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irish school easter holidays 2016

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Irish School Holidays 2015-2017

by IAYO · December 9, 2014

The school Christmas, Easter and mid-term breaks in the first and second terms have now been standardised for the school years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17. The arrangement will be reviewed no later than August 2016. The dates for school breaks in the 2014/15 term are as follows:

Christmas 2014

  • 19 December  – 5 January

February 2015 Mid Term Break

  • All primary schools will close from 19 and 20 February. They may use 3 discretionary days to extend this to an alternative option of a 5 day break for the period from 16 January to 20 January inclusive unless changes are required as part of contingency arrangements to make up for lost time due to unforeseen school closures.
  • Post-primary schools will close from 16-20 January inclusive unless changes are required to make up for unforeseen school closures.
  • Where contingency arrangements are required, a school may reduce the length of the break by remaining open up to and including 18 February.

Easter 2015

  • All schools will close on 27 March.
  • If arrangements are required to make up for lost time the school may remain open up to and including 1 April.
  • All schools will reopen on 13 April.


School Year 2015/16

October 2015 Mid Term Break

  • All schools will close from 26 October to 30 October 2015 inclusive.

Christmas 2015

  • All schools will close on 22 December and reopen on 6 January

February 2016 Mid Term Break

  • All primary schools will close on 18 and 19 February.
  • This may be extended to a five day break from 15 to 19 February, unless changes are required to make up for unseen closures.
  • Post primary schools will close from 15-19 February, unless changes re required for unforeseen closures.
  • If contingency arrangements are required a school may remain open up to an including 17 February.

Easter 2016

  • All schools will close on 16 March.
  • Where contingency arrangements are required, a school may reduce the length of the break by remaining open to and including 23 March.
  • All schools will reopen on 4 April.


School Year 2016/17

October 2016 Mid Term Break

  • All schools will close from 31 October until 4 November inclusive.

Christmas 2016

  • All schools will close on 22 December and reopen on 9 January.

February 2017 Mid Term Break

  • All primary schools will close on 23 and 24 February.
  • Primary schools may use 3 discretionary days to extend it to a five day break from 20 to 24 February, unless days are needed to make up for unforeseen closures.
  • Post primary schools will close from 20 to 24 February inclusive.
  • Where contingency measures are required, a school may remain open up to and including 22 February.

Easter 2017

  • All schools will close 7 April.
  • Where contingency measures are required a school may remain open up to and including 12 April.
  • All schools will reopen on 24 April.


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t/f accounting is the language of business

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chapter 1




12th Grade

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planning, recording, analyzing, and interpreting financial information

accounting system

a planned process for providing financial information that will be useful to management

accounting records

organized summaries of a business’s financial activities

financial statements

financial reports that summarize the financial condition and operations of a business

service business

a business that performs an activity for a fee


a business owned by a person


anything of value that is owned


financial rights to the assets of a business


an amount owed by a business

owner’s equity

the amount remaining after the value of all it’s liabilities is subtracted from the balue of all assets

accounting equation

an equation showing the relationship among assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity.


the principles of right and wrong that guide an individual in making decisions

business ethics

the use of ethics in making business decisions


a business activity that changes assets, liabilities, or owner’s equity.


a record summarizing all the information pertaining to a single item in the accounting equation.

account title

the name given to an account.

account balance

the amount in an account


the account used to summarize the owner’s equity in a business


an increase in owner’s equity resulting from the operation of a business.

sale on account

a sale for which cash will be reciebed at a later date


a decrease in owner’s equity resulting from the operation of a business


assets taken out of a business for the owner’s personal use.

accounting is the language of business. true or false?


keeping personal and business records separate is an application of the business entity concept. true or false?


assets such as cash and supplies have value because they can be used to acquire other assets or be used to operate a business. true or false?


the relationship among assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity can be written as an equation. true or false?


the accounting equation does not have to be in balance to be correct. true or false?


the sum of the assets and liabilities of a business always equals the investment of the business owner. true or false?


recording business costs in terms of hours required to complete projects is an application of the unit of measurement concept.true or false?


the capital account is an owner’s equity account. true or false?


if two amounts are recorded on the same side of the accounting equation, the equation will no longer be in balance. true or false?


when a company pays insurance premiums in advance to an insurer, it records the payment as a liability because the insurer owes future coverage. true or false?


when items are bought and paid for later this is referred to as buying on account. true or false?


when cash is paid on account, a liability is increased. true or false?


when cash is received from a sale, the total amount of both assets and owner’s equity is increased. true or false?


a sale for which cash will be received at a later date is called a charge sale. true or false?


the accounting concept realization of revenue is applied when revenue is recorded at the time goods or services are sold. true or false?


when cash is paid for expenses, the business has more equity. true or false?


when a company receives cash from a customer for a prior sale, the transaction increases the cash account balance and increases the accounts receivable balance. true or false?


a withdrawal decreases owner’s equity. true or false?


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41 terms


Accounting: Chapter 1



Service business
A business that performs an activity for a fee
A business owned by one person
Anything of value that is owned
Financial rights to the assets of a business
An amount owed by a business
Owner’s equity
The amount remaining after the value of all liabilities is subtracted form the value of all assets
Accounting equation
An equation showing the relationship among assets
A business activity that changes assets, liabilities, or owner’s equity
An increase in owner’s equity resulting from the operation for a business
A decrease in owner’s equity resulting form the operation of a business
Assets taken out of a business for the owner’s personal use
T/F: Accounting is the language of business
T/F: Keeping personal and business records separate is an application of the business entity concept
T/F: Assets such as cash and supplies have value because they can be used to acquire other assets or be used to operate a business
T/F: The relationship among assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity can be written as an equation
T/F: The accounting equation does not have to be in balance to be correct
T/F: The sum of the assets and liabilities of a business always equals the investment of the business owner
T/F: Recording business costs in terms of hours required to complete projects is an application of the unit of measurement concept
T/F: The capital account is an owner’s equity account
T/F: If two amounts are recorded on the same side of the accounting equation, the equation will be in balance
T/F: When a company pays insurance premiums in advance to an insurer, it records the payment as a liability because the insurer owes future coverage
T/F: When items are bought and paid for later this referred to as buying on account
T/F: When cash is paid on account, a liability is increased
T/F: When cash is received from a sale the total amount of both assets and owner’s equity is increased
T/F: A sale for which cash will be received at a later date is called a charge sale
T/F: The accounting concept Realization of Revenue is applied when revenue is recorded at the time goods or serves are sold
T/F: When cash is paid for expenses, the business has more equity
T/F: When a company receives cash from a customer for a prior sale, the transaction increases the cash account balance and increases the accounts receivable balance
T/F: A withdrawal decreases owner’s equity
T/F: An amount owed by a business is a liability
T/F: Assets are listen on the right side of the accounting equation
T/F: Financial rights tot he assets of a business are called owner’s equity
T/F: A business that performs an activity for a fee is called a service business
T/F: When supplies are bought on account, both supplies and accounts payable are increased in the accounting equation
T/F: When cash is paid for insurance, an asset and a liability are changed in the accounting equation
T/F: A business activity that changes assets, liabilities, or owner’s equity is called a balance
T/F: The left side of the accounting equation must always equal the right side
T/F: Owners equity is listed on the left side of the balance sheet
T/F: An expense is a decrease in owner’s equity resulting form business operations
T/F: The accounting concept Realization of Revenue is applied when a balance sheet is prepared with the expectation that the business will continue to operate indefinitely
T/F: A withdrawal decreases owner’s equity

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weekly progress report engineering

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6 Awesome Weekly Status Report Templates | Free Download

Weekly status report is a summary of all work done during a week and how these activities contributed to the completion of a task or a project, or how each one brings the team closer to the achievement of their targets.

It is also a helpful tool for the manager to monitor the performance and progress of his team. The report enables managers to provide feedback better.


  • How to Write a Weekly Status Report: Best Practices Part 1
  • Weekly Status Report: 6 Awesome Free Templates Part 2
  • Additional Sources Part 3

Part 1

How to Write a Weekly Status Report: Best Practices

Some companies or organizations require a weekly activity report on a project or from its staff. It usually summarizes what has been done by the team during the week in terms of project implementation or development, and what individual contributors were able to achieve or accomplish during the week.

This weekly activity report helps the management understand how each employee performs and how they well they are doing their jobs. It is helpful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an employee. Through the weekly activity report, the management is able to assess and make informed decisions in terms of the needed training and development interventions for each staff and in assigning responsibilities to each one.

With a day-by-day account of the week’s activities, an actual weekly activity report primarily provides accurate information on the number of clients’ visit made by the employee, including sales calls, follow ups, and other tasks, depending on his role in the team or in the organization. It does not have to contain too many details, just enough to make it informative to allow the management to have an overall picture of how the employee is performing.

Sometimes, the weekly activity report may also include a summary of the planned activities of the team and its individual members for the following week.

A weekly activity report allows employees to think about how their work will contribute to the overall progress of the project or to the achievement of the team and the organization. Instead of just reacting to an event. They will be able to establish a long-term perspective on their duties and become more eager in the realization of their goals.

Here are the best practices to make weekly report informative:

  1. Plan What to Include in Weekly Report

    Take the time to consider what the reader of your report might want to know. This is easier if the company provided a format or template for the weekly activity report. If there is none, defining the purpose and the readers of the report other than the management will help in determining what the report should contain.

  2. Be Straightforward in Reporting

    Use plain and simple language in reporting. Make the report brief and concise as most readers may not have enough time to read a lengthy report. Spend some time to review the report for typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors before submitting it to its recipients. Keep in mind that submissions such as reports reflect the attitude and the values of the person or the employee who made it.

  3. Consider to keep a Journal of Daily Activities

    It may not be possible to keep a mental note of everything which has been done throughout the week, so it will be helpful for an employee to maintain a log of his daily activities in the workplace. Though it may be time-consuming to do, creating one will ensure that all work of the employee has been accounted for, and acknowledged by the management through the weekly activity report.

A weekly report offers a number of benefits not only for the employee, but for the organization, as a whole, as it helps address expectations in the workplace and provides a comprehensive record of all efforts and contributions.


  • Always provide a brief summary of what the project or the team’s objectives in every weekly progress report, as top management may not be able to remember everything at all times. However, do remember to make it brief but concise, as the readers of the report might not have much time to ponder over a five- or ten-page report.
  • Management, project owner, or the stakeholders, primarily, have interest in knowing if the project will finish on time and is still operating within the set budget. One of the best ways to make a weekly status report effective is to provide information on these things immediately. In addition, if things are going well according to plan, it will put them at ease.If the news is not good, it will get their attention and put their minds into discussing what is causing the delays and its possible solutions.
  • Aside from the previously mentioned matters, the chunk of the weekly status report should present the team’s significant accomplishments during the week, the issues and challenges encountered and the project variances, if there are any, and the objectives or planned activities for the next week.
  • It may also include updates in terms of schedule and timelines, deliverables, resources, scope, and risks involved.


Part 2

Weekly Status Report: Free Download

weekly report template employee weekly status report

Download Weekly Report Template – Employee Weekly Status Report DOC


weekly report template employee weekly report

Download Weekly Report Template – Employee Weekly Report DOCX


weekly project report

Download Weekly Project Report DOC


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Download Weekly Project Report 2 DOCX


weekly progress report

Download Weekly Progress Report DOC


weekly progress report 2

Download Weekly Progress Report 2 DOC



Part 3

Additional Sources

  1. How to Write a Weekly Sales Report + Free Template Download
  2. How to Write a Simple Weekly Progress Report + Free Template Download

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Project Management Certification

Project Management Certification

How to Write a Weekly Status Report – Video

When you write your weekly status report, remember that it’s your best opportunity to address any concerns of your project sponsor. It’s also an opportunity to get support and decisions that you need to finish the project successfully. Let’s think about the sponsor’s perspective of a new project manager with whom he or she is not familiar.

Weekly Status Report – Address Sponsor’s Concerns

Here’s what the sponsor is concerned about:

  • Does this project manager have control of what’s happening on the project?
  • Does he know about any problems or will he be surprised down the road?
  • Where are we today and what’s the forecast of costs and finish date?
  • Do the team members understand what the PM expects of them?   Project Tracking Reports Main Page

Those are very reasonable questions and concerns for a project sponsor so you need to write your status report to answer those questions. If you can provide answers to those questions, you will go a long way in building your credibility with the sponsor and gaining their support for the things you need to finish the project successfully.

Watch this video about writing and presenting status reports.

Giving the First Status Report on a New Project

Weekly Status Report – What to Include

Before you start to put together a massive data dump, here are some things to keep in mind as you decide what to include:

  • The project sponsor and other stakeholders are not familiar with all the details of your project. Don’t assume they know as much about it is you do. The best approach is to assume that they know the name of the project and nothing more.
  • The sponsor and stakeholders have a limited amount of time to spend and they’re not going to sit through a 30-slide PowerPoint show or a deep dive into the project data.
  • They are primarily interested in learning if the project will finish on time and within budget. The best technique is to answer those questions in the first 60 seconds. If the news is good, it will relieve their concerns. If the news about budget and completion date is bad, you will come across as being very frank and forthright about the problems. Then you can immediately launch into discussing solutions.
  • You should give a very short summary of the forecasted completion date and cost. Then identify the following:
    • the tasks that are experiencing problems
    • what will happen to the completion date and cost if we don’t fix them
    • what you can do about those problems
    • what the results will be after your corrective action.

When you take this approach, you are answering three of those four questions the sponsors always have. As importantly, you are answering them in the first few minutes of your status report. You are hiding nothing. They know as much about the problem(s) when you’re done as you do. There are problems on all projects. But if the sponsors think you know what’s going on and that you’ll frankly tell them about it, you will be successful. Project Tracking Software – Video

Don’t be alarmed if some of the stakeholders or even the sponsor get up and leave after you answer all their questions in the first few minutes. These are busy people and that just means you did your job right.

weekly status report Weekly Status Report – Show You Are in Control

For those people who stay beyond the opening minutes, you should demonstrate that you are in control of the project and all the project team members know what you expect of them. Your status report can:

  • list the major accomplishments or activities for the preceding reporting period
  • identify the objectives for the next reporting period
  • identify issues or challenges to the project’s success.  Project Variances

Many project managers miss the opportunity to help the sponsor and stakeholders report on project progress. Remember, they usually must prepare a report for their boss detailing how the project manager and team are performing during that reporting period. Status Report Template

The report may also include details related to the triple constraints (yes, there are six): Team Status Reports

  • Time (schedule)
  • Cost (budget)
  • Quality (deliverables)
  • Resources (staff)
  • Scope (objectives or activities)
  • Risk (may include issues or challenges).

Weekly Status Report – Summary

Writing good status reports requires a number of components. First, you need good status data from your team members. Second, you need reasonable knowledge of project management software so you can produce data about completion dates, forecasts and overall project performance. Then you have to actually put the data into a status report and present it. See Also Decision Making Data , Earned Value ,  Change Orders  and  Red Light Status

You learn all of those skills in our online project management basics courses. You work privately with an expert project manager. You control the schedule and pace and have as many phone calls and live video conferences as you wish. Take a look at the basics course in your specialty.


Author: Dick Billows, PMP

Dick has more than 25 years of project and program management experience throughout the US and overseas. Dick was a partner in the 4th largest professional firm and a VP in a Fortune 200 company. He trained and developed 100’s of project managers using his methodology.
Dick is the author of 14 books, over 300 articles and director/producer of 60 short project management videos. He and a team of 25 project managers work with client companies & students across the US and in Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. They have assisted over 300 organizations in improving their project performance. Books by Dick Billows are on Amazon.com
View all posts by Dick Billows, PMP

3 thoughts on “How to Write a Weekly Status Report – Video”

  1. Nicely explained, a weekly status report is a must have if we are to stay on track

  2. Wonderful Blogpost Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very good write-up. I definitely love this website. Keep writing!

Comments are closed.

Copyright 2018 Richard Billows. PMP All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission. Richard Billows, PMP  125 Cold Springs Drive, Georgetown, Texas, USA 78633 1-303-596-0000

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hlo4 chemistry name

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Home > Science > Chemistry > Acid Names Formulas

Acid Names Formulas

Complete List of Inorganic Acids

Acid NameFormula
Acetic AcidCH3COOH
Antimonic AcidHSbO3
Antimonous AcidH3SbO3
Arsenic AcidH3AsO4
Boric AcidH3BO3
Bromic AcidHBrO3
Bromous AcidHBrO2
Carbonic AcidH2CO3
Carbonous AcidH2CO2
Chloric AcidHClO3
Chlorous AcidHClO2
Chromic AcidH2CrO4
Chromous AcidH2CrO3
Citric AcidC6H8O7
Cyanic AcidHCNO
Dichromic AcidH2Cr2O7
Disulfurous AcidH2S2O5
Dithionous AcidH2S2O4
Diuranic AcidH2U2O7
Ferricyanic AcidH3[F3(CN)6]
Fluoric AcidHFO3
Fluorous AcidHFO2
Formic AcidHCOOH
Hydroarsenic AcidH3As
Hydrobromic AcidHBr
Hydrochloric AcidHCl
Hydrocyanic AcidHCN
Hydrofluoric AcidHF
Hydroiodic AcidHI
Hydronitric AcidHN3
Hydrophosphoric AcidH3P
Hydroselenic AcidH2Se
Hydrosulfuric AcidH2S
Hypobromous AcidHBrO
Hypocarbonous AcidH2CO
Hypochlorous AcidHClO
Hypochromous AcidH2CrO2
Hypofluorous AcidHFO
Hypoiodous AcidHIO
Hyponitrous AcidHNO
Hypooxalous AcidH2C2O2
Hypophosphoric AcidH4P2O6
Hypophosphous AcidH3PO2
Hyposulfurous AcidH2SO2
Iodic AcidHIO3
Iodous AcidHIO2
Manganic AcidH2MnO4
Metastannic AcidH2SnO3
Molybdic AcidH2MoO4
Nitric AcidHNO3
Nitrous AcidHNO2
Oxalic AcidH2C2O4
Percarbonic AcidH2CO4
Perchloric AcidHClO4
Perchromic AcidH2CrO5
Perfluoric AcidHFO4
Periodic AcidHIO4
Permanganic AcidHMnO4
Pernitric AcidHNO4
Peroxydisulfuric AcidH2S2O8
Perphosphoric AcidH3PO5
Persulfuric AcidH2SO5
Pertechnetic AcidHTcO4
Perxenic AcidH4XeO6
Phosphoric AcidH3PO4
Phosphorous AcidH3PO3
Pyroantimonic AcidH4Sb2O7
Pyrophosphoric AcidH4P2O7
Pyrosulfuric AcidH2S2O7
Selenic AcidH2SeO4
Selenous AcidH2SeO3
Silicic AcidH2SiO3
Silicofluoric AcidH2SiF6
Silicous AcidH2SiO2
Sulfuric AcidH2SO4
Sulfurous AcidH2SO3
Telluric AcidH6TeO6
Tellurous AcidH2TeO3
Tetraboric AcidH2B4O7
Tetrathionic AcidH2S4O6
Thiocyanic AcidHSCN
Thiosulfurous AcidH2S2O2
Titanic AcidH2TiO3
Tungstic AcidH2WO4
Uranic AcidH2UO4
Xenic AcidH2XeO4
Complete List of Organic Acids

Acid NameFormula
Acetic AcidCH3COOH
Acetylsalicylic AcidHC9H7O4
Ascorbic AcidHC6H7O6
Azelaic AcidH2C9H14O4
Barbituric AcidHC4H3N2O3
Benzilic AcidHC14H11O3
Cinnamic AcidC9H8O2
Citric AcidH2C6H6O7
Folic AcidC19H19N7O6
Fumaric AcidC4H4O4
Gallic AcidHC7H5O5
Gluconic AcidC6H12O7
Glutamic AcidHC5H8NO4
Glutaric AcidC5H8O4
Hexanoic AcidC5H11COOH
Lactic AcidHC3H5O3
Malic AcidH2C4H4O5
Malonic AcidCH2(COOH)2
Oleic AcidHC18H33O2
Phthalic AcidH2C8H4O4
Propiolic AcidHC2COOH
Propionic AcidCH3CH2COOH
Rosolic AcidC19H14O3
Stearic AcidC17H35COOH
Tannic AcidC76H53O46
Tartartic AcidH2C4H4O6
Trifluoroacetic AcidC2HF3O2
Uric AcidH2C5H2N4O3

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Chemical Compounds


What is chemical name of HClO4?

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3 Answers

Shyam Prasad Banda

Shyam Prasad Banda , B.SC Engineering Chemistry & Chemistry, Andhra University College of Sciences

It is Perchloric Acid which is used to produce rocket fuel and also in analytical chemistry.

It is also used in electro polishing of some common metals like aluminium etc.

Sucharita Srinivas

Sucharita Srinivas

Perchloric acid.

Ashin Sabu

Ashin Sabu , Though not very good at it, I still like Chemistry.

It’s called Perchloric acid. You could have just googled it but since you came here let me give you a few facts.

  • Its stronger than Sulphuric and Nitric acid.
  • It’s a super acid. (Learn more about them – Superacid – Wikipedia )
  • Believe it or not unlike a few other common acids, its odourless.
  • It is a very strong oxidizing agent.

an article about smoking from magazine

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Home   >   Health   >   The Effects of Smoking

The Effects of Smoking

By Zeeshan Hussain on December 17, 2014

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Your Life

Smoking is termed as the ‘Silent Killer’; It has been scientifically proven to be one of the leading causes of a great deal of health related diseases such as cancer and emphysema to name a few. We all share the same desire, the ability to live healthy and spend as much time as we can with our loved ones and be able to keep up with our children. The catastrophic addictive consequences brought by the ill-effects of smoking leaves nothing unturned, destroying our ability to be active to enjoy the quality of life we all wish to have.

There have been numerous research studies and presentations on how smoking impacts peoples lives for the worse once hooked. Most of us are familiar with the relationship between smoking and lung cancer but that’s just the tip of the ice-berg.  Smoking is also known to be one of the leading causes of the following; cardiac diseases, coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases or (COPD), cancers of the bladder, cervical, esophageal, laryngeal, hepatic, pancreatic, gastric (gut or stomach), trachea and blood. Use can also lead to or cause: pre-term birth, still birth, increasing chances of ectopic pregnancy, sudden death infant syndrome or (SIDS). Congenital defects such as: Cleft palate, affected libido, low sperm quality, poor bone density, cataracts, gum bleeding and so on.  As you can tell all the above seems overwhelming and it’s recently become more of an alarming issue nowadays as the number of people affected range from active to passive (second hand) smokers–see my previous article: 14 Health Benefits of Green Tea and how this super-food helps to prevent lung cancer. It is still far beyond sight to see the effects on the general population, as more people continue to smoke irrespective of having the knowledge about the damage they are doing to their bodies.  I believe that may people tend to turn the blind eye when it comes to awareness of the negative impacts of this addiction. My goal is to provide all the right information in one accessible place to help bring insight to motivate those who smoke or those who know someone who does to put an end to the slow potentially fatal harm that is damaging lives through every inhale.




Additives in Cigarettes

Cigarettes contain nearly 5,000 chemicals identified in tobacco smoke to date. Approximately 400 hundred toxic substances; including over 40 known carcinogenic agents and compounds. When drawn, a cigarette burns at 700°C at the cherry (or the lit end of the cigarette) and around 59°C in the core.

Covering the whole list would be cumbersome, but here we’ll have an overview of some of the most commonly known additives:

  1. Carbon monoxide:  Most widely known pollutant in cigarette smoke, Influencing oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
  2. Ammonia:  Caustic, and hazardous, Used in commercial cleaning products.
  3. DDT:  A banned insecticide.
  4. Arsenic:  Used in manufacturing glass, as a pesticide (rat poison), and weed killer.
  5. Cyanide:  Extremely poisonous salt of hydrocyanic acid.
  6. Nicotine:  An alkaloid poison occurs in tobacco; used in medicine, and as an insecticide.
  7. Methanol:  Wood alcohol.
  8. Pyridine:  Irritant, causing upper respiratory tract irritation upon inhaling.
  9. Benzene:  Highly inflammable, carcinogenic, gasoline additive, found in paints, adhesives, et al.
  10. Asbestos:  Used in making fireproof articles; inhaling fibers are known to cause occupation disease like, asbestosis, and causative of lung cancer, bowel cancer, and other lung diseases.


Smoking and Ageing

For a more effective reason to quit I’d like to put ageing in the forefront for a moment. Smoking hastens the optimal ageing process, thus progressing and contributing to wrinkles. These alterations may occur after roughly 10 years of smoking. the degree of wrinkles all depend on a persons smoking habits.  The more cigarettes you smoke or the longer you smoke the more wrinkled skin you’re likely to have. Early skin alterations from smoking may be hard to notice or it may remain unnoticed for quite some time. Wrinkling not only occurs on or around the face but also occurs on others parts of the body. Skin wrinkling may be irreversible no matter how many anti-ageing skin remedies and creams you use so the only way to prevent wrinkling would be quitting smoking. It initiates the cellular damage same as seen in Werner’s syndrome  which is an autosomal recessive disease in which a person ages at an accelerated pace. Or like Progeria  which is a syndrome that causes premature ageing manifesting at a really early age. Experts agree with the fact that smoking hastens the ageing process; adding that smokers on average look approximately 1.4 years older than non-smokers. In one research study it became evident that smoking not only contributes to speedy ageing, but also causing smokers to die roughly 10 years before their time.


Smoking and Sexual Health


Smoking and Sexual Health

For all the men out there, smoking emphatically has a negative impact on sexual health and sexual performance. For years, studies have shown that smoking causes erectile dysfunction (ED) due to poor blood flow to the penis, and one’s risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) is about twice that of one who doesn’t smoke. Not only does smoking cause (ED) it can also cause infertility as smoking leads to a low sperm count. Also, impaired performance eventually leads to diminished desire. When erectile dysfunction and Impotence (infertility) are combined then overall satisfaction will most likely suffer. Men aren’t the only ones to suffer as women have inauspicious sexual effects as well. In women, smoking may result in early menopause, increased risk of cervical cancer, menstrual irregularities, and many more issues.


"Neurons And Nervous System" by CoolDesign - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Neurons And Nervous System” by CoolDesign – FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Smoking and the Nervous System

Smoking has massive damaging effects on the nervous system. A cigarette is a powerful central nervous system excitant and influence neurotransmitters like: serotonin , acetylcholine , dopamine and norepinephrine to name a few.  Nicotine is the main component in tobacco smoke and is highly addictive. Nicotine in large doses, acts like a deadly poison. But in smaller doses, acts like an excitant. From the first puff there undergoes a massive infusion of toxins into your lungs and throughout your body. Nicotine combined with tar molecules are drawn into the lungs and from there head straight to the brain via bloodstream, which takes roughly 8 seconds.

As said, smoking affects neurotransmitters associated with anxiety and overall wellness. That is the reason why smokers have higher rates of clinical anxiety in comparison to non-smokers. Anxiety may be better explained in terms of tobacco effects on GABA (a neurotransmitter  mostly responsible for neuronal process and overall state of wellness). The largest co-factors in smoking-related anxiety were levels of addiction.

Smoking is also related to depression as well. Nicotine and other additives in cigarettes affect serotonin and dopamine negatively, which are the neurotransmitters that are associated with mental health and depression. Smoking also elevates the sense of pleasure, that’s the reason why most of smokers feel better after a cigarette.  Aside from anxiety and depression nicotine causes other symptoms like confusion (difficulty concentrating), nervousness, and restlessness especially during nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine is considered to be one of the hardest substances to break, ranked with opiates and alcohol. Therefore, It’s hard to quit, but easy to avoid.


"Human Heart Anatomy" by CoolDesign – FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Human Heart Anatomy” by CoolDesign – FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Smoking and the Circulatory System

Smoking is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) causing around 25,000 deaths a year from heart and circulatory anomalies. 1 in 5 premature deaths from heart or circulatory anomalies is also related to smoking. Free radicals, chemicals that are present in tobacco smoke can lead to cardiac diseases, myocardial infarction, and strokes. As elaborated earlier, tobacco smoke when entering our lungs can affect our bodies in a number of ways. Taking the circulatory system into consideration, smoking can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and cause thickening and hardening of the blood vessels.  Causing them to lose elasticity and leading to the constriction of blood flow of the vessels in the skin.  This eventually leads to a drop in skin temperature. Smoking also effects oxygen levels in the blood resulting in less oxygenated blood supply throughout the body.  Additives in Tobacco smoke also results in one’s blood to become stickier than normal, thus making it more prone to clotting resulting in clogged arteries and veins (Embolism, Thrombosis et al). It also damages the lining of arteries, which is a contributing factor to atherosclerosis. It also influences blood flow to extremities, fingers, and toes. Due to the blockage of normal blood supply the risk of stroke and heart attack raises considerably.


Lung Cancer


Smoking and Cancer

When we think of smoking related cancers, lung cancer is often the first thought for majority of us. Smokers are more likely to get cancer than non-smokers. This is specifically true of lung cancer and oral cancer which usually effects smokers and rarely non-smokers. The link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer is clear. But in reality, there’re many more sorts of smoking related cancers. 80% to 90% of lung cancer cases occur as a result of smoking. In non-smokers, lung cancer would be a more rare diagnosis, only 0.5% of people who have never touched a cigarette develop lung cancer. In smokers, the risk of developing oral cancers is 4 times higher than of non-smokers with most common sites being on or beneath the tongue or on the lips but it may start anywhere but mainly areas of the mouth. Some common types of cancers in smokers are; pancreatic cancer (smoking being the cause in 30% of pancreatic cancer), head and neck cancer (tobacco use responsible for 85% of this type). Cancer of the esophagus (smoking doubles the risk), cancer of the kidneys (smoking is responsible for around 20%), gastric cancer (smokers twice prone than nonsmokers), colorectal cancers, blood cancer, bladder cancer, cancer of the cervix, skin, breasts and prostate. There’s no safe way to use tobacco, as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, et al, all cause cancer.


Smoking and Bone Health


Smoking and Bone Health

Most people are not aware of the ill effects that smoking has on the musculoskeletal system; it has a huge risk factor causing osteoporosis which was first identified more than twenty years ago. Almost every body tissue is affected by smoking, but as we elaborated earlier smoking is certainly avoidable and many effects can be reversible.  Only by quitting smoking we may be able to get back our normal healthy function. Modern researchers found a relation between smoking and the musculoskeletal system, this is crucial because the prime in building bone mass starts from childhood till about 30 years of age.

Smoking increases risks of developing osteoporosis (abnormal loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile porous bones attributable to lack of calcium — most common in post-menopausal women). Elderly smokers are 30% to 40% more likely to have hip fractures than non-smokers. Smoking also causes Rheumatoid Arthritis , which is an auto-immune disease. People who smoke also tend to be much thinner than non-smokers. Smokers with fractures take a great deal longer to heal as they’re much slower in healing process as compared to nonsmokers and also experience more complications.  Evident from past studies done, smoking affects blood flow to the bones the same way as it affects the blood supply to other parts of the body.  Nicotine slows the production of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) thus resulting in less bone making or mass. Calcium, which is a mineral that aids in bone development and is necessary for bone mineralization and absorption is also affected by smoking.  This leads to fragile bones or osteoporosis. Smoking has a negative role in breaking down estrogen more quickly, which plays an important role in building and maintaining a strong skeleton in men and women. Post surgery recovery and healing is slow in smokers as compared to nonsmokers and they’re prone to more infections which adds more complications to their recovery process. Smoking damages blood vessels and at the same time it also damages nerves in toes and feet, which may lead to more falls and fractures, due to less sensation and circulation.


"Glucose Test" by Gualberto107 – FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Glucose Test” by Gualberto107 – FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Smoking and Diabetes

Smoking has now proven to be an independent risk factor for diabetes related to increased risk of complications in diabetics. Smoking causes Type 2 diabetes and smokers are 30% to 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.  Smokers with diabetes have more problems with insulin dosing and disease control than nonsmoker diabetics. According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology , smoking 16 to 25 cigarettes a day increases your risk for Type 2 diabetes 3 times higher than that of a non-smoker.

Diabetic smokers are more likely to have health problems from diabetes. Serious complications include; kidney disease ( or Diabetic Nephropathy), eye disease (Diabetic Retinopathy–can cause blindness), heart disease, and nerve disease (Diabetic Neuropathy). Poor blood flow to the extremities which leads to infections, ulcers, diabetic foot and possible amputation (Removal of body parts such as feet and toes), Peripheral Neuropathy (nerve damage to the arms and legs causing numbness, weakness and poor coordination). Smokers with diabetes benefit once they quit smoking and can better control their blood sugar levels.


Smoking and Oral Health

Although smoking doesn’t increase the risk of having cavities, it causes considerable damage to the gums and other parts of the mouth. Some of the risks are; risks of tooth loss (smokers are 2 more likely to lose their teeth).  As mentioned above, it’s the main cause of throat and oral cancers, halitosis (bad breath), discoloured teeth, increased build-up of plaque (tartar) on teeth, mouth sores, caries (roots, also known as cavities), smoker’s patches, tooth loss, shifting teeth. There is an increased risk of developing oral cancers, sinusitis and the need for dental implants.  There is a lower success rate or a delay in healing after tooth extraction which leads to dry socket (which is a temporary and painful condition). Loss of taste and smell, smoker’s lip and hairy tongue.  Smoking accompanied by alcoholism synergistically amplifies its bad effects. Smokers who also consume alcohol are at the risk of oral cancer greater than the combined risk of those who only smoke or only drink alcohol.


Smoking and the Sense of Taste and Smell

No doubt, an impaired smelling sense would rob anyone from the ability to appreciate aromas and scents in and around the world. The only senses we know that are impaired by smoking are the sense of taste and smell. Sense of hearing is not affected in the short term, nor is our sense of vision or pain or touch. However in the long term they can be impaired as tobacco affects blood vessels to the nerves in our eye, brain and skin. Macular degeneration affecting our eyes increases 2 to 5 fold by smoking.


Butt Out



The Benefits of Quitting

The advantages of quitting smoking begin right away and are extremely rewarding. There is a considerable reduction in diseases no matter what age one quits. When a person stops smoking before the age of 35 their life expectancy is slightly less than the people who never smoked because this gives their body time to recoup. Quitting smoking before the age of 50 decreases the risk of dying from smoking-related illnesses by 50%.  So in other words it’s never too late to quit smoking to improve health even if one already has cardiac disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.  The prognosis is greatly improved upon quitting in any case. It will also reduce the risk of getting various other conditions which although aren’t  always life-threatening. In this case conditions such as; impotence erectile dysfunction (ED), infertility, osteoporosis, tooth loss, et al. Other benefits would be; reduced pregnancy related complications, feel better about yourself, improvement in your finances, food and drink are more appetizing, fresher breath and cleaner teeth.  Why not have more control of your life and feel more energetic? If not think about yourself then think about your family and loved ones.


Timeline of Health Benefits after Quitting Smoking

  • After 72 hours:  Breathing becomes easier, bronchial tubes begin to relax, and energy level increase.
  • After 1 month:  Skin appearance improves (improved skin perfusion).
  • After 3 to 9 months:  Cough, crackles, breathing problems improve, and pulmonary function increases by around 10%.
  • After 1 year:  Risk of myocardial infarction falls to about half that of a smoker.
  • After 10 years:  Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
  • After 15 years:  Risk of heart attack falls to the same level that it would be for someone who has never smoked.

Smoking causes devastating consequences to you and your family. But let us not forget that the addiction of smoking is definitely avoidable, never sell yourself short and believe that you can conquer the habit. So let’s think for a moment and decide; is smoking that next cigarette more valuable than our lives or happiness of our families? This is a question that only you can answer for yourself.

Ageing Anxiety Cancer Circulatory System Depression Harmful Additives Health men’s health Musculoskeletal Nervous System new Osteoporosis Quit Smoking Sexual Health Stop Smoking

Zeeshan Hussain

About Zeeshan Hussain

I am a Medical Observer at First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University and an English Language Trainer at Beijing Century Consulting & Service Co. Ltd. I am passionate about healthy living and providing insight to others from my knowledge and experience. Maybe we can all influence healthy changes in each others day to day lives. Enjoy!

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does the cost of college outweigh the benefits pros and cons

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College , Money & Career

Is College for Everyone? Part II: The Pros and Cons of Attending a 4-Year College

vintage college campus students walking in and out of front gate

Welcome to Part II of our series that asks the question of whether or not college is necessary. In Part I, we took a look at the history of higher education in America . What started as a place for a small, elite group of students began turning into an American rite of passage in the early 1900s. Enrollment boomed, endowments skyrocketed, and the idea of college became imbued with a romantic haze that has endured until the present day.

This last decade, however, has started to show that four years of college immediately after high school may not be the best option for every student out there. Today, we’re going to look at the pros and cons a young man should consider before deciding to enroll in a four-year university.

While some of these pros and cons apply equally to both four-year and two-year schools, in general, they are specific to four-year schools. For example, while tuition costs are skyrocketing at four-year institutions (especially private ones), community college remains pretty affordable at an average of just over $2,000/year. And while it’s possible to form close relationships at a community college (even if those friendships aren’t quite as wacky as depicted on the eponymous television show), it’s harder to do because students don’t live on campus.

The reason we’ll be concentrating on the pros and cons of enrolling in a four-year school, particularly right after graduating high school, is because of the weight those particular institutions carry in the minds of Americans. The cultural pressure to go on to college after high school almost completely centers on enrolling in a four-year college. While plenty of students attend community and technical colleges, the majority of 18-year-olds that have graduated high school will attend four-year schools. In total, you see about twice the number of four-year students (~11 million) than two-year (~6.5 million).

There is still a certain stigma attached to two-year schools – that they’re only for those who don’t get in or can’t afford “normal” college. Without a doubt the cultural perception is that two-year schools are a step down from four-year institutions. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the blanket prestige given to four-year schools.

But is that level of prestige truly deserved? Should attending a four-year college be the aim of every high school senior in the country? In this post we will examine the positives and negatives of attending a four-year institution with the goal of receiving your bachelor’s degree.

The Cons of Attending a Four-Year College

Tuition Costs Are Skyrocketing

Given the fact that we are still experiencing the aftershocks of the 2008 recession, it’s inevitable that many of these cons are related to money. I’ll try to address a few specific concerns within the broader category of college economics.

The first is that the cost of tuition is growing at a rate far higher than the general inflation of the economy. What this means is that more and more students (and their families) aren’t actually able to afford college, but enroll anyway, because it’s still just what you do.

Since 1990, just 24 years ago, the price of a four-year institution has soared 300%. That’s an eye-popping number to be sure, but you can say that about a lot of products. You have to factor in general inflation numbers in order to figure out the real significance. When we do that, we see that in those 24 years, tuition has risen at a rate that is 2.5-4 times that of the national inflation, depending on who you ask. Theoretically, when disproportional inflation occurs, that product becomes a luxury good. That has not been the case with college, however, as enrollments only continue to go up. (Minor caveat: enrollments dropped among all college types slightly in 2013 — by 2.3% from the year prior — but the majority of that number was in fewer adult learners enrolling at either for-profit schools or public community colleges.)

Ultimately this means that families are spending money they don’t have for a luxury product they can no longer reasonably afford. At an average cost of around $20,000/year for college, families are looking at an expense that is 38% of their entire household income. That’s a rate at which most families would be denied a mortgage.

Unfortunately, there’s no real end in sight. In 2011 alone, the cost of public schools rose 5.4 percent and private schools rose an astounding 8.3 percent, both of which significantly outpaced the 3 percent inflation for the economy. Wages simply aren’t keeping up with college costs, and Americans have not yet been able to cut back on this particular expense.

A Degree Isn’t Yielding the ROI That It Used To

Tuition may be going up, but a college degree is still thought to be a good investment. But it could be argued that while the cost of college has been rising, its actual value – on many different fronts – has been declining.

The popular statistic thrown around in regards to the long-term, monetary value of a college degree is that graduates earn, on average, $1 million more over the course of their lifetime than non-degree holders. To a high schooler, or even a parent of a student, that’s a number that cannot be ignored.

Unfortunately, it’s a little bit misleading, and also simply not as accurate post-recession. That $1 million number is quite top-heavy. If you make it into a top university and graduate with honors, your earnings are likely to be much higher than if you scrape by at Podunk U. Those at the very top are well above that $1 million figure, and skew the results for the rest of us. A recent study by PayScale.com found that there are only 72 schools (out of 2,700 4-year schools in America) at which earning a degree can get you a $1 million return on investment over high school grads. The median is closer to $500,000 according to that report, which while still being a lofty number, is half of what prospective college goers are often promised.

That $1 million number may have been true 12 years ago when it was released in a report by the US Census Bureau, but with the recession, and wage inflation being lower than general inflation, to continue to throw that number around today is irresponsible.

At one time, college certainly was a reasonable investment. Tuition was low ($1,200/year in the 1970s at public schools, including room and board!) and therefore affordable, and you’d be rewarded with a well-paying job. Forty years ago, over a third of the labor force didn’t even have four years of high school education, while only 10 percent of the population had a degree. That made college graduates more of a hot commodity, and in the mid-nineties, at the height of America’s economic success, the unemployment rate for college graduates was around 2%.

That time is long gone. Tuition has become damn-near unaffordable for most, and well-paying jobs (heck, jobs period) are nowhere near the guarantee they once were after you graduate. In fact, recent grads (ages 20-24) have an unemployment rate that is now at about 7.8%. That’s higher than the national unemployment, and close to three times higher than it was about 20 years ago. This means you’re accumulating mountains of debt (which was not the case even a decade ago, when less than one-third of graduates used student loans – more on that below) that will strap your financial decisions for decades after graduating, and you may not even have a means of paying it off. Does that sound like a good investment?

Another factor that has to be considered in this topic of ROI is your lost potential income during your college years. Let’s consider even the lowest wage scenario. If you make minimum wage, with zero raises over the course of four years, you’ll have made $56,000. That’s not chump change, and it’s likely you’d make much more than that. I had jobs in high school that were well above minimum wage, and you’re almost guaranteed raises if you’re competent. Then factor in the out-of-pocket expenses as well as the debt for someone in four years of school (which is generous in itself – the average these days for graduation is closer to 5 and even 6 years). You’re looking at anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 for the average student. Then you consider interest on those student loans, and the fact that you’ll take an average of 16-18 years paying them off (during which that high school graduate likely moved up the ranks and is now earning a decent wage), and all of a sudden the difference is not as great as it once appeared in terms of total earnings. While there is still a difference in the earnings of college grads vs high school grads (I’ll cover that below in the “Pros” section), it’s not as great as what it used to be, and it’s not as great as what is often promised by college admissions offices.

Loans and Debt are Crippling College Grads (and the Economy)

In 2010, the total amount of student debt overtook the total amount of credit card debt in America. As of 2013, there is $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loans – that’s over $3,700 for every man, woman, and child in America. As our nation recovers from the recession, we’ve actually managed to cut down our credit card and mortgage debt. The one area that’s still growing? Student debt.

The major issue, economically, is that about $1 trillion of that is backed by the federal government. This puts the American taxpayer at risk as the creditor, which means we the people carry the burden of unpaid student loans. And that burden is only increasing. Recent reports show that 10% (and the number is increasing) of student loans are in default. On government loans, this means they haven’t been paid in 9 months. Furthermore, only 4 in 10 student loan borrowers are paying back their loans at any given time. Graduates are not able to pay back their debt, and that hurts their credit tremendously, which impacts all future financial (and life) decisions, including car purchases, home purchases, even marriage.

For this reason, many economic experts are calling this student loan crisis “ the next housing bubble .” In the mid-1990s, banks were giving out mortgages to anyone and everyone who applied. There wasn’t much due diligence in terms of the borrowers’ ability to pay back their loans. Eventually, that came to bite banks in the rear, and they needed a hefty (to say the least) government bailout in order to survive. The same thing is happening with student loans. Schools give out tens of thousands of dollars to students (and families) who may not have any realistic ability to pay back those loans. Eventually, as many experts are warning, this will create the same effect as what happened to our economy in 2008.

Another crippling factor of student loan debt is that it’s not eligible to be discharged by declaring bankruptcy. While not affecting a great number of people, you never know when something catastrophic could come along and you need the fresh start that bankruptcy sometimes provides for those in dire straits. If you’re not able to discharge student loans, it could hamper your ability to ever recover financially. It’s worth noting that private student debt is far more dangerous than government student debt. While both are non-dischargeable, government loans have low, fixed rates (for the most part – depending on the mood of congress), and repayment can be adjusted based on income (although doing so increases the length of the loan and the interest).

Two-thirds of all students are graduating with debt, and the average amount owed is over $26,000 (a 43% increase from just 7 years ago – right before the recession). With interest, that puts your average monthly bill at $320. When you get married that bill can double, and you’re looking at a lot of money each month that isn’t going into savings, isn’t going towards other debt (credit, car loans, mortgages), isn’t going towards helping the American economy recover.

College Doesn’t Necessarily Grow Your Mind

vintage college class professor lecturing at front of classroom

The two reasons for attending college that are foremost in people’s minds are increasing one’s earning potential and sharpening one’s mind. As just discussed, the value college offers on that first front has been falling. And unfortunately, the benefits of higher education on one’s mind have been shriveling as well.

Attending college isn’t necessarily the mind-expanding endeavor it’s always been made out to be. While it’s assumed you’ll be a better critical thinker, problem solver, philosopher, etc., those benefits don’t automatically accrue simply by sending in your tuition check. One study from 2011 found that about half of college students see no improvement in their problem solving, reasoning, or writing skills in their first two years, and over a third see no improvement during the entirety of their college experience. Sure, the environment can lend itself to growth, but attending college without vigorously applying yourself won’t magically sharpen your cognitive powers.

At the heart of the problem is a shift in attitude amongst colleges and students alike towards viewing education as just another consumer commodity. Colleges see their students as customers, and the customer is always right.

Take the practice of students evaluating their professors. Gaining popularity in the 60s and 70s when universities started to become more student-driven, evaluation forms are now a top metric in professor reviews. Even if subconscious, this means professors are now catering more towards making the students like them in the short-term rather than providing the kind of challenging, mind-expanding coursework that will benefit them in the long-term. Profs don’t want bad marks from students for being boring or too hard, so they water down their requirements in order to earn a thumbs up.

Closely related to this is the softening of grading standards . At Harvard, for example, the most common mark given is a straight A. The pattern is repeated at other Ivy League schools as well, where upwards of 60% of all grades given are in the A range. Rising to the very top of the class no longer requires the maxing out of one’s cognitive abilities. Some schools are doing something about this rampant grade inflation by instituting limits on the number of A’s awarded, but it’s certainly not widespread practice.

College Doesn’t Necessarily Prepare You for the Real World

vintage college man passed on dorm room floor drunk

Let’s go over how I spent my four years of college:

  • I spent four years in a dorm room, two of those years with roommates, two by myself as an RA. I had no kitchen in my room. I had no bathroom in my room. I had a bed, a desk, and a TV.
  • I had a meal plan for four years. I got two meals a day from a variety of cafeterias, and often just skipped a meal out of sheer laziness.
  • I spent hours each day playing video games with friends.
  • Related to the above, I was awake until well past midnight most evenings, and woke up around 7:30am for early classes.
  • I skipped class fairly regularly, with no real punishment. Sure, a grade may have slipped a notch or two, but that didn’t have any impact on my life.
  • My bills amounted to gas, car insurance, and my cell phone – totaling probably around $150/month.

Does that sound like real-world experience? Another of the benefits that college supposedly imparts is that it prepares you for the real world and helps you develop into a mature adult. I can’t say I really received that. Quite to the contrary – when one places the responsibilities and expectations of a college student up against those required outside the corridors of higher ed, yawning gaps appear.

Once you’re out on your own, if you skip or roll in late to work like you did for class, you’ll get canned. If you wait for a magical elf to come in and clean your bathroom, it will quickly turn into a cesspool. If you haven’t learned to budget, there can be serious consequences.

College has in many ways become a womb of relatively carefree living. It’s sure fun while it lasts, but once you have to step into the light, it can be pretty blinding. The adjustment to living in the real world can be difficult – practically and emotionally. Young men often graduate without the life skills and decision-making abilities they need to navigate the next part of their lives. They may find themselves floundering in new responsibilities they have no experience in shouldering. Acute nostalgia for their undergrad days can set in, leading them to attempt to recreate those conditions to increasingly diminishing returns.

Ideally, one’s teenage and early twentysomething years should be like a gradual on-ramp to adulthood, where you slowly accumulate the life skills and mindset you need to thrive as a grown man. Instead, moving from college to the real world now more often feels like getting shoved off a cliff.

College Isn’t Preparing Students for the Job Market

Many employers have said that the problem with the economy in this country is not necessarily a lack of jobs, but a lack of qualified people to fill those jobs. In fact, a survey by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools revealed that less than 10 percent of employers believe that colleges do an excellent job preparing students for the working world (whereas well over 90% of provosts believe their graduates are prepared – boosterism at its finest). And 50% of employers noted that it is difficult to find qualified prospects for the positions they’re trying to fill. Rep. Virginia Foxx, the chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives higher-education subcommittee, says, “Colleges and universities are pandering to the students and giving them what they want, instead of what the employers want. I don’t think you have to make a distinction between getting skills and getting an education. We need to do both.”

Our colleges are simply no longer qualifying our students for gainful employment. The loosening of academic standards mentioned above not only negatively impacts the quality of the critical thinking and reasoning skills acquired in college in a general sense, but in a more tangible way, it makes students ill prepared for the job market.

For instance, in our tech-obsessed world, many students want to be trained in using social media or developing their technology skills. But only 5% of business executives (the ones making the decisions) believe that to be a top-three skill for entering the business world. Those top three skills? Problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Another major deficiency is writing and oral communication; a hefty 80% of employers wish schools would put more emphasis on those skills. Not all students are required to take basic writing classes, but absolutely should be, based on the needs of the marketplace. I can say without a doubt that the single best class I ever took – the one that helped my professional career the most — was PR Writing, and letter grades were docked for each grammatical mistake. (Thanks, Professor Bodensteiner!)

Again we circle back to the insidious effects that placing education in a consumer/customer framework has wrought. Students have come to expect their education to be tailored to their own personal pace, likes, and abilities. This most definitely is not how it works in the business world, where your supervisors are catering to the market and to their customers, not to you. Students graduate as consummate consumers who are wholly unprepared to switch roles and take on the mantle of producers .

Not All 18-Year-Olds Are Ready for College

People mature at different ages and different rates. Some students are ready for college at 16 and 17 and go on to do very well. Some, however, are thrown out the door at 18 into a totally new world, and just aren’t ready for it. Even Brett details that experience in the introduction to Heading Out On Your Own ; after floundering in his first semester at the University of Oklahoma, he had to move back in with mom and pop. Transitioning from the cocoon of home to all of a sudden living on your own and being entirely responsible for your life can be a bewildering experience.

There is actually quite a high dropout rate for college freshmen that doesn’t get enough attention in the media. One in four college freshmen drop out in that first year, and half of all college freshmen won’t ever earn a degree. Reasons cited do include academic skills, but the greatest factors are social and emotional – self-esteem, self-care, anxiety, depression, etc.

The company that administers the ACT test has found that students aren’t actually academically ready for college, either. They hold certain benchmarks to be “college ready” in the four subjects of the ACT test. Students deemed college ready in a particular subject have a 75% chance of passing a college course in that subject. In 2012, they found that more than 25% of students fell short in all four subjects, and over 60% fell short in two subjects. While this is a problem more related, perhaps, to our elementary and secondary school systems than the students themselves, the fact remains that many 18-year-olds simply aren’t ready for the rigors of college, either academically or socially/emotionally.

Now that we covered the bad news, let’s move on to the positives of attending a 4-year college.

The Pros of Attending a 4-Year College

The Vast Majority of Students Don’t Pay Full Sticker Price

While the sticker prices for a year’s worth of tuition at college can be quite shocking (New York University takes the cake at a whopping $62,000/year!), over 80% of all students receive some sort of financial aid. Between government Pell Grants, school-specific grants, and scholarships, there’s a lot of free money to be had that doesn’t take the form of student loans (and therefore debt).

The average student (at private universities) receives about $17,000 in financial aid, with about half of that being student loans and half being grants/scholarships. This means that out-of-pocket costs are lowered to an average of just over $11,000 per year, per student. That makes college much more manageable for families and individuals.

Many will complain that hours of filling out scholarship forms for a “measly” thousand dollars isn’t worth it, but when you’re out of college and paying back loans and trying to figure out how to balance your budget, you can be sure that that thousand bucks means a world of difference. With over $3.5 billion in yearly scholarship money available, it’s worth your time to go for it.

It should also be mentioned that many colleges have scholarships based on merit. If you do well, you’re more likely to receive scholarships without having to fill out any forms at all. After a rough first year of college, my GPA went up each year, and much to my surprise, when I was junior I was given a scholarship that all students in my degree program received with a GPA above a certain level. The better you do in school, the more financial aid you’re likely to receive. (It should be noted this is true of high school, too. If you’re on the honor roll in high school, you’re much more likely to receive automatic scholarships and grants.)

All of this is to say that the sticker shock of college prices doesn’t have to be so shocking. With the right financial aid package, many schools (including elite private colleges) become affordable – relatively speaking, of course.

You Often Make Great, Lasting Personal Relationships

vintage college students african american black men waking on campus

What’s interesting in talking with people about the benefits of their college experience is that it’s often the intangibles that take center stage. Whereas with the negatives, you can point to stats and specific institutional problems, there’s just something about college that people really love.

One of those somethings is certainly the unique relationships you make. At a four-year school, you’re surrounded by friends in the dorms at nearly all times; you have classes together, you eat all your meals together, you hang out playing MarioKart every night until 3am (was that last one just me?). When you spend that much time with people, you’re going to form very tight bonds. And because of that – spending so much time with friends – you end up having about the most fun on a daily basis that you’ll ever have. You don’t have the responsibilities of a full-time job or of owning a home, so you’re free to just hang out pretty much all the time with the people you care about. That’s a recipe for having a good time.

The reality is that outside of close environs like that, it’s harder to make friends. If you’re working full-time, living by yourself or with just a roommate or two, you’ll have to put in more effort to create those lasting relationships.

This is especially true in the dating world. Why do you think online dating has become so popular? Because outside of college – where you are no longer surrounded by people of roughly the same demographic – it’s just hard to know where to look for that special someone. You have bars, your workplace, and…that’s about it. So, people turn to online sites just because they don’t know where else to meet people. Connecting with your future spouse at college may save you from spending years surfing Match.com.

You Often Make Great, Lasting Professional/Mentoring Relationships

vintage college student talking with professor in classroom

One of the great benefits of college, especially in regards to your professional career, is simply the astounding number of very smart, successful people you’re surrounded by, be they professors, advisors, deans, etc. Most colleges have internship programs, job boards, and entire staffs devoted to helping you land a job. Beyond that, professors often end up being the best connections and mentors you may ever have.

In talking with various people about their college experience, you often hear the fact that college “opened doors” for them. While not always articulated, this usually means they had some type of networking connection that got them in a door somewhere. My first internships related to my major came through professors who recommended me for those positions. Those internships gave me experience that led to full-time jobs. Doors opened.

Beyond just getting opportunities for jobs, you may also meet incredible mentors in college that serve as life advisors for decades, and will help you shape your own life philosophies (see below). Their benefit cannot be measured, and there are few opportunities outside of college for those types of relationships to be formed and fostered.

College Can Expand Your Mind and Your Horizons

vintage college students working at desk in dorm room

While as mentioned above, college won’t necessarily expand your mind, it certainly has ample potential to do so. I know college was definitely a time for me of expanding my horizons and learning to think on my own. While vague, that’s without a doubt one of the most important things college did for me. Had I stayed close to home, or just gone right into the working world, I’m not sure how much I would have grown intellectually or emotionally. My worldviews changed quite dramatically over four years in college, and I’m quite thankful for that.

I was able to have my religious and political and philosophical views that I’d carried from my parents and my hometown really torn down, and then built back up again by what I found in my independent thought processes. Brett and Kate, and subsequently this blog, were greatly influenced by Professor J. Rufus Fears at the University of Oklahoma, who taught them the importance of extracting life lessons from history.

While tapping into the mind-sharpening power of college requires a student to be self-motivated and leave the path of least resistance by intentionally seeking out talented professors, rigorous courses, honors classes, and small seminars, the rewards can be incredibly worthwhile and truly unmatched.

The honing of your mind is not always something that can be done completely on your own. We often need a gentle push to do so. College was that trigger for me, and for many other people. While it takes the individual being in the right mindset for growth, if that’s in place, there are few better places than college for shaping a perspective and philosophy you’ll carry throughout the rest of your life.

A Degree Still Provides a Better ROI Than Just a High School Diploma

Although a college degree is not necessarily the investment it once was, or is promised to be, it still provides a better opportunity for employment and higher income than not having a degree.

The national unemployment rate is at around 6.7% right now. For college graduates (all college graduates, not just the recent grads I mentioned above in “Cons”), that rate is just 3.4%. For those with just a high school diploma, the rate is more than double that at 7.3%.

I mentioned earlier that the ROI of college in terms of lifetime earnings over high school graduates, according to a PayScale.com report, was closer to about $500,000 than the $1 million often cited and touted. Their methodology is a bit complicated, though, and doesn’t include many small business owners, those who are self-employed, or freelancers/contractors. The real, tangible difference to me is in average yearly salaries. For college graduates, it’s $55,700. For high school grads, it’s $33,800. When doing the math over a 40-year career, that comes to a $876,000 difference over a lifetime.

While grit and hard work will go a long ways in the working world, the best bet for many people is to couple that determination with a college degree.

A Degree is Required for Many Jobs (Even Relatively Menial Ones These Days)

There are a huge number of jobs in this country that require a college degree. More likely than not, it’s actually just what will get you in the door for an interview rather than getting you the job itself. Is that chance for an interview worth up to $100,000 in debt? It certainly could be, if the job is well-paying and a great fit for your goals.

This is particularly true of “STEM” fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. If you’re going into one of these fields, college is likely the right choice. Job postings in these categories outnumber all other job postings 3 to 1 . Sure, you could become a master coder, drop out of school, and start Facebook. But that’s not likely. In these fields, a college degree is largely not only required, but crucial to understanding the work you’ll be doing on a daily basis. And these categories aren’t done growing – they’re expected to outpace normal job growth by about 10% in the next decade.

Aside from STEM fields, a degree is also a requirement for many mainstream jobs out there today. Be it non-profit, corporate, small business – owners and HR professionals will often throw out resumes that don’t list a college degree. Unfair? Certainly. Reality? Absolutely. A former supervisor of mine said it thusly:

“I have written job descriptions. I have written the hiring qualifications for various positions. There have been times that one of the jobs I was hiring for had the qualification of “Degree Required.” More often than not, this means a four-year degree required. Yes/No. Black/White. It’s a toggle switch. “Yes” means the candidate moves to the next pile of potential hires. “No” means… well, it means no. No, you don’t have an opportunity to interview for this job. No, you don’t get to talk to someone to show them how much experience you have. No, you don’t get to demonstrate that your actual experience in this exact field is possibly much more beneficial to the company than another person’s 4-year degree in General Studies or European History. Is it fair? Not always. Is it right? Not always. Is it in the company’s overall best interest? Maybe.

As an employer, here’s what a four-year college degree signifies to me, beyond subject knowledge:

1) You know how to set and achieve long-term goals (i.e. ‘graduate from college’).

2) You know how to prioritize and have the ability to put off the need for immediate gratification and see the bigger picture – at least sometimes.

3) You know how to be a part of a team – not necessarily sports related (there are few college graduates who have not had to work on at least one team project).

4) You are often self-motivating.

5) You probably know how to speak in front of a small group.

6) You probably know how to make a simple presentation.

7) You understand the concept of deadlines and consequences for missing those deadlines.

8) You know how to study and take notes.”

This is how employers think, and how they perceive college graduates. Will this change in the future? Perhaps. But for now, this is the reality of the business world. I can say without a doubt that my own college degree opened doors that would not have been present otherwise.


vintage college ad advertisement next stop college

There are more sides to this coin than expected, aren’t there? While many of these discussions surrounding college center on money, that’s not the whole story.

Even if it’s not “right,” the college experience is part of the American experience. Most people you encounter will have some amount of college under their belts, whether they earned a degree or not. Dorm life, cafeteria food, sporting events – these are all things we wax nostalgic about when thinking of the “good ole days.” There’s certainly something to be said about that. If there truly was no value to college, people wouldn’t do it. No matter how you look at it, the decision to go to college is a weighty one – one that 18-year-olds have a hard time processing.

It’s for this reason that we really advocate for taking a gap year . Have you ever wondered why it seems you have to go to college right after you graduate high school? Why must it be the automatic next step? More and more people are questioning this assumption and stepping off the education conveyer belt for a spell before deciding how they want to proceed.

Colleges are even starting to take notice of this fact. Amazingly, to me, they’ve started providing financial aid for students to first spend a year volunteering overseas or interning with a local company. The gap year is gaining steam, with a nearly 20% increase in students participating between 2006 and 2013. For good reason.

When you’re 18 you probably don’t know what you want to do with your life, what you want to major in, if college is really the right choice for you, or whether you’re emotionally ready to succeed if it is. So why figure out the answers to those questions while the debt-o-meter is running? A gap year (or two) allows you to mature, learn some life skills, serve others, see the world, and not only avoid debt, but maybe actually make some money. When the gap period is over and you enroll in college, you’ll have a much greater chance of being able to hit the ground running — lowering the possibility of flunking classes, changing majors three times, and taking six years to graduate.

Or maybe after your gap year you’ll decide that college isn’t the right choice for you after all. What other pathways might you take?

That is where we’ll turn in the next article in this series when we explore the alternatives to the 4-year college.

What were some of the pros and cons of your own college experience? 

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Pros and Cons of a College Education

There’s no question that college has become more expensive.  For years, tuition has increased more quickly than cost-of-living expenses; students may find themselves paying thousands of dollars more their last year in college than they signed up for on their first year.  With the increasing financial difficulties involved in earning a degree, it can be tempting to consider foregoing a college degree. 

The Drawbacks of a College Degree

There are definitely some reasons why going to college is problematic. These reasons may be deal breakers for some; for others they are simply obstacles to overcome.  If you’re weighing your options, it’s important to take an honest look at the drawbacks—no matter what everyone else is telling you.

Four years out of the workforce

The four years you spend at a traditional campus are four years where you won’t be earning money.  You get started late compared to your high school graduate peers.  The delay to full-time work can be costly. 

If you need to work full-time to support yourself while attending school, an online college may be a better option for you than a traditional college.  With the flexible schedule of virtual learning, it’s much easier to work full-time while you take classes at an online college.

Student debt

Many students graduate with many thousands of dollars in variable-rate loans from private lenders.  High student loan payments can prevent you from following your goals; if an entry-level position in your chosen career doesn’t pay enough to cover your student loans as well as your living expenses, you may have to give up or postpone pursuing your dreams.  For some, the freedom of living debt-free is worth the limitations of having no college degree.

An online education may help you reduce student debt.  Although online degrees don’t always cost less, it’s easier to work while earning an online degree.  With virtual learning, you may be able to make payments toward your tuition while you’re still in school.

Your major may not be your career

You may love eighteenth-century French literature, but it’s tough to make a career in that field.  The truth is that your major may not prepare you for the career you eventually choose.  College is more focused on learning for its own sake than preparing you for a specific career.  Academics in the past have claimed that education for its own sake is more important than training for the workforce, but as college costs rise, it grows more difficult to defend that position.

Why You Should Get Your Degree Anyway

College may be getting more expensive, but most studies indicate it still does pay off. There are some compelling reasons why it’s not a good idea to skip the degree, despite rising costs.

Higher earnings 

A degree may cost a lot, but it gives you access to higher-paying jobs when you graduate. The College Board states that college graduates make $20,000 more each year on average than high school graduates. Over a lifetime, it is estimated that a college graduate will earn 1 million dollars more than a non-college graduate.

More options

Most higher education programs, such as those for law, medicine, and education, won’t let you start without a college degree. Many business, professional, government, and white-collar jobs won’t accept resumes from applicants who didn’t go to college—no matter how qualified they are.  Without a college degree, you may be held back from advancement in your company simply because you don’t fit the education requirements for the position.  If you don’t like that policy and try to find another job, you’ll have more difficulty getting hired without a college degree.

An edge in the job market

One of the reasons high school grads have such difficulty in the job market is that they’re competing with a rising number of college graduates. A college degree ensures you’re competitive against others at your experience level.

With the costs of college rising and funding for students shrinking, it’s becoming more costly to get an education.  But most sources will tell you that the benefits still outweigh the costs.  Online education is becoming more and more accepted as an alternative to traditional college, and many adult students find that online degree programs are more practical for them.  If you’re thinking about whether or not to go to college, consider your options carefully—your choice will have a strong effect on the rest of your life.

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Prospect Spotlight: Nate Stokes (2018 Wilson HS/2019 Putnam Science Academy)

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    247Sports Composite Top247

    The list below ranks players by 247Sports Rating

    • Last updated on 08/10/18 at 4:00 PM CST
      • 247Rating Explanation
      • 247Sports has one of the industry’s largest and most recognized national recruiting staffs. Led by industry veterans Barton Simmons, Steve Wiltfong and Jerry Meyer (basketball), 247Sports employs a staff of more than 50 reporters, analysts and evaluators that rank the nation’s elite high school football and basketball recruits from multiple class years.
      • 247Sports Rating Explanation
      • Each recruit we evaluate is assigned a numerical rating as well as a star rating. Ratings are determined by our recruiting analysts after countless hours of personal observations, film evaluation, and input from our network of scouts.
      • Players are first grouped qualitatively with a star rating, then given a numerical rating based on their future potential, and finally ranked according to these numerical ratings.
      • 110 – 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.
      • 100 – 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career.
      • 97 – 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who displays pro-potential.
      • 89 – 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country.
      • 79 – below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.
    • Rank
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      Kevin Porter

      Kevin Porter Rainier Beach (Seattle, WA)
      • SG
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      • 210

      USC Enrolled
    • 2

      J'Raan Brooks

      J’Raan Brooks Garfield (Seattle, WA)
      • PF
      • 6-8
      • 215

      USC Enrolled
    • 3

      Erik Stevenson

      Erik Stevenson Timberline (Lacey, WA)
      • SG
      • 6-4
      • 180

      Wichita State Signed
    • 4

      Emmitt Matthews Jr.

      Emmitt Matthews Jr. Wilson (Tacoma, WA)
      • SF
      • 6-6
      • 160

      West Virginia Enrolled
    • 5

      Phillip Pepple

      Phillip Pepple Shorecrest (Seattle, WA)
      • PF
      • 6-8
      • 220

    • 6

      C.J. Elleby

      C.J. Elleby Cleveland (Seattle, WA)
      • SF
      • 6-6
      • 180

      Washington State Enrolled
    • 7

      Riley Sorn

      Riley Sorn Richland (Richland, WA)
      • C
      • 7-3
      • 235

      Washington Enrolled
    • 8

      Cameron Tyson

      Cameron Tyson Bothell (Bothell, WA)
      • SG
      • 6-3
      • 185


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    Download Windows Classic Theme For Windows 8

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    Click here to fix Windows errors and improve PC performance


    Along with the Aero glass theme , Microsoft has also removed the Windows Classic theme from the latest iteration of Windows. Computer users who have been using Windows 8 for a while must be knowing about the missing Aero and Windows Classic themes.

    While majority of Windows users don’t like the Classic theme and prefer to the use the default theme, a small percentage of Windows users prefer to use the Windows Classic theme regardless of system hardware configuration.

    Classic Theme for Windows 8

    As some of you know, using the Classic theme boosts system performance, especially on low end machines. By switching from the default theme to the Classic, you can give your Windows old look and feel. Another advantage of using Classic theme is boost in battery life.

    Windows 8 users who are missing the Windows Classic theme will be glad to know about the availability of the Windows Classic theme. A deviantart user has created the Classic theme for Windows 8. The best thing is that you don’t need to edit or replace original system files to install this Classic theme. Simply follow the given below instructions to install and apply Windows classic theme in Windows 8.

    NOTE: You can use this theme file on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8. Applying the Classic theme will change the Start screen background and tile color to classic view as well.

    Step 1: Visit this page and download the zip file.

    Step 2: Extract the zip file onto the desktop or any other location to get Classic.theme file.

    Step 3: Now move the Classic.theme file to C:\Windows\Resources\Ease of Access Themes folder (here, “C” is your Windows 8 installation drive ).

    Windows Classic theme for Windows 8.

    Step 4: Perform a right-click on desktop, click Personalization to open Personalization window.

    Step 5: Here, under High Contrast Themes, you will see the Classic theme along with other high contrast themes. Click on Classic theme to apply it.

    Windows Classic Theme in Windows 8

    To switch back to the default one, simply open Personalization window and click on the default theme. You might also like to know how to customize the Start screen and lock screen in Windows 8.

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    1. There is no “performance boost” by using this theme. It is purely an entertainment device. They have recolored the theme of windows and that’s all. The window composition engine is still running but just using different colors. So if you like the classic look this theme is for you but be aware, any of the high contrast themes would give the same “boost”.

    2. This is simply wonderful. My eyes just can’t cope with ubiquitous retina-burn white themes. For me, not being able to tweak window background colours is a huge drawback of Windows 8.

      This theme is great on the eyes…

    3. Also, be aware that if you choose any of the classic/high-contrast themes, you will NOT be able to change text colors in Office 2013. Windows 8.1 is supposed to fix this, by re-issuing classic themes that will allow you to do this, but we’ll see…

    4. Hi, Contrary to what some have said this is a useful theme as there are a number of specialist programs that will not display correctly on 7 or 8 unless you use windows classic or windows high contrast. OK you can make up your own theme but it’s easier if some one else has done the mucking around. Not sure that it increases performance much but there is an improvement in battery life.

    5. My new high end PC came with Win 8 basic. I found that my 2007 Office Enterprise Outlook indexing won’t work. I’ve re-set/re-started indexing several times, but it quits indexing after shut down and re-start of the PC. I’ve also re-installed Office, to no avail. A friend tells me that he had the same problem, but corrected it with the download of the $39.99 Pro Pac upgrade (until 1/31/13) from Microsoft. Do you concur that it is necessary to install this up grade to have Office 2007 Enterprise work well in Win 8????

    6. Is it possible to change the navigation buttons into Windows Classic visual style?

    7. This is merely HiConWhite customized to be more like Classic. And, it DOES boost performance if your vcard is a wimp in a barrel.
      But I simply prefer Classic view to this sux0rious bum Aero (which is still alive and even used for EVERY theme)…
      Windows 8 is suckage, and this theme does NOT take that down. It is pointless due to being a HiCon customization, something you can do on your own (I am using this myself, as a sort of half-assed medium)

    8. This is the most pointless thing ever created. Why? Because it’s not really classic theme. It’s just Windows’ theme with the classic colors.

      I am not even sure if the classic theme boosted performance in Vista/7 over the default theme with Aero disabled. The biggest performance penalty in those themes came with the blurring effect. Otherwise, the theme does some things right that the classic theme did wrong (e.g., it uses desktop compositing).

      But this theme doesn’t change anything in the way windows are rendered. Using this to get a performance boost is a 100% futile effort.

    9. Windows classic theme DOES up performance (I used to use it, too, for performance and as a cool throwback) but Windows 8 will do the same thing. Many don’t know that. If all you’re using windows classic for is to make your computer run faster no need to worry. Windows 8 will do it too! So don’t be afraid to run the real windows 8 theme. I’ve loved it so far. It runs much faster than Vista did on my old laptop. I’m waiting for he release date to update my new laptop.

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