Thursday, September 11, 2014

From seed money for entrepreneurs to grants for ex-felons to my new career?

I'm still researching careers and have come across some pretty cool ones, like nursing and physician assistant. But I took a turn out of healthcare and decided to talk to some people in the business world. I was talking to a real estate developer who got started back in the late '90s. He bought a whole bunch of farmland back then and developed an empire. He built locations for retail stores and developed a massive chunk of farmland. It was insane to see aerial pictures from 20 years ago that was nothing but open farmland and now recent pictures show roadways and chain stores.

I wondered how he got the money to do this. He was telling me that he hustled for money by flipping houses at first and learned how to invest into real estate when the market was good but taxes were high. I thought that was pretty cool, but then I started thinking about I could apply the who concept of entrepreneurship to my own life. I thought about building an app or developing a software tool. I realized I needed to raise or make $5000 dollars to fund my project. So, I found a few websites to get some seed money as a way to develop my project. I don't know if I'll get any $, but I will list they organizations for others' benefit.

1. – grants for organizations, individuals, and partnerships are awarded to projects that pursue excellence in the arts, or those that strengthen communities through the different media of art. Some of the fields considered for awarding of grants are: dances, literature, museums, music, opera, traditional arts, theatre, and visual arts.

2. – match your intended activity with funding that this federal agency may provide. They fund summer stipends, fellowships, collaborative research, scholarly editions and translations, sustaining cultural heritage, and other initiatives that deepen the understanding of the humanities.

3. – this public charity organization helps public school teachers nationwide address their teaching and learning needs. The organization extends grants for student achievement, learning and leadership, fellowship, and many special grants.

4. – this is the gateway to all 1,400+ grants given by 26 federal government agencies. Grants can be browsed by eligibility, category or agency.

5. – an organization that awards scholarship grants to women of ages 35 and above to help them finish a vocational or technical education, associate’s degree or their first bachelor’s degree. These grants are awarded to help them end their conditions of poverty, abuse, and underemployment; you may even find grants for felons to go back to college. Deadlines for application are on every March 1 and November 1 of the year.   

6. – this is a valuable resource for locating associations that provide grants in your region. The grants accessed through the regional associations cover varied fields of interest – from strategies that address homelessness of seniors to programs that help the youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, underemployed and unemployed improve their job skills.

7. – this is a writer’s resource for grants, scholarships, competitions, and even jobs. 

8. – an organization that provides opportunities for artists and art groups in the following fields: fine arts, public interest, and video or film. This is especially helpful for emerging artists who may not have the venue, resources and opportunity to express their art due to social, philosophical and racial limitations.

9. – this is a haven for short-funded filmmakers who have worthy projects. For 22 years, the organization has provided funds for short films, documentaries, and feature films. The site hosts fiscal sponsorship, the Roy W. Dean grant, and crowdfunding. You may also seek personal consultation and International Filmmaking Academy classes through this site.

10. – provides a directory of organizations that will help you and your project connect with the resources you need.

Research and write your proposal well

There are thousands of grants out there – that’s very true! But there are hundreds of thousands, even millions, grant-seekers out there, too! So how are you going to make your proposal stand out and be picked out by the grantmaker?

1. Master your project completely. Don’t leave stones unturned. The review panel will ask questions at random and you can’t be caught off-guard. Anticipate questions; practice answering each articulately; ask friends to quiz you; practice more.

2. When choosing a grantmaker, make sure that your goals are matched. Your project must resonate with the mission of the organization that makes the grant. Also, if you are trying to raise $1000 dollars right now, don't ask for 10,000 dollars and expect it. When they read your proposal, they must hear their own aspirations.   

3. Write clearly. Organize the subjects in a way that a reviewer reading it for the first time totally understands it. Members of the panel will need to understand the proposals they evaluate because they will also bring these proposals to the next level in the screening process. You won’t get second reading if your proposal is so difficult to understand or explain.

4. Provide details. Have a watertight and solid proposal. This is very important: the proposal must be thorough on how the grant money will be used. The grantmaker will scrutinize your proposal on two basic points: how important your project is, and how the money they provide will be used.

5. Take note of deadlines and submit at least a week before the deadline. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alternative Nursing Careers for Older Nurses

I've been doing some research into careers, particularly registered nursing. I want to be a nurse I think but I know they do a lot of hard work -- like walking around and stuff. I looked into other jobs for nurses, just in case I decide to go to nursing school, work until I'm 50, and just get too old or tired of being an RN. Now, before you guys go jumping the gun, I've looked into an CNA to RN program to gain experience and know nursing school is going to be hard.

What I found is that many RNs may not be able to work in the clinical setting for any number of reasons, but this is certainly not due to the lack of work opportunities.

Other responsibilities or personal reasons may limit some nurses from practicing their profession in the usual setup, but there are countless alternative nursing careers for older nurses.

These jobs may be better suited to RNs with experience, as well. So, if you have been a nurse for awhile, you may find these a good fit to you. A few of the careers may require additional education, such as a master's degree.

RN jobs for older nurses

Remote triage

They can work as telephone triage nurse or be affiliated with a medical call center.

Triage nurses answer phoned-in questions, assess callers’ symptoms and complaints, and refer them to specialists. They offer medical advice for minor ailments, ask the right questions, record important information, and prioritize appointments with doctors and hospitals.

Case management

RNs can work from home while performing case management responsibilities for healthcare service facilities and insurance agencies.

They evaluate and monitor patient cases and coordinate with various organizations for services needed by the patient. They work on following up treatment, compensation, and insurance benefit issues.


Nurses are in demand as healthcare recruiters, too.

A healthcare recruiter has the task to accept application for medical and allied jobs, evaluate resumes, conduct interviews, validate credentials and work experience, and submit recommendations to the employer.

The job can be done online, but the recruiter may need to do personal interviews and meetings occasionally.

Legal nurse

Lawyers often require nurses as consultant to their cases.

Nurses find jobs as legal nurse consultants helping lawyers prepare their legal cases in matters that involve patient care, standard operating procedures in hospitals, malpractice, wages and salaries, and many other areas that pertain to the medical field and healthcare system.

Insurance Co.

Nurses earn a hefty pay check working with insurance companies.
Nurses earn an annual wage of around $78,000 as healthcare experts in insurance agencies.

They assess claims, review contracts, or perform administrative and managerial responsibilities related to insurance. 


An instructor can be another option for experienced RN. Although it may require a master's degree, it is a position that will keep you in the nursing field and will have less strain.


Jobs in nursing informatics are in hospitals and clinics but don't require any floor work.

Informatics uses your RN skills with and computer science skills to manage data and facilitate patient care.

Different workplace

A different workplace may also solve any issues you might have. Rather than working in a hospital, consider moving to a clinic, or into the business world.

Many large companies employ a nurse on staff for any mishaps at their facility.

Different career?

Nurses have an extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare, anatomy, pharmacology, health and diseases, communication, data-recording and observing and handling patients.

Their skills make them ideal candidates for 2 year medical coder and biller jobs, medical transcriptionists, online nursing teachers and tutors, and writers for medical websites.

Health and medical records must be digitized; manufacturers of medical equipment need people with healthcare background; hospitals lower their costs by allowing administrative people, such medical billers, to telecommute; and medical companies reach a wider audience through their websites.

These are areas which nurses may find gainful work beyond the usual clinical setup.

I think that one of these alternative careers may suite me someday.

Photo credit: Texas A&M University, CC-BY-2.0

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to the dictionary ...

Despite getting out of school a week ago, I still find I'm still learning and have a new habit of getting the dictionary out.

Photo from flickr from

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Story Response to “Gryphon” by Charles Baxter

“Gryphon” by Charles Baxter, viewed in a broader picture shows the value that Americans place on certain things: math, science, or history, against, for instance mysticism, mythology, or religion. In the first set, everything is defined, like concrete, with little change, except for new discoveries, but the second set there is little or no proof for existence.  These subjects are interesting, but hard to take seriously unless, of  course, someone is truly devoted to them.  Children above all, are the last people that should be learning about things that are not concrete, because they are impressionable and need to have a concrete foundation of knowledge before they start learning things that the American society deems as worthless.
Although, to anyone mystery is an allure, because there are so many questions to ask, that may not be answered.  Miss Ferenczi, the substitute teacher, is just as much as a mystery as her lies.  She is a well developed character, because down to the color of her purse--purple--is used to create that mystical feel, too, the plain and simple fact that she was new to the school and not a soul knew where she came from helped get across the mystery.  The fact that she is a compulsive liar is foreshadowed early in the story with the parallel the narrator draws her face to as Pinocchio.  In addition, Miss Ferenczi, pauses as she speaks, looks around the room, and speaking quickly, are all signs given to the reader, to help develop her character as a liar.

Even the narrators mother, showing what the society expects, tells her son to go do the chores instead of enriching her mother with lies, but the main idea is that society values hard work over personal growth. 

The main character, the narrator, changes in a subtle way, because the feeling that the reader gets from the beginning of the story that the narrator dislikes being lectured on concrete knowledge.  The same  holds true at the end as well, only the mystery of the substitute teacher and her lies holds his attention, and this is accomplished with the wild tales.  The narrator seems to have a crush on this teacher, because he believes everything she tells the class, he also thinks that everything she says is fabulous, and defends her when his friends think she is lying.  However, the main reason the narrator may listen so attentively is that he has a crush on her, there is a moon that the narrator sees in the daytime while talking to Miss Ferenczi, and this could possibly serve as a universal symbol for love.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Writing Response to “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason

The ending in“Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason is very ambiguous in nature, leaving it up to the reader to decide what exactly happened; because the story does seem to point that Norma Jean wanted to get out of the rut she was in.

The reader is given a multitude of tell-tale signs that suggests this: exercising to further her form, enrolling in a composition class, and quitting smoking.  It seems if Leroy has a large influence on her, because she only started pumping iron when Leroy introduced it to her.

In addition, when the two of them are at Shiloh (sounds more like a dog’s name than a city) they burst with laughter at a line that Norma Jean says, in a way it still ties them together,  too, with the bedspread at the end giving the comfort and security of home.  It is rather confusing that she yearns to become young again, but as she walks away from Leroy, at the picnic, she remarks that she doesn’t know what she is saying, not wanting to throw away the years she has spent with him. 

The conflict doesn’t come across very early in the story, yet Leroy does know that things aren’t going too well, failing to open any sort of communication with her.  Instead his simple pot smoking mind thinks about logs--Lincoln Logs,  truckloads of logs, and blueprints for log houses--this is his own fault, but, possibly he didn’t know any better--driving a semi, he had to focus on one objective at a time.  However, if the conflict came earlier in the story, the ending probably would not be as ambiguous or it wouldn’t lead up to anything, so it is best the way it is.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Writing Response for “Araby” by James Joyce

Being on a street that has only one-way in and out can have many virtues and vices that Joyce hints at in Araby, but he subtlety uses the symbolic quality of a dead-end street. The entire story is devoted to him trying to change, even in spite of being stuck on a one-way street.  Life was passing the narrator by, because he did nothing but peep out the door waiting for a girl that lived next to him to walk down the stairs so that he could run in front of her like a mouse.  As the narrator says “I had never spoken to her except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summon to all my foolish blood” (par. 4).  He has developed an obsessional fantasy about her, while dreaming in solitaire instead of speaking openly.

The aunt and uncle are all that is left of his family, because the biological parents are not mentioned.  So it can be assumed that he has had a traumatic life, and now searching for a change.  The uncle also does not seem to be a caring adult, because he neglected to pay attention to the narrator by coming home late.  “He [the uncle] asked me [the narrator] where I was going, and...I had told him a second time” and the narrator puts up with this just to get money. 

After an encounter with her, he decides to spring a change in his life, because he journeys to the bazaar in search of a gift for her.  Although plagued with problems, eventually he makes it to the bazaar near closing.  Finding a couple stalls still open he began looking over the wares.  

Hearing a pointless conversation with a young lady and two gentlemen, he infers that life is just as pointless as that conversation, and ventures home empty handed--losing hope. 

It appears that he is a young child, because of playing on the street, having little courage, and asking his uncle for money.  However the vocabulary is not consistent with young children’s; “impinge” or “garrulous” are the work of a well-educated person or a skillful thesaurus user.  In spite of this one can assume that this was a personal experience that Joyce had, and he reflected upon it at a latter time in his life.  Too, this may be the reason why it is done in a first person point of view, so that it tells the reader that “I” is the writer. 

Joyce wraps the entire story in a seamless package that gets his point across very nicely, yet in a somewhat subtle manner.  “North Richmond Street, being blind” foreshadows the entire story in a symbolic way, because the street was indeed like his life-- a dead end.  It is apparent that their was problems in the narrator\writers life, but many years later the writer skillfully composes these problems to leave the reader with this “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger”  (par 37).  The beginning  of change starts with understanding the predicament. 

Joyce, James.  “Araby.”  Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama.  Ed. X.J.      Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 1999.  517-522.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer School's Out!

Summer school is done, and I get to go home to the parent's house for three weeks before starting school again.

Dorm life is OK, but city life is not for me. I walked by the bus station the other day and couldn't believe the type of people downtown by it. I'm not trying to be snotty or belittle the less fortunate but it's no wonder why this town has such a high crime rating.

There were people shooting up in broad daylight. Come on? How can anyone in their right mind think that this is safe. Where were the police? Out responding to shots fired. So, yeah, I think I'll just go back to my corner of the world where only a few people sleep under bridges rather than masses of homeless people sleeping on city benches throughout the city.

For all my hardwork through out the semester, I do have a lot of articles I wrote for an English class and figured I'd post them on here over the next few days/weeks. Enjoy!