Patriotic Movies to Marathon on Independence Day

Flags of Our Fathers


The Fourth of July is coming soon, and that means a gloriously long weekend filled with American patriotism and plenty of time spent with friends and family celebrating our nation’s independence. Of course, that means plenty of parties and colorful fireworks to enjoy during the holiday, but that’s not all that you’ll be enjoying. If you’d like to celebrate the occasion with a cinematic twist, there’s a plethora of great films that carry the message and spirit of what it means to be a free American.

Whether you’ll buy physical copies of these movies or simply rent them through your Netflix or iTunes account, you’re sure to have a great time watching these films in the comfort of your home and be inspired by their stories.

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Keeping Your Mind Sharp Over the Break

Being out of school during the summer may take a toll on your mind. By the time you return to the academic world, you might find yourself caught in a brain drain.

That’s why you need to exercise your brain in order to be prepared upon going back to school! And here are a few ways which you can do for that purpose.

  1. Meet new people

It is important for you to be social over the break and spark discussions and conversations with people. Being able to mingle with others is a great way to provoke one’s thoughts and keep up with various matters. That way, your mind will be working to a greater extent.

  1. Do brain exercises

Activities or games such as Sudoku or other puzzle games may help stimulate your brain. If that’s not your thing, studies have shown that video games improve cognitive function. I bet the inner nerd in you is screaming at the thought! But don’t play too much—it’s just not healthy for you.

  1. Study independently

Whatever your interests are—marketing, economics, or philosophy—you may want to read up on them during the break. You don’t have to force yourself to study a subject matter you’re not really interested in. Just focus on those which you like and which would also be beneficial to your program in school.

  1. Take summer classes

This entry makes a great case on why you should take summer classes. And trust me; being in school during the break isn’t all that bad! You’d get to finish earlier, be given more focus on certain subjects, and you’ll have something productive to do instead of moping around and not doing anything.

It is essential that you keep yourself sharp during the summer. After all, why would you want to come unprepared when it comes to academic matters?

So if you want to keep yourself from being dull, the tips above might just help.

Heartwarming Graduation Moments

Graduation truly is a bittersweet moment for anyone.

Graduation truly is a bittersweet moment for anyone.
Image source: The Daily Mail

I’ve always had a thing for tearjerking moments. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. As a graduate coordinator, I find that graduation ceremonies tend to be rather emotional.

Below are some examples of bittersweet and heartwarming graduation moments.

  1. Zack Ruediger’s story

Recently, a student named Zack Ruediger was about to graduate from his high school when his father died from a blood clot. Ruediger’s mother also died back in 2012. During the ceremony, all 68 of his fellow graduates donated some amount for young Zack. They managed to raise about $800. Another $500 came from Zack’s employer. The class was praised by the superintendent for their generosity.

  1. Manny Rios’s graduation

Manny Rios was left paralyzed from the chest down by a bicycling accident. Suffering from a brain injury, the doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to make it—but he did. During his graduation last May 29, 2013, he went on stage with only his walker and his therapist. As he did so, the crowd cheered on, shouting his name, in a display of praise and support. Manny insisted that he walk across—and he made it.

  1. An Afghan National Army officer’s ceremony

About 29 female officers were mentored by the U.S. army in Afghanistan. One of which received a hug from a U.S. soldier, congratulating her for a job well done. The event spelled a radical change in Afghanistan’s military, as women were given a prominent role in fighting for their homeland. Whatever side you’re on, you just can’t help but he touched by such gesture.

  1. Brockway graduation moment

At Brockway Area High, Dillon Morrison walked across the stage—despite having suffered from a broken neck in a car accident. He stood up from his wheelchair and received his diploma. For this act, he got a loud ovation from his fellow graduates. What a winner!

Graduation is indeed a valuable and cherished moment in one’s life. That is why people like this have treasured it. If you value your academic life, there’s a good chance you’ll value graduation in the same way the people in the examples have, despite the circumstances. So make sure you reach that milestone in your life!

Ways to Get Your Children Excited for School

Encourage your child to go to school every day!

Encourage your child to go to school every day!
Image source: More4Kids

As dads in general, our children can sometimes just hate having to go to school every single day. This can be difficult, since we all know their education is important and we’d have to encourage our children every step of the way, regardless of how old they are.

How do we do this? Below are a few ideas that will help your kids feel more excited to go to school every day!

  1. Sandwich bag drawings

I recently read this article about a dad drawing illustrations on his child’s sandwich bag. This encourages children to go to school and show off the drawing their dad made for them. It also makes for an exciting lunch among kids, and a good way to encourage young children to go to school.

  1. Personalizing school gear

Dads may also personalize a child’s school gear with neat stuff! How about having toys dangle from school bags, or gadgets which would pique the interest of other kids? Not only is the idea cool—it also encourages friendship, especially for shy kids! Check your child’s school regulations first, though, in case this kind of personalization goes against school rules.

  1. Dressing up awesomely every morning

This may not be anywhere near as effective on teenagers, as per what I’ve read in this article, but for kids, a dad dressing up as a superhero or a beloved character would be a really awesome sendoff to the school bus. Imagine the look on the other kids’ faces once they see you in a full Superman costume! I can already hear them saying “Your dad is Superman?” from a distance!

  1. Stocking up on snacks

Kids love snacks. Encouraging them in small ways, like giving them snacks as rewards for going to school, can sometimes encourage them to ride that school bus every single morning. Alternatively, you may also want to try rewarding them with snacks for good grades. Hey, it beats the more expensive alternatives!


You probably have some ideas of your own. Care to share them here?

What’s the Difference between Graduate and Undergraduate Studies?

There are certain differences to undergraduate studies and grad programs.

There are certain differences to undergraduate studies and grad programs.
Image source: Evox Television

You may well be aware that, by a huge margin, there is indeed a difference between graduate and undergraduate studies. However, those of you who aren’t too familiar with the post grad world and are planning to enter may not know the distinctions. Below is a brief outline of the differences I believe will be most helpful for you right now.


  • Age and experience

Obviously, there is an age and experience gap between graduate and undergrad students. Grad students tend to be more mature and experienced than those studying for an undergraduate degree. They know how to go about things and are aware of the choices they’ve made in studying for graduate school—and exactly why they should work hard to finish.

  • More autonomy, less structure

Unlike in undergraduate programs, students of graduate school are required to act on their own initiative. No teachers, professors, or even graduate coordinators, will dictate what to do or how to do things. Since students are mature at this stage of their education, they are assumed to know how act on their own. After all, what would be the point of undergrad studies, if not to prepare you for the real world?

  • Time commitment

Graduate studies—unlike college—require a lot of time. Undergraduate students may have enough time for generous amounts of fun, but post-grad students are compelled to spend more time studying and solving problems relevant to their program. If you’re not up for managing your time properly and devoting most of it to your studies, you may want to rethink grad school! (That said, there are still some ways for you to spend your time in grad school, especially during the summer.)

As people who have graduated college, those in graduate school have developed their research skills through experience and formal training. Research skills are required in the post-grad world, so those entering graduate school but are still stuck with how they went about things back in college may wish to improve their research proficiency beforehand.


If you have anything to add, please feel free to share in the comments section below!