Archive for the ‘ Columns ’ Category

October 29th, 2012

By Mr. Edward Marman

Over the next few columns I want to address different topics such a finding a career, picking out a college, and finding ways to pay for college. But to start with, I’ll start with a very basic question: Why go to college?

There are numerous reasons why you should go to college, but the key for most students should be that college leads to a career, which leads to a high quality of life. Not everyone needs to make a ton of money, but you should at least be looking at career choices that meet three very important criteria.

First, your chosen career needs to be something that you enjoy and that gives you a high degree of job satisfaction. There are a lot of people who, unfortunately, are stuck in jobs that they hate. Many times these are also low-wage jobs. Not a fun place to be.

Second, a career should allow you to live comfortably without the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. If you want an extravagant lifestyle, you’ll need to find a job that pays extravagant wages. Just keep in mind that many of these careers entail far more than the typical 40-hour workweek. Some people make scads of money but don’t have the time to enjoy it and sometimes work in very stressful occupations.

Third, there is something vital that is called job security. The question you must ask yourself is: are there currently and will there continue to be positions in a particular field? A degree doesn’t do much good in practical terms unless it leads to employment. It is important to try to work in fields that are necessary regardless of whether the overall economy is strong or weak.

How does going to college help meet these criteria? To help put it into perspective, in 1973 only 28% of careers required a college education. By 2018, it is expected that 68% of occupations will require a college degree.

Along with the degree comes earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the median yearly earnings for a bachelor’s degree was $63,430 while a high school diploma fetched $34,180. That means that a typical college degree will pay for itself in less than five years. Over a lifetime of work, this translates to a college degree that will be worth about $2.1 million, while a high school diploma will be worth $1.2 million. Rocket science it’s not; paying for a college degree is money well spent.

Next time on Counselor’s Corner: How to start finding occupations that match your own interests.


Appreciating the Environment at TCP

By Dr. Halvorson

Over the past 8 years, many students have walked the TCP campus. It is with great pride in those students that I can say we have a clean and beautiful campus.  Students appreciate this educational environment and help to keep it free from litter, graffiti and damage.

Two years ago, we noticed that some were getting careless with their language which also contributes to the educational environment. We started a program called QL@TCP which stands for Quality Language at Tri-City Prep. It was felt that as college-bound students and college graduates, we should be able to find higher quality words to express ourselves. (Research has shown that when swear words are used, the most primitive part of our brain is stimulated.)  Everyone took up the cause with such enthusiasm that it was automatically passed to the new freshmen last year without the faculty saying anything. I also appreciate that I have not heard any low-quality language out of this year’s freshmen either. Way to go. Keep up the good work.

Accomplishments through Flag Raising and the Pledge of Allegiance

By Dr. Halvorson

I want to thank all the students at TCP for participating in and showing such respect for flag raising.  Did you know that by law, public schools in America are required to facilitate the pledge at least once every day?  Rather than do it in classrooms, TCP decided to have flag ceremony every morning.  One reason is that with all our differences, we still have one thing in common; we are all citizens of the United States.  Pride in our country is something we can all share. At the very least, a person can have pride that our country allows its citizens to speak freely about the country’s problems.

No one is perfect. Self-evaluation is important to growth and improvement. When you have discovered a fault you have, it is sometimes hard to feel good about yourself. But it is important to keep your “spirits up” or you may lose the strength to work on the fault.  The same is true with our country.  We have problems, but if we “get down” on our country, we can lose the motivation to constructively correct problems and resort to destructive displays of anger and depression.

Continue reading

Regarding Tattoos at Tri-City Prep

By Dr. Halvorson

A tattoo is against the TCP Dress Code which was created by students and, as recently as last spring, was updated by students and approved by the TCP Board of Education. When most people think of a tattoo they think of the tattoo parlors where a professional uses sterilized equipment, safe dyes and artistic designs chosen by the tattoo recipient; but that is not the whole picture.  Historically tattoos go back thousands of years maybe even to the Stone Age.  At different times and places tattoos have had tribal, gang, religious, cultural and even medical significance.

Tattoos have been and still are made in many different ways. Some tattoos are carved into the skin using a piece of bone, shell or a knife and dye is then poured into the wound. Sometimes the wound is packed with a substance that creates a raised scar. Some ancient tattoos were on bones. Prison tattoos are among the most dangerous because of unsanitary conditions, exposure to hepatitis, unavailability of safe products for ink and healing conditions.

There is also a great market for tattoo removal. Dermabrasion (use of sand paper or other mechanical means), salabrasion (scrubbing the skin with salt), injection or application of a variety of substances including pigeon excrement and laser which takes multiple treatments eight or more weeks apart are among the methods. All removal is susceptible to scarring.

Reasons for removal vary from a change of heart and/or life style to job opportunities. It’s the person’s choice to have a tattoo and the employer’s choice to not hire someone with a tattoo. Tattoos attract certain people and life styles and repel certain people and life styles.  They will always attract attention, be a distraction in certain situations and elicit public comments. Another problem is that words, phrases and names used in a tattoo can change meaning.

To avoid such issues, some persons elect for less permanent tattoos. Henna tattoos stain the skin and usually last a month but can sometimes damage the skin.  There are temporary tattoos for children including stamps, rub-on, metallic, glitter and tattoo markers.

Whatever the type, tattoos are body modifications by creating marks on the skin and as such, drawing on your skin with an ink pen is considered a tattoo and not allowed by the TCP Dress Code. Don’t worry though; you won’t get in trouble for writing your homework assignment on your hand.

September 4th, 2012

By Mr. Edward Marman

Though the year has just got under way, there are many things that come up quickly that different grade levels should be keeping in mind.

Juniors and Seniors:  Check the school calendar on our website. I’ll post information about college fairs and college recruiters. We’ve already got a few lined up during September and October.


SAT or ACT or Both?  First, if you haven’t taken either one yet and you are considering going to college next fall, get signed up for these exams. If possible, I encourage students to try both. Many times students will perform better on one than the other and colleges will generally accept either one and will use whichever one makes you look like a stronger candidate.

If you took an ACT or SAT last spring, it’s still not a bad idea to take it again. Frequently students will do better on a second testing so it’s worth a shot. However, taking each test more than twice doesn’t usually yield stronger results so I recommend saving your money if you’ve already tested twice.

Sign up links for SAT and ACT are on the school website’s calendar and all test dates and registration deadlines for the year are posted. I also have practice tests and books which can be checked out in my office. If you have any questions, please come see me.


Taking the PSAT exam is strongly encouraged for all juniors. This is an excellent way to find out what to expect on the SAT in terms of length, difficulty, and format. You also get to keep your exam booklet for studying for the SAT. The score report you receive in December will give a complete breakdown of every question on the exam. This test is also the ONLY WAY to put you in the running for the National Merit Scholar competition. The exam is only given once each year. We will be giving it here on Wednesday, October 17th, from 7:30 – 12:00 noon. Cost is $18 and you can sign up with Mrs. Kenner in the front office beginning on Monday, September 17th.


Read PSAT information above. We should have room for 10-20 sophomores to take the PSAT. For you, it’s just good practice for taking the PSAT as a junior(when it ‘counts’) as well practice for the SAT.


It is vital that you get off to a good start academically. GRADES MATTER!  I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of students over the years who have done a great job during 11th and 12th grades, but are kicking themselves for having a bad freshman year. If you want to have a strong GPA when you graduate, it starts by having a stong freshman year. If you are having trouble, talk to your teacher, ask questions, get tutoring. Don’t let things slide.