll titles.

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories.
Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin titles.

The Last of the Mohicans; A narrative of 1757.
James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper titles.

The Red Badge of Courage.
Stephen Crane

A Christmas Carol.
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens titles.

Poems by Emily Dickinson, Series One.
Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson titles.

The Idiot.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fyodor Dostoyevsky titles.

The Lost World.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle titles.

The Souls of Black Folk.
W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois titles.

The Man in the Iron Mask.
Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas titles.

This Side of Paradise.
F.Scott Fitzgerald
F Scott Fitzgerald titles.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
Benjamin Franklin

The Scarlet Letter.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne titles.

Leviathan.
Thomas Hobbes

The Odyssey.
Homer
Homer titles.

A Treatise of Human Nature.
David Hume
David Hume titles.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself.
Harriet Ann Jacobs

Ulysses.
James Joyce
James Joyce titles.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling free on Amazon Kindle.
The Jungle Book.
Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling titles.

Sons and Lovers.
D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence titles.

Love of Life and Other Stories.
Jack London
Jack London titles.

The Prince.
Niccolo Machiavelli
Niccolo Machiavelli titles.

Maha-bharata The Epic of Ancient India Condensed into English Verse.

Moby Dick: or, the White Whale.
Herman Melville
Herman Melville titles.

Beyond Good and Evil.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche titles.

The Yellow Wallpaper.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman titles.

The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 1.

The Republic.
Plato
Plato titles.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe titles.

The Argonautica.
Apollonius Rhodius

King Richard III.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare titles.

King Coal : a Novel.
Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair titles.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
Adam Smith

Oedipus Trilogy.
Sophocles

Walden.
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau titles.

Democracy in America - Volume 1.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville titles.

Anna Karenina.
Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy titles.

Life on the Mississippi.
Mark Twain
Mark Twain titles.

A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Jules Verne
Jules Verne titles.

The Aeneid of Virgil.
Virgil

Up from Slavery: an autobiography.
Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington titles.

Leaves of Grass free on Amazon Kindle.
Leaves of Grass.
Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman titles.

The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde titles.

Faust.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe titles.

FOOD AND HOMESTEAD

100 Year Old Recipes You Can Still Make Today: HOMEMADE CANDIES.
Kirsten Anderberg

Things To Do While Avoiding Things To Do: And 56 More Fun Lists for Procrastinators.
Mark J. Asher

Basically Bread, The Fundamentals of Making Great Bread.
John Barnes

Best Ever Fruit Cobbler & Crisp Recipes (Best Ever Recipes Series).
Lori Burke

The American Frugal Housewife.
Lydia Maria Francis Child

Survival 101: The Essential Guide to Saving Your Own Life in a Disaster.
Marcus Duke

Smart School Time Recipes: The Breakfast, Snack, and Lunchbox Cookbook for Healthy Kids and Adults.
Alisa Marie Fleming

The Wonders of Kale: "Green it Up" with New and Unique Recipes!
Meigyn Gabryelle

Homemade Quirk

Create your dream garden (52 Brilliant Ideas).
Infinite Ideas
Infinite Ideas titles.

Incredible Cardboard!
Instructables Authors
Instructables titles.

Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation Harvesting Curing and Uses.
M. G. (Maurice Grenville) Kains

Survival Guide for Beginners.
Vitaly Pedchenko

Home Vegetable Gardening -a Complete and Practical Guide to the Planting and Care of All Vegetables, Fruits and Berries Worth Growing for Home Use.
F. P. Rockwell

Survival Tactics.
Al Sevcik

Woodcraft and Camping.
George Washington Sears

The 30 Minute Wine Expert: Amaze Your Friends with Your Wine Expertise.
Michael Sullivan

All About Coffee.
William H. Ukers
/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

Knots, Splices and Rope Work: A Practical Treatise.
A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt) Verrill

FAIRY TALES


More Fairy Tales titles.

MISCELLANEOUS

Well Played 2.0: Video Games, Value and Meaning.
Drew Davidson
/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

It's a Dog's Life, Snoopy!
Charles M. Schulz

How I Found Livingstone.
Sir Henry M. Stanley

United States Presidents' Inaugural Speeches.
United States' Presidents

Charles River Editors (Titles change often but lots of free history stuff).

So where else do you find free ebooks for the Kindle or elsewhere?



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Students: Why You're Smarter Than You Think

One of the biggest challenges I encounter in teaching is seeing students determined to believe that they are poor learners in general or within the particular field of study they are encountering (in my case: literature or history).  It's frustrating because as someone vested in their learning and learning in general, I know that it's not an innate inability to do the work but more often, their mindset that inhibits them.  In fact, too often I see students believing they are not good enough at a subject matter and abandon it without really knowing if they enjoy it or not (nevermind whether they are good at it--whatever that may mean).  
Cast of the 1939 Wizard of Oz
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_
Wizard_of_Oz_Garland_Lahr_Haley_Bolger_1939.jpg

I teach college level students.  They run the gamut from being just released from the imprisoning and often detrimental high school to having been away from school for decades.  Either way, they enter the classroom with some trepidation; even those that believe they are strong learners (whatever that means!).  They often enter the class with the assumption that I (as instructor) am the "expert" and therein have all the right answers (I don't.).  It would be amusing, if it were so problematic for their own learning.  The role of the "instructor" and  our current conception and execution of learner in contemporary education still holds that the instructor is the authoritative known-all, be-all; the Great Oz if you will.  The best of us (and I'm not implying that I am part of the "best") know that we are more human behind the curtain, than giant monstrous projection.  

Teachers, instructors, facilitators, we are more like Dorothy.  We got some advice from strangers one day when we awoke in a fascinating world that we were intrigued by.  Those strangers sent us down a path to get our ultimate answers and though we strayed along the way, we continue to find the answers we're seeking (though ever rarely reach the true end of that path).  That path is the discipline we study, enjoy and find value in.  

Off onto the Yellow Brick Road

So if I could say anything to my students about their learning and get them out of the frame of feeling they are poor learners or incapable of doing great work, I'd tell them something like this:  

What happens when you get interested in something?  Be it a TV Show, a musician, an artistic style, a style of fighting, a local sports team, a new style of cooking, a model of car, a new knitting design, a new phone model, a sequel to your favorite video game, etc, how do you react to this interest?  

You seek out more information about it, you fiddle with it, you ask others for insight on it, you read about it, you tweet about it, you get into arguments about it, you fight for it.  You become invested in it.  And that investment consists of using your power (physical, mental, financial, relational, etc) to get closer to it.  To know it better.  

That energy expended--it's all in the name of learning. Learning is coming to know something or someone.  And you do this constantly in your life.  In fact, you love to learn.  You love to study too; all that time and energy put in trying to understand that interest--is studying.  You love getting one step closer to the object of your attention because learning in itself is rewarding.  In fact, in many ways, you will often pay (in time, money, attention) to get to know your interest better.  You're willing to sacrifice bits and parts of yourself to get to know it better.  

That "aha!" moment when you figure out something new about the object of your attention on your own; it's awesome.  That moment brings you closer to the object of your desire in some abstract way.  Knowing all the stats about your favorite baseball team does not bring you physically closer to the team, but it does bring you intellectually closer and there's an inherent reward in that.  There is reward and benefits in learning.  You are intrinsically rewarded for getting to know it better. 

You sometimes forget that you're a constant learner.  You sometimes forget that the difference between learning in your life is not any different than learning in a classroom.  The major difference is that you may not come to the subject matter with much interest beyond that the course stands as a barrier between you and your end goal (a grade, a degree, a job, etc).  But if you take the time to consider that the same intrinsic rewards that await you in those things you have sought out to study can also be found in these subject matters, you'll find there is value in getting to know it better.  

Some of the most interesting and rewarding experiences await when you find a way to put down your guard about learning and what you can and can't learn.  It opens up a world where the only thing that limits you and your learning is time.  Time to find all the things that you want to get to know better.



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Recent Post on LETS Blog: Using Google Docs

I’ve been using Google Docs more and more with each semester.  I find it a great tool for organizing my work, files, and student work.  It’s pretty easy to set up, to organize, and to keep track of students and their work.  Since it is attached to the student’s school email and all done online, it avoids issues of compatibility and software issues.  The most software they’ll need is an updated web browser.  Any browser works well, but you can expect some wonkiness.

For the rest of the article, click on through to the LETS Blog.


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Sure, I'll Do That: Where Volunteering Has Led Me

Volunteering has been a strong part of my life since I was young.  In high school, I volunteered for a summer as a junior counselor at a YMCA camp.  Granted at age 14 and in hindsight, it sounds more like free labor and a summer babysitter for my parents, but it was also giving back to the camp that I had gotten so much out of while growing up (and of course, caused so much trouble at too—which still leaves me to wonder why they thought it was a good idea for me to be a counselor).   In my senior year of high school, my favorite teacher (Mr. Metropolis!) required us to volunteer 20+ hours in his AP US History course.  In volunteering, he required us to keep a log to account for our volunteering and experiences.  Sure enough, while volunteering at one event (which brought me back to my elementary school), I chanced upon a conversation with a woman from a local under-funded pre-school.  My conversation with her led me to volunteer at the school for much the rest of the school year, doing more than the minimum required time and continuing to volunteer there for several years after.  With all of these volunteering experiences, they laid a foundation for me to get a job as after school daycare counselor at a different YMCA in college.  The lessons and experienced gained in these volunteering gigs lead to a range of opportunities throughout my life from working in residential programs to running a youth leadership program to running a bookclub for kids.  

Audiobooks and Volunteering

In hindsight, I see the pattern happen again and again.  I volunteer to do something and it opens up a range of new opportunities.   Audiobooks are a great example.  For those that don’t know, I’m a bit of an audiobook evangelist.  I will at some point in our interactions, try to sell you on audiobooks.  I’ve listened to thousands of them in my life and thoroughly enjoy a good narrated story.  So back after graduating college, I was just as much an audiobook nut and just saw it as an unexplored field for many.  I wanted to get involved.  So I looked about and found a site dedicated to audiobooks:  Audiobook Café.  The site is no longer up (and no, I promise it wasn’t me).  In a desire to get involved, I emailed the site’s executive and said, “Hey, I’ll do whatever—can I volunteer for you.”  They took me on as traffic coordinator; basically, I had to try to get traffic directed to the site (and apparently, I didn’t do it enough, so maybe it is my fault).  Eventually, they let me write about audiobooks and reviewing them for the site (and for that, they did pay me).  Though as the site’s finances began to fall through, they helped me secure reviewer gigs at two magazines (and that eventually expanded to three).  Just over a decade from when I started that venture, I have professionally written over 800 audiobook reviews, conducted over a dozen interviews with people in the industry, and written several articles on the subject matter.  My interest went even further and I eventually presented at the National Popular Culture Association’s annual conference (2009) on the subject of audiobooks (and Stephen King).  

Comics and Volunteering

Comics took a similar venture.  As I got involved in reviewing audiobooks, I became curious about reviewing graphic novels and so contacted several sites to write graphic novel reviews for including CurledUp.com and BookLoons.com.  The general editors of these sites were kind and welcoming, took me in and helped me get started, providing support when needed and good editorial feedback where needed.  At the same time, I was in grad school and a peer of mine made me aware of the fact that I could in fact study comics to some degree (Thanks Tad!).  As I finished grad school and continued to review graphic novels, I also started teaching at the college level.  So with the background I had developed through education and volunteering, I offered up the idea of teaching a course on comics.  This was successful enough that I have taught it 4 colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area and regularly teach it at North Shore Community College.

So why all this talk about volunteering?  Well, two weeks ago, I did it again.  Rather about 2 months ago, I did it.  I’ll back up.  As I stepped into my new position at North Shore Community College, I wanted to make contacts and learn more about the different elements of instructional design.  In particular, I’ve been interested in games and education.  This led me eventually to learn about Media Grid:  Immersive Education.  I quickly joined the site and then also saw that a conference in Boston in early June.  Knowing that I couldn’t get the funds for access to the conference, I contacted the organization to ask if I could volunteer and work at the conference in exchange for access.  They agreed and the doors were opened.  The experience opened up a great range of ideas and learning, as well as opened up contacts with a variety of interesting and great people.  As the conference came to a close, the organizers asked if I would like to stay on for future conferences and help out.  It was really kind and pretty cool as they made clear that they appreciated the effort and enthusiasm that I showed.   So all this has me thinking, where will this lead me?

It’s true that I’m not volunteering out of a true sense of charity.  I’m volunteering because I’m interested and want more out of wherever it is that I’m volunteering.  But I’m also not advancing my volunteering as a sign of sainthood (though the audiobook gods may be grateful for my singlehanded efforts to convert at least 20 people I know to regularly use audiobooks).  Rather, I’m reflecting on the ways that volunteering has given me ample opportunity to further explore and profit (initially in an intellectual sense but later in a monetary and reputational sense) from the subject of my attention.

Where has your volunteering lead you?




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The Right to Fail at College

Success is possible in the 21st century without post-high school training or education, but it’s increasingly unlikely.  (Success is hard to define; but in this context, I am largely thinking success in terms of employment and compensation; that is not the final say on success, there are many other ways of valuing and understanding success as the Happiness Index indicates.   With the context of employment and compensation, I then would say that success is being gainfully employed in a way that is not directly exploitative to one’s mental and physical health while simultaneously covering one’s needs and a reasonable amount of extra compensation for savings and basic upkeep of one’s life; it’s vague, but that’s largely because success will look different for everyone).  In the globalized interconnected world, more training is needed to fulfill the more complex jobs of that world and we are not giving people a good opportunity to fulfill those jobs (or their own potential for that matter).

In an ideal world, I would love to see advance education given the same access level as elementary, middle, and high school.  I can only see a more educated population being better for us.  After all, as Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn point out in Half the Sky with regards to women, when you optimize your population, the return on productivity, invention, and economic expansion is significant.  But that’s unlikely—at least in the US.  If recognizing reasonable access to healthcare in a world where our understanding and ways of healing are extremely complex (and highly industrialized) is something enough to cause uproars and claims of “socialism”, then recognizing how costly and inaccessible college education is for many, despite their need for it in order to be successful, is not going to fly either.  And that’s a shame.

Appreciating Failure in Education

So, my compromise—or rather what’s been toiling in my head a lot of late is failure.  My failures, students’ failures, our culture’s failures.   Kathryn Schulz’s take “On being wrong” makes me rethink education in many ways while Brené Brown’s "Listening to shame" is equally humbling.  But taken together is this idea that we miss some great opportunities to fail and learn.  So many of our greatest lessons are from failure and recognizing the things that we are ashamed of about ourselves.  We never get to have these conversations—because we’re too worried about being wrong and being ashamed.  But there’s such powerful learning right there.  That’s where this is leading me—recognizing that some students will need to fail and that we should give them the opportunity to fail…free of charge.

The income gap between people with advance education and those without is significant.  In recent years, a college degree equals an increase of nearly 70% in the big picture. Whether intuitively or factually, many people realize this and set off to college whether they can afford it or not.  And a lot do not succeed for a variety of reasons.  But failure results in not just lost time, poor grades, expulsion, etc, it results in significant financial lost that the student will have to pay back (if school loans were involved) or has lost.  That’s a serious hit when one considers the cost of the course, books, transportation/parking, time spent in and out of class, etc.  Even at a community college, the direct costs could run upwards of $600-800 and another $600-1000 in indirect costs for just one course.  That calculation is based upon the following:
  • The course is about $500
  • The course text is about $100
  • Transportation at least $1-5 per visit depending upon resources
  • 40 hours of class time that could be spent work at minimum wage $300, 
  • $600-900 for additional class work outside the classroom that the student could be earning money.
 That’s what a student needs to put in (well, multiplied by 35-38 courses), if the student is going to potentially get the return of an income 70% higher than a non-college graduate.  The financial burden of that hits lower income students disproportionately and unfairly, particularly if the student fails (and the challenges for poorer students to succeed entails many more obstacles as well).

Let me tell you about Jane.  Jane wasn’t ready for college.  But she had no way of really knowing that until she got into college.  She had not yet developed the intellectual skills to discuss the material at a level which proved competency nor did she have the communication skills that are reasonably expected at the college level.  But she did know she needed more for her life in terms of work; especially after being laid off.  Enter a unversity that encouraged her to enroll at their school (and though in this case, it was a for-profit school who has been under fire for its “recruitment” tactics, this happens in various ways at nonprofit schools as well).  But Jane couldn’t afford it—they showed her how to apply for loans and encouraged her to fulfill her dreams, get the education, and make a lot of money.  Money was tight, but with the loans, she could afford going to college.  So she did.  And she failed.  So now that Jane has failed, she’s not moving up in any economic sense and is left to now start paying for those school loans, limiting her options even further.

That seems wrong to me.  Yes, Jane wasn’t ready for college and someone might have been able to see that ahead of time, but there are many out there who just won’t know until they are there.  There are many who have to try college to know that they are not ready for it.  There are others who will never try college because of the prohibitive costs or that they are not intellectually ready for the challenge (only to find out that they are).  I don’t think we will get to a point where advance education is the right that we recognize secondary education to be, but I think we should recognize at least the opportunity to try (and even fail) at higher education without penalty is worth exploring. 



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