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That’s about one in four high school students who will not graduate. Earning your high school diploma is extremely important. You can learn more in this article.
If you’re thinking of dropping out, don’t. If you’ve already dropped out, it’s not too late.
A large portion of iSucceed Virtual High School students come already behind on credits. And each year, many former “at-risk” students go on to receive their high school diploma.
That means we can help you!
iSucceed is not a credit recovery program. A credit recovery program tends to consist of you sitting on a computer, reading documents, taking quizzes and passing the course.
If you failed your course the first time, why would you do better with hardly any support or guidance? That’s not what iSucceed’s about.
We are an accredited, public high school which means our courses aren’t easy. But we do have a few programs and personalized support that will make you more capable of catching up and graduating here at iSucceed than at another school. Learn more below.
iSucceed’s academic structure helps students graduate on time or even early. You can learn more about graduating early here. Our curriculum is separated into three courses every nine weeks. By the end of the traditional semester, a student at iSucceed will finish the same 6-7 courses a traditional student has; they just split it up differently.
Here’s how you can catch up:
After you successfully complete a nine-week block with iSucceed with passing grades, you are eligible to add on more courses. That means you can take three courses every six weeks for an additional three credits. That may not sound like much, but that’s six additional semester courses in the standard school year.
As a refresher, here’s how to catch up on credits with iSucceed:
Sometimes life circumstances can make it difficult to add on courses. If you are behind and unable to take on extra work, you can still earn your high school diploma. You can stay with iSucceed until you are 21. However long it takes you to finish high school is not important, so long as you do earn that accredited diploma!
Don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few other testimonials of online students who caught up on credits and graduated.
“I’ve had a rough high school career that put me in a bunch of different schools and left me behind in credits. Online school has helped me change that and was a great way to catch up and learn plenty of things on the way!
The way I finished was just realizing, I HAVE to do this. Don’t just drop out and give up after working for a couple years on it. Just be motivated and understand that having a diploma helps out a great bit in the real world…Good luck to all of you and understand that it’s all worth it in the end!”
-Joey Hergatt, Graduate
“My experience with online high school was great. I encountered credit problems at the beginning of my sophomore year, so my school recommended taking online courses.
At first I thought it was hard and that it needed a lot of focusing and dedication. Thanks to the help of all my teachers and student advisors, I was able to do so! I even became confident in asking for all the help I always needed, that’s how helpful and nice the teachers and advisors were with me.
Even though I came upon many conflicts and would fall behind on homework, the teachers always had a backup plan to help me move along and succeed. It offered a lot of flexibility!”
–Marianna Montes, Graduate
You’re sitting at your desk, staring at your computer. You have a pile of math homework to start. But you just can’t; you’re dreading it.
You launch your courses and see a word problem. Your least favorite. You want to quit.
You’re not alone. In fact, 4 out of 10 Americans hate math.
If you’re among the four, we have some tips to help you get better at math and start enjoying your work. Our advice comes from a number of online high school administrators, faculty and staff, who are all highly qualified and experienced.
The old saying, “practice makes perfect” rings true for math. There are a few easy ways you can practice math while doing daily tasks. These tips come from faculty from blended learning centers:
Math is found around you wherever you go; don’t stop exercising your brain!”
Again, it’s all about incorporating math into everything you do. Even the fun things! There are several board games that include math in some form. Here are a few games you can play with family and friends:
You can also play a few video games featured in iSucceed curriculum. There are fun exciting graphic games you can play here.
Word problems can be daunting. But there are several common phrases you’ll find in every word problem. And if you can translate those, you’ll get through word problems in a cinch! Here are a few common phrases:
Phrases meaning addition:
Phrases meaning subtraction
Phrases meaning division
Phrases meaning multiplication
Phrases meaning equals
Don’t forget to take a deep breath before you start. It might be daunting, but you can break it down. Find the key phrases and write the math symbols out. You will eventually be able to put together a math problem and solve it.
Practice using the formulas again and again. After a lot of repetition, it gets easier to remember the formulas and the methods and then solving the problems becomes second nature! The second thing is try to take careful notes and keep them– even after passing that math class. When you get into college and have to take additional math courses, you can always go back and refer to old notes if you forgot how something is done!
“We have pretty strong data demonstrating that students who persist through Lesson 10 will pass typically our courses. With that in mind, I often refer back to the wise words of Einstein, ‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’
Students are not expected to learn math in a vacuum. They are welcome and encouraged to seek help – whether that is directly from teachers, from peers, or from the vast array of online math websites that are quick search away. Resourcefulness is a life skill that will yield succeed in math and beyond!” – Ginny Carroll, math instructor
If you are struggling in math, the best thing you can do is reach out to your teacher for help. Your instructors are available via phone calls, emails, instant messages and online sessions to make sure you excel in your online courses. To learn more about communicating with your teachers, head to this blog post.
Take it from one online high school student, Meghan Lyall, who used to struggle with math. Meghan reached out to her math instructor, Mr. Joshi, who helped her every step of the way. Now, Meghan is an excelling student at the University of Utah.
“I had a hard time learning some of the material in my pre-calculus class in my senior year,” said Meghan. “Mr. Joshi was willing to open up live lesson portals once a week to help me with whatever homework problems I did not understand and walk me through each step. This was a tremendous help and I never felt like he was rushing me or becoming impatient with me no matter how many homework questions I needed to be walked through. I felt like he cared that I really learned the material and wanted to prepare me as best as he could for the quizzes and tests.”
We will leave you with a few inspiring thoughts from online math instructor Mr. Joshi:
If you’re an online student, you are all too familiar with the question, “So, what do you do all day?”
The answer? Well, schoolwork.
Don’t worry, students. We know you work hard. Whether you take the traditional or online route, earning that high school diploma is hard work.
But we will admit that without the barrier of a physical classroom comes some benefits.
Donald Mitchell, an assistant principal for an online high school, put together a “Sample Schedule” of a successful online student. Check it out!
Let’s take a closer look into a day in the life of an online student.
Online students are not required to wake up at a certain time. They are required to complete assignments on time, but when and where they choose to do so is up to them.
In other words, yes. You can sleep in.
That will mean you finish courses later in the day. But if that’s what you prefer, you go for it!
Once you wake up and get ready, you log in to your Parent Student Portal (PSP) account where you will see school announcements and access your courses. Once you launch a course, what does it look like? Keep on reading!
iSucceed online courses are unique to other online schools. They are not simply a bunch of words on the page. In addition to reading, there are interactive multimedia elements integrated throughout each lesson. These elements include award-winning videos, graphic-novel stories, educational games and more to help you enjoy what you’re learning.
If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum, head to this blog post.
Since you set your schedule, lunch is whatever you want, whenever you want. Hungry by 10:30 a.m.? Great! Take a break and eat.
Late snacker? That’s fine, too. Plus, if you go somewhere with Wi-Fi, you can work on courses while you eat. Most of our students are more than happy to say goodbye to that cafeteria food.
Teachers hold the same qualifications in both traditional and online school. Should you have a question, you can easily ask your teachers via email, instant messaging, a phone call or live online tutoring.
Head to this blog post to learn more about communicating with online instructors.
If you’re one to get up early and finish your coursework early, you might be wondering what to do with the rest of your day. We have a couple suggestions: Hit up the PSP chat or join us at an event!
iSucceed has a staff-monitored community where you can connect with other students and “friend” them. There are also several in-person school events held throughout the year so you can come meet classmates and make friends.
Of course! Many of our students are aspiring athletes or artists, have a job, illness or other family responsibilities that make the traditional school schedule complicated.
The above sample schedule is just that: a sample. You are not tied to 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. As long as you complete your lessons and assignments on time, you can choose when you complete your class work.
To see more differences between traditional school and the online environment, head to this blog post.
This past school year, iSucceed received a new principal!
Clayton Trehal has been a teacher for 16 years, a vice principal for four years and is now with iSucceed as the Principal for the past year. Learn more about Principal Trehal below!
Principal Trehal is a true Idahoan–he loves the great outdoors. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fishing, snowboarding, mountain biking and walking. Although there is one outdoor activity he doesn’t enjoy:
“I wish I liked running even a quarter as much as I like walking,” said Principal Trehal.
While he loves the great outdoors, Principal Trehal also enjoys watching a great movie.
Above all, Principal Trehal’s passion is helping and meeting diverse students.
“Working with our students gives me faith in humanity. You always hear the, ‘Oh, the younger generation is just the worst’ talk, but I doubt that few teachers or folks that actually work with the younger generation believe that,” said Principal Trehal. I’ve been in education for 16 years now, and every year I meet outstanding students of great character and integrity, who work hard to succeed and do what’s right. You realize that lots of young people are great quality people.”
For more tips on excelling in online school, head to this blog post.
Before coming to iSucceed, Principal Trehal was in a traditional, brick-and-mortar high school. Transitioning into the online realm comes with both its advantages and challenges, as Principal Trehal said.
“The advantages of being a principal of an online school are that we don’t really spend a lot of time dealing with discipline issues and I’m not constantly at a sporting event. So we get to spend more time on students.”
The challenge Principal Trehal faces is helping students stay on track in schoolwork. To help, there is something he always tells iSucceed students:
“I always ask students to tell me what would happen in brick and mortar school if they only went to school two days a week, and the predictable answer is that they would fail,” said Principal Trehal. “I tell them that the same thing is true with our school, but that it’s easier to miss school because we are not sitting on the students’ couches telling them to log in.”
Principal Trehal said being an administrator for an online school means he has to personally reach out to many students since he does not physically see them every day. Doing so has helped him get to personally know many iSucceed students.
“It’s been awesome working with online students because there are so many various reasons they are here and it’s amazing to see them juggle school, work, unique circumstances and to do well at all of these,” said Principal Trehal.
For the past 16 years, Principal Trehal has impacted many students’ lives by helping them achieve their goals. But if you ask him, it’s the students who are impacting his life. The most rewarding thing to Principal Trehal is seeing a student succeed.
“There is nothing cooler than reading a well-written essay that you know a student put a lot of work into, or seeing a marginal student turn themselves around, or, best of all to me, writing letters of recommendation for students’ college applications, and then hearing back from them a year or two later,” said Principal Trehal. “To play any role in helping a person move forward toward their goals and to know that you are at least a small part in helping them become the person they are meant to be is really the great reward of choosing teaching as a profession.”
When it comes to sharing advice, Principal Trehal wants to take a unique route using a picture:
“This is not a picture of a mini-Pac Man game. It’s a cardboard box for Valentine’s Day cards that my daughter and I put A LOT of work into, and we were proud of the finished result. And isn’t that true about everything in life? You get out what you put in, and giving something your all is always a victory.”
iSucceed is back on the road and ready to help you get you enrolled for fourth quarter (Q4) classes starting April 3! We will be at various locations throughout Idaho for you to come meet our staff, enroll onsite and enjoy some treats at our Info Session Road Show.
There will be six info sessions taking place throughout the state March 24 – 30. Each event will have teachers and/or staff members available to answer your questions and help you get enrolled onsite.
Current iSucceed students are welcome to join as well! Come meet your teachers, receive or drop off your laptops and learn more about your school.
If you’ve recently enrolled, then be sure to drop by! These sessions are designed for you! In these sessions, we will help you learn how to log on your new laptop (if you have it), access your school email and your online classroom.
Did we mention there will be free refreshments available at many of the events? Check out the list below to see which event works best for you.
If you plan to enroll onsite, you will need to bring a couple important items with you. Check them out in the image below.
To see the full list of items, download our Enrollment Packet. Students who express a financial need can receive a Google Chromebook to use free of charge while they are enrolled.
Q4 classes start April 3. Start your online application today at isucceedvhs.net/enroll.
We will see you along the road!
It happens every day. There’s the ever-piling list of things to do.
You can continue to sleep in, but it won’t disappear. And while we know you don’t want to hear it, every decision you’re making now impacts your future. Better grades mean more opportunities after high school.
We know completing homework can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few easy changes you can implement now to start seeing improvements today. Check out the tips below.
Studies show that cardio-based exercises boost your memory and thinking skills. Cardio based means doing something that accelerates your heart rate. This can include jogging, riding a bike, playing a sport or anything you like to do that’s fast-paced.
If you exercise right before starting schoolwork, it will get your blood flowing. This will help your brain become more active and ready to focus on homework.
With the benefit of flexibility in online schooling comes the need for discipline. As Donald Mitchell, assistant principal in an online high school, stated:
“To be successful in your courses…create a daily schedule for yourself. Remember, you are required to spend at least three hours on each course that you are assigned on a daily basis.”
In other words, it can be easy to fall behind. But it’s also easy to stay on track if you stick to a schedule.
“If you are a night person, then be a night person. If you know you only like to work online for 30 minutes at a time, then plan breaks between your 30 minutes.” – Mrs. Lauree Russell, online math instructor.
When planning, try to do schoolwork about the same time every day, in a familiar location. It will do wonders for your brain! It won’t take long before your brain automatically recognizes that it’s homework time. Then you won’t have to take as long to get started.
If you have to stop what you’re doing to go grab a snack or a notebook, you’re going to get distracted. Ms. Sarah Gamble, executive director of academics for an online high school, suggests you do the following:
“Have all the materials you need to work ready to go before you start each day,” said Ms. Gamble. “Keep a list of your teacher’s and guidance counselor’s phone numbers, note taking materials, your daily schedule, a glass of water and you are ready to go. This will keep you from getting distracted when you have to leave your work to go find something.”
We’re not saying you have to go to the store right now and drop hundreds on a desk, chair and supplies. Your workspace doesn’t have to be traditional. But it does need to be a set place in order to better focus on homework.
Maybe that place is an office in your home. Or perhaps you have a fuzzy bean bag in your room that you love. Whatever you choose, make it a habit, and make sure you’re comfortable to work. After all, that bean bag might be comfy to relax in, but might not be best once you have a laptop and notebook to juggle.
“Make sure your chair is comfy, your computer screen is at eye level and your favorite items are next to your computer,” said Mrs. Russell. This can be items like photos, music, lotion, candles or a favorite soda.
Online high school instructor Amber Day also suggests that you separate your workspace and your sleep space.
“If you do homework in your bed where you sleep, it’s likely going to make you want to take a nap rather than do math homework,” said Ms. Day. “Go somewhere you know you won’t get distracted (or leave) until you finish homework. Make that your routine and doing homework there will become as natural as taking a nap in your bed is.”
For more tips on organizing your workspace, head to this blog post.
A distraction is anything that deters you from working on courses. This can range from music to your loud little brother.
Let’s take a moment to talk about those smartphones. They’re more detrimental to your homework than you might think.
A study showed that having your phone on silent isn’t enough. Small disturbances like a screen notification could increase errors in your work. It also could prolong the time it takes to complete assignments. Here’s why:
As a researcher from the study stated, “Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt… mind-wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance” (PsychCentral).
Even just being aware of a missed call, an unread text or another notification causes your brain to lose focus on homework. It knows there is something else to do, and it wants to get it finished now.
We recommend setting all smart devices (phone, tablet, etc) in another room. If you are able to forget about it, you will likely finish your homework quicker and make fewer mistakes.
“Turn off your phone, video games, and yes, even your annoying little brother,” said Mrs. Russell. “You might need to consider moving your laptop in a private space or a closet if necessary (smile).”
It’s also best to ask your friends and family not to disturb you during homework.
“Talk to your friends and family about how they can support you,” said Mrs. Benjamin-Baker. “If you work on schoolwork from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day, tell your friends not to text or call during this time.”
Studies show that physically writing on a notebook improves your memory. So if you want to do better on homework and exams, try writing down notes.
“Although we use computers for everything, you are more apt to remember something if you write it down. Write words, draw pictures, use color! Anything you do that will allow you to touch what you are learning will help!”
– Sarah Gamble, executive director of academics.
The beauty of online school is that you can take breaks whenever you need. Do you have a hard time staying focused for long periods of time? Then break it up. Try studying for 30 minutes at a time. Remove all distractions and set a timer.
Once the 30 minutes is up, take a 15-minute break, but do something active! Get up and move around, go for a run. Just do something that isn’t sitting.
After 15 minutes, you can return ready to focus on homework. See if you can increase to 45 minutes before taking your next 15-minute break.
So, now you know what to do in order to clear your mind and stay focused on your homework. But actually starting is the hardest part, right? If you’re needing motivation, try these tips.
If you know you have six assignments to complete in a day, then set aside a small reward for each.
“Know your weaknesses and turn them into rewards,” said Mrs. Benjamin-Baker. “If you like to surf YouTube videos or SnapChat with friends, then reward yourself with these activities AFTER you complete your schoolwork, but not until then.”
As Mrs. Russell said:
“Take a short break and turn on your favorite YouTube music video and have a dance fest. Getting your blood circulating will help your brain and spirit. Nothin’ like rockin’ out to your fave music!
Now this is the way to do homework, right??!!!”
By breaking up coursework with small, fun tasks, your brain will have more positive associations. This might help you dread starting less.
Your guidance counselor’s job is to help you with your academic struggles. If you are having trouble starting coursework, reach out to your counselor for help. They are state-certified and dedicated to you.
To learn more about iSucceed’s guidance counselor, head to this blog post.
Coursework is never easy, we know. But by following the tips above, it can become less stressful, and you will (hopefully) be able to focus.
We’ll leave you with one last quote:
“I am here to tell you that you have the power to be as successful as you want to be. Never let others dictate who you are destined to become!” – Donald Mitchel, assistant principal
Behind every graduate is a number of dedicated teachers. We’re grateful to our iSucceed instructors, and that’s why we take a moment to shine the light on them in this Teacher Spotlight blog series.
This month, we are excited to spotlight Mrs. Holly Mortimer, an English instructor who is well liked by our students. Learn more about her with these fun questions below.
1. How many years have you been a teacher?
I taught for 13 years in brick and mortar classrooms, and have been at iSucceed since it opened in 2008.
2. What are some of your hobbies?
Trail running, skiing, reading, cooking, architecture and home design.
3. Why do you enjoy teaching iSucceed students?
I am impressed by so many of my students who have made the proactive decision to seek out a high school situation that works for them, whether it be because of personal or medical challenges, or outside interests that they are pursuing. I am amazed at how so many of our students juggle multiple commitments–work, family, children, health conditions, education—with grace and discipline. I am proud to be a part of that.
4. What are some benefits you see in online education?
Online education isn’t for everyone at all times, but all of us will have times in our lives when it works for us. Traditional high school works great for some students; online education is there for the rest of us.
5. Have you had a moment when you felt you made an impact on a student’s life at iSucceed?
I had a student who was so committed to his English coursework. He took every opportunity to ask for clarification and input, and he revised all of his projects multiple times. He did this while working full time at a meat packing plant on the night shift
When his mom became ill in Mexico, he had to leave the U.S. to visit her and was concerned that he wouldn’t have enough time to maintain his high grades in his courses. Because our system is flexible, I was able to assure him that he could get caught up when he returned two weeks later. Despite my reassurance, he still walked every other day to an internet cafe to log in and complete some coursework.
When he returned, he sent me a beautiful pottery piece he had brought back; more importantly, he caught right up and earned an A in my senior English course. I was so proud to be part of his success. I know without iSucceed, he would not have been able to graduate from high school.
6. Share with us a piece of advice for your iSucceed students:
Log in every day and read your messages and announcements. Don’t break the chain of doing that one thing every day at around the same time. Once you are in, it’s easier to get some work done; getting started is the hardest part.
There’s no doubt, being President of the United States is one of the hardest jobs ever. And While we commend our fearless leaders for their outstanding service, there are some strange and funny facts we bet you didn’t know.
We found hundreds of them, but since President’s Day falls on February 20 this year, we picked out 20 weird facts you can use to impress your friends.
While you’re at it, enjoy some curriculum from our American History courses featured in the Bio Card graphics below. It brings the past alive for iSucceed students as they learn about the more serious side of our nation’s history.
Our first president gave the shortest inauguration speech. It was only 133 words and lasted less than two minutes! He also didn’t have enough money to get to his inauguration and had to borrow money from a neighbor.
Presidents Adams and Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe (1817-1825) was the last surviving founding father and he died exactly five years later on July 4, 1831.
The capital of Liberia, Monrovia, was named after President James Monroe.
Rumor has it that President Jackson taught his pet parrot how to curse. At his funeral, the bird had to be taken away because it kept swearing!
To help end the movement, this president bought slaves in Washington D.C. and set them free in Pennsylvania.
“Honest Abe” was an amazing wrestler. He competed in about 300 matches, and only lost one of them. He was also the tallest president at 6’4”. Learn more about him in this video.
Get ready for this odd fact: President Garfield was ambidextrous, meaning he could write with both hands. He could even write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other… at the same time.
Good ol’ Teddy was shot in the chest while giving a speech. This didn’t stop him from finishing his talk, which lasted an hour and a half!
“Silent Cal” liked to press all the buttons on his desk and then hide while his assistants were running in. He would then jump out and say he was just checking to make sure everyone was working.
and his wife lived in China before he became elected president. When they wanted to have a private conversation in the White House, they would speak Mandarin.
Also known as FDR, this president married his cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt. The bride was given away by her uncle (and FDR’s other cousin), former president Theodore Roosevelt. FDR was also distantly related to other presidents including Washington, both Adams, Madison, Van Buren, both Harrisons, Taylor, Grant and Taft.
General Eisenhower served in both World War I and World War II.
Two people tried to assassinate Ford in less than a three-week span; they were both females!
15. Ronald Regan (1981-1989) would talk with an astrologer before making major decisions or planning events.
16. William J. Clinton (1993-2001) won two Grammy awards for Best Spoken Word Albums.
17. George W. Bush (2001-2009) was the head cheerleader at his high school.
18. Barack Obama (2009-2017) wanted to be featured in a pin-up calendar in his Harvard days, but unfortunately, the ladies in charge didn’t choose him.
Four presidents’ faces grace Mount Rushmore in South Dakota: George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1817), Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). The monument was created to increase tourism in the region. The sculptures are 60 feet high, the equivalent of a five-story building! Read the whole story here.
Ever seen a $500, $1000 or $5000 bill? If so, you may have noticed the faces of William McKinley (1897-1901), Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897) and James Madison (1809-1817) gracing these bills. Forget the Ben Franklins, and show us the James Madisons, please!
A common question we hear is: “What’s different about online high school?” In a nutshell, the main answer is: the daily routine. Here is how the routine differs for an online high school student.
Traditional students need to wake up early, catch the bus, walk or hope mom or dad will give or dad them a ride to school.
An online high school student wakes up, gets ready for the day and log in to start their coursework. There’s also no dress code required, which can be a plus.
A traditional student attends school from about 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., listening to teacher lectures and working on assignments. Any assignments not completed in the allotted timeframe becomes homework.
Online school is not easier, and takes the same 30 hours per week to complete. The difference is online students are not tied to a physical classroom or a set schedule. This amount of freedom requires a lot of discipline, as it can be easy to fall behind on coursework. But discipline is an invaluable skill needed in college and careers, so why not start early?
All material—assignments, quizzes, exams and projects—are completed online. Students should complete at least one lesson per class every weekday.
Courses include teacher-led lessons, graphic-novel stories, instructional videos and educational games.
Check out this blog post to learn more about iSucceed’s curriculum.
That’s the benefit of online school. You are not constrained to cafeteria food; you can eat whatever you choose. If it’s the yummy pizza pictured above or a nice bowl of cereal from home, that’s completely up to you!
Teachers hold the same qualifications in both traditional and online school. Online instructors are not less accessible, communication is simply different.Students can receive support through email, instant messaging, a phone call or live online tutoring.
Learn more about iSucceed’s personalized communication model here.
Because there is not a physical classroom, online students connect with classmates differently. Interaction happens through the following channels:
There are school events (including prom!) and a graduation ceremony, which you can learn more about here.
Today is National Inventor’s Day, which falls on the birthday of America’s most prolific inventor, the late Thomas Edison. While he is America’s most famous historical inventor who held more than 1,000 patents, there are modern-day inventors who continue to transform our world with amazing solutions for our biggest problems. In fact, some of our most brilliant inventions come from teenagers! Check them out…
Remember, you are never too young to start making a difference in the world. This Inventor’s Day, we hope you gather some inspiration to try and invent something yourself!