Sphere College Project

A New World of Learning

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Creative Writing Contest!

Hi everybody! For your holiday R&R, and to raise funds for the Sphere College Project, we’ve decided to run a contest: the Sphere College Creative Writing Contest 2011. While visiting my old, dear friend Bill Vernon we made a video describing the contest and put it up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URYAavLAdY4. Please check it out and consider submitting an entry. Also, take a moment to think of all your friends who have a good sense of humor and may like to submit an entry and let them know about the contest. Help us spread the word!

Here are the relevant details:

How to enter:
Age: no age limit. If you can write, go for it.
Topic: Write a humorous piece about a moral dilemma. You choose the dilemma and style of writing. As long as it is loosely related to a moral dilemma, it’s fine. We’re really looking for the funny here. Watch the video for Bill’s take on it. Keep in mind that it will have to be able to be read and posted on YouTube, so check their restrictions.
Fee: This is a fundraiser for the Sphere College Project, so we’re asking for at least $20 by check or money order to Sphere College. You know, it’s the old processing fee! Hey, send more if you like! It’s for a good cause! But it won’t increase your chances of winning, even if Bill claims in the video that it will.
Length: It must be able to be read in 3 minutes or less. Everybody’s got ADD, you know. Now, if you like, you can even make notes about the style you’d like it read in. We can’t really guarantee we can deliver, but hey, we’ll try.
Deadline: MUST be postmarked by January 10, 2011. Kind of arbitrary, kind of not. It’s my (Richard Liston) 50th birthday. w00t! But it’s coming up really soon, so get cracking on it!
Address: Send entries w/entry fee to Sphere College Creative Writing Contest, PO Box 1024, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

The winning entry will be selected by Sphere College students.
Winners will receive the following:

  • We will make a video of someone reading the winning entry and we’ll post it on YouTube on SUPERBOWL SUNDAY, Feb 6, 2011!
  • We’ll read it in an open mic at the Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, PA, apparently the finest coffeehouse in the galaxy.
  • You’ll receive $10.

See, what did we tell you? Fame and fortune! Make sure you send us your contact info, by the way.

Oh, yeah: once you send the entry, we own it and can do anything we want with it and you can’t complain. But we won’t change any of the wording unless maybe it appears to be a typo or goof of some sort.

Have fun! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

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New Direction: Communication

Tonight we are wrapping up our classes for the year, and quite a year it’s been. It’s so gratifying to see this core group of students, including all the students in the video we made over a year ago, still dedicated to bettering themselves and rising to the challenge of self-discovery. I’ve learned an enormous amount along the way as well.

One of the things I have learned is that fundraising for something as innovative as what we are doing is a bear in this economy! Funders, or at least the ones I currently have access to, appear to be more and more committed to supporting existing institutions. So, on the advice of some of these potential funders, we are changing course a bit and working to establish partnerships with institutions in our area to broaden their scope, bringing access to high quality higher education to the large population of adults who deserve it. We are pleased to have been asked to submit a proposal to one local institution of higher education to create a Certificate in Communicate program, and we are enthusiastically working on it. The ability to communicate clearly, concisely, accurately and respectfully is a central component of education. It will help adults acquire skills leading to their desired employment. It will also help them successfully navigate stressful situations, work cohesively with other employees, and convey difficult ideas in an effective, non-confrontational manner.

Meanwhile, as we build this proposal we will continue our fundraising efforts, we will continue
with the current classes next year, and will report on progress with the certificate program as news develops. We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!