Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blog Topic #5: Reading a Textbook

How long can you sustain attention for textbook reading before you start to lose concentration?
It depends on what textbook it is.  If it's a subject that doesn't interest me, or if it's more difficult reading, I can only pay attention (without taking notes - if I am taking notes, it's a little longer) for probably 20-30 minutes.  However, sometimes I can get into really good concentration, and then I can focus for much longer.

What are some of the things you do to stay focused on reading assignments that are long, dry, flat and boring?
Before I read, I like to read my scriptures.  That helps me to establish good concentration.  I don't listen to music, and I try not to do or talk much between reading my scriptures and doing homework - this helps me retain that concentration.  Then, while I'm reading, I sometimes will read out loud, and it also helps if I take notes or at least underline while I read.

Describe your process of reading a textbook. (What do you do first? Do you have a "system"? etc"
Well, I kind of answered that after the second question... But I read my scriptures, make sure I'm in a comfortable, but not TOO comfortable place, and then do my textbook reading, often while taking notes. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

the man your man could smell like

So, you should all check out this website:

All I have to say is, Old Spice has some SWEET commercials that I discovered last night. :)  My favorites are "Did You Know," "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," and "Karate."  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog Topic #4: Memory

What do you think about the concept of having good memory? Is a good memory something you can build, or is it something you're born with? What are some memory techniques you use to study? Do they work for long-term learning or short-term?

I think that a good memory is definitely something you can develop, but it also is something some people are born with. 
Example: One of my best friends from high school didn't have a whole lot of friends when he was very young, and often his older sisters didn't want to play with him, so he played Memory by himself a lot.  He now has a photographic memory and is sure that's how he developed it.  
When I study, I like using note cards and going through them by myself or with someone else.  I also like to write and rewrite the information and drawing pictures, making up songs and different mnemonic devices, etc.  They usually work for short-term, but depending on how much I go over them, they can also work for long-term learning.
Example: When I was a freshman out here, I used pictures to help me remember the different amendments in the Bill of Rights while studying for a test.  Now, I can't remember any of the pictures or most of the amendments.  BUT When I was in high school, we had songs in seminary to help us remember the scripture mastery scriptures.  To this day, those songs are the only way I can remember some of the scriptures, and sometimes I even get them stuck in my head, like normal songs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

moment at school today...

When you walk out of the girls' bathroom and a boy walks out of the boys' bathroom right across the hall at the same time... and you make eye contact.  A little awkward.

Ejemplo más famoso del mundo del quiasmo...

For some reason, this poem really stood out to me when we were talking about in class the other day.  Thought I'd share...

¿O cuál es más de culpar,
aunque cualquiera mal haga:
la que peca por la paga,
o el que paga por pecar?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blog Topic #3: Test Prep

What has been your experience with test preparation in the past
Usually, my test preparation involves wanting really badly to start preparing ahead of time, but just getting bogged down with the day-to-day and the due-tomorrow and the cleaning and dinner-making and everything else that fills up my time... so I don't have much time to study for the test until I make time starting about a week ahead of time.  Then, I try to go to review sessions or study with a group or something because, 1). These strategies help me understand and retain information better, and 2). They give me motivation to get the studying done.  I try to have gone over things before I meet with the group, and then I study with them for a while, and may meet with them once or twice more before the test to go over things more... and then I study a lot by myself.  

What are you doing now to improve your study habits? 
I am trying hard to start studying ahead of time.  This particular time around has been tricky because I have been learning about test prep and feeling motivated during the semester and feeling really pumped up about doing it... but then my computer broke and it's been in the shop for a long time.  It kind of threw me out of whack.  Almost none of my notes are actually on my computer - that's not why it threw me off.  I had a program that I was going to use to help me create "wikis" for each subject, where you can link to the different subjects and easily read all the info you've taken notes about any given subject.  I thought it would help because I would be going through all my notes as I was typing them into the program (I take written notes in class), and having such an easy-to-go-through, well-organized database with the information separated by date AND by topic would be really nice to have, too.  I kept thinking my computer would be done soon, so I kept putting off starting studying by a day, and now it's been more than a week and I'm just starting... yeah, not the best idea :P

One thing I am though, is using my husband to help me stay on-task.  He's really good about helping me keep on my homework until it's done.  I also have been working hard to have the "there's homework every night, even if it's just studying" mindset.  It's been tricky because I'm not used to it, but I'm getting better.  :)

Why is it important to develop good study habits?
It's so important!  High school was always easy for me, so I never developed very good study habits, and now I almost feel like I was gypped out of a crucial lesson!  Good study habits are the core of succeeding in school, in one's testimony of the gospel, in anything one might want to learn about.  They teach good concentration, self-discipline, organization - these are so important to success!  Without having developed good study habits, it would be impossible to get things done in a manageable amount of time, without procrastinating and then stressing out like crazy.  

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blog Topic #2: Tracking Progress

The kinds of activities I monitor my progress on depend on what types of goals I have set for myself.  For example, the main thing I am currently tracking my progress in is my schoolwork.  The biggest academic goal I'm focusing on right now is to get all A's in my classes this semester, so I have little goals to help me get there.  Some of those include doing the reading for every class, every time there is reading; doing the bigger assignments that are worth points; studying ahead of time for tests instead of the night before... you get the drift.  I track my progress academically by highlighting on my syllabi when I have finished a reading or other kind of assignment - then, when I want to see how I'm doing, I can check my syllabi and see where I need to put forth a little extra effort.  For example, this weekend, I've been doing a lot of make-up reading for my Spanish lit class :)  This method works really well for me because it's easy to take a look at a list and see where I'm at, how I'm doing.  

I also have spiritual goals, like being a good visiting teacher (visiting each month, but also being more of a friend to my teachees) and attending the temple every month with my husband.  These types of goals are easy to track because they have deadlines.  When I have more abstract goals, though, like "being more of a friend," my tracking is also more abstract.  I think of what I may have done lately to accomplish that goal - whether I've seen them in the past few days or said hi at church last week, or remembered a birthday in a couple days, etc.  Then, if I feel I'm lacking, I make a goal to do something to help me get closer to accomplishing my goal.  

Tracking my progress helps me to attain my goals.  It lets me see where I need to put in extra effort and where I'm doing a good job.  It allows me to see where I can improve.  It helps me avoid feeling upset with myself at the end of the semester, or after a test when I haven't done well, because I can see all along the way.  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here comes the bride....

We have a customer at work who's a little older, probably in her 50s or so, who told us when she came in for a will call today that she's getting married in March :)  I'm so happy for her!  It's exciting anyway when you get married, but I think it'd be pretty dang exciting if I were older and getting married for the first time :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

piano bench

We got our new piano bench today!  We're super excited about it :D  Our old one was wooden, and the bottom had fallen out of the storage part, and the hinges had broken or something - the actual seat part just sits on top of the legs/box deal.  We wanted to fix it up because we figured it'd be cheaper than buying a whole new one (they usually run at least $80), and we didn't really need a whole new one.  Last week, I got an email from my visiting teacher that there were some on amazon for only $18!  We could NOT believe it... so we hopped on amazon and bought us one.  Woohoo for new piano benches and visiting teachers!