Corpse Flower Update

About ten days ago we told you about Spike, a titan arum flower set to bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  You may remember Spike as the giant colorful corpse flower known for its stench immediately after it blooms.  In the time since we last wrote about this plant, scientists expected it to bloom and release that stench meant to attract pollinators within a few days of our post, except that it didn't happen.  Spike never bloomed, and yesterday scientists manually opened the flower to see what was happening inside.  You can read about it and see pictures from yesterday's event here.  It was indeed a teachable moment and a good reminder, especially to our students performing experiments in our Biology and Chemistry lab classes, that sometimes, even if you do everything correctly, things don't turn out as planned or hoped.  That's a mystery of science and nature and a reason why people have been fascinated with science and nature for centuries.  The good news is that Spike may bloom again one day, and in the meantime, the Chicago Botanic Garden has other titan arum plants that may fascinate us in the future as well! 

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Enter the International Youth Food Culture Contest

September 15 is the deadline to enter the International Youth Food Culture Contest.  According to its web site, the contest provides "a platform for students around the world to celebrate their passion in food and culinary arts, to share their reflections on the role of food on a specific culture, to voice their opinions about the impact of food in history and in today's fast changing world, and/or communicate their desire for a better and healthier food environment."  The contest allows students to express themselves in writing or art and is open to students all over the world.  There is no entry fee, though cash prizes will be awarded to the top four finishers in each category.  We encourage all of our students to consider entering this competition, but especially those in our Food Study and Introduction to Culinary Arts courses.  Visit the web site linked earlier in this blog for submission information and other important details.

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Updated Online Learning Information Now Available

Students, parents, school officials and other visitors to our Online Learning page  should take note of two new documents posted to the site this morning.  The first outlines technical requirements for our online courses, while the second outlines technical requirements for online exams in our paper-based courses.  We hope this information will be useful to you as you work toward your accredited high school diploma.

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Today’s Anniversary: The 19th Amendment

It's August 26, and on this date in 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote.  It might seem hard to believe that American School existed for 23 years before women held this fundamental right, but you should not be surprised to learn that we have never discriminated against any student.  Some of our earliest students were those who were among the marginalized and could not attend traditional school because they needed to have full-time jobs to support their families.  Today we continue to serve any student regardless of gender, ethnic background, creed or physical location, and we will not amend or change that policy in any way.

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Today’s Birthday: Monty Hall

It's August 25, and game show host Monty Hall turns 94 years old today.  He's best known for hosting several incarnations of "Let's Make a Deal," a show on which he offered customers doors, curtains, boxes, billfolds, money market accounts and anything else that could contain a fabulous prize or a not-so-fabulous prize known as a zonk.  At the end of each episode, before he would give away money in quickie deals if people had in their possession random household items such as shoe horns, Monty would invite two contestants to compete for the big deal of the day, which was usually an expensive car or trip.  Believe it or not, there's high-level math and probability involved in picking the door that opens to the big deal.  Check out this link and see if you agree with the mathematician's findings.  We are grateful to have so many students who believe that American School is the best deal both academically and financially for themselves and their families.  Enroll today and we promise you no zonks en route to one of the biggest deals you'll ever win for yourself–your accredited high school diploma!

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Today’s Special Occasion: National Waffle Day

It's August 24, and the waffle iron was patented on this date in 1869.  To commemorate the occasion, it's National Waffle Day in the United States.  Some of us here are craving waffles with butter, syrup and fruit, and maybe we'll have some later, but right now we want to remind you of some reasons why you should enroll today and not "waffle" on your decision to become our student.  We offer online and paper-based courses to suit whatever course delivery method is better for you.  We are a non-profit institution so we are able to keep costs to an absolute minimum.  In addition to our General High School and College Preparatory diploma programs, we offer individual courses for credit recovery or enrichment.  Finally, we are accredited by MSA-CESS, Ai and NCPSA and recognized by the state of Illinois, so you can feel confident in taking courses with us.  Don't wind up with egg on your face.  Become our student today! 

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Corpse Flower Blooms in Denver…Chicago is Next!

We'll be first to admit that today's blog stinks, and we're not talking about the quality of the writing.  We're referring to the Titan Arum that has already bloomed at the Denver Botanic Gardens and is about to bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  The Titan Arum is a special type of plant that is sometimes referred to as the corpse flower because of the awful smell is produces when it blooms.  Whatever is the smelliest item you can think of, the corpse flower has been compared to it!  The unique smell, along with the sheer size of the Titan Arum and the fact that it blooms once every 12 years or so, has drawn crowds to the Denver and Chicago gardens.  If you're curious to know more, click here and keep an eye on the Chicago Botanic Garden's site over the weekend.  You may even be able to see the Titam Arum bloom live before your very eyes on your computer or phone–minus the awful smell of course!  

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Testimonial Thursday

Today's student testimonial comes from Kyli, who lives in Vermont.  She writes, "I found all my materials, the methods and the service very satisfactory.  The subjects are easy to understand, and I really came to appreciate the self-check tests.  They prepared me for the actual exams.  The fact that you receive your test and grade with your instructor’s comments on it is wonderful.  Overall I found the American School to be easy, simple and very effective."  We thank Kyli for those remarks and wish to emphasize two things.  First, students should do self-check tests and all other preliminary work before attempting the unit examination.  The preliminary work will help you do much better on the unit examination.  Second, our instructors are trained to write detailed, constructive feedback on every exam they grade, whether it's an online exam or a paper-based exam.  See for yourself after you enroll and become our student! 

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NACAC Releases 2015 Fall Performing and Visual Arts College Fair Schedule

Yesterday's blog entry announced the National Association for College Admission Counseling's fall national college fair schedule.  The NACAC sponsors a second set of college fairs for students interested in the arts, and so we're happy to share their fall performing and video arts college fair schedule in this blog entry.  As you discern whether or not college is right for you and then try to decide which college to attend, remember that our school counselor can assist you and answer any questions you have.  Contact information is posted in the Online Student Center for your convenience.

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NACAC Releases 2015 Fall National College Fair Schedule

The National Association for College Admission Counseling has released its fall national college fair schedule.  You may think you have an idea of where you'd like to attend college after earning your accredited high school diploma, but attending a college fair may open your eyes to possibilities you never knew existed. Be sure to check out the schedule in the link above and plan to attend a college fair near your hometown.  Remember, our school counselor can assist you with the college admissions process.

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