Student Spotlight: Sylvia Bell

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One day in April, I bopped up to my computer, opened my email, and saw that I had received an email from CS asking me if I would be the student highlighted in the Student Spotlight article of Stepping Up. Wow! I am honored and humbled by being asked to do this article. After all, I am no one special—just a 63-year-old who is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up! (I can tell you now, that is never going to happen—the growing up part!)

I have been involved and active with CS since late 2010, and those of you who are active in the forums know me as Sybil (sybilsingbella). For over 3 years I was the ‘listmistress’ of the KOKO group and was one of the first of a long line of posters to Study Buddies when first established by Trinity. If you are not active in the forums, become so. There is so much information out there and a lot of help for when you are stuck or discouraged.

I married the love of my life, whom I met when I was 15 years old. We married when I was 20 and have been happily together ever since. Even though we share decades together (do the math!), I am still discovering things about him that I never knew existed. Way cool!

I have 2 daughters who are both married and with families of their own, and have owned numerous pets. Right now, we are in a transitional stage of moving (again) and are without the animals, but that will soon be in the past. I can’t wait, as I really miss them.

Professionally, I have always worked with nonprofits and have really enjoyed that challenge. I am a competitive singer and very active with many outside groups. I am a whiz at logistics and run meetings for a state group that draws in around 900 at each meeting. I sew, quilt, crochet, knit, and love to cook and bake–ya, you get the picture!

Like many others, I came to CS with the dream of being able to work from home.  I was planning to finish this course within the first year, but with many moves, deaths in the family, building a new home, surgeries, jury duty (15th time–yeah me), and life issues, that dream has been a bit delayed. However, I have learned that it is only a delay–I will finish this and will be successful. It is all in your mindset and how you choose to approach each of these challenges. When you are challenged by life, just get through the situation and jump right back into the game.

There are a few tips I would like to pass on. If you have not done so, join the forums. They will be your best friend! Do the 3-pass method and learn from each report. This is tried and true and by shortcutting this, you are doing a major disservice to yourself. Don’t try to memorize all the information in the modules, but don’t try to speed through the modules. They are the basis of all you will do. They are not meant to make us into mini-doctors, but they are designed to give us a really good foundation of information on which to build our knowledge. Everything in the course is open-book and researchable. Don’t take forever with each report. Do the reports in order. They are designed to build on the previous skills presented and to reinforce the skills as you learn them. Learn how to effectively research. Personally, I think this is key to this work. Research and validation are what we will do on the job. Type everything in MSWord and copy it into the program. If the platforms should go down, you still have everything you have typed. Save every report. You may need it later. Set your computer screen settings at 125%. This allows you to better see the small things, like commas. Most of all—enjoy the journey!

Leave a comment below »

  1. Rene May 27, 2014

    This was very uplifting, helpful and positive.  Thanks

  2. Ann Hanel July 11, 2014

    Thank you so much! I have been excited and frustrsted all in the same day. The forums are really helpful and I will keep on keeping on. Thank you.

  3. Betty February 25, 2015

    Thank you for your very positive and helpful advice—-even for those with lesser confidence in learning,  you made MT very approachable and “do-able”. Thanks for the very positive advice and tips!



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