Thursday, October 30, 2014

College Search

I choose College View for this week’s discussion.  I reviewed several and found this to be the most user friendly with information useful to students.  Other websites I reviewed had “sign up” requirements to the site.  College View does not have this requirement.  You simply type in a college name, state, or any other preferences you are searching for and you will find short blurbs or a link to “expand” for more information.   
I found this site organized and thorough.  I did not find any disadvantages in maneuvering through this site.   The information was up-to-date and accurate.  While researching this website, I put in the search box “UCLA.”  The information popped up in organized columns and covered all the information needed.   At the top of the website are tabs listing college search, financial aid, application process, campus life, careers and majors, and student lounge.  Other categories listed are “party scenes” and athletics as these are important determining factors for some student.
College search sites are a great way for students to get information other than what is offered at the university website.   I found some college search websites difficult to maneuver through.  For example, you were required to follow a step-by-step procedure to get to the specific information you want.  This type of website I found tedious and annoying.  As mentioned above, I also did not like the websites that required you to sign up. 
Here is the link to College View for anyone interested:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Social Media in College Admissions

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a selfie on Twitter during the Academy Awards this year causing the site to crash.  This is proof of the power of social media as a way to promote yourself for free.  Entertainers, musicians, news organizations, athletes, and universities or college counselors have Twitter accounts.  In addition to this, most have "official pages" on Facebook and a number of unofficial fan pages
Social media is a powerful tool to promote universities.  The article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "College Admissions in the Social Media Age" reports that Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans had 6,000 Twitter and 5,100 Facebook followers.  The student population at Dillard is 1,300.  Kimbrough has found a way to connect to students through social media.  Social media is a way to provide up-to-date information on admission deadlines, sporting events or any special events going on at the university.  University websites are still the best way to get information on academic programs and admission requirements.  As a matter of fact, according to the article, 53% of students polled said social media had no impact on their decisions.  However, 21% said that higher quality social media made them more interested.

I found that many universities have Twitter accounts.  Tweets are only 140 words, but universities can include a link to an article or a YouTube video in their tweets. 

 The potential negatives are having a public Facebook page with inappropriate posts.  Admissions officers do check social media sites of students applying to their university.  Twitter accounts are also reviewed.  Some students have dual accounts as a way to protect them from the admissions review.  I read that a student on a college tour was tweeting inappropriately about how bored she was and how hot to tour guide was which impacted the decision of the admissions officers.  She was not accepted to this university. 

Universities or college counselors trying to promote their businesses have a free marketing tool at their fingertips.  Facebook and Twitter are free and if used properly can generate a number of followers and possible students or parents to their universities or private businesses.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I believe podcasts are important in our field as many are turning to them for information.  I hear on NPR all the time "listen to the podcast."  Ira Glass from "This American Life" has a podcast series that he discussed on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."  However, for students are used to image-fueled information from their computer via social media sites, I think a YouTube series with visuals would suit them more.  Listening to a couple of experts might bore them.  but if the experts are in a nice living room or some sort of set, it might grab their attention.

For this week’s blog, I listened to several podcasts.  I found many that were informative and interesting for a counselors, parents, and students.  There are two that I would like to focus on for this week’s discussion.  “The College-Bound Chronicles” website hosts a series of podcasts from a mother’s perspective, Lian Dolan, broadcaster and the host of “The Chaos Chronicles” and Dr. Nancy Berk, psychologist, mother and author of “College Bound and Gagged.”  The podcast topic I listened to was “The College Bound Chronicles 120:  The SAT shake up.”  Here is the link for those interested:

Ms. Dolan and Dr. Berk discuss the changes that will be made to the SAT in the future.  In addition to this, they offer information for parents with ADHD children, how to study for the test along with emotional balance advice from Dr. Berk.  I would recommend this podcast to counselors and students.  I did not find a bias in this podcast.  There books are listed on the website, not necessarily as a sales pitch, but a way to share their credentials.

I also listened the Stitcher website, “The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, College Search, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…” hosted by Lauren Gaggioli.   The podcast topic I listened to was “Tips for Great College Visits with Jessica Velasco.”  At the beginning of the podcast, Ms. Gaggioli asks Ms. Velasco to share her background in the field of counseling.  Ms. Velasco was an independent college counselor, former admissions counselor and director, at Laverne, director of admissions at Northwest University near Seattle.  I found the podcast informative with several different options for visiting a college campus, from the casual to a scheduled appointment.  Ms. Velasco shared that some students prefer a drive by the campus to see if they like what they see while others like to spend a night in student housing to get a real feel for what it would be like to live on the campus.  I would recommend this podcast to counselors and students.  It is longer than the previous podcast I discusses.  It is 40 minutes and the first podcast is 24 minutes.  Here is the link to the Stitcher website podcast for those interested:

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Billy Sedlmayr's Kickstarter Project

Who is Billy Sedlmayr?
Billy Sedlmayr has some stories he needs to tell, and that need to be heard. For over three decades now Billy Seldmayr has been deep in the fabric of Tucson music, from his early days as an underage musician playing dusty bars long since gone with punk rock pioneers The Pedestrians, then playing with Giant Sandworms, laying down the blueprint for Tucson music. Over the years Billy's made music with local legends like Rainer, Howe Gelb, Dave Seeger, Rich Hopkins, Dan Stewart, Van Christian and many more, a founding member of a scene that produced bands like Naked Prey, Green On Red, Giant Sand and more.

What is this project?

This project is the culmination of a now 2 year collaboration of Billy Sedlmayr and Gabriel Sullivan. The two began playing music together in the legendary Tucson dive, The Red Room, and have since been working towards recording a solo record of Billy Sedlmayr's music. Gabriel will be producing the record and will be recruiting his own band, Taraf de Tucson, to back Billy for the recordings. The Create Co. (headed by Bryce Myhre) has been documenting the sonic endeavors of Billy and Gabriel and will be filming the entire recording process of the upcoming record.

When all is said and done, there will be a physical album of 12+ original Billy Sedlmayr songs, and a documentary of Billy's music and life story. This is a bold endeavor that is reliant on your support!

What do your pledges go to?

•7 days of recording
•7 days of mixing
•the filming of the recording process
•the editing of two years of footage
•paying the studio musicians
•mastering the record

To fully understand Billy and his music, be sure to check out the music video for the song "Tucson Kills"!

Here is link to Kickstarter Project:
November 17th is last day to back this project.  Any amount will help.  Thank you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Yuma Joe Byrnes , Joe Frank Byrnes, Joe Byrnes Was the Sweetest Man I Ever Met

I found out yesterday Joe died.  He died on June 21, 2012.  I am not sure yet if it was suicide or accidental. Yuma Joe Byrnes was probably the sweetest man I have met in my life. A gentle soul. He was the drummer of the band, Broken Horse, Tarnation, and countless others.
A couple of years ago, my brother told me Joe landed in jail for killing his dog. My brother said Joe heard voices telling him to do it. After he did it, Joe brought the dog inside a church. This was where he was arrested. This was in San Francisco where Joe has lived for more than 20 years.

I heard the judge let him off on the condition he had to get psychiatric help. I do not know if he did or anything from then on. I sent him a message on Facebook telling him to come back to Tucson where life was easier and rent was cheap. I never heard back.
I am waiting for his good friend Alex to call me with the exact details. I am hoping it was an accident. I do not want to think about the despair sweet Joe might have been feeling. I am sure the guilt of killing his beloved dog was always with him. Joe would not hurt a fly under normal circumstances.

There are so many good medications out there that make the voices go away. Folks can lead a normal life on these meds. I work for a behavioral health agency in town. I see the wonders of the right medications daily.   Another thing that would work wonders is removing the stigma of a diagnosis of a mental illness in our culture.  A person with the diagnosis of diabetes can lead a normal and productive life with insulin.  A person with a diagnosis of a mental illness can lead a normal and productive life with the right medication and therapy. 

Having auditory hallucinations is one of many symptoms for a diagnosis of
schizophrenia. This is what I think happened to Joe. Most likely broken dreams, the pain of remembering his dog, and life in general added to his distress. The gentle and sweet ones usually cannot take this world that can be so cruel at times.
This photo of Joe with the motorcycle is the only one that is mine.  He gave it to me while he was in Tucson for my brother's first wedding in 1994.  Joe and I went out after the wedding and reception.  We went to the Hotel Congress and saw the Meat Puppets.  The next day we went on a drive through Gates Pass and beyond.  It was a perfect day.  Sweet Joe.   You will be missed.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Look Into The Soul

What would life be like if we could see the soul of each person rather than what we wear on the outside?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Steve Jobs Thought Differently

Think Different. I loved that ad campaign. I had the photo of Albert Einstein with the words "Think Different" and the apple logo on the wall of my special education classroom. It was a perfect slogan for them because they all thought differently. Anyway, I was sad to hear of Steve Jobs passing. Thank you for everything Steve, including the fancy fonts we use.

Here is a passage from a speech he gave at Stanford University in 2005. Google it to read the whole speech. it might change the way you think.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

In the words of Steve Jobs, "Stay hungry, stay foolish... and find what you love."

Dog Dancing Merengue

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

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