Ways To Improve Your Grades

This week, we’re asking for your choice: Do you prefer sitting in the front or the back of the classroom?  After reading these tips, you may opt to sit head of the class from now on.

I was a back of the class kinda girl.  I opted to sit near the last row in hopes the professor wouldn’t call on me (I was never very good at public speaking).  While sitting in the back of the class I worked on my doodles and perfected my crossword skills…just kidding…I actually took awesome notes and was a good student.  But, perhaps sitting in the front of the class would have improved my GPA at least a smidge.

According to MUSE at San  Jose State University, sitting in the front of the class helps you hear, see and understand class better. Being up close and personal will also force you to keep your eyes open since you don’t want your professor to see you dozing off, right?  Makes sense. You’ll be wide awake soaking up every detail of that lecture.

Sitting toward the front of the class will keep you alert and you won't miss a detail of lecture!

In addition to sitting in the front, there are other ways to improve your grades, according to MUSE:

Get to know your professors. Visit with your teachers outside of class to discuss your grade status.

Make friends in class. Having a friend in class can help you when you get sick and can’t attend. You can get a copy of the notes you missed and they can be a study buddy.

Teach to learn. A good way to test yourself is to try teaching the topic to someone else. Have someone listen to you for 5-10 minutes and discuss what you learned.

For more great tips, visit sjsu.edu/muse
Have tips to share with us?  Post them in the comments below!

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The IT List: Dolman Sleeves

A fall trend we love this year is the dolman sleeve top.  The perfect dolman top has extra large arm holes and cinches off in a tight cuff around the elbow, bonus points if it hangs off the shoulder.  These tops are comfy and can be flattering to any body shape.  With roots in both yoga wear and 80’s fashion, it’s no wonder this style is a hit.

If you want to try this look, finding the right silhouette for your body shape is important.  While the dolman is an especially forgiving silhouette for large upper arms, it can swallow-up shorter torsos.  To avoid looking frumpy, pick thinner, drapey fabrics over chunky knits for a slimmer look.  The jersey off the shoulder look to the right would be flattering on any body type!  Pair with a statement necklace and skinny jeans to dress it up, yoga pants or leggings for lounging or a trip to the gym.

What do you think about this trend?  Would you wear a dolman top as is or layered with a tank top?

Written by Guest Blogger Jennifer Hazzard

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Pulling An All-Nighter? So is the Giraffe

For me, the worst part about pulling an all-nighter in college was feeling alone.  While all of my roommates slept (or were out partying) I was in my apartment studying away in silence.  At times it felt like I was the only person in the world, awake at that very moment.  Not sure if you feel the same way in the dark hours of the night, but if you do, remember this, most likely A) your neighbor is up watching reruns of his favorite show or B) you’re in the company of a giraffe, horse, sheep or cow that is wide awake somewhere.

Why?  The giraffe only gets about 2 hours of sleep per day.  And the horse?  3 hours.  Actually, the animal that requires the most sleep is a brown bat (it sleeps for about 20 hours per day…even more than your roommate!).  So, next time you’re up all night just know you’re in good company– somewhere.

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Slightly Obsessed With…

…this necklace.  It’s a custom fingerprint necklace with a person’s fingerprint on one side of the heart and his or her name on the other.  I’m absolutely in love with this idea.  It’s a bit pricey at $190, but if you’re looking for a great gift to send to mom while you’re away at school, this would be perfect.

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Study Tips

“I couldn’t tell you what I learned from school, but I could tell you a story or two.” Okay, so maybe Asher Roth couldn’t tell you what he learned in college, but for the rest of us, we have to take a thing or two away from our college classes. (Afterall, most of us are putting ourselves into debt indefinitely just to be here!) Unfortunately, that means we have to spend a lot of time studying and preparing for our next exam.

However, studying isn’t so bad if you learn how to get the most out of your study sessions! Here are a few tips to help you maximize your study sessions so that you have more time to enjoy the college life Asher loves so much:

  1. Identify your study style. Do you like silence or background noise while you’re studying? Can you study in your room or does that provide too many distractions? Do you comprehend material when you read it or do you need to make flashcards or study guides to synthesize material? Remember that what works for your roommate or even that super smart guy in your Intro to Chem class may not work for you. Try different study aids and environments until you find what works for you.
  2. Find the perfect study spot. Some prefer to study in the silent solace of the library; others prefer somewhere with some background noise, such as a student center or café. However, don’t limit yourself to where you can study! Sometimes the best study spots are “hidden” on campus. For example, our campus has an old chapel that they reconverted into study space. I discovered it second semester my freshmen year, and it’s still one of my favorite spots two years later! Besides being beautiful inside, it has plenty of outlets to plug in your computer, couches if you prefer to study somewhere a bit more comfortably (or take a nap), and is located in our student center, making it easy to grab a coffee or a snack without interrupting your study session. Explore your campus; you never know where you’ll find the best study spot! Full posts →
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Dish It: Tailgating Snacks

Your car is decorated and packed with everything you need for one great tailgate, but what about the food? This Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip from AllRecipes.com will warm you up as the weather starts to cool and goes great with your favorite chips!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped very small
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (you can choose reduced fat)
  • 3/4 cup each of blue cheese and ranch dressing
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce (use less for mild)
  • 1 cup or more of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 large bag of chips

What To Do:

First, set your oven to 350 degrees. While it is heating up, boil the chicken breasts until they are fully cooked (roughly 20 minutes). Pull the meat off of the bone after they cool, then shred and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the celery until it is soft. Add cream cheese, blue cheese & ranch dressings and cook until the mixture is smooth, then add in the shredded chicken and hot sauce. Pour the dip into a baking dish and sprinkle with cheese then bake about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool a bit before enjoying with your favorite chips!

Do you have a signature dish you always prepare for a tailgate? Does your school have any traditional dishes? Share all of your favorites with us below!

More Recipes

Dish It: Two-Pepper Burger
Dish It: Blueberry Peach Smoothie
Dish It: Portobello Mushroom Burgers
Dish It: National Fresh Veggie Day
Dish It: Nutella Pretzel Ice Cream Bites
Dish It: Taco Dogs

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Hurricane Supplies

The East Coast is expecting a major storm this weekend—the wrath of Hurricane Irene. The National Hurricane Center suggests having enough supplies for anywhere from 3 to 7 days on hand in order to be adequately prepared. Below is a list of what they suggest you gather together before the storm hits.

  1. Bottled water
  2. Non-perishable food, including snacks, and paper or plastic plates and utensils
  3. Flashlights and extra batteries
  4. First Aid kit including prescriptions or other medicines
  5. Extra blankets, pillows and appropriate clothing
  6. Battery-powered radio
  7. Extra toiletries

Other tips to be prepared include charging your phone, laptop and other electronics ahead of time in the event of a power outage. If you have a car, try to fill up on gas prior to the storm. Finally, remain indoors unless absolutely necessary.

For more information on how to get ready for a hurricane, visit the Hurricane Preparedness page.

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Freaky Friday: Emporia State University

I came across numerous stories of flickering lights, unexplained noises and mysterious figures while researching this week’s Freaky Friday tale. Read on for the spookiest stories from Emporia State University.

Albert Taylor Hall

Emporia’s largest auditorium, Albert Taylor Hall plays host to concerts, speakers and public events and is also home to a well-known campus legend. Many students have reportedly seen an unidentified hooded figure in the auditorium. The most chilling story was recounted in Spotlight from an article originally printed in the student newspaper the Bulletin.

A student had forgotten his backpack in the auditorium and went to retrieve it when everyone else had gone home. He spotted the motionless figure at the back of the stage as he made his way to the front of the auditorium and the next time he looked up, only seconds later, the figure had moved to the front of the stage. As he grabbed his bag and turned to leave, he chanced one last glance back toward the stage and to his astonishment, the figure had silently moved off the stage and in front of the orchestra. Scene shop manager Kyle Land, who recounted this story to the Bulletin, said the jump would have been “over the 10-foot deep orchestra pit from a standstill – an impossible jump.” There was no documentation on Emporia’s website about what happened after the jump, but we are willing to bet the student didn’t stick around long enough to find out!

Bruder Theatre

The tunnels beneath the Karl C. Bruder Theatre proved the perfect hiding spot for a prank-seeking student. Concealed underground, the student set traps in the theater consisting of wires and cans to alert him when someone was in the room above him. Those who set off the trap went on to report seeing shadowy figures in the theater, not knowing they had been set up. According to the housing coordinator at the time, Bill Hartman, the student was eventually caught and confessed to the prank.

Do you know of other mysterious accounts from Emporia State University? Does your school have an even more creepy tale? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

More Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday: University of South Carolina
Freaky Friday: College of the Canyons
Freaky Friday: West Virginia University
Freaky Friday: Park University
Freaky Friday: Texas Tech

Freaky Friday: William & Mary
Freaky Friday: Columbia University
Freaky Friday: University of Rochester
Freaky Friday: East Tennessee State
Freaky Friday: Washington State University
Freaky Friday: USF Tampa
Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park

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100 Best Opening Lines

The first line of a book can either hook you completely or majorly disappoint.  Authors certainly aim for love at first line.  I personally don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I definitely form instant opinions based on the first few words of a novel.

And it looks like I’m not alone– Stylist reviewed its favorite works of literature and compiled a list of the most classic and iconic opening lines.

Some of the top picks are:

Anna Karenina‘s opening (a favorite of mine, by the way), “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has an opening we all could relate to at one point in our lives, “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?”

And who could forget the opening of Matilda? “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”

To see the complete list of best openers, visit Stylist.com.  Which are your favorite lines?  Share them with us below.

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2011 MTV Video Music Awards

We are in for a rain-filled weekend as Hurricane Irene makes her way to NJ. Luckily we’ll have a distraction from the dreary weather as MTV’s annual Video Music Awards show airs live this Sunday night (if we don’t lose power, that is). Lady Gaga will kick off the show, and given her entrance last year in the egg, I’m sure she has something planned that will keep us talking about her for days. Superstars including Beyonce, Pitbull and Lil Wayne will also take the stage to perform and you can expect many more A-listers both in the audience and handing out Moon Man trophies.

You can help determine who will win by voting for your favorites in categories including Best New Artist, Best Collaboration and Best Video with a Message. The top award of the night, Video of the Year, includes nominees Adele for “Rolling in the Deep,” Bruno Mars for “Grenade,” and Katy Perry for “Firework.”

Personally, I’m more excited for the performances and to see what all of the stars will be wearing down the red carpet than who will leave with a Moon Man trophy. I would like to see Mumford & Sons win Best Rock Video for “The Cave” because I love that song.

Who would you like to see win big this year? Share your favorites in the comments below and tune in on Sunday at 9ET for all of the action.

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