Quote of the Week
Suggested discussion and writing topics and activities
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
Now you’re ready for a great beginning to your semester!
Week 2: There is a great difference between
knowing and understanding: one can know a lot about something and not really
-- Charles F Kettering
Do you sometimes spend a lot of time studying and memorizing information
without really knowing what it means? One method for increasing your
understanding of a subject is by
learning to ask questions
about it. When you read a textbook and find
something that isn’t clear to you,
don’t ignore it -- write a question about it. Putting your thoughts into
words can help to clarify what you don’t understand. Try rereading the
unclear section, looking for the answer to your question. If you aren’t
successful, bring your question to your instructor, or meet with an LRC
tutor. Another time to write questions is
when you’re studying for an exam
-- it’s a great way to review course material and is a good activity for a
can help you understand your course material better and become a more
skilled, confident student. They are fellow students who are comfortable
with the subjects they tutor and enjoy helping others. To make an
appointment, come to the LRC in the Learning Commons, call the LRC at
455-0412, or go to the LRC website:
Week 3: I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Martin Luther King Jr.
In this quote, what kind of love do you think Dr. King means? Why do you
think he describes hate as a burden?
Dr. King was a leader in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, a movement
with the goal of eliminating racial discrimination (unequal treatment based
on race) against African-American people and ensuring that they had the
same rights as others, including the right to vote, as well as to live,
work, go to school, shop, and attend public events anyplace that others
could. The main strategy for achieving these goals was the practice of
public protests that used nonviolent resistance, an attempt to “break the
chain reaction of evil’’. As a result of the movement and Dr. King’s
leadership, important laws were passed that guaranteed equal rights
(including voting rights) to all Americans regardless of race or other
differences. King also spoke out against the Vietnam War and promoted fair
treatment and better working conditions for all. Click the above link to
read a biography of Dr. King.
of the important rights that Dr. King and his supporters fought for was
the right to vote. Until 1965, when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act,
many African-Americans were systematically barred from voting, or even from
registering to vote. In the 2012 presidential election, voting rights again
seem to be at risk, as a new wave of “voter suppression” tactics was used to
prevent many people, especially minorities such as African-Americans or
Hispanics, from voting. What impact would you expect when the participation
of voters from one or more groups is restricted? Why do many people view the
right to vote as such an important right?
One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity
to more intelligently begin again.
Almost everyone fears failure from time to time, but if this fear is a
habit, it can prevent you from reaching your potential. For some insights on
the causes of this fear and suggestions on ways to overcome it, visit this
You may also want to check out the short video on another page of the site
that describes a three-step process for looking at challenges in a more
Think of a time when you failed at something the first time you tried, but
were able to “more intelligently begin again” -- and were able to do better.
Describe what happened and what you learned from the experience. When you’re
feeling afraid of failing at something, remind yourself of this experience
and tell yourself that failure doesn’t have to mean defeat.
You may have heard the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try
again.” Try completing this saying with your own words: “If at first you
don’t succeed, __________.”
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
come alive? Perhaps it’s being around other people...or spending time in
nature...or working with your hands...or solving problems...or creating
something. Discuss what energizes you, and how you can make it a regular
part of your life.
Read the website about Howard Thurman (linked to his name
Thurman isn’t well-known today, but he made very positive contributions to
society, including co-founding the first fully integrated, multi-cultural
church in the U.S., and teaching Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil
rights leaders about Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance. The
website describes turning points (“key moments of faith”) when someone had
an impact on Thurman’s life and led, in turn, to his positive effect on
others. Discuss someone who has had a similarly positive influence on your
life. What did they do, and how has it affected you?
The important thing in science is not so much
to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.
Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a
just God, can not long retain it.
Are you taking a science class? Would you like to find ways to study and
learn more effectively? Join the LRC science tutors at
-- a fun, high-energy workshop where you can get great tips to help you
succeed in your science classes. You'll meet other students studying the
same subjects and might even find new "study buddies." No sign-up is needed
-- just show up at one of these three sessions:
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2:00 - 3:00 in GT-105
You'll be glad you did!
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2:00 - 3:00 in MS-201
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 4:45 - 5:45 in GT-105
your knowledge of a subject grows, you may find that the way you think about
it changes. Like other types of change, this can be exciting and sometimes
challenging. Have you found that your attitude is changing toward any of the
subjects you’re studying this semester? Discuss what has changed and how you
feel about it.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Remember our heritage is our power; we can know ourselves and our capacities by
seeing that other women have been strong.
Many people who seek major changes in society agree with
Douglass’ statement. Follow the link to read about the
Top Ten American Protest Movements (according to
Magazine) -- all of them involved struggle (forceful effort in the face of
difficulties) in their efforts to achieve their goals.
Choose one of the following movements from the above website:
Read more about it, and then discuss the role that protest played in
bringing about social change such as legal equality for minorities or women,
or fair treatment and decent working conditions for working people.
As an individual, you may have experienced the truth of
Douglass’ statement in your own life. Describe a situation -- in school,
work, or your personal life -- in which you were able to make progress as a
result of much struggle or effort.
History books and media tend to underrepresent women, more
often focusing on men and their achievements. If you don’t think this
statement is accurate, take a couple of minutes to write a list of men who
have made important contributions to society in politics, science, the arts,
or sports; then, make a list of women who have made such contributions.
Which list is longer? Why do you think this might be?
Watch a movie: During National Women’s History Month, there
will be weekly film screenings on campus. On Thursday, March 7, see
(12:00 - 1:30pm in the Student Lounge). Back by popular
exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women
in positions of power and influence in America.
Learn about “phenomenal women” -- heroes from the past 100
years who have been social activists and reformers, athletes, scientists,
artists, explorers, politicians and more — at this
Follow the links from individual listings to find out more about them.
It’s always too early to quit.
-- Norman Vincent Peale
Identify a task, habit, or situation you’d like to quit. Which of the above
reactions would you probably choose, and why?
If you agree with Peale’s quote, explain why you agree.
Describe your past experiences or observations that support it. For
example, maybe you stuck to an exercise program, completed a hard
assignment, or continued to look for a job until you found one. What kept
you (or another person) going, even when it was difficult?
IS it always too early to quit -- or are there situations
when it’s time to quit? Examples might include leaving a dead-end job, an
unhealthy relationship, or a class you’re likely to fail.**
If you’ve ever been in such a situation, describe it and tell why you
decided to quit.
If you’re enrolled in a class that you may not be able to pass, you might want
to consider withdrawing from it -- this means you will receive a “W” grade for
the course. (Note: It’s usually a good idea to talk with your instructor before
making your decision.)
For semester-long courses, the withdrawal deadline is
March 21, 2013. If
you do not complete a course and/or you don’t officially withdraw from that
course, you’ll receive an “F” grade which will affect your GPA, which CAN THEN
affect your financial aid and academic standing!
Week 11: Be
yourself; everyone else is already taken.
-- Oscar Wilde
We all have things in common, but we also have character traits, habits,
likes and dislikes, that make us different from others.
Spend a few minutes thinking about the things that make you a unique
Some of these might be ways your friends or family would describe you (“She
sure likes chocolate”, “He’s really patient with his little brother,” or
“She’s always willing to take the lead on a project.”) There are also things
that you know about yourself but others may not be aware of.
After you’ve thought about yourself, make a
of your ideas. You can title it with your name or call it “This is me,”
“Who I am,” or something similar. Mindmaps are a great, nonlinear way to
visually represent a lot of ideas on a topic and show how they’re related to
each other on a single screen or page. You can create a mindmap on paper or
use mindmapping software. There are many good software programs available
such as Inspiration (you can download a free 30-day trial version from
Mindmaps can be very useful when you’re getting ideas for a paper or
reviewing for an exam.
Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.
-- Spanish proverb
If you’re someone who typically puts things off, here’s an activity that might
There is one month left in this semester. Today (not
tomorrow!) would be the perfect time to look at the assignments, exams, and
projects that are still ahead of you and figure out a plan for getting them
all done with a minimum of stress. Start by looking at the course outline
from each course you’re taking, as well as your notes, planner, assignment
log, or other places you can get this information. If you think you might
have missed something, check with a classmate or your instructor.
Make a list of the dates assignments are due and exams are
scheduled. (Doing this on the computer makes it easier to put them in
chronological order.) For major items, write down at least two dates: the
due date and the date you’ll begin working on the assignment or studying for
the exam. Write the items on a calendar or planner, or just keep them on a
list that you post in a prominent place. If you’re a visual learner, you
might want to color-code them by subject or by level of importance.
Check your list or calendar at least once a day to make sure
you’re on track with everything you need to do.
Week 13: When you're finished changing, you're
-- Benjamin Franklin
Change is an essential part of life, but committing to change can be hard.
Sometimes you may recognize a need to respond to changes in your situation:
a move, a new job, more demanding courses, family or relationship changes,
etc. Other times, external circumstances may not have changed but you may
feel dissatisfied with some aspect of yourself, or just have a desire to do
Think of something about yourself that you might want to change.
Now, try this exercise in changing yourself: Write a sentence about the
change you’re considering. Begin the sentence, “When I get better at...., “
and complete the sentence by mentioning one benefit that will accompany this
change. For example, you might say: "When I get better at managing my time,
I will turn in my assignments on time." Write a series of sentences that
describe different benefits that you can get from the change. After you’ve
written at least six sentences, you may be in a better position to decide
whether this change will be worthwhile. This exercise might be even more
effective if you do it with one or more friends, taking turns sharing each
of your thoughts about your possible change. (adapted from an exercise by
Write or tell a story about a person who made a major change: tell what the
change was, why he or she did it, and how it worked out. This could be a
true story or one you make up.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is
always to try just one more time.
-- Thomas Edison
Scenario: There’s one major project left in one of your
classes. One of your classmates, who has been doing acceptable work until
now, tells you, “I’m sick of this class already. I’m not going to do the
project. It’s too hard.” You know that if the student skips this assignment,
he cannot pass the course. What would you tell him to encourage him to keep
The history of inventions includes many stories of people
failing again and again to accomplish a goal, and finally succeeding after
many tries. For example, WD40, the lubricating oil that’s great for fixing
rusty locks or squeaky hinges, was the fortieth formula the inventor tried.
Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time and the author of
the above quote, developed many
successful inventions including the phonograph, reliable electric light
bulb, and movie projector; some of these required many attempts before they
worked. When you’re feeling discouraged because something you’re trying to
do isn’t working out, remember Edison’s quote, which was certainly based on
his own experience.
Don’t give up on a tough class or assignment! Get help from
your peers: meet with one of the LRC’s content tutors, the Writing Center’s
writing consultants, or the Math Lab’s math tutors. These FREE services can
help you to keep trying -- and succeed!
We won't have a society if we destroy the environment.
List a few examples of actions that individuals,
organizations (e.g., corporations), or governments do that damage the
environment -- here in Hawaii or somewhere else. Pick one of the examples,
and explain some of its negative impacts.
Look at the list you made. Pick one of the examples, and
suggest some possible ways to reduce or reverse the damage.
What does the phrase
mean to you?
It’s Earth Week! Check out some of Leeward’s interesting
Earth Week programs
from Monday - Wednesday in the Student Lounge. Enjoy presentations by
special guest speakers and learn about food sustainability in Hawai’i and
beyond (including chile and chocolate tasting)! Explore the connections
between land, indigenous cultures and language -- how they play a vital role
in the sustainability of our beautiful Earth.
If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when
I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it, even if I did not have the
ability in the beginning.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
For writing or discussion:
It's the end of the semester, with lots to do. Take a break for a few minutes to
look back -- and ahead -- by completing any of the following sentences that fit
your experiences. Try to complete at least one "look back" sentence and at least
one "look ahead" sentence.
Before this semester, I didn't know...
This semester, I've learned...
The best thing I experienced or accomplished during this
After this semester, I'll be ready to...
I'm looking forward to...
In the near future, I plan to...
I believe that I have the potential to...
Week 1: Start where you are. Use what
you have. Do what you can.
What do you bring to college that will help you to succeed?
-- Arthur Ashe
Use this quote and these questions as a starting point for getting to know your
classmates, or as an opportunity for personal reflection.
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Where are you starting from? That is, where are you in
- just graduated from HS
- recently out of military
- tired of boring jobs
- finished raising family
- need a career change
What “assets” (useful things) do you bring with you to
- supportive family or friends
- a strong drive to succeed (motivation)
- good study habits
- curiosity: like to learn new things
- a part-time job
- financial aid
What can you do (skills or abilities) that can help you
succeed in college?
- able to make friends (get to know your classmates)
- willing to ask questions (in class or in the
- willing to keep making effort even when it’s hard
- able to organize study materials for efficient study
(avoid wasting time)
- know how to use a computer
is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know.
Daniel J. Boorstin
First, write a sentence that begins with
Don't think too much about what to say, just write the first thing that
comes into your mind. Then, write a sentence that begins
I don't know...
Again, don't try to write something special, just put something down on
paper quickly. Keep writing, alternating between
I don't know...
sentences. Do this for five minutes. (This is based on an exercise from
Now, share one "know" and one "don't know" statement with classmates, and
listen to theirs. Discuss any common features or interesting ideas in your
statements. Which, if any, of your "don't know's" would you like to change
to a "know"?
== == == == == == == == ==
Learn how to learn:
We learn new things by connecting them with what we already know. This existing
knowledge is organized into mental frameworks, known as
When you're preparing to learn something new, it's a good idea to "activate your
schema" by asking yourself, "How is this new topic related to something else
I've already studied or experienced?". This gives the new information something
to "stick to." You can think of it like using velcro, like hanging something on
a mental hook, or like plowing a field so the seeds can grow.
is the end result of all true learning.
Discuss or write: What do you expect to learn in this class, and what might
change for you as a result of this learning?
Learn how to learn:
One tip for using your study time well is to
pay attention to your thought processes and level of understanding when you
For example, if after reading a textbook for 20 minutes, you realize you're just
reading the words without comprehending them, this is a signal to take a break.
Another example would be noticing that you remember more when you highlight your
notes in different colors, or talk to yourself or someone else about the
subject, or create flash cards that you carry with you. This type of
self-awareness is known as
-- literally, thinking about thinking (meta = about and cognition = thought).
It's a habit that anyone can develop.
Activity: This week,
try changing something you do when you study.
It might be one of the examples above (highlighting notes, talking about the
subject, or using flash cards), or something else, like studying without the TV
on in the background, or studying with a partner, or using a planner to keep
track of your assignments. At the end of the week, reflect on what you changed
and decide if you want to continue it for another week.
another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but
learning another way to think about things.
The languages we use affect the way we think and view the world. One example is
which is not only used as a greeting that can substitute for “hello” or
“goodbye”, but also means “love” in a deep sense which is specific to the
Hawaiian culture. Gaining insights into a culture can enrich one’s study of its
language, and learning a language can expand one’s understanding of the people
who speak it.
Discuss any of the following:
Are you studying a language, or have you studied a language in the past?
Which language(s) did you choose and why? Share something you learned about
the language, or about the country where it is spoken, or any experiences
you’ve had when you spoke it. If there is another language you’d like to
learn, which language and why?
There’s a joke that goes: “What do you call someone who can speak
languages?” (answer = bilingual) “What do you call someone who can speak
languages?” (answer = trilingual) “And what do you call someone who can
language?” (answer = American)
The point of this joke is that Americans are less likely to learn foreign
languages than people in many other countries, where it’s not unusual for
someone to know two or even three languages. Why do you think language study is
less common in the U.S. than elsewhere? How do you think this might affect our
relations with people in other countries?
Success Connection workshop:
If you’re studying a language or planning to study one, attend the Success
Connection workshop on Wed., Sept. 12 on
How to Succeed in Foreign Language Courses.
You’ll get tips to help you learn the language of your choice, experience ways
to make language learning fun, and learn about resources that can help you to
succeed. The workshop is from 12:00 - 12:50 in LC-102 (Learning Commons bldg., ground floor, next
to the Test Center).
is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental
As this quote expresses, how much or how we move affects how we feel and think.
If you exercise, do you feel different (perhaps more positive or more alert)
afterwards? Discuss the role of motion in your everyday life; for example, do
you participate in sports, or dance, or work at a job that involves a lot of
movement (e.g. construction worker, restaurant server)? Do you agree or disagree
with Welch’s view of movement as a sort of “medicine”?
Learn how to learn:
A recent article in the
“New brain research propelling advances in teaching” (Sept. 5, 2012), cited a
talk by Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and author of the
First, read these excerpts from the article (emphasis added):
Medina talked about
movement as an essential ingredient of memory,
priming the brain for learning at the molecular and biological levels. The
neurological benefits of exercise linger for 2.5 hours, suggesting that
interspersing movement throughout the school day can improve academic
The brain is not like a computer hard drive, which stores inputs of new
we lose 90 percent of new learning within 60 minutes if it's not used or
repeated...In order for new information to be transferred to long-term memory,
it needs to be repeated at regular intervals.
more senses you can stimulate at the moment of learning," the more permanent
This week, apply one of these ideas to your own study by doing one of the
following. At the end of the week, decide if you want to continue this for
After you’ve studied for no more than 20 minutes, get up and move for a few
minutes. Stretch, jump, walk around, run in place, or do some other physical
activity. Then continue studying.
Spend a few minutes reviewing your class notes as soon as possible after the
When you’re reading something new, involve at least one of your senses. For
example, have quiet instrumental music playing, squeeze a stress ball, or
have a pleasant-smelling flower, fruit or drink nearby.
dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.
-- Rita Emmett
Is there a task that you are dreading -- something
you've been procrastinating about (putting off) but really need to do? What is
Try one or more of these tips for beating
- Set aside a time to start on the task. If it's a big
job, break it into smaller parts. Don't try to do it all at once.
- Decide on a reward for yourself when you complete the
thing you've been putting off.
- Set a time to start on your task. Put it in your
calendar or set a reminder on your phone.
- Make a rule for yourself: no interruptions and no
distractions. When you're working on the task, don't check Facebook, and
turn off your phone so you can't get calls or texts.
- Plan to work on the task for a short period of time
-- just 5 or 10 minutes. When you've spent that amount of time, it's ok to
stop and take a break. Set a time to go back and work on it some more. The
next time, you might find you can work a little longer.
- When you finish the task, give yourself your reward
and congratulate yourself for beating procrastination (this time)!
There are lots of videos on YouTube with tips for
procrastinators. Here's one of them:
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
When people work together, they can often achieve more than when they work
separately. Share examples of collaborative activities you’ve participated
in -- at work, school, a club, a church, on a team, a political campaign,
etc. Were the activities successful or not? Working with a partner or group,
make a list of elements that are important for successful collaboration.
(For example, having clear goals, members coming to meetings on time, etc.)
If one of your classes is challenging, consider
forming a study group
with some classmates. For suggestions on how to have a successful study
group, download the LRC
Study Group Tip Sheet.
You can find it on the LRC Handouts page
or download it from this link:
If you’re studying or working on a project with other students, you can
reserve a small group study room in the Learning Commons from the LRC or the
Library Circulation Desk.
Science is organized knowledge.
- Taking a science class, or planning to
take one next semester? Join the LRC science tutors at Science Success
Secrets! -- a fun, interactive workshop where you can learn study
tips and discover essential tools and resources to help you succeed in your
science classes. No sign-up is needed -- just show up at one of these
Tuesday, October 9, 1:30 - 2:30 in GT-105
Wednesday, October 10, 2:00 - 3:00 in GT-105
Wednesday, October 10, 4:00 - 5:00 in the LRC
You'll be glad you did!
As Spencer suggests, scientific thinking is a way of
organizing knowledge. This is done through the
in which hypotheses (possible explanations) for natural facts or occurrences
are tested by collecting and evaluating evidence. Among scientific
explanations which have become accepted by nearly all scientists are:
-- the idea that life on our planet originated approximately 4.5 billion
years ago, and has gradually developed and increased in diversity since
global warming (climate change)
-- the idea that the average annual temperature of the earth is
increasing, causing dramatic natural events like hurricanes, droughts
and melting of polar icecaps; and that this environmental change results
from human activities like the burning of fossil fuels and
Although most scientists agree with the above and other
scientific concepts, it has become popular for some American politicians to
challenge these scientific conclusions. See
this article (and video) for one example of a U.S. congressman (member
of the U.S. House of Representatives) who disagrees.
After reading the article or viewing the video, do you think this congressman
should be a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, a
committee that makes decisions and recommendations regarding laws that affect
scientific research funded by the U.S. government? Why or why not?
He who teaches children learns
more than they do.
-- German Proverb
- Have you ever taught something to a child? What did
you learn from the experience?
- When you were in grade school, what do you think your
teachers might have learned from you? For example, perhaps they learned to
be patient, or how to keep a curious child interested, or...
- If you're interested in a career in teaching, go to
this Tuesday's Success Connection Workshop, "So You Want to be a Teacher,"
at 12:00 in LC-102. You'll learn more about Leeward's Associate of Arts in
Teaching (AAT) program.
- Another source for AAT program information is the
Treat your family like friends and your friends like family.
Relate this quote to your own relationships:
October is National Family History Month, created to
encourage people to learn about their own family history. This can be both
fun and personally meaningful, and there are many ways to do it, including
tracing one’s roots (genealogy), interviewing older relatives, and more.
This website offers multiple ways to trace your family tree on your lunch
They might be family, friends, instructors, counselors, or
others -- succeeding in school is easier if you have people to help. To
Creating a Support Network,
come to the Success Connection Workshop this Tuesday, Oct.
23, from 12:00 - 12:50 in LC-102 (ground floor of the Learning Commons
building, next to the Test Center).
In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
Sometimes your “job” as a student can feel heavy, and you feel weighed down with
exams and assignments. Taking a different approach might help you to lighten up
and increase your interest and motivation -- maybe even have some fun -- even
while you continue to take your studies seriously. Here are a few suggestions:
You find the fun and - SNAP! The job’s a game!
Check out some of these websites:
Adjust your attitude:
Look for something in the subject that you can relate to --
learning is more effective when you can connect new knowledge with something
you have already learned, observed or experienced.
Make it social: teach the concept to someone else.
Listen to music: quiet, instrumental music while you study,
high-energy music to motivate you during study breaks.
Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn
or a dusk.
-- William Arthur Ward
We live in a changing world, and some changes affect us all. Two current
examples of major events with far-reaching results are the Nov. 6 election and
the superstorm Sandy that flooded New York, New Jersey and other places on the
U.S. east coast. Discuss or write about one of the following:
Choose one election race that you believe is important, and
tell why. For example, you might discuss the U.S. presidential race (Obama
vs. Romney), or the Honolulu mayoral race (Caldwell vs. Cayetano, with rail
the major issue); what might be different, depending on who wins?
Hawaii has the lowest voter turnout (percentage of people who
are eligible to vote who actually do so) in the country. Why do you think
people here often don’t vote? If you didn’t vote, why not?
Sandy, which began in late October as a hurricane in the
Caribbean, moved up the U.S. east coast and became the most damaging storm
in U.S. history, but it’s only the latest in a series of extreme weather
events in the past few years that has included hurricanes, droughts, record
snowfalls, tornadoes, and more. Many scientists believe that the increase
in extreme weather is evidence of climate change due to human intervention,
including use of fossil fuels (oil and gas) which help to raise the
temperature of our planet. One evidence of this climate change is the fact
that many glaciers (large rivers of ice) are shrinking or even disappearing.
2-1/2-minute video on the top 5 disappearing glaciers; as you watch,
note down the problems that result from glacier loss.
Week 13: My first wish is to see this
plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.
Before George Washington became our first president, he was
the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army that defeated the British and
won independence for the United States in the American Revolution. Many
generals have made similar statements against war. Do you think Washington’s
wish will ever come true? Why or why not?
Many advances in technology that have benefited people in
general have been the result of military research. One example is the
internet, which began as the
created to enable secure communications among military computers. Another
example is the development of improved prosthetic limbs for veterans of the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wars that are now being used for civilians. Do
you think these benefits are enough to justify the costs of war -- in money,
injury and loss of life? Explain your answer.
If you’re a student who’s also a military veteran, visit this
It includes information about valuable events and services for veterans at
Leeward. If you know a student vet here, share the website address with him
There are people in the world so hungry,
that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
When most of us think of Thanksgiving, we think about having
a great meal. But hunger is a major problem here in Hawaii. The
Hawaii Food Bank
provides emergency food assistance to more than 14% of Hawaii’s population
(2010 figure). Anyone can
by donating money or canned goods or volunteering time.
Work with other students to list some of the
of hunger in Hawaii. Pick one cause and brainstorm some possible solutions.
Not having enough money for food results in some difficult
choices: some people have to choose between paying for food and paying for
transportation, rent or mortgage, utilities, or medical bills. Discuss the
consequences of choosing food instead of one of these other choices.
Help to feed people while you learn! Visit
to answer questions on English vocabulary or grammar, math, chemistry,
geography, Spanish, or human anatomy. For every question you get right, the
World Food Program will donate 10 grains of rice to help end hunger.
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.
Tell about a time when you were faced with a challenge and
felt like giving up, but didn’t. What motivated you to keep going?
It’s close to the end of the semester, but your friend tells
you that he or she is thinking about giving up on a course because the final
assignment is very difficult. What advice would you give to him or her?
This quote from Babe Ruth, considered by many to be the
greatest baseball player in the history of the game, reminds us that in
sports, determination often plays as big a role in success as natural
ability. Tell about an athlete you admire and why.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
Now that the semester is ending, take a moment to reflect on
what you have accomplished. Was there something that seemed impossible to do
(maybe surviving for 16 weeks), yet you managed to do it? List your
accomplishments in sentences that begin with “I’m proud that I...” Include
things that seem small, e.g., “I’m proud that I finally started using a
If you still have work to do before your semester is truly
done, decide on a way to reward yourself when you have taken your last final
and turned in your last paper. If you start to feel like “I’ll never be
done,” remind yourself that the great meal, day at the beach with friends,
or new pair of shoes is just a few days away.
The distance is nothing; it's only the first step that is difficult.
Marquise du Deffand
As you begin the semester, there are a number of “first steps” that will help
you to start the semester well. Try one or more of the following:
Buy a calendar or planner, and use it regularly.
Go through the course outlines for all of your courses, and find due dates
for major assignments and dates of exams; add them to the calendar. Whenever
an instructors gives you an assignment, add it to the calendar. Look at the
schedule for the LRC’s
Success Connection Workshops;
find workshops that would be useful to you and note them in your calendar.
Establish a habit of looking ahead in your calendar every morning and every
night so you know what’s coming up.
Eating a healthy breakfast improves your concentration and problem-solving
skills, gives you more energy, and actually makes you less likely to gain
weight than if you skip breakfast.
Get to know your classmates.
Exchange phone numbers and emails with one or two other students in each
class so you can compare notes on assignments. Consider forming a study
group or partnership with one or a few other students.
Get to know your instructors.
Visit them during office hours to introduce yourself and ask any initial
questions you have. This will help you to feel more comfortable about going
to see them if you need help as the semester goes on.
People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other
because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have
not communicated with
Martin Luther King Jr.
As Dr. King’s quote suggests, many problems between people and groups come
from ignorance and prejudice (an negative opinion that has been formed
without knowledge). If you have experienced, witnessed or heard about any
sort of prejudice, tell what knowledge would help to reduce the prejudice.
(For example, some people who live in other places seem to think that
everyone in Hawaii is on vacation. Telling such people about the everyday
lives of local people could help to reduce this misunderstanding.)
Dr. King was a leader in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, a movement
with the goal of eliminating racial discrimination (unequal treatment based
on race) against African-American people and ensuring that they had the
same rights as others, including the right to vote, as well as to live,
work, go to school, shop, and attend public events anyplace that others
could. The main strategy for achieving these goals was the practice of
public protests that used nonviolent resistance as a tactic. As a result of
the movement and Dr. King’s leadership, important laws were passed that
guaranteed equal rights (including voting rights) to all Americans
regardless of race or other differences. King also spoke out against the
Vietnam War and promoted fair treatment and better working conditions for
all. For more information, click the above link to read a biography of Dr.
King, or read this detailed account of the
Civil Rights Movement.
Week 3: We
have the best government that money can buy.
It costs a lot of money to run for major political offices such as governor,
member of Congress, or President. Advertising is the biggest expense, but other
costs include pay for staff members, travel expenses, and more. Most politicians
cannot pay these costs without help, so they depend on political donations,
often from big corporations that want specific actions from the government.
By the time many politicians are elected, they owe favors to many special
interest groups such as oil companies or drug companies who have funded their
campaigns. This makes it difficult or impossible for them to truly put the
public interest first when they are faced with important decisions. For example,
a member of Congress who received money from an industry that adds to pollution
might be hesitant to vote for legislation that would place controls on that
industry to reduce pollution. Many people consider this issue to be at the heart
of many of our country’s most serious problems, such as the high cost of health
care and environmental problems. They believe that the solution is
campaign finance reform
-- limiting the amount of money that can be donated to a political campaign.
Visit this website to read about The Top 10 Things Every Voter Should Know
What did you learn that surprised you?
If you really liked a political candidate and could afford to contribute to
his or her campaign, would you do it? Why or why not?
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more
that you learn, the more places you'll go.
-- Dr. Seuss
Reading and children:
Children who are exposed to reading from an early age generally are likely
to view the act of reading positively and are more likely to be successful
Try this: Visit
(linked to Dr. Seuss’ name above), a fun site that includes videos, games &
activities, information for parents and teachers, and a lot more. After
exploring the site, find something that you would like to share with a
child. What did you choose, and why?
as Dr. Seuss tells us, reading helps us to know and learn more, so we can
“go places” in life. Unfortunately, many students enter college with little
knowledge of how to read their textbooks effectively; fortunately, textbook
reading is a skill that anyone can learn.
Attend the SC workshop
How to read your textbook
this Tuesday. Select two of the textbook reading tips presented and try them
for a week; then reflect on your experience by writing about it or by
discussing it with fellow students. How well did the techniques work? Will
you continue to use them, or modify them in some way?
You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.
Attend one of the 11 workshops presented this week by the LRC: content
tutors offer workshops on Accounting, Science, or Psychology, and there are
SC workshops on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and
foreign languages (see our home page for workshop
dates and times).
Jot down some notes during the workshop, and look them over soon afterward.
Find one or two new ideas or techniques you learned that you can try. Tell
someone about what you learned...and then try it out.
If you’ve never taken a learning styles questionnaire, pick up the
Are You Learning with Style?
handout from the LRC or KI. Fill out the first page to find out whether your
learning style or preference is primarily visual, auditory, kinesthetic
(hands-on), or a combination of the three. The handout also includes
suggestions for types of study activities using a particular learning style.
Try studying with a technique that uses your strongest learning preference;
then, for a different perspective, try studying using one of the activities
suggested for strengthening your weak area. Don’t try to decide which
technique is “better”, just reflect on anything interesting you noticed
about your study experiences.
To me, there is no greater act of courage than being the one who kisses first.
What’s the best or worst kiss you’ve ever received?
Tell a story (true or not) about a kiss. Here are suggested elements to
include in your story: who kissed whom, the setting or situation, reason for
the kiss, and what happened next.
Describe your ideal Valentine’s Day.
Week 7: Education’s
purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
What does it mean to have an open mind?
How open-minded do you think you are?
An open-minded person is tolerant; he or she avoids making negative
judgments about attitudes, styles, or points of view different from his or
her own. (For example, many employers are not open-minded about hiring
people with noticeable tattoos.) List one or more areas or subjects which
you would like to see other people be more open-minded about, and suggest
how you could educate them to change their view.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Who do you think is responsible for “building strong children” -- parents,
teachers, other family members? Suggest some specific actions that would
contribute to this goal.
Follow the link from Frederick Douglass’ name and read the brief biography
of him. What kind of person was he? Why is he an important historical figure
in American and African-American history?
At the end of the biography, read the three keys for success in life that
Douglass followed. What do you think of them?
I think the key is for
not to set any limits.
- March is Women’s
History Month -- a good time to learn more about women’s accomplishments
throughout history. To explore some interesting “herstory”, click on the
word “women” in the quote or go to
contains a wide variety of online exhibits on topics like women at work,
women at war, women in the arts, women’s rights, and more. Check out some
of the links, and tell someone (or write a short summary) about something
- Since women are half
of the population, why do you think we need a special month to recognize
women’s accomplishments? Do you think one month is enough?
Feminism's agenda is basic: it asks that women not be forced to choose
public justice and private happiness.
Feminism is a social movement focused on establishing equal political,
economic, and social rights for women. Early goals included women’s right to
vote and other legal rights such as the right to own property and enter into
contracts (such as having credit in one’s own name). Feminists continue to
advocate for women’s right to equal pay (i.e., the same pay as a man for
doing the same work), for reproductive rights (access to contraception and
abortion) and protection from domestic violence and discrimination. To learn
more about feminism, visit this website and watch some videos, view photo
galleries, or read articles about topics that interest you:
For many women today, life is a balancing act between work and home, career
and family. What do you think Faludi’s quote means?
Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility
of bringing up the next generation.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Do you agree with this quote? Explain the reasons for your opinion.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the second woman to serve on the United States
Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States. Click on her name to
read her biography. Describe some of the challenges she has faced and how
she has handled them.
You learn something every day if you pay
Tell something you have learned recently. It might be something you learned
in a class or in another part of your life. How did you learn it -- by
reading, listening, talking to someone, or some other way?
Spend at least a few minutes just paying attention to what’s around you. You
could be sitting in Starbucks, walking along the beach, riding a bus, or in
some other everyday situation. What did you observe? Think about your
observations. What did you learn?
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now
and make a brand new ending.
There is almost a month until the end of the semester, so it’s a good time to
plan how to end your semester well. Here’s a suggestion for steps to take:
-- Carl Bard
Make a list of remaining assignments (including due dates) and exams
(including dates) by referring to your course outlines, class notes and
Decide when you should start on each assignment or begin studying for each
exam so you can complete it on time without last-minute panic.
Write the start date and the due date for each assignment and exam in a
calendar or planner (either paper or electronic -- on your computer or cell
Check your planner at least once a day to make sure you have remembered to
record all of your assignments and haven’t forgotten to start on them.
When you complete an assignment or exam, mark it off by lining it out,
highlighting it, or writing COMPLETED next to it.
Congratulate yourself for making a “brand new ending” to your semester...and
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second
best time is now.
-- Chinese Proverb
Many of us take trees for granted, but we shouldn’t. Read
Top Ten Reasons Why Trees Are Important
to learn how they help people and the planet.
Write a tribute (or a thank-you letter) to a tree you appreciate, and tell
why. Have you climbed it? Eaten its fruit? Enjoyed its shade or its
April 16 - 22 is Earth Week, a time to celebrate the wonders of our natural
world and to help focus attention on environmental concerns. There will be a
number of presentations, film screenings, and a planting at Leeward during
For more information, visit
or check bulletin boards around campus.
Week 15: Do
not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the
As you are working on your final papers and projects or preparing for final
exams, you may be distracted by worries about the outcome. Here are a few ways
to help you take a different view of the situation:
-- Benjamin Franklin
Set aside 10 minutes to make a list of things that are worrying you. This
may help to clear your head so you can concentrate on what you need to do.
Try to remember what you were worrying about a year ago. Is it still
Consider: if what you’re worrying about actually occurs, what’s the worst
thing that will happen? Realize that when we worry, our imaginations often
exaggerate the negative results.
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an
examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you
are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
Tell one thing you have learned from one or more of your classes this year
that you are likely to remember.
Tell something you would like to learn more about in the future. It may or
may not be related to school.
Week 1: A mind that is stretched by a new
experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
- This quote suggests
that our experiences change the way we think. Tell about a past experience
that has affected you, and explain how it did.
- What new experiences do
you expect to have this semester?
Week 2: Action expresses
This quote suggests that what we choose to do shows what is important to us.
What are your priorities for this semester? How will these priorities
influence how you spend your time?
Mohandas Gandhi led a successful nonviolent movement that achieved India’s
independence from Great Britain. In reaching this goal, nonviolence was
Gandhi’s highest priority. He believed that violence was never justified and
that by avoiding fighting or using weapons, he and his followers showed that
their cause, Indian independence, was morally right. What is your view of
violence vs. nonviolence? Is violence ever justified to reach a worthwhile
Week 3: There is no labor
a person does that is undignified, if they do it right.
- If you've held a job before, what's the best job you've ever had? Why?
What's the worst job you've had? Why?
- Describe a job you'd like to do.
- What's the difference between a job and a career?
- If you're looking for a job, you should know about two campus resources
that can help: SECE, the student
employment website for on-campus jobs; and
Prep Services, the office that can help you find jobs off campus. Check
Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.
- This quote suggests the
importance of attitude when you're facing something new...such as studying a
new subject. If you're afraid of one of your courses, try looking at it as
an opportunity to explore a new area. Try changing the way you talk (even to
yourself) about the subject; for example, instead of saying "This class is
scary and I can't understand it," say "This class is a challenge, but I can
do it." You may not believe it at first, but over time, you may change your
- If you're taking an
Accounting, Psychology, or Science course, come to one of
the interactive workshops presented by LRC tutors this week! The
tutors will share study techniques that helped them to succeed in these
classes. You'll meet other students studying the same subjects and might
even find new "study buddies." See the LRC home page
for workshop dates, times and locations.
A true friend remembers the song in your
heart when you have forgotten the lyrics.
-- old Cuban saying
Tell what you think this quote means.
Many people have different kinds of friends. For example, some have high
school friends, college friends, work friends, friends associated with a
specific activity like surfing, playing in a band or on a sports team.
Discuss the types of friends you have, and the roles of these friendships in
Describe one of your friends and tell why that person is important to you.
How do you support your friends? How do your friends support you?
If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't
believe in it at all.
-- Noam Chomsky
“Freedom of expression” is considered to be one of the most basic and
important American values. What is it? Tell what you think this quote means.
Celebrate Banned Books Week!
Some people try to ban certain books -- keep them out of public libraries or
schools -- because the books contain material that they disagree with or
find offensive and believe is harmful to others. This week, the Leeward
Library is hosting a series of events to celebrate our freedom to read what
we want. For more information, visit
Censorship is common in our society. If you’ve ever watched a tv show where
someone was “bleeped”, you’ve seen someone’s words being censored.
Similarly, some music is not permitted to be played on the radio, some
movies are cut before they’re shown on tv or on airplanes, and some
political viewpoints are not represented in “mainstream” newspapers or tv
news networks. Do you think censorship is acceptable if it’s intended to
protect or benefit the public? If so, who should decide what will be
Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things
can be achieved.
Study groups can be
a great way to learn and connect with other students. An LRC tutor can help
you and fellow students to “jump start” a study group for one of the
following courses: BIOC 241 or 251, BIOL 100, CHEM 272B, MICRO 130/140, PHIL
110, or PSY 100. To join a group, log onto Facebook and search for one of
the above courses.
If you’re currently in a study group, you can get tips for how to work
together effectively by downloading a handout,
Tip Sheet for Study Groups.
Discuss an experience you’ve had working with others in a group -- on a
sports team, a class project, a service activity, or some other effort. What
did you learn from your experience?
The author of this week’s quote, Mattie Stepanek, was a child poet, peace
activist, and spokesperson for people with disabilities. He died before he
reached age 14. Read about Mattie:
and discuss (or think about) what his life can teach us.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only
way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you
haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all
matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
-- Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Computer, had a powerful impact
on the daily lives of millions of people, transforming the way we
communicate through computers and telephones, the way we enjoy music
and movies, and the way we learn. How have Jobs’ products affected
your life? How might your life be different if the iPod, iPhone,
Mac, iTunes, or iPad had not been invented?
Jobs states the importance of loving the work you do. If you have a
career goal, is it based on something you think you’ll love, or do
you have a different focus (e.g., money)? Discuss what you hope to
gain from future work besides a paycheck.
One reason for the success of Apple products is their design -- they
are beautiful to look at and pleasant to handle. Think of an object
that people use often that would benefit from an Apple-style
redesign. What is it, and why would a redesign improve it?
The most common way people give up their power is
by thinking they don't have any.
-- Alice Walker
- Walker’s quote suggests
that having a confident attitude helps one to have control or power over
one’s life. Do you agree or disagree? Give examples to support your view.
- In many cases, one
individual acting alone cannot do much to change a bad situation or solve a
problem, but when people join together and act collectively, they can
sometimes accomplish much more. Examples of such circumstances include the
development of labor unions that help workers to have safe working
conditions and fair treatment, or public demonstrations against government
actions (for recent examples, read the Wikipedia entries for Arab Spring
or 2011 Wisconsin protests). Think of a problem situation in
Hawaii that might be improved through organized action by a group of people.
If we are facing in the right
direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.
-- Buddhist saying
- This is the time of the
semester when some students start to lose their motivation. On your own or
with other students, make a list of things you can do to stay motivated when
you're tired of studying. For example, you can give yourself little rewards
for completing a study task: ("After I finish reading this chapter, I'll
go for a walk.")
- "The right direction" is
different for each of us. Describe what your "right direction" is. What are
your goals for this semester? What are your goals for your college
- Other people can help you to
"keep on walking". Consider meeting with an LRC content tutor or writing
consultant for assistance and motivation. For more information, see the LRC
and Writing Center websites or call the LRC at 455-0412 to make a tutoring
To live a creative life, we
must lose our fear of being wrong.
-- Joseph Chilton Pearce
- Why do you think many people
are afraid of being wrong?
- Mistakes play an important
part in learning many subjects -- languages are a good example. Tell about a
time when you made a mistake in one of your classes -- and what you learned
- If someone is very, very
careful to avoid making any mistakes, how would this affect his or her life?
I dream of giving birth to a
child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"
-- Eve Merriam
- Do you think war is an
inevitable (unavoidable) part of the human condition or do you think someday
there may be a world without war? Explain your view.
- Many veterans who have
completed their overseas service become college students -- Leeward's
student population includes at least 500 veterans. Student veterans can face
special challenges in adjusting to college. What do you think other
students, faculty members, or the college as a whole can do to help these
students feel welcome at Leeward?
- In a world without war, some
say there would still be important duties for a trained, organized,
military-type force to perform -- for example, assistance in dealing with
natural disasters. Suggest some specific ways that the military could work
to improve life in the United States.
There's nothing like music to
relieve the soul and uplift it.
-- Mickey Hart
- What role (or roles) does
music play in your life (or life in general)? Discuss some of the ways you
use music or see others use it -- for relaxation, distraction,
entertainment, worship, etc.
- Come to the World of Music
event this Thursday at 4:00 in the LRC. You'll have an opportunity to hear
music from different countries, some of it played on instruments you've
never seen or heard before!...then, if you want, you can try some hands-on
music-making. After the event, describe the music you heard and tell what
you learned from this experience.
- Write a story or poem about a
world in which music has disappeared. What would be different?
If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed
- Obesity is a major
health problem in the United States and other wealthy countries, while
other, poorer countries struggle with the problem of hunger. Which problem
do you think is easier to solve? Do you think the two problems are related?
- Describe a
Thanksgiving that you’ve enjoyed. What made the day special?
- Brainstorm a list of
positive elements in your life -- people, things, activities, or
circumstances that you appreciate. Write a letter of thanks to one or more
of them. (“Dear mango tree, I’m really glad that you live in my back
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having
Take a positive approach to your final exams and projects. Start by looking
back: make a list of the things you’ve accomplished so far this semester.
What have you learned about the subjects you’ve been studying? What have
you learned about yourself?
Now, look forward. Write at least two positive, specific statements that
express your positive intention to complete your work well. Some examples:
I will meet all the deadlines for my research paper.
I’m going to work every accounting problem in the next two chapters.
Post your positive statements someplace where you can see them. Reread them
several times a day to encourage yourself to keep moving ahead.
Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service.
To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
-- Oren Arnold
Which of these gifts would you like to give? Which would you like to
receive? Explain your answer.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.”
Do you agree or disagree with it? Why?