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Attaining a balance in all spheres and aspects that are involved in life can be difficult. With all the important responsibilities and tasks that we are supposed to accomplish within specific time frames, it is difficult to balance all of them. This is more impactful especially in school when one is still not able to appreciate the scarcity of time and the multiplicity of tasks that need to be accomplished at a particular time frame. It becomes more stressful if the student is on distance learning curriculum and has a family and work to attend to at the same time amongst other responsibilities. Distance learning courses are favored by many owing to the flexibility in the timing and freelancing in the study time and procedures. However, if not carefully planned, they can result in to disastrous effects. The overall effect can be stressful to the extent that one is not able to accomplish the desired goal. In some instances, one may end up neglecting other roles that are equally important.   

The experience can be described in 10 words as follows: stressful, tiring, involving, time consuming, overwhelming, disastrous, relieve, devastating, unbearable.

Overwhelming: I remember a particular instance back in college when I was supposed to complete and submit a term paper. At that particular time I was as well supposed to make applications for my internship program as the end of the semester exams and the long holidays were imminent. The activity was so much involving as it included preparing CVs and posting them, making enquiries and meeting potential employers; plus I had to study for the exam as well and the term paper needed to be submitted in time.

Stressful: With so much ahead with strict deadlines and less time to complete the tasks, this coupled with lack of time for fun and other activities such as rest, stress is inevitable. At that particular time (described above), I had no time for social activities or personal refilling. The entire time was characterized with so much stress and I even had to visit the school counseling centre for advice and guidance on how to handle the pressure.

Relieve: After seeking the assistance, I was able to realize the fact that what I was missing is a proper time management schedule. I wrote down all the tasks that needed to be accomplished and arranged them in terms of the deadline times and priority. In that way I was able to decide what to do then and what could wait and thus I felt relieved.  

Thesis: Distance learning coupled with other responsibilities can be stressful but time management strategies can reduce the overwhelming tasks or at least make them bearable.

Distance learning refers to a system whereby one enrolls for a curriculum without physically attending the classes. The classes are usually taken by people who are already in the job market but who wish to expand their knowledge base and further excel in their respective careers. This implies that majority of people in the distance learning curriculum have other vast responsibilities besides their studies. These include families, personal relationships, and work among other responsibilities.

The passing down of information from the teaching staff to the students is facilitated by the use of technology. This includes the resources such as the internet as well as the use of telecommunication devices. This facilitates the exchange of knowledge and resources between the teachers and the students as well as the evaluation. The mode of learning is, therefore, remote where the student accesses the information from a website and connects with the teaching staffs in the same way. It is favorable as it allows the flexibility of studying at home or at ones comfort zone. The activity sounds easy in words but the practice aspect of it is so much involving. The distance learning students are expected to handle the pressures in the learning and as well in the other responsibilities that befall upon them. These include things such as family, work and all the other chores that one is expected to accomplish within a particular time frame.

Due to the many responsibilities that one is supposed to accomplish within a particular time, one tends to be stressed. This is depicted in a person in several ways. These include: one may tend to spend much of the time concentrating on one particular issue with little outcomes; one may be anxious and or short tempered. It may also be depicted in a way that one is never satisfied with what has been achieved and is always setting up higher goals some of which are not achievable.

The fact is that one has to continue with the career, the family and other responsibilities will always be there. Therefore, the best strategy is to device a proper stress management program that will allow one to be able to cope with all the responsibilities and expectations. The idea of stress management involves taking charge of all the activities that surround you. This is done with the aim of attaining a balanced life that will give time for work, studies, family, fun and all the other roles expected from an individual.

The first step towards stress management is to identify the source of the stress. In this case, the constant wrangle with deadlines and overwhelming work load may be deemed to be the cause. However, proper evaluation may reveal other underlying issues such as procrastination that might be the real cause of the tension. Once the real cause has been identified, the next task will be to investigate the nature of the stress as well as the level. Then an appropriate management strategy can be employed to cope with it. This may involve seeking for a professional services or self administered strategies based on researches and consultation.

The major cause of stress among students in the distance learning is lack of proper time management strategies. Several techniques can be used for effectiveness in the management of the time and maximization of the use of the available time. These include block reading alternated with series of breaks. This will allow the student to study for longer hours and reduce the work load effectively. Another technique will be to adopt a weekly review that will allow one to prioritize the assignment and the study schedules as well as other activities that one is expected to accomplish within a particular time. Once the priority list has been set, one will, therefore, be able to postpone all other unnecessary duties until the most important tasks have been accomplished. One ought to dedicate a study space where one is free from distractions and select the tools such as reading materials in advance as this will help in the efficiency in the time management. The overall time management should start from the smallest unit; in this case one might need to device a daily duty list then translate to the weekly list and the annual list in the long term. This will provide a strong evaluation tool to measure the progress and avoid being caught up in the deadline wrangles.    

The manual that can help to manage the study related stress include acquiring the correct information with regard to the assignments, deadlines, list of readings and other coarse related issues. The overall management should involve first identifying all the things that one is expected to accomplish, then listing them in terms of priority and deadline and assigning each one of them enough time. One should not neglect personal activities that enhance the balance such as fun, proper eating habit, exercise and sleep among others.    

Comparison and Contrast

I remember an instance when I visited a hospital after a sudden illness of a friend. As we arrived, the doctor schedule was over and we were handed over to an intern to direct us and administered first aid as we waited for the next doctor to finish up his preparations. The transition only took a few minutes but unfortunately, the patient succumbed to the illness and we lost him as we waited for the physician. The post mortem revealed that if the treatment had commenced immediately after arrival, there was a little chance that the patient could have survived.    

Classification and Division

Cheating amongst college students is a common phenomenon. The reasons why students cheat are as diverse as it is the number of students who cheat. Each individual has got his/her reason to cheat. These reasons, however, can be classified into three broad categories. These include personal reasons, pressure from others and psychological factors.

Personal reasons that may induce students to cheat in the exams include dreams and aspirations, unpreparedness and laziness, spirit of adventure, irrelevancy of the course to one’s career. A student may be pushed by his dreams and aspirations to the extent of cheating in an exam. This is so especially in a subject that is deemed relevant to one’s career and the student is not confident that he/she can do well in the paper. Young people are adventurous and they may cheat just to explore their capabilities and test their teachers’ ability to catch them. A student may deem a certain course irrelevant in his/her career and, therefore, studying for it will be regarded as a waste of time. Since the subject is still important in the students’ overall grade, the student may result in cheating as expediency.

The students may result in cheating in an exam owing to the pressures from the people surrounding them. These may include parents, fellow students, teachers or even situations. The parents may demand a certain level of performance in their children putting a lot of pressure on them. There are certain states that measure the performance of the teachers with the way the students perform. This will translate to the teachers pressuring the students to perform well in their studies. Social acceptance and situations such as the desire for a scholarship may drive a student to strain to achieve good performance through all means including cheating. In this case, the parents as well as the teachers’ pressures are translated to the student who then looks for a venting option.

Students may as well cheat owing to psychological issues. These may include dyslexia, low self-esteem, youth deviant behavior, and fear of the future. Dyslexia causes the reading and understanding capabilities of the student to be low; the implication is that despite the efforts that are put in place by the student and the performance does not improve. This leads to a student looking for another way of passing the exams. While low self-esteem may make the student believe that he/she cannot read and understand. The student may centre studies to be the sole factor to his/her success thus suffers from the fear of the future in case he fails the exams. Adolescents are generally deviant and this translates to a tendency to do only what one is asked not to do. These factors cause students to cheat in their exams.        

Definition

Cheating refers to an unfair way of achieving a particular goal. It involves breaking particular rules in order to gain some advantages in a competition. The rules may be written, explicit oral or even ethical, custom or moral issues. In most cultures around the world, the act is condemned and but still practiced among many. The factual definitions of the term vary across cultures. According to the Oxford dictionary, the cheating is defined as “acting unfairly or dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.” The word originated from the Middle English word cheten which means ‘confiscate’ and is a short word for escheten. The word assumes different meanings depending on the context that it is used in.

In the context of family, the term ‘cheating’ refers to the violation of agreements that had been made mutually between the partners. The act can be physical or emotional. In the physical context, it refers to the act of one partner being involved sexually with another person without making the other partner aware of the situation. It may also include things such as sharing kisses and other caressing activities that involve physical contacts. In the emotional context, the term refers to the sharing intimacy without the actual physical contacts. These include text messaging, emails and sharing of information without the knowledge of one of the partners.

Cheating is based on the idea that morality is the gap between self interests against self sacrifice. It is selfish and although it results in advantages, the appeal to the social harmony requires sacrifices. However, if there is no rational reason to uphold integrity and honesty, there is a common belief that morality holds people back from life success. So the issue at times becomes non-practical and, therefore, the reasons against cheating are nullified and the students may view cheating as reasonable.

Argument

Bruce cited an article by Jack Kevorkian which suggested that Americans should be allowed to sell their organs, particularly, the kidney. This was to be in an effort to address the shortages of the kidneys that the hospitals were facing. By then there was a transplant waiting list of more than 44000 and 2300 were to succumb to the illness before they could get a donor. The figures in comparison with the world population and the fact that one can live an almost normal life with only one kidney call for attention and strategies to mitigate the effects.   

Popular argument against the practice includes that it is dangerous for the donor but the statistics is against the argument. Another is that the government should encourage altruism but not profit. However, the organ from a dead human body works for only 10 years compared to 17 years for the living. The most powerful argument is the fact that it will result in the poor selling their body parts for financial gain. The potential high prices that might be accrued from the sale will ensure no shortages in the supply. The author argues that any objection to the poor benefiting in the sale should come up with other better practical ways of addressing the issue of poverty. He counters the critics’ argument that this will aggravate the situation to the extent that people will start selling other body parts, killing and maiming. He explains by comparing this with abortion and explaining that the government should come up with the ways to restrict the sale to only the kidneys alone which will not be difficult. He also cited the article by Nicholas L. Tilney whom in 1989 had written an article totally against the practice. However, in 1998, the same team rewrote the article having changed its mind and wrote another article then advocating for the legalization of the act. He presented the final argument - it is devastating going for surgery for financial gain, but it is even worse for one dying for the lack of kidney. He advocates for the free market to operate as this will help to breach the huge demand and supply gap.

Gilbert Meilaender, on the other hand, is against the act, his focus is on the rules to govern the acquisition of the organs from the dead, compared to Bruce, and his view is more conservative as he seems to oppose living human selling their organs. He highlights the ignorance on the issue by citing the fact that people wait for the family to donate at will or rely on the caregivers’ effort to request the family to offer the organ in case the patient succumbs to the illness. This limits the number of patients who offer their organs in case they pass. He brings about the issue of financial incentive to encourage more people to offer the organs. He goes on stating that the question can be answered by the analyzing the reasons why people fail to offer the organs. He asserted if thoughtlessness is the reason for the refusal, then public education can be a solution. If self regard is the reason then financial incentives could solve the problem.

He cites the law that forbids the selling as well as the public rejection often acts of selling the organs and instead the focus on giving rather than selling attitude. He cites moral character as the reason for the refusal to sell the organs and in the same essence, the bodies of the dead or about to die should as well be left intact. He cites the morals as the reason why people don’t just sell the organs and the low donation as well. In his argument, commerce enhances life in itself, but if life is then included in the mix, then the entire system of existence loses the meaning. He advocates for the limit in the money by illustration in the American civil war when one was called in for the military service, he had an option of going or paying $300 for the replacement. This led to demonstrations against the act and has never been repeated.

The revolt against the practice began in Pennsylvanian where the government caters for the funeral expenses of those who agree to offer the organs for transplant. He advocates for the respect for the dead as well arguing that the dead as well are part of the humanity morals and the last respect is such an important act as well.

The two articles are in the opposing end with one advocating for the approach in a more commercial way and restricting the sources only to the dead alone. However, the two agree on the need to device means that will help to breach the gap between the demand and the supply of the vital organs. Although the approach is different, the two agree on the fact that something needs to be done to breach the gap.    

A newly dead body as well as a still dead body should be given the respect and dignity they deserve in the essence that they once possessed the living body. Although they are not comparable to the living body, the usual care should be given to avoid the conflict of interests. No part of the body that needs to be removed before the patient has been pronounced dead by another authority other than the care giver. This will avoid the interest conflicts as the caregiver may opt to sacrifice the patient for the preservation of the body organs. This is logical in the sense that several organs can be preserved even after the death and, therefore, the patient should be given all the chances they require.

A person should be allowed to make the decision on the way his body should be disposed of after death. One may opt to relieve the sufferings in hospitals and his desire should be well received. Such an act that can benefit others should be welcomed as it is in the good will for all. However, the choice is left in the person’s disposal thus he/she is not obliged to offer or condemn in case he decides not to. The person may decide not to give for whatever reason and his will and decision should be respected.

However, the restrictions and the reservations are not meant to deny the specialists’ access to the organs. It is only a precaution measure that is meant to protect the sanctity of life as well as the respect for the dead and the general moral character in the humanity. The science of body transplant has taken a lot of effort to get to this stage and, therefore, it needs to be appreciated. This is with regards to the lives that are saved by the procedure. The only concern is that better practices that are accepted by the majority need to be adopted. This will help to shape the views and the opinions of the people and this is for the betterment of the practice.

Website Evaluation

Entering the job market can be challenging; especially for fresh graduates who have little or no knowledge on the dynamics of the market forces. The two websites (careerbuilder.com and rileyguide.com) are analyzed below in terms of their relevance for the above career need. To start with, internet is the most appropriate source of the above said information as it provides a wide range and up-to-date information relevant to the subject. For a source to be relevant it must address the issues that are required in details to the satisfaction of the user; this is to say that the source should be precise and current, it should be user-friendly and easy to navigate for a starter.

Careerbuilder.com is a website that specializes in posting jobs, enhancing job advertisements, and resuming data bases. The website as well cross list the job posts in other websites, smart job matching and listing the company profiles for a deeper and better view by the potential employees. The website specializes in connecting the job prospectus with the potential companies and vice versa. Therefore, the main focus of the website is placement and job posting making money in those activities as well as marketing. The website, therefore, would be ideal for a person who has been in the job market and is enlightened on the matters pertaining to the subject.

On the other hand, rileyguide.com is the ideal website for a starter in the job market. The website provides the user with all the relevant information that is important for a starter. These include issues such as preparation of cover letters and resumes, criteria for searching a job, research on target employees among others. The user is introduced from the ground and is given techniques and skills that will help in the penetration into the market. The website as well has a list of job opportunities thus once the user has acquired all the relevant employment information, he/she can comfortably make the application on the same website.

Comparing the two websites, it is clear that careerbuilders.com would be ideal for experienced workers, who already know what they want and are looking for a specific job title. It also requires a person who already has the experience in writing resumes, cover letters and all the other documents pertaining to the job application. The site is up-to-date and provides the current job listings. It is a reliable source considering the number of visitors who access it daily (24 million users). However, the purpose of the site does not rhyme with the need of a user interested in an entry position into the job market. One requires being conversant with the search and application criteria and searching strategies in order to use careerbuilders.com successfully.     

Rileyguide.com, on the other hand, is appropriate for a person seeking entry platforms into a job market. It is reliable in the sense that it has current information and is updated on regular bases. Its usability to the need for an entry into the job market is enhanced by the numerous publications that are posted into the website and are easily accessible within the first page. This helps the user to get prepared before he embarks on the seeking and application activity. It also helps one to make appropriate selection depending on the needs of an individual. It helps to improve the employability in the sense that one is able to prepare the documents in a neat and a way that is appealing to the employers.

Job hunting is an involving activity which applies to both the seekers as well as the hiring managers. However, the hiring managers’ side has been simplified by the evolvement of key word searches data bases; the implication is that the inclusion of the key words in the employees’ resume can improve their chances of going past the posting. In order to understand the keywords, one needs to seek for information that will give out those details in places such as the job adverts, prospective company websites, and labor services offices among others. Once the key words have been identified, the next step is to incorporate them in the resumes, cover letters and as well throughout the entire application and assessment procedure. One should keep in mind that the key word inclusion in the resumes should be in such a way that it should make meaning and maintain the relevancy in a manner that it will be appealing to the prospective employers.    

Reflection: At the beginning of the course when I wrote the first entry (me a writer), I had a vague positive attitude to the course; a vague in the sense that I did not know exactly what course will entail. This was partly due to the fact that I did not know how the entire process will be but the positivity was as a result of my long term dream and desire to be a writer. I was also enthusiastic because it allowed me an opportunity to acquire professional lessons on the subject matter, as this meant that I will be able to write as a professional writer. The fact that I enjoyed writing compositions has as well contributed positively to my working throughout the course. The fact that writing was more as a hobby, this coupled with hard work and determination has seen me sharpening my skills in writing.

As the course proceeded, I have been introduced to more concepts and techniques as well as professional guidance and this has further intensified my interests in writing. I have always appreciated writing composition as it allows one an opportunity to put the imaginative mind on the paper; and this is an important element in the writing career. I have as well been able to acquire skills that enable me to examine other people’s work in writing and that way one is able to gain more experience even in reading others’ work. Now with more skills, understanding and more experience, practicing and further learning has been made easier and this has given me an opportunity to climb to the top of my career. In general, enrolling to this course was a positive move and indeed it has brought me closer to reaching my dreams in writing.

Another element that facilitated the good reception and the comfort throughout the course was the evaluation practice that we went through at the beginning of the course. This helped me to identify the kind of a learner I am and thus making reading easier and interesting. I was able to identify the manuals and the practices that helped me device better strategies and methods to be used in my reading and assignments throughout the course. This helped to reduce the frustrations that are accompanied by the fruitless efforts that result as one strives to stay at par with the rest of the group; especially when one does not know exactly what works well for their studies. The overall course objectives have been met.

Evaluation: This English composition course has been designed in such a unique way such that it allows for a continuous evaluation throughout the course. Composition helps one to exercise the imaginative skills of a writer. This is then coupled with the ability to put the imagination on the paper both of which are important skills that are important for a writer. The instructions are clearly given out and the reading materials are readily available thus making the course even more enjoyable. The course as well provides one with writing skills that can as well be used in other subjects thus the relevance of the course goes beyond just writing career to incorporate other areas as well.

To some extent, the evaluation process violated my learning style by laying specific guidelines that needed to be followed. This is in the essence that I prefer freelancing in my reading style and I like devising my own strategy on the approach of a particular subject. However, this was compensated by the fact that the overall evaluation involved a lot of freelancing and I was given a chance to be evaluated on the basis of my competency in writing and application of the knowledge that has already been acquired in the class. The overall evaluation is ideal in the sense that it tests the overall objectives as opposed to the simple question and answer style which only tests the memory part of learning. In my own rating, the course is satisfactory in all aspects.       

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