Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So those of you who follow my twitter know that for the last 2 days I have been taking classes in HTML. My suitability (aka clearance like stuff) hasn't gone thru yet so I'm trying to keep busy. My work suggested I take some classes over at Softek. They just happened to be offering classes in HMTL so I jumped at the chance.
I cannot speak highly enough of these classes. The instructor was very hands on, and thorough. We went thru basic and intermediate HTML coding, CSS, and basic javascript. At times it seemed incredible that I was looking at long pages of code, and understanding everything that I was looking at. They also provided me with 2 great manuals (one for each day) that I got to keep. I can look back on these as a great reference point. I totally intend on taking the Dreamweaver class as soon as it's offered.

High School Experience

Bishop Dunne Catholic School

I always seem to argue with people about the public versus private option of school. So here is a warning, though I'm not usually controversial on my site, if you were public school educated, you might want to skip this section. That being said, I know every public school is different, and has different funding and support, and I can only speak to my personal experience.

So on to my point. I LOVED private school. I attended public school through 7th grade. My elementary school was K-6. I was a part of the Talented and Gifted Program (TAG) and in the advanced classes. I made straight A's and was a huge teacher's pet (more on this later). I really loved my 6th grade teacher, and still email with him today to let him know how I'm doing.

In 7th grade I moved on to middle school. I attended an Academy of the exploratory arts. I had to apply to get in. I was in all advanced classes here too. It was this year, that I was offered a scholarship for 8th grade at Bishop Dunne Catholic School. the scholarship was offered to me by my church. Before I could be enrolled at Bishop Dunne I had to apply. This process included a personal interview and all sorts of tests.

I was super nervous for a few reasons. First of all, bishop Dunne was a high school. My incoming year was the first year they had an 8th grade class. It was a pilot program and enrollment was limited to 25 students. Second of all I was coming from a public school, whereas most of the other applicants were coming from private schools. Finally, I was leaving behind all my friends, and I knew that I was no longer going to be the smartest kid in the class.

I was accepted to BD. I was elated. That first year was ridiculously hard for me. I was so far behind the other kids in my class. Amusingly enough English was my hardest subject (for all my jerk friends out there, save the Mexican jokes). I say amusingly because I always loved English. I love reading, but this was so much more than reading. I had never written a research paper. I had never learned all my parts of speech. I had never learned how to diagram a sentence. The list went on and on. I caught up that year though. It was super tough, but I caught up. I started 9th grade ahead of most of the other students (as our 8th grade curriculum was built to lead us into the advanced 9th grade classes).

In 9th grade I took AP Chemistry, Honors English, Honors Algebra, Honors Geometry, and Honors History. By 9th grade I was taking all advanced placement classes.

Not to toot my own horn, but part of my education was due tot the fact that I was adamant that I was going to take advantage of every opportunity that was afforded to me. I worked as hard as I could to gt the best grades that I could, to take the hardest classes that I could with the most advanced curriculum offered. As hard as I worked though, it wouldn't have been possible for me to do so well without the help of my teachers. They worked tirelessly to help me in any way that they could. My guidance counselor and I were on a first name basis. She personally sat down with me for hours and helped me apply to colleges. The school had days set aside for all juniors to work on their college applications. We would sit and write out essays and our teachers would moderate and help us in any way they could. The school offered free SAT classes (which were mandatory unless you tested out of it -- which I did). This was the same course Kaplan offered for thousands of dollars. We were taught every aspect of MS Suite. I know word, excel, PowerPoint, and access like the back of my hand... to this day.

The education I received at Bishop Dunne was superior to anything I ever experienced in public school. I find myself looking back and realizing, though I matured and learned a lot in college, most of the skills I use today I learned in high school. I'm a firm believer in a private versus public school experience. I simply don't think I would be where I am today without the guidance, help, and encouragement I received from the faculty, staff, parents and peers and Bishop Dunne.

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