Category Archives: Tools for School

Fun things I find to help with school

It was worse than I thought…

So, the case of burnout that I wrote about a few weeks ago was a much worse case than I thought!

Over the past…sadly close to 2 months since classes have ended I haven’t felt the full feeling of relaxation I thought I would have had this summer.  I’m not sure what has been preventing me from getting there so I’m going to blame it on the burnout!

How do you fix burnout?  My guess, just step away from everything.  I have a vacation planned in a few weeks so in attempt to get away from everything, I took a few days off from work for a staycation.

I think it worked.  I was able to fully relax, I didn’t check work emails once!!  AND I was able to finish some projects in my backyard that gave me the feeling of accomplishment that I had needed.  I had felt like I should have all this time on my hands without classes and homework but I couldn’t see what was getting done.  Now I can every time I step out in my backyard.

table

Table made from an abandoned aquarium stand.

garden

Vegetable garden planted in a cleaned out flower bed where the plants weren’t surviving the heat the past few summers.

So note to self, next year when I finish up my degree, plan a vacation immediately after.  I can catch up on the world after I’ve hit the beach!

Now on to the fun blog stuff.  I have been playing with different social media platforms and will start sharing with you soon.

-B

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Clouds, Clouds and More Clouds

Clouds are popping up everywhere this Spring.  And I’m not just talking about the ones outside that are preventing my painters from finishing the exterior of my house.  I’m talking about internet clouds.

They allow us to pull data or applications from servers in remote locations.   My favorite is Dropbox.  As a student I LOVE being able to access my school documents from any computer or location.

internet cloud

There is Apple’s version that I use for my iPhone – contacts, reminders, notes, etc.

iCloud-Logo

There is a the category cloud on the right side of my home page that shows the categories I use for my posts.  The larger the word, the more often I use that category.

Then there is the latest one from my homework tonight.  I used a social intelligence program that pulls data from Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc for companies to “see” what consumers are saying about their brand – “the buzz.”  It’s very similar to a category cloud but this one is called a term cloud and displays the overall emotions (positive – green, negative – red) about the brand Odwalla along with the terms used.

Word CloudI love the new ways of reading data!  And I love having my data stored elsewhere in case my phone or computer crashes.  And I DO love the rain the clouds in the sky are bringing my lawn…but could they just hold off a week so my house can get painted????

-B

Are you Native or an Immigrant? Part 2

I wanted to continue a little more on last week’s post.  I thought about how I’ve changed recently to utilize some of the benefits that technology has to offer.

  • I love having one of my textbooks on my iPad.  BUT in true immigrant form, I take notes from the chapters in a spiral notebook.
  • When I research topics for my group projects, I copy and paste the information from articles I find on the internet along with the link to the site for future reference.  Then I digitally highlight the points of interest I used vs printing out the article and highlighting with an actual highlighter pen.
  • I have created flash cards on my iPhone w vocabulary words vs old paper note cards.
  • I not only input my grocery list on my iPhone vs paper notes, I have lists for different stores in my phone as well.
  • I love that the latest iPhone update put Reminders on the iCloud.  I can now type in my to-do’s or reminders and access them from my phone at anytime.

Where I have a ways to go to keep up with my Native classmates:

  • I do still print reports or presentations out to edit them
  • I still print out the professors lecture notes before class so I can take notes “old school” style by the slide vs typing them in the presentation like my peers do.
  • AND most of all – I don’t switch media every two minutes!  Seriously???  How does anyone focus with all that change???

I will say I’m improving in my digital savvy skills by picking up some of the digital native ways, but I will always hang on to some of my immigrant traits and be proud of them.

Textbook Tips

As I embark the start of my second semester I thought I’d share the most recent tips I’ve learned in my back-to-school journey.

Helpful Tips

Textbooks – I remember them being expensive but seriously $200+??  For one book????   For my first semester courses, I fumbled my way through the buying process but now I feel like a seasoned veteran.

Tip #1 – I found that I could cash in my Capital One points for Amazon gift cards.  So I quickly switched from using my American Airlines credit card for everything to my Capital One card.  I charge all my day-to-day purchases on it from groceries to gas and dry cleaning…and even the dreaded tuition payment.  Each month I pay off the full balance earning points for every purchase without the interest charges

Tip #2 – Buy used and don’t by from the nearby book stores.   I found that Amazon offers the best prices, regardless the fact is is basically free for me with my gift cards earned in tip #1.  I bought my Marketing Management book from Amazon but the seller was a company called textbooksRus  (www.textbooksrus.com).   The price was fair and the book was in great condition.   For my Summer term I went back to Amazon and found my Advertising & Promotions book (thru textbooksRus.com) for only $5.41!!!  New it was $204!!!!  Yes two hundred and four dollars!!!!!  I thought – I have plenty of time before class starts so I’ll give it a try.  The description said the condition was good so I went for it.   After expediting the shipping to get it here sooner in case there was a problem, my less than $15 textbook arrived on my doorstep in perfect condition to start class this week.  What a find!!!!

Tip #3 – Selling books back – I was told campus book stores typically pay more so that is where I tried first…only after I checked out the price textbooksRus would give me.  I promise they aren’t paying me for this endorsement but they more than doubled the amount I was being offered plus they gave me a pre-paid shipping label.  I absolutely love this company!  My check came in the mail today and I’m so excited to go to the bank tomorrow and deposit it.

Tip #4 – This really doesn’t qualify as a textbook tip but it was one I found very helpful my last semester.  I bought an app for my iPhone (iFlash) that allows me to type in flashcards on my computer then sync them up with my phone.  I almost always have my phone with me so they are handy to reference if I’m at work waiting on a meeting to start, sitting in the dentist’s office waiting for my appointment, or even reviewing before going to bed.  I can turn off my reading lamp because the phone lights up and I don’t have to worry about ruining them if I fall asleep and drool on them if they were on the old fashioned note cards.  😉

That’s all I have for now.  I start the summer semester this Thursday.  I’m interested to take my first online class so I’m sure I’ll come across even more tips to share in the student world.  Stay tuned!

-B

HOT Registration

Tomorrow I register for Summer and Fall terms.    I’ve scouted out the available courses with my degree plan and it concerns me for future semesters that there aren’t a lot of options.  Regardless I’ll be taking 2 classes each term; one in the classroom and one online.  I’m interested to find out how the online courses go but I’ll save that topic for another day.

As I mentioned above, when scheduling my classes for each semester I referenced my degree plan and course schedules.  My latest “learning” in my back-to-school efforts is another tool available for “us” students in our registration efforts …Rate My Professor (http://blog.ratemyprofessors.com/).  It is a website where you can type in a professor’s name and see how previous students have rated them.  The different categories are:

  • Overall Quality
  • Helpfulness
  • Clarity
  • Easiness
And drumroll….
  • Hotness
Now none of my current teachers have been rated on this “Hotness” measurement and sadly none of my future professors have received a chili pepper either.  You aren’t rated on the 4 point scale as in the other categories for Hotness – you get a chili pepper.  Mom, does this make you wish you were still teaching???
Here’s to chili peppers in my future!!
                 

Progress!

Yes!  I finally feel like I’m moving foreword!  Going into my Statistics class tonight I had not been able to do any of the problems at home because I spent last week working on setting up my computer.  Then spent the weekend reading my Marketing homework.Even though I was behind on working through the problems on my own I was happy that I could I understand and keep up during the lecture; as well as follow along with my new friends in class as they discussed the problems they ran into when working through the textbook.

The progress didn’t stop there, our professor let us out a little early so I came home, set up shop at the coffee table and with the help of my study partners, I was able to work through some of the problems in the text book.

After next week I think I will deserve a virtual high five from anyone following me!

-Good night.

First Day of Class

Tonight was my first day of class.  Due to some first day jitters, I left in plenty of time to get there.  Even on my drive to campus I thought “I’m such a nerd leaving so early”.  Well…let me tell you…I COMPLETELY forgot about the madness of a campus parking lot.  You have to circle around like sharks waiting for someone to come out and hope you’re in the right position to call the spot with your blinker over the other car in your lane.  I found a walker, called it with my blinker and took the spot even though it was in the green parking area when I paid for gold!  Who cares it was a parking spot.

I easily find my classroom and settle in a spot just a few rows from the back.  The professor comes in and briefly talks about the course and then calls roll.  Seeing that there are probably 60+ students in my class it took a while.  Near the end I look in the front row to see my friend Ashely that I met in the GMAT prep class.  I’m so excited that I’m going to have a friend in my class.  THEN – even more excited as our teacher asks who has taken Statistics before, Ashley raises her hand.  Then she asks who did well in it?  Ashley keeps her hand up!  Yay I know someone that will understand this can help me if I need it.  I have to add Ashley has already started organizing a study group.

Then the lecture begins.  I’m excited that I understand everything in the lecture and that I understand the formulas in Excel.  I love Excel!!  During the lecture I’m taking notes in my new spiral that I bought while school supply shopping; while most of the other students (younger students) are taking notes on their laptops.  As I’m manually writing things out in the spiral that I’m now questioning, I’m thinking about switching to taking notes digitally.  THEN – the professor puts a formula up on the screen with a symbol in it and I hear the girl next to me say “hmmm”.  I just relished in my old school note taking and confidently scribbled on.

Yay Mu!