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CHAPER W O Making the Most of Your Time 53 • What do you think Clark means when she says students should eliminate "hard" from their vocabulary? • As a single mother, how can technology make her academic pursuits easier? [ R E T H I N K ] When Rebecka Marie Clark entered college, she found quickly that different students learn in different ways. "Academics have never been my strong suit as I am a very strong kinesthetic learner," she says. "You can have me read all day and test me, but it's not until I apply and practice [what I've heard] do I understand concepts." Because of this, a hands-on program like dental assisting seemed to be a perfect fit for Clark. She worked hard to get into a dental assisting program, taking and retaking courses to bring up her GPA, and after complet- ing the program, eventually she landed an assistant job. But after a period of time, she decided that she wanted to further her education, and Rebecka began a dental hygiene program. Though she was pleased to be in the program, bal- ancing school, work, and life was difficult. "I was a single mom," she recalls. "I moved back in with my mom when I got into hygiene school to help with my daughter and alleviate debt accumulation. However, this also meant spending 4-6 hours in the car or bus every day." Trying to take advantage of a difficult situation, Clark learned to use her downtime on her commute to study, listen to lectures, work on homework and memorize notecards. She also learned to study better. "I was that student that used to write down everything and anything," she says. "I didn't know what I needed to know so I tried to memorize the whole book." As she learned better study habits, she realized how to prioritize the important con- cepts and to take better notes. "I learned to get into a rhythm and apply what I read to real world situations," she recalls. Clark encourages new students to eliminate "hard" from their vocabulary. "Nothing is ever hard, but it can be challenging," she says. "Looking at things as a challenge gives me reason and motivation to overcome that chal- lenge." She hopes that when others look at situations as challenging instead of hard, they, too, can be motivated to succeed. NAME: Rebecka Marie Clark SCHOOL: Pima Medical Institute S p e a k i n g o f Success Source: Courtesy of Reecka Clark

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