Website Review: gpacalculator.io

 

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

School is starting up again for many students, or if you’re like me, you’re up to three weeks through your first 2019 semester. Which means new headaches, added stress, and a lot of potential confusion as new classes, teachers and systems have to be figured out.

But there are handy tools out there that can help lessen some of the hassle. Recently I was given the opportunity to review a student GPA calculator, and it is quickly becoming one of my new favorite tools.

What is it?

Well, just that. A simple, easy to use GPA calculator.

GPA is one of those annoyingly weird numbers that some parts of society, in this case education, seem to be defined by. As a graduated homeschooler, I never really could understand what GPA was, or why it was important. When my transcript was being put together after graduation, my dad figured out the GPA part, and I just sort of ignored it. After exploring above site, I’m finally understanding what GPA is, and how it works. Not only is it a calculator, but the site also includes many helpful, well written articles about GPA, what it is, why it matters, and how to raise it.

Features:

A GPA calculator for college semesters, with instructional videos underneath on how to use it, as well as written step by step instructions, as well as a basic rundown of how the numbers are calculated.

There’s also a GPA calculator for high schoolers, with many similar functions, and a focus on a few extra ones for different type of high school courses. Like the college version, the high school calculator includes detailed, easy to follow instructions, and an overview of how everything is put together.

Both calculators allow the user to add extra classes and additional semesters, so an entire academic career can be input into the algorithm and tabulated in one fell swoop.

Finally there’s a total GPA calculator, which seems to be very similar to the other two, with little differentiation other than a running list at the top of GPA and total credit hours earned in the classes logged into the calculator.

My personal favorite though, is the class grade calculator. In addition to formulas for both high school and college GPA averaging, the site offers a calculator for figuring out what a specific classes GPA will turn out to be. Rather than having to sit down for thirty minutes with numbers and a regular calculator trying to figure out how it all needs to get put in, it’s nice to be able to just plug in numbers that are easy to find, and let the system figure the rest out for me. It saves time too. I even started plugging in grades for projects I haven’t even turned in yet, in order to see what grade ranges might yield target GPAs with what I’ve already completed.

In every calculator on the site, inputs and totals are automatically saved, so when a user goes back to the site on the same computer, everything they had put in is still there ready for them.

What I liked:

The simple, easy to navigate layout, step by step guides for use, and several articles on GPA FAQs. I also appreciate the effort the programmers went to, to include both a college as well as a high school oriented calculator, even though much of the information and formulas for calculation are similar. The attention to detail and functionality for all students in need of GPA information, no matter what level, showed an apparent attitude of mindfulness that some online sites I have seen before don’t appear to have.

And of course, not only having a regular GPA formula, but calculators for multiple grade functionalities was very nice to have

What I wasn’t a fan of:

While for me personally the automatic saving of what I input into the calculators wasn’t a huge deal, I can see how it could cause issues, or be just plain annoying, especially in situations where a person may be on a shared or public computer and not wish to let others see their grades/GPA. And option to choose to save the GPAs for next time would fix the issue, and could make for a smoother process all around.

The only other warning I would have is, at least personally, playing with the numbers and formulas got addictive, and I spent more time than I should have sticking random numbers into some of the calculators, just because I was curious what would happen. But maybe that’s just me.

What about you? What are some of your favorite student tools out there on the web?

2019 Goals and Plans

Originally December was going to have a post about writing during the busy holidays, and thoughts on that. But time got away from me, and nothing got done, so obviously anything I would have had to say on that wouldn’t have been valid anyway. :P. So instead, I’m doing a post that’s kind of more for me, but I always enjoy seeing what other people are planning and striving for, so maybe someone else out there will enjoy this too.

My writing goals for 2019.

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Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

1. Spam out a messy first draft of Two. In 2018 I got through the first draft of One. I don’t think I’m quite ready yet to start editing that, but I would like to keep making progress with the Numbers series, so Two it is. This draft is likely to be the messiest first of any of the books, mainly because I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with it. All three of the others have a little bit clearer path, and I like the characters better, so Two is going to be rough. But hopefully, worth it.

2. Get at least half a first draft of DoER. The Disappearance of Elizabeth Rixton is not only a genre I’m not entirely comfortable with, but is also definitely my roughest story to get through. It deals with some very dark themes and ideas, and includes some content that isn’t necessarily kosher. But I’ve been working through the story for close to four years now, and with a lot of development put in to most of the main characters (and a few of the side ones, oops) I think as long as I’m prepared to face the darkness, it’s time to get this story out. But to keep myself okay, I will likely be taking a lot of breaks, to recover and also figure out what the heck needs to happen next, it may take me a while, and I’m okay with that.

3.  Ronan’s story rewrite. This story was a complete mess. Still is really. But I do still believe in some of it, mostly the characters and theme, so after three years or more, it’s time I take another look at it, and try to beat it into some decent shape.

4. D&S. Likely this will just be in the form of drabbles, and some random scenes with no distinct place or purpose. As much as I love the shape of this story, I’m not sure I’m ready, or mentally in a place to handle, a suicidal POV character yet. But as I get ideas, I certainly will write them out. Maybe I’ll at least get a better idea of where the tale should wander.

5. Write at least one short story. There’s at least one short story contest I know about that I would like to enter, so that is a main goal for me to get a story draft done sooner than later. None of the other goals have a deadline, but this one does, so I need to make sure I remember and focus on this one before crunch time comes.

Bonus goal:

Read 26 books. Ideally this wouldn’t include books for school, but let’s not get crazy here. I’m finally getting back into reading I think, and I did manage to read more than that this year, but I’m also trying to be realistic. Two and a fraction books a month isn’t really too much to ask for.

Next December, if I remember, I’ll look back on this post, with an update of what actually happened, and what ended up falling by the wayside. Make that a goal for 2019 too. :P. It should be fun.

What about you? What are some of your writing goals for 2019? 

On Writing and Gratitude

Several days after Thanksgiving, and now I’m finally writing a Thanksgiving-ish post.

But maybe that’s okay.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

This year has been an interesting one as far as writing goes. And not just writing itself, but also in remembering and thinking about past writing.

My earliest writing was bad. Really, really bad. I’m sorry for those who read the things I wrote back then. Even a lot of my less old stuff hasn’t been great. I recently apologized to several people who read the first novel I actually finished, three years ago. And I’m the first to admit my second novel was even worse than that.

It’s tempting to be ashamed of past writing, to want to bury it deep, delete all those files and pretend it never happened.

But I don’t.

Because really, as painful and terrible as that writing is, I’m grateful for it.

It’s an old cliche, but it’s true. You really can’t get better without practice. And that old writing was very much practice.

So I’m grateful for that younger me, who kept writing and writing because I had fallen in love with it. I’m grateful for the imagination that allowed me to create those worlds, and write what was, quite honestly, a lot of self insertion fanfics. I’m grateful for the practice those stories gave me, in plotting, character development, prose and worldbuilding, and the foundation that laid for my writing now. I’m grateful for the fact that I’m still growing, and maybe in another eleven years I’ll look back on my writing now with similar feelings.

I’m grateful for God’s perfect timing, and how He has been showing me that more and more these past several months.

And I’m grateful for all the people who have read my writing over the years, my parents, my teachers, old friends I will likely never see again. I’m grateful for their words of encouragement even as I subjected them to less than lovely work. I’m grateful for all the tough love, the joy, and the pain. I’m grateful for all they have taught me, and all I have yet to learn from this past.

To my past self, I say thank you. And to my future self, I say with the utmost humility, you’re welcome. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey.

Welcome!

Stories and yarn. And somehow getting hopelessly tangled in both.

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Photo by Nick Casale on Unsplash

Welcome to my cozy corner of the internet. I’ve staked it out, it’s mine now. Here you can find the rambles of my brain, and whatever writing or yarning tips I may have to offer. I can’t guarantee anything, but I can say it may be fun to watch me flail around trying to figure out life.

Strap yourselves in. This could be a bumpy ride.