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Top 5 Apps College Students Need
Chegg is a great free iPhone app that is provided by the top textbook rental company. My College bookstore loves to charge double of what my book(s) maybe worth. For the last three years I have resorted to either rental or amazon student (money-saver!) With this app, you can search books by title, author, ISBN or by scanning the barcode and compare the rental prices for the textbooks you need against the sale price of the same books at stores.
Graphing Calculator Depending on your professor you may or may not be able to use this app, because it is on your phone. If you check with your professor beforehand then I suggest using this. It is a good tool to have when you are a math student. This great app to figure out all of your trigonometry equations. ($1.99)
gFlash is an app that students can use to create their own flashcards to help them prepare for exams. I am always on the go and having electronic flashcards makes life so much easier. With gFlash, you can either create the flashcards from scratch or use Google Docs to create them, saving a lot of time so you can study more.
iStudiez is an app that lets you outline your class schedule so that you never forget what classes you have on which day, or where they are. In addition, iStudiez also let you keep track of your GPA and lets you keep track of your assignments. (Free or $2.99)
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock Do you have a 7 in the morning class? But have a hard time getting up? Well I suggest Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock it monitors your sleeping patterns through the accelerometer in the iPhone to help find out the best time to activate your alarm, during the lightest sleep phase.
Which App would you use?
Why most academic writing sucks
Kingsley Amis described a certain kind of academic article in Lucky Jim:
…niggling mindlessness, its funereal parade of yawn-enforcing facts, the pseudo-light it threw upon non-problems. Dixon had read, or begun to read, dozens like it, but his own seemed worse than most in its air of being convinced of its own usefulness and significance.
Richard Dawkins claimed that unintelligibility was a way to obscure a lack of ideas:
Suppose you are an intellectual impostor with nothing to say, but with strong ambitions to succeed in academic life, collect a coterie of reverent disciples and have students around the world anoint your pages with respectful yellow highlighter. What kind of literary style would you cultivate? Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content.
Peter Elbow has a more sympathetic take:
When we academics were in graduate school, we were trained to write badly (no one put it this way of course) because every time we wrote X, our teacher always commented, “But have you considered Y? Don’t you see that Y completely contradicts what you write here.” “Have you considered” is the favorite knee-jerk response of academics to any idea. As a result, we learn as students to clog up our writing with added clauses and phrases to keep them from being attacked. In a sense (a scary sense), our syntactic goal is create sentences that take a form something like this:
X, and yet on the other hand Y, yet nevertheless X in certain respects, while at the same time Y in other respects.
And we make the prose lumpier still by inserting references to all the published scholars — those who said X, those who argued for Y, those who said X is valid in this sense, those who said Y is valid in this other sense.
As a result of all this training we come to internalize these written voices so that they speak to us continually from inside our own heads. So even when we talk and start to say “X,” we interrupt ourselves to say “Y,” but then turn around and say “Nevertheless X in certain respects, yet nevertheless Y in other respects.” We end up with our minds tied in knots.
And writing about art isn’t any better.
Some phrases of academic intimidation
Sometimes, when someone writes an academic paper, they try to trick people into thinking their argument is better than it is by using language that subtly suggests that anyone who doesn’t agree is ignorant of basic facts and also stupid.
Insulting the reader isn’t actually an argument, but sometimes it gets people to stop actually evaluating the argument on its own terms.
So if you find yourself accepting an argument, it might be that the argument seems better than it is because of intimidation. Argument by intimidation often works.
Some red flag phrases:
- To be sure
- As is well-known
- We have shown that
- One must conclude that
These are all signs that the argument might not actually be as good as the author wants you to think it is. If you see these, it’s a good idea to read especially carefully to see if the argument is as good as it seems, because the author might be tricking you.
10 Things I wish I figured out while I was still in high school.
You know how on your 15th birthday, you wake up and you feel the same as you did when you were 14? That’s not how high school is. The day after your graduation, you wake up, and it feels like high school never happened at all. But while you’re still in high school, it feels like it would never end. The good news is, it does, but not smoothly. Here are some things that looking back, I really wish I knew while I was in high school.
- Your counselor is probably the most important person to get to know during your high school career, so make the effort to get to know your counselors. From choosing classes to college application, your counselor is in charge of them all. Take one day out of your tutorial, lunch break, or after school to say hi and introduce yourself to your counselor. I went to my counselor when I did not get the classes that I want and with the click of a botton she gave me the classes if they did not conflict with my schedule. I forgot to turn in my early action college packet in time to the office and all I had to was tell my counselor I missed the due date and she told me she’ll make sure mine gets sent in time. I can’t stress more about how much easier your life will be if you take the time to get to know your counselor.
- You are lucky if none of your friends are in your classes, it’ll finally push you to meet some new people that you’ll be so glad you met. Looking back at all my classes during my high school year, I rarely ever made new friends in classes where I had even just one of my friends. When I did not know anyone in a class, I was forced to make new friends and I’m so damn glad I did because you’d be surprised how much you like the people that you never sat with during lunch.
- Join clubs, even if your friends aren’t joining, especially if your friends aren’t joining. High school is set at a very confusing time of you life. You probably want to come out a different person than you went in. The only way to do that is to step out of your comfort zone, join clubs just because they sound interesting, because they probably are (some of them just suck, don’t worry, you’ll only stick to one or two of them max after two months.) Club is also a good time to meet new people, you can hang out with your old friends anytime, so take this opportunity to do some new things with new people.
- Only take Honors and AP classes if you can handle it, seriously, seriously, s e r i o u s l y. I know you hear it all the time from teachers but you feel the pressure to take as many AP course as you can. The thing is, now colleges actually look at your unweighted GPA more than your weighted GPA. If you have say mostly straight Bs and all AP and Honors courses versus mostly straight As in all regular courses, the latter one might look better on an college application. My understanding is that colleges care more about whether you have the ability to judge and measure how much you can and cannot handle workloads over if you can sign up for a million advanced classes and struggle to stay at the top. Each AP course requires at least 2 hour of extra work load each day, 4-5 hours two days before an exam to maintain an A. When choosing classes, calculate the hours you need to keep up with your grades and the hours you will spend on extracurricular and don’t take more advanced classes than you can handle because that will only make you look worse, not better on college applications.
- But if you do end up in a class where you struggle, work with the teacher. Use tutorials and after schools to go to your teacher and let her know where you’re struggling. Your teacher is the person who teaches you the material and tests you on it, they are the best help you can get. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed for asking for help from your teacher, it’s their job! I was so frustrated that trigonometry just won’t click to me no matter how hard I tried. But after continuing to go to my teacher during every tutorial, it took me about two weeks to finally get it and catch up, I couldn’t be thankful enough.
- Teachers are what make or break a class (and your grade), so ask upperclassman about which teacher to avoid and which teacher to have. It seriously makes about 60% of the difference in your grades. Don’t choose a teacher or a class because your friends are in it. Honestly, your grades are more important. And like I said earlier, make new friends in a new class!
- Don’t fuck up your sleeping schedule. I think this is the single hardest thing for a student to do. The thing is, 7 hours of sleep from say 11pm to 6am makes you feel so much better than 7 hours of sleep from 4am to 6am, plus nap from 5pm to 7pm, plus an hour of sleep in class. First off, if you pay attention during a painful boring lecture for an hour, it will save you about 2-3 hours of studying time on your own, so sleeping in class is never worth it. And messed up sleeping schedules will make you feel always burned out no matter how many hours of sleep you get total. It’s so hard to get out of the cycle once it starts so try to stay with a good sleeping schedule from the start. I think it’s essential to set up a good routined schedule as a freshman, something I wish I had done because you stick with the study habits you develop freshman year.
- Join a community service organization. Not really a club, but an organization. At first it sounds boring, but overtime you’ll feel as you’re a part of something and you’ll meet new people there and it’ll be like a second home. Plus, colleges really like it when they see that you stuck with one thing throughout the years, it will definitely look good on college apps.
- Sometimes being alone is exactly what you need. Freshman year, I was at a new school in a new place and I didn’t know anyone. I felt the need to make friends and make myself a social life. I thought I was lame if I stayed home on a Saturday night. The thought of eating lunch alone was something that kids with major social problems had. But then throughout high school, I realized sometimes I would rather eat lunch alone so I can study for my Bio exam for next class or finish the homework that I was too tired to do last night before I crashed at 4am, and sometimes I really just need to stay home and take a nap and relax on the couch watching some dumb show on MTV to release from the stress and exhaustion that was built up since Monday. Not every weekend is a hang out with friends go watch a movie go to a party have a sleep over kind of weekend, some weekends are made for doing nothing with yourself, so take it up and spend some alone time with yourself, it’s good for you.
- There will be gray skies for everyone during their high school years. In fact, it really feels like most of high school is unpleasant, and it feels like you’re going through much more shit than everyone else around you. But you don’t see other people and their struggles, high school is not pleasant while you’re in it. When you graduate though, only the good memories seem to matter, the bad ones don’t. You won’t recall the gruesome exhaustion that you endured for a month to complete that project worth 50% of your grade that you still ended up with a C on, you will only recall that feeling of total relaxation when you’re finally free after the due date and you give yourself that night off to have fun with your friends without pressure for just one night. High school is only for 4 years, even though it feels like an eternality, it’s only 4% of your life, and once it’s done, that’s what it is: done.
- Moniquill: I want a cultural shift that allows all academic papers to be written in the style of cracked.com/tvtropes/tumblr posts.
- Moniquill: dense with links, full of curses and fandom references, irreverent and/or angry...
- Moniquill: AND A FUCK OF A LOT MORE ENTERTAINING TO READ.
- Complicatedtriangulated: AND WRITE
- Complicatedtriangulated: said the academic
There is a sociology of everything
One becomes hooked on being a sociologist. The activity is this: It is looking at the world around us, the immediate world you and I live in, through the sociological eye. There is a sociology of everything….there is literally nothing you can’t see in a fresh way if you turn your sociological eye to it. Being a sociologist means never having to be bored.
-Randall Collins : The Sociological Eye and Its Blinders, 1998