Letters of Reference Defined

As I point out on the main page of my recommendation and reference resource Website, there is a great deal of general confusion about the differences and similarities between letters of reference and letters of recommendation. For instance; which is which, and why? How are they different? In what ways are they similar?

It's confusing enough for the average person who only has to write one of these letters every once in a while. However, when you look into it in-depth as I have, and realize that many of the so-called "experts" do not even know the differences between a reference letter and a recommendation letter, the general state of confusion is very understandable .

Based on further research into the subject, I define a "letter of reference" as one that is normally more general in nature than a letter of recommendation and IS NOT addressed to a specific requestor. Typically, "letters of reference" are addressed as; "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir / Madam".

The most common letters of reference are:

o Employment-related – general reference letter

o College-related – general reference letter

o Character reference letter – general-purpose personal reference

o General reference letter – various subjects

EMPLOYMENT-RELATED Reference Letter

These are more general letters that are often requested by employees when they leave the employ of an organization. Usually factual in nature, they are usually addressed, "To Whom It May Concern" and provide basic information such as: work history, dates of employment, positions held, educational credentials, etc.

These reference letters sometimes contain a general statement (as long as a positive one can be made), about the employee's work record with the company that they are leaving. Employees often submit these letters with job applications in the hope that the letter will reflect favorably on their chances for the new position.

COLLEGE-RELATED Reference Letter

These letters are very similar to college-related letters of recommendation, EXCEPT that they are not addressed to a specific individual or requestor. In the college and university context they are typically addressed to officials such as: Director, Admissions or Chairman, Scholarship Selection Committee, etc.

These college-related letters can be as specific as a recommendation letter when it comes to describing the subject / person about which the letter is written, but they are more general / generic in terms of targeted addressees. That's because at the time they are written it is often not clear exactly to which businesses or institutions they will be sent. For example, a person plans to apply to a number of colleges but when the letter is written, the specific colleges are unknown.

CHARACTER-RELATED Reference Letter

Character reference letters are always written about a specific person by someone who knows them fairly well, and usually focus on a person's general personality characteristics. They are often used in business and community service situations. Typically, a person will ask for a general character reference letter when they are leaving a company or service organization.

The focus of character reference …

How to Pick Your Baby's Gender

Choosing the sex of baby – no longer just a collection of wives tales, baby gender is now something that can be unlocked before you conceive your next child. For families with two or three girls already, having that boy is now a distinct possibility. For those with a bunch of boys running around already, giving birth to that baby girl is something you should not just leave to the toss of the coin. There are now proven ways on how to pick your baby's gender, backed by fact – not fiction. These new methods and techniques use modern science and documented research to cut through all the myth and magic surrounding natural gender selection.

* Timing – Do you really understand your ovulation cycle? The closer to your exact ovulation date (and time) you have sex, the better the chances for producing a boy. This is because the (boy) y-sperm swim faster than the (girl) x-sperm. Yet if you have sex 3 days or more before you ovulate, your chances for a girl increase. This is because the weaker y-sperm die sooner, leaving a greater concentration of x-sperm.

* Mom's PH Level – Did you know that having a more acidic PH level in your body can encourage the conception of a girl? This is because, once again, the weaker y-sperm will die first in a very acid environment. A more alkaline level in your tract will always favor having a boy. In determining boy or girl gender, this should be kept in mind.

* Dietary Factors – Do you know which foods will influence PH to be acidic, and which will result in higher alkalinity? Highly acid-forming foods include dairy, sugar, wheat products and pastas. These will all favor female-based conception. If you're trying for a boy, eat more salty and protein-laden foods such as red meats, fish, eggs, peas, zucchini, beans, corn, and bread. Caffeinated coffee, right before sex, is also something the male partner should drink in order to increase the chances of a baby boy.

* Boxers or Briefs? – Are you aware of that this simple choice is vital in choosing the sex of baby? Briefs encourage higher sperm temperatures, and with y-sperm being weaker, wearing this type of underwear is favorable to producing a baby girl. When trying for a baby boy, boxers are the way to go. They allow for a much higher concentration of male-laden sperm.

* Intercourse – Do you know which positions maximize your chances for having each particular baby gender? Which types of penetration, shallow or deep, are better for a boy or a girl? Do you know the role that the female orgasm has in conception, and how can you apply in how to pick your baby's gender?

Think about the above list you just read … imagine how much doing two or three of these things, or even all of them, can influence the chances of you actually determining baby gender! Now imagine that there are …

Ghosts Of Black Rock

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus”

Mark Twain

Black Rock is located at the northern tip of the Oquirrh Mountains where the range ends abruptly at the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake. This is a very historical place and it is an absolute shame that it is in the condition it is. Black Rock is now a place where fools go to practice their graffiti or throw their garbage. There are old pilings, large blocks of concrete that no doubt once served as breakwaters for the numerous resorts that have been located here over the years. Old supports of long gone piers jut from the salt water here at the edge of the inland sea. The place has a sort of skeletal appearance to go along with the ghostly history of the rock.

Many years ago, Black Rock was a very different place. Lush grasses, reeds and rushes once crept down to the beaches of the lake in this area. Streamlets of pure, crystal clear water, fed by the melting snows of the Oquirrh Mountains once flowed into the lake in this area. One of the first mentions made of Black Rock was Heinrich Lienhard’s Journal. In this journal Lienhard kept a daily account of what he observed and experienced as a member of an emigrant party which passed through Utah and crossed the Great Salt Lake Desert on their way west, only weeks before the Donner Party.

Here is an excerpt from that journal “August 8th, 1846; In the vicinity of this spring, stood an immense, isolated, rounded rock under which was a cave and those going into it found a human skeleton.” Now it is clear that the party was in the vicinity of Black Rock at the time but whether this is a description of Black Rock or one of the many caves and boulders just up the hill at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains is unclear to me. There have been numerous reports of archaic human remains being found in caves in the vicinity of Black Rock. The area must have held some significance to the ancients as it was a much utilized burial ground. University archaeologists extensively studied the sites and much knowledge was gained concerning these peoples who lived in this area long ago.

In 1850, Captain Howard Stansbury was conducting a survey of the Great Salt Lake and adjacent areas. He utilized Black Rock for various purposes. Captain Stansbury kept a careful record of this expedition and these records culminated in the following work “An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah – Including an analysis of its geography, natural history, and minerals, and an analysis of its waters” by Captain Howard Stansbury – Captain; Corps of Topographical Engineers, U.S. Army. This volume is another one of my personal favorites concerning Utah History.

The following are excerpts from this volume that relate to Black Rock “April 19th, 1850; After …

Leave Your Car In The Garage And Take Advantage Of Distance Education Degree Programs

Things have changed. Once just about anyone could get a job without getting a degree. Now a mere bachelors degree never seems to be quite enough. In addition, once upon a time, if you wanted to get a degree or earn a higher level degree, you signed up for a class and made sure you were there every day. Today, you can take those classes online, with the instructor on the computer, and sometimes available for live chat.

These online education degrees program are available for a wide range of professions and majors. Engineers who are currently degreed but would like to advance to a higher level, or high school students just starting out have lots of options for moving ahead in the field of green. Walden University offers a degree in engineering management. This is a program designed for someone with an engineering background already who is interested in managing his or her own business, department, or projects.

If you are an engineer and you must attend a class in a given area, you can earn field related certificates by utilizing an engineering online degree or certificate program. These programs cost much less than traditional campuses because of the lack of overhead, but the quality of the education remains consistent with that of some of the older more traditional institutions. At Must University, you will be able to complete the class on your own, on your own time and at a far more reasonable cost.

Another thing that has changed is the field of criminal justice. While we may still picture a drab precinct with a few guys walking around joking with one another, this is far from the truth. Today's criminal justice offices are technologically advanced with high tech computers and forensic equipment. While criminal justice is an exciting field, success in this field will require that you spend some time with online criminal justice degree programs. These classes are available at your convenience and will give everything you need to be successful.

The Kaplan University School of Justice is a great place to look if you want options in online criminal justice programs like, 2 Masters degrees, 5 bachelors, and 2 associates degrees. You will need to decide if you wish to choose an area of ​​specialization, like homeland security, corrects, fire safety, or law enforcement. The degrees you earn here will be accepted across the country because they come from an accredited institution.

A doctoral degree option is available at Capella University. When you choose to obtain this particular degree online, you will have a few options for areas of specialty, including fire service administration, health policy, forensics, or public policy and management. Your decision will rest on what your current positions requires of you. Whichever you choose, you will have the option to move the class along as slowly or quickly as is appropriate for you, your learning style, and your mandatory requirements. If you are hiring for a promotion, you may work more quickly …

Why Not Cyprus For Study Abroad?

The number of US students studying abroad seems to be increasing significantly on an annual basis. Although there is not adequate research to understand why, the anecdotal evidence would suggest that this generation of "Millenial" students realize the primary need of understanding others that are different from themselves to achieve success in business, politics, and general global welfare.

The 2008 IIE Open Doors Report suggests that in 2006-2007, study abroad by US college students increased by 8% from the previous year and an increase of close to 150% since 1996-1997. The IIE Open Doors Report has been the primary source of data for international education enrollments in the US for several decades. However, it is not clear that the significant increase in study overseas participation data is not purely a result of better data collection and reporting efforts in the last decade.

The Open Doors Report 2008 also suggests that US college students are participating in programs in much more diverse geographic locations, seeing reporting increases in study abroad destinations. "The number of US students studying in China, Argentina, South Africa, Ecuador and India each increased by more than 20 percent over the previous year."

However, the 2008 Open Doors Report shows insignificant participation in Cyprus. Why should a US college student explore Cyprus as a relevant and meaningful destination for study abroad?

So, if participation in study abroad is increasing and students are increasingly seeking out "non-traditional" locations, why do so few US college students study abroad in Cyprus? Unofficial reports would suggest that prior to 2005, fewer than five (5) US college students studied abroad in Cyprus every year.

We can only speculate as to why Cyprus has not previously been a common study abroad location for US students. But some of the main speculations include:

1. Few Americans know much about Cyprus

2. Because the first language in Cyprus is Greek, many American students and Study Abroad Advisors may incorrectly assume that without students are fluent in Modern Greek language, they would not be able to study at a Cypriot institution of higher education

3. There are very few colleges and universities in Cyprus

4. Cypriot institutions have not promoted themselves to the American study abroad market

5. Because Cyprus is a bi-communal society divided by a United Nations demilitarized zone, some people may think Cyprus is a dangerous location

6. Because Cyprus is so close to the "Middle East" some people may think that it is an Arab nation and / or may have security issues related to "Middle Eastern" countries

It does not require a sophisticated investigation to learn that most of these provided obstacles to study abroad in Cyprus should not be obstacles at all. …