Friday, April 27, 2012

Seven Tips for Surviving Exam Week

QOTD: Please, my friend, share with me us some ways to get through this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week of tests and deadlines and exams. Anything. 

1) Pandora is your best friend. Or Spotify, or Youtube or whatever means you use to listen to music. When I've got my headphones on, I stay in the zone and have a lower chance of falling asleep over my notes. And when you're tapping a foot or typing with your fingers to the beat of your favorite band, studying just becomes that much more fun. For some sweet tunes, check out Mipso Trio

2) You are allowed to take a break. If you sit and read your Econ notes/write that history paper/stare at the same psychology textbook for hours at a time, you might get a lot done but you'll lose steam and eventually collapse. To maximize your studying, consider walking across the quad and back, taking a power nap, getting some yofro or even *gasp* checking Facebook. (Obviously, writing this blog post counts as my break.) The point is to recharge your brain battery - once your tank of mental fuel is full again, get back to work. But this time, you'll feel much more energized and ready to tackle those demand curves. 

3) Study with a friend. Not five or three or even two. Studying in groups can make you lose focus. For me, I end up looking over to see what my other friends are working on and judging my own progress. But if you study with one good friend, then you can keep each other accountable and serve as company during breaks. 

Most importantly, you should study with a friend so you can make sure he wakes you up after that 15-minute nap. (I tried studying at home on Wednesday night and fell asleep at 10 p.m. I woke up at 3:40 a.m. thinking it was already morning. Not good.)

4) Measure the quality of your studying. If you're like me, then you've been counting the hours you've been in the library. Yesterday, I was at the library for eight hours. Today, only four hours. I feel like Ernie Macmillan, except not quite as boss. A, er, more productive way to measure the quality of your studying is looking back at the end of the day and seeing how much you've covered. Pat yourself on the back when you finish each day's work, and then plan out what lessons or chapters you'd like to work on tomorrow. 

5) Exam week is a great excuse to eat as much as you want. I stayed up late last night memorizing 200 Chinese characters and nomming on a Marie Callender Chicken Piccata dish, one whole bag of Smartfood popcorn, chocolate, and then carrots and hummus. Nothing like studying at 1 a.m. to get your stomach grumbling! 

6) Take advantage of your professor's review sessions. Truth: You can only gain from going to them. Is there a concept you're still hazy on? Are you still trying to figure out problem #19 on the practice final exam? Ask questions - this is your last chance! And--I know this is a long shot--try to stay engaged with what you are learning. Some of this stuff about the digestive system is actually pretty interesting! 

7) Keep your chin up. Soon it will be summer, you'll finally be able to go home and eat Mom's food and get ready to start that job/internship/travel abroad experience you've been waiting for for so long. Exam season is long, but it doesn't last forever. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Poetry Month: Reading Between the Lines

QOTD: Share your favorite poem with us! What's the name, the poet and the reason why that poem is your favorite?

So a friend of mine showed me a book of poetry today called Leaving Saturn by Major Jackson, and I remembered - it's National Poetry Month! I haven't been doing a very good job with keeping up with the time and date because at this point it feels like the days are all blended together what with the end of the semester, but I knew I couldn't not blog about this--even if the post is short!

Now I've never been very good at writing poetry, but I sure love to read it! Poetry's got fewer words than prose, yet can have so much meaning embedded within the lines. Some of my favorite poets have been: Edgar Allen Poe, Shel Silverstein, E.E. Cummings, Oscar Wilde and, of course, Emily Dickinson. 

So here is some simple but sweet poetry for your thoughts: 

In honor of final exam season for students...don't give up! We're almost done...

For those who are afraid to speak up...

(Source: My Sakura Nights)

and this is for anyone who loves them some Seuss (even though technically The Lorax isn't a poem):

What do these poems mean to you?
(Challenge: Write a simple haiku with the classic 5-7-5 syllable meter that features a hummingbird. Share with us in comments below!)


Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Latest Obsession: "Brown Satchel" from Mossimo Supply Co.

QOTD: Would you rather indulge on an airplane ticket to the Bahamas or on a brand new iPad?

What you see to the left is my trusty, old handbag of 10,896 years (just about). My bag officially retired from its carrying duties yesterday. I got a little teary, especially since I've had it such a long time, but I felt it was finally time for us both to  move on. *sniffle* You have served me well, dearest blue-floral-satchel! 

I went shopping this past weekend to find the perfect new handbag - which is always really, really hard. A handbag needs to have just the right amount of pattern and solid color. It has to have a lot of pockets. It also needs to be big enough to put a couple of books in. The chemistry between me and my handbag also has to be strong. We can't get tired of each other too fast, you know. 

But more often than not, when I do find something that I like I get really attached and I know that bag is the one for me! Which is what happened when I set my eyes on this baby yesterday: 

Brown Satchel with Festive Inserts
Mossimo Supply Co., $30
Photo Credit: Wendy Lu

I have become a huge fan of brown leather and imitations lately. My sister has a purse made of faux brown leather too and it's gawjuss. It just both looks and feels good, and this handbag in particular has a little bit of everything - three pockets (on the inside), a colorfully lined pattern reminiscent of weaving looms and simple leather bows on either side of the handles. 

One of the best things about this bag that first caught my eye was the thick braid in the front. It's so unique and convenient!  I can't tell you how many times I have needed to reach into my purse and grab something--only to get irritated while fumbling with the clasp or zipper. Now, all I have to do is flip the braid! 

Throw in the feather, and I might as well be a hipster. Just kidding. Check out the satchel here for more details and other similar handbags that are perfect for spring fashion.  

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