Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, occur when the brain undergoes damages by an external force or trauma. Depending on the amount of damage the brain sustains, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild or moderate to severe. Types of traumatic brain injuries include concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoup injuries, diffuse axonal injuries, shaken baby syndrome and injuries due to penetration.

Common Brain Injuries: Concussions and Contusions

Concussions are the most common form of brain injuries. They occur when the head undergoes a direct hit or severe whiplash and shaking. After experiencing a concussion, a person may lose consciousness or become dazed and disoriented. A person suffering from a brain injuries such as a concussion is also at an increased risk for potentially life-threatening blood clots. Unfortunately, CAT scans are not always able to detect concussions.

Early signs of a concussion include: headache, vertigo, loss of awareness, nausea and vomiting. Some of the long lasting effects may involve persistent headaches, memory impairment, lightheadedness, an inability to concentrate, fatigue, irritability, changes in mood, vision problems, and difficulties while doing math or trying to find words. It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years for a concussion to fully heal.

Similar to a concussion, brain injuries known as contusions can result from direct impact to a person’s head; however, contusions tend to be more serious as they involve a bruise to the brain, which means there is brain injury and bleeding. Similar to bruises on other areas of the body, this brain injury cases multiple small hemorrhages that result in the leaking of small blood vessels into brain tissue. If the contusion is large enough, surgery may be required to remove it.

Signs of a contusion depend on the severity of the brain injury sustained, along with the area of the brain that was hurt. Symptoms are similar to those experienced with concussions, in addition to difficulties with coordination, movement, vision, speech and hearing.

Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury

A coup-contrecoup brain injury involves not only one, but two contusions. A coup injury is a contusion that occurs on the side of the brain at the point of impact, while a countrecoup injury occurs on the direct opposite side of the brain. This traumatic brain injury most often occurs when the head collides with an object at rest. The force of impact is so great that, along with causing a contusion at the impact site, the brain is slammed into the opposite side of the skull, resulting in a second contusion.

Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury and Shaken Baby Syndrome

Diffuse axonal brain injuries can occur any time the head undergoes intense shaking, as is the case with shaken baby syndrome, or strong rotational forces, such as those resulting from a car accident. Injury results because the movement of the brain lags behind that of the skull, resulting in the shearing of nerve fibers, or axons, all over the brain. This tearing upsets communication within the brain, along with its chemical processes. The functional impairments resulting from such brain injuries depend on where tearing occurred. Damaged to the brain is more widespread with this kind of injury. Diffuse axonal injuries are serious, as they can cause permanent brain damage, coma or even death. For those patients who end up in a coma, over 90 percent of them never regain consciousness.

In the cases of shaken baby syndrome, a baby is shaken so violently that it causes the blood vessels between the skull and brain to rupture. The resulting influx of blood causes the brain to swell, damaging brain cells. The effects of brain injuries caused by shaken baby syndrome include seizures, lifelong disability, comas and death.

Brain Injury due to Penetration

Penetrating brain injuries occur whenever impact from a bullet or sharp object forces skin, hair, bone and fragments of the object to enter the brain. If the object happens to penetrate the skull, pass through the brain and come out the other side, serious injury can occur. Not only does the brain suffer from the penetration of the object itself, but also from the added tearing, stretching and rupturing of brain tissue. Gunshot wounds are the most common form of penetrating injuries.

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What Every Woman Should Know About the Birth Control Pill

What is the Birth Control Pill?

The birth control pill is most often taken to prevent pregnancy, though doctors may prescribe it for other conditions as well. With the number of birth control options available, women should try to find the most convenient method that fits both her lifestyle and needs. Women who are interested in various birth control options, including the pill, should consult their gynecologist.

How Does the Birth Control Pill Work?

The main function of the pill is to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, which occurs when an egg is released from the ovaries during a woman’s monthly cycle. Stopping ovulation means that the ovaries will not release an egg; without an egg, fertilization cannot occur. The hormones in the pill further prevent pregnancy by thickening secretions of mucus around the cervix, making it hard for sperm to reach the uterus. Even if the sperm were to reach the uterus, the hormones in the pill change the lining of the uterine wall, keeping the egg from being able to attach.

How Well Does the Birth Control Pill Work?

The birth control pill only works as well as it is taken. The pill should be taken as the same time, every day. While typically a successful form of birth control, missing even one dose can decrease the pill’s effectiveness, thereby increasing a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. If more than one pill is forgotten during the month, a backup method of birth control must be used as the woman is no longer protected against pregnancy; back up forms of birth control include abstinence, which is refraining from sex altogether, or condoms.

Statistics show that, on average, the pill is 92 percent effective; in other words, about 8 out of every 100 women who use the birth control pill will accidentally become pregnant this year. However, it is important to note that these statistics include all women on the pill, including those who do not always take their pill as prescribed. For women who take the pill correctly, it’s effectiveness increases up to 99.9 percent.

The efficacy of the pill also depends on other factors, such as any medications or herbal supplements a woman may take. Herbs like St. John’s wort, typically taken as an antidepressant, can interact with the pill by decreasing its efficacy. It’s also important to note that antibiotics are known for interfering with birth control; if a woman is on antibiotics, then a backup method should be used for that month.

Who Should Consider Using the Pill?

Birth control pills are a good choice as a method of preventing pregnancy, but the pill is not for everyone. The pill is usually taken by women who want to protect themselves from pregnancy and who are responsible enough to remember to take the pill every day. Doctors also prescribe birth control as a treatment of certain medical conditions. These other conditions may include absent or irregular periods, PMS, endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Despite its success, the pill is not the best option for everyone. The pill is not usually prescribed to women who experience migraine headaches, as the hormones in the pill can worsen the frequency and severity of these migraines. On a much more serious note, women who have a history of blood clots should not take the pill, as they may experience life-threatening side effects. Also, women with certain kinds of cancer should not take the pill due to the resulting increase in hormone levels. Any women who may be pregnant or who have unexplained vaginal bleeding should consult their doctor.

Types of Birth Control: Combination Pills

There are a number of birth control pills on the market these days. Most pills contain a combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; these “combination” pills are sold under various brand names and come in either 21 or 28 day packs. Pills of this type should be taken at the same time every day. For women who use the 21 day pack, the pill should be taken every day for 3 weeks. After three weeks have passed, the woman usually gets her period; seven days after taking her last pill, a new pack is started. If the pack contains 28 pills, then the woman would take 21 “active” pills, followed by 7 days of “inactive” pills during which she gets her period, before starting the next pack. Whether a woman chooses the 21 or 28 day pack doesn’t make much of a difference. The seven extra pills in the 28 day packs are considered inactive pills, usually consisting of either sugar pills or iron supplements. The main purpose of these extra pills is to help keep women in the habit of taking their pill every day.

Another type of combination estrogen and progesterone birth control pill allows women to only have four periods a year. Having a period once every three months as compared to once a month is an appealing option for many women. With this pack of pills, a woman must take one every day for 12 weeks straight, as opposed to the typical 3 weeks for the month to month packs. During the seven days of inactive pills, the woman has her period, and then the cycle starts over again.

Types of Birth Control: Progesterone Only Pills

There is also a progesterone-only pill, sometimes called the mini pill, that is taken each day. Because the mini pill is meant to be taken every day, without break, a woman will no longer have her period; however, some break-through bleeding is to be expected at first. The progesterone-only pill works similarly to combination pills in that it thickens cervical mucus and changes the lining of the uterus. In some instances, this pill may also stop ovulation. Overall, the mini pill is slightly less effective than the combination pills, at about 95 percent efficacy.

Where to Get the Birth Control Pill

In order to get a prescription for the pill, a woman must schedule a visit with a physician or, preferably, a gynecologist. First, a complete family medical history is taken. The doctor will then perform a complete exam, which usually includes a pelvic exam. Before prescribing the pill, your physician will clarify how the pill works, when to begin taking it and what to do if you miss a day. A follow-up visit is usually scheduled to ensure that the pill is not causing any unwanted side effects or other problems. Any sexually active woman should see their gynecologist for routine exams every six months to a year.

How Much Does the Birth Control Pill Cost?

Depending on the type of pill you are prescribed, the cost can range anywhere from $10 to $50 a month. Fortunately, most insurance companies cover birth control pills under their prescription plans. If a woman has problems affording her birth control, she can talk to her doctor about switching brands. Another alternative is to visit a family planning clinic, like Planned Parenthood, as they usually provide the birth control pill for less.

Possible Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill

Some women taking the pill may not experience any side effects, while others may only have a few. Most side effects subside after several months on the pill; however, if the side effects become bothersome or worsen, the doctor can prescribe a different kind of pill. Women over 35 who take the pill are encouraged not to smoke, as it can lead to blood clots.

The most common side effects of the birth control pill include:

  • Nausea
  • Changes in mood
  • Weight gain
  • Tender or swollen breasts
  • Lighter periods and possible spotting between periods

If any of these serious side effects occur, a doctor should be called immediately:

  • Severe headaches
  • Eye problems, like blurred vision
  • Abdominal, or stomach, pain
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling or aching in the thighs and legs

The Birth Control Pill Does Not Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

One of the most important things to remember about the birth control pill is that it does not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases. The only way to  prevent STD’s is to practice abstinence or through the proper use of condoms.

Just Open Your Heart and Listen: A Review of “Music in the Desert” (Kindle Edition)

Upon taking in the words and illustrations on the book’s first page, a wave of calmness and serenity washed over me. I was able to put myself in the character’s shoes, feeling the emotions he might have felt while walking through what is usually a quiet and secluded place. However, on this particular occasion, the character receives the gift of music from a stranger’s violin. Imagining how the music must echo in the ravine adds to the overall sense of serenity in which this book has me effortlessly wrapped up.

The next page forced me to stop as my eyes took in the stark and extremely poignant question. While my mind flirted with these first few words, my eyes took in the various colors of the drawing, noting the barely visible sun behind clouds that appear as if they are just rolling in. The way the characters are drawn also causes a resonance somewhere deep within me, possibly in some facet of my soul that I have yet to uncover.

The question is completed in the second picture on that page. I doubt anyone could read these words without taking a momentary pause to look deep within for their response. The stark contrast between the two images forces readers to ponder the duality of the question.

“What is the value of a gift when it is all that one has?”

The first half of the quote, which contains the word “value,” is presented before an image ripe with color. But, upon moving down the page, you’re presented with a stark reality. This reality is not only conveyed in the latter half of the question, but also in the colorless drawings with which we’re once again presented.

I can only imagine the variety of ways in which readers might choose answer this question. In the context of the images, it is as if giving all that you have leaves you devoid of the “color” in your life. Is this truly a bad thing? Or is it instead the most valuable gift one can bestow upon another? When looking at the colorless women in the bottom picture, I can’t help but envision a mother giving every fiber of herself to her daughter, in an effort to save her from some unspeakable sadness. She’s willing to make her reality devoid of color, as long as it means filling her daughter’s world with nothing but color, and ultimately love. I take this last page and its words to heart.

The book continues on in a similar fashion, challenging readers to search deep within for their own truths and meaning.

Despite the length of my review, I’ve only addressed the experiences I had while reading just the first few pages. I hope you will pick up where I have left off and let the story create new and enlightening experiences for you.

While this story may first strike you as overly simplistic, refrain from passing judgment just yet. Let the images and words sit before you, allowing yourself to absorb their meanings while feeling whatever emotions they invoke within you. I imagine that readers will experience the story in their own special way, which is another reason why this story is so great. “Music in the Desert” manages to convey a story rich with meaning and emotion, while using only a handful of words. By masterfully combining these words with the book’s images, the resulting story is one that speaks volumes.

All you have to do is open your heart and listen.

Indoor Air Quality and Air Ducts: What You Need to Know

In order to maintain clean and well-balanced air flow inside of your home, cleaning your air ducts is essential. If left untreated, allergens and toxins, such as pet dander, pollen, mildew and mold can build up in your air ducts. Even routine vacuuming or carpet cleaning adds to the problem by circulating dust, causing even more dirt to settle in your ventilation system. Not only will these allergens and toxins collect in your air ducts, but, should they come in contact with any moisture, they can become an ideal breeding spot for unhealthy bacteria.

Unfortunately, installing a new heating and cooling system in your home or office is extremely expensive; however, if you can incorporate cleaning your air ducts into something such as your spring cleaning routine, installing new air ducts can usually be avoided all-together. Along with improved air quality, properly cleaned air ducts can also improve the performance of your heating and air conditioning.

Cleaning Your Air Ducts

Effectively cleaning your air ducts is not an easy task, though the end result it definitely worth the trouble. In order to thoroughly clean your system, dusting the vents is not enough. Proper cleansing requires you to sanitize every part of the ventilation system, including the warmth exchangers, cooling coils and drain pans, along with anything thing else that might be interfering with high-quality air flow.

Before you begin cleaning, it’s wise to devise a plan that lets you clean not only your air ducts, but your heating and cooling system as well. By thoroughly cleaning your heating and cooling system, not only will you save time, but more importantly you’ll notice a vast improvement in air quality and your air ducts will stay clean for a longer period of time. It is important to note that one must take precautions when cleaning your heating and cooling systems, as dust, allergens and debris can easily get stirred up in the process. A simple face mask should prevent you from inhaling the dirt in your vents and air systems.

How Clean Air Ducts Make a Difference

Saving Money

If your air ducts are full of dust, debris and mold, chances are your heating and cooling system is not functioning at full capacity, resulting in increased utility costs. Amazingly, having your air ducts cleaned can save you up to 21 percent in your monthly utility bill. Depending on the size of your home, you can save anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

Preventative Measures

As with any other machine, your heating and air conditioning system needs periodic attention in order to prevent any malfunctions. Failure to properly maintain your heating and air system is the number one cause for malfunction. Eventually, parts may breakdown, leaving you with an expensive repair bill that could easily have been avoided, had you taken care of your system.

Odor

The combination of mold, bacteria and dust in your ventilation system can result in a musty smell that is nearly impossible to hide. Traditional air fresheners don’t stand a chance against the smell of built-up mildew and mold. The only solution is to have your air ducts cleaned on a periodic basis. Not only will this rid your home of offensive odors, but will also prevent them from returning.

Allergies

If anyone in your household suffers from persistent allergies, there’s a good chance that the dust in your air ducts could be to blame. A build-up of allergens in your ventilation system can cause even the healthiest person to become ill. If a member of your family has suffered from severe allergies for some time, it might be time to call in a professional. Not only will hiring a professional ensure that the job is done correctly, but it also saves you from exposure to toxins and allergens.

You want the best for your family, which means ridding your home of particles such as mold, mildew, pet dander, dust and pollen. By routinely cleaning your home’s air ducts, you can ensure that your loved ones are breathing clean, high-quality and healthy air.

Form and Theme: Soviet Montage and the Revolt Against Hollywood Cinema (excerpt)

Form and Theme: Soviet Montage and the Revolt against Hollywood Cinema (excerpt)

In his article, “The Film Text and Film Form,” Kolker makes the argument that even though Hollywood has dominated filmmaking, “there have been periods when some filmmakers consciously worked against its structures, rethinking its structural and semantic codes” (21). he most obvious contrast between American and foreign films is that while Hollywood cinema tries to hide its editing, Soviet Montage uses edited for a purpose. The filmmakers who worked against Hollywood cinema believed that form creates content, which means that stories don’t exist without the telling of them. More importantly, it is the method through which these stories are told that creates meaning. Soviet Montage set itself apart from Hollywood cinema by experimenting with films in an effort to make audiences think. As best stated by Vincendeau, European Art cinema must be considered “as fundamentally different from the industrially basic and generically coded Hollywood” (440). In this essay, I will evaluate Kolker’s argument using a scene from Eistentein’s film, “The Battleship Potemkin.” Following a brief summary and shot-by-shot analysis of the scene, I will compare how the form, themes and movements in European Art Cinema such as Soviet Montage differ from their counterparts in Hollywood films. After a thorough examination of both genres, I explain why and how “The Battleship Potemkin” creates meaning through its use of montage and the dialectic, and how this meaning is different from the “meaning” created in Hollywood films.

The relevant scene takes place within the first few minutes of the “Drama in the Harbor” sequence. Captain Golikov has called his men to the deck, sorting out which deckhands refused to eat their soup and calls out a guard to shoot these insubordinates. We see a shot of the guards waiting in queue, followed by a head-on shot of the guns on the ship’s turret ship, which is then followed by an aerial shot of the ship. Next, we are presented with a shot of an old man holding a cross with open arms, which is followed by the inter-title, “Bring the unruly to reason, O Lord.” We are then shown the crewmen covered with tarps and awaiting their execution. The next shot is once again a close-up of the old man holding his cross impatiently, with eyebrows raised as if he were waiting for judgment; is this shot alluding to the judgment of the crewmen who refused to eat their soup or to the judgment of the officers of the Potemkin themselves? We are then shown an officer instructing the guards. This is followed with a medium-shot of the guards raising their guns and the next few shots are of the guards on the left side of the screen with guns pointing to the right; however, the next shot is of the guards on the right side of the screen with guns pointing to the left. These shots break the well-known 180 degree rule, leading audiences to question the purpose of the juxtaposition of these two shots. Are the guards “shooting” themselves in some way? After a few more shots, we are shown one of the crewmen who has decided to act, calling out “brothers!” at the same time the officer calls for the guards to fire. The crewman proceeds to ask, “Who are you shooting at?” It’s apparent that the inquiry was one that they guards have yet to even ask themselves, as the next shot shows the guards with confused looks and wavering rifles. The next sequence alternates between shots of the guards on the left side and shots of the guards on the right side of the screen, which once again breaks the 180-degree rule. This editing creates the illusion that the men are really shooting at themselves, and this idea is reinforced by Vakulinchuk’s calling them brothers and then asking if they knew who they were shooting. He is making them question what it is they are about to do, since they are all brothers and therefore they should not shoot one of their own.

On Gettier and Klein: Amending our Traditional Account of Knowledge

In his paper, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge,” Gettier refutes the traditional Justified True Belief account of knowledge by providing counterexamples that show that while the conditions provided by the JTB account are necessary, they fall short of being sufficient for knowledge. Klein’s paper, “A Proposed Definition of Propositional Knowledge,” suggests a fourth condition with which to amend the JTB account so that it provides both necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge. In this paper I will explain the what JTB account of knowledge is and what it is designed to do, how and why Gettier’s counterexamples proves that this traditional account fails, and finally how Klein proposes to amend the JTB account of knowledge.

The traditional account of knowledge, known as the Justified True Belief account, states that in order to have knowledge, these three conditions must be true: first, the proposition P is true; second, the subject S believes that P; and third, S is justified in believing that P. In other words, S knows that P if and only if S has a justified, true, belief concerning P. The necessity of the first condition is obvious, since it can not be the case that we have knowledge of something that is false. It also seems obvious that we do not have knowledge of P if we do not believe that P. Can we claim to have knowledge of something we don’t believe? The last condition is the only one of the three that may not seem immediately obvious; however, if our knowledge wasn’t justified, then it would be nothing more than a lucky guess1.

Given the conditions specified by the JTB account of knowledge, the question to be asked is what exactly is this account designed to do? In providing an account, we aren’t concerned with the word ‘knowledge’, but with the concept that knowledge picks out. So, we aren’t trying to define what knowledge is, instead we are trying to give an account of what it is to have knowledge. As Steup puts it, when we are examining concepts such as knowledge and justification, we are interested in “what people have in common when they know something and when they are justified in believing something” (21).

If we are to give an analysis of the concept of knowledge, the analysans (that which does the analyzing) must specify the conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for the analysandum (that which needs to be analyzed). In laymen’s terms, for the JTB account to be correct, it must be the case that the conditions (i) P is true, (ii) S believes that P, and (iii) S is justified in believing that P, are each necessary and together sufficient for S to be qualified in knowing that P. In this (and in any) analysis, the analysandum, “S knows that P,” and the analysans, the three conditions, must entail each other and be necessarily coextensive. If this account is correct, if the three conditions are met, then it must be the case that S has knowledge, and vice-versa.

In Gettier’s famous paper, he provides counterexamples that show that the above analysis of knowledge fails. As we shall see, the Gettier counterexamples prove that while the conditions of the JTB account may be necessary, they are not sufficient for knowledge2.

One of Gettier’s counterexamples goes as follows: Smith and Jones have both applied for the same job. Smith has heard first-hand from their boss that Jones will get the job. Smith also knows (and don’t ask how) that Jones has ten coins in his pocket. Because of this information, Smith has evidence for believing the proposition: (a) Jones is the man who will get the job and Jones has ten coins in his pocket. The proposition (a) entails the following proposition: (b) the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Since Smith deduces (b) from (a), then he is justified in believing the proposition that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. However, it turns out that, unbeknownst to him, Smith also has ten coins in his pocket. Also, unbeknownst to Smith, it is he who will get the job, and not Jones. So, while proposition (b) is still true, proposition (a) has turned out to be false.

According to the JTB account of knowledge, Smith knows that (b) is true since all three of the conditions hold: (b) is true, since the man getting the job (Smith) has ten coins in his pocket; Smith believes that (b) is true; and Smith is justified in believing that (b), since he deduces (b) from (a), and was justified in believing that (a). But, is it really the case that Smith knows (b)? He believes (b), that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket, but (b) is not made true by (a), that Jones is the man who will get the job and Jones has ten coins in his pocket. Instead, it is made true by the fact that Smith is getting the job and that he also has ten coins in his pocket. This counterexample shows that a person can be justified in believing a proposition that is deduced from a false proposition. Although Smith has a justified, true, belief, it doesn’t qualify as knowledge. Gettier has shown that the conditions of the JTB account can be met, yet one can still fall short of having knowledge. It seems that another condition must be added to our account of knowledge in order to circumvent such a problem.

We need an account of knowledge that neither includes nor excludes too much, and it seems as though our previous account includes too much, since it can be the case that the three conditions can be met, yet we can still say that S fails to have knowledge. We also need an account of knowledge that prevents a true belief from being a “lucky truth,” using Steup’s terminology. For a true belief to count as knowledge, it must be justified (it can’t be a lucky guess), but it also must not be a lucky truth, which is the case in the Smith and Jones example. Smith has a belief in a lucky truth; the belief is lucky because, due to certain facts (as opposed to certain evidence, such as is the case with lucky guesses), the truth wasn’t likely. Smith was justified in his belief, he was just lucky that he was right. So, whatever amendment we make to the JTB account, it must ban both lucky guesses and lucky truths.

Klein agrees with the above statement, arguing that a fourth condition is necessary to prevent lucky truths, or as he puts it, “felicitous coincidences”. The fourth condition Klein proposes is stated as follows: (iv) there is no such true proposition such that if it became evident to S at t, P would no longer be evident to S. To quote Klein, “If there is any true proposition D such that it and S’s evidence for P would make it unreasonable to expect that P is true, S doesn’t know that P” (62). In other words, there can’t be a defeater or a disqualifying proposition such that would make it the case that if S became aware of it, he would retract his knowledge claim.

How the Fourth Condition Ties in to the JTB account of Knowledge

In the case of the Smith and Jones example, the most obvious defeater would be the proposition, “Jones will not get the job.” If Smith knew that Jones was not going to get the job, then he would not deduce proposition (b) that, “the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket,” since it is unknown to Smith that he has ten coins in his pocket. Using Klein’s talk, if the proposition, “Jones will not get the job” became evident to Smith, (b) would no longer be evident to Smith. It is the case that Smith does not have knowledge of (b), which seems to be the correct conclusion. If Klein’s fourth condition makes it such that the analysans of the JTB account are jointly sufficient for knowledge, then it seems as though we have a correct analysis of knowledge.

Footnotes:

1. We can define a lucky guess as follows: S’s belief in P is a lucky guess if and only if: (i) P is true; (ii) S believes that P; and (iii) S has no evidence (justification) for believing that P is true.

2. Gettier’s counterexamples are of a certain form: if S is justified in believing that P, and deduces Q from P, then S is just as justified in believing that Q as he is in believing that P.

As a Child

As a Child

I grew up with a red and blue clad, overall wearing, Italian plumber as my playmate. When he wasn’t busy plumbing or spending time with his brother, he could be found exploring castles in search of his princess, fighting his arch-rival in order to save her. My playmate wasn’t imaginary, nor was he a real person; he’s a character from a popular series of Nintendo games and his name is Mario.

Much of my playtime as a child was spent playing Super Mario Brothers games on my Nintendo console. Turning on the game was like entering another world where I could be the hero. It was up to me and Mario to save the princess, especially since she was always being kidnapped. Mario and I would fight our way through the various levels of the game until we reached the large and ominous castle that housed our arch-rival, Bowser. Part turtle and part dragon, Bowser was a formidable opponent as he was covered in spikes and spitfire. Despite his power, Bowser was no match for us; Mario and I would always save the princess and save the day.

Although I’m now an adult, I still enjoy the Mario franchise. The games have stood the test of time and prove just as fun now as they did when I was a child. I just hope that the princess never takes any self-defense classes so that Nintendo is able to continue producing these popular games.

What to Consider When Finding a Chiropractor

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From High School to University: What You Need to Know Before Taking the Leap

From High School to University: What You Need to Know Before Taking the Leap

If you’re a soon-to-be or recent graduate, consider this. If you took a moment to examine your station in life, what you find might surprise you. Beneath your feet is the ledge of a daunting cliff and if you are able to take your eyes off the ground for long enough you will be able to see, stretched out before you, all the possibilities the world has to offer. It is these moments of realization that will eventually grow into memories which you will always look back upon fondly.

Should the moment come where you are ready to take that proverbial leap of faith, you will find the future waiting for you with open arms. However, after taking this leap, your world will never be the same. You can no longer return to the naivety you once knew; your only choice is to look forward and study the various paths stretched out before you. If you want to follow tradition by deciding to focus on your education. Once the leap has been taken, and the decision has been made, all that remains is to start investigating your inner-calling and find a university that is able to cater to your needs.

Selecting a University is a life-altering decision for several reasons. The choice will determine where you live for the next four years. Some University students choose to stay close to home, while others see this as an opportunity to explore what the world has to offer. In addition to determining where you will live, the University you enroll in will also determine the various academic paths available to you. With careful planning, the entire process can proceed with ease. The first step involves examining what you want and need out of a university.

Some students are thrilled with interaction a small, intimate classroom setting affords, while others prefer the anonymity that larger class sizes affords. Determining the type of classroom that best suits you can go a long way in helping you to figure out how the next four years of your life should be spent.

Most schools have their own strengths. Some are famous for their engineering programs, while others are renown for their medical programs. By choosing a school well-known for its work in your field of interest, you stand a good chance for obtaining additional academic opportunities, such as obtaining a solid internship and becoming close with your professors. The possibility of employment upon graduation also improves.

Once you have figured out your academic calling, planning each remaining semester of classes is easy. Most universities offer you the choice of adding a minor on your plan of study, or for those brave enough, the opportunity to double major. While you may be enthusiastic about your major, it is crucial for you to explore other areas of interest as well.

Elective classes are a requirement for almost all majors. You can choose electives that count toward your minor or double-major, or you can choose fun electives that will morph you into a modern day renaissance man or woman. Overall, choosing to take electives in different fields will not only give your a break from your major, but they also help to round out one’s course-load.

For those students who have commitments outside of school or who simply prefer learning from home, online courses offer a great alternative. Taking online classes also saves money when it comes to room and board, tuition and transportation costs.

Online courses allow you the advantage of working at pace much faster than most university classes. Working at your own speed allows you to cater your learning to your own special needs. However, when it comes to selecting an online institution, choosing a school that is renown for its good standing is crucial due to the lack of personal interaction between teachers and students.

Choosing the right university can be a difficult decision; however, by examining your own academic and social needs, you are sure find a school that is just right for you. Taking the initial leap is hard, but the work on the other side can be just as tough; however, if you can stick with it, the experience you’ll walk away with will be well worth the effort.