Bachelor of Arts

Find the best online Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees

Literary Non-Fiction at its Best – Jane Austen

I’m not one to generally read literary non-fiction, but when one of your favourite authors pops up on the list of those who won the Charles Taylor Prize, as the name of a book rather than the person who has written it, you do have to pick up the book and see what it’s about. And so it was that I came across Jane Austen, the creative non-fiction piece written by Carol Shields that details what little is known of Jane Austen’s life during the short 40 or so years she lived.

When you read Jane Austen, you can identify with Austen’s life as a writer, mainly because she draws from her own experience for all her books. Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park are Austen’s most famous works, and they all deal with societal morals and values during the time Austen lived. They talk particularly about the life of women at a time when marriage was the only thing on the minds of parents with girls who had reached a certain age – the higher the peerage of the man who married their daughter, the higher their standing rose in society.

And so every mother was on the lookout for eligible bachelors, so much so that they would push their daughters on to them in an attempt to entice the men with the feminine nature of the women. Remember Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice? Perhaps Jane Austen was driven to write mainly about marriage and bagging a good husband because she herself remained unmarried till the end when an illness claimed her life at the young age of 42. According the book written by Carol Shields, Jane Austen fell in love with a young law student who was visiting her neighbours and hoped he would reciprocate in kind. Her letters to her sister Charlotte were full of her feelings for Tom Lefroy and how she hoped to marry him. But she was in for a major disappointment as Lefroy returned to Steventon only to marry an heiress.

Perhaps this feeling of resentment against heiresses is carried forward in all her works – the men are made to understand that heiresses are not the right wives for them; rather, it’s the genteel women of good families who are well-read and also knew how to take care of other feminine responsibilities (like sewing, nursing, and maintaining the household) who hold more promise than women who have just money.

Austen was in a way just like the heroine of her book Pride and Prejudice – Elizabeth Bennet – who she portrays as an intelligent and quick-witted, yet sharp-tongued and impulsive young woman. She was clearly ahead of the thinking prevalent in those times, and Elizabeth is modelled along those lines – she uses her honesty and wit to ultimately find happiness with Darcy, a happy ending that Austen perhaps lived through her creation because she could not find it herself.

The book Jane Austen by Carol Shields retails for $11 in the paperback form and $23 in the hardcover form at Amazon.

Top 49 Street Art Blogs

Street art is common in Europe and some regions of the United States. It’s different than standard graffiti in that it usually makes a political statement. There’s plenty of kitschy street art, but it typically symbolizes some sort of statement. It is often conducted in the dark of the night and many artists’ identities are unknown since they’re often vandalizing and defacing property. Some street artists have gone commercial, picking up gigs with major pay, but for the most part, the art remains safe from heavy monetary influence.

Top Street Art Blog

If you’re visiting a major city, there’s a good chance there’s a street art scene going on there. These blogs will show you amazing images from all over the world and give you a feel for what street art is all about.

1. Ulamonge This amazing design and street art blog shows you the best of what’s out there. Folks from all over the world send in images and stories about street artists, making this site a must-read for those who want to learn more on the subject.

2. Global Graphica This site showcases design and street from around the globe. It is a must-see for small snippets of the street art scene going on in major cities, no matter how large or small the work.

3. The Street Art Blog This street art blog will knock your socks off. The blog features work from all over the world, including the amazing mural in Mexico recently completed by famous street artist WK.

4. Streetsy This blog shows you fabulous works from LA to New York City. The Flickr account will entice art lovers for hours as you see the amazing techniques of unknown artists who are trying to send a message.

5. Little People Not all street art has to be splashed on a wall. This blogger displays”little people” at monumental places all over the world and captures images of the figures.

6. Vandablog This site shows street art from around the world, but the blogger doesn’t just show off eye candy. He also makes interesting art commentary that will help you better understand the purpose and message of most street art.

7. Pure Graffiti If you love street art, it’s likely you’re also into graffiti. This blog has graffiti news from around the globe and images galore to keep you entertained for hours.

8. German Street Art Blog This blog is devoted to street art throughout Germany. Germany has a strong street art scene which results in amazing images of artists at work and working on large scale pieces.

9. Dave the Chimp This is the website of a major street artist. Read his interviews, thoughts and about upcoming exhibitions for his contemporary art work.

10. Unurth Street art from anywhere and everywhere is what you’ll find at this site. It’s a wonderful site for eye candy that will inspire you and make you want to learn more about street art.

11. Arrested Motion To see street artists after they produce contemporary art, this site is the place to be. It periodically showcases street art occurring in major cities too.

12. Images to Live By This blogger travels the world and shows you street art, no matter how small the work. It’s a fun look at the less intense side of street art, as most of the works are fun and quirky versus trying to make a major statement.

13. Stencil History X This blog focuses on stenciled work around the world. The street art featured has a realistic look, only on a grand scale with intense colors.

14. Just Taking Pictures This site not only shows street art, but how it’s done. It’s an inside look at this sometimes secretive art and shows you the process of street artists around the globe.

15. Just Blog This is one of the oldest blogs on the web that focuses on street art. It talks about the history of street art and the great artists that contributed to the movement.

More Street Art Blogs

These blogs walk you through the street art scene and show you how to follow the movement on the web.

16. Brooklyn Street Art Keep in the loop of street artists with this site. It primarily focuses on New York area artists, but also has info on artists from Europe.

17. Bird Gun Blog Find out what prints are available from street artists’ contemporary pieces. This blog has been around for quite some time and shows you street art events going on.

18. Arte Cocodrilo This site has plenty of street art updates and news on events and gallery exhibitions with contemporary art.

19. Bomit This blog features unique street art from around the world. It also discusses censorship in street art, which will get you thinking.

20. Ekosystem This one of the best blogs for following the street art movement worldwide. It’s a great site to visit if you’re headed to a big city and eager to check out the street art and contemporary galleries that have exhibits on similar work.

21. Graffiti Art Magazine This French blog showcases graffiti and street art. The updates are frequent and talk about major projects going on in the world of street art.

22. Juxtapoz This is the grand daddy of them all. Juxtapoz has been around for decades and now features street art, including murals and installation pieces.

23. Wooster Collective This site examines street art in New York City, but also touches on worldwide street art. We love it because it has tons of video footage of street artists at work, giving us a peek at how it all goes down.

24. Acid Olatte This site has a lot of contemporary art, but also has an extensive section on street art in installation form.

25. Fat Cap This blog is divided up into big walls, street art and tagging, so no matter what you fancy, there’s a section for you.

26. Super Touch Art This is one of the most informative blogs on street art. If you’re new to the subject, check the archived posts for history lessons on the subject and get a feel for the intentions of street art.

27. Open Your Eyes Free This French blog showcases contemporary art and street art. It has photos of large scale works throughout the City of Lights.

28. Buenos Aires Street Art This blogger traveled throughout Buenos Aires and photographed the gorgeous city’s street art in various neighborhoods. It also features street art from other cities and artists outside of Argentina, such as snail art (yep…graffiti on a snail!).

29. Flawless Hustle This blog is dedicated to hip-hop culture and has extensive sections on street art and graffiti. Check the artist interviews to get an insider look at street artists.

30. Fluxo This site has artist interviews, footage of how various street artists work and of course, images from street art installations and murals.

Stencil Street Art Blogs

Stencils are what many street artists use to create such grand art on a large scale. It takes just as much work to create the stencil as it does to get the work up on the wall. These blogs show you how it gets done.

31. Stenzilla At this site you’ll see how different street artists use stencils to create complex pieces on a grand scale. It’s a must-read for those who are interested in the basics of stencil art.

32. The Street Art Blog – Stencil Art See YouTube footage of street artists and how they go about creating their stencils for projects large and small.

33. World of Stencils This blogger takes you along the road for the ride of checking out brilliant stenciled street art throughout cities like Rome. It’s a fantastic blog for those who want to see many different styles of art in the stenciled medium.

34. Paper Monster This site has tips for those creating their own stencils and contemporary art news for stencil artists who have exhibits and sell prints online.

35. Prefuse Read this independent street art blog for tips on how to improve your own technique or watch other artists on the job. It also has footage of some of the biggest names in the biz, giving you a look at how important technique is.

36. Abduzeedo – Stencil Art This site has some amazing examples of stencil art from around the globe. It’s a must-read for those who are even slightly interested in stencil and street art, because it shows the medium at its best.

37. Abstract Art World For those wanting to learn to create their own stencils, this is the best blog to improve your skills. It has YouTube videos that walk you through the various steps of making a stencil.

38. The Graffiti Supply If you want to learn about the craft of stenciling, what tools you need to get you started and how to practice your skills, this is the blog for you.

39. Stencil Archive This website has countless images of stencil art from around the world. It also keeps you updated with stenciling news and events in the U.S.

Street Art Forums and Messageboards

Get chatty with other street art aficionados with these street art forums and messageboards.

40. Banksy Forum It’s all Banksy all of the time at this messageboard. It shows you where to find Bansky works throughout the U.S. and Europe.

41. Art Primo Here grafitti artists share tips and talk about technique and finding the right wall for certain ideas.

42. Pure Graffiti This site breaks down the 101 of graffiti and street art. It also has links to street art blogs and the rundown on what you need as far as graffiti equipment.

43. Graphic Design Forum For street artists who want to learn more about the formal side of design and art, this site will show you the ropes. It has discussions over typography, which is important for many graffiti artists.

44. Deviant Art Here artists connect. The forum has a large section over stencil art for those who want to meet others in their area to work with.

45. Bombing Science Find out what you need and show off your work at this graffiti forum that welcomes newbies and veterans.

46. 12 Oz Prophet Forum This site has forums for every type of street artist. From those who tag huge walls to those who go after buses, trains and subways, there are discussions going on about all of it.

47. Graffiti Spot This site is mostly about Australia-based graffiti and street art, but the tips shared by members can be utilized by any street artist.

48. Freightalicious This forum isn’t very active, but the old posts are brilliant for learning about managing your time when tagging a train and working in the dark.

49. Ekosystem Forums Read about graffiti-inspired exhibitions throughout Europe and has links to sites that will help your graffiti skills.

Street art is a whole new world of art that has been on the map for quite some time, but has been pushed into the spotlight thanks to the Internet. With the Internet, street artists communicate with each other and show their work to the world. While much of it is politically driven, there’s a free spirited charm to street art that is lacking in other contemporary art forms.

Best Practices for Online Learning in Secondary Education

One of the best ways to ensure that you get into the college of your choice is to enroll in a college preparatory course while still in high school. While this does eat into your free time and increases your study burden, it does make it easier to get into a good college and the degree that you aim for. Most college prep courses allow you to study online so you can take advantage of flexible timings and schedules. And best of all, you can earn nearly a whole semester’s worth of college credits through advanced placement courses and dual credit courses. However, in order to gain the most out of these online courses, best practices have to be enforced in the teaching and learning spheres.

On the instructional side, the following practices have to be implemented and carried out if online learning in secondary education is to be beneficial:

  • Flexible models: The success of online education at any level depends on how flexible not just schedules and timings, but learning models are. Most people choose to study online because they wish to choose the model and schedule that suits their circumstances, needs and lifestyles. The more the flexibility, the greater the success of online learning.
  • Focus on soft skills and informal learning: College is not just about grades and learning; it must prepare you for the real world by teaching you soft skills and other practical aspects that are needed to survive in the real world. Preparatory courses that focus on these skills help students ace the interviews held during the admission process and also prepare them for professional careers.
  • Building relationships and learning to interact with online communities: Online courses should be structured in a way that allows learners to form communities and interact with each other. The absence of face-to-face learning and interaction hinders some students’ progress, so it’s important that they learn to form relationships that allow them to sustain and progress in their online venture.

From the learners’ side, online learning is beneficial only if there is:

  • Commitment: The downside of flexibility is that those who are not committed tend to go astray. They are unable to concentrate when there are no fixed schedules and when there is no direct supervision. So in order to gain the most out of online courses, there must be commitment on the part of the learner.
  • Consistency: It’s not easy to sustain dedication to learning on a long term basis when you don’t have regular schedules and timings and when self motivation is your only asset. So unless learners are able to motivate themselves and continue to extract the most out of their online courses, online education does not serve its purpose.
  • Responsibility (the ability to learn independently): And finally, online learning works only when students accept responsibility for their performance and are able to function and learn independently, without teachers to push them and parents to cater to their needs. Online preparatory courses help students prepare for an independent college life where they’re able to function without supervision and without the fear of repercussions.

Top 35 Vintage Clothing Blogs

Vintage clothing has become a major interest for those who love fashion. Blogs and social networking sites allow vintage clothing lovers to come together and talk about their obsession and the history behind it. Clothing trends change with the times and it’s amazing to see the functional silhouettes and details that have withstood generations of trends. Learn more about designers and styles from decades ago with the help of these top vintage clothing blogs.

Top Blogs for Learning About Vintage Clothing

Whether your body looks best in a ‘50s sheath or a frothy ‘70s maxi dress, these vintage clothing blogs will teach you what to look for when shopping vintage items and how to care for them so they stay in stellar shape.

    1. Adore Vintage This is one of the most useful vintage clothing blogs on the web because it goes into great detail over vintage patterns and styles from the ‘20s forward.

    2. Vintage Bulletin With multiple posters, this is the site to read when you want to learn how to work vintage clothing in your modern wardrobe. It also showcases pieces from its eBay store and other vintage clothing sources around the web.

    3. Mystique Vintage Clothing Blog This vintage clothing blog goes into depth with the make and models of several vintage pieces it features. It gives you a rundown of what details to look for on a garment from a certain era and how to care for vintage clothing in your collection.

    4. Debutante Clothing At this quirky blog you’ll learn how to mix the old with the new in a fresh, stylish way. It has plenty of images that will inspire you to wear your vintage pieces every day instead of hoarding them away for a special occasion.

    5. D Vintage Clothing For those who love all things vintage, this blogger talks mostly fashion and style, but occasionally features vintage pieces from her home decor collection.

    6. Chronically Vintage Learn about vintage pieces this blogger has and how to wear vintage clothing so it looks cute and quirky, not costume-driven.

    7. Vintage Clothing Tip This blog has tips on how to buy vintage pieces online, including a rundown on how pieces from various eras run in terms of sizing and how to measure your bust, waist and hips to ensure a great fit.

    8. Couture Allure This is a fantastic online resource for those looking to learn about vintage clothing. It covers several different decades, talks about major designers who are long gone and also chats about the timeless shapes that still look relevant today.

    9. Denise Brain Learn everything you need to know about how to shop for and wear vintage clothing on a daily basis. This blog touches on different fabrics and details that were popular during certain eras.

    10. From Betsy With Love This fabulous vintage clothing site is fit for those who love to inject a little beauty from the past into every day. The blogger posts vintage photos for inspiration and also talks about hallmarks on clothing from particular decades.

    11. Glamoursplash This vintage clothing site places a huge emphasis on vintage swimsuits and how the trends from the ‘50s and ‘60s are represented in modern swimwear.

    12. Liebemarlene Vintage Learn how to work vintage clothing like it’s brand spanking new from this fantastic blog. The blogger has a true passion for clothing and style and offers tips for putting a new spin on vintage clothing.

    13. Dorothea’s ClosetThis vintage clothing blog hits on pieces from the turn of the century through the ‘70s and shows amazing shapes and styles that continue to rule the runways and make their way into mainstream modern fashion.

    14. Shrimpton Couture We love this online boutique and the blog that goes with. The blogger posts vintage clothing sightings on modern day celebrities and has been featured in major magazines for her how-to-wear vintage clothing advice.

    15. Medical Disposal Systems This fun blog showcases clips from period films for inspiration and also shows you how to wear vintage clothing pieces with other budget-friendly items for the modern woman.

Blogs for Sourcing Vintage Clothing

These blogs will make you want to get out and shop. If finding vintage clothing has been your excuse for not getting into vintage shopping, these blogs will show you the best sources and how to go about making a purchase.

    16. Zuburbia This site does the dirty work for you and scours vintage sites and eBay stores for amazing deals and pieces that can easily be worn every day to work or play.

    17. Our Vintage Life This blogger just started up her own vintage clothing store and has tips on how to purchase vintage items, from dresses to kitschy pieces for around the house.

    18. Wearing History For those who are into vintage pieces from the beginning of the 20th century and want patterns to make their own clothing, this is your blog. It’s a fabulous blog to follow if you are making alterations to existing vintage pieces too.

    19. Strawberry Koi This blogger shows you where to buy vintage clothing, but also vintage-inspired clothing if you’re less adventurous and aren’t sure how older clothing fits your shape.

    20. Vintage Starlet This blogger takes you on her vintage shopping trips with tips on how to spot a gem and what to leave behind when the shopping bug bites while in a thrift store.

    21. Vintage Vivant See how this blogger wears vintage and modern pieces together and where she picks up some of her move beloved vintage items.

    22. Hollygab This blogger has tips for wearing vintage clothing and finding it online and in vintage stores. She also offers tips on caring for vintage pieces to keep them in good condition.

    23. Diary of a Vintage Girl This long-time vintage clothing lover shows you where to buy vintage items and how to wear them on a daily basis or for special events.

    24. Tea with the Vintage Baroness This blogger has a vintage boutique on Etsy, but also features vintage pieces from other online stores and talks about trendy pieces that are popular or hard-to-find and tips on how to source them.

    25. Cali Vintage This vintage clothing blogger has style tips galore and isn’t afraid to share them. She posts about vintage shopping sites and stores and chooses to wear most of her vintage clothing in a more modern way.

    26. Doo Wop Dolly This vintage lover is addicted to dressing up 24/7 and shares her tips for shopping for unique vintage pieces when you’re at a thrift store or flea market.

    27. Vintagemaaedchen Use Google Translator to read this amazing blog over all things vintage and how to work them into modern life. It is a fantastic read with plenty of eye candy and has tips on how to spot a diamond in the rough.

    28. Revamp Vintage This famed site is home to the LA-based store that reworks and recreates vintage costumes and ornate clothing. Check the links at the side for lessons in fashion history to get your vintage shopping on the right track.

    29. Penelopepup’s Vintage Clothing Blog This blog is part online boutique and reviews clothing from various decades and has plenty of link love for fellow online stores where you can find the best vintage clothing.

    30. The Way We Wore This famous vintage store has a blog and posts updates on vintage clothing exhibits going on the U.S. and Europe.

Vintage Clothing Discussion Boards

Chat up other vintage fashion lovers with these messageboards that talk about vintage clothing patterns and how to get the perfect finishing touches for a vintage dress.

    31. Defunkd If you have questions about how much a vintage piece is worth or how to go about selling it to a consignment shop in your area, this is the messageboard for answers.

    32. eBay – Vintage Clothing Accessories Forum eBay is one of the biggest online resources for vintage clothing, so it’s no wonder the forum for the subject is always hopping with folks inquiring and sharing information on vintage items.

    33. Vintage Clothing Sellers Vintage clothing sellers can get an idea of how to advertise items, get tips on customer service skills and how to set up your online store so you can start making money.

    34. Vintage Schmintage Forums This discussion board has vintage clothing tips for men and sewing ideas for coming up with your own vintage-inspired pieces or utilizing patterns from eras gone.

    35. Vintage Fashion Guild At this messageboard, members talk about trends in vintage clothing (as in, what’s selling like hot cakes right now) and how to track down the designer of an item when the tag isn’t available.

These vintage clothing blogs will give you history lessons in garments you’re after and also teach you how to wear them in a modern manner. Since vintage fashion isn’t ruled by any one decade or trend, it’s easy to showcase your personal style when wearing vintage clothing. Be bold and embrace the glamorous silhouettes and details found on garments from years ago, which will always make you stand out in a crowd.