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Guest Blog – Paul Rivas and his new book on the power of study skills



High School Is a Waste of Time and College Is a Scam…Unless You Have Study Skills 

WASHINGTON (February 18, 2019) – Parents struggling to find ways to ensure their child is armed with the necessary skills to succeed in college have a new resource to avoid any costly academic crises. Published by Rowman & Littlefield, This Book Will Not Be on the Test: The Study Skills Revolution, is part on-the-ground college insider tell-all memoir and part study skills Bible backed by cognitive and educational psychology.

“Considering the amount of money spent on college, it’s criminal that most students never learn how to learn, even though they’re expected to do it like a job,” said author Paul Smith Rivas. “Most kids won’t hit the ground running in college — not because they don’t study, but because they don’t know how to study. I wrote this book to give students the methodologies and practices needed for real success, complete with practical “science of learning” techniques like writing your own explanation of what you’re learning and connecting it to what you already know.

Written by Paul Smith Rivas, the book also alerts parents to a huge problem in American education today – that high school doesn’t prepare students to thrive in college and a jumbled, ad-hoc approach to learning will cost them money and valuable opportunities.


Rivas is the director of SMITH RIVAS Study Skills & Academic Coaching, a Washington, D.C.-based academic accelerator founded in 2014 to help students earn better grades in less time. SMITH RIVAS takes research about how people learn and translates it into practical study skills that students can use to succeed in their classes. Before discovering the value of study skills towards the end of a 20-year career at UC Santa Barbara, Rivas spurned Stanford for a full academic scholarship to UCSB, where he triple-majored in math, sociology, and Spanish while working 10-50 hours per week in the Athletic Communications office.

The book has an astoundingly diverse list of endorsers, including bestselling author on productivity Daniel Pink, PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, science of learning experts author Ulrich Boser and Dr. Stephen Chew, several former professional athletes, and a graduate of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

Offering explicit study skills solutions for the academic, financial, and mental health problems caused by this unfortunate reality, This Book Will Not Be on the Testhelps families, teachers, and administrators have more rewarding experiences in schools. Everyone will recognize their college-bound students in several of the chapters.

Request a review copy of This Book Will Not Be on the Test or an interview with the author by contacting Paul Smith Rivas directly at (202) 615-7791,, or Rivas is also on Twitter and Facebook @SmithRivasDC.

Media Contact: Jon-Michael Basile Email:

As Capitol Hill continues to grow and build our storefront retail and service industry, newcomers and long time stores alike must keep in mind the keys to turning a one time customer into a second, third and forever return customer.

My rule as Partner at Realignment Studio is to meet the first time customer where they are.  My training and experience as a yoga teacher of 13 years has taught me to work from a structure that is also inherently flexible (pun intended) and kind.  Once a customer has been in our space for the length of a class (lucky in our industry we get at least 30 mins to shape the first impression) they begin to find the mood and flow, but for those first ten minutes I remember to let them lead the way…not to worry if they’ve arrived two minutes late or walked around studio space with their shoes on.  No biggie.  We’ve made a clean, clear space to be allowing and easeful and hopefully in those small pieces customers will want to return time and time again.  And sales wise we offer the introductory month at a discount because we understand that in the wellness industry customers aren’t often committed after one class, so we offer an easy way to come back.

Entrepreneur magazine asked six entrepreneurs from various industries the question…how do you create repeat purchases?

The bullet point take aways were

  • Treat ‘Em Nice
  • Anticipate Their Needs
  • Know Their History
  • Give Gifts!
  • More Is More
  • Help Them Never Forget

Check out the full article HERE.

You only need one hand to count back the years to the time Waco, Texas was known perhaps for Baylor University and most likely for the 1993 Branch Davidian tragedy.  For me Waco was always the town I veered off the highway for a pitstop during my three hour drive from my home in Arlington to college in Austin.  Waco was un unlikely tourist destination, but in just a few years time Chip & Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper have changed all that.

Long before the TV show came along the Gaineses decided to stay in small town Waco and make a life.  Entrepreneur magazine highlights the couple’s story in its December 2016 publication.  Read the full article, Entrepreneurs Are Transforming Small Cities by Maggie Gordon.

Washington, D.C. is, of course, not a small city, but notwithstanding the remarkable presence of our U.S. Capitol, our Capitol Hill neighborhood does very much have the warmth of a small town.  And it does us good to remember it this way buy levitra online with prescription.

The holidays provide a nice reminder to shop local.  I recall buying all my Christmas gifts locally in the first few years I lived on Capitol Hill as a way of sharing my new home with friends and family in Texas.  Now as I near almost 20 years living in the neighborhood my reasons for shopping and sourcing locally have changed.  I want to see my small town in the city thrive.  To do that we not only have our house on Capitol Hill, but in-source as much as possible within our neighborhood.

I deeply value the life I’ve created in this neighborhood.  My daughter’s public elementary school is strong because other families have invested in staying in the neighborhood as well.  Neighbors have invested through opening small businesses and non-profit organizations that make our lives more enriching and fun.  I often brag that our car sits parked except for our ventures to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Virginia.

I love the retail and service businesses that we have on Capitol Hill and I want to see more.  In 2017 CHAMPS will brainstorm and advocate for measures that will make more retail & service businesses viable.  Have you ever research the cost of storefront space on Capitol Hill?  It’s high!  And as business expenses continue to rise we must find a solution to keep and attract small business owners.

The Gaineses (with some help from HGTV) saved their business while helping save their city.  Capitol Hill is an established neighborhood.  Waco we are not, but the lessons are useful to us too.

by Betsy Poos