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Early Spring-March 2015
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Three Smart Starts for Semester's Second Half


Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way – back to classes! After a fine week of Spring Break family fun, good food, adventures, and relaxation, many might not feel truly be ready to re-start a new semester of classes and professors and homework. However, to have a successful and fun semester, we as students have to start right when we get back. For most classes, there is still plenty of time to excel, even if your pre-break performance was lackluster. By being keen to learn, taking notes, and keeping our heads above homework, we can conquer the semester.

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Sticker Shock: High Textbooks Prices Prove Problem for Many


Robin Thompson, a returning student, is studying medical billing at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, New Jersey, to switch careers as she moves towards retirement for a job that will ultimately allow her to work from home and on the go. As a returning student she is shocked by the cost of required textbooks these days saying, “Some textbooks cost nearly as much as a credit hour.”

Textbook costs have forced Thompson to get creative as purchasing used copies often isn’t viable anymore with the steady edition churn forced by the publishing industry. She said she has tried renting textbooks and found the experience nearly as expensive and stressful as the agreements are often structured to require return of the materials weeks before the course end or the borrower will be forced to pay a steep additional fee. Thompson also expressed that eTextbooks are often nearly as expensive as hard copy texts, and publishers’ limit the student’s ability to print pages.

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Unmasking a Leader: A Conversation with Dr. Julie Leidig


 


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What is a leader?

To try and answer this question, I met with Dr. Julie Leidig, Provost for the Loudoun and Reston branches of Northern Virginia Community College, who defines her profession as “look[ing] out for [the] best interest of Loudoun and Reston campuses, but also look[ing] for better ways to serve students and [the] community.”

When she was younger, Dr. Leidig said she was “sometimes frustrated by how others [in authority] led”--and she came to the conclusion that it was “better to be a leader than always being led”. Dr. Leidig excelled in public speaking (which she took as a subject in high school); an area of study which surely helped prepare her for the career she would ultimately choose.

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All Aboard: Metro's Silver Line Improving Lives from Largo to Reston


Since the inauguration of the Silver Line, Jon Armeh, a resident of Germantown, Maryland, has become an avid rider of Metro. He said and his wife love to go shopping at Tysons Corner and visit his sister in Herndon, Virginia. Armeh, whose travel time from his house to his sister’s is between 45 minutes to an hour, used to see his sister once in a while. But after July 26, 2014, Armeh said he has traveled many times to Northern Virginia to visit his sister and shop at Tyson’s Corner’s Mall.

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