Today’s Class: December 23, 2016

Today’s class was different

from others this year.  No host to welcome a guest.   Just

a conversation to review the first part of the year and what teacher and students could improve upon

to ensure greater success going forward.

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Teacher Stephen Cronin begins the conversation by asking students ‘what can I, as your teacher, do to improve our Life Skills class?’

Students shared feelings about the guests who had visited our Friday morning classes.  They also suggested extra days to complete homework assignments.

Mr Cronin explained his goals for guest appearances.

My objective is to find successful people in a wide variety of jobs to expand your horizons of the different jobs that are available to you.   Secondly, I look for people with personal stories that will resonate, inspire and empower you.”  

The question was then

asked the Life Skills students – ‘what can you do to improve your performance?

What can you do better – from completing all your reading and writing assignments and coming to school for every class on time, all the time?  And when you can’t come to class all the time on time, can you always make sure you text me of your absence or delay’? 

As a result of the class conversation and suggestions for improvement, Mr Cronin agreed to

extend the weekly homework assignment due date from Tuesday at 11:59pm to Thursday morning at 3:45am!


students agreed to share with Mr Cronin the kinds of careers and jobs they have an interest in

so he may find successful and interesting people in those careers to come to class to share their stories.

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Students share their feedback.

And then, a guest came to the Hope Life Skills door!   2015 Hope High School graduate and

former Life Skills student, Raymond Perez, made a cameo appearance!

Raymond was greeted warmly by the class and introduced by present Life Skills student, Ralph Waite.

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Ralph (left) introduces Raymond to the class.

College is great!”  Raymond said.  “There are so many interesting things to do and people to meet.  And this presents

a challenge, that is, time management. 

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Students welcome Raymond to today’s Life Skills class following Ralph’s introduction.

I have reading assignments every day.

Professors assign 60, sometimes 100 pages, to read by the next class. 

And, I have a campus job.  So,

I created a schedule

which I closely follow to make sure I complete all my assignments on time, keep my grades high,  make sure I’m always on time all the time to all my classes and campus job and still enjoy the fun things to do on campus……. I’m fortunate to have a full scholarship.  If my grades fall, I  can lose my scholarship.  This is why time management is so important……”

Raymond also spoke about the time he schedules to exercise.  

“One of my professors discussed the impact exercise has on us.  

He told us our

brains create and release endorphins into our bodies when we exercise.  


endorphins help us relax when we have stress. They help us stay focused

on our objectives and even make us more creative.  I’ve started running and swimming for exercise;  it definitely helps ….” 

Raymond concluded his story by saying “college is an unique opportunity to live life to the fullest.  My schedule keeps me focused on my responsibilities so I can take advantage of this great experience.”   Raymond also explained why he chose Syracuse University located in update New York.  “I thought it was

good for my personal development to go to a college away from Providence.  

It’s worked out well. I’ve met some interesting people at Syracuse.  My roommate is from the African country of Ethiopia.   He’s an engineering major.  Hopefully, I’ll be visiting his home in Ethiopia too.”

The class ended with a Merry Christmas and a commitment to return for our next class the first Friday of January.  Mr Cronin also promised to assign more reading and writing

Life Skills homework to help students prepare for what Raymond told the class to expect in college, “lots of reading and writing”.

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