The Future of Education: Free College Courses-Textbooks

Who says you can’t get anything of value for free anymore?

Now education is open sourced.  Several top universities are offering free on-line courses to anyone on any topic imaginable. There is no excuse NOT to learn a new language, skill, or to keep abreast of the newest technologies.  Just like You-tube, Firefox, and GoogleVoice have offered valuable free services, now colleges are catching the FREE wave.   There are even over 160 free textbooks. (The Textbook Revolution also is a resource for free books.)  You can learn right from your home or wherever you have computer access.  The training is free, but you pay for testing and accreditation.  For those who are changing careers or upgrading their skill-set and are tight on money, this could be the answer.  Knowledge is still valuable even without the certification which you can get when you can afford it later.  The knowledge now can assist in getting that new job or promotion.

ImageLet’s say you want to learn calculus, math, science, computer science, finances, humanities, physics, history, or prep for the Math SAT or GMAT, try out  They have over 3500 videos. WOW!

“MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.9 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.”

And, they aren’t the only ones, Harvard, Berkeley, and the University of Texas also offer free courses. (550 free on-line courses) (160 Free text books) (Pulls together lectures from multiple universities on a topic) (Can’t forget Apple University. There’s an app for that!)

Another school based in South Africa advertises, “Regenesys Business School is the first business school in the world to offer free business education, making all learning materials freely available online in this revolutionary initiative.” Be sure to check them out also at

The OpenCourseWare Consortium Aggregates over 22 Universities

“Most courses offered on OpenCourseWare are available as free audio or video lectures for free, and under open licenses. The easiest way to find a course you’re interested in is to search the OpenCourseWare Consortium site, which aggregates courses from over 22 universities in the US alone, including MIT, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, and the University of Michigan, and features courses on tons of different subjects, from business and economics to architecture and physics. Most universities have their specialties, of course (MIT, for example, has a bounty of resources in engineering), but between them all, you should be able to find pretty much anything you want,” write Life Hacker in their article, Where to Get the Best Free Education.

The future is bright and a new education is just a click away, FOR FREE!

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

Give Yourself a Priceless Gift in 2012

So while you’re running around shopping taking advantage of those Christmas sales, don’t forget about yourself.  What meaningful gift can you give yourself?  I’m not talking about giving yourself more stuff; I’m suggesting that you give yourself something much more precious… time.   Yes, time.  Take out your 2012 calendar right now and mark off some time in it for yourself (in ink) to take care of yourself before it’s filled up with requests, demands, and promises of others.  Treat that time as sacred and consider it as a promise to yourself which you will not break!

Your Health and Sanity Are Big Rocks

Steven Covey talks about the importance of taking care of the most important first.  He uses the analogy of filling a jar with rocks and things and equates that to filling up our lives with things (some important, others not so important).  The big rocks represent the most important things in our lives that give us meaning, joy, and purpose. The small rocks, sand, and water represent the day-to-day duties, distractions, and things we spend our time on.  He suggests that if you first fill the jar up with sand, water, and small stones, then it will be hard if not impossible to get the big rocks in later.

Put the Big Rocks in First

But, if you put the big rocks in first, then the pebbles, then the sand, then the water, you’ll be able to get a lot more in the jar.  We all lead busy complicated lives and we’ve got to decide what our big rocks, pebbles, sand, and water are.  One thing is for sure, your health is a big rock.  Put it in first.  In my life management system, I discuss 10 big rocks.   They are discussed in my ‘On Track, On Fire, and On Purposebook 

Mark Off Time For Yourself Right Now!

Be proactive and take control.  Don’t wait and don’t procrastinate.  Mark off at least one day for yourself for each month.  You need at least that amount of time to rest, reflect, and recharge yourself.  Why not do it right now?  Give yourself the gift of a day to relax, plan, read, pray, meditate, walk, hike, sing, dance, visit friends, get a massage, get a pedicure, or to just play.  Relaxation and reflection are good for the mind, body, and soul.  Out of 365 days, don’t you think you deserve at least  twelve for yourself?  This gift doesn’t cost you anything but does  show how much you value yourself!  And when you are refreshed and feel valued, you are happier, make better decisions, and are more productive.

Block of 1 Hour a Day

Now, if you really love yourself, set some goals for prayer, meditation, exercising, transforming your health, developing your talents and hobbies, and for a restful vacation.  Still have your calendar out?  Well, mark off a 3-hour block each week for planning and one hour each day for reflection.    Consider your scheduled time as a promise and honor it.

You Can’t Live on Purpose by Accident

So now you’re on a roll.  Schedule some meaningful time with your family or significant other and share the joy.  We all want lives of meaning and purpose, but you can’t live on purpose by accident.  You’ve got to plan for it. Once you get in the habit of planning, you’ll want to make sure you’ve put in the big rocks in for your mind, body, soul, service to others, career, money, home, family, hobbies, and  relationships.  And when you begin to see the importance of all of these, you’ll have no time to waste on insignificant things.  Self awareness, self control, and self actualization, now that would be priceless!

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

Courtesy Inside and Outside of the Cubicle

“What’s that smell?”  “I can’t hear myself think!” “Can you turn that down?”  “Did someone take my red stapler?”  “My lunch is missing?”  “What’s that green stuff in the refrigerator?”   “Oh My! Please put your shoes back on!”

There are some things that just can’t be ignored when we are in close quarters if we want a productive and harmonious work environment. Unfortunately most people don’t have the luxury of a private office and of having all their co-coworkers be considerate.  Whether its’ out of ignorance, social style, or culture, some actions bring productivity to a grinding halt.

What can we do?

How do you tell someone that their food, breath, or body has an offensive odor, or that their music or conversations are too loud, distasteful, or distracting without causing more contention and hurt feelings?  I’ve heard stories where people have had others take their lunch out of the refrigerator and eat it, stood over them while they were having a personal conversation, and spoke to them in an unprofessional manner.  Some leave a mess in common areas and make it unsanitary and uncomfortable to eat or meet there.

Do You Have A Cubicle or Workplace Story to Share?

Have you ever had to work closely with others and found it to be a challenge?  I’m working on a course dealing with cubicle courtesy and would like to hear some of your cubicle stories and how you solved them if you did.  Meanwhile enjoy the resources I’ve pulled together for you below.

  1. Rules for Cubicle Courtesy– Career Builders- (10Tips_
  2. Workplace Etiquette (Sound, Scent, and Sight) – (10 Tips)
  3. Cubicle Courtesy– By Chelsea Benham- (21 Tips)
  4. Workplace Ethics-Common Sense and Courtesy Aren’t So Common– Brian Carr (8 Tips)
  5. Take This QuizDo You Know Workplace Courtesy? – Job Journal Archive
  6. Courtesy in the Workplace–  (25 tips)
  7. Office Manners– (over 40 tips)
  8. Seven Workplace  Etiquette Tips to Build Teams– Rachel Wagner
  9. Showing Respect at Work (3 Basic Tips)
  10. Taming Workplace Incivility – Multiple Tips

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Dream Derailer #6b: 5 Signs of Commitment

Now, the question you must answer honestly is, “Am I interested or committed to my own success, relationships, education, or whatever it is you are striving for.  To understand more clearly what I mean by being interested or committed, ponder this little tale of a pig and a chicken’s contribution to a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is interested, the pig is committed! When we commit to our dreams we make a vow, a promise, or a pledge, to be reliable, steadfast, and to give it our all.  We see our goal or dream as an obligation and then we do what we must to see it through.  Five signs of commitment are:

  1. You give your word, keep your word, and make that promise a priority.
  2. Your goal is foremost in your consciousness, conversations, and thoughts.
  3. You have a plan and you work on it faithfully, diligently and with regularity.
  4. You give it your all, and…
  5. You don’t give up!

You must go after your dreams with the same commitment you would have if you were fighting a gorilla.  You don’t give up when you get tired; you give up when the gorilla gets tired.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Facing Change With Faith

With all the fear in the air, it’s easy to get paralyzed, confused, and apathetic.  But, for leaders and winners, change implies, taking charge.  And, those that take charge are noticed and rewarded! We have a choice; we can be swept up by change or we can learn to face it, embrace it, and manage it.  We must be firm, yet flexible at the same time.  Spencer Johnson’s #1 bestseller, ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ tackles this subject with humor and insight.  If you haven’t read it already, you’ll want to read it. It inspires great thought and offers a wonderful perspective on how to deal with change.  In it he uses four characters, Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw to represent the search for cheese in the maze of life.

What’s Your Cheese?

The Cheese in the story is symbolic of whatever we spend our lives searching for to make us happy.  The maze represents the search for our own particular cheese and the twists and turns in life we encounter defining our cheese, locating our cheese, enjoying our cheese, protecting our cheese, and preparing for when our cheese is moved.  The characters Sniff and Scurry are represented as mice. Their lives are simple and uncomplicated. They search and find cheese using a trial and error method. They have a routine that works.  They arise early, race to work, do what they need to do and enjoy the cheese they find. They always stay prepared, alert, and ready to make changes when they are necessary without over analyzing the situation.  When the cheese moves, they move.

Stop Hemming and Haw-ing

Hem and Haw are Little People.  Their lives are a bit more complicated.  They wind up at the same place as the mice and enjoy the cheese for many years.  They get complacent however and don’t plan for change.  They don’t stay prepared.  They don’t remain alert, and they have no contingency plans.  They expect that the cheese they have found will always be there.  They also expect that if it moves, they are entitled to be compensated.  Even when it becomes obvious that the cheese is no longer there, they ignore blatant facts.  All four characters however, each based on their vision, values, and virtues search for their own kind of cheese, define what cheese means to them, and handle change in their own way.

So,  what are you searching for in life?  What does that goal you’ve defined really mean to you?  Changes will happen, if they haven’t already, stay tuned.  If they have already happened and are making your goal more elusive, what are you doing about it?  Are you hemming and haw-ing?  Or are you facing change with faith and realizing that it’s time to sniff out a new plan, stop procrastinating, and scurry and find your happiness.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.