With the stress of studying finals, cleaning out our rooms and making travel arrangements for the summer, it’s no wonder this is one of the toughest points in the semester. I’m extremely grateful the college prepares a few programs to help us cope with the stress.
This week, the Portland ASLC student government brought in a therapy llama and alpaca to campus so we could have a breather from studying. The therapy animals were so friendly and soft – a real great way to de-stress. I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to a llama and an alpaca before. The llama had a hard time eating my carrot stick, though. I ended up just pushing it through his lips and onto his black tongue. Nice job, Eureka, nice.
The Student Heath and Wellness Center also sponsored a yoga session for everyone on campus, too. I didn’t end up going, but I did spend that evening in the gym dancing to Korean-pop songs with my friends. I suppose that’s a form of relaxation as well.
So who probably isn’t worried about finals (at least not yet)? That would be Linfield’s men’s baseball team. They’re in Appleton, Wisconsin today playing against Ithaca College in the NCAA Division III Finals. I don’t know much about baseball, but I do know the pitcher, Chris Haddeland, who’s my classmate. Go ‘Cats, we can do it! Watch the live stream right here.
Today was the last day of classes for Spring 2013. A whole wave of relief just came over me as I finished a final project presentation for class an hour ago. Over the past 7 days, I have had to turn in two 10-page papers and present two presentations, so I am actually eager to change gears and do some studying instead!
From completing all these assignments, I can suggest a few writing/researching tips:
1. START EARLY!!
I began working on an 8-page paper that was due on Tuesday at midnight on Monday. Not the best idea. I managed to finish the paper, but with, quite literally, only a minute to spare before the deadline. Additionally, the paper was my worst piece of work – I didn’t manage to proofread it and I am certain I cited sources that I didn’t end up using at all. Staying on track and organized is hard, but it helps to start becoming gradually stricter with yourself and setting up a schedule with designated times for work and for play.
2. Have the right tools/setting
Make sure you have the right tools and are in the right setting for doing work. I’m lucky that my apartment is a relatively quiet and distraction-free zone for me to complete my work, but other people find that quiet cubicles in the library are just as effective studying posts. I also recently discovered the wonders of using a book stand (see above). For just over $10, this book stand saved me a lot of frustration of having to hold books open while I took down notes about their content for my research papers. I love it.
3. Take a break occasionally and stay healthy
Also hard things to implement in real life. By taking a break, I mean walking around the room, stretching, or even going squirrel-watching. It’s also important to at least try to stay healthy by going to sleep at normal times and eating healthy instead of unhealthy snacks when stressed out.
Although this is nowhere near a comprehensive list of tips, these are the main things you should keep in mind when faced with a bunch of college assignments. Finals, here I come!
One of the main reasons I selected Linfield was because of Undergraduate Research opportunities. I am fortunate enough to be involved in the Biology department researching microRNA functionality, with Dr. Catherine Reinke, a Genetecist and Molecular Cell Biologist. All semester everyone in the lab has been working with different mutations and lines of Drosophila (fruit flies) and we are about to do our big experiment portion of the project. On Friday, Linfield hosted the 41st Annual Science and Social Science Symposium in the library where most students involved with student-faculty undergraduate collaborative research presented their work through poster presentations. The two other people I have been working most closely with all semester and I, as well as my faculty advisor, worked day and night for the last couple of weeks to create our poster and perfect our presentation. It was a lot of work, but extremely rewarding and exciting. A couple of us in the lab are fortunate enough to have to opportunity to stay over the summer and continue the project as full time research assistants. Because we are a college, and not a university, all of the funding and focus is turned to the undergrads, which is a really cool feeling. Research is fascinating and applies not only in the sciences, but also in other social science departments as well. If you’re interested in doing research (even starting as a freshman), check out Linfield!
Until next time,
It’s hard to believe that this is the last week of classes! The semester has gone by so quickly. In about two weeks, several of my close friends will be graduating, I’ll become a senior (A SENIOR), and summer will begin.
Instead of going home for the summer this year, I’ll be living on campus again, doing research with the English Department! I’m really excited, it complements my field of study perfectly. Through the Linfield Center for the Northwest (or the LCN) my professor, Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, was able to secure a research grant for another English major and I to research Shakespeare and Gender Studies. We’ll focus on Shakespeare’s comedy, ”The Taming of the Shrew” and compare it with a later sequel (written by another playwright in the 1700′s) called “The Tamer Tamed”. We’ll look at the performative and technical aspects of the plays, as well as apply Gender Criticism–comparing contemporary gender theory to that of Shakespeare’s time to see if our discomfort with the events in “Taming of the Shrew” comes from a modern viewpoint or if it’s actually embedded in the text.
I really can’t imagine a better way to spend my summer than living with my friends, reading Shakespeare, seeing plays and so much more. I’ll have time to go on trips with my friends throughout Oregon, I’ll go to see my extended family in Hawaii, and the LCN is paying for a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in August with Linfield Alumni! I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to explore my academic interests, while getting paid, and while having enough freedom to explore my last summer before I graduate from college.
Life is happening so quickly and it’s absolutely amazing.