Work and Study

The relationship between work and study should not be underestimated.

It is important that youngsters in general, and teenagers in particular, get real life experience of what it takes to succeed in the ‘real world’, what it takes to make money, and how hard dad or mum have to work to earn those extra few cents.

Recently a dad talked about the problems of getting his son to study; the family is wealthy and the son saw little need to make any effort to revise, do well in his forthcoming exams, and move onto a university and undergraduate subject with prospects of a rewarding career.

He saw his parents, particularly mum, as a ‘soft touch’.

The harder the concerned parents tried, the more obstinate the son became; the inverse law of proportionality seemed to be at work, or perhaps the law of diminishing returns. Necessity was definitely not the mother of invention!

‘Man he is a Lazy B…!’ complained the father.

At school, the youngster seemed to have learnt a lot about his ‘rights’ – but little about responsibility.

He didn’t realise that ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ are the same bedfellows – they both start with the letter ‘r’!

The current situation was inevitable…

Things changed, however, after our recommendation that the son spend time working in the kitchens of one his father’s famous restaurants over the summer holidays (well, what else did he expect given his parents’ gentler efforts?).

Washing plates to earn his pocket-money was no fun; it didn’t take long before the grades started to improve.

Study was clearly a better option than washing plates in the kitchen.

Take Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Warren has a wise head on his shoulders and drives the same old car and lives in the same old house as he did at the start of his career; his common sense has to be respected since his actions reflect his words.

He can afford to live in mansions, drive better cars but through his example has made clear that he intends to give most of his wealth to charity.

Warren believes that his children must learn to earn a living, make their own way in the real world.

The last thing he wants is to ‘handicap’ his progeny by handing over his billions.

Some of the smartest students at The University of Oxford in The Business Management School often spent their summer holidays waiting at tables before they got First Class Honours.

They are now CEOs of major companies, earning a very healthy living.

Consider another example from the world of tennis, the William sisters where Venus and Serena dominated the women’s game for many years.

Their early history is one of being introduced to the ‘Bronx’ by their dad where gang bullets were not uncommon whilst they trained.

The William sisters soon realized that working for success in tennis was a better option than living in ghettos.

Where cajoling fails, direct experience often succeeds.

If you want your children to study more effectively, let them work for it!

My Master’s Degree – How Should I Talk And Write About It?

There are many circumstances in which foreign student have to talk about their intentions to study for advanced degrees. Statements of purpose written to accompany applications for university admission are the most obvious case, but the same situation comes up in interviews with recruiters, IELTS Speaking Tasks, and verbal interactions of all kinds with the officials at the universities you will be attending.

Unfortunately, it’s the time many foreign students say things that sound the least “English.” As a result, these unavoidable statements can often suggest that your command of English is weak. Even though all the native English speakers who regularly hear foreign students make these statements have long gotten used to hearing them spoken incorrectly, the mistake always registers with them at some level, however unconsciously.

To make the best impression on university administrators and IELTS examiners, use the right language to talk about your degree and your academic sentences.

The following are the most common mistakes:

“I’m going to learn a master’s degree.”

“I’m going to study a master’s degree.”

“I plan to learn a master degree.”

Don’t make these unnecessary but common mistakes. All that is necessary for you not to make them is to understand clearly what the appropriate words are and mean.

- A “master’s degree” is a noun. When written, it always has an apostrophe, that is, “master’s degree,” not “masters degree” or, worse, “master degree.”

- A master’s degree is not, however, a field of study. We don’t study a master’s degree, we study a field in which we earn (or, more colloquially, “get”) a maser’s degree. Therefore, in English, we say that we plan “to earn a master’s degree in marketing [or the name of some other field].”

- The degree is what we get as a result of studying, not what we study. So, when we talk about studying, we normally say, “I plan to study economics [or some other field].” It’s not incorrect to say, “I plan to learn marketing,” but “I plan to study marketing” is more normal, idiomatic English.

- The certificate that confirms that we have successfully completed a course of study and earned an advanced degree (not necessarily a master’s degree) is called a “diploma.” You can say, “I plan to earn a diploma in marketing,” or, if you have completed the degree, “I have a diploma in economics.” But if you do, realize that a native English speaker will not necessarily understand which graduate degree you have earned.

- The most appropriate verbs to use with “master’s degree,” prior to receiving the degree, are “study for,” “earn,” or “pursue.” So, you should say, “I plan to study for a master’s degree in communications,” or “I plan to earn a master’s degree in marketing,” or “I plan to pursue a master’s degree in engineering.”

This may seem like a minor matter in terms of language. However, making the most common mistakes can lead a university official or IELTS examiner to think less of your English language skills or, in the worst case, your intelligence.

So, practice writing and saying these simple but important sentences correctly.

Incorrect: I’m going to study a master degree.

Correct: I’m going to study for a master’s degree.

Incorrect: I will study a master’s degree of marketing.

Correct: I will study for a master’s degree in marketing.

Incorrect: I will learn a masters degree in economics.

Correct: I plan to earn a master’s degree in economics.

Oil Spill Recovery Vessels Helping to Save our Environment

Oil spills can cause big problems for our ecosystem. We all remember in 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William sound, Alaska. It took over a decade for the wildlife to rebound and two decades before things turned back to normal.

In New Jersey is a company called Marine Spill Response Corp., which has a fleet of 15 vessels to clean up oil spills on any of the East Coast ports or inlets. These ships have skimmer take hoses and reels to pick up the oil that floats on top of the water from the spill. They can respond to large or small oil spills with their fleet and even their smaller vessels have four 1000-gallon storage tanks for the recovered oil.

Each unit has oil water separators and oil heaters to help treat the recovered oil. When one of these ships arrives on the scene it lowers out a giant boom and begins to pump the oil through the boom. If you'll recall there was a huge oil spill in Philadelphia on the water in 2004 and there have been several other smaller spills, both from ships and leaky tanks due to inclement weather and man-made mistakes that the Marine Spill Response Corp. has cleaned up.

This is just one way that entrepreneurs and industry are teaming up to help mitigate potential ecosystem disasters in our environment. By preventing such oil spills from polluting the local water, we can save local wildlife from destruction. Please consider all this in 2006.

Cross Pens Make Outstanding Gifts

If you need a special gift for a special occasion, birthday, graduation or special holiday gift; consider the gift of a Cross Pen.

It can be hard to find a good gift for a graduate. A Cross Pen will make an outstanding gift for the graduate that is just going forth into the professional world. First impressions are everything on job interviews and when networking. Having a really nice pen to take down important names, numbers or notes just looks more professional than a leaking, blotting cheap pen.

You can further personalize your gift of a Cross Pen by having it engraved. People tend to keep specially engraved gifts for years upon years. Cross pens can be refilled and used again and again so the engraved gift you give will be useful forever to your pen recipient.

If you need a special gift for your Dad for Father’s Day, consider a Cross Pen with a special message. If your father has retired, the pen will still come in useful for jotting down notes, signing necessary documents and even just writing checks to pay the bills. Choose a humorous saying that means something between you, a simple “I Love You” or his initials will all make great engravings for the pen.

Along with an engraved Cross Pen, you can make the gift complete with either a personalized portfolio to hold appointments (written with a Cross Pen of course); and add in a leather Cross Pen holder for the person that travels or is on the go. The holder fits right into a carry on bag, suit pocket or purse and keeps their Cross Pen neatly tucked away until it is needed.

Cross Pens are constructed to be high quality, non-leaking and always deliver a clean line. This attention to detail in their design has made Cross Pens one of the most recognized names for fine writing instruments around the globe. An engraved pen is an outstanding gift for your groomsmen or bridesmaids. You can have the special date you all celebrated together engraved on the pen and give each of your wedding attendants a special pen as a memento of their participation in your special day.

If you’ve been searching for a good gift and you want to get a special someone a gift that they can use for years to come, consider a personalized Cross Pen that lets them know that they are special to you and they are often in your thoughts, even when they don’t see you face to face.