Author Archive | Dave Parks

Cause and Effect 2 – by Lara

At present the scenes read a bit like a laundry list of events/happenings or situations[1] (a story), which is not the same thing as a plot. Ian Briggs says[2], “We have defined a story as a narrative of events arranged in their time-sequence. A plot is also a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality. […]

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Goal, Motivation, Conflict (GMC)

GMC is goal, motivation, and conflict. This blog (why-i-love-deb-dixons-goal-motivation) sums it up like this: It begins with WHO. Your character. Goal = What (what they want) Motivation = Why (why they want it) Conflict = The Why Not (what stands in their way) You listed character goals in the file you sent, but it might […]

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Cause and Effect 1 – by Lara

One event/action, let’s say by the antagonist, triggers first an internal reaction and then an external reaction (decision, new goal, new action) from the protagonist, which in turn affects the antagonist. ‘The king died and then the queen died,’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief,’ is a plot. If a story we […]

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(Early Draft) Normal People — Elijah and Ahab are both normal people. Elijah – I violate this assumption by showing Elijah as free from flaws. Maybe I don’t show him as a superman, but I made him into a smoothman. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown […]

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Who’s Who & their flaws

Writing the Perfect Flaw Ahab – Will do anything to please (external locus) Has strong father Omri, father Jezebel, wife Ethbaal, Jezebel’s father, King of Sidon Obadiah, Chief of Staff Eitan, would be grove manager Benaiah, Captain of the Bodyguards Elijah – OCD, impatient Tirzah, mother Zadok, father Asriel, miller in Jabesh Gera, shopkeeper in […]

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What if Elijah….

What if Elijah had No Family & No Milcah Elijah lives in a tree. His family and Milcah all got wiped out by the slavers. What if Zarephath Most treatments of Elijah make him look really old. Maybe as a way to avoid temptation with the widow. I made him really young and her older. Also as a way […]

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Baal prophets – who?

Dear Dave, The pagans were polytheists, so that they worshiped more than one god.  Thus it is not surprising to find Jezebel supporting those who worshiped /  served a multiplicity of gods.  I looked up Asherah in a Bible Dictionary, which gives a good deal more information that may prove helpful.  I hope this helps. […]

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Kuang Hong Yi is here!

Congratulations to Michael 邝灿强 and Tan CuiJiao 谭翠娇 near Guangzhou. Their son Kuang Hong Yi 邝泓毅 arrived January 31, 2012. Michael was our student in Chongqing and is back home doing a bang-up job teaching English to many eager young students. Here is Hong Yi at eight months, all 7.5 kilograms of him. Isn’t he just the most […]

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Emet in Shenzhen

My newly arrived great grandson’s mom, Tessie, has been calling me 爷爷 [grandpa] for a few years. When she graduated from CTBU, Tessie went off to the boom town of Shenzhen and married a wonderful guy named Paul. They’re running a most intriguing business called Yage Star and producing this fun little boy whom I […]

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Shadow Listening

A colleague who speaks a foreign language almost perfectly described his method: While listening to someone speak, repeat aloud what the speaker says. [color-box] What – Find spoken English close to your level and in a standard – not regional — dialect. A recording — You can shadow one recording many times. A live broadcast on air or on line — […]

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How to Develop a Good Accent

The Wrong Way “I’m a foreigner, so I will always have a foreign accent.” It’s not true, but I have found this idea discourages students. Do not follow the crowd. Just because many foreigners speak with thick tongues does not mean you have to. The Right Way The truth is, even if you did not start life […]

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Show or Shoe?

表演 – 诺埃尔·科沃德 – 作曲家,小说家和电影导演 – 说,’演出必须继续下去’。 Noel Coward — composer, novelist and film director — said, ”The show must go on.” 鞋子 – 灰姑娘的姐姐 – 谁要嫁白马王子 – 说,“鞋必须继续下去。” Cinderella’s sisters — who wanted to marry Prince Charming — said, “The shoe must go on.” show 给看; 教; 展览; 节目 shoe 鞋 no 没有; 不; 无 new 新 toe 脚趾; 指头 two […]

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Train vs. Tree

Train – Eight freight trains made the grade. Much trade goes by train. Train rhymes with: 飞 – 美 – 藣 – 给 – 北 – 忒 – 为 – 陪 – 内 – 类 – 谁 Tree – Eat free food from three trees. The dog treed the raccoon. Tree rhymes with: 比 – 第 – 一 – 几 – 米 – 你 – 里 – 皮 – 提

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Vocabulary by reading?

Q. How can I use reading to build my vocabulary? A. Besides being pure FUN, reading is a great way to build vocabulary. Here’s how: Note new words. Look up their definition and pronunciation. Write them on a flash card or on your list of new words. Compose a short story that uses all your new words […]

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How do movies help?

A. Merely listening and watching seems to work best for most students. Paul, my good friend who runs a business in Shenzhen, is one of the best English speakers I know in China, but he has never been out of the country.  His secret?  He has listened to every episode of Friends at least four times. B. Turn the […]

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Plan vs. Plane

Plan, man, can, cat Say, “That fat man plans to stand under that hat.” Say, “The Cat in the Hat.” Plane, plain, play, main, mane, rain “play” sounds like “p类” “Plane” and “plain” sound like “p类n” “main” and “mane” sound like “妹n” Say, “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” Say, “The children play near […]

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Where to feel the hum

元芳, 你怎么看? When I pronounce the “n” or the “ng,” where should I feel it humming? 狄老板 亲爱的狄老板, You should feel the “n” humming in the bone at the front of the roof of your mouth where your tongue is touching. own bone  — tine fine line — man can tan — been seen ten — sun bun fun When […]

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Where …….. From…….. To……………… Essence…………………………………………………………….. Bible Jezreel……… Elijah ……. Ahab………….. No more rain…………………………………………….. 1 Kings 17:1 Bethshan …. Elijah…….. Obadiah ……… Bring me Ahab…………………………………………… 1 Kings 18:8 Bethshan….. Elijah…….. Ahab………….. Bring all Israel to Mt. Carmel……………………….. 1 Kings 18:18 Mt. Carmel.. Elijah…….. Israelites……… Choose ye this day…………………………………….. 1 Kings 18:21 Samaria……. Ahab…….. Ben Hadad…… Who […]

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[ɜ:] bird – [ʌ] bud

bird – bud burn – bun curl – cull curve – covet dervish – dovish first – fuss furnish – fun girl – gull hurl – hull learn – London lurk – luck murder – mudder perpetrator – puppet purple – puppy turn – ton urine – onion urn – un turnip – ton of […]

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Ἠλίας ἄνθρωπος ἦν ὁμοιοπαθὴς ἡμῖν ὁμοιο – same παθὴς – passions, feelings, nature Pathetic, empathy, sympathy, apathy, pathos To think of Elijah as “a man subject to like passions as we are,” opens a can of … “Maria Kukucova went to prison for her crime of passion.” “Amelia Earhart was passionate about stamp collecting.” “Teddy Roosevelt […]

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Locating Tishbe & Brook

Elijah’s Hiding Spot Jabesh Milcah’s Valley Ridge – Ridge – Ridge Brook Cherith Tishbe Zadok’s Valley Jabesh lies just east of the Jordan River but still west of Mahanaim Milcah’s Valley is east of Jabesh. A ridge runs east-west and lies south of Jabesh and Milcah’s Valley. Tishbe is south of Jabesh Zadok’s Valley is […]

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Wineskin 3 x272

Wineskins and Donkeys

 (rough draft) [1] Ten donkeys – Numbers 22 Balaam, Balak, Beor, Pethor, Moab, Ammon, Huzoth, Bamoth, Zippor, and Euphrates – Each skin held 30 to 40 liters Max per donkey = 150 lbs 30 liters weighs 66 lb. 40 liters weighs 88 lb. So two skins would weigh from 132 – 198 lb.

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Way of the Patriarchs

Did Elijah take this route instead of the Jordan Valley? Maybe he took the Jordan Valley route because he had seen it so many times as a child selling wine to caravaners. Maybe he fled east through the Jezreel Valley as an easy way to run. Then when he hit the Jordan River that […]

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[i:] sheep – [ɪ] ship

[i:] – [ɪ] cheap – chip creep – cripple eel – ill feel – fill heal – hill grieve – give keel – kill keep – kip leap – lip leave – live meal – mill peep – pip reel – rill seal – sill sheep – ship sleep – slip steep – stipulate teal […]

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“Home in”

  元芳, 你怎么看?   Is the phrase “home in” or “hone in?” 亲爱的老板, Never say “hone in.” When you say “home in” be sure to use “m.” “Home in” means “to find the way to a certain point.” Homing pigeons (信鸽) find their way home. Smart bombs and torpedoes home in on the targets. We […]

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Satisfactory Documents?

Before Hi Jane, Are the provided docs satisfiable? The company is VERY EAGER to get the cert. If you need more info from the factory, please let me know, I’ll ask from them asap. Best Regards, Peter Note: Many Americans consider VERY EAGER rude because the capital letters make them feel you are pounding the table and shouting at Jane. Do not abbreviate — docs, cert, info — in business correspondence. It shows you are careless. Among loyal friends […]

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 What is the best way to let someone know you received what they sent?  That depends. Is the sender a close friend or a business associate? Friend Informality implies closeness: “Got it.  Thanks!” Business Formality implies respect and attention to detail: “Thank you for sending the document. You will be happy to know that it arrived this […]

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Order before Spring Festival

ABC Manufacturing 1234 NanJing Lu Sucheng Qu, Suqian Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China 211500 March 1, 2016 Mr. Bruno Lightfist System Sales 1234 Commerce Drive Los Angeles, CA USA  91377 RE:  How to order before Spring Festival Dear Mr. Lightfist, I trust your business is prospering. To make sure we can fill your February orders, I want to […]

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Monitor Discontinued

Original Because the 56-inch monitor was discontinued long ago, we have not found its repair parts. While we continue searching for these parts, we ask, Would you please consider this solution? 1. We will send you 20 new 57-inch displays while we continue looking for repair parts for the 56-inch display. If we find the […]

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YoureWelcome - Copy

You’re welcome!

How to respond to “Thank you”? Instead of 不客气!we say… Welcome. You’re welcome. Sure. Sure enough. Sure thing. For sure. Any time. Happy to help. Of course. You betcha. What are friends for! Don’t mention it It was nothing By all means No worries That’s OK That’s alright I avoid “No problem.” It can imply there […]

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Avoid ASAP

When making a promise to a customer, which time phrase should I use? immediately right away now today this minute this morning this afternoon ASAP Example:  “If you need more information from the factory, I will ask them (when?).” Use any time phrase except ASAP. The first seven phrases leave you no room for delay.  They show your customer is first in line. Everything […]

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Target Audience

It is coming into focus. When I started, people asked who it was for, and I said, for me. If somebody else wants to read it, fine. Lately I’m surprised to hear people assume I’m writing for children. Not so, but hearing it makes me realize my original target is still pretty much it — […]

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—  Getting a variety of critiques shows me how the story goes contrary to a variety of ideas (Elijah was old, gruff, celibate, had a quavering voice, called God “Yahweh.”) One by one, I have a chance to head these preconceptions off at the pass and (I hope) keep the reader.

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Emails with Important Customers

Professor Parks has given me practical advice on my daily emails with important customers all over the world.  I always thought my English was good — both in speaking and writing. However, I have learned a lot from Professor Parks about corresponding with customers. How to urge How to thank in an elegant manner How to show […]

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Delayed Shipment

Before Dear Samuel, Pls check the attachment is the shipping agent inform. It is not seriously believable when i got your email yesterday about the delay shipment. We were afraid this ship delay again and we also want to tell you the exact ETA time . Actually we have asked the seller’s the actual ETA […]

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Deadline Phrases

before – “We need to do it before January 3.”  (We must not wait until January 3.) on – “We need to do it on January 3.”  (We must wait until January 3 but not until January 4.) after – “We need to do it after January 3.”  (We must wait until January 4.) by – “We need to do it by January 3.” (We must not wait […]

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Setting a Friendly Deadline

Setting a Friendly Deadline   Thank you, but doesn’t setting a deadline sound a little bossy?   Oh.  I see. Well for a more customer-friendly wording, use… “I need to send those documents to Singapore Thursday, so I’m hoping you can get them to me on or before Wednesday.”

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Setting a Deadline

  I’d like to set a deadline. When I use “before,” does it include the day specified? For example, does “before Thursday” mean do it Thursday?   No. “Before Thursday” means do it Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday — not Thursday. If Thursday at 2 p.m. is when you want it, say, “The deadline for this project is 2 pm […]

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Business Email Salutations

 What is the proper form of address in a business email? Hi Henry? Hello Henry? Dear Henry?  The proper form is, “Dear Henry,” When we email quick, informal messages to friends, “Hi” or “Hello” is proper. A business email, however, needs the same formality as a business letter — “Dear.” Don’t be concerned about the […]

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Beta Readers

Thank you for commenting on a chapter! Ann Videtich Cheryl Floyd Danette Bailey Darci Frostick DeWayne Coxon Donald Ingram Doug Smith Erin E. McEndree Gary Endermann Janine Rosche Jennifer Hallmark Joy VanDeMar Judy Harmon Lara Hitchcock Lexie Coxon Loana Ingram Miguel Serveto Nancy Hoorn Nancy Regatz Paul Parker Pauline Stitt Ralph Tilley Randy Harmon Robbie Coxon Shawn Kennedy […]

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due to the dew

Drought Drying up the vines? No dew. How does that effect which crops? Prof. Alpert says. And it’s all due to the dew. “In the early morning, dew surrounds the leaves of a plant with moisture, and the plant does not close its stomata. Therefore, it can grow.” Prof. Alpert’s finding are reported in two […]

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Business Email Closings

Expectation I am looking forward to discussing the proposal at the dinner. Feel free to contact me if you have any concerns. (avoid – do not hesitate) I look forward to receiving the minutes of the meeting. Thanks Thanks again, Thank you for letting me know you will be available. I truly appreciate what you […]

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Hebrew vs. Gregorian Calendar

Hebrew English Number Length Civil Equivalent Nissan 1 30 days March-April Iyar 2 29 days April-May Sivan 3 30 days May-June Tammuz 4 29 days June-July Av 5 30 days July-August Elul 6 29 days August-September Tishri 7 30 days September-October Cheshvan 8 29 or 30 days October-November Kislev 9 30 or 29 days November-December […]

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Zarephath metalworking

Zarephath metalworking Add to this! (Why I made the widow’s dead husband a metalworker) Zarephath (צרפת ṣārĕfáṯ, tsarfát; Σάρεπτα, Sárepta) in Hebrew became the eponym for any smelter or forge, or metalworking shop. In the 1st century CE, the Roman Sarepta, a port about a kilometer to the south[4]is mentioned by Josephus, in Jewish Antiquities (Book VIII, xiii:2) and by Pliny, in Natural History (Book V, 17).

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Water for Sheep in Dry Pasture

  Pasture composition – The diet of stock has a large influence on their water requirement. Good green pasture can supply all an animal’s water needs. Sheep under these conditions may not need to drink for many weeks. Good pasture allows stock to use water which would normally be unsuitable at higher levels of consumption. […]

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The Rabbi Was Always Right

They followed the road from Arad down to the edge of the Dead Sea where Masada stands today and turned north. The same caravan route that brought them south to the desert now took them north toward the Galilee. This time, though, instead of hiding in the swamp, sometimes they chatted with the men who […]

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Strategic Value of Jezreel

King Ahab might have hammered on his gate and lock point longer if he could have seen how future military strategy would focus on Jezreel. 841 BC – The first target of Jehu’s coup was Jezreel City. 350 AD – The Romans fortified Jezreel City to protect their Via Maris trade route along the Israel […]

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Running to Jezreel

Running to Jezreel The Journey to Jezreel (1 Kings 18:45–19:2) 18:45 Meanwhile the sky was covered with dark clouds, the wind blew, and there was a heavy rainstorm. Ahab rode toward Jezreel. 46 Now the LORD energized Elijah with power; he tucked his robe into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab all the […]

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Mezuzah Wiki Deuteronomy 6:9 and 11: 20 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates; The-Contents-of-the-Mezuzah Fact check. Did Hebrews in Elijah’s day really use them? And I ran onto this about Philo.  

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Jehovah, Yahweh, or The Lord?

I wrote Elijah and his family and friends talking about “the Lord,” because the term feels natural to me. When I was a child in the Free Methodist Church in Spring Arbor, Michigan, I sometimes heard adults refer to “Jehovah,” as in the Tyndale Bible and the King James Bible. But usually they said, “the […]

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A Bible Story for Children On Writing for Children C.S. Lewis “We must meet children as equals in that area of our nature where we are equals. Our superiority consists partly of in commanding other areas, and partly (which is more relevant) in the fact that we are better at telling stories than they are. The child as reader […]

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Ranking Universities

Peterson’s:  College Bound Peterson’s:  Grad School Bound Peterson’s:  International Students College Board:  Big Future The Guardian:  Higher Education Network The Guardian:  Higher Education Network – Top 100 QS World University Rankings for computer science and information systems 2011 World Reputation Rankings 2014 – Times Higher Education QS World University Rankings® 2013/2014: Overview | Top … The World’s Most Reputable Universities In 2014 – Forbes World’s Best Universities: Times Higher […]

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To Whom It May Concern

When Americans receive a letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern” most toss it away unread. Address your letter to the person who will be reading it. Use the person’s exact title – Mr/Mrs/Dr/Professor, etc. To find these names and titles, study the university’s website or ask your friends at the university. If you cannot […]

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The Seven Best Schools

How to Choose the Seven Universities Best for You 1. Name your career. 2. Decide major will prepares you best for your career. 3. To see how universities rank for your major, click here. 4. From the resulting list, select seven based on … Academics – including “have famous prof?” Extra curricular activities Location 5. Study the […]

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Admissions Terminology

Inspired by The Guardian  —  

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Resume – Mathematician

By deleting extraneous material, I reduced this two-page resume to one page, thus keeping the interest of the reviewer. Then I created a bold outline in the left column. Finally I organized everything by date, making it easy to grasp the progress of this mathematician. Before After

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Questionnaire – English to English

This student’s English is so advanced that the help I gave was very close to the way I help my American students. Before About You I have a strong ability to adapt to the environment, kindness, optimism, sense of humor, braveness to face challenges to describe me. From 2010 to 2012, I worked as head of […]

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Questionnaire – 中文 to English

Achieving Through Difficulty This typical university admissions questionnaire shows how we translate from Chinese into English. 中文 如果我请你的朋友们描述你,他们会怎么说? 他们经常用适应能力强,善良,阳光,幽默,勇于接受挑战等语句描述我。  你遇到的最大的困境是什么?(请举一个你处理难题的例子。/ 你遇到的最大的挑战是什么?你当时采取了什么措施?) 2010—2012年,我曾连续三年担任全校义卖活动的班级负责人,负责从工作人员安排到商品定价、收入统计等一系列工作。在活动进行中,遇到很大困难。 第一次担任负责人时,我没有太多经验,对如何做义卖活动也几乎一无所知。但当同学们推选我做负责人时,我决定接受这次挑战。 在活动中,我逐渐建立了信心,不但锻炼了领导、组织、交流和团队合作能力,而且将个人之前自学的经济学知识应用到实际工作中,取得很好的效果。 比如很多同学捐赠的物品,不适宜用作义卖,即使成功售出,价格也很低。最后我采取宣传加恳求的办法,成功将捐赠物品高价卖给希望在活动中有所贡献的师长,保证了活动的圆满成功。 第二次担任负责人时,通过总结经验教训,我在活动前设定了可接受的捐赠品名单,这使得义卖活动进展顺利。第三次,我进一步组织同学对捐赠品进行包装、制作幻灯片展示、装饰义卖会场等等,通过这些措施,义卖活动更加成功圆满。 你最大的成就是什么? 连续三年担任全校义卖活动的班级负责人,不但锻炼了自己的能力,受到老师同学的肯定,而且奉献了爱心,帮助了别人。 English If I asked your friends to describe you, what would they say? They would say I like to fit in, that I’m kind and optimistic. Also that I can laugh at a good joke and face up […]

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Prep Schools

元芳, 你怎么看? 狄大人:“How can I make it into an Ivy League university?” 元芳:“Sir, I suggest three tasks: Enroll in a prestigious prep school. Graduate from that prep school with excellent grades. During prep school excel in your chosen extracurricular activity. The best route to a great university is often via a great preparatory school. Prep Schools Review Boarding School Review Preparatory Schools & The Admissions Process How to […]

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Photo on my Resume? No.

Why not: The reader sees a photo and instantly accepts or rejects you. Yet your skills and character are so much more than the camera’s millisecond reveals. So let your prospective employer to read your entire resume. Most headhunters say, “Unless you are a model or actor,  a photo distracts from your message.” Should my resume […]

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High School vs. Test Scores

High School Performance Outweighs Standardized Test Scores Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college. To see the report on NPR, click here.

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Extra-Curricular Activity

Remember Kwasi Enin, who got into all 8 Ivy League schools? Not only are his grades good, but he’s a snazzy viola player. When the big school admissions officers see you are involved in extra-curricular activities, they think, “Hmm!  This kid … Manages time well Prioritizes Is motivated to succeed Shows responsibility Is a leader.” […]

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The Lord of Hair

The Lord of Hair