Epic Study Break: Holiday cheer to get you through finals

It’s that magical time of year again. The red holiday cups are in full rotation at Starbucks and Santa is ringing his bell for the Salvation Army. The end of the semester is close (enough) to taste, but not without getting through a busload of work. When exams are over, you’ll be experiencing stress of a different kind – the kind where you have to figure out what your parents actually want when they ask for “a good book.” It’s hard to remember what “holiday cheer” even means when you have a chemistry exam looming over your head. Here’s a little reminder:

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

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BlogDH and The Blue Room present: Monster Cookies

cookie-monster_BLOG

In case you were wondering what exactly a “monster cookie” is, we decided to define it for you:

Monster Cookie (noun): An inordinately-large cookie in which three different small cookies of three different flavors are joined together in delicious harmony.

There’s nothing like finals to get your culinary creativity going. That’s why BlogDailyHerald and The Blue Room decided to team up to bring you a study treat of epic proportions. Starting today and running through exam period, the Blue Room will be offering two varieties of Special Edition BlogDH Monster Cookies in their pastry case of dreams.

The two (or really, six) flavors are:

Chocolate Chip /Double Chocolate / Peanut Butter

and 

Chocolate Chip / Double Chocolate / Chocolate Mint

Thought that the famous Blue Room cookies couldn’t get any better? Think again.

Image via Arely Diaz ’17. 


A chair-spective on things

The ubiquitous chair. The companion of human laziness since chairs were referred to as “sitting things.” They were around even before the first human to ever sit, ever sat. Probably.

But if only they could speak. Oh, the stories they’d tell.

Luckily, while I was pulling an all-nighter for a midterm, a chair started talking to me.

If you thought Brown students were cool, wait till you hear what Brown chairs have to say.

chair

 

Me: “So, Mr. Chair, how is it like being a chair?”

Chair: *shivers* “All this booty..”

Me: “Do you have a name?”

Chair: “All this booty.”

Me: “…”

Chair: “Sorry about that. Booty got me day-dreamin’.

I guess it’s not all that bad. It pays the bills.

The name’s Fred, by the way.”

Me: “Okay, Fred. Can you stop talking about butts?

My audience may not approve.”

Fred: “Uhm. Rude. It’s literally on my mind every day.

So excuse me.”

Me: “I’m so–”

Fred: “And you know what’s worse?

I’m not even into butts! People just don’t seem to get it.”

Me: “Can I j–”

Fred: “Standing is a social construct.”

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Tips on how not to study

Student-Studying

A Brown student studying hard.

Midterm season has arrived in full-force these past few weeks. This has motivated countless students to settle down among the stacks, open their books and laptops, and revisit their old classroom notes and problem sets in an effort to succeed at all the challenges that Brown offers to them. Filled with personal discipline, an ability to delay gratification, and above all else a striving passion to perform, these devoted students will approach their exams and essays with a deep confidence in their abilities, a focused and prepared mind, and several nights of undisturbed sleep.

Here are some tips that might help you and other students avoid their looming work for the next cycle of midterms.

1. Think About How Much You Work You Have

There’s nothing better to distract you from studying than to think about how much work you have. I mean, really try to ponder it—all of the material that you’re responsible for in each class, how many words you’ll have to write in total for your essays—whatever it is, just make sure you’re very aware of how much you’ll need to accomplish in the next week. For the next step in not working, try to imagine the worst possible consequences that could happen if you screwed up. Linger on all of this for a few hours, and you’ll be well on your way to not getting anything done.

This pretty much identical to the one before it.

Identical to the one before, except this guy seems more stressed.

2. Talk to Other People About How Much Work You Have

Closely related to number one, a great way to be unproductive is to complain to others about how much you have to do in the upcoming weeks. Parents, friends, acquaintances, random people in line at the Ratty, all can be effectively used as tools to avoid finishing work. Try to distract them from their own work as you complain, so they become more anxious about what they have to do as well. The less industrious the people are around you, the better you’ll be at not studying.

But remember: always make sure that they know that you, ultimately, have it much harder than them, and are worthy of their sympathy.

Does anyone study with all these books?

Has anyone ever studied with that many books?

3. Wait to Talk to a TA or go to Office Hours

If you really want to make sure you that you feel unaccomplished by the weekend, never start work on anything until you’re fully sure that you have the approval and understanding of your professor and/or TA. Go during peak hours of their schedule so you’ll have to wait in a long line, and never ask them direct questions related to your work, because remember,  you haven’t started that. Instead, focus on broad, generic ideas that they have already mentioned in class, or ideally would be answered either on the syllabus or prompt—things that will bring you no closer to sitting down and working. But be careful, you might accidentally leave feeling productive, so try to remain skeptical of whatever advice they have to offer.

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What we’re reading

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu...

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu…

We’ll start off with an article that’ll make you feel better about your debauchery (or Netflix use) this weekend: Laurence Steinberg of the New York Times’ “The Case for Delayed Adulthood,” which, for a change, defends millennials and our stunted growth spurts.

For the linguist: Slate‘s “Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat?” an excerpt of Dan Jurafsky’s newly released book, The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu, which questions whether or not our names for food items are arbitrary or actually sound like they taste.

The New York Times released a beautiful series of photographs devoted to exploring “Children of Immigrants” in America.

Then, there’s Emma Watson putting her Brown University education to work (she actually said that gender was a spectrum) at the United Nations:

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Sextion: Sex (during Reading) Period

Finals Sextion

When you’re stressed out, what’s your coping mechanism? We all know that inhaling several slices of pizza can be a great temporary relief, but have you ever thought about sex as a study break option?

If you’ve spent all day hunched over a desk trying to cram as much into your brain as possible, chances are, sitting on Reddit for half an hour before crashing in bed is not going to give you the kind of release your body needs.

You need something that stretches out your muscles, gets your mind off of school, and gives you serious endorphins. You could always go to the gym, but let’s be real; none of the gyms are open when you’re done with the night’s work. Plus, nothing helps you fall asleep like a nice trip to O-Town.

In addition to the short-term gratification, sex has some serious long-term benefits for your reading period health:

For those of you non-bio concentrators, just so you know, oxytocin is an awesome hormone and has some serious credentials when it comes to reducing stress. It reduces cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. If your body is not given the opportunity to decompress, that cortisol does not go away. It then continues to build up until eventually your body falls into a cycle of chronic stress.  Unlike endorphins, you aren’t going to get a shot of oxytocin from running on a treadmill because your body releases it when you experience physical contact with another person. It helps you feel more comfortable and secure and puts a serious dent in the levels of cortisol circulating in your bloodstream.

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