Category Archives: Notes from the Administrator

This category includes important notes by the administrator on the educational materials or posts contained in simplyeducate.me.

Relieve Stress: Writing is a Cathartic Hobby

Hello Everyone! This one’s a lighthearted post. I invite you to read this deviant article from the usually serious ones I write in this site.

Writing is a cathartic hobby that I cannot live without. Here are my musings which I believe you will enjoy reading.

Just had a long hiatus from writing in this site as part of my hobby as well as serious article writing for my students because of a very hectic schedule both in school and out-of-school. The semester is ending and I have to prepare exams for my students as well as perform administrative work that never ends.

Also, I have to fulfill my commitment to three research projects: one on coral reef restoration, another on economic valuation of a mining site, and third on impact assessment of sustainable development projects otherwise called SDPs.

Escape to a Virtual World

I could not do away with writing. Writing is both a hobby and a catharsis—an escape from the world of work and cares of life. I like to live my life partly in the virtual world-a world where you can freely express yourself within bounds. I enjoy both the process and the outcome; much more when people respond to my article and share it around the world.

Writing gets on my nerves and keep my hands, and of course my head, busy typing and thinking, respectively. I easily type what I think and that’s something I’d like to thank my mother who was once a Grade IV teacher.

When I was in the elementary, she usually asks me to type long exams for her students so my typing skills, I believe, is better than average. My latest typing speed in a typing tutor is something like 90 words per minute and I can go faster than that if I’m in the mood. But you cannot type as fast as you really think because thinking requires pausing, pondering things to post just like what I do now.

One-Man Army of Sorts

I had been so stressed out before because of so many things to attend to and so many commitments to fulfill. And I’m once a workaholic who wants to get things done as soon as possible. I have so many interests and skills that appeared to have made my life miserable. But of course it’s a blessing to be endowed with Swiss knife-like, all-purpose capabilities. I can be a one-man army of sorts.

karate

I’m one of those called multi-talented and multi-interested (my own term) individuals. I can run a 10-K in an hour, SCUBA dive, draw, paint, drive, sew, write, shoot, strum the guitar, punch and kick like Bruce Lee (or maybe Chuck Norris?), assemble and troubleshoot computers, troubleshoot motorcycles and four-wheel vehicles, analyze data with sophisticated statistical softwares, but… nah… don’t ask me to cook or sing.

Among those interests stand out my desire to write online about anything that pops up in my mind. As a result, I authored more than six hundred online articles in various websites on various topics under the sun since I got interested in online writing in 2008.

Despite my busy schedule and whenever I have the opportunity like waiting for my turn to be called in the bank, I always find time to jot a few notes that culminate to a 400 or more-word article. I consider this not part of my work, but essentially a hobby that keeps me on the track of life.

Somehow my preoccupations brought with it too much stress which may be one of the reasons that I got seriously sick a three years back. It’s a nosebleeding episode that up to this time haunts me. But I’m thankful it didn’t recur since March of 2013.

Learning from Experience and Wisdom of Solomon

As time passes, so do we learn from our experience. I learned to adapt. My daily reflections while reading my favorite book in the bible, Ecclesiastes (written by Solomon who, Christians believe, was the wisest man who ever lived) gave me important insights useful in dealing with the endless queue of work and so many interests.

This particular verse struck me:

Ecclesiastes 1:18 “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, the more knowledge, the more grief.”

This verse translated itself into my consciousness as “the more I learn about so many things, the more my mind and actions are preoccupied.” I, therefore, need to focus into something really worthwhile and do things in moderation. I can only do so much with what I have—my two hands and my usually sleepy head at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

In reality, however, this does not always happen as I desire it would. Recently, I took a liking on Geographic Information System (GIS) modeling as a tool that I can use in mapping the areas where I conduct research. And for the first time, I did produce a good-looking map in one of my research articles two weeks ago.

Well, to be honest, I feel great doing a lot of things. And blogging is cathartic hobby. Writing online helps me survive the stresses of work and domestic concerns.

By the way, did I say I can be a good photographer too?

albino carabao
Atypical carabao, an albino, that I noticed while walking along a dusty path last week in the remote community of Binuan in Taytay, Palawan (©2015 P. A. Regoniel).

Milestone for SimplyEducate.Me: 1,312 Subscribers and Counting

Dear Readers/Subscribers,

SimplyEducate.Me has reached a milestone of more than a thousand subscribers; that’s 1,312 to be exact at the time of posting this note. The site has also gained a Google Page Rank of 2 in a little over than a year. This means that it has become a good source of information on research, statistics and the environment. Google has indexed more than 1,600 urls in this site.

What topics are popular in SimplyEducate.Me?

According to Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), the search query phrase that gets the most traffic is “qualities of a good researcher.”  This query lands the readers to the article 5 Qualities of a Good Researcher. The article must have encouraged them to go on with their research venture and encourage others; the reason five of them took the initiative of sharing it on Facebook and one on Twitter. And of course, the number of subscribers indicate that readers find the site helpful.

Popular sites are also linking with the homepage or its articles. As of recent update in GWT, SimplyEducate.Me has gained 426 links, many coming from Scoop.it, a high-ranking site that linked with the article on mind mapping as a research tool.

I would say that SimplyEducate.Me has fulfilled its goal of delivering easily understandable articles in a down-to-earth mode, and in a conversational way. More than 100 easy-to-understand articles have been written thus far since this site started in October 2012. And more will be coming …

I have compiled and edited many of the articles posted in this site along with those I have written in other free article directories and came up with a book. This will be available in this site as an e-book in the next few weeks if time and chance permit. This will spare the reader from going through the articles piecemeal on topics that he or she would like to read about, learn or simply enjoy. That will definitely save time surfing the web. Time is a valuable resource especially for busy people.

Thank you for bringing this site up in the Google page ranking. I’m glad that SimplyEducate.Me helped serve your needs.

I also thank contributors to the site who did their best to write insightful articles that users find helpful. May you be inspired to write more.

Your comments will be valuable feedback that will help this site grow further and become more relevant. Stay tuned for more easy-to-understand, down-to-earth, and original articles in SimplyEducate.Me.   🙂

thank you note

How to Finish Your MS or PhD on Time

Are you concerned that you may not be able to finish your graduate studies on time? Here are four tips to keep you on track.

How can you finish you MS or PhD on time or even before the prescribed period? As a graduate student, you may be quite concerned especially those who have a fixed number of years to finish their degree as part of the requirements of a grant or scholarship given them. This is possible, as long as you are determined to finish graduate studies as a desirable goal in your life. If others were able to do it, why can’t you?

Remember that the main reason many people pursue an advanced degree is such that they are able to do independent research. Aside from personal satisfaction of maximizing your potential as a student, you actually are preparing yourself for a life of research, of discovering things and ultimately contributing to the improvement of human life on this planet.

However, many MS and PhD degree holders just get their degree for the sake of getting that degree for promotion purposes, to get a permanent teaching position in a college or university or just plain vanity. These degrees are not designed to be taken for such purposes. Learning the art and skills of research requires responsible application of what has been learned.

So if you are inclined and is ready to take the challenge of finishing an MS or a PhD in your chosen field, here are four tips that will help you finish your course in due time and dispel of your worries. These are products of experience topped with a little imagination.

 Four Tips on How to Finish Your MS or PhD on Time

1. Have a research topic ready early in your schooling

During the early part of my advanced schooling to finish my PhD, my professor noted that ideally, graduate students should already have their research topic ready upon entering the graduate school. This is important so that the student is able to select the appropriate subjects required to be able to effectively conduct research on the topic envisioned to be explored.

Find a good adviser and refer to your university’s or scholarship granting institutions’ research agenda on topics to be pursued if there are prescribed directions for the preparation of the thesis or dissertation. It is better to be aligned with such priorities especially if you expect funding assistance from these institutions.

2. Procrastinate up to a certain point

Many people say that procrastination is bad. But procrastination can be productive too — at a certain point. The point is, if you postpone doing things at a later date, there may be better options along the way that you could consider or integrate in your decision. So, it’s better to take action, within a time frame, because you gain more information as more time is allowed to pass. More information means better decisions. You can write your manuscript better with intensive editing. And there will be less time-consuming repetitions or revisions of your manuscript. You are then able to save time.

A haphazard work, even if quickly submitted, is never acceptable. If you are given a week to work on a project, maximize it. Chances are, you can do your best if you make use all of those time. But of course, there are exceptions. If your scholarship provider gives monetary incentive for you being able to finish early, then go for it. Hack away…

3. Use a fishbone planning guide

There are many free tools available now to facilitate planning activities within a time frame. One of my favorites is XMind, a free mind mapping software to help your ideas take form. It is freely downloadable while extended features can be enjoyed using the Pro version. Plan your time frame to finish your advanced degree using this tool.

I prepared a simple sample of a fish bone plan guide for graduate students below showing the critical points of graduate school work (see below). You can add more detail such as adding the time you will do the things required to finish your course and including details on what you will do under those major milestones in your study. You may print this and stick it on a wall to remind you always.

fishbone plan
A simplified plan to finish graduate school work.

4. Play

You also need to de-stress once in a while. All work and no play can make Johnny a dull boy. Take time out with friends and relax. After all, what are you studying for. Is it not that you want to have a good life to enjoy? Little joys can compensate for a hectic work schedule. Taking too much stress can be bad for your health.

While stress is necessary to get things done, too much stress can have negative effects. Too much production of the stress hormone cortisol, according to Scott (2013), include the following negative effects:

  • inability to think well or understand things
  • problems in the thyroid which is responsible for calcium secretion (related to bone maintenance)
  • higher than normal blood pressure that could lead to stroke
  • weakened immune system that will allow cancer cells to proliferate
  • more fat in your abdomen (!)

If you gain too much fat, you will have a host of other problems associated with it. That will be another source of stress.

Apply these tips and you will be well on your way to the path of academic success.

© 2013 November 22 P. A. Regoniel

5th Note to Readers

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting Simply Educate Me.

Please note that this site is no longer in the WordPress.com domain. Simply Educate Me is now, therefore, in the WordPress.org domain. The change took effect on 27 November 2012.

I decided to have it self-hosted for greater flexibility and in anticipation of extending the site’s functionality. I am also making use of my website host, GoDaddy.com, as I earlier purchased a domain name before even creating Simply Educate Me. A paid domain name shortens the uniform resource location or simply what people refer to as the url (By the way, GoDaddy.com is among the few web hosts that cater to this unique domain name. I chose the .me domain because it is easy to remember).

A shorter url enables the site to be easily searched and indexed by search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Now, whenever you type just the simple phrase “simply educate me” in Google, Yahoo, or Bing search box; the articles in this site appear in the top ten article links displayed.

I lost my website stats but will display them again for monitoring purposes once I get familiar with the plug-ins. I’m just feeling my way in in this new venture that I again undertake as I enjoyed doing this hobby. If this hobby becomes very productive, then that would be great.

This change means that more features will be included in this site because a WordPress.org site can accept thousands of plug-ins. Plug-ins are features of WordPress that WordPress.org programmers create for the self-hosted WordPress sites.

Among the plug-ins in this self-hosted site of Simply Educate Me is Jetpack, a plug-in with features similar with that of the original WordPress.com site. The shift allowed me to relate easily with the self-hosted WordPress.com site because Jetpack features similar menus as I see it in the WordPress.com site. I just have to pay for spam protection through Akismet to prevent spammers from messing up this site and keep reader experience optimal. Now, I’ve learned two terms, Jetpack and Akismet of WordPress as I get to know WordPress as my publishing platform.

As I am rather new in website development, I still am looking for the best ways to present Simply Educate Me. It is possible that a new theme will be adopted soon and new categories or pages will be added to further enrich reader experience.

I opted to add some ad space to help me keep this site running as putting up a self-hosted site requires some investment to make. While at this point some ads may not be very relevant to reader’s needs, I expect that advertiser’s focused on delivering educational resources will notice Simply Educate Me and show much more relevant ads so those ads would complement posts and facilitate reader access to those products they really need.

Once again, thank you for visiting my site. May you enjoy your visit. – p.a.r.

4th Note to Readers

Thank you for visiting Simply Educate Me, keeping up with the articles, and using this site for your information needs.

The changes that happens in other sites where I previously wrote my articles are beyond my control. It is possible then that some of those links may not work. However, I am monitoring the performance of this site and troubleshoot whatever inconsistency or bug I could fine. The changing policies of websites where I write is one of the reasons why I decided to create Simply Educate Me to house all my instructional articles online. It took me, on the average, two hours to write each of those articles and I am apprehensive those will not be available at a certain point I may not be aware because of site changes.

Meanwhile, to prevent this kind of changes from happening in the future and to ensure that my articles are all accessible, I applied for a self-hosted site where I have practically total control over my posts. I invested for transfer of this site from WordPress.com to the fully independent, self-hosted WordPress.org website. The hosting company will be different from WordPress but uses the free core software developed by WordPress volunteers.

[According to the WordPress programmers, there will be a window of 24 hours where I should not post yet as they transfer the site to the self-hosted WordPress.org website. This will happen on the 26th of November so you will probably experience some glitches at that time.

You may, therefore, access Simply Educate Me after the 26th of November. To make sure it works, Simply Educate Me, should be stable by 28th of November 2012. The WordPress staff will ensure the transfer works.

I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to you as you search for information in this site and encounter broken links. These glitches should not take long. And I assure you Simply Educate Me will be better than before. – This was a previous post I have updated but I leave it here for reference purposes to record the history of this site. ]

Thank you for your support and peeking once in a while regarding the progress or new posts in Simply Educate Me. – P. A. Regoniel

Another Important Note to Readers

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking time in reading my articles. I just would like to inform you that I have set a spam filter for this site to maintain quality experience for users who browse the articles.

If you would like to comment, please make sure that it is relevant to the content you are commenting on. If not, then your comment will be considered as spam and deleted permanently. It will take time to post relevant comments as I review each comment for relevance. I do not have an automatic service to do this.

I really would like the materials herein to be enriched by the readers. So I will appreciate if you post comments that enrich the experience of the users of the site, particularly our younger generation hungry for information, as they visited the site hoping to find answers to their questions related to the topics that I posted.

I focus my efforts and time on writing and editing my posts before publishing them. This takes a lot of my time. So I also expect those who would like to contribute educational articles here to do the same. Quality of articles published in this site should always be ensured.

This site is dedicated to students as well as teachers. I created it in response to my students’ enthusiastic remark that they like the way I teach because they are able to understand otherwise difficult topics especially in research and statistics. This is enough motivation for me to write on those topics I have had a good grasp although occasionally I have to verify or consult other relevant materials to enrich reader experience.

Further, I was encouraged to share my knowledge because a colleague once thanked me for providing her niece a very good background on research and statistics. She gratefully acknowledged that I was instrumental in her niece’s being able to enroll in the graduate school in a prestigious school without the need to take these subjects. Thus, she saved both time and money when she was upgraded to higher level after she passed the admission or qualifying exam.

I would like to share my knowledge and skills along this area to the best that I could. I dedicate this site to people like me who once browsed the web but found a lot of irrelevant stuff and who wished to have a site which is devoted mainly to educational materials that are easy to read and understand.

I hope you enjoy learning from my posts. – admin

Note to Readers

This website adopted the simplest, minimalist web design in WordPress created by Galin Simeonov to facilitate learning among readers, primarily those who look for no-nonsense answers to their questions in the quickest way possible. It was designed with the student in mind, free of distracting pop-ups and unnecessary graphics that slow down the internet connection, draw away one’s concentration and clutter the mind.

In fact, when this note was written, a free, downloadable word processing utility, OmmWriter, was used by the author for better concentration. He can hear a slow paced, soothing background sound in a refreshing and calming snowy backdrop.

To make the most of this site, you may read the text on its own and/or click on the links for more information or clarification of concepts and let the linked article load in the background while you read the rest of the paragraph to save time. It’s multitasking. You save on time and you save on money especially if you are paying by the minute using a portable connection like USB Globe Tattoo Stick.

All of those links are related to the subject discussed. Those linked articles have advertisements on them, but these are not necessarily evil or bad, because the advertisements on those articles help the administrator pay for his internet connection, keep up with the electrical consumption bills, upgrade his computer, and recover his small investment for domain hosting. The is no such thing as free lunch.

People benefit from the advertisements, both the users who click on them and those who advertise because they keep the economy going. If we don’t have any idea on what to buy, then we don’t have enough choices to make. If we don’t have stores, then where do we go? How can people who work on those establishments survive?

But of course, we don’t just click away for no reason at all. If it’s relevant to us, then we click on them and decide anyway, whether we buy something or not.

Most of the topics discussed and will be discussed in this collection of articles arose from frequently encountered questions from students in both classroom and field work settings. It is the author’s philosophy that answers to these questions should be simple, succinct or straightforward without lacking in substance.

Thus, the slogan, “Don’t talk too much, simply educate me.” – admin

What I Intend to Do With This Blog

Greetings everyone!

I am a college professor and I intend to use this site as an educational resource for college and graduate students. My blog will provide information on the common and not-so-common issues and concerns in college and graduate school life. The issues that I will tackle will be on those topics which the students have difficulty trying to understand.

I teach both undergraduate and graduate students covering the fields of research and statistics, the environment, among other things. I hope that the articles I write and the links I provide will be helpful resources so that students will learn.

I write in the simplest way possible, to transfer knowledge to my students. I discuss each topic thoroughly and with focused themes so that the difficult concepts encountered in college life are well understood. I will be providing links to make clear the issues and concerns I raised.

It is my philosophy that education is ineffective unless the knowledge and skills learned are applied in real life. If students are able to apply what they have learned from my articles, then the existence of this website is justified.

Comments will be appreciated. I hope you enjoy my blogs.

—–

Interested writers have contacted me on their intention to share their knowledge in line with the intention of this site. Now, two of them have been approved and started contributing worthy articles for visitors of this site. Here are the articles they have written:

How to Write Survey Questions

Defining a Research Topic for Your Thesis

If you have what it takes, you may send your intention to admin@simplyeducate.me including two links to your best articles online.

Share the Love!

Updated: July 14, 2013