Category Archives: School News

Philosophy: A dead field of study?

philosophyAs time passes I find myself more and more captivated by the core values seemingly promoted by philosophy — the way of thinking about complex issues in relation to one’s self, one’s knowledge and how one conducts his/her life.  Being someone who considers themselves in relation to others a relatively deep thinker, I enjoy the act of metacognating (thinking about one’s thoughts).  Philosophy has many different branches — metaphysics, epistemology, etc.  Broaching topics from existence, the process of thought, knowledge etc., philosophy is generally thought to be a large field of science with many sub-topics.

Why is philosophy so broad in comparison to other sciences? Well, the simple answer is, it’s not. However, the longer answer is due to the fact that figuring out how to best logically reason out one’s own rationality requires a lot of different elements in order to do so.  Now, why is it that nowadays people speak of philosophy as a “dead” field?  How can a field that involves critical thinking, self-awareness and determining the important questions surrounding one’s existence be pronounced dead?  Unbeknownst to me until recently this seems to be the common notion surrounding this study of thought as well as other humanity-related subjects and liberal arts. Continue reading

Grade-based Education System: Is it as motivating as we’d like to believe?

grades“You’re an Alpha and I’m an Epsilon,” he said in a defeated tone, “it’s that simple.”

“Why would you say that?” I replied confused as to why he’d reference the Brave New World caste system at a time like this.

“The reason is because it’s true; I’m always sub-par to you. I always get B’s and C’s even when I try, why is that?” he replied with aggravation in his tone.

I thought about this question for long after the incident itself has occurred.  What seemed like a normal day in my French 3 class has turned into a festered pot of jealousy that was dividing a good friend and I.  This jealousy was fueled by competition that I couldn’t help but wonder if education was to blame for.  I tend to be a strong academic student and he tends to have a bit more of a struggle.  He’s extroverted and outspoken.  I’m quiet and often too shy at times.  What could I say to him?  I didn’t know why he got B’s and below while I obtained A’s on most school assignments.

“Is intelligence a natural-born gift?  I mean, I try to surround myself with smart people and I think that it may help but it never does,” he asked in a concerned voice.  I remained silent—after all I was the one who “didn’t understand” what it was like to struggle in school.  “You’re so lucky, you have a high GPA and can get into any college you want when you’re older, you don’t worry like I do” he said very assured by his comment.  However, what he didn’t understand was that I faced the same worries; the “validation” of an A didn’t secure how I felt about my own work ability much less my intellectual competency.  I replied after some though in the most honest yet respectful way I knew how, “I don’t think it’s either or, I think intelligence is something we all have but it comes in a spectrum like everything else around us. Yet it doesn’t mean one can’t work to improve what they don’t like about how they perform, it’s one’s job to work towards improvement”. Continue reading

HS Seniors in the Seattle area: Want to apply for a last dollar* scholarship to college?

Scholarship JunkiesCome work one-on-one with Gates Scholars and Alumni as well as the Scholarship Junkies team to work on and complete your GMS application, no matter if you are just starting or finishing your application. We strongly encourage you save any files via Dropbox or email your files to yourself.

Apply for the 2014-15 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) scholarship program, awarded annually to 1,000 high school seniors nationwide for their academic achievement, community service, and leadership potential. For more, visit and read our #1 GMS blog with tips, suggestions, and sample essays on the GMS.


  • Saturday, January 10, 2015, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, January 11, 2015, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Where: Central Library,  (Bus Tunnel: University Street Station)

Parking can be found here:

Questions: Email *If you don’t know what this means, send us a note and ask!

80 spots open as of Thursday!


Free money: Stim Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship


Write about civic courage.

Win a $5,000 scholarship.

Who is your local hero?

The Seattle Public Library Foundation is pleased to announce the Stimson Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship Competition. High school seniors and undergraduate students who live, work or attend school in Seattle are invited to participate.

The competition asks students to write an essay about an individual or group of individuals from Washington state who have demonstrated civic courage on an issue of importance to the community at great personal, political or professional risk.

Essays must be submitted online between January 1 – March 31, 2015. Winners will be announced in May 2015. Winning essays will be added to the collection in the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room at The Seattle Public Library and will be given directly to the participant’s school on their behalf.

1st Place: $5,000 scholarship

2nd Place: Two $2,500 scholarships

Thanks to our many leading historians and authors who have agreed to act as judges and evaluate submissions, including our blue ribbon scholarship judges:

Research Assistance
Research assistance is available from librarians at The Seattle Public Library at all 27 library locations.

Other resources:
Special Collections at The Seattle Public Library
University of Washington Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project

Have you taken the S.A.T.? Check out my helpful tips…


Recently I took the S.A.T and I was nervous to say the least. I had heard all the stories about how strict the rules were and how scary the test itself was. So I tried to prepare myself; I got the proper information from Susan Watters, my schools Fiscal Specialist.  She gave me the proper website address, info about fee waivers, and a small booklet that has quite a bit of information about what the S.A.T is, some of the rules, things you will need for the test day, and a practice test. My great aunt had also bought me the Official S.A.T study guide, which is this HUGE book all about the S.A.T. But alas November was a no bueno month (no good – for those of you who don’t speak Spanish)  so I did not get to study much.  I was able to look at the little booklet that I got from school, but I did not get a chance to use my Official S.A.T guide so I cannot tell you if it was helpful.

Anyways signing up for the S.A.T is an adventure as well, it has lots of questions and when/if you sign up try to do so from your personal computer, or if you must use a library or school computer be sure to take a flash drive with a photo of you on it so you can put it onto your “Ticket” which you must print out and take with you on test day – it’s what lets you take the test, and you can’t get in without your admission “Ticket”. Only you can be in your photo (no friends or pets in it) and it MUST be a recent picture of you. Continue reading

Shout Out to SafeFutures Youth Center!

SafeFutures_LogoHello to SafeFutures Youth Center!

Today we’re talking about the services and programs of The Seattle Public Library.

Thanks to Kary for hosting!

Want to write for this blog? Send us an e-mail and we’ll let you know how!

SafeFutures (1)

  • Take advantage of the great book lists that Seattle Librarians compile just for you.
  • Get a personalized reading list of titles you’ll love: Your Next Five.
  • Zinio provides magazine reading at your fingertips.
  • Don’t forget that our e-books and e-audiobooks collections are growing all the time.
  • Download five free songs every week through Freegal. They’re yours to keep, too!
  • Hoopla is a streaming service that the library offers. See what music, video, and audiobooks they have today.
  • Ask a Librarian is available 24/7 for all those burning questions that keep you up at night.
  • Arrange a group tour of Central Library…or just take the cell phone tour; it’s your “call.”
  • Visit a Seattle Museum for free!
  • Use Homework Help in-person at 11 Seattle libraries (throughout the school year) or check-out the online Homework Help. Both are great ways to advance your studies.

Lots to see and do and learn and enjoy and experience and discuss.

Get involved @ Your Library!

Ken @ High Point


College Entrance Essay Clinic for Juniors and Panicking Seniors

Want to get a jumpstart on applying for college but aren’t sure how to write a college entrance essay that admissions staff will notice? Not sure where to start? Let us help! We invite you to attend our first College Essay Clinic for juniors and desperate seniors. Come with whatever work you’ve done–or haven’t yet begun–on your personal statement, and our expert mentors will guide you through the next steps. Bring just yourself, or bring your essay on paper, laptop, flash drive, or in your head. We promise the entire college application process will be much less scary afterward.

Saturday, March 7th / 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm / Grades 9 – 12 / at Fearless Ideas

(it may be months away, but spots are limited, so register soon!)

This two-hour event will be held on Saturday, March 7 from 4-6pm here at The Bureau of Fearless Ideas. It is free and open to juniors and seniors from all high schools. Students can come with something written or just bring themselves and learn about the college entrance essay process from our many skilled tutors.

Please print or pass the attached poster around. Spots are limited to 20 students, so please register soon at