Online Courses Review: Yale’s Science of Well-Being, TESOL, Budgeting Boot Camp and Productivity Boot Camp by FunCheapOrFree

I love trying out new things. I found the Science of Well-Being course offered by Yale free through Coursera and decided to give it a go. I took the course simultaneously with thousands of others. The course is 10 weeks long and the instruction portion is not overly tedious in length. I found that most of the content was familiar to me as I had taken many psychology classes in college (my area of concentration was psychology) and though none of the psychology classes I’ve taken centered on happiness, much of the science behind well-being is backed by psychological concepts and studies I am familiar with. It was nice to get the refresher, though, and to learn a few new tidbits. For the layman and those who didn’t study psychology, this course is an excellent survey of psychology centered on personal growth. This is especially true if you are taken with the concept of self-care that has been so very popular recently. I would highly recommend this structured take on scientifically understanding happiness and how to incorporate more aspects of well-being into your life. Some of the takeaways are not so obvious! And you will have homework to do! I highly recommend this particular course and really enjoyed the lecture style of Laurie Santos – the Yale professor. The homework was reasonable to accomplish and relevant. There were quite a number of recommended books to supplement the short to-the-point lectures if you want even more subject matter knowledge.

I now have my TESOL certificate – Teaching English as a Second Language. Why? Because I might want to teach English as a second language… I love languages, the study of languages, the nuance of learning a new language, etc. TESOL is one possibility for remote work as you can do it simply with a computer and high-speed internet connection. I took a simple TESOL certificate course online through International Open Academy that was recommended by one of the Youtubers (Katie Wismer) I watch. She has taught English as a second language with Qkids for over a year. I thought the course was fast and easy but not useful other than getting the certificate upon completion.

One of my other favorite Youtubers FunCheapOrFree offered her Budgeting Boot Camp and Productivity Boot Camp for free and I had to check them out. I love her channel. She is creative in her budgeting and productivity and I enjoy her well-edited videos. I did not, however, not either of her courses. It felt like she (and her husband) were reading a book in front of a camera. The two courses are divided into sections with videos that are around 10-15 minutes each. I liked all the stories where she related the information and instructions to her own life, but felt like I would rather just read the book version of these courses than sit through the videos in the course. I didn’t think this course was improved by telling the information in video format versus an audiobook or podcast for example. I also felt like the information wasn’t novel, especially to me with my current knowledge and since I’ve already watched many of the videos on Youtube already. I would not recommend paying for either course unless you’re completely new to budgeting or productivity and you prefer to watch videos in sequence than reading a book or simply subscribing to her channel. I would highly recommend instead to read the book “I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works” by Ramit Sethi as a step-to-step guide to crush debt and build wealth.

Book Review: The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer

The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer

A YA Coming of Age Novel published by Ahimsa Press (06/17/20)

Summary:

‘Once people have decided you’re a “quiet one,” they never let it go.’ Location 391

Meredith has lived 18 years as the preacher’s dutiful daughter. They’ve never had to give her a curfew because she’s never been out late. She’s never had a boyfriend. Even thinking about being the center of attention makes her anxious. In her last year of high school Mare drunkenly signs an ‘anti-virginity pact’ with her best friend Johanna and promptly forgets about it. Until it resurfaces as copies spread all over school. Pushed into the spotlight, Mare doesn’t know what to do, but she wishes she was still invisible. All the attention – most of it negative – threatens her reputation, her standing with her family, and even her new romantic relationship.

Keywords:

Coming of Age, Teenagers, High School, Senior Year, Seniors, Party, Alcohol, Introverted, Anxiety, Bullying, Preacher’s Daughter, Atheist, Friendship, Dating

My Review:

I absolutely love an emotional coming-of-age story and this book did not disappoint. The strongest emotion I felt while reading was anxiety. I consider myself an ambivert and experience shyness and anxiety when I’m at the center of attention sometimes, but Meredith takes this to an entirely different level. Wismer so specifically describes all aspects of anxiety so well that not only could I empathize with Mare, but I could sympathize. I think anyone reading this novel could understand what anxiety actually feels and looks like if it’s unfamiliar to them.

This book unpacks so many teenage dramas and it packs quite a punch. The bullying felt real. The anxiety felt real. The home and church life of a preacher’s daughter felt real. The religious abuse felt real. The homophobia felt real. The nastiness of the in-crowd felt real. The only over-the-top drama subplot that didn’t feel as real was the animal abuse.

I absolutely loved how this book tied romance and a romantic relationship with a strong friendship angle and the relationship between siblings. I loved the story of Meredith and her relationship with Johanna, her relationship with Sam, and especially her relationship with her sister.

This novel was published by Ahimsa Press 06/17/20 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Katie Wismer’s Website

Goodreads