The Joys and Education of Stamp Collecting

Love it or loathe it, stamp collecting has been around for a long time, and is here to stay. Nevertheless, it captivates people in all walks of life, and from all age groups. Even with fax machines and e-mails, many items are still being sent by conventional post. It would seem that the earliest reference to collecting stamps was in England in 1841, the year after they were first issued. People have different reasons for collecting stamps. Some find it relieves stress. Others like the educational side of it. Prospects of financial gain motivate still others. Prior to postal service, people forwarded messages and letters via trusted travelers. By the sixteenth century an international postal service operated among a number of European states.

In 1837 Sir Rowland Hill published a pamphlet on “Post Office Reform.” He recommended that letters be delivered anywhere in England for a penny. The British Government followed through and in 1840 penny postage started, issuing the first adhesive postage stamps for use on letters. These were the famous one-penny stamps bearing a profile of Queen Victoria (the Penny Black) and the blue two-pence stamps. A couple of years later the first adhesive stamp in the United States was put in circulation by the Despatch Post of New York city. It prepaid a three-cent delivery charge on a letter mailed inside the city. Canada followed suit in 1851 with a three-penny beaver design stamp. Innumerable books are available through public libraries and bookstores as aids to knowing stamp values and what to collect. Information is freely available on the Internet. An album is very helpful for classifying, as well as a magnifying glass.

Some start by saving stamps from letters coming into their homes or places of business. Others build a collection by purchasing packets of various kinds of stamps. Most collectors find that the larger packets have the best stamps in them. A chronicle of human history can be seen through the picture window of stamps. Peaceful scenes, war and other human tragedies, scientific accomplishments, profiles of kings, queens, presidents have all been depicted. During World War II postage stamps were converted into a medium of propaganda by the opposing sides. Commerce and industry have played a part in influencing their design. Some collectors specialize in animal stamps. The koala bear, the egg-laying platypus and that noted jumper the kangaroo have all had their pictures on Australian stamps. Peruvian stamps have illustrated the llama, while Liberian letters have been decorated with the crocodile. The tortoise has appeared on Vietnamese and Ecuadorean stamps. Some people enjoy doing this by collecting stamps on which various nations have portrayed birds common to their lands. The eagle has a place on the face of Polish, Albanian and Syrian stamps, to mention only a few. Venezuela has featured the vulture, Hungary the raven, Spanish Sahara the ostrich, Korea the hawk, while Austria, China, Monaco and others have pictured the soaring wings of the gull. The pelican has appeared on the stamps of Yugoslavia, Mozambique and Antigua.

Unusual stamps, needless to say, interest many collectors. Stamps come in literally all shapes and sizes. A Papua stamp bearing the names of every post office in the country was not only an oddity but a first. In 1853 the Cape of Good Hope issued the first triangular stamps. Brazil’s first stamps in 1843 were oval shaped. One of the world’s rarest stamps, (thus very expensive) is the British Guiana – now Guyana – 1ยข magenta, issued in 1856. It was issued in limited numbers, and only one specimen is now known to exist.

An Austrian stamp pictured a wine merchant of Lower Austria in native costume with everything correct except the man’s ears, which were the wrong way around. A St. Kitts-Nevis stamp showed Christopher Columbus on his ship approaching the Americas on his historic trip of 1492. A sharp-eyed stamp collector noted that Columbus was looking at the land through a telescope. Yet telescopes were not invented until over a hundred years later!

Making Your Home Business and Education Experience

As a staff writer at ‘Home Based Business’ we regularly answer questions submitted by our members, one great topic is using personal experience to make money.

Education is in high demand these days. High schools are teaching more difficult subjects, colleges have become more intense in their material, and graduate schools are strict on whom they accept into their programs. Institutions are looking for the best of the best, and with education the key to getting ahead in the world and being happy and successful, parents all over are striving to give their kids every edge possible.

Before you start buying supplies and advertising your services as a tutor, be sure to check up on all rules and regulations your state may have regarding tutor entrepreneurs. There may also be local and regional regulations you will have to follow. As with any business, research, research, research, before you make any solid decisions. You never want to start your business and realize you may have missed out on something.

After you have all the information, you can get started. Much of what you first decide upon will concern your monetary assets; where to allocate them, how much to use, etc. Here are a few tips when it comes to organizing your new tutoring business.

*Map out policies. Determine your prices and make a clear, concise outline of how much you will ask for and how long your tutoring periods are. Also, create certain times you will allow students to have make-up sessions in the case that someone misses a tutoring session. Both parents and students need to be aware of your policies so there is less of a chance of any confusion should times or payment not be met. A good idea is to get your payment before the week (or the tutoring period you decide on) starts. This will help lessen absences and cause less frustration to you when people do suddenly cancel.

*Go local first. See if your community has any specific regulations you should follow when it comes to tutoring. Different communities may be looking for different things or look at tutoring in a certain light. You can also provide your tutoring service directly to schools, but make sure you know what they expect from you, as well as what the parents expect.

*Bring your services right to parents. Pick out good places to advertise your services and start doing so. Many libraries have boards where you can post fliers or advertise in other local publications you are sure parents will look at. You can also network with schools. If you are working with the school, they can refer you to parents seeking tutoring for their children, or if you are your own separate business, you can ask that they pass information along concerning your services.

*Put a hold on teaching material. The best idea is to wait until after your first few tutoring sessions (as well as payments) before you go out and splurge on tutoring material. Each student will be learning something different, depending upon your choice of age range and subject range, and buying up a lot of supplies can become very expensive very quickly. Initially your computer will be your best tool. With internet access you can find free teaching materials or if you need, lesson plans. You may even be able to find material at your library. There are also cheap materials you can buy online if you need, so hold off on bigger items until you are sure you will need them, such as textbooks, workbooks, and other large purchases.

*Watch your cash flow. If you have teamed up with a school or two and have settled in on getting paid through their payroll instead of directly through parents, be sure you can manage your money effectively. There are some schools that have a 90-day pay delay, so if you are expecting your paycheck soon, you may be in for a longer wait than you thought. Be sure to have enough cash on hand until your next check.

Building a tutoring business can be difficult, but it can also be rewarding. Knowing you are helping children succeed in school and feeling more comfortable about subjects they were previously struggling in can be gratifying. If you want to open a business that helps children and provides you with a sense of accomplishment as well, then a tutoring business may be a worthwhile venture.

Behind the Notes – How to Read and Understand Piano Sheet Music

Have you ever tried to write down a piece of music for the piano?

Even if you are not a composer, this is a task from which you could learn a lot. Among other things, it will show you how there is always a variety of ways to do it, even if all you want to do is to write simple notes. If you want to include instructions of touch, articulation or pedalling, the complications grow even more numerous.

Through the centuries composers seem to have become more and more ambitious about this sort of thing – you only need to compare a score by Scarlatti or Bach with one by Debussy or Rachmaninoff to realise that. Of course, there are many exceptions to this, and one must not stop looking for all the subtle hints in early scores – this is the mistaken approach that led 19th century editors to feel the need to “fill in the gaps” left by their predecessors.

If you know where to look for them, a composer like Mozart certainly gives you all the hints you need to play his music like he envisaged it. If the score sometimes allows for different approaches, that is because he leaves that particular decision to you. In that sense, nothing has really changed over the years, except that it would seem that modern composers tend to leave less to the taste of the performer. But quite possibly that is also partly a misunderstanding. The composer of early music probably trusted his performers more because he (at that time, composers were sure to be male) knew that they would recognise the conventions of the particular time and place. Of course he hoped that his art would survive his own circumstances, but he wrote it down for people of his own culture, with roughly the same sort of references and education.

The composer of the 20th or the 21st century doesn’t belong to such a well-defined tradition. He or she often feels as if they are writing something entirely new, and for the whole world at once. Now, if you’re speaking to somebody on the other side of the globe about something that you just have invented, there are a lot more things to be explained than if you’re speaking to an old friend about a movie that you’ve both seen five times.

So, what do we learn from this?

Well, that it’s always important to look for the details of the score; that it’s important that you use reliable, urtext editions; that it’s important that you try to learn as much as possible about historical notation and performance practices. If you really want to understand a composer – Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, Scriabin or anybody else – you need to reflect why they wrote their music down the way they did.

Globalization and Education

In this paper I am going to look at the effect globalization has on education whether it is positive or negative. The paper will look at how globalization has given educators the ability to expand their teaching and the learning experience. One of the sources is a follow-up on a conference at Harvard held by many faculty experts in various fields. The article should provide some good insight as to whether or not globalization has proven to be beneficial toward educators and the education they are providing. Globalization is a process in which economies, cultures, and societies have combined through a global network of trade and communication. While the term is more often used in economic settings, globalization has aided in the advancement of society as a whole. Globalization is not a new idea, and when used in its economic connotation, it refers to the removal of trade barriers amongst nations to improve and increase the flow of goods across the world. But in this article, we are going to look at the implications of globalization on education and the educators themselves.

The way globalization has influenced trade barriers and communications among countries has in turn habituated the way educators educate. Corporations have targeted schools and colleges and have turned to them in order to help with expansion. Courses and programs were restructured in order to increase the marketing for programs such as MBAs and distance learning courses. A distance learning course is an online based course that has helped people who may already be working or those who need to stay at home achieve a degree. As a result the cost for students to attend universities has gone up as well, leading to a change in the way loans and grants are distributed and in what quantity. The perception people have on the current economy is playing a major impact in globalization effect on education. Regardless of the higher costs, students are still finding it necessary to stay in school and get as much accreditation as they can before entering the job market. It’s projected that in the next few years enrollment numbers will continue to rise significantly due to the belief that not having a degree in today’s economy is detrimental to success.

The restricted courses are allowing students to prepare for particular jobs as opposed to giving them a general education on a subject. This is described as being a “managerial-based” teaching strategy where students are not only taught the concepts needed for their degree, but in leadership as well. This is something to hardly be opposed too, but the increase in direct costs for students is cause for concern among some people. Some people are looking at this relationship between globalization and education and defining it as a technique the government is using to unitize education across the world. Some people feel the government is doing so because of pressure from “greater powers” to increase the educational well-being of students without receiving any opposition to the changes. The increasing understanding is that globalization is being reflected in an educational agenda that allows for various, and countless, improvements upon the education system that allows the educators themselves to expand on their teaching, and present students with real world situations that require them to “think outside the box”, or outside the realm of their particular field, if you will.

In conclusion, globalization seems to be, overall, a pretty beneficial movement in terms of education, although there are still several obstacles in its way. Harvard economist David Bloom has said that the world’s economies have thrived in globalization, as they all share a deep commitment to the education of young people. But he goes on to say that while these nations have gone on to use globalization to increase their educational prosperity, globalization has further distributed more “wealth to the wealthy” and fewer benefits to the poor. It was suggested at the same Harvard conference that education for pre-college students be more informing as well, and those students should know before going in that, for example, “the state of India’s economy, could very well affect their ability to receive and maintain a job once graduated”. The whole idea is very intriguing, and should continue to be monitored closely as globalization’s impact on education will likely be major, just as it has been for many other aspects of society.