Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

Poof! Missing Documents To Erase Student Loan Debts

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

A foul-up over some lost paperwork has literally wiped away the student loan debt for a myriad of borrowers who collectively owed billions of dollars.

According to the New York Times, around $5 billion worth of private student loan debt has been eliminated due to the fact that creditors have lost a lot of critical documents, which validated their cases against borrowers. Practically all of the borrowers were people who had fallen upon hard times and were unable to keep up their monthly payments.

The New York Times also reported that the creditors at these private education funding companies were fighting borrowers in court to force them to pay. Dozens of lawsuits have already been dismissed because courts have seen many errors in these collection cases, including inadequate ownership records and mass-produced documents.

The entire $108 billion-dollar private student loan debt crisis has all of the hallmarks of the 1990s to early 2000s sub-prime mortgage disaster. During this decade-long economic quagmire, a vast number of collection cases were tossed out by judges who heard arguments from creditors with fake documentation and other forms of malfeasance.

Read more on this report here at TheBlackHomeSchool.com.

 

Self Care: Are You Addicted to Rejection, Poverty, Struggle, Anger?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

IyanlaProfound spiritual leader and acclaimed empowerment legend, Iyanla Vanzant often uses her personal experiences to empathize with and help women all over the world. Below she shares how we can often have an addiction that we may not be aware of and how the addiction(s) can be very destructive in our lives.

Beloveds;
Let’s talk for a moment about “addictions” not to substances but to situations, conditions and circumstances. For this purpose, consider than an addiction is; “a strong and harmful need to regularly feel, have or do something.” It is also considered to be; “a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior in response to a brain reward, motivation, memory that impacts the related circuitry in the body.” In other words, when we think, feel, do or remember something often enough, whether or not we are conscious of it, that which we think, feel, do or remember can and often does become an addiction.

I recently worked with someone who was addicted to rejection. They went in and out of relationships and situations where they either felt or were actually rejected. Once this happened, they got busy pursuing the situation or person, trying everything under the sun to get their attention only to experience more rejection. Even when the person or people on the other side did not intend rejection, this is how the person felt. It was this feeling, that they talked about and rehearsed over and over in their mind that lead me to the conclusion that they were actually addicted to the feeling and the experience of being rejected.

Now let me talk about myself. For more than half of my life, I now realize that I was addicted to Poverty, Struggle, Sadness and Anger. This, I believed was the story of my life. Not only was I a victim of everyone, I anticipated that no matter what I did, it would be hard, I would be disappointed, I would end up with less than I started and then, I would righteously be angry about all the hard work and effort I had put in to whatever it was I had done.

Then I learned that as a human being, everything I did had a reward. There was some payoff, some feeling attached to everything I did. The most common payoff is to do what is familiar. Second to that was being right about the story I was telling myself. Then I learned, in life we do not get what we ask for- – – we can only get what we expect! Because I was addicted to and expected to be broke, to struggle, to be disappointed and angry, because these things were familiar, I created and participated in experiences that gave me more of it. So, here’s the bottom line – – – no matter what you are doing, be mindful of what you are thinking and what you expect.

If you find yourself in the same or a similar situation repeatedly, look for the payoff and a possible addiction. The only way to recover from an addiction is to stop telling the story you have been telling. Expect more and you will get more. Expect something different and you will get it. And if your first thought about all of this is . . . that’s hard to do, chances are you are addicted.
I pray this helps somebody today!

Do the right thing!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A student just came rushing to my office and handed me an assignment (part of a final project) which he thought was due today. I gave the assignment and set the deadline as today but I did not take the assignment in. The purpose of doing this is so that the students do their work in increments rather than leave it all until the last minute and hand in sloppy work.

As the student handed me the assignment, I informed him that he was not required to hand it in. I could see the frustration in his face as he asked me why I had told them it was due today. I replied, “So that you would have it done by today.” I then asked him an obvious question; “Did you do it?” “Yes”,  he replied. To which I responded; “Then we have met our objective.”
Even as the student walked away, I could tell he was still disgruntled that he had spent time doing his school work under the impression that it was due to be handed in and then found out that it was not going to be handed in. Just as I thought he had left, he reappeared and asked me to give him feed-back and I told him that I was happy to but not at the present moment. I encouraged him to come to my office during “office hours” and I let him know I would be happy to assist him. He was still clearly disgruntled as he walked away from my office.

The reason why I am sharing this experience is that I have noticed that a lot of students don’t really come to college to learn. They seem to come to college as a means to an end and in my observation, while most of them are here, they do almost everything that they can to avoid learning!

The student that I just described did the assignment as part of his learning process but did not assign any value to the learning. Instead, he was frustrated that he had done the assignment “for nothing”. This is what I take issue with. It seems that college has become a means to an end and learning has become an “inconvenience” along the way. I genuinely believe that this line of thinking is not much different from people who serve others only because they expect something in return or so as to “be seen” serving which will improve their public image.

I’m glad this student came by my office because he made me think about a very important lesson that I leaned a long time ago: Do the right things for the right reasons.

It’s quite possible to do the “right thing” (like philanthropy) and still be wrong because we are doing the right thing for the wrong reason (like boosting public image). It is also possible to do the “wrong thing” (like say “no” to someone you care about) but have good intention (like preserving your time and energy for more important tasks).

The best students that I have come across are the ones who come to college to learn, gather information and improve their skills so that they can reach their career goals and make a positive impact in their communities. These students are the ones who are doing the right thing (getting an education) for the right reasons (improving their lives and those of other people).

The next time you have a task in from of you; ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing and if you’re doing it for the right reason. Failing which, if you’re going to do something that may be perceived as the “wrong” thing; do it for the right reason!

Mindful Mornings: Do Black people complain too much?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about President Obama supposedly chastising black people for complaining too much and it got me thinking about an experience I had not too long ago.

Recently, I was standing outside of another faculty member’s office, at the college, engaged in a conversation with two colleagues who are both “African American”. The colleague whose office I was standing by was a “white” male who then stepped out of his office, locked it and then walked away. A few minutes later he comes back and then as he is unlocking his office he apologizes to me for locking his office and insists that he normally locks his office and is not locking it because I’m “black”. He goes on to tell me that he hopes that I’m not offended that he locked his office. My response was “No, not at all.”

Now, I have to admit, I found the whole experience very weird! I then began to think: Do “black” people complain so much that now we have “white” people walking on eggshells and hoping that they don’t do or say anything that may be construed as racist? Was the President right to, so called, chastise “black” people for complaining? Let me know what you think.

ME TIME: What every woman needs and every woman should have

Friday, April 29th, 2011

A few weeks ago, as I sat in my office at the college at 6:30 in the morning, I began to have a nose bleed. *Gruesome story Alert: Naturally, I jumped out of my chair and raced to the bathroom. I leaned into a sink, hoping that the nose bleed would stop in a couple of minutes. It didn’t! It got worse! I have never seen so much blood in my life. It was out of control.

After about 15 minutes of waiting for this out of control nose-bleed to stop, I realized that maybe it wasn’t going to stop so I took a huge wad of paper towels and held it to my nose. It took only a few minutes to soak through and then I needed another one, and another and another…

Eventually, another woman who happened to be in the vicinity became aware of my predicament and she being in administrative role at the college, knew exactly what to do. A few minutes later, I was sitting in my office with two paramedics and a whole lot more attention than I wanted. They took my blood pressure and it was the highest that it has ever been in my life! I’m so grateful that I was sitting in my desk chair because I was now also feeling a bit light headed and could not think clearly. Even in my foggy haze, all I could think about was my lecture at 8:30am and my long list of “things to do”! I never made it to the lecture because I was in no condition to teach anybody anything!

A few hours later I was sitting on a hospital bed nodding my head as the doctor told me that, according to his examination, and based on what I told him, there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. The only prescription that he gave me was to “take it easy” for a couple of days. And so I did…

This is what I have learned,or more rather, been reminded of: “ME time” is not a luxury, it is an essential part of a balanced life. In the weeks leading up to my dramatic episode, I had been looking at my “ME time” as a luxury that I could not afford to indulge in. After all, I have a husband, children, hundreds of college students, I’m writing a book, I have an Audio program in production, I’m writing a new course for Black Women at the college, I had to go to a seminar to get certified for one of my courses, my website and blog needed updating, I had to make plans for the conference in Atlanta, get my National Speakers Association membership processed and on and on and on! All these list items are very important and yes, they needed to be done, but so did “ME time”! In leaving out just one vital thing, ME time, almost everything else was almost jeopardized by the breakdown of my physical body.

My body spoke to me in three ways:
1. An out of control nose-bleed
2. Unbelievably high blood pressure
3. Light-headedness resulting in an inability to think clearly

Here is what I was forced to hear: out of control, high pressure and foggy thinking. Operating this way could not sustain the level of Excellence that I hold myself to.

As I look back at the last four months of my life, there has been such a whirlwind of activity that I can’t believe that one person (me) accomplished it all! The accomplishments are great, but I find myself wondering if it is all worth it. If we push ourselves, physically and emotionally, so much that our physical body starts to get weary and our emotional well-being starts to decline, it is time to stop!

I firmly believe that without taking time away from our busy work and home lives, we do ourselves a huge disservice and we also hurt, rather than help, our loved ones and those that we have professional relationships with. Most women, me included, wear so many hats in their lives that they never take the time to just take off all the hats and attend to the person under all those hats.

I woke up early this morning and while my family slept, I had two full hours of quiet and peace and it has soothed my soul and satiated my spirit. My thinking is clearer and my whole being is at peace. I’ve, once again, been reminded just how vital and valuable “ME Time” is.

So, my friends take some time for YOU. It is not a luxury; it is essential. If you don’t, please don’t hesitate to call me when you need a ride to the clinic or the hospital-that’s what friends are for! But on a serious note, take time to relax and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad (and at peace) that you did.

PS: If your friends, employers, husbands and other family members complain or ask why you need this (and they will), just tell them because “Noma said so!”

Selah

You can accomplish your goals with Burning Desire and Belief

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Recently, a student came to me and told me about one of his aspirations and solicited my help in turning it into a definite goal and then creating an action plan. It is standard practice for me to ask my students to e-mail me any requests that they have. I do this for two reasons:
1. Putting their request in writing encourages them to get clearer about what they want to accomplish as well as what they are asking for.

2. This process weeds out the students (and people, in general) that are not serious and have the potential to waste my (precious!) time.

It has been a week and the student has still not e-mailed me. There are three possible reasons:
1. He does not believe in himself and therefore does not believe that he can or will accomplish the goal (Lack of Belief)

2. He does not believe in me and therefore does not believe that I can help him (Lack of Belief, again)

3. He is not serious about his goal; he does not have a burning desire. (Lack of Desire- lack of burning desire)

I can confidently say this because I know that when you have a “burning desire”, you do not make excuses, rationalizations and justifications about why you cannot accomplish your goal. I also know that sometimes we experience fear and doubt, which causes a lack of belief. Sometimes the lack of belief is a result of a low self esteem or lack of confidence. This is what I know for sure: if the flame in your “burning desire” is hot enough, it will push you past any fear, doubt and lack of belief, as well as distractions and everyday life and work issues that people tend to use as excuses.

So what’s the lesson? It’s simple: Find what you love; what you’re passionate about and then use your imagination to light a fire under it.

If you do this, you will accomplish your goals and I’m ready to work with you! [email protected]

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter encourages us to never give up

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Don’t ever give up on yourself. Whether it is your homework, class work or yard work; if you give up, you’re not giving up on the work; you’re giving up on yourself and a piece of that never leaves you. You carry that piece into the next thing that you do and you will continue to give up until giving up becomes a part of you.

Today, I went to see a speech given by Rubin “Hurricane” Carter at the college and I’m so inspired! In the above paragraph, I’m paraphrasing the main “nugget’ that I got from his speech. Here is a brief summary of his bio that was released by the college:

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a formidable boxer who had won the European Light Welterweight Championship for two years in a row when his promising career was cut short. In 1966, he was falsely arrested for the murder of three white people in a bar. Sentenced to a triple life-sentence, Carter always maintained his innocence. Subjected to a nineteen-year travesty of justice, he was finally set free in 1985 by a federal court. His story was immortalized in a Bob Dylan song and made into a Hollywood movie starring Denzel Washington. Carter has chronicled his own life in two books, The Sixteenth Round, and 2011’s Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom. The recipient of two honorary Doctor of Laws degrees, Carter now devotes much of his time to speaking out on behalf of the wrongly convicted.

Mr. Carter gives new meaning to the words “if life gives you lemons, make some lemonade”. He has taken the “lemons” that he was given and has used them to make lemonade in the form of liberation for people who have been wrongly convicted and incarcerated. Mr. Carter is now a Civil Rights Activist who has committed his life to not only liberating himself from wrongful incarceration, but then also helping others get the same liberation. Mr. Carter has inspired me not to just think about how I can be successful, but to take it a step further and think about how I can also help others be successful.

I encourage you to take Mr. Carter’s advice and never give up. Celebrate your victories as they come -because they will come if you never give up-but please, take it a step further and look around for people who are still pushing and haven’t seen their victory yet. Reach out to them and at the very least, inspire them not to give up, or better yet, help them see their way to victory.

President Barack Obama’s Biggest Error and Michelle Obama’s Greatest Victory

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Recently while giving a lecture on Leadership, I used The President as an example of one critical error that many leaders make. This error is usually made as a result of ‘chronic people pleasing’ and while it may seem noble, it is still a very critical error.

The error is quite simply leading without a clear Definite Purpose.

Some years ago, I read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and my main take away was the understanding of the importance of Definiteness of Purpose. This is what I am suggesting is lacking in the current presidency.

Since President Obama assumed office, he has tackled many, many issues including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Race Relations (remember the Black Harvard Professor, Dr. Henry Gates and the Caucasian Boston police officer?), The War in Iraq (Or is it Afghanistan?), Unemployment and a devastating Economic crisis. The list goes on and on and on!

Before I go any further, let me be clear; I have a lot of respect, admiration and even Love for President Obama and my intention is not to start a campaign on why he should not be President or how lousy of a job he is doing as President. As a college instructor and a life strategist, I teach leadership and personal development courses and programs so I am able to recognize basic leadership errors and my intention is to point out one very common and critical error that many leaders (even President Obama) make.

Lacking Definiteness of Purpose is the reason why many leaders fail. Having a definite purpose is the anchor of every accomplishment by a person, company, institution or even an administration. Former President George W Bush was on Oprah sometime last year and while I do not agree with most of the policies that he enacted while he was in office, I can honestly say about him that he was clear about his purpose; War on Terror! He tackled many issues, as of course any President would, but he remained clear about his purpose; Get the Terrorists! His policies, agree with them or not, were aligned with the purpose that he was clear about from the beginning; Get the Terrorists!

So, what is President Obama’s purpose, as a President? No one really knows… Yes, he has made history by becoming the first Black President and even then, some argue that he is not “black enough’. That being said, I believe that President Obama does not have a definite purpose. After he leaves office, what will his legacy be, other than that he was Black? What is the one thing that we will remember him for?

Success is quite simply accomplishing what you set out to do. Former President George Bush had a definite purpose and he accomplished it. Again, agree or disagree with him, but he was successful. (Remember Saddam Hussein?)

Another great example of a success story is Michelle Obama. As First Lady, she has had one main goal and that is to start a process that will eliminate childhood obesity. This is her DEFINATE PURPOSE and we all know about it. When I watch children’s television shows with my babies, I often see her on the kids’ channels encouraging the children to be more active. Again, this is part of her “Let’s Move” campaign which she is using to start the process to eliminate childhood obesity. She encourages us to prepare and eat healthier meals and she has led the way by planting fresh vegetables in the White House garden. There are many other actions that she has taken and I won’t go on with the list but the point is that her purpose is clear and her actions are in alignment with her purpose as First Lady and this is her victory!

So, what’s the lesson? The lesson is simple, if you want to be successful, approach your goal with definiteness of purpose. Be deliberate about thinking thoughts, speaking words and taking actions that align with whatever that purpose is. If you do this, you will be successful; you will accomplish your goal! As for President Obama, let’s continue to pray for him as he leads the country and hopefully, before his term is over, he will leave a Legacy that we (and he) can be proud of.
Peace

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Relationships: What they’ll do with you, they’ll do to you

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

couple-having-conversationI had a female student come to me and ask me for relationship advice. The student had a male friend who was in a relationship with someone else. The problem was that she had developed a romantic interest in her male friend. “So, Professor, what do you think I should do?” she inquired.

Upon speaking with her a little more, I got the impression that she cared about her friend and valued the friendship. My advice to her was just to refrain from letting him know how she felt and appreciate the friendship that they had as it was. She then told me that she had a feeling that he felt the same way about her and this is the point where I saw a teachable moment.

Have you ever heard of the saying “what they’ll do with you, they’ll do to you”?
What I asked the student was what I would ask anyone in this predicament; “If he leaves his current relationship to be with you, how secure are you going to be about him having other female friends?” Here’s another question: “If anything inappropriate were to happen while he is still in the relationship, would you be able to trust him if you eventually ended up in the relationship with him?” And “Should you trust him?”
The reason why I was asking these questions, of course, was so that the student would be able to see that if she told her friend how she felt, any action that he took, even if it initially gave her what she wanted had the potential to cause problems down the line. If she eventually ended up in a relationship with her friend because he had left his girlfriend, I predicted that she would have a difficult time trusting him not to leave her for someone else and this would not be unreasonable considering that she knew he had done it before. Basically what I was saying to her was that if her friend left his girlfriend to start a relationship with her, I believed he was capable of doing the same to her. Another scenario was that if her friend became romantically involved with her, while he was in a relationship with someone else, even if the other relationship eventually ended, again I believed that he was capable of doing the same thing to her, hence the saying “what they’ll do with you, they’ll do to you!”

At the end of our conversation, the student assured me that she would leave the friendship as it was and I hope that is what she did.

This principle though is not only applicable to the scenario that I just described. Gossiping, lying and treating others badly are just a few of the examples of how this principle can be applied. Anyone who says negative things to you about someone you both know, for example, will more than likely say negative things about you to other people in your absence. The list is endless, but the lesson is the same in each scenario. We all learned it in the first grade: If you don’t want something done to you, don’t do it to others.

Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter

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