Sunday, August 17, 2014

College and University Scholarships Available for Low Income Students

I've seen a lot of low-income students in America who think that, due to their financial situation, college is simply a pipe dream. However, Thomas Jefferson wrote "…that the children of the poor must be thus educated at common expense" over 100 years ago and Americans businesses and organizations still take this to heart. There are national scholarships set aside specifically to give children of low income families a chance to gain an education. There are even scholarships and grants available for convicted felons. I figured I'd do the right thing and list some of what I know about scholarships since school starts in a week.

One of the biggest boasts to education was the Gates Millennium scholarships set up by Bill and Melinda Gates. These are aimed at helping low-income students - particularly those of African American, Hispanic American, Native American/Alaskan Native, and Asian Pacific Islander American descent - achieve their educational dreams. These are primarily undergraduate scholarships, but students who complete their degree and wish to further their education may ask for assistance to graduate school as well, if they plan to major in one of the following fields: Education, Engineering, Library Science, Mathematics, Public Health or Science.

To be eligible for a Gates Millennium scholarship, the student must be a U.S. citizen, have a 3.3 grade point average (on a scale of 4.0), be planning to enter an accredited U.S. college full-time, meet Federal Pell Grant eligibility (to determine need), and show leadership abilities through involvement in extracurricular activities.

Another place offering scholarships to low income students is Google. Their Google Scholarship Fund helps both undergraduate and graduate Hispanic students wishing to obtain a degree in either Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Students wishing to apply for this scholarship must be a U.S. citizen, must be a full-time student in their junior or senior year in college, and maintain a 3.5 grade point average.

Abercrombie & Fitch, in conjunction with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), has set aside supplemental scholarships for African American students of low income families. This scholarship award is $3,000 and is for first year students enrolled at a four year, accredited college. It can be awarded annually to qualifying students for up to four years.

Another supplemental scholarship is the Unmet Need Scholarship Program offered by Sallie Mae. Like the Abercrombie & Fitch scholarship, this is meant to fill a small amount of tuition not covered by other scholarships, loans, and grants. The award range is $1,000 to $3,800 and is available for students of families with a combined income of less than $30,000. Students wishing to apply must be U.S. citizens, enrolled full-time at an accredited institution, and have at least a 2.5 grade point average.

Students attending law or medical school can also receive low income scholarships. The American Bar Association offers a scholarship called the Legal Opportunity Scholarship fund to students attending an ABA accredited law school. Students must report their family income to make sure the students with the greatest need are awarded the scholarships.

Medical students may apply for the National Medial Fellowships Need Based Scholarship Program. This scholarship is available to first and second year medical students who can demonstrate a need. They must submit both their income, that of their parents, and that of their spouse (if married). The scholarship ranges from $500 up to $10,000 depending on need.

There's also a list of wacky scholarships, which don't even require being low income. You just have to have a certain characteristic. I've seen some for left handed people, redheads, and my favourite was no essay writing scholarships for high school students. Talk about lazy.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why I won't be an English Major -- aka My Outline for a Critique of “27 Wagons” by Tennessee Williams

This is what I turned in for a Theatre class, where we had to provide an outline for a play. I picked 27 Wagons by Tennessee Williams.

My style is definitely rough around the edges

Question One: What is the plot structure of “27 Wagons”?



1. Begins late in story. “27 Wagons” started when Jake was gone; it could have started right when Jake left.

2. Covers short space of time. During the scene changes there are little lines at the bottom of the screen that say what time of day. Example: late evening. For the second scene. First scene somebodies head was in the way--couldn’t see what time of day it was!

3. Few solid scenes. It was a one act, two scene play.

4. Restricted locale. Occurs on the front porch--one area

5. Limited characters. Three characters--Silva Vaccaro, Flora and Jake Meighan

6. Cause and effect chain. Jake burns down Silva’s cotton gin. Silva comes to Jake to gin out cotton.

Question Two: What do you feel is the main theme of the play?

Be a good neighbor. Kidding! One reoccurring thing I seen was dependance.
Flora is dependant on Jake, because she is portrayed as a weak woman, not capable of taking care of herself. This is pretty stereotypical. When did Tennessee Williams write this play? When woman were starting to make their mark on society or before? The man in this play is the bread-winner, who uses reason. Jake says it himself: “Man wants appreciation after he did a big days work.” The woman is considered emotional and irrational; hence, she screams hysterically at the beginning. She has no worries or so Jake thinks. Williams make the woman seem very unimportant at the beginning of the play by refusing to give her name. This adds to the fact that as Jake says “useless women.” There is a hell of a lot more I need to write, because this hardly scratches the surface; however, since I already broke your formulaic rules, I will stop.

Question Three.


1. First Scene. Flora yelling for Jake and telling the neighbor that she can’t leave the porch, ‘cause Jake is gone; he has the keys to lock the house.

2. Silva tells Jake about his cotton gin burning down, needing Jake to help gin out cotton.

3. Jake tells Flora that they “been on the porch since supper.” This exposes that he is covering himself, ‘cause of the explosion.

Point of Attack.

Starts after Jake is gone, not when he leaves. Flora is running out of the house looking for him, proving there is a lot of story before she runs out of the house.

Main conflict.

Silva needs cotton ginned, since he had a large fire, destroying his stuff.

Silva learns through questioning Flora that Jake burned his gin; then Silva starts making advances toward Flora. He seizes the opportunity, taking back what he seems to think is owed to him. I suppose an eye for an eye. Only a different way.

Silva’s material goods are gone; however, he is more advanced as a person than Jake, so he invades Jakes property (I am not saying that any woman is property to a man; however, the play offers this suggestion, since Flora is considered a baby, which suggests she is incapable of caring for herself.)--his wife.


Silva follows Flora in house. It can be assumed they had sex, since she is close to naked out on the porch when Jake comes home.


Silva is going to keep on bringing work for Jake. So when Jake leaves Silva gets his way with Flora.


Interesting stuff.

White purse. Security. Why white? Symbol of hope or purity. She loses purse; she becomes open, not closed off. Some kind of reliance. Pink ribbons in hair.

Childlike, little girlish. Flora--Goddess of flowers. She is a mamma at the end, not a baby anymore. It seems Silva created a change in her. She knew it was wrong to kiss him; however, she did try to stop him, and when she did, she did it without conviction. Also she did not lock the door when she went inside and so Silva followed. Silva used her to get his way, but he made her feel different than Jake did. He treated her differently.

Some similes. I’ll list one. Running low on room

Silva: “like a gift from the gods.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

1st post

Last few days of school. Thought I'd post a few papers to get something on this blog. Then summer starts -- aka sipping cocktails by the pool and hanging out with scantily clad women. Oh, yeah -- it's that easy -- just like the narrative that I'm going to belt out next:

In the corner of the room, I search through the mess, mining, impatient and perceptive, through the masses of books and papers that litter the floor like autumn’s vibrant leaves litter the ground, searching the floor for my computer disk; consequently, since this scene seems--not to a visual/spatial person--disastrous and unorganized, I must mention that the disk is in a protective case.

This narrative exhibits many of the characteristics that Francis Christensen writes in the essay “A Generative Rhetoric of the Sentence.”

This essay explores the idea of creating sentences to add a certain flavor to them. It is assumed from English textbooks that “we think naturally in primer sentences, progress naturally to compound sentences, and must be taught to combine the primer sentences into complex sentences,” writes Christensen.

Christensen has four basic principles to add: addition, direction of modification, levels of generality, and texture. The principle of addition is simple: one just has to start with a basic sentence and add to the foundation--the sentence, that is.

The second principle is the direction of the modification. It does not do much good to create a sentence loaded with modifiers, because a sentence loaded down is boring--lackluster.

The third principle is levels of generality which is the main clause, stated in abstract terms. This is what is left of the sentence after one takes out all the additions, leaving only the simplest form of the sentence.

The fourth principle is texture: “texture provides a descriptive or evaluative term” (Christensen, 88). Christensen describes the texture as how much layer there is in sentence and paragraph structure.

It is how the sentences look physically, because this changes the pace of how the text is read.

Something that surprised me--not too much though--was the use of pronouns.

Instead of using he or she, Christensen only makes use of he. Another thing that interested me was the discontentment the author made about composition classes: “we do not teach them how to write better because we do not know how to teach them to write better. And so we go through the motions” (Christensen, 85).

The motions are reviewing the rules of grammar and reading selections out of anthologies. This seems true, too; however, I have found that reading these selections--any books for that matter--helps me write better.

Since the grammar exercises are pick and choose the part of speech or add the correct punctuation, I do not get that much out of them. The only way I can get anything out of them is to remember the rule, subjective as it may be, and apply it to some sort of reading that interests me, not the hokey sentence selections in a textbook.

This selection, no different from the last selection I did, is not from the Language Awareness Textbook. Who would have guessed? This essay seemed interesting when I read the first paragraph, because of the statement about the instructor not knowing precisely how to teach pupils to write effectively.

This, perhaps, is the reason that I picked this particular essay; it is worth checking out. It has a different perspective and the examples point out an excessive amount of information--individually marked out--that can’t be perceived by doing exercises. They can only be perceived by understanding how a contemporary writer wrote and then experimenting.