Midterms by Alex

Hafidha’s favorite study corner in the MiraCosta Oceanside library

Midterm tests can be stressful. Last week I finished my midterm tests for all my classes and I feel confident about them. As an experienced student, let me give you recommendations on how to prepare:

  • Always go to classes, its a lot easier to learn with someone who understands the course telling you whats important, and also allows you to ask questions. Some students don’t realize the difference of attending and not attending the classes. SO what do you do in class? —  listen, and take notes.  While everyone knows that taking notes is important, let me tell you a little secret, the more notes you take the less you have to read the text book.
  • So in that case why do you need a textbook, well sometimes you do not, but that is very rare. The value of a textbook is directly tied to the type of teacher some use lectures to add to the book, while some use the book to add to the lectures. figuring out what type of teacher you have is also important.
  • One personal tip for understanding teachers is look at quizzes or sample tests to figure out how they ask questions. Some teachers ask what date something took place while others might ask what took place on that date, by pinpointing what they will ask will let you determine what is important.
  • Last step is not to worry.  The more worried you are means they less prepared you are and you will have the tendency to make small mistakes that will add up. Doing bad on the midterm isn’t the end, most of the time, you still have the later half of the class and the final to catch back up and learn from your mistakes.

My Class of This Spring Semester (Continue) – by Miku

In my previous blog, I talked about my current classes.

Today, I will show you the style of some of these classes. Because before I take classes, I research about professors a lot using Rate My Professor, all of our professors are really nice. I strongly recommend to use this site!

Economic 101 (Professor Frederica Carr)

  1. 10 REQUIRED ASSIGNMENTS…For each class topic, we have to complete one assignment. Because this is more difficult than exams, you will spend much time to complete. You have to answer some questions and problems. However, if you understand all the questions, I bet you will get good grade on your tests. (50 points)
  2. 10 OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT…There are a total of 10 Optional Assignments (worth 5 points each) and 15 online quizzes. This totals 25 assignments.  I can choose to complete 10 of them, whatever ones I want. (50 points)
  3. GROUP PROJECT…There are many kinds of topics related to economic. You need to choose one topic with your group members. You have to complete a four-part paper and do a presentation in the class. Paper is worth 80 points and the presentation is worth 20 points. (100 points)
  4. 6 TESTS…We have six in-class tests. The questions are many types; multiple choice, problems, making a graph, and essays. As I mentioned above, if you understand you assignments, you will get good grade on the tests. Also, only the best four tests will be counted towards your grade. Each tests are worth 50 points. (200 points)
  5. FINAL EXAM…There are two separate parts. The first part will be comprehensive and will only count for 6 points. The second part will be similar to 6 tests. This part of the final exam will be semi comprehensive. The second part of the final exam counts for 94 points. (100 points)
  6. EXTRA CREDIT…There are some extra credit opportunities. To get these, the important thing is attending class.

Business 140  (Professor Lou Milstein)

  1. ESSAYS…Each essays are worth 50 points. We have nine choices of topics. You can choose your topic. It is required to research the topic and cite three resources and go to writing center. If you meet these condition, you might get full points. Professor does not accept any late submission. (150 points)
  2. EXAMS…We have four exams and each worth 100 points. One week before the tests, the professor gives us a study guide. If you study the study guide hard, you will get a good grade. All questions are essay style. It includes definition of the words, examples, and so on. We do not have final exam. Instead of that, if you miss one of the exams or you want to retake one exams, you can take these on the final week. (400 points)

My Classes of This Semester


Today, I will introduce my current classes.

In this semester, I am taking four classes equal to 13 units; CHNS 101, CSIT 125, CSIT 128, and SOC 101. This is full-time classes and typical schedule for me.

SOC 101

Sociology 101

This class is Tuesday & Thursday 7:30-8:45, and the instructor is Mr. Brian L Harris. This is the most basic sociology class, so I am learning a bunch of topics like social structure, culture, norms, and so on. The picture is my notebook for exams.

The instructor is really good! His lecture is easy to understand and the class is so fun. The tests are kind of hard, but he gives us some extra credit opportunity and a lot of attendance points.

CHNS 101

Chinese 101

This class is Monday & Wednesday 17:00-19:20, and the instructor is Ms. Aubrey Kuan Roderick. I am learning the most basic grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation in this class. Because I am Japanese, I already knew a lot of Chinese characters, so I have an advantage to learn Chinese. The pronunciation is so hard though.

The instructor is also a counselor of international office in MiraCosta College. So when I have a question, I always go to the office and can ask her. She answers very kindly.

Her lecture is really fun. For American students, Chinese characters are completely new thing. So she thinks out a method or a way to teach characters.  This is my favorite class in this semester. I strongly recommend to take this class!

CSIT 128

Computer Science and Info Technology 128

This class is Tuesday 19:00-21:45, and the instructor is Mr. Timothy McLean.

This is a Microsoft Excel for business class. I am learning what I am able to do in excel.

I have never used Excel soft, so it is kind of hard. But his lecture is so slow and care all of students. Thereby I can understand even though I am not good at computers.

CSIT 125

Computer Science and Info Technology 125

This class is online class, and the instructor is Ms. Debra Savble-Thornbrugh.  This is Microsoft Word for business class. I am learning how to use Word.

As I mentioned above, my computer skill is really low. I have used Word, but I just write sentences and save it on computer.  Now, I have been learning two month. And I can create the newsletter like the picture. This is my Midterm project.

Even though this is online class, but the instructor gives us the video of lecture, so I have never feel inconvenience.

Online class is always harder than in-class class, but if I study hard, I will get good grade.



How To Be A Successful Student while On Campus

How to Be a Successful Student When on Campus at MiraCosta College

MiraCosta College has and  amazing staff and professor. I have said this in a lot of my posting, the reason is because it is true. MiraCosta go extra miles to help their students succeed. So  what do students do to be success ?!?

Be In Class and On Time:  As a student it is very important for you to be in class and on time. If you come to class late there is a high chance for you not to understand what the teacher will be saying through out that class. Not attending class is even worst. When you don’t attend a class it is difficult for you to understand what subject and that can lead to a bad grade. You don’t want that to happen. But most teachers understand that you can be sick or something. If you miss a class for what ever reason this is you next step…..

Go For An Office hour  If you  miss a class or need extra help on an assignment go to your teacher’s

“Office hour” Every Miracosta student get the opportunity to meet one on one with your professor to ask him/her any question you might have about the class or if you did not understand something. You don’t have to pay for it and this helps all the shy student who can not ask their question in class to ask it during the office hour. This also helps your teacher to know your difficulties and work with you to solve them. I understand that some students can be scared of their teachers, which you don’t have to be but if that is the case for you. I got a solution for you

Go for tutoring: In most counties and even in some schools here in the US, students pay in order to have a tutor help them. (A tutor is someone that helps to explain things that you did not understand in class and can also help with your assignment but they will not do it entirely for you this). MiraCosta College has tutors available for all subjects. Tutors are usually students just like you. The college has both online and in-person tutors. They help you with your questions and assignments. They help you with you assignment or questions. Yes I know I said it two time, because I want to make it clear that they will not do your assignment for you but they will help you with it. On line tutoring is available even at night.

If you go to class on time, do all assignments, go for office hours and go for tutoring you are bound to have an ” A” in that class.



How to get your U.S driver license?

Yes, it’s possible for an international student to get a U.S license driver if you are over 18!

Driving in the U.S can be very different from driving in your home country, and so the rules and laws can be very different. Also each states in the U.S have different laws, so I you plan to do a road trip in another state, make sure you read about the differences to not get a ticket!

Here are the step to follow:

STEP 1. Make an appointment before going to the DMV office.

Click here to find an office near you.  Click on the location you want and then go on Make an appointment and choose Office Visit Appointment Fill the form with you information.

STEP 2. Study for the written test. You can get a handbook in English or your language to study at the DMV or online. You have 36 questions and you can make up to 3 mistakes. Practice for the test here, here and here.

STEP 3. The day of the appointment. COME EARLIER: it is always crowed so plan ahead mainly if you planned to do something else during your day. Come prepared with all your documents and money to pay fees.You will need: your passport, I-20, I-94, $35 in cash or card.

Once in the DMV, you will fill a form (Form DL 44) with your information, you will be given a number, you will pass a vision test, you will have your fingerprint and your photo taken. You can ask to pass the test in your own language if you wish.

STEP 4. The test. You will be called to pass the test on a screen. You will start your test and answer the question. Once you are done, you will know if you passed it or no. If you passed, you will be delivered a receipt which is valid for 1 year to pass to behind-the-wheel test.

STEP 5. Schedule a driving testClick here to find an office near you. Click on the location you want and then go on “Make an appointment” and choose Behind-the-Wheel Drive Test Fill the form with you information and the receipt received from the DMV.

STEP 6. The driving test.

Once you arrive at the office, go to the right service (driving test). You will wait in a lane. Once it is your turn at the window, give all the document they are requiring INCLUDING the receipt from the written test. They will give you a document that you will put on the dashboard of your card.

Then you will be called and you will have to go get your car on the parking and bring it where DMV examiners are.

It takes 15-20 minutes. An examiner will come to you, and ask you do some basic stuff, like turn on your lights, your right signal…

While you drive, the examiner will grade you, DON’T look at their sheet, it is not because they write something that you did something wrong and FOCUS on your driving. They also write what you did right.

PS: if you rent a car, or borrow a car from someone to pass the driving test the car HAS TO BE insured.

STEP 7. Got it!

At the end of the drive, you examiner will tell you if you passed or not, what you did right or wrong.

If you pass the test, you will be givenan interim license valid for 90days until you recive your new photo license in the mail.

If you want to see what at driving test looks like, click here


The Finals are coming soon

The Spring semester is soon to be over!

I am exited about it but I still focus for my Finals.

What’s cool is that during the Finals period the MiraCosta Library and the Writing Center has extended hours so I can study longer (and get a good grade).

Here a list of my Finals assignments, so you get an idea of the amount of work. I already started working on them.

An essay to write for my Geology class, an letter to writeto a company for my English class, a last project (a chandelier) for my Art class, an essay and a quiz for my History Class.

Wish me luck!