Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Effectively Write Summaries for College

Everyone who has been to college knows what's going on during exam week. Pale faces in dining hall, no one who is down for a movie night, and desperate Facebook posts asking for summaries of course material.
I have always been very relaxed during exam weeks. I'm not highly intelligent, neither did I major in communication studies. I have simply found a way to prepare for exams in an efficient manner. The secret is, indeed, summaries.
Not just summaries, though. Summaries can cut your study time significantly. However, if you don't do it right, it might backfire. Here are some tips on how you can write summaries in a way that will cut your study time and boost your grades.
1) Don't decide what to leave out, but what to include
Scholars like to lose themselves in examples, long explanations, definitions, and so on. The result is a usually a blurry, extensive chapter or article.
The challenge you are faced with is to filter out the relevant point(s). What is the author trying to prove? And what of these points are relevant for the exam?
Before summarizing a chapter, you should therefore not decide what to leave out. Rather, you should start with a blank paper and decide what exactly is significant enough to be added to the paper.
2) There is no "right" or "wrong"
What is the ideal way to write a summary? In fact, the answer to this question depends solely on you. For many students, it is enough to read through a chapter and summarize it with keywords only. Other students, me included, like to read it through, and then summarize it as if they were writing a summary for someone else.
To find your ideal summarizing style, you need to simply experiment around. Whatever helps you the most is right for you.
3) Use Mnemonic Tricks
Especially when you have to memorize a number of names for example, it can be useful to include mnemonic tricks into your summary.
Imagine you had to memorize the planets of our solar system. Of course, you could try to remember the exact order by repeating the list over and over again. Or, you simple remember this catch phrase: "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizza-pies". By taking the first letter of each word, you get the first letter of the planet who is next in order (Mercur, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto).
The concept of a mnemonic trick is to take a simple rhyme, alliteration, or something similar, and use it to create links to the facts that need to be memorized. So instead of learning every planet of the solar system, you just remember a phrase that tells you how to get there.
No matter how ridiculous a mnemonic rhyme or so may sound: everything is allowed, as long as it helps you.
4) Ally With Your Class Mates
It was the end of the semester. I hadn't read any of the articles I was supposed to read, and neither did my class mates. I still remember my relief when I received an email in my inbox from a class mate who took the initiative with a simple plan.
Out of all the articles, everyone should choose one to read and summarize. A week later, I had summaries for all the articles I was supposed to read. I nailed that exam.
Now, if you decide to set up a similar agreement with your class mates, there are some things you need to remember. Make sure you include as many class mates as possible. In addition, send a list to everyone that indicates who is summarizing which article. This incentivizes your fellow students to actually do their work; if the public list says you are summarizing this particular article, you are peer-pressured to do so.
In addition, you should establish guidelines and a deadline to hand in the summary. You don't want people to send you half-page summaries, while others did ten times as much. This could corrupt the complete system. Tell everyone what the summary should look like and by when to send it.
By spreading the work collectively, everyone will profit. Don't be afraid to take the initiative; everyone will thank you.
Many people disregard summaries as a "short-cut to success". I, however, believe that in a time where we all are flooded with information, summaries can help with seeing the essential - and remembering it for the exam.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Final Dose of Information on Ground Support Equipment

In my previous article I began introducing a few types of ground support equipment. This is the third and final installment of articles focusing on ground support equipment. To recap, here is what we looked at thus far:
- Air Start Units
- Belt Loaders
- Catering Trucks
- De-icers
- Fuel Trucks
- Lavatory Carts and Trucks
Today we will look at four more different types of ground support equipment that is used daily at airports and aircraft grounds around the world. These, along with the previously mentioned equipment models, are all needed in order for the aviation industry to provide safe and reliable services. Let's have a look:
Push-back tugs and tractors
We have all found ourselves stuck at the airport, staring thoughtlessly out the window that overlooks the aircraft ramp. But have you ever noticed those tractors that push an airplane from a gate after it has been boarded or disembarked? Those are called push-back tractors, and they are used to manoeuver an aircraft and help position it for take-off or move it into the hangar. Most push-back tractors are equipped with automatic transmissions and diesel engines.
Stairs and Stair Trucks
As far as commercial flying goes, aircraft are typically connected to a gate in order for passengers to disembark. However, there are many instances when an aircraft is not connected to a gate, in which case aircraft stairs or stair trucks are needed. Ground support equipment crews will typically be equipped with both a mobile un-motorized stair unit and a stair truck.
Tow tractors
Tows tractors are similar to push-backs insofar as they are relied on to tow or move otherwise moveable equipment or vehicles. Although it is not designed to push or pull an aircraft, tow tractors are equipped to move baggage carts, catering trucks, and almost any other non-aircraft vehicle. Much like push backs, most tow tractors are equipped with automatic transmissions.
Wheelchair Lifts
An essential piece of ground service equipment is a wheelchair lift. Designed to allow disabled passengers to board and disembark an aircraft safely and comfortably, wheelchair lifts can be manoeuvered without any difficulty and are very easy to use. Most wheelchair lifts are non-motorized, and are resistant to most harsh weather conditions.
And that, my fellow ground support enthusiasts, concludes our spotlight on ground support equipment. After looking at ten different types of equipment, it becomes clear that there is a lot of action happening on ground-level in order for planes to undergo a smooth operation up in the sky.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Discover Where a Tourism Career Can Take You

The tourism industry functions on the talent and dedication of people who specialize in several different areas of expertise. The industry itself has dozens of domains, each of which contain many levels of operational areas. For example, resort travel is just one type of tourism that travellers opt for. In order for resorts to function properly and safely, this sector needs to be equipped with tourism professionals who have the appropriate expertise, including human resources, customer service, and hospitality management.
Resort travel is just one of many different types of tourism that the industry caters to. Aspiring tourism professionals actually have a wealth of choices when it comes to narrowing down their career options. Let's take a closer look at the variety of career specializations that exist in the travel and tourism world.
If you are the active outdoors-y type, perhaps a career in adventure tourism is exactly what you are looking for. Adventure tourism caters to people who are seeking a travel experience that will tie in exploration with action-packed recreation. The sorts of activities that an adventure tourism professional will guide travellers through include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Wilderness Trips
- Ocean Kayaking and River Rafting
- Avalanche Hiking or Mountain Climbing
- Heritage Exploration
It goes without saying that airlines are a major player in the tourism industry. While pilots and ground support crews are vital to a smooth operational system, the airline representatives that communicate with travellers directly are also key players in ensuring that airlines provide impeccable service. A career at an airline may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Airline Customer Service Representative
- Flight Attendant Pre-Employment
Hospitality is the essence of the tourism industry. Great service, flawless communication, and above-standard quality of food, lodging and entertainment all play a pivotal part in offering travellers an unforgettable experience. Hospitality programs touch on several different types of hospitality, including resort management as well as the following:
- Hospitality Cruise Business Management
- Hospitality Operations
- Hotel Management
- Spa Management
Adventure tourism, airline careers and hospitality specializations are just a fraction of the career possibilities out there for aspiring tourism professionals to go out and pursue. From courses on how to instruct a group on river rafting to event planning courses, tourism programs will include a wide range of course options. And although the above list is just a sample of the sorts of careers that are prominent in the tourism industry, it gives a fair picture of how diverse the industry truly is.