Adult Ed Blog


Donna Finneran, founder of the Brian O’Connell Project, offered a presentation about homelessness and her organizational mission: to pass on aid in the name of Brian O'Connell (her twin brother) who passed away in Connecticut while homeless. As part of her presentation, Finneran explained the origin and development of the “Brian Bag” initiative. The Petit Family Foundation recently presented Plainville Adult and Continuing Education with a grant award of $2,518.83, of which 100% funded a structured set of items for “Brian Bags,” including: first aid supplies, food, water, socks, and toiletries. Here are some reactions from Adult Education Students:

Attending the Brian Bag presentation was very informative. It shed a light on the world that homeless people are living in. I knew homelessness could happen for a number of reasons but I never thought about PTSD being one of them. I like that she is doing this in her brother's honor, it's very respectable. When she showed the contents of the Brian bags she was very descriptive in what each purpose the objects served. My favorite part of the whole presentation was how in depth she went into explaining the Brian Bag. She told us that she only gets a specific type of chips because that's what they like, which is really sweet of her. She emphasized that the Brian bags weren't to help them long term but they were mostly for that day's usage.  Even though it won’t get them out of homelessness, it's still a major act of kindness for them and just that can turn their whole day around. I’d like to put together some Brian Bags of my own. I think it would be a really good form of community service. I'd also enjoy handing them out to some people in my town that I see aren't as fortunate as the rest of us. I try to help out the best I can when I do see a homeless person, like giving out necessities here and there. Overall this presentation was well put together and she got straight to the point. By: MO

It was so interesting to listen to Brian’s sister tell us his story. It was really heartbreaking, and sad. It helps listening to other people  tell their stories, because at times when you yourself are going through troubles in your life, it helps to hear what other people either are going through or have been through. To hear about the twin towers, and 9/11 brought back a lot of memories for me as well. I’m from NY born and raised, and I too was still living in NY during that time. I didn't witness it first-hand like Brian did, but it was still very scary and unbelievable. My son was four at the time. His father worked in Queens, and had to walk across the bridge with hundreds of other people filled with debris on them. I can’t even imagine how traumatizing it must have been for Brian along with hundreds to witness it in person. It changed many lives forever. We as a society have to really focus more on mental health disorders for people who have PTSD or severe trauma with past or present experiences, mental disorders in general, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide. It’s like she was saying a simple hi or a smile can go a long way. It doesn’t take much to take two minutes out of your day to let someone else know you care. I always love the phrase, “Be kind to others because you never know what their struggles are.” To be Brian’s sister, and his family, and get devastating news like that is such a tragedy. It is good that she and her family finally got his remains to give him a proper burial and put his remains at rest. It was a good thing for her coming here and giving this presentation and sharing her story which is extremely difficult to talk about, I imagine. It gives a voice for people who don’t have one, and makes you want to do more for people who need it.  By: Anonymous


HUSKY Health Hub recently  offered a presentation about Fats and how they can affect your health. Participants learned  about the differences and effects of saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Presenters used visual models and a variety of handouts. Students  learned  how to make healthier choices while participating in this community centered program. Here are some reactions from Adult Education students:

Unsaturated Fat vs. Saturated Fat vs. Trans Fat

Unsaturated fats are actually beneficial to your body. When you see fat, you might think to yourself it's automatically bad but with unsaturated fats that actually isn't true. Some of the benefits from unsaturated fats are as follows: improve blood flow, ease cholesterol levels, stabilize your heart rate and many more things. Some examples of unsaturated fats are avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon, and olives. After increasing your intake of unsaturated fats for a good amount of time you could start to notice changes in your body. Now saturated fats aren't extremely bad for you either. Too much of it though can increase your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of a stroke or heart disease. So, limiting your intake of saturated fats is best for your health. Some examples of saturated fats are fatty cuts of meat, cake, bacon, whole milk, coconut, and dairy products like cheese. Now finally trans fats, you should avoid completely. Now it's not to say you can't enjoy a treat with trans fats in it every once in a while, but other than that don’t intake it at all. It's a chemically artificial fat and isn't natural. Companies put it in their products to lengthen the shelf life of their food. Sometimes they are sneaky with the way they label trans fats on the ingredients page. They might call it hydrogenated oil but it really is just trans fats. By: MO

What is the best type of oil to use to fry meat?

The best oil to fry or really do anything with is avocado oil because not only is it organic, but also the  healthiest oil you can consume for your body.  By: DD

Unhealthy and Healthy Fats!

1. Choose foods with good unsaturated fats.

2. Limit foods high in saturated fats. 3. In saturated fats avoid bad trans fats. Foods high in saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you. It gives your body fats and sugars that are not good for you, found in corn oils, fried foods, cakes, cookies, pastries. Cut out margarine, red meats; instead eat fish or poultry. Avoid fast foods, cook with olive oil,  don’t get the oil too hot or else it takes away from using the nutrients that you need. Peanut oil or some plant-based oils are great as well.  Foods that have unsaturated fats are best for you. They provide more nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables should be half of your plate. The rest of your plate should be grains, or pasta’s along with seafood. I’ve been a vegetarian for seven years now, and it was extremely difficult for me in the beginning. I did not know about healthy nutrition at all. I was always hungry, so instead I filled up only on starchy foods, and some veggies. I know more about it now, so I try to incorporate more nutrients in my diet like broccoli. It is still hard when you have a busy schedule, but when I can, I prepare meals ahead of time, for me. By: Anonymous


HUSKY Health Hub presented “SUGAR RUSH” to adult education students recently. We learned about various health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. There was also an interactive portion about sugar and how much sugar is in products that we consume on a daily basis. Participants had a chance to ask questions during the question/answer portion of this course, and received informational handouts. Here are some reactions from Adult Education students:

Learning about the sugar intake that goes in and out of our bodies, was very helpful. I’ve learned how to convert added sugars into teaspoons. For instance, a 16oz Coke bottle equals up to 17 teaspoons of added sugars that they put in it. I’ve also learned that an average human consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugars daily. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon of sugar, so if you start checking your labels for sugar it will surprise you with how much added sugars are in most of our daily foods and drinks, in which we think are healthy when in reality they are not. Diet drinks and sports drinks are worse than your average drinks. By: Anonymous

Are sugars bad for you? Well it depends how you are intaking it. Natural sugars from foods like fruits, vegetables, or whole foods aren't bad for you but you shouldn't overdo it. Now, added sugar is what isn't good. You should lessen the amount of added sugar you intake. Not to say you shouldn't have any at all, having a sugar snack here and there won't hurt you. Sugar actually provides glucose which helps your body form energy and is a necessity for our survival. The best type of sugar you can actually have is natural sugar or stevia. They have many health benefits to offer apart from weight loss. Stevia sugar is actually extracted straight from the plant species Stevia. It's the best substitute for sugar you can find commonly on the market. By: MO


The Reviews are in!

Students in the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program recently read, reviewed, and rated the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare.  Students were asked to review the play then give it a rating, using a 1-5-star rating, (1 =worst and 5=best). 

Review #1: The play is about a tragic hero who has to choose between being loyal to his friends or to his country.

I would recommend this to a friend because it’s a historical piece and very interesting.

Star Rating:  StarStarStarStarStar
I gave the book 5 stars because it is based on a true story.

Review #2: In Ancient Rome, Senators form a conspiracy to take out a significant figure in Rome. In order to successfully carry out the assassination, they manipulate and gain the trust of the “hero” of Rome who knows no evil. What becomes of this assassination is an all-out war seeking vengeance for the man assassinated.

I would recommend this to a friend because I thought that the suspense in the book was nice and it had a nice pace to it. The book wasn’t too short and it wasn’t too long. It didn’t drag out needless things and it got to the point while usually leaving you wanting to know what would happen next.

Star Rating:  StarStarStarStar No Star
I gave this book a 4 because I sometimes found it hard to read due to the Old English used.

Review #3: Julius Caesar is a tragedy play that centers on murder as an acceptable means of political power. It’s about power, honor, and pride. It’s about understanding what a tyrant is and what a tyrant isn’t, along with seeing if the character is becoming one or not. Brutus is at battle in many different ways, along with other characters. Everyday is constant war in Rome in this story. It’s politics. Politics is war.

If they can understand the language and like murder and war then sure, I would recommend this to a friend. I think it all just depends on the type of friend because some people like certain genres. If they like murder, war, betrayal, and politics then sure I would. I personally liked the plot.

Star Rating:  StarStarStarStar No Star
It was well thought out, the detailing with everything was good. The manipulation was good. I figured out some hidden things in the book that weren’t necessary. I personally don’t like Shakespeare just because the language is harder to understand for me. The plot was great though!

Our New Year’s Resolutions/Goals

Students in the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program recently shared their New Year’s resolutions and goals.  Read below to see what they will be working toward this year!

“For this year outside of school my two main goals are to bench press 225 pounds and to buy myself a car. In school one of my goals is to keep my grades at an A or B. My second one for school is to get all the credits I can get”.

-Adult High School Credit Diploma Student

“My resolution for school academics is to try to get my work submitted as soon as possible, which should be one of my main priorities. Another New Year’s resolution is to stay focused and have discipline. Try not to lose your track. Leave the past and work harder to have a successful career”.

-Adult High School Credit Diploma Student

“Academically my New Year’s resolution is to get as many credits as I can and graduate. Personally, my new year’s resolution is to stop getting sick along with getting better mentally”.

-Adult High School Credit Diploma Student


Students in the GED preparation program share advice rooted from their personal experiences with Plainville Adult Education.

Top 5 Tips & Tricks for Preparing for and Taking the GED Tests:  

By Chi:

1.    Review practice tests

2.    Stay focused

3.    Relax and rest well

4.    Determination and persistence

5.    GED is not the only stop on the road


By Kim:

1.      Set your goals and have a timeline

2.      You’re never too young or too old

3.      Teachers and tutoring are available for “Academic Support” 

4.      I’ve learned how to summarize in 5 minutes with one hand

5.      Very relaxed setting, not stressful at all                                                   



It is important to know mental math because it's a faster way to get to the answers. Mental math helps me out a lot on a day to day like when I’m at the store I will round up to the nearest dollar amount or I will round down and this will let me know if I have enough or not. Mental math helps me at work because I can do it in my head.

Mental math is important so you can do quick math so you know how much something is going to cost or how much of something you have. It can help you in your everyday life when you go to the store. It can help you at work to calculate measurements and where you need to cut and the angle it needs to be cut at.

Mental math is important because you might not always have access to a calculator. It can help in everyday life because you can do a quick math problem in your head like if you work with money or as a register worker with change. It helps me at work because I can find out the money they need fast.

Math is very important because it's literally everywhere and you don't even know it-- stores, money, math equations. Mental math helps because it's stuck in my head and if I know the problem I'll easily answer it. Math equations are easier to solve when I know the answer faster.

It is important for you to know how to do mental math because math is with you everywhere you go. Having a good handle on mental math can aid you in your day-to-day life. An example for when you might need to use mental math is at a store. You may need to make a rough estimate so that you don't overspend.  Mental math can help you at work because a lot of jobs require use of numbers. I know at my job as a cashier I need to be able to count change quickly and calculate percentages. Mental math helps me to get my work done faster.

Mental Math is important because it helps us throughout life every day and not rely on calculators constantly. Mental math can help you at the store/restaurant when paying for things (usually rounding more in that). It can help when someone is paying taxes or bills. Usually depending on where you work mental math can be helpful in different ways. If you work at a bank then there is a lot of math included which you need to know. Every time I walk into a bank I usually see the workers not even using a calculator and being able to do the math in their head. Math professors usually use mental math and encourage their students to use it. Also, if a cash register goes broke then the worker needs to use mental math in order to give back the person's change.

Mental math is important because not every time you get to have a calculator. It is best to always be ready. It can help you learn and keep focus. At work it helps me count the number of workers coming in and out of my job.

Special Blog: ESL Edition

A new student from Albania, recently enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Plainville High School. She is learning to speak, read, and write English. She is off to a great start and continues to develop her writing skills. You are invited to read her blog entry about family:

My new family consists of 4 (four) members. They are my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my husband.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law have 2 (two) grandchildren, from their daughter and her husband. They have a boy and one girl. I and my husband live in a house with his parents.

·      Father-in-law works as a house painter
·      Mother-in-law is a homemaker
·      My husband works as a truck driver in the postal service
·      My sister-in-law works as a teacher

I am currently taking an English course at Plainville Adult Education.


Adult High School students beginning the spring semester, were asked a couple of questions:

1) What is your new semester school resolution?

2) What words of wisdom do you have to share with others looking to join Plainville Adult Education?  Here’s how they answered:

Michael resolves to graduate and said, “If you are behind, come here and get caught up fast.” Cristina’s resolutions are to graduate and maintain a good GPA, and advises, “stay on track.” 

Here’s what others in the group offered: 


• Do better than before.
• Continue to work towards my goal of gathering credits to complete my schooling in the summer.
• Finish school and come every day.

Words of Wisdom: 

• Do your best and don’t give up. 
• I would recommend this program to anyone interested because it’s a great opportunity to better yourself and further your education.
• It’s a great school
Join; it’s very good.
• It’s simple, just show up. 

Students in the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program recently read, reviewed, and rated* the book, A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

*Rating 1-5 stars 

By IR:  The book A Brave New World is a dystopian novel that can be interpreted differently by many people. Aldous Huxley used this book to portray the dangers of technology. The book takes place in a technologically advanced society. They are all being controlled to a point which leaves them to ponder the question, “Is happiness worth the cost of truth?”
Rating-4 stars:  I gave this book this rating because although it is a good read, the sophisticated literature used might make it harder to understand. I would recommend this book to a friend because it sends out a good message, all while maintaining an interesting plot.

By Anonymous: This dystopian book is about how all these people live at this place where they are born and taught differently from normal people. They have different ranks, like people that are alphas.
Rating-3 stars: I didn’t really like the book but it wasn’t bad. I would you recommend this book to a friend if they like dystopian books.

By Gabe: This book is set in London years into the future. There  are some interesting characters that will blow you away. It's a book on how the world can go wrong.
Rating-5 stars:  It had me on the edge of my seat when reading it. I would recommend this book to a friend because it's just fascinating so see the story unfold.

By Anonymous:  The genre is set in “the future” in England. There are a few main characters throughout the book. The theme is technology.
Rating 4.5 stars: It was a good read, but other people can like or dislike it more than me. I would recommend this book to a friend because of how interesting it is. There are some points in the book which are cliff hangers and you would want to keep reading to figure out what happens.

By TS: This was a really good book it started off a little confusing and I was not sure if I was going to like it because it was a little hard to understand when they started using big words.  But as things went on, I started to understand it more and more, and it’s on audio so that was a big plus for me. I was able to re-play it as much as I needed to get a better understanding.
Rating-4 stars: It really surprised me. This is not a book I would have picked myself, but I’m glad I read it. I was able to read a book about different ways people think; if they were in control of the world, things would be so different then what we know today.

By Anonymous: This book is about a futuristic society that is based on science that gets rid of all the modern culture that we know of and implements it to fit how they live. The main character goes to the savage reservation that is a society that we know of and it changes how they think.
Rating-3 stars: It’s well written and shows how the modern day could have been but I rated it a 3 because it's not for everyone, genre wise. I would recommend this book to a friend because  It could open their minds because it has some lessons that we could learn from and use nowadays.

By SG: A Brave New World is a dystopian novel that keeps people on their toes sometimes. In this place it’s about the people that are made out of an incubator and cells. They get conditioned from a young age to the end of their life, meaning they get brainwashed. They take drugs in order to not feel emotional pain and don’t believe in families. Is there a hero to this Dystopian novel? You got to read the book in order to find out.
Rating-3 stars: It has somewhat of a good plot but it’s confusing with all of the scientific words and can cause anxiety. I already told some of my friends about this book and they’re not really interested in it since it seems to be so messed up but that’s what dystopian books do--so they might not be interested in dystopian books/novels at all.

By DTD:  A Brave New World is a very interesting book;  it’s a whole different world
Rating-3.5 stars: Pretty good but not my favorite book read. I would recommend this book to a friend.  It’s not in my interest but it might be there’s.

Those considering the GED Prep program
By Ben: 
I go to Plainville Adult Education because I want to get a GED. The reasons are career, family and self- development.  I enjoy meeting people,  especially everyone here at Plainville Adult Ed. I feel a sense of welcome and I get to learn valuable lessons.  I sincerely hope that you will have the same feelings too.

Students in the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program, responded to this quote:

"The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling." –Fabien Fredrickson

By IR: For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to own something. Cosmetology has always been a passion of mine, and I recently decided I want to own my own salon one day. I have plenty of fears about the future, but this quote proves to be true. No matter what happens, I want to wake up every day and love what I do. Choosing a career in something you're passionate about can set you up for a more fulfilling life.

By Gabe: When I get my diploma, my plans are to got to Trade School and get my welding license. The quote can inspire me because I love art and welding is like an art to me. Why? Because if you see all of the beautiful skylines of the buildings around the world … most of them or maybe all of them, were welded.

By TS: The career path that I would like to get in to after I receive my diploma is carpentry. I like seeing different things that are built out of wood. I know I will have to work really hard at math because that is the main part of being a carpenter. I would love to go around and pick up old or used furniture and bring it back to life and re-sell it.

By Anonymous: I don't know what career to do because I'm good at many things. This quote can inspire me to accomplish things that I like to do. I guess it can help me decide which things I like to be more passionate about. I like to do more stuff related to landscaping than anything else, so it’s something that can be a possibility.

By SG: Since I was little, I constantly changed my career path. Today I am still worried that I will change what I want to do for a living. I grew up loving dance and for the longest time I wanted to be a fashion designer. As time went on I started to get more fascinated with learning about how the human body works. In 7th grade in science class we learned about the human body and I was fascinated and that was the only thing I was good at in science. So, for my career path I am still deciding on between going for psychiatry or a family physician doctor even though working in the hospital is starting to interest me. What inspired me to be these was my family. I just want to help people to not be in anymore pain. My relationship with God also inspired me. So, when I get my diploma I am going to go straight for college for two majors of family physician and psychology/psychiatrist. I’m thinking of going to Tunxis for maybe 2 years then switch to UCONN. While being at college I might find a part time job around the area. I was thinking Barnes and Noble since I love books or maybe be a receptionist at a doctor’s office and work myself up.

By DTD: Once I get my diploma, I’m going to try my best to maybe go to college and study Criminal Justice to maybe become a Forensic Scientist. Maybe try to get little side jobs. The quote can help me remember who I want to become in the future, and keep the mentality all about my future so I won’t fall off until I get to my goal.

By EM:
When I get my diploma, I'm going to work-out and work on myself. After, I'm going to go to school for criminal justice or go to the police academy. What makes me keep going to school is my son and family. I want to be someone better and give my kids everything that I never had, and for them to see me as a better person. So, every day, if I get up in the morning tired or stressed or in a bad mood-- I think of my kids and think, I’m alive to do better.

By Anonymous: A career I want to pursue, is either in electrical or welding. This quote can inspire you because when you're good at something you can just pursue it. This could help you pick a career path by what you find fun and interesting.

Students in the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program,  responded to this quote:                                           

“Success always begins with a thought but it is achieved through action.”

By SG: I can apply this to my work/school life to remind myself in order to be successful I actually need to do things in order to get to success. It helps me push myself to actually get things done even at home like chores. For school I will need to push myself to do more work throughout the days and to stay focused for this year and the future. Along with studying a lot for the future. In the past I wish I had known how exactly to push myself into actually going to school when I stayed out of school for a long time because of a medical issue but luckily, I know how to do that now.

By IR: I can apply this to my school life because success is easy to picture but it requires hard work. It is easy to lose track of your success, and even harder to pull yourself up from that. I wish I had made better academic choices in the past so I wouldn't have to work so hard now to meet my goals. This quote can help you become successful because it can push you to realize that things won't just come your way, and you have to work hard for them.

By Anonymous: This quote is good because it tells you that nothing comes easy and that you have to work for what you want. For instance, if you want to get promoted or get a better job than the one you're working at,  you have to work hard to get the promotion or to get the job you want.

By DTD: I wish I had taken the better route for school when I first started my freshman year, because when I first started,  I thought things were going to be as simple as the movie High School Musical was, all fun and happy times, and it was.  But the thing about it is,  I never really did my work and that impacted big time on my grades. What I’m going to do, so I can turn my future around to be successful, is to do the right thing and do what I have to, in order to become successful in life.

By TS: I learned about this program through the daytime GED program I attended here in Plainville. The teacher I had was telling me about this program here at the high school. I   joined this program because I didn’t have a lot left to finish when I was in high school. I just started this program and I was told I should be done by June of 2022. What I like about this program is that I am able to finish what I started years ago. I would recommend this program to other students that are working during the day or have kids this would be great because it’s in the evening.

By Gabe: I learned about the program by a friend they gave me a card I’m glad they did. I decided to join the program because I want to further my education so I can move on from my job get into something that I want to do. I have been in the program for one day so far so good. What I like about the program is that everyone seems very nice. I would recommend this program because once you’re done you can go for things that you couldn’t go for before.

By IR:  Today is my first day in the adult ed program. I struggled consistently in traditional school despite all of my best efforts. This program was recommended to me by my guidance counselor. I chose to go this route in hopes to be able to graduate within a certain time frame. I also was attracted to the schedule because it leaves me with more time in the day, and helps me exercise more independence. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone looking for a high school alternative. 

By EM: I learned about the program because my sister was going here before and I chose this program to finish school and cause my sister told me everyone here was very helpful and easy to understand. I have been here for two years already and I like it. They help me a lot and push me to do better in life. I would recommend it to my family and friends, because everyone here is a good person and help students finish their goals.