Senior Professor Schools Teachers On The Art Of Fun

It’s stories about locals risking their lives to save animals from an active volcano or a modest restaurant feeding the poor that restore my faith in humanity. Amidst a slew of tragedies, I became doubtful of the human capacity to do good. I then came across the story of Dr. Richard Overfelt, an 88-year-old professor who helps schoolteachers rediscover their love for educating. And to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

“We cover teachers up today with statistics, with data, and testing almost every other day,” Overfelt said. And as a result he says “there isn’t enough time and energy to really teach the kids.”

Excellent point. On the first day of classes at Truman State University, senior professor Overfelt dresses in a clown costume. It’s unusual but hilarious, and nothing like Pennywise from Stephen King’s It. Overfelt teaches educators not just to revise their curriculums, but to relate to their students on a personal level. Looking back at my own academic life, I suppose I can confirm that what made the most impact to me then as a student is exactly what the senior professor tells his successors.

“I teach that if the heart is empty, it doesn’t make any difference how full the head [is],” said Overfelt.

Many have credited him for their decisions to remain in their professions, learning how to better educate and, in the process, have fun. Which leads me to say this… Maybe I ought to commission a therapy session with Dr. Overfelt on demotivating Mondays.

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Texas University Donates Leftover Food To Homeless

For homeless shelters across the globe, food shortages are a constant, pressing reality. On the other hand, restaurants deal with a baffling amount of leftovers. Because of this, apps like MealTech are helping facilitate donations, while select farms are growing produce for the needy. To alleviate waste issues at football games and do some good, Texas Christian University students are hauling tons of leftovers to shelters.

The donations are coordinated by the TCU Food Recovery Network, a student organization that works to eliminate food waste on campus, and Sodexo, the university’s food service company. The student organization also delivers leftovers from the campus dining hall to Union Gospel Mission twice a week.

With up to 40% of food supply wasted annually in the United States alone, it’s good to know perfectly good coleslaw isn’t being tossed. The Food Recovery Network, led by senior student Megan McCracken, also volunteers to serve their donations personally.

“People really want to help out, but they don’t know how to help out sometimes,” [food services director Robert] Clethan said. “They just need to know there’s a place like this that can use things like that.”

Thanks to TCU, Union Gospel feeds nearly 300 residents three times a day. Now that’s a feast!

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Cops Help Teen Replace Stolen College Money

In the midst of an increasingly problematic society, there are a few hidden gems among the wreckage. Among them is 5-year-old Cassie Gee, who paints for charity. Another is Katryna Robinson, who donates hotel toiletries to the homeless. But police officers at El Segundo are the cherry on top after helping a high school teen crowdfund her stolen college money.

“We started talking and we said, ‘She’s a valedictorian, a really good kid, she’s done everything right in her life, why don’t we set up something so the El Segundo community can help her?’” said Officer Joe Cameron, union president.

Cops set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to retrieve the $2,000 student Kristin Villanueva had saved. In just a few days, the page had pooled nearly $5,000. It’s an impressive feat, seeing as how the most successful GoFundMe campaigns are for dogs.

“From El Segundo employees to El Segundo residents, everyone pitched in. Community support like this is why I’m proud to be the president of this association and serve this amazing community.”

Villanueva’s newly-raised funds are going to cover her tuition for a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

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Finance Budgeting 101 For Fresh Grads

Let’s be real. Finance budgeting when you’re a fresh university graduate is not anyone’s strong suit. Stepping into the real world often entails instant noodles and being perpetually broke. Of course, this isn’t to say that young adults can’t learn how to spend wisely.

Before making any plans, it’s most important to figure out your money goals. Where do you want your money to go? What is valuable to you? In university, money probably meant restocking your dorm with essentials and having enough for a night out. With independence comes a change in priorities. There are a lot of things to consider that are no longer your parents’ responsibility.

While outlining a budget may seem simple enough, there is always room to educate yourself. Resources on personal financing are available on pretty much any platform — whether as a YouTube video, article, or book. Collate as many tips as you can and see what money-saving methods can potentially work best for you.

At this point, you’re a step closer to actual budgeting, but not before setting short and long-term objectives. Think about what you are saving for in the next few months to the next few years. In terms of immediate goals, are you looking to purchase a car or perhaps fund an apartment? In the long run, do you picture yourself having children? The future can be unpredictable, but knowing what you want, even a decade early, is a good source of motivation.

Now for a long-awaited moment — making a budget. Understand your cash inflow and outflow. Know where your money needs to go and how much. Online tools can help paint a clearer picture on how much to set aside for rent, transportation, food, leisure, health, and everything else. Be specific, as you are basing this on a monthly income.

Insure what you can. As a fresh graduate, insurance may seem frivolous, or something you simply can’t afford at the moment. But when hospital bills start rolling in, you’ll thank yourself for being insured. If your job doesn’t offer such benefits, consider self-insuring. Either way, seriously consider plans with good coverage.

Because adults have them, you’ll probably also want to apply for a credit card. Doing so will allow banks to grant you credit scores (if you’re a smart spender) and, in turn, make you eligible for loans. In order to keep up appearances, you’ll want to always pay your bills on time and avoid being indebted whenever possible.

On the occasion you have extra money to spend, treating yourself is tempting. By all means, you should do so — but within your financial capacity. Remember to always prioritize. Spend in cash because it is easier to remain disciplined. You can’t see what you are spending on a credit card. Limit yourself and ask: do I really need this? If you can live without something, don’t purchase it.

Money is not always fun, especially when you are lacking it. But being smart about it makes everything a lot easier. Bidding a sheltered college life goodbye may seem incredibly daunting, but experiencing a smooth transition into the working world is always possible. Generally, hard work and research always pays off.

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