Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 -> 2018

Have a festive New Year and here's hoping all the success in the world for 2018!

Friday, November 24, 2017

CBC Closed for Black Friday

As is our tradition, Community Business College will be closed for Black Friday.

Some have said Black Friday is for all those turkeys who made it through Thanksgiving. We have always taken it for two reasons: 1) so our staff and students will have more time to spend in giving thanks with their families, and 2) we don't have to fight a losing battle of trying to cajole students to take Thursday off, come back on Friday and leave again for the weekend.

With that said, however, our Community Business College website is still up and running. Computers and servers don't take holidays.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! - a time to be thankful in 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from Community Business College!

Today is a day to reflect and be thankful. Here are a few thoughts to add to the list.

Things for which to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day:

The first is (and this one is forgotten) – the ability to be thankful. It takes effort to have an attitude of gratitude and Thanksgiving Day is a good time to remember to make it an everyday practice.

So many amazing things have to happen just for one day to go by on this planet, that it’s a good idea to be

More Thankful for what we have than what we don’t have. As they say, count your blessings. The Thanksgiving holiday is a good time to do that. Especially before Black Friday hits and the commercial Christmas rush kicks in full speed.

Coveting things you don’t have is, of course, to be scrupulously avoided, but what should also be avoided is wishing you could give more. We all have plenty to give but when the overwhelming products and stuff gets advertised everywhere we go, sometimes we feel wistful that we would like to give other people more stuff. The Spirit of Thanksgiving reminds us to appreciate the gifts we are able to give and that it is truly the thought behind a gift rather than its price tag or size.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Browsig the New Firefox

The New Firefox

For those who are users of Firefox, you may have noticed your software recently did a mandatory update. Yes, it’s finally here…the new Firefox browser – Firefox Quantum

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wrapping Up Microsoft Word

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this year, one of those common every day things we forget to be thankful for is the ability to write. It is easy to take for granted and yet, even in today's climate of videos and graphic arts, that ability to communicate via writing is still a blessing. After all, how do we communicate video scripts and the instructions for illustrating? Through writing.

One of the most important writing tools in our modern era is Microsoft Word. And it's never too late to learn more about this tool. That's what the adults in our Microsoft Word class that is wrapping up today learned.

Blogs and micro-blogs like Facebook and Twitter still need tools to help them be at their best. Writing and saving drafts in Microsoft Word

Here's a Twitter tip: Work out your tweet in Microsoft Word first, using the word and letter count tool. It is quicker and easier to maximize your 140 character tweets and cram your message into one tweet instead of serial tweets. Plus, you can save a chronology of your tweets in one document in case you ever need them quickly.

And don't forget, when you fell like you have mastered Word, sign up to take the Microsoft Word certification exams.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A QuickBooks Graduation

October saw another graduation of our popular Electronic Bookkeeping class using QuickBooks.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 2017 Graduation Ceremony

This week we had our first graduation of the fall semester at Patterson Adult School.

For our potluck, someone brought home made sliders and someone else brought hot dogs. There were lots of desserts and side dishes and it was all delicious.

The word of the day was achievement and it was used a lot, especially in the context of graduating from the course is a significant achievement.

Achievements like this definitely belong on resumes to help career building. It demonstrates to employers that they can complete a course of training and practice lifelong learning.

We always allow graduates to say a few words when they receive their certificates. Most just give a quick thank you. It is, for many, their first exposure to public speaking, of course.

One student received a congratulatory bouquet of balloons from her family. We always recognize family and friends who support our graduates because, we know that without that kind of support, graduations like this wouldn’t be possible.

It was the end of one class, but it also points to the beginning of another. Many of these basic electronic bookkeeping students will be moving on to the advanced class using QuickBooks.

So congratulations to all of the graduates and good luck finding jobs with your new skills to put on your resumes.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day 2017

As the sun sets on today's Labor Day, we are given one last opportunity to be reminded of the importance of a good day's work on both our bodies and our souls.

One important way to celebrate Labor Day is to take a short course that hones your labor skills. Whether it's a Microsoft Office class from home, or something larger like learning a new language or even something very specific for a job like QuickBooks classes, practicing lifelong learning is something we at Community Business College encourage for everybody.
The more you learn, the more you earn.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Learn A New Word Every Day

With so many people wanting to exercise their minds, there is no easier way to do it than to learn new words.

How To Do It:

Read, read, read. The more you read, and the greater variety of materials you read, the more you are exposed to words with which you may not be familiar.

Check out this blog that offers a new daily word with definition and tricks to remember it every week day -

Or, get a picture of the Word of the Day from Community Business College's Pinterest Board at

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Everybody Needs A Refresher - Even Microsoft Testing Software

Not only do people need to refresh themselves with new knowledge every once and awhile, but computer software does, too.

You've undoubtedly seen your operating system constantly updating itself. It needs to learn to new things, too.

So today, John is updating our Microsoft Office Testing Center for the new school year. So even tests need to refresh themselves. In a way, it's the computer software practicing lifelong learning.

Now that means Community Business College will have the Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and Microsoft PowerPoint testing system all ready for the Eckerd Youth training program we are starting over here at Community Business College.

Just like with humans updating our skills, the process is not difficult but it just takes a little time.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Never Stop Learning

There are many good reasons to always learn new things. The obvious one is to learn things like new Microsoft Excel features of a newly released version. Another is for the simple pleasure of learning. It is never too late to experience the awe that we all have as children in the discovery of something new.  As has been said for centuries: It is never too late to learn something new.

Another reason is we may be inspired by teachers who never stop learning.
Then you find that some jobs, like instructors and professors, that require continuing education units.

The act of learning for work and for pleasure should never be forgotten. Not only does the practitioner gain new knowledge, learning new things builds confidence.

And here's a funny thing - a connection to one new idea builds questions that bridge to other new ideas.

With that in mind, here is a quote attributed to St. Jerome:

It has been difficult for researchers to verify the quote but it has been used many times and the sentiment rings true.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Learn A Word A Day

Community Business College has been providing students a "Word of the Day for 20 years now.

It's a fun game to help reinforce and build vocabulary.

Today's word of the day is:

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Final Thought - It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn

At our weekly school-wide meeting wrap up,  we provide a final thought for the week for our students and staff.
The final thought is not an opportunity to quit thinking, but rather a thought to ponder over the weekend before school starts up again on Monday.
This week's final thought was a reminder: It is always darkest, right before the dawn.

This is a good reminder to people who are struggling with issues like unemployment, finances and family stresses. like many of our students.

So as bad as it gets, it can sometimes be helpful not to focus on the darkness that's happening, but rather the good that's coming.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day 2017!

Happy 4th of July!

It's a good day to remember the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, read the Declaration of Independence and enjoy the freedom we celebrate.

Community Business College will be closed for the Independence Day holiday today but will reopen on Wednesday, July 5th!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Victor Hugo Day

Happy #VictorHugo Day!

Google has included the famous French author among its litany of Doodle-saints by honoring him with today's doodle:


As Community Business College is an institution concerned with higher learning, we thought we'd add our own recognition of the great writer with a picture of him and a favorite quotation about reading:

By the way, since Google decided to offer a slide show that includes both well known and less well known works, here is a key to the representations of the Google Doodle recognizing Victor Hugo:

Notre-Dame de Paris (also known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame ) - 1831

Les Contemplations: A book of poetry dedicated to his daughter, Léopoldine Hugo, who drowned in the Seine River – 1856

Les Misérables (the book, not the musical) - 1862

As a side note, perhaps it’s best that Google didn’t decide to include a doodle about how Victor Hugo used to motivate himself to write when he had writer’s block: lock himself in a room, bare naked, with nothing but a pen and paper. Definitely would not make a dignified doodle.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Having Fun In A Heatwave - Plus A Little Science

While we suffered heat in excess of 100 degrees in Modesto at Community Business College so we decide to try a little science experiment - would an egg placed on a sidewalk cook?

Well, it didn't. At least the one put on the concrete. However, we also left a cast-iron mini skillet out in the sun and it got hot. Sure enough, the egg in that one cooked. I wouldn't serve it for breakfast but the proteins did coagulate.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Probation Department Job Fair

Last week Community Business College was invited to participate in the Stanislaus County Probation Department's career development fair.

It was unlike any job fair we've ever been to before.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 29 - National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!

Nowadays, every day seems to be some kind of day to celebrate something. March 29th, then should be left out. Turns out March 29th is not only the anniversary of the Treaty of Saint-Germain (which returned Quebec to French control after the English had seized it back in 1629), it is also:
 National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!

Okay, it’s not very likely that Hallmark will be offering greeting cards for this holiday any time soon, but it does highlight an important aspect of our economy – small businesses.
Many people dream of owning their own businesses and this is a chance to remember that behind every store front there’s somebody who owns it.
As much as owning a business can be a dream, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Most small businesses fail and it’s only the very few that can survive past the 3-year mark.
Purchasing goods and services online is getting easier and easier. Yet, there is nothing like the feeling of going into a locally owned used book store and just spend some time browsing and finally settling on a purchase. That’s the advantage of small businesses.
The origins of #MomAndPopBusinessOwners day, so the story goes, include a couple who decided to mark a day to remember people like their parents who started a hat shop back in 1939. This is one of those businesses that survived and took off to earn over $2 million a year store selling clothing.
The good news is it is now easier than ever to become an entrepreneur. Just be sure to sell something people want to buy. Or sell something in a unique way.
Community Business College offers classes to help people get started in being an entrepreneur. And remember, many of your startup expenses, including education, can be tax deductible.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

W-4, Where For Art Thou?

One of our entrepreneurial minded QuickBooks students asked in class yesterday about employee W-4 forms.

She is looking to go into business with her son. She wanted to know about the IRS Schedule for withholding and so it gave us an opportunity to explore the W4 form

The W4 form is an excellent opportunity for employers to keep track of what's been going on with their employees an update their information. New boys always fill out the form, but a solid strong accounting practice is to ask all employees to fill out a new form at the beginning of each year.

Why a new W-4 form each year?

Threw out here a lot of changes can take place and people forget to report it to their employers. For example when somebody moves, somebody got married, and older child moving out and is no longer a dependent?

Another reason can be found directly on the instruction page that accompanies the form: Future developments -  Information about any future developments affecting Form W-4 (such as legislation enacted after we release it).

The way Congress works, they can make rule changes at any time and they don’t have to warn you about them.

All of these things can make a big difference on the W4 form.

You don’t have to wait for an employer to supply you with the form, you can also do it yourself.

I had a friend who would intentionally ask for extra withholdings on his W-4 form. Why? Because he wanted a bigger refund on April 15th. When told he was just giving the government a free loan that's interest free, and that he could just put the money in the savings account, he replied that no it wouldn't work that way. He would just spend the money instead of saving it. This way since it was we hell before he got his check his paycheck each. He would not know he had it until it came at the end of the year.

That is definitely not a good smart way to say, but if you know yourself well, perhaps it's better than nothing.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Evaluating The Evaluators at Community Business College

Community Business College is unique in many ways but none more so than the fact that we take a weekly temperature of how our students are doing. We ask our students to evaluate both their course content and their instructors on a weekly basis. We have been doing this for 20 years and it has been especially effective at helping us accommodate an extremely diverse population of students.

Why? Several reasons. The first is because we really do care how our students are progressing and feeling about it. Other organizations pay lip service to caring what their customers think, but aren’t very proactive about it. The best way to know how you're doing and how your customers feel about you is to simply ask them.

Just like we do for our own daily lives (or even as the Gallup organization found, employees at a job) it's good to take a little break as time goes on reflect on what’s working and what needs improvement.

Another reason we constantly check in with our students, is if we do ever do run into any issues, finding out about them early makes them easier to solve. For example, if one or two students feel like the class is moving too quickly for them, finding out early on means we can adjust accordingly and not let any students fall behind.
A caveat to those who might wish to duplicate the process - don't ask people to be honest and blunt in your surveys if you aren't ready for the consequences. Asking people to share their concerns and then not acting on them is the epitome of counter productive efforts.

Here are some examples pulled from the written surveys of our students last week.

“I really like this class because it is explained really well. We’re all working together. It makes class feel comfortable.”

“My instructor, John, has been great. He explains everything very well and helps everyone in class that might be having trouble.”

“Excellent course for a business owner!”

“The instructor is very knowledgeable. Is very personable. I am a visual learner and he teaches ‘hands-on.’”

Community Business College
As you can see, not only do we like to know about problems early on, but we also like to hear the good things that are happening.

Monday, January 16, 2017

CBC Closed for MLK Day 2017

Community Business College will be closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated how the power of words and use of language can change the course of history. As our school is dependent upon the use of language to teach ideas and thoughts to others, it is a suitable time to reflect on how words can inform and inspire.

Our history, our culture, is made up of thoughts and ideas that our turned into ideals for which we can strive.

As lifelong learners, we can take solace that just as our history can change for the better, so can we. All it takes is a little learning, time and thought.

Happy Valentine's Day 2019

Our students are the best! Thanks for the chocolates and thanks for sharing with the class! We really do have the Best Teachers Ever!