Junot Diaz Loves Libraries

by on November 11, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »


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In this excerpt from his interview with Bill Moyers, Junot Diaz reflects on his first experience in a library and how it opened up the world of reading for him.

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Junot Diaz Reflects on Being a Student

by on November 6, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


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In his New Yorker essay “MFA vs. POC,” Junot Diaz explores the role of race in writing workshops and the POC voice in literature.

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How Literature Can Improve Your Life

by on October 16, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »


This animation explores the various arguments for reading literature. Curious about how the simple act of reading Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao can make you a better person? Check out this groovy animation created by The School of Life.

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LEC Student Profile: Rhonda Gaskins

by on October 10, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »


rhondaI returned back to school because I was tired of feeding and believing my redundant excuses such as “I’ve been out of college for over 18 years”; “How would I repay my student loans?” And “how would I juggle full-time employment and being a full-time student?” But my truth was I was scared, scared to fail, scared to challenge myself. I initially allowed fear to dictate my life and halt my destiny. It left me in a debilitating place in my life because I was trying to figure out what was my purpose; I struggled for quite some time trying to understand why I was so unhappy and angry. I blamed others for my emotional and unpredictable mood swings. I did some soul searching and realized why I was unhappy and angry, I wasn’t pleased with the job I’ve been with for 9 years, my life felt so monotonous without a purpose or a reason and I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.

I knew what I was passionate about, but I needed to understand how to execute it. I truly believe I was given a gift, and that’s to give back to those in need. I want to provide support and understanding, but for me to assist someone else with support, I have to provide support to myself. I have to begin the process again of believing in myself, knowing my worth and knowing that all things are possible. I started feeling good about myself again because I realized this was my new beginning.

I knew very little about Metropolitan College of New York, so I decided to do my research. MCNY offered Human Services with flexible course schedules, so the only thing that was left for me to do was to enroll. I was still apprehensive because fear was still my security blanket, but I told myself there will be no more excuses; I have something to prove to myself and to see through on my passion; I needed to start living my truth.

September 13, 2014, I began my journey at Metropolitan College of New York as a full time student, majoring in Human Services. I will admit, I have a very challenging road ahead, but I’m following my passion because I believe that’s what I’m meant to do. Taking the time to evaluate who I am has definitely changed my perception of what I’m capable of doing. All things are possible if I believe in myself and stay focused and determined. I’ve been standing in my own way for quite some time, but I’ve made a conscious decision to get off the bench and begin playing on the court.

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Get Unstuck

by on October 7, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


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If you feel stuck about where to start with your writing or where to go next, you are not alone. Here is a list of tips from pros for how to get your juices flowing when it seems like the well of ideas has run dry.

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Let’s Do This!

by on August 12, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »


Damon Horowitz
Damon Horowitz, who teaches college-level philosophy courses to inmates at San Quentin State Prison, discusses “right,” “wrong,” and the intersection of real life experiences and Socrates. His inspiring Ted Talk is less than five minutes long, but it leaves a lasting impact.

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LEC Student Profile: Virginia Maldonado

by on July 29, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »


100_1536Virginia Maldonado has lived in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn her whole life. In addition to being a student in the Business Administration Bachelor’s program here at MCNY, Virginia works as a home health aid. After raising nine children, she attests, her work in the home healthcare service has given her the opportunity to continue to deepen her sense of patience.

Studying for her Associate’s degree was challenging work, and her vocal cord seizures added to the struggle. After completing her AA, Virginia felt she’d never return to school. But it wasn’t long before she started to miss being in school, and when she visited MCNY, she knew it was the right fit. Someone she spoke to here had reviewed her transcripts, and upon seeing how well she did as a business student, urged her to enroll in the Business Administration program at MCNY. The fact that this person believed in Virginia instilled in her a confidence that helped her decide to enroll here and continue to achieve academic success in the field of business.

When she first started here, Virginia felt like she was cranking her brain up like an old engine. It was challenging! But it was so satisfying to get positive feedback and realize, “Wow! I’m really doing this! I wrote this essay! I prepared this Business Plan! I’m doing this!” She has not allowed her age to get in the way of her education.

The teachers and students Virginia has encountered here have opened doors for her and inspired her to make positive choices about her education. With their help, she’s developed effective learning strategies that have helped her reach her goals, she’s felt motivated to pick up the phone and get things done. She has felt empowered to not allow obstacles to stand in the way of her success.

In addition to feeling motivated by her teachers and fellow students, when Virginia encounters challenges, she thinks of her nine children. It’s important to her to be a model to them, and to prove to them by example, that it’s never too late to advance your education. She hopes that her own perseverance will help her children believe in themselves and not get discouraged by their age or any other obstacles. Her oldest son is currently working with an outreach program to educate young people about reproductive health and substance abuse, and he plans to stay with the program and enroll in college through a scholarship they offer their employees. Virginia is very proud of him, and she smiles, reminded by his success and her own that “age ain’t nothing but a number!”

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How Junot Diaz Writes

by on July 15, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


In this thoughtful and funny interview, award-winning Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz discusses his own writing process, the importance of revising and rewriting, his whole-hearted support of young writers of color, and his predictions about the zombie apocalypse.

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How to Achieve Your Goals

by on July 1, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »


In his dynamic and humorous Ted Talk, former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers discusses how to achieve goals through focusing on behaviors that are within our control. It provides some interesting food for thought when considered in the context of the Purpose-Centered Education model of MCNY and the LEC’s goal of setting the groundwork for you to take charge of your education!

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LEC Student Profile: Clarita Liepolt

by on June 10, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »


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Clarita was born in Pereira, Colombia. She lived there into her adult years, and earned a masters degree there in Educational Administration. Throughout her years of eclectic professional experience in Colombia and here in the United States, she has worked as a teacher, a public health educator, a city government interpreter, and a chauffeur! Her sculpture has been commissioned by various institutions, and she has been awarded various recognition for her other art work. She came to MCNY with a desire to further develop her professional skills and contribute to the fascinating field of emergency and disaster management. As English is her second language, she still struggles a bit with pronunciation, but she does not let that impede her from engaging enthusiastically with her studies and following her curiosities with tireless passion. She practices her pronunciation by repeating new words aloud until they become more familiar. Though challenging and frustrating at times, this practice is important to her because she wants to ensure that her speaking ability matches her level of intelligence – it’s important to her, as it is to everyone, to be understood! She loves New York City and is passionate about being involved in the city’s emergency and disaster management in meaningful ways that make a difference.

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