Think Outside the Box

You know the classic egg drop, where you're given materials and have to build the safest way for an egg to be dropped a floor or two and the winners are the ones with the unbroken egg? Most people build some sort of cushioning device in the hopes that all the layers will protect the egg. Some people will add a sort of parachute to that.

Then there are those who prove their ingenuity.

Tonight I saw one team do the typical cushioning around the egg, but then for the egg drop, they had wrapped one end of a roll of tape around the cushioning, and then they used the roll of tape to lower the egg to the ground. It was incredibly clever.

They won.

Ingenuity is always great to see. It advances us and brings about new ways to solve problems. You never know what will happen when you think outside of the box.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.


George S. Patton

Getting Through the Last Weeks of School

Northwest Pearls: Beating Senioritis My best friend asked me to do a post on getting through the last few weeks of school. She has senioritis. Bad. And her solution so far has been to drink "8+ cups of coffee a day" and to watch "Disney movies while doing homework to distract from the pain."

While totally admirable there may be other, better, ways to get through the last weeks of school. (And if you're going to graduate school, your grades matter so you can't check out.)

  • Start studying before finals week. That way you don't have to cram everything in.
  • Don't drink too much. It'll affect you the next day and probably won't be worth it.
  • Find something to relieve stress such as exercising, a massage, hanging out with friends, etc. Anytime I get stressed I know that a workout on the elliptical or a good run will help me out.
  • Have fun. It's your last bit of school and chances are you won't see these people very often from now on. Treasure your friendships.
  • Reward your studying with treats such as sweets or an episode of a show. At the end of every quarter, my bff gets a celebratory cupcake. It's something to look forward to and a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Find the best place for you to study. You may like solitude and silence or you may like the lounge. But find a good place that you can concentrate.
  • Study in groups if that works for you. It can be fun and can help a lot.
  • Take care of yourself mentally and physically.
  • Keep your notes organized. Title, date, and add page numbers to them.

Now, to be honest, I figured out that I had a high enough GPA and knew enough of the material that I could somewhat check out for the last bit of school and still graduate with honors. I'm a good test taker and I have a pretty good memory in regards to schoolwork (I had also re-read certain textbooks throughout the semester so I would retain the knowledge) so I spent about 2.5 hours studying during finals week (I probably should have spent at least 10-15 hours studying.) But I decided that spending time with friends was more important to me than finals. My decision worked well for me. I still graduated with honors and I spent time with friends. Although, I did get lucky, the stuff I studied ended up being on the test while the stuff I didn't study wasn't. (How often does that happen?!)

And while I wouldn't recommend what I did for everyone, it did work out for me and if you know you can do it too without any consequences, it might be worth it.

Sadly there's no cure to senioritis, you just have to keep yourself motivated and in the best spirits to keep on going. You're almost there!

Have you found any helpful ways to battle senioritis?

Keeping up on Homework in College

In high school I kept all of my homework and due dates in a leather planner. It worked well. But in college I moved everything to Google Calendar. Each week I would take the homework due in all of my classes for the next week and put it into the task list. So, for example, for Interactive Journalism, when I had a blog post due, I would write IJ Blog Post 1. I went through the syllabus and kept a few major assignments towards the bottom of the list so they were always somewhere in my mind.

That was how I stayed on top of my homework in college. I also took to writing down what I wanted to accomplish each day, and each day of the weekend. When I was really on top of it though, I would work over the weekend to work on the whole next week's homework. Sometimes I finished, sometimes I didn't. But it was a great feeling to have all the homework done for the whole week.

Sometimes, when I couldn't do it all over the weekend, I did the day it was "assigned." So after Monday's Interactive Journalism class, I would do the homework due for Wednesday's class.

And at the very least, I would do the homework the night before. I don't think that I ever the did the homework the morning of except for once or twice. It's not worth it.

What I originally tried to do was to start homework on Friday afternoons so I could have Sunday's off. But what my friends would do was save their homework for Sundays. And it's not much fun to do homework while your friends are hanging out, or, alternatively, to have free time while your friends are frantically studying. So I fit my schedule to theirs and saved my homework for Saturday mornings and Sundays.

With all of this, I was able to stay on top of my homework,

Hope some of this helps you out with your homework!