Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Writer’s Life: Cultivating Inspiration Through the Written Word. April 7-May 27 (Six Weeks)




Next Course: Starts Tuesday, April 7, 2015-May 19, 2015 (Six Weeks). 

General admission tickets can be purchased here. 

NOTE: How about doing this course of study on your schedule? Does that sound appealing to you? Contact us at PacificLearningConsortium@gmail.com to plan with us a customized schedule with you in mind. It's no bother! Seriously! 

Description
The arts of writing and composing feature many thoroughfares of discovery and direction. This course will help you develop your passions so that you may further express yourself as a writer. We will explore together the process of writing, of discovering more about yourself while reaping inspiration from the worlds within and around you. 

As with any sacred quest, the doors to new dimensions of emotion, imagination, understanding and spirit will unfold. You will learn that it is your fears and self-judgment that are your greatest stumbling blocks to creative expression, that courage is one of the keys to genuine authenticity, and that showing up on the page is liberating. 


Each learning experience covers new and stimulating topics. Never been published before? Unsure of what area of writing interests you? This creative writing program might be your best choice. 

Who knows what it may lead you to? Each door you open through this course is a voyage of discovery. 

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion after the conclusion of the program. 

You will be notified by email and/or USPS mail if there are any changes to the program including change in venue, date, or cancellation. 

Program Cost 
US$130. NOTE: We offer and are willing to provide interest-free payment plans. Contact us at PacificLearningConsortium@gmail.com or call 808-721-0306. 

Tuition payment must be received on or before Monday, April 6, 2015.  If paying my printed check please make check out to 'Pacific Learning Consortium' and mail it to The Pacific Learning Consortium, P.O. Box 183, Honolulu HI 96810-0183. 

Go to this link to Eventbrite to purchase your general admission ticket. 

Contact
PacificLearningConsortium@gmail.com or call 808-721-0306. 

Time
This correspondence-style course meets online except Sundays. It includes lectures, topical lessons, contemplations, discussion and constructive feedback.

Tax Deduction

If the purpose of attending a program is to help you maintain or improve skills related to employment or business the expenses related to the program may be tax-deductible according to I.R.C. Reg. 1.162-5. Please consult your tax advisor. 




Friday, March 27, 2015

Cashew Comfort Foods Culinary Class with Rebecca Woodland this Tuesday



Guess what's in store for you at this coming Tuesday's culinary class with Rebecca Woodland? 

On Tuesday, March 31, it's mushroom stroganoff and wedding cheesecake! All recipes are made with cashews, believe it or not!

Oh, yummmmmm! 

Join Rebecca at the Manoa School of Art & Music on Tuesday morning, March 31, for this deliciously fun class. Learn techniques and recipes that will simplify and enhance your cooking (and eating) experience. 

Cost is $50 and includes lunch. 
Time is 9:30am-12:30pm
Email rebeccawoodland@gmail.com to sign up. 
Advance registration required. 

Tell your friends! 

Foundations of Travel Writing and Storytelling Starts Friday, May 15, 2015



Do you love to write? Do you love to travel? The Pacific Learning Consortium is pleased to announce its latest offering, Foundations of Travel Writing and Storytelling. 

Passion and travel go hand-in-hand, don't they? Add the element of writing and storytelling to the mix, and you have the real possibility of a new and exciting lifestyle -which may have income potential. 


This individualized four-week online correspondence course for beginners starts on Friday, May 15, 2015. 


Guess what? If that date clashes with your schedule fear not. Contact us for a start date that works best for you. We're flexible! 


Payment plans are available by request, too!


Register and purchase your ticket(s) at this link. 


With this independent course-of study, you'll be immersed in the nuances of good travel writing, discovering what it is -and what it's not. 

Together, we will explore why good travel writing and narratives have resonated through the centuries, its goals and objectives, travel writing's long, established history (Think Marco Polo for a moment), and the roles of narrative and storytelling. 

In addition, you will learn the roles of discovery and focusing on subjects, travel trends and niches. 


How do you develop your travelogues and engage in pre-travel preparation and research? On this adventure you learn about sound practices such as note-taking, interviews, structural development, strategies, introductions and conclusions, transitions, details, anecdotes, accuracy, style, proofreading and editing, too. 

Yes, we know: writing can be tedious and challenging! Our goal will be to overcome your fears of writing and help you grow in self-confidence. 



You will be notified by email and/or USPS mail if there are any changes to the program including change in venue, date, or cancellation. 

Cost 
US$150  Yes, we can offer and negotiate interest-free payment plans by request. 

Payment
Must be received on or before Friday, May 15. We use PayPal. 
If you are paying via printed check please make check out to 'Pacific Learning Consortium' and mail it to The Pacific Learning Consortium, P.O. Box 183, Honolulu HI 96810-0183. 

Payment Plans!
You betcha! Payment plans are available by request. Please contact us at PacificLearningConsortium@gmail.com, or call 1-808-721-0306.

Contact
PacificLearningConsortium@gmail.com or call 808-721-0306. 

Time
As this is an individualized course times between instructor and student are flexible. The duration of this learning adventure is four weeks. 

Tax Deduction
If the purpose of attending a program is to help you maintain or improve skills related to employment or business the expenses related to the program may be tax-deductible according to I.R.C. Reg. 1.162-5. Please consult your tax advisor. 

Your Instructor






Jeffrey Bingham Mead is the president of The Pacific Learning Consortium. He is an experienced blogger, published author, featured speaker, lecturer and dedicated educator. Mead has been blogging since 2009. His blogs include Travel Rocks My WorldMy Dad the U.S. China MarineTESL Teachers Rule My WorldZhihui (Wisdom)Hallowed Grounds, and The Writings of Jeffrey Bingham Mead. He is the president of the non-profit History Education Hawaii, the local affiliate of the National Council for History Education and manages its news-blog.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Basic Blogging for Beginners Starts March 23. Sign up and Let's Get Started!

The famous 'Super Trees' under a hazy full moon in Singapore, March 2014. 

Spring is in the air! Sign-up starting today! 

This individualized online course for newbie bloggers starts one week from today. 

Payment plans are available by request, too!

Register and purchase your ticket(s) at this link. 

Let us be among the first to welcome you to the ever-exciting, powerful and globally interactive blogosphere. People like you around the world are using blogs to interact with others, shape communities, and express themselves. 
Starting a blog can be intimidating and exciting -and the best thing you've ever done for yourself or your business. 
This six-week online-based enrichment course will guide you through the beginning stages of creating a blog site that includes:
- Background on blogging and planning your blog. 
- Building a foundation and establishing your identify. 
- Producing effective written and visual content.
- Strategies and scheduling. 
- Promoting your blog.
Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion after the conclusion of the program. 
You will be notified by email and/or USPS mail if there are any changes to the program including change in venue, date, or cancellation. 
Cost 
US$130
Payment
Must be received on or before Monday, March 23. 
If you are paying via printed check please make check out to 'Pacific Learning Consortium' and mail it to The Pacific Learning Consortium, P.O. Box 183, Honolulu HI 96810-0183. 
Payment Plans!
Payment plans are available by request. Please contact us for details. 
Contact
PacificLearningConsortium@gmail.com or call 808-721-0306. 
Time
As this is an individualized course times between instructor and student are flexible. 
Tax Deduction
If the purpose of attending a program is to help you maintain or improve skills related to employment or business the expenses related to the program may be tax-deductible according to I.R.C. Reg. 1.162-5. Please consult your tax advisor. 

Your Instructor
Jeffrey Bingham Mead is the president of The Pacific Learning Consortium. He is an experienced blogger, published author, featured speaker, lecturer and dedicated educator. Mead has been blogging since 2009. His blogs include Travel Rocks My World, My Dad the U.S. China Marine, TESL Teachers Rule My World, Zhihui (Wisdom), Hallowed Grounds, and The Writings of Jeffrey Bingham Mead. He is the president of History Education Hawaii, the local affiliate of the National Council for History Education and manages its news-blog.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

China, The U.S. Founders, and Early American-Chinese Trade: A Summer 2015 Leadership Program


Two-week Summer 2015 leadership programs are being offered by The Pacific Learning Consortium, Inc., in collaboration with History Education Hawaii, Inc.


INTRODUCTION
On the eve of the American Revolution and the War of Independence, Chinese products were in high demand. After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the newly-independent United States of America found itself isolated from European commerce and not yet a manufacturing nation able to compete on the world stage. At the time the Americans had been restricted to trade exclusively within the British Empire, and thus all Asian (Chinese) products had to be purchased through Great Britain per the Navigation Act of 1651



The Empress of China
Yet within a year of independence the Empress of China embarked from New York City for a far-flung adventure to China, the new republic’s first trading partner. Colonial America’s forced submission to the domination/monopoly of the British East India Company had been removed, though obstacles remained. 

Centered in the USA in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston and Salem, Massachusetts,  and in Guangzhou (Canton), China, markets for Chinese products had already been developed. These products included  silk; porcelain (produced in bulk and special order); lacquer pieces and furniture; tea; ginseng; paper; printing; ivory carvings; medicines; gunpowder; amusements (cards, dominoes, kite flying), metalwork, wallpaper, and more. 




Why did Americans enter into the China trade? What challenges, triumphs and failures characterized the early years of mercantile transactions between Americans and Chinese? How did these developments influence the participants in trade relations? Who were the leaders of this relationship? What were the commonalities and differences of Chinese and American traders and their leaders in their respective nations? 

Sailing from New York City on February 22, 1784, the Empress of China arrived exactly six months and one day later on August 23. Upon its successful return to New York on May 11, 1785 the Empress signaled its arrival with a thirteen gun salute. When the Empress returned to China for the 1786-1787 trading season she was joined by four other ships. Among the passengers was Samuel Shaw as the first United States Consul at Guangzhou, who had been elected by Congress for the post. By this time interest in participation in the China trade had grown, and as such the seeds of a relationship between the world’s youngest civilization and the oldest had been planted. 

This unique program seeks to illuminate its participants with the intricacies and complexities of the influence of Chinese civilization on the Founders of the United States of America in 1776 and on the early development of the USA. In addition, the goals of the program seeks to facilitate exploration of the basis of the initial economic relationship between the USA and China through an overview of the history of trade and transactions between citizens of both nations. 

This independent program is offered and presented as a collaboration between The Pacific Learning Consortium, History Education Hawaii, Inc. -the Hawaii affiliate of The National Council for History Education- for secondary and college/university students nationwide. 


ENROLLMENT
Enrollment in the program is open to all interested middle school, high school and college/ university students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin. Three (tentative) cohorts of between 8 and 16 students each will be held in New York City. 


PROGRAM SCHEDULE (Tentative)
1) Middle School Group, New York City USA. Monday, June 29-July 10, 2015 (Note: No sessions Friday, July 3. Federal holiday) 

2) Senior High School Group, New York City USA. July 13-July 24, 2015. 


3) College/University Group, New York City USA. July 27-August 7, 2015.


MUSEUMS AND EXCURSIONS
This program includes field trips and excursions throughout New York City. These may include Fraunces TavernFederal HallMorris-Jumel MansionFort Washingtonthe China Institute in AmericaSt. Paul's Church, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 




GRADUATION & CERTIFICATE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
After the conclusion of the instructional phase of the program, a graduation ceremony will be held. Each graduate will be presented with an official signed Certificate of Accomplishment. 

To qualify for the Certificate, each student must participate in program activities and submit a researched presentation on a topic of of his or her choice subject to the approval of the instructor and program director. Students will be instructed in basic nuances of public speaking and presentation skills, and participate in organizing a day-long conference-like event. The presentations will be open to the public. 




PROGRAM DEPOSIT 
Nonrefundable $150 fee is required to secure a place in the program. Click this link to register and pay via Paypal. 

Printed checks will be accepted. Please make your program deposit check out to The Pacific Learning Consortium, Inc. Please mail it to P.O. Box 183, Honolulu HI 96810-0183. 


The total program fees, payment schedule and cancellation policies will be included in an admission packet along with a payment schedule. All tuition and fees must be paid prior to the commencement of the program. 



COSTS AND TUITION
Costs associated with this program are inclusive of the following:
  • Instructional time.
  • Cultural workshops and sessions, field trip site admission, program-related travel except commuting costs and airfare where applicable.
  • Insurance.
Costs not associated with this program include outside meals, airfare, room and board, computer equipment and online access. 

Total tuition, including program deposit: US$850 per student plus applicable tax.  



INSTRUCTORS
Dr. Dave Wang and Mr. Jeffrey Bingham Mead 
in front of the China Institute in America, New York City. 




Copyright: The Pacific Learning Consortium, Inc. 2015.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Taxing Times in the USA: Tax Time Guide and Free File Available


IR-2015-40, March 6, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded the millions of taxpayers who have yet to file their taxes that Free File remains available.

Available only at IRS.gov/FreeFile, the Free File service makes brand-name tax software products and electronic filing available to most taxpayers for free.

This is the second in a series of 10 daily IRS tips called the Tax Time Guide These tips are designed to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues as the April 15 deadline approaches.

Taxpayers have the option to prepare their return at any time and schedule a tax payment as late as the April 15 deadline. Taxpayers who cannot meet the April tax filing deadline can also use Free File to file a six-month extension.
Through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a consortium of 14 leading tax software companies make their branded products available for free. Since 2003, more than 43 million people have used Free File, saving $1.3 billion based on a conservative $30-fee estimate.
Anyone who earned $60,000 or less last year qualifies to choose from among 14 software products. Those who earned more than 60,000 are still eligible for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. This more basic Free File option is best for people who are comfortable preparing their own tax return.
More than 70 percent of all taxpayers — 100 million people — are eligible for the software products. Each of the 14 companies has its own special offers, generally based on age, income or state residency. Taxpayers can review each company offer or they can use a “Help Me” tool that will find the software for which they are eligible.
Wondering How to Use Free File? Free File offers easy-to-use products that ask questions and the taxpayer supplies the answers. The software will find the right forms, find the right tax credits and deductions and even do the math. Some companies also offer free state tax return preparation.
Free File also can help taxpayers with the new health care requirements. Most people will simply have to check a box to report health care coverage for the entire year. Learn more at IRS.gov/aca.
Free File will be available through October 2015 only through IRS.gov/FreeFile.
Other tips in the Tax Time Guide series are available on IRS.gov.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Taxing Times in the USA: More Overlooked Deductions.





Needless to say for many, job-hunting has become almost a second job unto itself. That's especially true in a time when careers are in transition, sectors of the economy undergo change, and companies of all sizes re-organize and restructure. CNBC announced today that the Target return store chain will be cutting jobs as part of a $2 billion cost-saving plan over the next two years. 

Are you looking for a job in your present occupation? Good news! Fees for resume writing and professional packaging -such as fees to writers and using employment agencies- are deductible provided, of course, that you itemize. Itemizing refers to the task associated with listing separately all of your assets, credits, permitted deductions, loses and more on your tax return.

That "good news" we just mentioned comes with one caveat. Those costs and your miscellaneous itemized expenses are required to exceed two percent (2%) of your adjusted gross income before tax savings result. 


So, be reminded: SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS. Seriously. 

Another area where deductions are sometimes omitted is in the area of child care tax credits. 

You may qualify for such credits to help with after-school day care. But did you know that parents may qualify for these tax credits with regards to summer camps? Yes -but there's more. 

Here's the catch: the summer camp has to be a day-only getaway program while mom and dad work -not necessarily one that involves overnight costs. Sorry about that. 

Tomorrow we will round out things by focusing on mortgage refinancing, medical costs, retirement savings, energy savings and educational expenditures. Stay tuned! Good luck! 



Monday, March 2, 2015

Taxing Times in the USA: Neglected Tax Deductions You May Qualify For



As March rolls in like a lion across snow-covered North America we cannot help to notice that life's inevitabilities include death, taxes and frequent snow and ice storms. To those of you impacted we send you our hopes for early Spring thaws and blossoms.

In the meantime we'd like to return to the subject of taxes and legal tax deductions. We think the "legal" aspect is very important. It's important to bear in mind that both state and federal tax authorities have no problem with you taking advantage of them. Just be sure you stay within the bounds of the law, ask questions if you are not sure, and maintain detailed records in the event of an audit.

We'd like to share with you the following list of overlooked tax deductions available to taxpayers in the USA. Again, when in doubt contact the tax authorities in your state or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

- Americans have a reputation for being quite charitable. There's nothing wrong with that. Remember, though, that any expenses incurred while performing charitable work are not often counted on your tax returns. You cannot deduct the value of the time you've spent volunteering. However, if you purchase supplies for a charitable group the cost of those materials can be counted and as itemized charitable donation. Do you deliver meals to the homebound? Think 'Meals on Wheels.' The IRS allows you to deduct that travel at 14 cents per mile. If you wear a uniform as, say, a hospital volunteer the cost of the uniform and any cleaning expenses associated with it can be counted as charitable donations. Save your receipts!

- Moving? It is rather commonly known that taxpayers can write off many of the expenses associated with relocation for the purposes of taking another job. That includes a first job by a recent college graduate.

- Are you an American military reservist? A source informs us that those who serve in the military reserve forces and the National Guard are allowed a deduction if they travel over 100 miles and stay overnight for the training exercises. You can also include the cost of lodging and half the cost of your meals, too. Keep track of your miles if you drive since you can deduct those miles at 56 cents per mile -including parking or toll fees. This deduction is available to taxpayer whether they itemize or not. Fill out and submit a Form 2106.


Tomorrow we'll have more of these as they pertain to job hunting, child care, mortgage refinancing, educational expenses and much more!