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Online class offers way to return to college

 

So after years of “thinking” about it, I finally took the plunge. I am once again a college student.  I signed up for an online course in Survey of the Old Testament at Hinds this spring. I’m planning to take New Testament over the summer.

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I am considering enrolling in a master’s degree program this fall. But for now I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m just enjoying the course I’m taking. Yes, enjoying. I’m one of “those people.”

I always wanted to get a master’s degree but between working hard and bringing up a couple of daughters, the time never seemed right.

But if not now, then when, right?

I’ve had some good influences around me. A lot of the Hinds staff I work with already have master’s degrees. I’ve been envious of our office manager, who’s working on her master’s in business at night after working all day.  Although I’m not particularly envious of the late nights she’s staying up studying, her dedication and perseverance have been an inspiration.

So what’s it like being a college student again after about, gulp, 30 years?

Well, for starters, I’ve had a lot of anxiety about it. Sure, I’m taking an undergraduate prerequisite and not a master’s level class. But I’m quite a bit older than I was the last time I took a class. I don’t retain new information as well as I used to so I have to read, and re-read, and re-read.

I’ve never taken an online class before. I wasn’t sure that format would appeal to me. After all, I enjoyed the give-and-take of a rousing classroom discussion. So far, early in the semester, I like it. I can sort of do the work at my own pace, within reason, as long as I make the deadlines outlined in the course syllabus.  I’m finding the instructions really easy to follow. And, my classmates don’t see me completing assignments in my jammies.

Finding time to study is challenging. I work full-time and take care of my 5-year-old granddaughter three nights a week while her mother works, never mind the usual housework, pet care and church activities – all the things a busy adult has going on. So far I’ve managed by spending lunch hours in our office break room over a sandwich and a textbook and snatching bits of time before bedtime. I’ll have to be a lot more structured and disciplined though if I continue on.

While most people probably think higher education is for the 18-year-olds just out of high school, the average age at Hinds is 26.7, and I see lots of gray-headed grandparents at graduation. (No gray here – I color mine.)

For anybody who’s been thinking about enrolling at Hinds, summer and fall registration for new students opens April 15.  And for a simple how-to, go to our web site here: http://hub.hindscc.edu/download-your-checklist-for-success--hinds/

Cathy Hayden, a former education reporter, is Public Relations director at Hinds Community College.

Be a Donor, Save a Life

 

blood

The first blood drive for the Hinds CC's Spring 2013 semester was scheduled for January 29, 30, and 31. You can donate in front of the cafeteria. Although I was unable to donate right off the bat because of class, I made sure I made the time for a donation.

Today marked my eleventh pint (and tenth donation) since I first donated at the age of sixteen. I believe that allowing donors to begin at this age, even if it requires parental consent, is nothing less than helpful to those in need of blood transfusions because with a wider age group comes more blood supply.

Students look forward to making their donations just for the shirt, some might do it just for the graduation cord (if offered in high school), or some might just do it because they need that last hour of community service for that passing grade. Out of this list, not a single thing has been an object of my motivation.

Growing up, I have always been the person that is the first one to put their hand up to volunteer for something, so it came as no surprise to my parents when I came in for the first time and asked them to sign the consent form for me to donate blood. From that day forward, I have made it a mission to give whenever I am given the opportunity; however, I would later be provided with more motivation than I ever thought I would have.

Most everyone has seen at least one commercial or advertisement about a patient in need of blood donations in order to pull in more donors, but you would never think that you would be involved in a similar situation.

For over a year and a half, my uncle has been battling stage four throat, neck and tonsil cancer. Because my grandmother had battled breast cancer, I was used to the fact that he would be going through chemo and possibly radiation treatments, but the addition to his treatment would make a huge impact in my life. In addition to both chemo and radiation, he would constantly be forced to undergo blood transfusions to boost his health.

As I continue to read the blogs of my uncle as he continues to fight in his personal battle against cancer, it gives me a whole new prospective on life itself, and this has given me the motivation to donate as much as I can in order to make a difference.

For those of you who are able to donate, keep in mind that just thirty minutes of your time can save a life. I know it has helped the life of my family thrive, and I look forward to being able to help others as I grow older.

Christi Reynolds, Hinds Raymond campus Sophomore, is a writer for the Hindsonian.

Pumpkin goodness - In your dorm!

 

Fall is here…or what short amount of it we get in Mississippi! Now’s the time to enjoy the things you love most about this fleeting season. My favorite thing happens to be baking with pumpkin. Sounds gross, I know, but it’s actually really tasty. Below is my absolute favorite, go-to recipe for pumpkin deliciousness. Even though it’s called “bread”, it’s more like cake. I have also updated it to a dorm-room friendly version so our campus residents can enjoy it, too!

Pumpkin Bread (traditional)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (look in the baking isle for this…do NOT mistake it with pumpkin pie filling…what you need is the puree, which is not sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup  vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.

3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Can easily double the recipe.

 

Dorm Friendly version:

Ingredients

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tbs  brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 2-3 tbs pumpkin puree

Directions

Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray.

In a bowl, or right in the mug, whisk flour, sugar, spices, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add egg and combine until just incorporated with dry ingredients. Mix in vanilla, oil, milk and pumpkin.

Pop into the microwave for up to 3 minutes, with no fear to stop and check after 90 seconds for doneness.

Let it cool! It’s hot!

Seriously, that easy.

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